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Hawaii Island News, 09 April 2010


(Honolulu Advertiser).  A California lawyer for the Big Island student who challenged Kamehameha Schools’ Hawaiians-first admission policy has been accused of misrepresentation by the multibillion-dollar charitable trust.  Kamehameha Schools sued California attorney Eric Grant, the Big Island student and his mother in state Circuit Court in Hilo last year after an Advertiser news story in February 2008 revealed that the lawsuit had been settled for $7 million.  In an amendment to the lawsuit this month, Kamehameha said Grant failed to tell his clients that they would be legally liable if the confidential terms of the settlement were made public.  The amended complaint asks for damages that would be proven at trial plus attorney fees and other costs.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  Clifford C. Dias and Patrick W. Naughton have been nominated as finalists to fill the East Hawaii seat on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents.  The East Hawaii seat has been vacant since Harvey Tajiri resigned in mid-February.  Neither regents nor members of the advisory council are paid.

The Hawaii County Council has approved a measure to privatize the county’s green waste collection and disposal program with the provision that the Kealakehe transfer station remains open for residential drop-off of green waste.  The Department of Environmental Management will seek bids on a five-year contract to allow a private buisness to collect green waste from Puuanahulu and Hilo.  The material would be sold as mulch or compost.

A controversial plan that would allow parking fees at the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor drew approximately 200 people to a Wednesday evening “talk story” session moderated by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.  Most of those attending the meeting were opposed to the parking fees.  Kona resident Del Dykes told “West Hawaii Today” that the plan was (quote) “a bureaucratic, stealth idea from officials in Honolulu that was again planned and implemented without public input.”

The 47th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival has a new Miss Aloha Hula.  Dancing for the Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela, Mahealani Mika Hirao-Solem became the newest Miss Aloha Hula during a stellar performance Thursday evening at the Edith Kanakaole Multipurpose Stadium.  Speaking after her hula kahiko describing the travels of Queen Emma on Kauai, Hirao-Solem told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the experience was “unbelieveable and a lot of fun.”

The Hawaii County Council has endorsed a rezoning request to allow construction of a 100-unit Hilo apartment complex near the Hilo Police Station.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the  council voted 6-3 for the request after deciding that landowner Giampaolo Boschetti must build 60 percent more off-street parking than the county’s Zoning Code requires.  Area residents cited insufficient parking as one reason for stopping the project.

The Hawaii County Council has approved a settlement to resolve the 2007 complaint former aide Melissa Chang filed against the county.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the settlement could cost in the neighborhood of $22,000.  Chang, who worked for former Hilo Councilman Stacy Higa, claimed she was sexually harrassed by Higa, and then threatened with retaliation by former Councilman James Arakakai if she tried to do anything about it.