POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Whale carcass washes up on Kauai

This story has been corrected. See below.

LIHUE » The carcass of a 14-foot-long humpback whale washed up near the Kekaha lifeguard tower on Kauai's west side yesterday afternoon, officials said yesterday.

According to lifeguards, the Coast Guard was working yesterday afternoon to haul the whale off the beach. The beach was still open, as lifeguards had not spotted sharks in the area. The carcass was originally spotted off the Kekaha landfill yesterday morning, said Kalani Vierra, Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau supervisor. Lifeguards investigated and kept an eye on it through the day as it eventually washed down to Kekaha Beach Park by about 3 p.m.

Wende Goo, spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the whale was a 14-foot-long calf, and officials with the Marine Fisheries Division would be working to discover the cause of the whale's death.

It was the second calf found within the past two weeks. Members of the Robinson family found another calf carcass on Niihau about a week ago, but state officials, when responding to a fish kill in the area Feb. 2, could not find the body, according to Don Heacock, marine biologist with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Heacock said officials have not discovered the cause of the fish kill, but he said he would be surprised if the whale deaths and the fish were connected, since humpbacks do not feed in Hawaii waters.





        » Wende Goo is spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her name was misspelled as Wendy in Newswatch on Page 1 of the Hawaii section yesterday.



Police release internal affairs report

LIHUE » The Kauai Police Department has released the results of 2008 internal affairs investigations into possible officer misconduct.

The most serious disciplinary action taken was the dismissal of a sergeant for sexual assault.

A lieutenant was suspended 20 days for unauthorized off-duty employment, falsification of records, failure to adhere to departmental policies and being untruthful during the investigation. The names of the officers and details of the investigations were withheld.

There were 47 employee misconduct investigations conducted last year. Police Chief Daryl Perry said many of those were holdovers from complaints originating from the two previous years. Of the 47, 20 are pending completion and 16 others are awaiting hearings.


Army Makua meeting spot changed

The location of the Army's meeting tomorrow night to take public comment on the results of its study of shellfish and marine life in the waters off Makua Military Reservation has been moved to Nanaikapono Elementary School cafeteria at 89-153 Mano Ave. in Waianae.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. with Army experts available to answer specific questions about the study, followed by a public comment session from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Public comments can also be submitted until March 14 by fax to 656-3162; by e-mail to USAGHIPAOShellfishStudy@ hawaii.army.mil; by mail to USAG-HI Public Affairs Office, Attn: Shellfish Study - Public Comments, 742 Santos Dumont Ave., WAAF, Schofield Barracks, HI 96857; or online at http://www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/shellfishstudy.


Free seminar on humpbacks offered

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary will hold a free seminar at Pearl City Public Library on Feb. 24.

Speakers will include Christine Brammer, the sanctuary's Oahu programs coordinator, and Alisa Davis, a University of Hawaii-Manoa student intern participating in her second whale season with the sanctuary.

They will talk about humpback whales and their sanctuary in Hawaii waters, and offer tips on how people can help protect them. The 75-minute session begins at 6:30 p.m. at the library's adult reading area.