According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Hawaii County has spent about $400,000 on furniture and window treatments in addition to the $24.9 million already used for renovations of the County Building on Aupuni Street. County administrators justify the lates expenditure as money that was approved by the County Council in 2008 and not spent until now. Public Works Director Warren Lee said “it’s a need to have versus a nice to have” situation. Hamakua councilman Dominic Yagong said the money spent on the window treatments and furniture was not necessary.
Hawaii Island’s participation rate in the 2010 census is above the national average, with 32 percent of Hawaii County homes mailing back the census forms. The national average was 29 percent. In terms of population growth, Hawaii Island has one of the lowest in the nation. Citing figures from the Census Bureau, the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” said the county gained just 1,436 people in the 12 months ending July 1st, 2009, for a total population of 177,835.
A state Board of Education Committee has approved a plan to establish Hawaii’s first “school impact district” on Hawaii Island. The plan developed by the Department of Education calls for assessing a fee for anyone building a home from Kealakekua to Waimea. A 2007 law requires the board to establish impact fee districts where projected school enrollment growth will create the need for new or expanded schools in the next 20 years. The projected fee would be between $3,000 and $5,000 per single-family home and between $2,000 and $3,000 per multifamily unit.
Notice to motorists: The Mamalahoa Highway Bypass will remain open to alleviate congestion in Honalo for the duration of tree trimming from Monday, March 29th through Wednesday, March 32st. The Bypass will be open southbound travel between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Notice to motorists: Hawaii Island police have some traffic alerts when the annual Merrie Monarch Festival gets underway in early April. There will be a temporary one-way traffic pattern on Kalanikoa street in Hilo. The Hawaii Police Department said traffic will be allowed in the Puna or southerly direction on Kalanikoa street between Kuawa street and Pi’ilani street during the festival. The one-way traffic pattern will be in effect daily from noon April 7th through 1 a.m. on April 11th.
(AP). A Big Island man who was guarding his medical marijuana when he shot and killed an intruder has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Defense attorneys had argued that Larry Kuahuia attacked Kevin Metcalfe, and that the shooting was in self-defense.
(AP). The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has given final approval to the University of Hawaii’s comprehensive management plan for the summit of Mauna Kea. The university’s Institute for Astronomy leases more than 11,000 acres of state land at the summit, which is home to about a dozen of the world’s most advanced telescopes.
(AP). Car rental fees at Hawaii airports may be going up under legislation heading for approval in the state legislature. The money raised would go toward construction of a $230 million rental car facility at Honolulu International Airport and an overflfow vehicle storage facility at Kahului Airport on Maui.
Community news: Connect-Point Church in Hilo invites you to a special Easter Sunday Program at 10 a.m., April 4th, at the Waiakeawaena Elementary School Cafeteria on Kilauae Avenue. For information on the church’s various programs, call Pastor John Roth at 345-5892.
Community news: April 10th is the dealine for high school seniors on the Island of Hawaii to apply for one of five scholarships being offered this year by the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union. Application forms are available from the Credit Union’s website, www.hicommfcu.com.
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