POSTED: Tuesday, September 01, 2009

State meetings to cover fishing regulations

The state plans meetings on Oahu and Lanai over the next six weeks to discuss possible regulations for fishing parrotfish (uhu), goatfish (weke) and jacks (ulua).

These fish help maintain healthy coral reefs, so overfishing is a source of concern.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has already held similar meetings on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island.

The schedule:

» Honolulu: 11 a.m. Sept. 10, 2 p.m. Sept. 24 and 6 p.m. Oct. 8; DLNR Board Room 132, Kalanimoku State Office Building, 1151 Punchbowl St.

» Lanai: 5 p.m. Sept. 10, Lanai Public Library

» Honolulu: 6 p.m. Sept. 15, Kawananakoa Middle School

» Kaneohe: 6 p.m. Oct. 13, Benjamin Parker Elementary School

Honor Sen. Kennedy at Borthwick's

Those who want to honor the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who dedicated his life to public service, may do so at Borthwick Mortuary today though Friday.

Kennedy died last Tuesday after a battle with brain cancer.

A guest book will be available at the mortuary, located at 1330 Maunakea St. The book and keepsakes left by guests will be sent to the Kennedy Presidential Library for his family.

For more information, call 522-5200.

City, Campbell to test Hazmat sirens

The city and the Campbell Local Emergency Action Network plan to test the “;Hazardous Materials Incident”; outdoor sirens for Campbell Industrial Park today.

The Hazmat siren group test will occur immediately after the monthly Oahu outdoor warning siren test scheduled for 11:45 a.m., according to the city Department of Emergency Management.

The group consists of seven sirens at Campbell Industrial Park, Honokai Hale, Makakilo, Kapolei Regional Park, Kapolei Golf Course and the Coast Guard Air Station at Barbers Point. During the test, businesses, residents and schools in those areas will hear a whooping tone immediately following the regular monthly siren test tone, officials said.

During an actual Hazmat emergency, the siren sounding would be coordinated with emergency information broadcast over TV and radio via the Emergency Alert System, officials said, noting that not all incidents would require activation of the Hazmat siren group and the Emergency Alert System.

Atoll's chemical arms plant is closed

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that a U.S. chemical weapons disposal plant on Johnston Atoll has been properly cleaned and closed.

The EPA said yesterday its review found the Army met all permit requirements for closing the Chemical Agent Disposal System facility on the uninhabited island about 890 miles west-southwest of Honolulu.

The closure, cleanup and dismantling took about three years. The facility, which was closed in 2004, was used to dispose of 4 million pounds of toxic chemical weapons.

The EPA says its closure approval assures protection for the ecology and environment of the Johnston Island National Wildlife Refuge. It is now part of the new Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

Taiwanese fishing vessel is seized

The Coast Guard has seized a Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel for allegedly fishing for sharks, tuna and other catch in U.S. waters near Saipan.

A Coast Guard C-130 spotted the 72-foot Te Hung Fa on Wednesday allegedly 39 miles inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The cutter Washington arrived on the scene the next day to find the vessel 20 miles inside the zone.

The Coast Guard said yesterday that federal officials plan to investigate and pursue a case against the vessel's unidentified owners. Violators face civil penalties up to $140,000 per violation and full forfeiture of the vessel and its catch.

Lahaina must close library for 10 days

The Lahaina Public Library will be closed temporarily later this month due to staffing and funding shortages caused by the state's budget crisis, according to state library officials.

The library will be closed Sept. 12-21 and will reopen at noon Sept. 22.

State officials said the libraries are experiencing fragile staffing situations due to a prolonged hiring freeze and retirements, leaving 70 vacant positions.

During the closure, announced yesterday, patrons may return library materials to other Maui public libraries and may renew materials through any branch or by calling toll-free (800) 820-7368.