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Hawaii Island News, 25 March 2010


(AP).  Governor Linda Lingle says while she supports recognition for Native Hawaiians, she’s against legislation in the U.S. Senate to establish a governing entity for the group.  The governor says the measure exempts the entity from state criminal, public health, child safety and environmental laws, and local building and traffic safety ordinances.

(AP).  Hawaii is jumping into the fierce competition to win Google’s new experimental fiber-optic network.  Governor Linda Lingle says the state’s four island counties would be the perfect place for Google to showcase the possibilities of its service, which would deliver internet speeds more than 100 times faster than those now widely available.

A Keaukaha man pleaded guilty Wednesday to the shotgun slaying of his sister’s common-law husband.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Desmond Lewi pleaded guilty to manslaughter, carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on a public highway, and prohibited possession of a firearm.  Lewi faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced May 19th.

A man accused of trying to rob a Hilo pharmacy of narcotics at gunpoint will be subject to a mental examination.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Hilo Circuit  Judge Greg Nakamura granted the request of Deputy Public Defender Melody Parker for a panel of three psychiatrists or psychologists to evaluage Paul Santoro, Jr.  Judge Nakamura ordered the suspect to cooperate with the mental health professionals assigned to him.  The panel’s recommendations are on May 31st.

State lawmakers will meet at 4:30 p.m. today at the Aging and Disability Resource Center on Kinool Street to hear community concerns on housing and human services.  The Department of Human Services has proposed creating an Eligibility Processing Operations Division with one location in Hilo and one in Honolulu.  Representative John Mizuno told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he is shocked by the proposed plan to cut 232 employees who provide vital services to over 300,000 needy residents.  Mizuno called the plan totally unsatisfactory for Hawaii.

 Friends of NELHA will hold a sustainable Fish Farmers Market on Friday, March 26th, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at NELHA’s Gateway Center in Kailua-Kona.  The Fish Farmers Market will feature a variety of eco-friendly seafood grown at NELHA,  including lobster, crab, abalone, and shrimp.  For details on the new market, call Kelly Coleman at 962-6357.

Notice to motorists:  The Kona Motor Vehicle Registration, Driver License, and Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection offices will not open on Tuesday, April 13th, until 9 a.m. so that staff can attend training.

Today, the Hawaii Counts 2010 Census Road Tour visits the Keauhou Shopping Center at 8 a.m., Alii Drive at 2 p.m., the Old Airport at 3 p.m., and the Lanihau Shopping Center at 4 p.m.

Don Polhemus is no longer the Division of Aquatic Resource administrator for the state Department of Land and Natural Resourcess.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, his removal has left “West Hawaii environmentalists and the fishing community confused angered, and stunned.”  Polhemus said his last day on the job was March 19th.  Polhemus said he couldn’t comment further because he is still a state employee until the end of the month.  Polhemus said he disagreed with the decision and referred residents to a series of  articles in the “Hawaii Fishing News” which gives some background information related to his release.  Polhemus has filed several complaints against the DLNR chairperson concerning violations of state law.  Earlier, DLNR suspeded Polhemus over an East Maui water issue.

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