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Hawaii Island News, 08 March 2010


(AP).  Hawaii County administrators are promising a new $4.5 million Pahoa police substation being built will lower response times and improve police services in the area.  The new facility is being built on state-owned land on Highway 130 that also houses a $5.3 million fire station the county opened last year.

(AP).  The federal government is spending $2 million to restore forest lands in the Ka’u District and on the slopes of Mauna Loa.  The native koa and ohia forests are home to endangered Hawaiian birds.  The land is being torn up by feral pigs, sheep, and cattle.  DLNR spokesman Scott Fretz says it’s our obligation to protect the native birds whose habitat is being reduced by wild animals.

Big Island political conservatives met this Sunday in Hilo to figure out ways to make it harder for the county government to take away rights or raise taxes.  Meeting as the “Conservative Forum for Hawaii”, conservatives outlined two proposals that would require any law passed by the County Council reducing a right or liberty be approved by a two-thirds vote by the people in a referendum.  Another proposal would put to a two-thirds vote of the people any plan to increase an existing tax or fee, or any new tax or fee.

Licensed medical marijuana users in Hawaii can smoke and even grow the plant, but buying it for personal use remains illegal.  According to an associated press report, a new proposal in the state legislature would create a California style medical dispensary system, where smokers may buy the islands’ well known variaties.  The state senate has sent a measure to the state house for further consideration.

Dry conditions and gusty winds on Saturday afternoon sparked a 300-acre brush fire on the Kona side of Waikoloa Road.  Those temporarily evacuated from the Puu Melia Apartments spent some time at Waikoloa Elementary School until fire crews let residents return shortly after 6 p.m.  Both lanes of Waikoloa Road were opened early Sunday morning.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the brush fire destroyed three abandoned buildings and an abandoned vehicle.

Notice to motorists:  Single lane closures from Lako Street to Henry Street along the Queen Kaahumanu Highway will continue through Friday, March 12th.  The closure is needed for pavement marking and highway signage installation.  One lane of traffic in each direction will be open at all times.

Notice to motorists:  One lane will be closed on the Kukaiau Bridge between Niupea Homestead Road and Mauna Kea Ranch Road in the Ninoole area.  Bridge maintenance will run through Friday, March 12th, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Notice to motorists:  One lane will be closed 24 hours a day through mid-March for construction of roadway approaches to the new Kealakaha Bridge in Ookala.  Temporary traffic signals will control traffic through this lane closure.

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