POSTED: Saturday, April 04, 2009

Big Island gets road drainage funds

The state has released the last $475,000 for highway drainage improvements on the Big Island.

The $2.7 million project is part of the $1.8 billion public infrastructure construction plan unveiled by the state in December to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday that correcting drainage problems along highways protects them from erosion and prevents water-related accidents.

The drainage improvements will be made on Hawaii Belt Road near Hakalau Bridge in Hilo. The work, to be completed in January 2011, will include the installation of a drainage spillway and culverts.

The federal government is kicking in $1.8 million for the project, and the state previously released $400,000 for design work.


Olympian Mills to speak on diabetes

Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills will give a talk on “;The Journey to Happiness and Understanding”; at 1 p.m. today at a Taking Control of Your Diabetes Conference at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

Medical professionals also will present informative and motivational programs on diabetes care at the conference, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Diabetes-related companies and organizations will put on a health fair with 35 informational exhibits.

More than 1,500 patients, doctors and nurses were expected to attend the popular conference today.

Mills, a Lakota Sioux Indian, earned a gold medal in the 10,000-meter race at the 1964 Olympics. The 1983 film “;Running Brave”; was based on his life.

Comedian Bo Irvine of Kailua, an inspirational speaker who has type 2 diabetes, will walk with participants at the conference from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and demonstrate how to use a pedometer.

Conferees also have an opportunity to learn tai chi from Dong's International Tai Chi Chuan Association from 1 to 4:30 p.m.


Queen's trades baskets for cards

Employees of the Queen's Medical Center will donate 350 “;Healthy Easter Baskets”; to Royal School students in a swap for Easter cards from the students to share with hospitalized patients on Easter Sunday.

The exchange will be celebrated at a reception at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Nae'a Courtyard at Queen's. The cards will be distributed on food trays on Easter Sunday.

The Easter baskets will contain toothbrushes, toothpaste, healthy snacks, school supplies and stuffed toys.

Royal School—known formerly as Chief's Children's School—has a historic past.

It was the first formal site of Western education for Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, founders of Queen's.

The school, across Vineyard Boulevard from the medical center, serves many underrepresented minority children, with 69 percent from kindergarten to fifth grade on the free/reduced lunch program, according to Queen's.

The Easter event is part of the medical center's 150th-anniversary celebration and “;provides an opportunity for Queen 's employees to give back to the community and demonstrate their commitment to community service,”; Queen's said in a news release.