Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Saturday, June 19, 1999

State permit needed
to get rid of birds

Question: Is there anything we can do to keep birds from destroying avocado crops? I estimate they ruin about half of my pears. Is there any practical way to get rid of them?

Answer: Getting rid of them will require a permit from the state.

Call David Smith, Oahu District wildlife manager for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, 973-9786. He will send you a permit application.

It'll probably come down to shooting the birds with a pellet gun.

Generally, it's the bulbuls that attack chili peppers, avocados and other fruits that people grow in their back yards, Smith said. "Bulbuls get real persistent. Once they figure out something is there, they will just be around all the time."

If you really want to get rid of the birds, it may mean shooting them, Smith said, since he does not give permits for pesticides. He does try to encourage nonlethal methods first, such as netting them. However, sometimes nets won't work because the trees are too large.

Asked how many birds would typically have to be shot to end the problem, Smith said, "People who have permits generally take a small number of birds over a steady period of time."

Q: Hawaiian Electric Co. has a van that shuttles employees back and forth to a parking lot, I think. Are we paying for that in our utility bills, hidden in our charges?

A: Rate-payers do help pay for two shuttle vans, which are run "for business reasons," said HECO spokesman Fred Kobashikawa.

"All costs are reviewed for appropriateness by the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) whenever we have a rate case," he said. However, the PUC did not specifically OK the shuttle cost, which is wrapped into the costs of HECO's day-to-day operations.

The shuttles are "the most efficient way to move employees between our King Street and Ward Avenue offices" for meetings and such, Kobashikawa said. "It also helps avoid the time and expense for Ward employees to drive cars, look and pay for parking in the overcrowded downtown area."

Q: Recently, my wife and an aide had their wallets stolen from their classroom at Moanalua Community Church. She has since found out that there seems to be a ring that is targeting preschools and elementary schools. It also appears that most schools are unaware until after they get hit. Is there some way you can get the word out in the newspaper?

A: The word from the Honolulu Police Department is that there is no theft ring targeting preschools and elementary schools.

"There is no series of purse-snatchings from any schools," said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu. This was after officers were asked to check on your complaint.


To Wally Tomei and his employees. On April 27, I was driving toward Kamehameha Highway on Mapele Road in Kahaluu when I made a wrong turn at Ahilama Road. As I backed up, my right rear wheel fell in a ditch. I was calling for help on my cell phone when two of Mr. Tomei's employees showed up in a pickup and offered to pull me out. Mr. Tomei arrived shortly in his own truck, followed by another employee in another truck. They pulled my minivan back to the road. They pull three to four vehicles out at this spot, where the ditch had eaten up part of the road and exposed a portion of the culvert, every month! -- Salustiano Bunye

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
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