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Hawaii Island News, 02 March 2010


Mayor Billy Kenoi has asked the Hawaii County Council to raise property taxes, cut positions, and furlough workers to help balance the county’s $11.7 million deficit.  The mayor tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the biggest loss to the county will be the Hawaii County Band and the West Hawaii Band, which would save the county $347,024.  Council chairman J. Yoshimoto says he has received a dozen e-mails asking for the continuance of the band which has been playing music since 1883.

A judge has ordered a mental examination for Tyrone Vesperas, who is accused of killing his 14-year old son and attempting to kill his estranged wife.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Vesperas was scheduled to stand trial on March 22nd for the June 11th, 2007 stabbing death of Tyran Vesperas-Samiatan and the nearly fatal stabbing of Cheryl-Lyn Vesperas.  She was nine months pregnant at the time.  Her unborn son, fathered by another man, did not survive.

The rapid rise in popularity of stand-up paddle boarding has left state boating officials uncertain about how to regulate the activity at Hilo’s Wailoa Small Boat Harbor.  DLNR officials are meeting with the Coast Guard for what has been called calification on how the regulations apply to the unique sport.  DLNR representative Deborah Ward tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that there is nothing written in the boating rules to address paddling in the harbor.  DLNR has not authorized any business operation in the harbor because of safety concerns.

(AP).  In the coming months and years, scientists will pore over reams of data from what turned out to be a small tsunami that reached Hawaii on Saturday.  Some scientists are already saying there should be a rigorous examination of long-standing assumptions within computer-generated models that are used to estimate the strength and impact of tsunamis.  For example, the models presumed that the Chilean quake had occurred in deeper saters than actually happened.

According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Seaview Performing Arts Center in Kalapana Seaview Estates has been ordered by the Hawaii County Planning Commission to cease and desist operations until it receives proper permitting.  Graham Ellis, the president of the Board of Hawaii’s Volcano Circus, the nonprofit organization that operates the SPACE program, says the group is not in compliance with a number of rules and regulations.  Ellis says the board is making significant changes to its special use permit to make it compliant with county guidelines.   Ellis says the original community art center concept has expanded to include a weekly farmers market, night bazaars, and public performances.

A preliminary hearing for  a man accused of trying to rob a Hilo pharmacy of morphine has been delayed until later this month.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Hilo District Judge Barbara Takase granted the delay for 28-year old Paul Santoro, Jr. to allow defense counsel to prepare his case.  The hearing is now set for March 22nd, 1:30 p.m., in courtroom B. Santoro also allegedly struck pharmacy technician Alison Taylor with a rifle before pharmacist Tom Moyer wrestled the weapon away from Santoro.