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High-surf warning issued across state

The National Weather Service issued a high-surf advisory yesterday for the north and west shores of Oahu, Kauai and Niihau, the north shores of Maui and Molokai, and the Kona and Kohala coasts of the Big Island.

A large northwest swell was expected to peak today and ease tonight, the weather service said.

The warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow.

Surf on the north shores of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Kauai and Niihau was expected in the 18- to 22-foot range.

The west shores of Oahu, Kauai and Niihau were due for surf between 12 and 18 feet, forecasters said. Surf along the Kona and Kohala coasts was expected to be between 6 and 10 feet.

The high surf will likely be accompanied by rip currents and localized beach erosion, the weather service warned.

Telescope’s ‘astigmatism’ delays viewing

A telescope installed atop Mauna Kea in April has what its director calls "astigmatism" and will not be ready to make scientific observations for several more weeks, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports.

Hoku Ke’a, the 36-inch research telescope owned and operated by the University of Hawaii at Hilo, replaced the university’s 24-inch telescope but still has problems.

"The real big one that we’re struggling with is the telescope has a little bit of what you’d call in the normal world astigmatism," telescope director David James said. "So we’re just trying to get rid of those little optical aberrations." Astigmatism is an irregularity in the curving of a lens (in the eye, the cornea) that blurs vision.

The telescope was built by Colorado-based Equinox Interscience with a $640,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Taser lawsuit could affect use by officers

A lawsuit over Maui police use of a Taser on a woman in a domestic violence case is expected to help set guidelines for Taser use when the case is reviewed next month by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Maui News reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for more limits on police use of the 50,000-volt weapon.

"Our position is that Tasers should be used only in lieu of lethal force where an officer would otherwise reach for a firearm," said ACLU Hawaii attorney Dan Gluck. "What we’re finding, both here and nationally, is Tasers being used in a host of situations where lethal force would never be contemplated."

In Hawaii all four police departments have Tasers, which were fired 174 times last year and 111 times so far this year. Police say use of the Tasers has led to fewer injuries to officers, suspects and victims.

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