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Hawaii Island News, 03 March 2010


At the urging of South Kona councilwoman Brenda Ford, the Environmental Management Committee of the Hawaii County Council met with scientists and vector control specialists to review the methods available to control the coqui frog.  Orchardist David Davis told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that an “agent green” consisting of non-toxic acidic calcium sulfate is effective and less costly than pure citric acid.  former research technician Mark Munekata said baking soda has show promise in controlling the frog, but it also ruins your grass.  Lionel Wong, who heads the state Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Division, said the state was asking permissions for plant nurseries to use hydrated lime.

Puna resident Syndney Ross Singer is suing Malama O Puna and several government agencies, accusing them of illegally poisoning red mangroves along the Big Island coastline.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Singer has also waged campaigns to protect coqui frogs and the strawberry guava, both considered invasive threats to Hawaii’s plant and animal life.  Singer’s suit asks for both temporary and permanent injunctive relief and unspecified damages.

(AP).  Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi says higher property taxes and worker furloughs will be necessary even with a three percent cut in the county’s budget for the next fiscal year.  Kenoi says his proposed $375 million spending plan would also eliminate the Hilo-based Hawaii County Band and the West Hawaii Band.

(AP).  The Hawaii State Senate has passed a bill that would make $86 million available to resolve the stalled negotiations over restoring furlough days that have given Hawaii the nation’s shortest school year.  The bill says the money would only be available if the teachers union and governor reach a deal to restore the remaining furlough days this year and next.

(AP).  The state is requesting proposals to provide alcohol ignition interlock devices.  The devices are connected to vehicle ignition systems and measure the breath of drivers who have previously been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.  If the device detects a measurable amount of alcohol, the car’s ignition is disabled.

Starting Saturday, March 6th, and running for the next 3 Saturdays to follow, Hawaii County will offer a community emergency response training class.  Classes will be held in Hilo at 1055 Kinoole Street, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For details, call Bill Hanson at Hawaii County Civil Defense, 935-0031.

In celebration of National Red Cross Month, the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross will hold its annual Hats Off event on March 12th, 13th, and 14th at Walmart Hilo and on March 13th at KTA Puainako.  In Kailua-Kona, the Hats Off event will be held at Kona Walmart, March 12th, 13th, 14th.  Hats Off will be held at at KTA Kailua-Kona and at KTA Lanihau on March 13th only.

The Hilo High School Senior Variety Show is coming to the Hilo High School auditorium on Thursday, March 11th, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Tickets ar $3 for students and $5 for adults.  Tickets are available at the door on the day of the performance.

The Volcano Art Center seeks children ages 8 to 12 for its “Spring Fling” arts program.  The two day art workshop runs from Tuesday through Thursday, March 16th-March 18th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.  For details, call867-8222.

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