POSTED: Saturday, October 17, 2009

Disadvantaged KIDS eligible for book prize

Organizations serving disadvantaged children may register to receive a portion of the 50,000 books recently won by the state in the national online First Book contest.

Hawaii residents submitted the highest number of votes in the nation to win the contest at firstbook.org.

The books will be distributed through the First Book National Book Bank only to groups that are registered, according to Cindy Morita, chairwoman of First Book-Oahu.

Eligible programs may register at http://www.firstbook.org/register, and applicants will be contacted with further instructions. For more information about the distribution process, visit the Getting Started section under the Book Bank category in the Help Center.

First Book is a nonprofit organization that has distributed more than 60 million new books to programs serving disadvantaged children nationwide since 1992.


State senator is Physician of the Year

Dr. Joshua Green, state senator and Big Island emergency room physician, will be honored as Physician of the Year at an annual medical gala at 5:30 p.m. today at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The Hawaii Medical Association and Honolulu County Medical Society sponsor the event, called “;Ola Pono Ike,”; meaning “;Health is Knowledge.”; The purpose is to increase awareness of health care issues, raise funds to support medically related causes and recognize those who try to improve community health.

Green will be recognized for “;exceptional commitment to health care in Hawaii beyond his role as a physician.”; He is Senate Health Committee vice chairman and has practiced medicine with the National Health Corps in Hawaii's underserved areas.

Dr. Richard Mamiya, retired cardiovascular surgeon known for surgical innovations and support for philanthropic projects, will receive a lifetime achievement award.

State Reps. Jon Riki Karamatsu (D, Waipahu-Waikele), Barbara Marumoto (R, Kalani Valley-Diamond Head) and Ryan Yamane (D, Waipahu-Mililani) also will be recognized for “;outspoken support of legislation that would benefit Hawaii's health care.”;

Christie Wilson, Maui Bureau chief and reporter for the Honolulu Advertiser, will receive a Media of the Year award for a series on diabetes in Hawaii and reporting on other health issues.


Tesoro fined $65,000 for violations

Tesoro Hawaii Corp. is being fined $65,000 for underground storage tank violations at two gas stations, the state Department of Health said.

The department said Wednesday a Tesoro station in Waikiki failed to obtain an installation permit for three underground storage tank systems, and the station didn't provide notice before old tanks were removed. The fine was $45,000.

At a Tesoro in Aiea, the station didn't provide notice before underground storage tanks were removed. That violation resulted in a $20,000 penalty.


H-3 lanes will be closed for cleaning

The Honolulu-bound lanes of the H-3 freeway from the Halekou Interchange in Kaneohe to the Halawa Interchange will be closed from 7 p.m. tonight until 7 a.m. tomorrow for tunnel cleaning and maintenance, the state Department of Transportation said.

Motorists are advised to use alternate routes.



Maui delays plastic food container ban

A committee of the Maui County Council has deferred a proposal to ban plastic foam food containers, citing a need to further study its ramifications.

The Infrastructure Management Committee postponed a vote on the proposed ban so county officials can contact other cities that have barred the use of polystyrene.

The material is used to form plates and containers that are routinely used to serve plate lunches, other meals and beverages.

The ban's advocates said polystyrene is not biodegradable. They said when it is torn into tiny bits, it can be ingested by plankton, and increasing amounts are passed up the food chain.

But others contend that biodegradable alternatives are more expensive.