POSTED: Monday, August 03, 2009

Maui council takes up ban on shark tours

A Maui County Council committee will consider a bill this week that would ban shark tours.

Councilman Wayne Nishiki introduced the bill, which defines shark tours as businesses that charge “;residents or visitors to venture into ocean waters to feed and view sharks for entertainment.”;

The council's Economic Development, Agriculture and Recreation Committee is due to consider the bill Thursday.

Two shark tours operate in Hawaii, both off Oahu's North Shore. They attract sharks by feeding them fish.

The tours are popular with tourists. But opponents say the tours are disrespectful of Hawaiian culture, might upset the ecological balance and possibly condition sharks to associate people with food.


1,300 get roadside rescues from freeway patrol

The Freeway Service Patrol program has helped more than 1,300 motorists since it was launched June 16, the state Department of Transportation said.

The pilot program, which covers more than 35 miles of the H-1 and Moanalua freeways, provides six roving tow trucks and drivers, who are trained to help stranded motorists.

Common problems encountered include flat-tire changes and cars that run out of gasoline, officials said.

About 30 percent of the incidents involved vehicles that needed to be towed, officials said. For more information, visit the Freeway Service Patrol's Web site at www.fsphawaii.com.


Parking at airports rises $3 in Honolulu, $2 elsewhere

Parking rates at state airports have gone up at the same time a new economy lot has opened at Honolulu Airport, according to the state.

In Honolulu the daily rate has increased to $13 per day from $10. Lot J, between the new parking structure and the main terminal parking structure, is $10 per day, with a two-day minimum, officials said.

Parking rates will also increase at neighbor island airports, including Kona, Hilo, Lihue and Kahului, to $9 per day from $7.

There is also a 15-minute grace period at all airport parking lots during which motorists can park for free.