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POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2008
               

     

 

 

TO OUR READERS

       

Why are you thankful? Let us know

        Thanksgiving began as a ceremony giving thanks, for a bountiful crop and friendships between English colonists and American Indians. It has remained a truly traditional holiday, a time we set aside to count our blessings and begin our celebration of the holiday season.

       

Even in these difficult economic times, we all have reasons to be thankful. What will you think about and be thankful for throughout next Thursday while preparing and sitting down to your Thanksgiving meal?

       

Please take a few minutes to tell us. We would like to share your thoughts with readers on Thanksgiving—and perhaps your thoughts will remind others that they have things to be thankful for, too.

       

E-mail your comments to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and include your name and area where you live.

       

       

State tax collections down 1.4%

State tax collections are falling with the economy.

The Hawaii Department of Taxation reports that tax collections fell 1.4 percent from July through October compared with last year.

The drop in collections reflects a slowing economy and declining tourism.

With less tax money, the state government is having to cut services from education to social programs.

The state is facing an estimated deficit of about $230 million this fiscal year, and Gov. Linda Lingle has called for all state agencies to prepare for budget cuts of up to 20 percent.

The drop in revenue growth exceeds the prediction of the state Council on Revenues, which forecast a 0.5 percent decline for the fiscal year that ends in June.

 

Outage hits Pearl City, Mililani

A power failure darkened sections of Leeward and Central Oahu last night, but power was restored to all 27,000 customers in a little more than an hour.

Parts of Aiea, all of Pearl City and up the Central Oahu corridor to Mililani and Mililani Mauka lost power at about 6:50 p.m.

Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman Darren Pai said problems with some transmission equipment at the Waiau power plant were the source of the trouble.

The problem with some of the lines that carried power out of the HECO plant caused the power to trip off to avoid the entire system from being overloaded.

HECO began restoring power at 7:35 p.m. beginning with Pearl City. All customers had electricity back on by 7:55 p.m.

 

Grand jury discusses Ka Loko Dam

LIHUE » A grand jury convened to charge people in the aftermath of the Ka Loko Dam breach in March 2006 met yesterday afternoon.

It was expected to meet again today.

The grand jury, which started Tuesday, is looking into possible criminal charges regarding the deadly breach, which killed seven people.

The grand jury spent the morning hearing other cases brought by the Kauai prosecutor's office, and the afternoon listening to Attorney General Mark Bennett and his deputies.

 

Fujino confirmed as Big Isle judge

The state Senate has unanimously confirmed deputy Attorney General Melvin Fujino, 48, as a District Court judge for the Big Island.

Before joining the state, Fujino served for 15 years as a deputy county prosecutor. He was the supervisor for the West Hawaii office of the Big Island prosecutor's office. The Senate concluded a special two-day session yesterday morning, held to act on Fujino's nomination.

During testimony at a Friday Judiciary Committee meeting, Fujino was praised by more than 50 witnesses, including Peter Bresciani, the West Hawaii public defender, who called Fujino “;knowledgeable and fair.”;

District Court judges are appointed to six-year terms by the chief justice from a list of six applicants selected by the Judicial Selection Commission and are subject to confirmation by the Senate. The salary is $130,476 a year.

 

Angel Tree needy families sought

The Salvation Army is still taking applications from families who need help with gifts for children under 12 and elderly relatives through its annual holiday Angel Tree Program.

Applications will be accepted tomorrow at its Kauluwela Corps office at 296 N. Vineyard Blvd. Photo identifications of the applicant, their children and seniors will be required to verify age, income and address.

 

Wahiawa bridge shuts for repairs

The Karston Thot Bridge on Kamehameha Highway in Wahiawa will be closed tonight for repairs and maintenance, the state Department of Transportation announced.

The bridge will be closed from 9 p.m. through 4 a.m. tomorrow for electrical repairs and routine bridge maintenance. Only emergency vehicles will be allowed through the construction area.

North Shore-bound drivers are advised to proceed to the end of the H-2 freeway, then take Wilikina Drive to Kaukonahua Road or to Kamananui Road and Kamehameha Highway.

Town-bound drivers from the North Shore are advised to take Kamehameha Highway south to Kamananui Road, make a left turn on Wilikina Drive and proceed to the H-2 freeway.