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POSTED: Friday, October 30, 2009

Trades to return to islands today

Relief is ahead for residents who have been sweltering from the humidity and suffering from the vog.

Tradewinds were expected to return to the islands today, according to Robert Ballard, National Weather Service lead forecaster in the Honolulu office.

“;We had for a long while light winds over the islands with weak southeasterly flow,”; he said. “;That brought a lot of that vog (volcanic smoke) and sulfur dioxide up toward the smaller islands. Without tradewinds over the islands, we haven't been able to get rid of it.”;

He said the tradewinds will be moderate through the weekend, and “;early next week it could get a little bit breezy, something we haven't had for a while.”;

The switch to trades will bring more typical mauka showers.

“;And humidity will be down, too, once we get trades back,”; Ballard added.

Study on undersea cable out for bid

Hawaii is moving forward with plans to build an undersea cable that would bring wind power from Maui to Oahu.

Government renewable energy officials announced yesterday they are accepting bids from contractors to do an environmental study of the cable's possible impacts on whales, the ocean floor and coral reefs.

It could take between two and three years to finish the study and obtain permits, and then it would take only a few months to build the cable itself.

Gov. Linda Lingle said the cable is needed to wean the islands off their dependence on foreign oil, which sucks money out of the state and could wreck the local economy if it were ever cut off.

Fire department to honor employees

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The Honolulu Fire Department will honor exemplary employees and those who have 25 and 35 years of service at a luncheon today.

Fire Chief Kenneth Silva will recognize three individuals for their outstanding service.

Battalion Chief Jeff Farris, who manages the department's special operations companies' administrative, purchasing and specialized training needs, was named HFD Manager of the Year.

Capt. Keoni Kino, a 24-year veteran who leads Rescue 1, 3rd Platoon, will be recognized as the HFD Uniformed Employee of the Year. Rescue 1 responds to search and rescue operations across the island.

Paula Schaller, who manages the storeroom, will be recognized as HFD Civilian Employee of the Year. Schaller has three years with the department.

High surf coming to Kauai and Oahu

Kauai and Oahu's north and west shores are under a high-surf advisory until 6 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.

Surf will be 10 to 15 feet through Friday on Oahu's North Shore; west shores will see 8- to 12-foot waves; and Kauai and Niihau will see even higher wave heights, forecasters said.

A high-surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion, according to the weather service.

Food stamp applicants can fax it in

The state Department of Human Services is streamlining and speeding up its process for getting assistance for food to low-income Hawaii families and individuals.

Those wishing to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously called the Hawaii Food Stamp Program, can now fax or mail applications in rather than having to deliver them in person, after receiving a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds the program.

The Human Services Department can also conduct initial interviews with applicants by phone rather than in person, as well as recertification interviews for SNAP benefits.

For more information, call 643-1643.

Daylight savings to end Sunday on the mainland

WASHINGTON » Most people on the mainland can get an extra hour of sleep this weekend.

Standard time returns at 2 a.m. Sunday, with clocks falling back to offer an extra hour of rest.

Daylight saving time returns March 13.

Hawaii is among the states and territories that do not observe daylight saving time. The others are Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.