Dolly Parton sponsors isle book giveaway
Children under 5 years old who live in Kalihi on Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Molokai and in the area from Kau to Keau to Pahoa on the Big Island can get free books mailed to them through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in Hawaii.
Under the program, sponsored by the Dollywood Foundation, the Center on the Family at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and the state Department of Human Services, an age-appropriate book will be sent each month to children who live in the designated communities who register at public elementary schools.
The purpose of the program is to encourage parents to read to their young children. Researchers say reading to children creates a positive bond between children and adults and fosters a love of reading. Reading aloud with children also increases vocabulary, language skills and knowledge about the world.
For more information about the Imagination Library in Hawaii, contact any public elementary school in the designated areas; check the University of Hawaii Center on the Family's Web site (www.uhfamily.hawaii.edu); or call (808) 956-4133 or (808) 956-6117.
Wahiawa march honors 'America's heroes'
More than 40 marching units, some from all branches of the military, will participate in the Wahiawa Lions' 60th annual Veterans Day Parade on Friday.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. from Kaala Elementary School in Wahiawa, proceeds up California Avenue and ends at Fred Wright Park.
"America's Heroes" is this year's parade theme. Grand marshal will be Purple Heart recipient Sgt. Jaime Hernandez, who was wounded in Afghanistan while serving with the 25th Infantry Division.
Brig. Gen. John M. Bednarek, the 25th Infantry's assistant division commander of operations, will be the keynote speaker following the parade.
The program includes a flag-raising ceremony, massing of the colors and military equipment displays. For more information, call Lion Harry Kwon at 621-6654.
Conference focuses on Vietnam War
Writer Tim O'Brien opens the East-West Center's conference on the Vietnam War from Tuesday through Thursday, which features nationally renowned authors and scholars.
"Thirty Years After: Literature and Film of the Vietnam War" is free and open to the public at the center's Imin Conference Facility.
Other speakers include Vietnam veterans Wayne Karlin and Philip Beidler, and Vietnamese- American writer Andrew Lum. More than 40 panelists will also speak on topics ranging from American and Vietnamese literature and film to Vietnam Web sites and poetry.
O'Brien, a Vietnam veteran, is the author of "If I Die in a Combat Zone," "Going After Cacciato," "The Things They Carried," "In the Lake of the Woods" and "July, July."
For the conference schedule, see www.english.hawaii.edu/ events/festival2005.html or call 956-3085.
Other Vietnam-related events are taking place throughout the community:
» A war film series at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, tomorrow through Thursday;
» Karlin, Lam and O'Brien will read from their work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Art Auditorium on Wednesday, 7 p.m.;
» O'Brien will present "The Things They Carried: An Author's Perspective," 3 p.m. Thursday at Kuykendall Auditorium;
» O'Brien will read from his works on 4 p.m. Friday at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki.
Park work to boost handicapped access
Work to improve handicapped accessibility at the state's Pu'u 'Ualaka'a Wayside on Tantalus Drive begins this week, but the park will remain open.
Security fencing and barricades will close the lookout viewing platform and walkway during construction, but park users can still enjoy the view from surrounding grassy areas, according to a release from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Restrooms, walkways, the overlook viewing area and a picnic area all will be upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. When the restrooms are under construction, portable restrooms will be available.
Work is expected to be completed in April.
Insect may be used to fight alien plant
HILO » Yet another type of insect is being considered by state agricultural officials to battle gorse, a noxious plant from Western Europe that has plagued the Big Island for more than four decades.
If approved, the gorse pod moth, or Cydia ulicetana, would follow five other types of insects and a spider mite that have been released since 1984. A rust fungus that infects gorse was also released in 2000.
With its bright yellow flowers and 2-inch spines, gorse thickets can be found on the slopes of Mauna Kea growing up to 10 feet tall.
A study to determine whether the moth, which feeds on gorse seed pods, is a threat to Hawaii plants indicated it would be safe to release, according to Patrick Conant, an entomologist in the Department of Agriculture's Hilo office. It will take at least a year before the moth can be set on the gorse, he said.
Gorse produces thousands of seeds that the plants can "spit" up to 20 feet. The seeds, which remain viable for as long as 30 years, can be spread by mud-encrusted vehicle tires, cows and feral pigs and sheep, and rain that washes them into streams.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Big Island man dies in single-car crash
A 22-year-old Papaaloa man died yesterday after the 1998 Mazda four-door sedan he was driving crossed the center line on Hawaii Belt Road and hit an embankment.
Big Island police identified the victim as Leland W. Ambrosio. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Big Island acting Fire Capt. Renwick Victorino said.
His 23-year-old passenger was taken to the Hilo Medical Center in serious condition after the crash, which happened about 4:27 a.m., one-tenth of a mile south of the 16-mile marker in North Hilo.
Police said speed and alcohol are probable factors in the crash. The two were heading toward Hamakua when the accident happened.
The traffic-related fatality was the 30th so far this year on the Big Island, compared to 36 at the same time in 2004.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the victim's exact cause of death.
Police closed both lanes of the roadway for about two hours yesterday while they conducted an investigation.
Free diver is apparent victim of drowning
A Maui man in his mid-20s apparently drowned yesterday while free diving about 50 yards off Puu Olai, police and witnesses said.
The man's diving partner found him on the ocean's bottom in 50-foot waters about 11:20 a.m., police said.
The victim had been underwater for about three minutes, said state Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement agent Buzz Hubert, who was in the area when he heard a yell for help.
Hubert said the victim was not breathing on the boat ride into shore. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation failed to revive him.
Couple hospitalized following accident
An 80-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition yesterday after a one-car crash in Wahiawa were later upgraded to guarded condition, Wahiawa police said.
The accident happened about 12:37 p.m. at the intersection of California Avenue and North Cane Street when the front tire of the car the two were in blew out, causing the vehicle to lose control and hit a traffic light pole.
Sgt. Byron Martin of the Wahiawa police substation said speed and alcohol did not appear to be factors in the crash.
Police did not immediately have details on whether the man or the woman was driving the car when the accident happened.