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State / In Brief

August 8, 2011
The Associated Press

Plant science convention held in Honolulu

HONOLULU - More than 1,800 scientists from around the world are gathering in Honolulu to discuss plant research.

The meeting started Saturday at the Hawaii Convention Center and ends Wednesday. The meeting is to cover research on the spread of insects, weeds and pathogens through global commercial trade. Attendees are also to discuss tropical forest pathology and maintaining bio-security for crop production.

The convention center said the event was expected to bring $8.5 million in state revenue.


Work to start on removing beach barriers

HONOLULU - City officials are planning to remove sand barriers piece by piece in hopes of slowing the erosion of a popular Honolulu beach.

HawaiiNewsNow reported that the city will begin work today on dismantling concrete sand grabbers on the shoreline of the Lanikai area of Kailua Beach.

In the last several years, erosion has led to less vegetation and room for beachgoers to play.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department director said the sand grabbers' exposure has created a safety hazard as well.

Once the blocks are gone, the city plans to take sand displaced by the regular opening of a nearby stream mouth and put it in place of the sand grabbers.


Wild Big Isle donkeys headed to Mainland

HILO - In an effort to control the Big Island's wild donkey population, about 100 of them are being taken to California.

The Humane Society of the United States is planning to take the donkeys on a chartered plane next month.

Hawaii spokeswoman Inga Gibson said they'll go to animal sanctuaries.

Drought conditions led the donkeys from the highlands into Waikoloa Village in search of water. Donkeys were appearing near the highway and a school.

The Humane Society and a local veterinarian have been trapping and sterilizing animals from the rapidly growing population estimated at about 400 to 600 donkeys. At the end of the month, a clinic is to be set up at a ranch to castrate captured male donkeys.

Gibson said donors will help with costs of the chartered flight.


NRC violation notice in uranium probe

HILO - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigating depleted uranium at Army sites on the Big Island and Oahu has issued a violation notice.

West Hawaii Today reported Friday that the notice said a Security Level III violation occurred. But the agency said the Army is to be credited for notifying the NRC about contamination at Pohakuloa Training area on the Big Island and Schofield Barracks on Oahu.

NRC spokesman Scott Burnell said the Army provided adequate information for the violation and that corrective action has been taken. The NRC said the Army might be subject to increased inspection efforts.

In September, the Army completed a health risk assessment that found ''no likely adverse impacts'' to people working, visiting or living near the training area.



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