- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Oahu plans to send trash to mainland

HONOLULU | With sugar cane and pineapples fading, Hawaii’s next big export to the U.S. mainland could be less sweet — 100,000 tons of trash a year.

In one of the most ambitious municipal disposal plans yet, Oahu, Hawaii’s most populous island, is looking to send some of its garbage on a 2,600-mile voyage to the West Coast.

With 900,000 residents and close to five times as many tourists each year, Oahu is running out of landfill space. And neighbors on other Hawaiian islands say they have enough garbage of their own, thank you very much.

Some Oahu residents see the export of trash as running counter to the “aloha spirit.” .

“That’s certainly not the type of aloha we need to send to the mainland,” said Jeff Mikulina, Sierra Club-Hawaii director. “It’s our responsibility to take care of that here at home.”


Husband charged in army nurse’s death

FAYETTEVILLE | The husband of a Fort Bragg Army nurse whose remains were found amid a brush fire was charged Monday with first-degree murder and a fellow Marine was charged with being an accomplice.

Marine Cpl. John Wimunc, 23, also was charged with first-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson in the death of his wife, Army 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc, a nurse from Dubuque, Iowa. Her body was found Sunday — three days after a fire was discovered in her Fayetteville apartment about 130 miles northwest of Camp Lejeune, the Marine Corps base where the men are stationed.

Authorities also charged Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Alden, 22, with first-degree arson, conspiracy to commit arson and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. Both were arrested Sunday morning at Camp Lejeune.


‘Citizen scientists’ count box turtles

LITTLE ROCK | Arkansans are counting box turtles to help scientists determine whether the animals are thriving or threatened. The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission’s box turtle survey generated more than 2,500 observations between April and December last year.

It continues through this year. “Citizen scientists” were also used to survey bumblebee and tarantula populations.


Submerged trains cause concerns

GUTTENBERG | State officials are concerned about the environmental impact of four diesel locomotives submerged in the Mississippi River and leaking oil. The trains fell into the river last week when a landslide caused by heavy rain damaged the Iowa Chicago and Eastern track.

Cleanup crews are absorbing some of the oil with special fabric.


Rules prohibit waste in bay

BOSTON | Boaters may not empty waste into Cape Cod Bay under new environmental regulations. The change creates a 600-square-mile ocean region from Provincetown to Marshfield where boats must use shoreside pump-out facilities instead. Violators can be fined up to $2,000.

A similar announcement earlier this month applied to Boston Harbor.


State’s jalapeno market on target

ALBUQUERQUE | New Mexico jalapeno farmers should be breathing a sigh of relief.

The state’s jalapeno crop is a month away from harvest, therefore not part of the latest warning regarding the link between salmonella and raw jalapeno and serrano peppers.

But some in the pepper business worry negative publicity could hurt an already struggling industry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are cautioning people at high risk for contracting salmonella to avoid eating raw jalapenos, serrano peppers and fresh cilantro, in addition to certain raw tomatoes.

Confirmed are a record 1,065 cases of salmonella poisoning from April 10 to June 26, including 104 cases in New Mexico.

In New Mexico, a state known for its tasty, quality peppers and home to Hatch, a town that bills itself as the “Chile Capital of the World,” any negative news regarding peppers is a cause for concern.

Gene Baca, vice president of Bueno Foods, one of the largest chili processors in the U.S., said he wants the public to be aware that green chili is not implicated nor are cooked or processed peppers of any kind. All processed peppers are heat-treated, killing any possible contaminants.


Messages sealed in mayor case

DETROIT | A judge says he has decided not to make public a number of the text messages involved in the perjury and misconduct case against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former top aide.

District Court Judge Ronald Giles said his ruling Monday morning applied to texts that could be challenged by the defense as privileged material or would be ruled inadmissible.

Defense lawyers say the messages could threaten the defendants’ ability to get a fair trial and were illegally obtained.

Some messages that have surfaced in media reports have been of a sexual nature.

Mr. Kilpatrick and one-time Chief of Staff Christine Beatty say they are innocent.


City sets rules for street filming

NEW YORK | Filmmakers and photographers who shoot on New York City’s streets and sidewalks now have a clear set of rules dictating when they must obtain permits, after years of relying on loose guidelines that civil liberties advocates said were too vague.

The rules, which were to appear Monday in the City Record, now state clearly that productions must have permits and at least $1 million in insurance if they plan to take over a lane of traffic or leave less than 8 feet of open space on a sidewalk.

Permits and insurance also are required for shoots that involve vehicles or use equipment other than handheld devices or cameras on tripods — items like props, sets, lights, dolly tracks, screens and microphone devices.

Last year, the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed to make formal rules for filming and photography as part of a settlement in a lawsuit against the city on behalf of award-winning documentarian Rakesh Sharma, who was detained in 2005 when he was standing on a Manhattan sidewalk, filming with a handheld camera.


Battle flag issue pushed by NAACP

CINCINNATI | NAACP leaders meeting in Cincinnati say they will step up their campaign against flying of the Confederate battle flag on state grounds in South Carolina.

Dennis Courtland Hayes, interim president and CEO, said Monday at the civil rights organization’s national convention that action plans are in the works and details will follow.

The NAACP and other critics call the rebel flag a symbol of slavery and racism. Its defenders call it an emblem of Southern pride and heritage.

A 2000 compromise removed the flag from the Capitol dome in South Carolina. It now flies on Statehouse grounds near the Confederate Soldier Monument.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has continued a boycott of the state.


Smoke prompts exit at Oak Ridge

OAK RIDGE | Workers have been evacuated from a former uranium enrichment plant in Tennessee after yellow smoke was seen coming out of a ventilation stack.

U.S. Department of Energy spokesman Walter Perry says the smoke was reported about 8:30 a.m. at a building that processes metal and chemical waste in Oak Ridge, about 20 miles west of Knoxville.

Mr. Perry said the department is not asking the public to take any protective action, but workers in surrounding buildings were told to take shelter in place.

No injuries were immediately reported. Firefighters were responding.

The site where uranium for the first atomic bomb was developed has been undergoing cleanup and conversion into an industrial park for several years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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