Monthly Archives: February 2014

Read his lips: No new taxes

Increases in property values coupled with an improving economy should provide enough revenue to balance the county budget without having to raise property taxes this year, despite across-the-board salary hikes for county employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.

“There will be no tax increase,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said in an interview Friday with West Hawaii Today. “We’re looking forward to submitting a balanced budget while meeting our collective bargaining agreements and maintaining level funding for county departments.”

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Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor

The current Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor (South) access road is seen. (DLNR/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Road and waterline system improvements are moving closer to fruition at the Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor in South Kohala.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation recently released a final environmental assessment for the project that will widen the existing coral access road to 24 feet, pave it and stripe it; make intersection improvements at the road’s terminus with Kawaihae Road; and install two new potable waterlines.

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State says construction industry expecting growth

State officials are forecasting boom years for the construction industry.

Mark Richards, owner of the Maryl Group, which was founded in Kona and now operates statewide, can see where those predictions are coming from.

“At the moment on the Big Island, we have more work than we can handle,” Richards said. “I think we’ve finally come out of the biggest depression I’ve been through.”

Things started picking up three to four months ago, he said. Now, his high-end luxury home builders on the Big Island are booked for two years.

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NASA eyes Mauna Loa for ground station


Tribune-Herald staff writer

When NASA spacecraft phone home in the next decade, they could be communicating directly with one of Hawaii’s tallest mountains.

The space agency is looking to replace radio communications with laser technology, and believes Mauna Loa could be the best location for one of its new ground stations, according to state officials.

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Korean-based operation takes stink, mess out of hog farming

A pig pokes its nose against a fence at Kang Farms in Mountain View. HOLLYN JOHNSON/STEPHENS MEDIA HAWAII

A Korean-based method of managing animal waste is improving hog farming conditions and garnering support on Hawaii Island.

“There seems to be a growing interest in natural farming,” Donn Mende, Hawaii County research and development deputy director, said.

Sim Mook Kang, owner of Kang Farms in Mountain View, adopted the practice for his piggery outside of Kurtistown in 2009. It was the first of its kind in the United States to use innovative waste management technology that, according to Kang, leaves most visitors surprised.

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