POSTED: Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Say will return as House speaker

Rep. Calvin Say will be leading the state House for his 11th year as speaker.

Democrats in the state House issued a news release yesterday saying that Say (D, St. Louis Heights-Palolo-Maunalani Heights-Kaimuki) will return as speaker. Say said the 45 House Democrats will meet to select other House leaders and committee chairmen later this week.

“;We head into one of the most challenging legislative sessions that Hawaii has ever faced, and it's extremely important that we come together, with the Senate, to focus on our first priorities: a balanced state budget and Hawaii's economy,”; Say said in a written release.

Say was first elected speaker in 1998 for the start of the 1999 session. He was first elected to the House in 1976.

The two Senate Republicans also announced yesterday that they are organized for the 2009 Legislature. Sen. Fred Hemmings (R, Lanikai-Waimanalo) will remain as minority leader, and Sen. Sam Slom (R, Diamond Head-Hawaii Kai) will be minority floor leader.


Work will close pier during day

LIHUE » Starting Monday, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources will close Ahukini Pier during the day to make repairs.

For the public's safety the pier will be closed from 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday while repairs are made to the 180-foot-long walkway planking and railing, state officials said yesterday.

The repairs will focus on replacing deteriorated boardwalk planks and repairing other boardwalk areas such the railing and steps. The work is expected to take three weeks to complete.

The Ahukini Pier, at the mouth of Hanamaulu Stream, was originally a small boat landing but was expanded in the 1920s to accommodate large vessels, including interisland and overseas vessels. It was used until the expansion of Nawiliwili Harbor after World War II and abandoned until 1978, when it was converted to a recreational fishing pier, state officials said.


Strawberry Nesquik is recalled

Nestle USA has recalled a batch of its Nesquik Powder for flavoring drinks because it might be contaminated with aluminum fragments.

The recall applies only to 21.8-ounce containers of Nesquik Strawberry Powder marked on the bottom with production code 82255880 or 82265880 and a discard date of August 2010, according to an announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The product was sold in local stores, according to the state Department of Health. Consumers are advised to discard it or return it to the retail store where it was purchased. A Health Department spokeswoman said the health risk from ingesting aluminum bits would be a potential physical hazard to the digestive system.

Exposure to aluminum is not usually harmful, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. A natural element of the earth, it is used in antacids and antiperspirants as well as in cooking utensils.

Anyone with questions or concerns may call the Nestle Consumer Service Center at (888) 637-4345.

For more information, go to the FDA and Nestle Web sites at http://www.fda.gov and http://www.nestleusa.com.


9th Circuit judges head to Hawaii

Three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will be in Hawaii Nov. 19 to hear oral arguments for seven appeals.

The hearings start at 9:30 a.m. in the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law's Moot Courtroom.

Four of the appeals involve decisions of Hawaii's U.S. District Court judges. The other three cases are appeals of decisions by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals.


Crater trail to close for 4 days

The Diamond Head State Monument will close Monday to Nov. 20 to finish rock scaling to prevent potential rockfall hazards above the Kahala entrance tunnel to the crater, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said.

The closure is needed to ensure public safety, DLNR said. DLNR has future projects in the design phase to improve and reduce congestion along the Summit Trail and make it safer.

The $384,000 construction contract is being done by Prometheus Construction.

The park will reopen Nov. 21.