POSTED: Sunday, June 28, 2009

Expect high surf to continue

A high surf advisory was expected to continue today, with surf heights reaching 8 feet.

The surf was a boon to experienced surfers, but created a busy day for lifeguards yesterday.

Lifeguards issued hundreds of warnings yesterday and made 17 rescues as the south swell peaked with wave face heights of 12 feet.

Ala Moana Beach Park lifeguards warned beachgoers 115 times about the high surf and made six rescues, said Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

Waikiki lifeguards cautioned people about the surf 302 times and made 11 rescues. Those lifeguards also made 20 assists, Cheplic said.

The surf is expected to decrease today.

The National Weather Service said the surf formed from a cyclone near New Zealand. Other storms may bring more south swells this week.

Checks target impaired drivers

The Honolulu Police Department is conducting impaired-driver checkpoints starting Wednesday through the end of August.

Checkpoints will be up during the Independence Day and Statehood Day holidays, as well as other times.

As of last week, 31 people had been killed in 29 traffic collisions in 2009, compared with 46 deaths last year. Alcohol and/or speed were factors in at least 16 crashes this year.

Big Isle offered as detainee home

A member of the Hawaii County Council is asking President Barack Obama to consider sending detainees released from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the Big Island.

Councilman Kelly Greenwell of North Kona made the proposal in a letter to the Hawaii-born president last week.

Greenwell says the idea is to begin the process of healing and forgiveness.

He admitted in a letter to Mayor Bill Kenoi that the proposal “;may sound insane.”; But, Greenwell said, helping Obama out of “;a critical predicament”; would benefit Kenoi politically.

Greenwell said, “;We can't continue to live in a culture of fear that has been perpetuated because of political reasons.”;

Hunters can apply for goat permits

Permits to hunt feral goats in Kalalau Valley on Kauai are now available to the public, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a news release.

Hunters with a valid hunting license can obtain the free permit through a lottery process. The permit limits hunters to four goats, two of which must be female.

Hunting will be allowed Aug. 26-29 and Sept. 9-12.

Applications are available at any district Division of Forestry and Wildlife office. The deadline to submit the application is Thursday.

Bus rates changing on Kauai, Maui

Bus fares on Kauai will rise for the first time in eight years, while bus passes on Maui will be reduced, starting Wednesday.

Kauai fares will increase by 50 cents, making the new rate $2 for adults and $1 for children and seniors. But shuttle fares will remain the same, leaving the cost per trip at 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for seniors and youths.

The cost of monthly bus passes also will increase, from $15 to $20. Also, six-month bus passes and annual bus passes will cost $90 and $180, respectively.

On Maui, the county Transportation Department said the price of adult monthly passes will go down from $45 to $35 per month; student and senior passes will drop from $40 to $30. But the county is eliminating single-route and commuter monthly passes.

Starting Wednesday, monthly bus passes will be valid for a calendar month from the first to last day of the month.

Lottery winner plans Hawaii trip

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. » A man who works three jobs to support his family—including one as a limousine driver—has won a $39 million jackpot in California's SuperLotto Plus.

Clyde Persley, 49, who is married with a 4-year-old daughter, turned in his winning ticket on Tuesday night and should get his first check for about $16 million in four to six weeks, said a California lottery spokeswoman.

The Santa Cruz man says his first moves will be taking his wife on a trip to Hawaii and hiring a financial adviser.