Thursday, July 23, 2009

Budget hits Big Island prison, elections, prep sports

County of Hawai’i Mayor Billy Kenoi questioned the plan by Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration to lay off the entire staff of Kulani Correctional Facility and close the prison without first discussing that decision with the communities that will be affected

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi said he is "troubled" by the state's apparent plan to close Kulani Correctional Facility on the Big Island without discussion.

State elections chief Kevin Cronin continues to plead for at least $113,000 more to run his office this year, but Gov. Linda Lingle is holding firm, saying she won't release the money.

Official practices for football, girls volleyball, cross country, bowling and air riflery begin Monday at public high school fields and gyms across Hawai'i, but along with the excitement and anticipation of the new season comes the harsh realities of the state's budget crisis.

Finally holding a much-awaited discussion about government transparency, rules and policy, Kaua‘i County Council members pulled no punches in a day-long, back-and-forth that at times turned heated on Wednesday at the Historic County Building.

Susan McGeachy has a "Citizen of West Hawaii County" bumper sticker glued to the back of her silver Dodge Neon. But her talk Tuesday before a crowd of about 100 at Hualalai Academy in Kailua-Kona focused more on alternatives to splitting the county than actually creating that West Hawaii County of her dreams.

The Hawaii visitor industry changed in 2008, and it will never go back to what is was, the Maui Visitors Bureau membership was told at its annual marketing meeting Wednesday.

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