Mechanical issues close visitor center
The Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is expected to be closed through September due to mechanical issues with the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system at the facility.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said Monday that it will notify the public when a date for reopening is determined.
The refuge will remain open for wildlife observation from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays. Visitors continue to have access to the refuge's bird viewing area to observe Hawaiian wetland birds and nesting Hawaiian stilts and coots in their natural habitat, along with other wetland species.
The refuge is closed Fridays to Sundays and all general holidays.
The Kealia Coastal Boardwalk is open and accessible seven days a week from sunrise to 7 p.m. and provides opportunities to observe Hawaii's waterbirds.
The refuge is located at Mile 6 of Mokulele Highway in north Kihei.
For more information, contact Courtney Brown, park ranger, at email@example.com or 268-6316.
Policy continues existing drone ban
Unmanned drones will not be flying in Haleakala National Park anytime soon, following a National Park Service-wide interim policy declared last week.
Actually, there currently are no drone flights permitted at Haleakala National Park, said Polly Angelakis, chief of interpretation and education at the park, on Monday.
Jonathan Jarvis, the Park Service's director, signed a memorandum Friday directing superintendents to write rules prohibiting the launching, landing or operation of unmanned aircraft in their parks. While the parks are drafting their individual rules, the Park Service will be drafting its own rule to ban drone flights in parks nationwide.
Angelakis said that the drone ban will remain in place at Haleakala until the nationwide rules are developed, which could take 18 months or longer.
There will be an opportunity for the public to comment during the rule-making process.
The interim policy gives the Park Service time to evaluate the impacts of unmanned aircraft use on everything from park resources and values to public safety, Angelakis said.
Bells, kettles come out for Leon Day
The Salvation Army and its red kettles will be making a special out-of-season appearance at Wal-Mart and the Kahului Longs Drugs Store on Wednesday to raise funds for families in need.
Bell ringing will take place at the two locations from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"It's about six months until Christmas, and Leon Day (Noel spelled backward) is to remind Hawaii that there is a need for funds throughout the year to assist our local communities and families," Maj. John Chamness of The Salvation Army said in a statement. "Most folks don't realize that one out of every 10 residents in Hawaii is touched by The Salvation Army's compassionate community work each year."
Proceeds collected by The Salvation Army go toward adult day health services; affordable senior housing; at-risk youth services and housing; homeless services; preschool and day care services; and substance abuse treatment.
For more information, call (808) 988-2136 or go to salvationarmyhawaii.org.