DLNR veteran joins fishery panel
Former state Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Peter Young has been appointed as one of two new at-large members of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.
Young's appointment was announced yesterday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Also appointed to an at-large seat on the Western Pacific council is William Sword of American Samoa.
A total of 19 new members were appointed to the eight regional fishery management councils. Each council prepares fishery management plans for marine fish stocks in respective geographical areas, the NOAA release said.
The Western Pacific council proposes fishing policies for waters three to 200 miles from Hawaii and other U.S. territorial islands.
Council members typically represent commercial and recreational fisheries, environmental, academic and other interests.
"Council members are a key part of the fisheries management process and it is vital that each council is comprised of knowledgeable people representing a variety of interests," said Bill Hogarth, director of NOAA Fisheries Service.
The U.S Commerce Secretary selects appointees to the councils that were nominated by governors. Council members serve three-year terms, and may be re-appointed to serve up to three consecutive terms.
Young formerly served on the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council in his capacity as DLNR director.
Kilauea alerts drop to 'advisory'
HILO » The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has downgraded its Volcano Alert Level to "advisory" in recognition of the continuing decline of indicators of a possible new eruption of Kilauea volcano.
Swarms of small earthquakes last week, capped by a brief eruption on Father's Day morning, had led the observatory to set the alert level at "watch."
The alert system consists of four levels. The highest level, "warning," is used only for a "hazardous eruption."
Last week's "watch" meant that conditions presented "limited hazards."
"Advisory" means activity has decreased significantly.
The lowest level is "normal," meaning geologic activity is at background levels.
Among the changes, the observatory noted that only three small earthquakes had taken place in the area of the Father's Day eruption during the 24 hours ending yesterday morning.
Levels of potentially dangerous sulfur dioxide gas, which forced closure of parts of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park last week, have dropped to pre-Father's Day levels, the observatory said.
Inflation of Kilauea's summit from magma underneath it, a normal process, is continuing but not causing earthquakes, the observatory said.
Mokuleia shark signs down
Lifeguards removed warning signs posted at Silver Channel in Mokuleia yesterday after there were no shark sightings.
Lifeguards heard a report Sunday that a shark bit the board of a male surfer at the popular surf spot, also known as Sylva's Channel, during the morning hours, said North Shore Ocean Safety Capt. Bodo Van Der Leeden.
The surfer was not injured. Lifeguards patrolled the spot Sunday and posted signs as a precautionary measure. No shark was observed, Van Der Leeden said yesterday.
At the surf spot, the surfer posted a photo of himself standing with his surfboard, which was missing a small portion of the end, to warn other surfers of what had happened earlier Sunday, Van Der Leeden said.
Surfers often see sharks in the area but say they don't attack, said Van Der Leeden.
There are no lifeguards stationed at the surf spot.
Police, Fire, Courts
Intruder drank soda on sofa
A Waianae woman came home Sunday afternoon to find a man sitting on her sofa and drinking a soda.
Police said the 23-year-old man was still in the home when they arrived about 4:45 p.m. They arrested him for suspicion of first-degree burglary.
Fire crew contains blaze in minutes
Firefighters brought a Nanakuli townhouse fire quickly under control last night.
About 20 firefighters responded to an 8:06 p.m. alarm, and got to the scene five minutes later. The fire was under control at 8:16 p.m.
One of four upstairs bedrooms of 87-2142 Helelua St., Unit 2, was destroyed, and the three others received some smoke and heat damage, a fire official said.
The downstairs portion of the unit had some water damage.
A man and woman who live at the townhouse requested Red Cross assistance, Fire Capt. Terry Seelig said, but refused treatment by Emergency Medical Services personnel.
Teacher arrested in sexual assault
A 57-year-old substitute teacher who taught at an Ewa area school was arrested yesterday for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl.
Police said the girl reported the man touched her inappropriately at 10:30 a.m. June 1.
Department of Education spokesman Greg Knudsen confirmed the suspect is a substitute teacher, and that he has taught at other schools. He said the school wasn't notified of the allegations until June 6 and that school was on break June 7.
Knudsen said the school has also initiated an investigation.
Knudsen could not confirm the details of the allegations, nor whether the victim was a student, what school it was and what grade level the suspect taught.
The suspect was arrested at noon yesterday and was released pending investigation.
Clues sought in arson at nightclub
Police continued to follow up on leads in a first-degree arson case after a fire in a storage shed at a Waikiki nightclub early yesterday morning.
The fire damaged the Irish Rose Saloon in Waikiki, sending three men to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
When firefighters arrived at 478 Ena Road at 2:26 a.m., three men were trying to put out the blaze using fire extinguishers, said Fire Capt. Terry Seelig. Firefighters had it extinguished in 20 minutes.
The men, ages 46, 43 and 20, were taken to Straub Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, police said. One of the men was an employee of the bar, which was closed at the time of the fire.
The blaze, determined to be arson, caused $3,000 in damage, Seelig said. A shed outside the building and a public address system were damaged, police said.