State wildlife officials will start a killing campaign this weekend with the aim of controlling a fast-spreading freshwater weed that threatens to clog waterways and prevent fishing.
State to whack freshwater weed
The small fern, salvinia molesta, one of the world's most aggressive tropical weeds, has been found in Enchanted Lake in Kailua and Lake Wilson in Wahiawa. The plant is on the U.S. Noxious Weed List, which prohibits its import.
Department of Land and Natural Resources biologists will survey the Kaelepulu wetland in Kailua on Saturday to assess the problem and conduct a trial removal.
Paul Conroy, wildlife program manager with the department, said "based on the assessment, a larger community cleanup may be necessary."
The plant, with two rounded fuzzy leaves, floats on the surface of still waters. It can double its population in two days. Conroy said it can be harder to control than the water hyacinth, which officials have been trying to eradicate in Lake Wilson and which can double its area in 10 days.
The plant has been deliberately grown in fish tanks and lily ponds, and has been spotted in taro patches, according to a state release.
Bill Devick, acting administrator for aquatic resources, said the weed "has the potential to clog up drainage canals and pipes. It can also eliminate everything else in a wetland by using up available oxygen and cutting off sunlight which can cause a chain reaction, reducing food supplies and habitat for aquatic plants and animals."
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Honolulu, is leaving for Albania and Macedonia tomorrow as part of a 20-member congressional delegation assessing the situation there.
Abercrombie will travel to AlbaniaBy Pete Pichaske, Phillips News Service
The group will visit refugee camps in the war-ravaged area, meet with NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Wesley Clark in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the military strategy and perhaps visit an aircraft carrier involved in the air strikes.
The delegation is scheduled to return to Washington on Monday.
Abercrombie, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, expressed reservations about the current military campaign in the former Yugoslavia at a meeting of House Democrats this week. Among other things, he has questioned whether Russia, a close ally of Serbia, could have been better used to influence Serbian policies.
Massage parlor faces eviction for prostitutionAttorneys for the owners of the Kapiolani Shopping Plaza have initiated eviction proceedings against a massage parlor in the complex.
Another massage parlor in the same building has been given a warning, according to City Councilman Andy Mirikitani, who represents the Kapiolani area.
Mirikitani said four prostitution arrests have been made since November at Far East Relaxation, the subject of the eviction proceedings undertaken by Intco Properties.
Meanwhile, Oriental Relaxation has been issued a warning that future prostitution violations may result in eviction proceedings following a prostitution arrest there, he said.
Mirikitani said he called on Intco Properties to "take immediate action to revoke the leases and evict those businesses to prevent them from continuing to operate illegally in the McCully community and driving out legitimate businesses."
He added that the state Legislature needs to toughen up laws regarding licensing and control of massage businesses.
Viewscope installed on Makapuu trailWhale watching got a boost today.
A viewscope to enhance whale-watching was to be unveiled along the trail to Makapuu Point Lighthouse.
The viewscope comes complete with an accompanying educational sign bearing data on humpback whales, an overall joint endeavor of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
Humpbacks spend winters in Hawaiian waters to breed, and Makapuu Point is one of the best places to view visiting humpbacks.
Green sea turtles, spinner dolphins, sea birds and Hawaiian monk seals also can be seen. The trail to the lighthouse is traveled by hundreds of visitors each weekend and dozens on weekdays.
'Best School Year Ever' is best book, kids sayHawaii's children have selected "The Best School Year Ever" as the winner of the 1999 Nene Award.
The book is by Barbara Robinson, an award-winning author who lives in Berwyn, Pa. Her other books include "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" and "My Brother Louis Measures Worms."
The Nene Award is presented to the book chosen as their favorite in a vote by children in fourth through sixth grades.
Officials said nearly 9,400 children voted in this year's contest.
ASSETS school receives $750,000 donationASSETS school has received a $750,000 donation from the Janaki Foundation, a Kailua-based philanthropic organization.
Headmaster Lou Salza said the school is "overwhelmed" by the gift, which primarily will be used to expand campus facilities.
Kyo-ya Restaurant replaced Kyo-ya Tea House at 2057 Kalakaua Ave.
A story Monday mentioned the teahouse closing but nothing on the restaurant, which has private tatami rooms. The late Clara Morinaga opened the teahouse in 1958 but sold it to the late Kenji Osano in 1962, says Kyo-ya general manager Meyric Muraoka. The original building was torn down in 1990, and the restaurant reopened a year later. Masakuni Osano, Kenji's brother, is the current owner.
The chairman and chief executive officer of CPB Inc. is Joichi Saito. His name was misspelled in a Hawaii Inc. report Tuesday.
By Star-Bulletin staff
Arson blamed for Aiea fire
Seven vehicles damaged or destroyed in Aiea fireArson is blamed for a blaze this morning that destroyed five cars and damaged two others at an Aiea home.
Six fire companies respondedto the 3:53 a.m. alarm at 96-563 Kaimu Loop. The fire was under control by 4:13 a.m.
Arson detectives said a flammable liquid was used to fuel the fire.
The blaze started on the right side of the home's carport, fire investigators said.
Four of the seven cars were in the carport. The cars damaged or destroyed were a 1999 Honda Civic, two Mercedes-Benz, a Volkswagen van, a Ford Probe, a Mitsubishi Eclipse and a Toyota Cressida.
Damage was estimated at $45,000 to the cars and $30,000 to the carport. The home was not damaged.
No arrests have been made and no injuries were reported.
Man spent 20 minutes in rain 'fishing' for cashPolice are seeking information about a burglar who went fishing for bucks, and the theft of an $8,000 original oil painting from a Waikiki gallery.
In an attempted burglary March 28, a man using monofilament line and a hook tried to pull money bags out of a night depository box at the Merchant Street branch of American Savings.
The suspect stood in the rain holding an umbrella for 20 minutes but left without any money. He was described as in his 20s to 30s, 5 feet 9, 170 pounds, with dark hair and a scraggly beard.
The Roy Tabora painting titled "Wind Shift" was taken from a display wall sometime between 11 p.m. Sunday and 8:15 a.m. Monday at The Diamond Head Gallery at 2250 Kalakaua Ave.
Anyone with information on either case is asked to call Crime-Stoppers at 955-8300.
Police also said a CrimeStopper tip led to the arrest yesterday of Paul Kanohokula on a probation violation warrant and also a contempt of court warrant.
Robber says he's armed, gets cash, flees on footA bandit got away with an undisclosed sum yesterday from the Waipahu branch of International Savings & Loan at 94-210 Pupu-kahi St.
No one was hurt in the 4 p.m. robbery.
The man passed a teller a demand note that said he had a gun. However, no weapon was seen.The teller handed over the money, and the bandit fled on foot.
Rescuers seek fisherman who slipped into oceanHILO -- Fire rescue personnel using a county helicopter and other equipment began searching before daylight for a fisherman who reportedly slipped off rocks early today and fell into the sea about 20 miles southeast of Hilo, the Fire Department said.
The accident in an area called Honolulu Landing, near Hawaiian Beaches subdivision in Puna, was reported by a friend of the missing 49-year-old man at 2:51 a.m.
See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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