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Hawaii Island News, 14 March 2010


Hawaii Island police are serious about the new cell phone law.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, police have issued 167 citations in the first two months of the program banning cell phone and hand-held electronics while driving.  Sgt. Kelly Kaaumoana-Matsumoto of the Traffic Services Section says police are pulling over violators for safety reasons.  She says drivers who use hand-held devices are taking their hand off the steering wheel and are being distracted from keeping their attention on the road.

Residents of the Leilani Estates subdivision are pleased with the results of the unique stipes painted on several lower Puna roads.  Leilaini Community Association president Al Dettweiler tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the white and yellow hash marks alert drivers to possible road hazards.  Leilani Estates resident Marlene Couch-Eisenstein says the project to add the safety markings was spearheaded by Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason, who took community suggestions and helped the Traffic Division get the project done.

The Don’s Grill player of the month for February is Kamehameha-Hawaii wrestler Megan Aina.  Megan, a sophomore and two-time BIIF champion, caputred the state high schoo wrestling title at 98 pounds late last month at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu.  Aina beat Punahou’s Erin Uehara 3-2 to become the first BIIF girl to win a state title since 2007.  Aina also helped the Warriors to the BIIF girls team title with a key win over Honokaa.

(AP).  Native Hawaiians are closer than ever to setting up their own fedrally sanctioned government.  The U.S. Senate may consider the legislation as soon as this month.  And Hawaii-born President Barack Obama has said he suppports the effort.

(AP).  Uncertainty is rising over whether Hawaii’s primary election in September will be moved to an earlier date and the impact that will have on candidates.  A new federal law requires states to send general election ballots to overseas and military voters at least 45 days before an election.

The state Department of Transportation has awarded Goodfellow Brothers,  Incorporated the contract for the second phase of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway project.  This is the third time the contractor has taken the bid for the design and build road project.  Regional manager Ed Brown told “West Hawaii Today” that he is very excited to finally start building the road, saying “the community is finally going to get the road they want.”  DOT Director Brennon Morioka said a design notice could be issued in June.

Four point one million dollars in fedral funds needed to begin the nine million dollar Makalei  Fire Station have not reached Hawaii County.  Although the county has completed all state requirements, federal funds are required to finish a National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment.  Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira tells “West Hawaii Today” that he is talking with the Department of Public Works to determine if the department can start the construction bid process.