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Newswatch

For Tuesday, June 8, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:26 a.m. HST, Jun 08, 2010


To our readers: Pardon our dust

While our first day went smoothly overall, we did have a few glitches and we apologize.

» For any questions regarding circulation, including subscribing, not receiving a paper or stopping a paper while on vacation, call 538-NEWS (6397).
» For classified advertising, call 521-9111.
» We also received inquiries about running a daily morning television schedule in addition to our prime-time schedule. The Sunday paper will include a weekly TV tab, which lists programs for mornings and evenings for an entire week. It also includes sports and movie highlights.

Wasp to tackle caterpillar on Big Isle

The state Agriculture Department was scheduled to unleash a tiny Tanzanian wasp today to attack its arch nemesis: the nettle caterpillar, a major pest on the Big Island.

A state entomologist traveled to Tanzania and found the Aroplectrus dimerus that preys on the stinging caterpillar and nothing else found in Hawaii.

The nettle caterpillar, which probably rode in on Rhapis palm seedlings from Taiwan, has already arrived on Maui and Oahu but has not been a big pest on these islands yet.

Nettle caterpillars grow to about 1 inch long, are white with black bands and have black bristly spines that can cause a burning sensation when touched.

The wasp, the size of a gnat, does not sting, bite or otherwise harm humans or other animals, said Janelle Saneishi, Department of Agriculture spokeswoman.

Waikiki box jellyfish influx eases

The influx of box jellyfish subsided in Waikiki yesterday with minimal sightings and stings, according to the city Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division.

Lifeguards reported 21 box jellyfish in Waikiki and two beachgoers who suffered stings yesterday. On Sunday about 400 jellyfish were observed in Waikiki, and 112 swimmers suffered stings.

No jellyfish were observed at Ala Moana Beach, Waimea Bay and Hanauma Bay yesterday.

At Maili Beach about 100 jellyfish were reported, but no stings.

An influx of box jellyfish typically swarms to the beaches eight to 10 days after a full moon.

TheBus offers training for disabled

TheBus will now provide disabled bus riders who use wheelchairs and scooters a training session to learn to secure their devices on buses, the company announced yesterday.

The new Transit Mobility Training Course will help new riders to learn how to enter and exit the bus using the ramp and lift.

Trainers will also assess bus patrons' mobility devices to find the best place on their devices to secure them to on-board straps. Those points will be marked with color-coded tape. Irregular-size or difficult-to-access devices needing an extra strap will be marked with blue tape.

Visually impaired riders can also take advantage of the program to familiarize themselves with TheBus.

To schedule an appointment with the training department of TheBus, call 848-4550. Go to thebus.org for more information.

Meanwhile, bus fares will go up July 1 to $2.50 for adults from $2.25, and $1.25 for youths from $1.

Monthly bus passes for July will go on sale June 20 for $60, up from $50, which in turn was up from $40 last July. That is a 50 percent increase in a year.

Homeless on Maui face disease tests

KAHULUI » State health officials are teaming up with the Salvation Army to test Maui's homeless and other adults at risk for infection of HIV and hepatitis C.

The initiative includes the offer of meal coupons as well as a chance to get a free blood test. Results are to be ready in 45 minutes.

The first tests are scheduled for next Tuesday at the Salvation Army in Kahului.

After that, Salvation Army volunteer Cliff Spencer says he will take a Department of Health worker to where the Salvation Army delivers social services—on the streets and at beaches.

Spencer hopes to reach as many as 300 people in the first round of testing for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, or hepatitis C, a liver disease.

Coming up

Ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro hosts Music Is Good Medicine, a nonprofit organization that promotes using music to help improve the community, at 6:30 p.m. today at Kapolei Public Library.

For a sign language interpreter or other accommodations, call 693-7050.





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Box jellyfish influx subsides in Waikiki




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