State roundup for December 24
Sonar training moves forward
HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Navy is moving forward with a plan that will intensify its sonar use off Southern California and Hawaii.
The Navy announced its final action Monday, which comes after the National Marine Fisheries Service granted the Navy permits for its plans that will intensify sonar use in the Pacific Ocean over the next five years.
The military estimates the training and testing program could inadvertently kill 155 whales or dolphins off Hawaii and Southern California, mostly from explosives.
Environmentalists are suing NMFS to demand the Navy consider alternatives.
Earthjustice attorney David Henkin says the groups were hopeful, but not optimistic, the lawsuit would lead the Navy to look at a range of alternatives.
Navy officials estimate its activities would have a negligible impact on marine mammal populations.
Hunters may aid botanical garden
HONOLULU (AP) — A group of hunters is offering to help clear feral pigs from a windward Oahu botanical garden.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is considering the Oahu Pig Hunters Association’s proposal to trap and capture pigs at Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe for free. Caldwell delayed renewing a $53,000 federal contract to remove the pigs, pending a review of the hunting group’s offer.
Caldwell said in light of budget concerns, it makes sense to consider the offer.
He said he likes the idea that the hunters will take the pig meat for consumption, instead of animal carcasses taking up space in a landfill.
New bike repair station on Oahu
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu transportation officials have installed the first of what they hope could eventually be multiple bicycle repair stations across the city.
The new tune-up stand is part of the city’s effort to encourage more people to get around town by bike.
The new station is located outside the Fasi Municipal Building and can be used by bicyclists to pump up tires, tighten gears and complete basic repairs.
Transportation services director Mike Formby says the station was installed two weeks ago and cost about $1,000.
Bicycling advocates have teamed up with city and state officials in an effort to create a bike-share program in Honolulu. The goal is to have bicycles available to be rented and dropped off at various stations around the city.
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