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Hawaii Island News, 29 March 2010


A large crowd is expected to show up Monday night for a public hearing on Mayhor Billy Kenoi’s $375.4 million budget request.  Many residents are likely to attend and register their opposition to cutting funds for the Hawaii County Band and the West Hawaii Band.  Council chairman J. Yoshimoto tells the  “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he expects a larger than normal crowd for the 5 p.m. hearing at the council chambers on Aupuni Street.  Yoshimoto believes the threat to the bands is what is motivating people to attend the meeting.

(AP).  Hawaii tax refunds would continue to be delayed every year as government employee salaries and medical benefits for the poor are reduced under the governor’s updated six-year financial plan.  The governor’s forecast shows that delaying annual tax refunds until July would continue indefinitely, without any expectation that refunds would ever be paid out earilier.  On paper, that plan would save $275 million dollars.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Hawaii Counts van will visit Hawaii County from March 19th to March 27th.  The van will be in front of the Hawaii County Building at 9 this morning to encourage residents to complete and mail back their questionnaires.  According to Hawaii Media Specialist Roberta Wong Murray, a complete count of the Big Island’s population ensure that the county receives its share of more than $400 billion in federal funding for vital community services.

(AP).  The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report says Hawaii’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline stands at $3.48.  That’s 2 cents more than last week and 6 cents higher than a month ago.  A year ago, a gallon of regular in Hawaii cost an average of $2.47.

Notice to motorists:  Reconstruction of the Umauma Bridge along the Hamakua Coast will restrict traffic at mile markers  16 and 17.  Work on the bridge will be done today, March 25th, April 1st, and April 8th.  Police will direct traffic during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Expect delays.

The Big Island Auto Club presents its March Points Meet this weekend at the Hilo Drag Strip.  Gates open at 7:00 a.m. both days.

The Kona Roping Club will hold its 46th Annual Kona Stampede Rodeo this weekend at the Honaunau Rodeo Grounds on the City of Refuge Road in South Kona.  Slack roping begins at 8:00 a.m.  The rodeo gets underway at noon.  For details, call Sally at 323-2388.

(AP).  The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has extended the closure of the walkway to Akaka Falls lookout until March 25th or possibly later.  The department cited public safety concerns during the continued installation of safety railings at Akaka Falls State Park.

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