POSTED: Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Isle facilities' toxic releases rise 5%

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports facilities operating in Hawaii increased toxic releases by 5 percent in 2008 compared with 2007.

The information is calculated by industrial facilities and reported to the EPA, as required by law.

The EPA said yesterday that the releases included toxic chemicals discharged by facilities to the air, water, land and underground, as well as the amount transferred off-site for disposal. Reporting facilities must comply with environmental standards set by local, state and federal agencies.

The agency says 39 Hawaii facilities reported 3.2 million pounds of toxic chemical releases in 2008. It says the top five released chemicals were sulfuric acid, nitrate compounds, hydrochloric acid, barium compounds and propylene.

Waikiki area to reopen to fishing

The state is reopening the Waikiki and Diamond Head area to certain kinds of fishing for a year.

Fishing will be allowed from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, within the Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management area, extending from the Natatorium to the Diamond Head Lighthouse.

The width extends from the shore to 500 yards seaward or to the edge of the fringing reef.

Permitted fishing methods include pole-and-line, throw net, spear (daylight hours only) and hand harvest, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

State officials warn that fishing is not permitted in the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District between the Ewa edge of the Natatorium and the Ewa edge of the Kapahulu sea wall.

Copies of the notice are on the state Department of Aquatic Resources Web site at http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar.

NTSB probes tour copter accident

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating why a tour helicopter's left rear landing skid collapsed at the Turtle Bay Resort heliport, causing the rotor to strike the ground.

The pilot and four passengers were not injured in the Nov. 20 accident, but the helicopter, a McDonnell Douglas 369E operated by K&S Helicopters, was “;substantially”; damaged, the agency said. The accident happened at 10:20 a.m. in clear weather, said the NTSB preliminary report, issued Wednesday.

Activist Kahale to speak at HepCats

Jaimie Kahale, a community activist who has lived with HIV for 19 years, will be guest speaker at a HepCats potluck gathering at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at 677 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 226.

Kahale has been a client of Life Foundation since 1992 and a staff member in its prevention department since July 1999.

HepCats has met for more than five years at the Life Foundation but will move in January to Hawaii Medical Center East. Those attending are asked to bring a potluck dish and a lei. For more information, call Tim Fedorka, 375-8160.

Mayor wants no pay hikes for managers

HILO » Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi wants to withhold scheduled pay raises from the county's top government employees.

Kenoi is asking the Salary Commission to freeze public executive pay at current levels to help deal with a projected $45 million budget deficit.

These 31 positions would not get the 3 percent pay raise given to the county's managers on their second anniversary and every year afterward.

Their annual salaries range from nearly $90,000 for some deputy directors to $115,000 paid to Police Chief Harry Kubojiri. Kenoi makes about $109,000. Other affected positions include the county managing director, legislative auditor and the County Council's clerk and deputy clerk.

The Salary Commission is scheduled to consider Kenoi's request tomorrow.