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Hawaii Island News, 17 March 2010


(AP).  Hawaii state senators have revived a plan to raise broad-based taxes paid by everyone.  The Senate Economic Development and Consumer Protection Committee unanimously approved an increase in the general excise tax by one percentage point to at least 5 percent.  The tax would distribute the state’s  $1.2 billion projected deficit throughout the entire population.

A bill to ban smoking in any motorized vehicle occupied by a child or young adult was approved by the County Council’s Human Services and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday.  The bill now faces two readings before it can become law.  Puna councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that she is willing to defend her measure and take the consequences of its passage.  Opponents of the bill feel the measure would infringe on personal freedoms.

Scientists at UH-Hilo are preparing to deploy a new buoy in Hilo Bay to monitor water quality.  Jason Adolf, a professor of marine science at UH-Hil, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the best way the public can insure success of the project is to steer clear of the large yellow object bobbing in the bay.  A similar device deployed a year ago was destroyed within 22 hours of its launch.  Apparently, a boater was trying to return the buoy and inadvertently tore it apart.

(AP).  A Big Island judge has set a July 26th trial datre for a lawsuit seeking to close an adult video and lingerie store that opened in January at the Keaau Plaza.  The judge will allow the store called Private Moments to remain open until the trial.  The owner of the plaza claims the store violates its lease.

The public is invited to the Hamakua Community Resource Fair on March 21st, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Honokaa County Gym.  The Hamakua Resource Fair is a collaborative effort by county, state, and federal officials to bring together government, financial, educational, health care, and community group in an effort to share information with Hamakua residents.  The fair is free and lunch will be served.

How about doing something nice for your mother and your family?  Kona Commons is sponsoring a series of Spring Holiday Contests with prizes including an Easter Basket or a $500 Mother’s Day Shopping Spree. Direct your browser to:  For details, call Sherri Rigg at 1-808-782-5180.

The 6th Annual Konawaena Foundation Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, May 1st, at the Kona Country Club in Keauhou.  Big Island Honda will give away a new Honda for the first hole-in-one on the designated Par 3 hole.  For details, call Peggy at 322-2595.