POSTED: Friday, August 14, 2009

Federal funds go to Waimalu sewer project

The city has received $7.4 million in federal stimulus money that will be used for reconstruction of the Waimalu sewer, Mayor Mufi Hannemann's office announced yesterday.

Phase 1 of the $45 million Waimalu Sewer Rehabilitation/Reconstruction project involves installing new pipes to replace older ones that have begun sagging because of soil settling on the pipes, the city said in a news release. Pipes range from 27 to 53 years old.

About 5,820 feet of sewer lines will be replaced by open-cut trenching and another 630 feet by trenchless microtunneling, the city said.

The work is set to take place on Kanuku, Pahemo, Lokowai and Liiipo streets, along with Olepe Loop. These lines flow to the Waimalu Wastewater Pump Station, which feeds the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant.


Stinging men of war close Hanauma

The city Parks and Recreation Department shut down Hanauma Bay yesterday morning because of a large influx of Portuguese men of war.

More than 2,000 of the stinging creatures were found on the beach yesterday morning, and countless others were floating just offshore, the city Emergency Services Department reported.

Officials will decide this morning whether to keep the bay closed.

As for other east-side beaches, no men of war were found. But lifeguards did treat five people at Makapuu, two at the Waimanalo Bay State Recreation Area, 30 at Waimanalo Beach Park and 45 at Kailua Beach.

On the South Shore, 15 men of war were found in Waikiki, and 20 people were treated for stings. None were found at Ala Moana.

The men of war are not associated with the monthly influx of box jellyfish that is expected to begin today.

Concertgoers warned about drugs

Honolulu police are reminding concertgoers that it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol and for people of all ages to use illegal drugs.

“;Although the situation has improved, we're still seeing illegal activity at concerts,”; said police Maj. Gregory Lefcourt.

Officers made 30 arrests at a two-day concert at the Waikiki Shell last month, and most were drug-related, primarily marijuana, police said.

Twenty people were issued citations for underage drinking at the same concert. Police want to remind minors of the “;use and lose”; law, which revokes the person's driver's license for 180 days or longer if they are under 21 and caught buying, possessing or consuming alcohol. For minors who do not have a license, a judge could postpone their ability to get their driver's license for 180 days or until they turn 17, police said.

The reminder is timely for a series of concerts this weekend, including BayFest, which kicks off today at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Ziggy Marley at the Waikiki Shell tomorrow.

Gas leak postpones Ho'opili session

A state Land Use Commission meeting to consider the Ho'opili project in West Oahu has been canceled because a gas leak forced closing of the State Office Tower yesterday and today.

The commission had been scheduled to meet yesterday and today to consider a petition by D.R. Horton-Schuler Division to reclassify 1,500 acres between Waipahu and Kapolei from agricultural to urban use. The developer proposes to create a community of 12,000 homes, five schools and commercial areas, displacing Aloun Farms and other diversified agriculture.

The Governor's Office said the meeting would likely be rescheduled for the end of the month.

Neighbor islands

Dismembered owl is found in Costco lot

KAHULUI » State wildlife biologist Fern Duvall says a common barn owl has been found dismembered in a box in the parking lot of the Costco store on Maui.

Duvall says the bird's tail feathers were gone, and both wings had been removed at the shoulder.

Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it is illegal to harm, kill or take an owl or its body parts. Violations carry a fine of up to $15,000. State law also prohibits “;taking, injuring or destroying wild birds.”;

Duvall says common barn owls were brought to the islands in the 1950s to control rats in macadamia nut and sugar cane fields.

He says people often mistake the common barn owl for the pueo, or native owl, even though there are “;huge differences”; between the two birds.