No solution yet for wasps killing trees
Regarding the fairly new trees in the fairly new median on Hunakai Street, just makai of Waialae Avenue: They look terrible. Are they still in shock from transplanting, or are they dead? Does anyone take care of them?
Answer: The wiliwili trees along Hunakai, like many across the state, are being attacked by gall wasps.
In a complaint about dying trees and foliage around the state's Kalanimoku Building last year ("Kokua Line," Sept. 22), state Comptroller Russ Saito said the tiny wasps were defoliating and threatening to kill wiliwili and coral trees around the state.
He told us then that the state Department of Agriculture and University of Hawaii were trying to find a solution. A solution still has not been found.
The department's Division of Urban Forestry checked the Hunakai trees recently and found that the trees, although "in poor condition ... show signs of life," said Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy parks director.
"I've noticed recently that some trees around town are putting out a new flush," with small leaves growing and "without too much sign of the wasp problem," added Clark Leavitt, park grounds improvement supervisor with the Division of Urban Forestry. "But I don't know how long that will last. ... It could change to be completely deformed by the wasps."
Leavitt noted that the wasp problem is "scary" because it is statewide. The wiliwili and coral trees are popular in landscaping both private and public property.
"We've done our own work" in trying to save the trees, such as using pesticides, he said. "So far, so bad. Nothing we've done has helped."
Until a predator is found that will attack the wasp, it's a matter of monitoring the trees.
Q: I recently went to replace my driver's license. The clerk said they needed my home address for their records. I only use a P.O. box, which is on my license, and have never been asked for my address before. Does this mean that a homeless person can't get a license? Why do they need it or is it optional?
A: It's not optional, according to Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city's Motor Vehicles Licensing & Permits Division.
He pointed to Section 286-111(c) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, which "requires 'the residence address and business address, if any.'"
He said this means "no exceptions."
"If you cannot provide a residence address, we will not be able to issue a license," he said.
Most applicants will indicate that their mailing and residential addresses are the same. But, sometimes, applicants prefer having their mailing address on their license, which is acceptable, according to Kamimura.
To the State of Hawaii for repaving the long stretch of Kalanianaole Highway near Maunawili. Projects like this make paying taxes worthwhile. -- Michael Nomura
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