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Governor’s day in West Hawaii

Gov. Linda Lingle has numerous stops on her schedule Thursday, April 23 in West Hawaii. Not all of the events are open to the public.

10-11 a.m. -BIG ISLAND CARBON, Kaie Hana Industrial Park, Kawaihae  

The governor will participate in the groundbreaking for Big Island Carbon, a new company that will turn macadamia nut shells into high-quality activated carbon that can be used in the pharmaceutical, environmental, and other industries as well as to produce biofuel.  The $20 million plant will be located on four acres of land in the Kaie Hana Industrial Park at Kawaihae.  The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is leasing the land to the company.  The project will create an estimated 100 construction jobs, and once completed the plant will employ approximately 30 people. 

2:15-3:30 p.m. – LAIOPUA / KEALAKEHE REGIONAL MASTER PLAN, Kaniohale Community Center, 74-5100 Haleolono St., Kailua-Kona 

Lingle will join Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Micah Kane in a meeting to discuss the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ master plan for the Laiopua / Kealakehe region. 

3:30-4:15 p.m. – KEANALEHU DRIVE DEDICATION, just east of Kealakehe High School

Lingle, Mayor Billy Kenoi and Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Micah Kane will dedicate Keanalehu Drive, located above Kealakehe High School.  The new road will connect the Kealakehe and Laiopua subdivisions, reduce the commute time to and from the school, and will also reduce congestion on the roads that are currently used.   

Also on the governor’s agenda is a stop at Kekaha Kai State Park with Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Laura Thielen to review the proposed park  improvements as part of the $240 million Recreational Renaissance plan.  

Under the plan, Kekaha Kai State Park will be part of a new network of trails and ocean landings linking Kekaha Kai State Park to Kiholo State Park and Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area and the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. 

The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail will offer a long-distance hiking experience connecting wilderness camping areas, shelters and interpretive signs.  

The Recreational Renaissance plan includes 60 capital improvement projects on the Big Island totaling approximately $58,285,000.

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