Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

New federal prison
plans July open house

Question: Is there going to be a public open house for the new federal detention center at the airport?

Answer: Yes, probably in the third week of July, according to Deborah Westley, administrative assistant to the warden of the recently completed, yet-to-open $65 million prison near Honolulu Airport.

Look for an announcement here and elsewhere when details get finalized, she said.

The 12-story, 558-cell detention center, to be operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is located at Elliott Street and Aokea Place.

Q: Recent news referred to the renewed concern about increased levels of mercury found in swordfish and shark consumed locally. We understand those fish are the principal ingredients of kamaboko and similar fishcakes. As grandparents of a 5-year-old grandson who is very partial to kamaboko, this alarmed us. What do your public health information resources say about this?

A: They say you don't need to be alarmed because swordfish and shark are not used to make the fishcake.

"As far as mercury is concerned, the most common fish used in fishcake is pollock, and that does not have elevated levels of mercury," said state Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

The department checked with three local manufacturers "and confirmed they don't use fish with elevated levels of mercury in their product," she said.

If you have any more questions or concerns, call the department's Food and Drug Branch at 586-4725.

Okubo advised checking the labels to see what kind of fish is used and, as you noted, "be wary of swordfish and shark."

Q: On 9th Avenue between Pahoa and Kaimuki avenues, somebody made yellow parking marks on the road. Is that legal? Also, a little further on Kaimuki Avenue, someone put cement blocks in the middle of the sidewalk. I was walking by one night and almost fell down.

A: The cement blocks were not in the sidewalk area -- they were on private property, said officer Paul Nakajo, of the Honolulu Police Department's District 7.

However, the yellow parking marks were not authorized and may already be gone by now. The city Department of Transportation Services had initiated a work order to black out the marks, Nakajo said.

Technically, marking the roadway like that could be considered criminal property damage. However, since police did not witness the marking and neighbors say they don't know who did it, no citation will be issued, Nakajo said.


To Jay, for helping a stranded Realtor whose car ran out of gas in Hawaii Kai with her client in mid-May. I hope someone does the same for you someday. -- No Name

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