POSTED: Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flash flood watch is in effect

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Oahu and Kauai through tonight because of a strong low-pressure system that is expected to bring heavy rain.

The two islands are also under a wind advisory, with southerly gusts of 45 mph expected through today. Sustained winds are forecast at 30 to 35 mph.

Kauai and Niihau were due for heavy rain last night, while Oahu can expect a dunking this morning, the weather service said.

The flooding watch will remain in effect at least through tonight, said forecasters. A flash flood watch means that conditions could develop that lead to flash flooding.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa, which has been hit by severe flooding in recent years, sent out a separate warning to its faculty and staff yesterday afternoon.


Monk seal pup is headed for wild

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Corps Base Hawaii and the Coast Guard were to airlift an abandoned Hawaiian monk seal pup to an undisclosed location this morning for release into the wild.

The pup, named “;KP2,”; abandoned by its mother when it was 1 day old, was found on a Kauai beach in May.

It spent the first few months under the care at NOAA's Kewalo Research Facility. It was later transferred to a shore pen at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where it has been learning to survive in the wild.


Fishing restricted in Waikiki

Fishing between Waikiki and Diamond Head will be prohibited during 2009 to allow marine life to replenish, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced yesterday.

The temporary fishing ban, which occurs every odd-numbered year, extends from nearshore waters between the Ewa wall of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium to the Diamond Head Lighthouse, and from the high-water mark on shore to at least 500 yards out to sea.

Violating the restriction is a petty misdemeanor.

Fishing is also not allowed at any time between the Ewa edges of the Natatorium and the Kapahulu groin.


USPS Web site suffers glitches

The U.S. Postal Service's Web site has experienced service interruptions of its mail service options this week.

Officials were alerted to the systemwide failure Monday morning. Since then, technicians have repaired features that include scheduling packages to be picked up by a mail carrier. The popular “;Click-N-Ship”; feature, which allows individuals to purchase and print postage labels online, was fixed yesterday but was not 100 percent functional.

Officials hope to repair the problem by today.

“;We're doing everything we can to bring it back online,”; said USPS Honolulu spokesman Duke Gonzales. “;We realize how important it is during the holiday season (for people) to mail out their packages.”;

It is unknown what caused the interruption, officials said.


Kona fish trap gets $350K grant

HILO » The National Park Service has awarded $350,000 to the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park in Kona to restore the 'Ai'opio Fishtrap in the park, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka announced.

The fish trap is a 1.7-acre feature in the park consisting of stone and coral walls used by ancient Hawaiians to trap wild fish. It differs from fishponds in which Hawaiians raised captive fish.

The grant will be used over 12 months to restore the walls, known as kuapa. The money is one of 41 projects authorized this year in the park system's Save America's Treasure program.

Kaloko-Honokohau, three miles north of Kailua-Kona, was established in 1978 to preserve a former shoreline village area as an example of ancient Hawaiian culture.