|The Hawai`i County Band will march in the Na`alehu parade July 2 and Volcano parade July 4. Photo by Julia Neal|
|The Martin family and friends with a tearful and thankful|
prayer for their new Habitat home in Ocean View.
Photo by Julia Neal
COUNCIL MEMBER BRITTANY SMART said she supports the 2 percent fund to purchase land for preservation but decided the money taken from property taxes to conserve lands for the public could be reduced for a year or two until the county finances are in better order. Last Friday, Smart voted along with seven of the other nine council members to cut the 2 percent fund in half. She said that she decided it was more important to pay ahead for benefits for retired workers, as the county has been doing for years, rather than delay those payments and wind up owing more to the retirement system next year.
COUNTY BAND funding was also a budget item that could have been cut for now, in favor of making payments into the pension system, said Smart. “Why we are funding the County Band while deferring pension payments is beyond me,” she said. She said the County Band could move into becoming a private nonprofit to open up more funding avenues. She also said she helped arrange for the county to cover the cost of transporting the band to Ka`u for the Independence Day Parade on July 2, which would have otherwise cost the sponsoring organization, `O Ka`u Kakou, $400. “The claims of the county cutting the band funding as killing a 128-year-old tradition is inaccurate if they have the amount of support for the band as they claim to have,” said Smart.
FIREWORK PERMITS FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY celebrations will be available this Wednesday, June 29 through Friday, July 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, you have to drive to Kona or Hilo to retrieve them. The county locations are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays at the Fire Administration Office at the County Building in Hilo and the Fire Prevention Kona Office located at the West Hawai`i Civic Center Bldg. They will also be available at Pinky’s along Hwy 11 in Papaikou and at Thunder Fireworks at 75-1022 Henry Street in Kailua-Kona. Each $25 permit entitles the holder to purchase 5,000 individual firecrackers. Permits will be issued to persons 18 years of age or older and are non-transferable and non-refundable. Permits, if purchased, should be visibly displayed at the site of use on the day at the time of the firing. The recent ban on consumer fireworks implemented on O`ahu does not affect Hawai`i County. Firecrackers (with a valid permit), and consumer fireworks will be allowed to be set off during the approved hours of 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 4th only.
|The Fire Department will parade July 2 and stand by for any|
Fourth of July fireworks problems. Photo by Julia Neal
It is illegal for any person to offer for sale, sell, or give any fireworks to minors, and for any minor to possess, purchase, sell, or set off, ignite, or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except under the immediate supervision of an adult.
The Hawai`i Fire Department also asks everyone to do their part to prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks. Public Fireworks Displays will be at 8 p.m. on Coconut Island in Hilo; 8:30 p.m. from a barge off-shore on Ali`i Drive in Kailua-Kona and at 8 p.m. at Queen's Marketplace in Waikoloa.
For more information on purchasing fireworks permits, or the use of fireworks, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 or 323-4760.
THE PAPAHANAUMOKUAKEA MARINE NATIONAL MONUMENT is the topic at After Dark in the Park tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. UH graduate Jennifer Nelson discusses the Northwestern Hawaiian Island Chain, which is the single largest conservation area under the U.S. flag and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world.
THERE IS STILL TIME TO SIGN UP to be part of the Na`alehu Independence Day Parade. The deadline is Friday, July 1. The parade travels down Hwy 11 on Saturday, July 2 beginning at 11 a.m. and is sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou. Call 929-9872.
The Volcano Parade is on Monday, July 4 at 9 a.m., starting at the Volcano Post Office on Old Volcano Hwy. Participants can show up at 8 a.m. Call 967-7800.