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For Monday, November 7, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


Space station to grace isle skies tonight

The International Space Station will sail over Honolulu just after sunset tonight.

Weather permitting, the space station will be visible high in the southwestern sky around 6:45 p.m.

Appearing as a bright, nonblinking light, the ISS will rise in the northwest just before 6:40 p.m. and move to the left, passing at its highest point just under the bright star Altair in the constellation Aquila, the eagle. It will blink out in the southeast as it enters the earth's shadow at 6:50 p.m.

Jupiter and the moon, nearly full, will be visible in the east.

For early risers the space station will make another bright pass on Nov. 15, rising in the southwest at about 6:03 a.m. and traveling up to the right, passing in front of the moon at 6:06. It will set in the northeast about 6:09 a.m.

At an altitude of 242 miles, the space station travels at a speed of roughly 17,500 mph. It is visible just before dawn or after sunset when it is illuminated by the sun.

Aboard are two Americans, mission commander Mike Fossum and flight engineer Dan Burbank; three Russians, Sergei Volkov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov; and one Japanese astronaut, Satoshi Furukawa.

Big trees sought for national contest

The state is seeking nominations for candidates it will enter in a national competition for the largest trees.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to compete in the Big Trees contest run by American Forests. The challenge is to find the largest tree of particular species.

The state is looking for large trees of the following varieties: wauke, niu or coconut, hau, manele and aalii.

To nominate a tree, send the department's Division of Forestry and Wildlife three measurements: trunk circumference measured in inches, height measured in feet and average crown spread measured in feet.

Also include the exact location of the trees so officials can verify candidates.

The information should be sent to Sheri Mann, the division's Cooperative Resource Management forester, at by Dec. 1.

Upgrade harbor, residents tell DLNR

Improvements to Honokohau Harbor were high on the wish list presented by West Hawaii residents to state officials on Saturday.

About 100 residents turned out at Kona-waena High School for a Department of Land and Natural Resources "listening session," West Hawaii Today reported.

DLNR Director William Aila said the department intends to have a contractor increase water pressure for the hoses on the harbor's north side and fix lighting throughout the harbor. Paving will also begin before year's end, he said.

Aila said he is also awaiting Department of Health approval of a water quality permit to replace one of the launch ramps.

"We have been paying attention," he said.

Comments sought on plans for forests

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is inviting the public to provide comments on a draft forest reserve management plan for 10,505-acre Kealia and Moloaa reserves on Kauai.

The forestry division manages hunting, monitors the health of the forest, conducts seabird research and surveys, and maintains hiking trails in the reserves. The management plan also addresses erosion prevention and alien species control.

Plans are posted at

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