POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 6, 2011
Question: Is there some way to check daily vog levels? It affects me a lot, as well as several friends. If I’m feeling really sick, it would be good to see whether it’s because of the vog. Is there a website or someplace to check?
Answer: You can call the state Department of Health’s toll-free vog help line at 866-767-5044 for daily updates on vog levels or check the governor’s website, hawaii.gov/gov/vog.
As we explained previously — archives.starbulletin.com/content/20081106
_Vog_poses_little_threat_away_from_Big_Isle — health officials say if you don’t live on the Big Island, you are not at risk for exposure to sulfur dioxide emissions from continuing eruptions of Kilauea volcano.
They say the distance the other islands are from the volcano is too great for the sulfur dioxide being emitted to travel in high enough levels to cause health concerns, especially among asthma sufferers.
However, particulate matter — dust, soot and other tiny bits of matter — does make their way to the other islands, and people with respiratory problems, such as asthma and emphysema, are advised to take precautions.
Question: Whenever we have a tsunami warning, I worry about the animals at the Honolulu Zoo. It seems like a vulnerable area to keep the animals. What are the tsunami plans for the animals?
Answer: Unfortunately, there is no way or place to transport the animals away from the zoo, which is in a tsunami evacuation zone.
“During any disaster warning, whether it be tsunami or hurricane, the animals are secured in their holding areas, and zoo staff are placed close by to enter the zoo once it is safe to do so,” said Sidney Quintal, director, city Department of Enterprise Services.
He said staff normally are housed across the street from the zoo on the upper floors of a hotel or up at the Kapiolani Community College campus.
Question: I am trying to find out why the contractor who installed the new concrete steps at the Kakaako Waterfront Park Point Panic area failed to install railings.
It is an accident waiting to happen. Why does the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which has jurisdiction over these premises, do nothing to correct this dangerous problem? Your help will hopefully save someone's life in the near future as high surf makes these steps hazards to those who try and use them! These steps are used by numerous surfers, bodysurfers and others who frequent this area.
Answer: Yours was the first of two complaints we received about the missing rails.
There apparently was a delay with the fabricator, but the railings finally were installed late last week, said Richard Kuitunen, asset manager for the Hawaii Community Development Authority.
The stair replacement was part of a $3.5 million project that began in 2009, which includes repairing the sea wall, trellis columns and walkways; replacing promenade lights, walkway footlights, all showers, bollards and trellis lights; and installing new picnic tables and benches, new horseshoe barriers and security gates at comfort stations.
The project is nearing completion, Kuitunen said.