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Hawaii Island News, 16 April 2010


(Honolulu Advertiser).  Unionized workers at the Royal Kona Resort voted Thursday to authorize their union to call a strike if necessary.  Seventy-six percent of the workers who participated voted in favor of the strike authorization.  About 145 workers at the resort are represented by the union.  Issues include health benefits and working conditions.  The union said the company cancelled the union contract in January 2009.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  Waters of Life Public Charter School on the Big Island will end its school year today because of a fiscal crunch, but plans to open for summer school next month and resume as usual in the fall.  Daniel Caluya, principal and director of the school, said on Thursday the school board decided to shorten its academic year and close today.  It will use Federal Title I funds to open summer school next month, which will be offered free and run through July.  Waters of Life has facilities in Keaau and Mountain View.  Caluya said the school has 80 students and has repaid its debt.

Verizon Wireless has submitted an application to the Hawaii County Planning Department to build a 54-foot cell tower behind the Parker Ranch Shopping Center in Waimea.  Waimea Planning and Design Review Committee co-chair Margaret Wille told “West Hawaii Today” that she doesn’t have an initial objection to the proposed tower, but would prefer the structure be built to fit into the fabric of the Waimea Community.

A 24-year old Kailua-Kona woman and a 26-year old California man face methamphetamine trafficing cahrges after police allegedly found 11 grams of “ice” in their vehicle on Monday.  Police told “West Hawaii Today” that they arrested Hazel Silva and Tuivai Uele following a traffic stop around 10 a.m. on the Mamalahoa Highway near the interseciton of Waikoloa Road.  The drugs recovered by police have an estimated street value of $3,500.

Land Use Commission Executive Director Dan Davidson tells “West Hawaii Today” that the commission has received the altest update from DW Aina Lea for its proposed housing development.  Davidson says he does not know whether the developer will be called before the commission to discuss the report.  Meanwhile, Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd says the developer has done substantial work on Phase 1 of the multi-unit project.  Leithead-Todd says the developer expects state Department of Transportation approval for the entrance  and road plan by June 30th.

Nani Lee, the Executive Director of the Hawaii Island Food Basket, is appealing for help in meeting the ever expanding needs of families that can’t feed themselves.  Lee says volunteers will be collecting food and money for the needy this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:  In Kailua-Kona at Safeway, the Lanihau Center, and the Kona Coast Shopping Center; In Hilo at WalMart and Safeway; In Kealakekua at the Ranch Center; and in Waimea at Kentucky Fried Chicken.  For more information, call 933-7030.

Community News:  You are invited to participate in the Earth Day Fair at Keauhou on Saturday, April 24th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Fair activities will be held at the Keauhou Resort and at Kahaluu Beach Park.  The community fair will feature over 60 booths and activities that showcase environmental and recycling programs, coastal restoration projects, ocean literacy, energy awareness, and conservation activities.   For more information, contact the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce.

Community News:  You are invited to take part in a benefit concert for Shantelle Hidaro, who is fighting against cancer.  The concert will be held on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Honokaa Complex.  The event features entertainment, food booths, and childrens’ activities.  For details, call Glenda at 1-808-880-1111.

Notice to motorists:  Hawaii County Police are advising motorists that there will be a temporary one-way traffic patter on Kapiolani Street in Hilo on Saturday to accommodate people attending the funeral mass for “Auntie Dottie” Thompson, the co-founder of the Merrie Monarch Festival.  Traffic will be directed in the Puna, or southerly direction, on Kapiolani between Waianuenue Avenue and Haili Street.  The one-way pattern will be in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Thompson died last month at the age of 88.

Community News:  The Hawaii Land Trust & Surfrider Foundation Hawaii present “The Wild and Scenic Film Festival” on Saturday, April 17th, at 7:30 p.m., in the Aloha Theater in Kainaliu.  For details, call 1-808-430-4994.

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