On the move


POSTED: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Question: What happened to that monk seal that was taken from Molokai and brought to Oahu? He had eye problems, and they were trying to decide what to do with him.

Answer: Perfect timing on your question.

It was just announced that the seal would be moved next week to a temporary facility at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

We had called the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday to ask about the status of the seal, known as KP2, who had been abandoned at birth and become a beloved presence in the waters around Molokai.

However, NOAA officials, fearing for its safety, captured the seal and housed him at the Waikiki Aquarium.

It was discovered that the seal had cataracts, making him 80 percent blind and preventing him from being returned to the ocean.

The Fisheries Service announced plans yesterday to move the seal to UC-Santa Cruz, where he will undergo bilateral cataract surgery.

According to its news release, the Fisheries Service plans to bring KP2 back to Hawaii as soon as a permanent facility can be built for him “;and perhaps other un-releasable seals in Hawaii.”;

He was described as “;an ambassador for monk seals and has brought attention to the critically endangered monk seal population.”;

“;KP2 has touched the hearts of many and we look forward to his return to Hawaii as soon as possible.”;

The Fisheries Service and Waikiki Aquarium were arranging for a private native Hawaiian blessing tomorrow before the seal leaves. Among those who will attend is Molokai resident Walter Ritte, who led last month a group of residents who protested the seal's removal from the island.

Ritte also sent out a news release yesterday, saying that Kahu David Ka'upu, a retired Kamehameha Schools chaplain, Molokai kumu hula Kanoe Davis and Kalaekahi, a Molokai youngster representing the community, will participate in the blessing.

He told Kokua Line the Molokai contingent is participating for two reasons: to wish for the seal's well-being and for its “;safe journey back to Molokai ... where he belongs.”; He acknowledged, however, that where the seal ends up still “;hasn't been decided.”;

He also said they've renamed the seal “;ho 'ailona”; — “;a special seal with a special purpose.”;

Ritte likened the seal's fate to that of native Hawaiians: “;Just like native Hawaiians, the seals are fighting to preserve their kind. And the way we Hawaiians treat the Hawaiian monk seal is how Hawaiians can expect to be treated in Hawaii.”;

Question: We were cleaning our garage when we came across a plastic 5-gallon container partially filled with house paint. How can I get rid of the paint?

Answer: Just “;absorb and trash”; it.

Specifically, the city Department of Environmental Services recommends pouring hazardous liquids, such as paint, “;into a plastic bag with absorbent material, such as shredded newspaper, old rags, or sawdust. Once liquid is absorbed, seal the bag, then throw away in trash can. An oil change box provides the same results. Paints can be hardened in the can, then thrown away.”;

Go to hsblinks.com/1be to find out how to get rid of other household waste.