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Kokua Line

Motorized boats are allowed in Ala Wai, state agency says

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QUESTION: Is there a city ordinance that prohibits motor-boating in the Ala Wai Canal? I saw two men fishing from a motor boat opposite the Ala Wai Golf Course Sunday afternoon, Jan. 30.

ANSWER: There are no prohibitions against using a motorized vessel in the canal, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, Oahu District.

DLNR, not the city, has jurisdiction over the waterway.

Boats must maintain a "slow, no wake" speed at all times and may anchor. However, we are told most boats do not anchor because there are no waves, only a little current.

DLNR allows recreational fishing but not commercial activity.

Both the Ala Wai and Kapalama canals are regulated fishing areas.

DLNR rules allow fishermen in those canals to take any legal-size fish in season with one line, or one rod and line, with no more than two hooks; to take crabs with not more than 10 nets and the nets not exceeding 2 feet in diameter; and to take shrimp for bait with a hand net that is not more than 3 feet in any dimension.

Within the Ala Wai Canal only, you are allowed to take up to 50 "tabai" or mosquito fish, ‘o’opu akupa, tilapia or a combination of them per day for noncommercial purposes, with a single small mesh net that is not more than 3 feet in any dimension including the handle and any attachment.

Commercial marine licensees with a bait license may take nehu, iao and other authorized baitfish for bait purposes, while licensed pond owners or operators may take young mullet or other small fish.

QUESTION: I have heard that the Social Security Administration will convert monthly payments to its clients from paper checks to direct deposit sometime this year. Do those of us still receiving paper checks need to contact the SSA to provide them with a bank account number, or will they mail us something to fill out?

ANSWER: The U.S. Treasury Department is requiring anyone applying for Social Security benefits on or after May 1 to receive their payments electronically, said Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay, spokeswoman for the SSA in Honolulu.

People who now receive paper checks have until March 1, 2013, to make the switch to direct deposit. You will be notified by mail on what you need to do, Yamamoto-Burigsay said.

For people who might not have a bank account, the Treasury Department has set up a "Direct Express" debit card to receive benefits.

All this is being done because "No. 1, (direct deposit is) safer; No. 2, it’s easier and more reliable; and No. 3, it provides taxpayer savings," Yamamoto-Burigsay said.

By requiring direct deposit, the Treasury Department hopes to save $120 million a year.

In Hawaii, 220,491 people were receiving Old-Age (retirement), Survivors and Disability Insurance — popularly known as Social Security — benefits as of December 2009. Another 24,331 were receiving Supplemental Security Income (a federal cash assistance program for low-income aged, blind or disabled persons).

MAHALO

To the honest person who turned in the case of tennis balls that I had bought from Costco Hawaii Kai on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Unknowingly, I left it in the parking lot. Thank you so very much. — Grateful Senior

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

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