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Hawaii Island News, 05 March 2010


(AP).  A top aide to Governor Linda Lingle expressed disappointment but not surprise that Hawaii was passed over for as much as $77 million in new federal education funds called “Race For the Top”.  Hawaii was one of  40 states that applied for the funds along with the District of Columbia.  Adviser Linda Smith told the Associated Press that furloughs were not a factor in the rejection of Hawaii’s application.

Big Island Toyota General Manager Jan Whiteside has defended the automaker’s recall program, tabbing the Congressional hearings a “witch hunt”.  Whiteside told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that unintended acceleration problems may not be due entirely to faulty gas pedals.  Whiteside said this is not the first or the last time an automobile will need to breought in to fix a problem.  Whiteside pointed out that other car manuafacturers have had their problems and that recalls were deemed necssary to correct the faults.

Hawaii County Assistant Police Chief Henry Tavares tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the rapid response by police officers to last Saturday’s tsunami event would not have been possible had the department switched from subsidized private vehicles to a limited, county-owned fleet of marked vehicles.  Tavares says “have crippled our response” because officers would have had to report to work where they would get an assignment for a vehicle and secure transportation to their assigned command post.

The slow collapse of the island’s building industry has taken another kamaaina business down.  Trojan Lumber Company president Rocky Campbell tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he will close his Kona and Hilo offices by the end of April.  Campbell says “it’s been a rough road…with everybody in the same boat.”  The company is now selling all of its assets, including the trucks used to haul building supplies to project sites.

The Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management will conduct Household Hazardous Waste collection events at its Waimea and Pahoa Recycling & Solid Waste Trasfer Stations this weekend.  The Waimea collection effor will be held Saturday, while the Pahoa event is set for Sunday.  Collection times wil lrun from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  These events are for household generated materials only.

The mayor’s office announces, that starting today, Big Islanders with unwanted e-waste, computers, and televisions can once again drop them off at designated recycling sites.  Residents can take e-waste to the Bay Side Computer Shop at 55 Kukuau Street in Hilo, from 9 a/m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  West Hawaii residents can take their e-waste to Compucycle Kona, 75-5580 Maiui Street, suite 8.  For details, call Linda Peters at 961-8942.

(AP).  A Big Island official wants baking soda examined as a potential way of controlling noisy coqui frogs, which have inundated the island’s lower elevations.  Councilwoman Brenda Ford of South Kona says she wants city or state authorities to look into getting baking soda approved as a pesticide. A number of methods has been tried to control the frog, such as chemicals, sprays, and traps.

Notice to motorists:  Single lane closures from Lako Street to Henry Street along the Queen Kaahumanu Highway will be in effect from Monday, March 8th thorugh Friday, March 12th, from 8:30 to 3:00 p.m.  One lane of traffic in each direction will be open at all times during the pavement re-marking and signage project.

The Big Island VW Club and Bear’s VW present the 5th Anniversary Spring Show, Sunday, March 14th,  at Wailoa State Park’s Big Pavilion.  Bring your VWs, family, friends, a sidedish, and non-perishable food for the Hawaii Isalnd Food Basket.  For details, call Garth at 443-9013.

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