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Hawaii Island News, 18 April 2010 (late pm)


The Big Island said good-bye to “Auntie Dottie” Thompson with a Saturday Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Hilo.  thompson, the co-founder of the Merrie Monarch Festival and world reknown hula expert, was praised for her efforts to preserve the Hawaiian Culture and to spread the concept of “Aloha” throughout the world.  Mapuana de Silva, whose halau has been part of the Merrie Monarch Fetival for decades, told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”  that “Auntie Dottie” was “old school, totally honest, and everything she did was for the kumu, the halau, and the hula.”  Rest in peace.

Hawaii County Fire Department officials say a man was killed late Friday night in a motorcycle accident in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  there were no witnesses to the fatal crash near the 32-mile marker on Highway 11.  The man, believed to be 40-50 years old, was found on the highway about 50 feet from his motorcycle.

The Rising Sun Farm of Ka’u again reached the pinnacle of the specialty coffee world by earning the 2010 Coffee of the Year Award in the Hawaii-USA category at the prestigious Specialty Coffee Association of Americ’s Roasters Guild international cupping competition at the SCAA’s 22nd annual expo.  This marks the fourth consecutive year that Ka’u coffees  have earned international acclaim in the prestiious competition and the second time Rising Sun has earned a top spot.

(AP).  Five candidates for the post of chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Hilo will be visiting the campus and holding community meetings to demonstrate their visions for the school.  The visits begin Monday.  They will meet with interested student, faculty and other groups, as well as confer with UH Preseident M.R.C, Greenwood.  Each one will conduct a public  presentation.  The candidates are Janie Fouke, senior adviser to the presidnet at the University of Florida; Luoluo HOng, a vice chancellor at UH-Hilo; John Pezzuto, founding dean of the UH-Hilo Colleg of Pharmacy; James Riehl,  a dean at the University of Minnesota; and Donald Straney, a dean at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

(AP).  Astronomy undergraduates in Hilo are getting a new Mauna Kea telescope to study the stars.  UH_Hilo astronomy professor Bill Heacox says the 36-inche telescope should be fully operational in a month or two.  Most of the dozen or so telescopes on Mauna Kea, one of the world’s premiere sites for astronomy, are used by advance researchers.  The new Hoku Ke’a will be primarily used by the school’s Department of Physics and Astronomy’s undergraduate astronomy program.  To limit the environmental impact of the project, the new telescope is being installed in the renovated enclosure of an old 24-inch telescope.

Community news:  The Earth Day Fair is coming to the Keauhou Resort & Kahaluu Beach Park on Saturday, April 24th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m..  The fair is a community family based program featuring over 60 booths and activities that showcase environmental and recycling programs.

Notice to motorists:  After careful evaluation and community input, the state Department of Transportation will be reducing the posted speed limit on sections of Akoni Pule  Highway, Kawaihae Road, and the Queen Kaahumanu Highway, from 45 mph to 35 mph.  The new speed limit will take effect on Tuesday, May 4th.