Superferry back on the ocean
Hundreds of passengers were back aboard the Hawaii Superferry yesterday after high seas forced it to cancel service for four days.
"It was a wonderful experience," said traveler Ed Crame.
Superferry officials pushed back the schedule by three hours to allow seas to calm before sailing. One official estimated 10- to 12-foot waves in the Pailolo Channel between Maui and Molokai on the morning trip.
A few passengers experienced nausea, Crame said.
"The sea on the way there was not too good," he said. "Everybody did walk like they were drunk."
Seas calmed down a bit for the afternoon trip back at 2:15 p.m. A Superferry official estimated 250 passengers rode on the Oahu-Maui leg and 200 passengers were on the Maui-Oahu voyage. There were about 100 vehicles each way, he said.
The Superferry can hold 866 passengers and 282 cars.
Superferry officials expect the Alakai to sail on its regular schedule today, departing Oahu at 6:30 a.m. and leaving Maui at 11:15 a.m.
Forecasters expect the winds to continue decreasing today before increasing again tonight. Seas are expected to be 10 to 12 feet with 12 mph winds through the Pailolo Channel.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Hawaii Superferry resumed service yesterday after temporarily suspending operations due to poor weather conditions. The Alakai left Honolulu from Pier 19 at 9:30 a.m., bound for Kahului with about 250 passengers and 100 vehicles.
More welfare recipients working
The number of Hawaii welfare clients who have jobs increased by nearly 34 percent during the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to the state.
The number of clients who work 40 or more hours a week nearly doubled, while the number of clients not working decreased by 29 percent, state Department of Human Services officials said last week.
The Human Services department compiled the employment statistics as part of an initiative to track performance measures at the agency's 10 First-to-Work units across the state.
Department Director Lillian Koller credits monthly videoconferences in which directors at the units share what works and what does not.
Waikiki area opens to fishing
The state is reminding those who swim, surf, dive and paddle in the waters between the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and the Diamond Head Lighthouse that fishermen will also be using the area starting tomorrow, and urges people to be considerate of one another.
"These waters have been managed for public fishing since 1978, and fishermen have a right to enjoy their activity," said Laura Thielen, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. "Likewise, fishers are reminded that nonfishers will frequent and use the area, too. We urge them to use caution while fishing, to keep swimmers, surfers and others safe, also."
The Waikiki-Diamond Head fisheries management area opens to fishing in alternate years, including 2008. The area will close to fishing in 2009.
The area extends from the high-water mark on shore to a minimum seaward distance of 500 yards, or to the edge of the fringing reef if one occurs beyond 500 yards, according to DLNR officials.
Permitted fishing methods include pole-and-line, throw net, spear (daylight hours only, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and hand harvest.
Fishing is not allowed in the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District, between the Ewa edge of the Natatorium and the Ewa edge of the Kapahulu groin.
Maui program gets accreditation
Maui Community College's first four-year baccalaureate degree program received initial accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the school said in a news release.
The accreditation was granted retroactively, which means it applied to the program's first graduates in May 2007.
Maui CC became the first Hawaii community college to offer a four-year degree with its Bachelor of Applied Science degree in applied business and information technology.
"The process of establishing this program and ultimately receiving accreditation for our historic first bachelor's degree has been a long journey and has truly been a team effort," said Maui CC Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto.
Police, Fire, Courts
Homemade bomb gets man arrested
A Kalihi man, 31, was arrested Saturday night for allegedly throwing a homemade explosive from a car in Kailua.
At about 11 p.m., officers checking the area for another suspect observed the man, who was in the passenger seat, throw an "improvised explosive" out the window. The device detonated near Kaua and Funston streets.
There were no injuries or property damage, police said.
Hiker is rescued after ankle injury
About a dozen firefighters helped rescue a hiker off Kealia Trail behind Dillingham Airfield yesterday morning after he injured his ankle.
Firefighters used a helicopter to reach the man, who was in an area about 1,000 feet in elevation, at 11:05 a.m. and carried him off the trail, said spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig.