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Newswatch

For Friday, February 18, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:



Donations sought

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii will accept donations of clothing and household items tomorrow in Kailua as part of its Donate Now campaign. People may drop off items at Kailua Church of the Nazarene, 544 Oneawa St., from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations help fund Goodwill's job training and job placement programs. For more information, visit www.higoodwill.org or call 836-9675.

Liquor agency taps Nishioka

The Honolulu Liquor Commission appointed attorney Greg Nishioka yesterday as interim administrator of the agency for one year, filling a position that has been vacant since former Administrator Dewey Kim quit last May.

Nishioka, a 1984 graduate of the University of California, Davis, School of Law, has practiced civil law in Hawaii since 1985.

The Liquor Commission evaluated several candidates before selecting Nishioka.

Under a City Charter amendment passed by voters in November, those positions will change from civil service to non-civil service in July. The change gives the commission the ability to fire a person in either of those positions.

The commission plans to hire a permanent administrator before Nishioka's contract ends.

His pay was not immediately available, but the liquor control administrator receives between $7,189 and $12,026 a month, according to city data.

Airport to end valet parking

There will no longer be valet parking at Honolulu Airport's interisland terminal beginning Feb. 28.

The service is being canceled because of declining use, the state Department of Transportation said in a press release. Eight valet service employees will be offered other positions with Ampco System Parking, which manages the service.

DOT said that since 2006 the service would routinely see about 400 cars per day over three-day weekends, but that number has dwindled to fewer than 10 per day.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Plastic bag ban advances

HILO » The Hawaii County Council advanced a bill prohibiting retailers from giving out plastic bags, but only after it softened rules on how the measure would be enforced.

The Council passed the measure on a first reading with a 5-3 vote Wednesday, West Hawaii Today reported. Council Chairman Dominic Yagong recused himself because he works for a grocery chain that would be affected by the law.

The bill faces a second reading before it can be sent to the mayor.

The measure's sponsor, Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann, amended the bill at the request of Mayor Billy Kenoi's administration.

Instead of creating fines of $100 to $500 and having the police enforce the law, the amendment puts the county Environmental Management Department in charge of education and enforcement.

Maui and Kauai counties already have adopted similar bans.

Part of beach still closed

The southern half of Hapuna Beach on Hawaii island remains closed as military ordnance experts try to determine whether a cylindrical object found in five feet of water offshore is an unexploded ordinance.

A two-man ordnance team from Pearl Harbor was at the beach accompanied by an Army expert to check out the object, a Navy spokeswoman said.

The southern half of Hapuna Beach has been closed since Monday while the state assesses the situation. The northern half of the beach is open.

A Hawaii County Ocean Safety lifeguard spotted the object partially buried in the sand on the ocean floor Monday.






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