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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, November 16, 1999


Surprise attackers
down traveler

Question: I visited Maui last year in mid-October, with a one-day layover in Honolulu. It was my first trip to Maui and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not the "tourist trap" I expected to find. It was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, I had my worst attack of asthma, which started the first day I got off the plane in Honolulu and continued to worsen in Maui. Are there any sources I could contact to ask about airborne allergens on Oahu or Maui?

Answer: The state Department of Health does not measure molds or pollens or any other airborne allergens.

In fact, although there have been studies on what particulate matter constitutes "vog" -- the visible haze resulting from the continuing eruption of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island -- no one in the state has really measured what's in Hawaii's air, said Dr. Richard Ando Jr., an allergist and vice president of the Hawaii Allergy Society.

The last time someone really looked into the subject was in the 1960s, he said.

"It's really difficult to quantitate (what's in the air) because of the varying types of environments that we have here -- the valley areas vs. the drier plain area and all that," Ando said.

However, the Hawaii Allergy Society is trying to set up a pollen/mold counting station in the near future to do that.

Until then, Ando said you should do what asthmatics here do when there is any kind of change in weather -- take precautions and carry appropriate medication.

You and your doctor should have an asthma management plan to handle any possibility.

"I tell my patients, if you're going to Kona or the Big Island, take the extra medicines we talked about," he said. "I have patients who, every time they go to the Big Island, they wheeze."

Q: An HPD vehicle parks on Richards Street, often at expired parking meters, and recently in a three-minute passenger loading zone for several hours. This takes up space for the Handi-Van, taxicabs or people picking up or dropping off family or friends. The watch commander at HPD was informed. He expressed concern over this apparent abuse and said he would check it out. Later, I noticed a citation on the windshield of the police car. Will the citation be turned in to be quashed? Paid by the employer of the driver? Or will the driver be required to pay the citation?

A: A City and County employee is responsible for any traffic or parking citation picked up while on the job, said George Souza of the city Department of Customer Services.

This holds whether the employee is in a personal or county vehicle.

Also, Souza said the citations cannot be canceled, as spelled out in HRS, Chapter 286-138: "It shall be unlawful for any person, including any government official or employee of the state or county, to 'fix,' void, change, modify, adjust, tamper with, or otherwise dispose of any traffic citation, notice or summons."

Auwe

Did anyone see the item under the Oct. 25 "Political File" in the Star-Bulletin regarding pay raises for Senate and House staff? Senate President Norman Mizuguchi authorized 5 percent raises for full-time staff, retroactive to July 1; House Speaker Calvin Say authorized 5 percent to 5.5 percent raises for staff, retroactive for two years. Budget cuts are being made all over for excellent, necessary programs, and yet they're getting pay raises? -- N.U.





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