POSTED: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Parks deputy named services chief

City Deputy Parks Director Gail Haraguchi has been named director of the city Department of Customer Services by Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

Haraguchi's appointment, subject to confirmation by the City Council, begins tomorrow. She takes over for Dana Takahara-Dias, who was hired May 28 as coach of the University of Hawaii women's basketball team on.

Before becoming deputy parks director, Haraguchi was deputy director of the Department of Enterprise Services.

To replace Haraguchi, Hannemann has tapped Richard Haru, vice principal at Castle High School. His appointment is effective Aug. 3 and does not require Council approval.

Haru also has served as athletics director at Castle for seven years and as an administrator, teacher, counselor and coach at other schools on Oahu. He has been a member of the Board of Parks and Recreation since 2005.


HECO warns of power line danger

Hawaiian Electric Co. issued a warning after two people died in the last two weeks when poles they were using to pick fruit from trees touched high-voltage power lines.

“;Overhead power lines are energized and dangerous,”; said Harold Kageura, HECO vice president of energy delivery, in a prepared statement.

HECO spokesman Darren Pai advised that people keep themselves and objects, especially metal ones, at least 10 feet away from power lines. If a person comes into contact with a power line, assume the line is energized, Pai said.

Do not attempt to free the person; keep away and call 911, Pai said.



Big Isle forest reserve will close 2 days

The state plans to close a Big Island forest reserve for two days next month so it can hunt invasive goats and sheep from helicopters to protect an endangered bird's habitat.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said yesterday the grazing animals destroy mamane trees eaten by the endangered palila bird.

The state says it is carrying out the aerial hunt to comply with a federal court order.

The Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Kaohe Game Management Area will be closed Aug. 4-5. The state is making carcasses from the shoot available to the public.

The palila is a yellow-crowned songbird that lives on the upper slopes of Mauna Kea volcano. The bird's population has plunged by more than 60 percent in six years to just 2,200 last year.