POSTED: Saturday, February 20, 2010

2 pipe breaks disrupt water

Two water main breaks closed Sand Island State Recreation Area yesterday and forced North Shore customers from Pupukea to Turtle Bay to limit water use.

Department of Land and Natural Resources officials said a broken 16-inch water main outside of the park boundaries serves the park's bathrooms, showers and irrigation system.

The state was expected to reopen the park today after the Board of Water Supply set up an alternate source of water last night while repairs continued. The break, across from the Sand Island Sewer Treatment Plant, was reported at about 8:30 a.m.

The North Shore break in a 16-inch water main at Kamehameha Highway fronting Haleiwa Beach Park was reported at 11:35 p.m. Thursday and repaired by 1:30 p.m. yesterday. But the board asked residents to continue to conserve water by using it for essential needs only—personal hygiene, cooking and drinking, officials said.


Rescue crews search for Canadian snorkeler

The U.S. Coast Guard continued the search last night for a 20-year-old Canadian man last seen Thursday snorkeling off the coast of Kaanapali, Maui.

Yesterday a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and C-130 long-range search plane, both from Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu; an 11-person crew aboard the Coast Guard cutter Ahi, an 87-foot patrol boat; and a crew aboard a 45-foot response boat from Station Maui continued the search with the Maui Fire Department.

Essler was on vacation and was reported missing at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday. He was last seen 100 yards from shore.

Rescue crews reported the weather on scene to be seas with 1- to 2-foot swells and winds from the east-northeast at 11 to 17 mph.


Owner recovers wreckage of aircraft lost in August

LIHUE » The wreckage of a light sport aircraft that crashed Aug. 1 was recovered from Kauai's Hanapepe Valley on Sunday.

The owner of Inter-Island Helicopters, Ken D'Attilio, says the delay was caused by his being off-island for much of late last year and the first part of this year.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board says pilot Thomas Defino and passenger Neil Shoemaker suffered serious injuries when Defino apparently lost control of the aircraft in deteriorating weather conditions. In the report, Defino told an NTSB investigator he lost consciousness when he pulled the emergency parachute a few seconds before the craft crashed.

The parachute caught a tree, stopping the craft and the men from plunging farther.



Big Isle panel freezes pay for Council

HILO » The Hawaii County Salary Commission has decided the salaries of the nine members of the County Council will be frozen until further notice.

Commissioner Margaret Tokunaga said this week that the current economic conditions do not justify granting raises.

Mayor Billy Kenoi said last month that the county is facing a $45 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The looming deficit would balloon to $62 million should the Legislature decide to withhold the county's share of the hotel room tax.

County Managing Director William Takaba said denying the Council raises will save the county around $38,000 a year.

Eight lawmakers now make between $48,000 and $51,000 a year. As chairman, J Yoshimoto is paid $54,000.