POSTED: Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jellyfish force Hanauma closure

City officials closed Hanauma Bay yesterday after an influx of box jellyfish resulted in beachgoers getting stung.

Lifeguards found 12 jellyfish in the morning and reported two people stung before park officials decided to close the bay for safety reasons, said Bryan Cheplic, Emergency Services Department spokesman.

At other beaches, lifeguards found about 300 jellyfish in Waikiki according to Ocean Safety website. The creature's sting can cause pain and can require medical attention.

About 30 people reported being stung in Waikiki Cheplic said. “;There weren't many people at the beach today, thankfully,”; he said.

Yesterday was the second day of a monthly jellyfish surge that can last up to four days.

A jellyfish advisory was set to expire last night for Ala Moana Beach Park, Hanauma Bay and Waikiki beaches.


Ex-inmate sues over sex assault

A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by a former prison electrician while she was confined at the Federal Detention Center last year is suing the government and the electrician for violating her civil rights, failing to provide a safe environment and other claims.

The woman filed the lawsuit in federal court last week under the alias Jane Doe.

The former electrician, Markell Milsap, 39, pleaded guilty last month to sexually abusing an inmate for having sex with the woman. He will be sentenced in March. In the meantime he remains free on $25,000 signature bond. His lawyer says Milsap did not use force to have sex with the inmate.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, the woman, through her lawyer Eric Seitz, filed a $750,000 claim against the Bureau of Prisons.

The woman had previously served a prison term for bank robbery and was supposed to be on probation when she claims Milsap sexually assaulted her Sept. 28, 2007, in a storage room at the FDC.

But U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor revoked her probation for allegedly testing positive for using cocaine.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later reversed Gillmor's ruling and ordered the woman's immediate release.


Superferry case in high court

The Hawaii Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 18 on a challenge to a state law that enables the Hawaii Superferry to operate before completing an environmental study.

The Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and the Kahului Harbor Coalition are challenging the constitutionality of the law, which the state Legislature approved in special session in October 2007.


State to boost library parking lot

The state will spend $500,000 to expand Mililani Public Library's parking lot with up to 56 stalls from 36 spaces.

The project is needed to handle increased library traffic from new housing in Mililani, Gov. Linda Lingle said in a news release.

The work is scheduled to be completed in April 2010.


Why are you thankful?

Thanksgiving began as a ceremony giving thanks, for a bountiful crop and friendships between English colonists and American Indians.

It has remained a truly traditional holiday, a time we set aside to count our blessings and begin our celebration of the holiday season.

Even in these difficult economic times, we all have reasons to be thankful.

What will you think about and be thankful for throughout next Thursday while preparing and sitting down to your Thanksgiving meal?

Please take a few minutes to tell us. We would like to share your thoughts with readers on Thanksgiving - and perhaps your thoughts will remind others that they have things to be thankful for, too.

E-mail your comments to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and include your name and area where you live.   

Feeling anxious?

As the stock market has been going down in recent weeks, the level of anxiety for many has been going up.

The deteriorating economy has caused people of all ages to consider, and reconsider, plans and assumptions.

We would like to hear your answer to this question: “;What are you most anxious about as the economy has gotten worse?”;

Please e-mail your response to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and include your name and the area where you live. If you would be willing to talk with a reporter, please include your phone number.