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POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2009

BOE to decide Wailupe's fate

The Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 3 p.m. Friday to vote on a plan to close Wailupe Valley Elementary School and shift its 79 students to Aina Haina Elementary.

A task force made up of parents, school and community members unanimously recommended the plan.

The state spends $12,079 to educate a student at Wailupe Valley as compared with $5,140 per student at Aina Haina, according to a report written by the task force. Aina Haina has 543 students, and overhead costs can be spread more widely.

Despite the high expense to educate its students, test scores are lower at Wailupe Valley, the task force noted. Aina Haina also offers more educational programs and extracurricular activities.

The Department of Education would save about $800,000 annually by closing Wailupe.

Former tenants sue owner, manager of collapsed Kalihi structure

Thirty-one former residents of a pipe, wood and tarp shanty that partially collapsed into Kalihi Stream last year filed suit yesterday against the owners and manager of the Gulick Street property.

The federal lawsuit alleges slavery, negligence, violations of landlord/tenant code and unfit housing conditions.

The suit also alleges that four tenants were injected with an unidentified substance and suffered “;serious personal injury”; as a result of the injections.

Tenants were allegedly forced to work on building and maintaining the structure, or they would be evicted or their rent would be raised.

As many as 50 to 100 people lived in the crudely constructed building attached to a house at 1732 Gulick Ave.

The structure collapsed on Oct. 26 during a heavy rain, and the city declared it unsafe to live in. Many of the residents lost property and became homeless after the collapse, the lawsuit said.

Dance, silent auction will benefit Hawaii Army Guard brigade

The Friends of Hawaii's 29th Brigade Support Battalion Family Readiness Group will hold a fundraising dance and a silent auction featuring a 2009 Toyota Venza Saturday at the Ala Moana Hotel.

The nonprofit organization supports soldiers and families of the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team's support battalion, and the money will be used to welcome the citizen soldiers when they return from Kuwait this summer.

Tickets start at $40 with reserved seating at $45. The silent auction will begin at 7 p.m., followed by dancing. Tickets are tax-deductible. Donations for the silent auction are also being accepted. For information, contact Suzi Shimada at 864-7718; e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); mail 29th BSB FRG, 91-1277 Enterprise Ave., Kapolei 96707. The Web site is www.29thfrg.org.

Alfalfa sprouts linked to salmonella; state warns against consumption

The state Department of Health recommends that people not eat raw alfalfa sprouts because the product has been linked to salmonella poisoning on the mainland.

Officials have reported 31 cases of the illness from eating raw alfalfa sprouts in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia.

The state's advisory, which includes blends containing alfalfa sprouts, follows a recommendation Monday from the U.S Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

There have been no confirmed salmonella cases attributable to alfalfa sprouts in Hawaii, but the state Food and Drug Branch will be pulling samples from local alfalfa sprout growers for testing.

Individuals infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Neighbor island watch

WAIMEA » Serve as a mentor at “;Challenge Day”; at Waimea Canyon Middle School starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The county-sponsored anti-drug event brings young people together with adults in the community to create a safe environment. Call 241-6392 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

LANAI » Applications for this year's mouflon sheep-hunting season are available at all state Division of Forestry and Wildlife offices. The season begins July 25 with the archery-only hunt. Information on that hunt, the muzzleloading hunt and the general rifle hunt is available at hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw.

HILO » East Hawaii residents can drop off hazardous household waste at the Hilo Transfer Station from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. June 6. Automotive fluids, corrosives, batteries, aerosol containers, compressed gas cylinders, oil-based paints and stains, poisons, toxic garden supplies and other items will be accepted. Recycle Hawaii will also be accepting reusable latex paints nearby.