Fires’ smoke traveled long way to Hawaii
It turns out that smoke from the massive wildfires in California that destroyed more than 2,300 structures did affect Hawaii skies.
Forecaster Tom Birchard, of the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said yesterday that after "further examination and the clarity of hindsight," the haze some islanders might have noticed last weekend "was indeed, as far as I can tell, related to the California fires."
Early last week (Kokua Line, Oct. 24), he said it was unlikely that the smoke would drift 2,500 miles to Hawaii. But as early as Thursday night, he began to have second thoughts, as "trajectory models" showed smoke trapped in the lower reaches of the atmosphere making its way to Hawaii.
By Saturday, the change in the atmosphere was noticeable.
When the sun was low in the sky, it would have appeared more colorful amid the haze.
Q: I am 16 and my hobby is taking care of birds. My grandfather said he was at the Hawaii Government Employees Association building on Mililani Street and overheard some men talking about electrocuting all the pigeons on the ledge there. Three days later, he went to see if there were wires and yes, there are wires to kill the birds. Can something be done to stop the killing?
A: The pigeons are not being electrocuted, assures Joe Acohido, property manager of the HGEA building on Mililani Street.
As the vendor who installed the wiring explained it to him, the wires do "give a little shock," causing the pigeons to fly away, he said. "As far as I can see, there are no dead pigeons around."
Acohido explained that two tracks of wiring were laid about a month ago along the 2- to 3-foot ledge outside the building, where the pigeons were nesting "and really making a mess of our building."
Besides being a nuisance, the pigeons more significantly pose health and sanitation concerns, he said, not only leaving their droppings outside the building, but also flying inside and "making a mess."
While the wiring has prevented the birds from nesting, the tactic has not discouraged them from flocking to the building. That's because there is another ledge above -- about 3 inches wide along the windows.
The pigeons "are landing on there and 'doing their thing,'" still leaving their droppings on the ledge below where they used to nest, Acohido said. The vendor is considering other solutions, including installing spikes along the window ledge.
The sanitation problem is "so frustrating," Acohido said. The problem with pigeons is people feeding them in the adjacent Mililani Mall, he said.
"We have to discourage people from feeding them."
Q: Will the restrooms at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki be open tonight for the annual Halloween party?
A: Yes, the Kuhio Beach comfort station and the comfort station at the end of Ohua Street will be opened for extended hours tomorrow, according to the city Department of Parks and Recreation.
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