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For Wednesday, November 9, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff and Associated Press


Imported insect to battle invasive plant

The state has completed its final environmental assessment of the release of an insect in Hawaii’s forests to control the invasive strawberry guava.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture said Tuesday the U.S. Forest Service has found a small scale insect native to Brazil to be the best natural way to control the plant’s growth.

The department says the insect will not harm other native plant species.

Officials plan to conduct an initial release at one site with the Forest Service monitoring the results.

Strawberry guava has no natural predators in Hawaii and has spread rapidly since it was introduced as a garden plant in 1825. Officials have said it is pushing out native plants and threatening the survival of native forests.

Suspicious envelopes deemed harmless

The FBI is investigating the contents of four suspicious envelopes that had writing on them that caused concern.

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said, “Everyone’s more cautious because of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference). We’re not taking any chances.”

The FBI notified the Police and Fire departments, which responded Monday afternoon to the University of Hawaii’s law library where the envelopes were uncovered.

Fire personnel determined the envelopes contained no obvious explosives, hazardous chemicals or toxic hazards, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.


2 hearings to focus on bridge upgrades

The Kauai Department of Public Works will hold two community meetings next month on designs for improving the Kapahi, Opaekaa and Puuopae bridges.

The first meeting will be Dec. 7 at the Wailua Homesteads Park pavilion when the Opaekaa and Puuopae bridges will be discussed.

The second meeting, to discuss the Kapahi Bridge, is Dec. 8 at Kapaa Middle School cafeteria.

Both meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m.

In October a county consultant, KAI Hawai‘i Inc., began preliminary studies on the projects, including geotechnical and land surveys that are expected to be complete by the end of December.

For more information or to request special accommodations, call Mike Hunneman with KAI Hawai‘i Inc. at 791-3980 at least five days before the meetings.

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