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Kapiolani repairs will slow traffic

Drivers should expect delays along Kapiolani Boulevard and surrounding streets today as a result of a break in a 12-inch water main at the intersection of Kapiolani and Date Street.

The break occurred around 4:30 p.m. yesterday and temporarily closed traffic on Kapiolani in both directions. The intersection was reopened an hour later and a contraflow lane was opened on Kapiolani.

Two high-rise buildings and a dozen mid- and low-rise buildings were without water as repairs continued through the evening. Water wagons were dispatched to Kapiolani Boulevard at the Date Street and University Avenue intersections.

Board of Water Supply spokesman Kurt Tsue said water service is expected to be restored before the morning rush hour, but repair of the damaged roadway is expected to continue through most of the day .

Recycling center use questioned

HILO » Millions of dollars have been spent to build a recycling center in Hilo that has yet to see its first bag of rubbish.

The $9.1 million, 20,000-square-foot "sort station" was intended to be used for recycling, reuse and on-site composting. But it has undergone several design changes and is now being used to process abandoned cars and to store equipment.

Former Mayor Harry Kim has expressed disappointment the facility is not being used for its original purpose.

Kim says the sort station was supposed to complement a waste-to-energy plan as a replacement for the Hilo landfill.

Current Mayor Billy Kenoi says he expects to make a decision in the next few months on use of the facility.

Forest refuge marks silver anniversary

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, to be celebrated at an open house on Saturday.

The refuge covers more than 30,000 acres of native forest and grassland on the windward slope of Mauna Kea and more than 5,000 acres of forest on the leeward slope of Mauna Loa.

It is home to 14 native bird species, including eight that are endangered.

Project leader Jim Kraus says parts of the refuge looked more like a cattle ranch than a rain forest 25 years ago. Today, visitors may see 50-foot koa trees planted by volunteers.

The open house will include guided rain-forest hikes from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call 443-2300 for reservations by Wednesday.


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