State roundup for December 21
Oahu preps for smoking bans
HONOLULU (AP) — No smoking signs are being posted to remind the public it will soon be illegal to smoke at Oahu parks and bus stops.
The smoking bans go into effect Jan. 1.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell posted signs Thursday at Thomas Square Park and a nearby bus stop.
Caldwell signed a bill banning smoking at all city parks and beaches, except golf courses. He also signed another bill banning smoking within 20 feet of a bus stop or shelter.
The City Council unanimously passed the bills in July.
Penalties range from a $100 fine for the first violation to $500 for three or more violations.
Proposed rules for killing birds
HONOLULU (AP) — Wildlife officials have proposed rules that will allow state and federal agencies to kill cattle egrets and barn owls.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has published proposed rules that would allow the birds to be euthanized.
Both are introduced species to Hawaii, and encroach on native birds. Barn owls will eat native newborn Pueo, while cattle egrets dominate habitats populated by endangered Ae’o and Hawaiian stilts.
Public comments on the plan will be accepted until Feb. 3.
Proposed rule: http://is.gd/CPVLSu
Obama set to arrive on Oahu
HONOLULU (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama and his family will be traveling to Hawaii.
They were due to leave Washington Friday aboard Air Force One and arrive in Honolulu just after midnight today.
The president doesn’t have any public events scheduled during his time back in the islands.
He’s expected to stay in the same Kailua neighborhood where he has spent the year-end holidays since he was president elect.
In previous years, the president has played golf, visited Hanauma Bay and ventured into Kailua town for shave ice. Obama was born in Honolulu. The Punahou School graduate spent most of his childhood on Oahu until he left for the mainland to attend college.
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