Hawaii Island News, 28 September 2010

The State Department of Agriculutre is searching East Hawaii farms for signs of the coffee berry borer.  Hawaii Island coffee farmers are worried that further infestations of the beetle could spark a quarantine on Kona coffee.  Entomologist Darcy Oishi tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that teams are focusing on South Point, the Hamakua Coast, Kohala, Honokaa, and Mountain View.  Oishi says time is of the essence, and the Department of Agriculture wants to find the outer limits of the infestation to help administrative personnel decide if a quarantine is needed.

A community effort to redevelop six vacant Lanakila Homes units in Hilo has sputtered to a stop and the Hawii Public Housing Authority will reassess what to do with the structures.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the original repair cost of $42,000 per unit has tripled and the HPHA has directed its staff to consider the building sites as part of a larger master plan.  The housing authority says it does not have the staff to manage the property properly and there is no comprehensive site plan for the development and build-out of the parcel.

A 75-year old Pahoa man has been indicted by a Hilo grand jury for allegedly causing a traffic accident that killed 17-year old Gary Allen Gonsalves, Jr. and injured his father.  According to data cited by the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Bill Cachero faces charges of first-degree negligent homicide, first-degree negligent injury, DUI, and illegal place to keep an unloaded firearm.

The Hawaii County Board of Water Supply will meet this morning at the Operations Center in Hilo to consider a proposal to adjust its power cost downward.  The power cost charge fluctuates depending on how much it costs to operate the water system on the Big Island.  The current power cost is $1.91 per 1,000 gallons. “West Hawaii Today” is quoting Water Supply Manager Milton Pavao as saying the proposed charge is $1.66 per 1,000 gallons.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando will meet with Volcano residents at 5 p.m. today at the Volcano Golf Course clubhouse to discuss ways of preventing wildfires in the park area.  Orlando says very little rain has fallen within the park, creating a situation of prolongued drought and a high fire danger.

According to “Pacific Business News”,  the state Land Use Commission will hold a public hearing October 21st on a request to build a 2,330 home planned community on 272 acres on the Big Island.  The Kamakama Villages of Keauhou project in Kailua-Kona is being developed by Forest City Hawaii Kona LLC.  In addition to homes, the $734 million project will include an elementary school,  a charter or private school, and three commercial complexes.  Construction is expected to begin in 2010.  The entire six phases of the project is expected to be finished in 16 years.

Big Island police are asking for your help in identifying any witnesses to a robbery Saturday at the 76 gas station at the corner of Ainako Avenue and Kaumana Drive in Hilo aroung 7:45 p.m.  A male wearing a dark sweatshirt and dark pants reportedly entered the gas station, brandished a knife, and demanded money.  He then fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.  He was last seen running up Ainako Avenue.  Those  with information on this case should call police at 935-3311.

Parker School Headmaster Carl Sturges has announced that Daniel Gregg and McCrae Johnston have been named Commended Students in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program.  About 54,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  A letter of Commendation will be presented by the Headmaster to these scholastically talented students.

The Parker School Debate Team has received significant recognition by the National Forensic League for its accomplishments during the 2009-2010 school year.  The team achieved 100 degrees or more las year and has placed in the top 10 percent of National Forensic Chapters nationwide, earing membership in the league’s prestigious 100 club.  The Parker School Debate Team will travel to Oahu on October 2nd to participate in the season opener Le Jardin Debate Non-Qualifying Tournament.

During the week of September 20th through September 26th, Big Island Police arrested 39 motorists for drunk driving.  Three of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes.  Five were under the age of 21.  So far this year, there have been 1,151 DUI arrests compared with 1,003 during the same period last year.

State News:

(AP).  An asteroid that will come within 4 million miles of Earth in mid-October has been discovered by a University of Hawaii telescope atop Haleakala on Maui.  The university’s Institute for Astronomy said Monday that the objec located by the Pan STARRS PS1 telescope has a diameter of about 150 feet.  It’s the first potentially hazardous object to be discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey.  Staff member Robert Jedicke says the object won’t hit Earth in the immediate future.

(AP).  Fourteen students and three adults have been treated at Highlands Intermediate School after the odor of the insecticide malathion was detected at the Pearl City campus.  Honolulu’s Emergency Services Department spokesman tells teh “Honolulu Star-Advertiser” that the 17 complained of nausea, irritated throats and eyes, and dizziness.  Two students were taken to a hospital at their parents’ request.

Community News:  The Big Island Auto Club presents the Season Finale Points Meet, October 9th and October 10th, at the Hilo Drag Strip.  Featured events include pro-gas and bracket racing, night time racing ’til 9 p.m. on October 9th, and the awarding of the “Top Dog Trophy.”  For details, contact Brad at 969-9040.

Community News:  Waiakea High School will hold its annual Homecoming Parade on Friday, October 15th, beginning at 3:30 p.m. from the Sparky Kawamoto Swim Stadium parking lot.  The parade will move onto Kalanikoa Street, left onto Kuawa Street, left onto Manono Street, left onto Piilani Street, and ending at Wong Stadium by 4:15 p.m.  There will be a police escort to assist with traffic control.

Community News:  Healthy Keiki Day is coming to the Keaau Community Center on Saturday, October 2nd, beginning at 9 a.m.  There will be free information and fun activities for the whole family.  For details, call Monica at 961-4080.

Community News:  Come to the 23rd Annual St. Joseph School Country Fair on Saturday, October 2nd, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the St. Joseph School campus.  There will be lots of activities, great values, Island-style food, live entertainment, and hands-on exhibits.  Free admission.

Please send your community news items to our station fax line–935-0396 at least two weeks before your event.

Russ Roberts, News Director

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