The Odd Side – September 17, 2013

Hawaii Can’t Fit Woman’s Last Name on License

HONOLULU (AP) – A Hawaii woman’s last name is a real mouthful, containing 36 characters and 19 syllables in all. And it’s so long that she couldn’t get a driver’s license with her correct name.

Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele is in the midst of a fight with state and local officials to ensure that her full name gets listed on a license or ID card. Her name is pronounced: KAY’-ee-hah-nah-EE’-coo-COW’-ah-KAH’-hee-HOO’-lee-heh-eh-KAH’-how-NAH-eh-leh.

The documents only have room for 35 characters. Her name has 35 letters plus a mark used in the Hawaiian alphabet, called an okina.

So Hawaii County instead issued her driver’s license and her state ID with the last letter of her name chopped off. And it omitted her first name.

The 54-year-old Big Island resident wrote her mayor and city councilwoman for help, but the county said the state of Hawaii computer system they used wouldn’t allow names longer than 35 characters.

Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele was compelled to bring attention to the issue after a policeman last month gave her a hard time about her driver’s license when he pulled her over for a traffic stop. She wrote Honolulu media station KHON for help, and her story started getting more attention.

Caroline Sluyter, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said the state is working to increase space for names on driver’s licenses and ID cards.

By the end of the year, the cards will allow 40 characters for first and last names and 35 characters for middle names, she said.

Grocery Receipt Helps Solve Montana Vandalism Case

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) – Police trying to figure out who vandalized a house in a south-central Montana town cracked the case after finding a grocery bag and a receipt in the backyard.

Livingston Police Chief Darren Raney said that a resident reported his house had been targeted by vandals on Aug. 29.

Investigating officers tracked the bag and receipt to a Livingston store, where video from a surveillance camera showed a group of teenage boys purchasing eggs and toilet paper.

Raney tells the Livingston Enterprise the boys, ages 15 and 16, were referred to the juvenile probation officer.

Hawaii to Let Harbor Clean Naturally After Molasses Spill

HONOLULU (AP) – Officials responding to a spill of 1,400 tons of molasses in Hawaii waters plan to let the damage abate naturally, with boat crews collecting thousands of dead fish to determine the extent of environmental damage.

The crews already have collected about 2,000 dead fish from waters near Honolulu Harbor, and they expect to see more in the coming days and possibly weeks, said Gary Gill, deputy director of the Hawaii Department of Health.

“Our best advice as of this morning is to let nature take its course,” Gill told reporters at a news conference at the harbor, where commercial ships passed through discolored, empty-looking waters.

A senior executive for the shipping company responsible, Matson Navigation Co., said it was taking responsibility but hadn’t planned ahead of time for the possibility of a spill.

The state didn’t require Matson to plan for the possibility, Gill and a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.

Vic Angoco, senior vice president for Matson’s Pacific operations, said the company has been loading and transporting molasses at the harbor for about 30 years.

Angoco said the company regrets what happened.

“We take pride in being good stewards of the land, good stewards of the ocean, and in this case, we didn’t live up to our standards,” he said. “And we are truly sorry for that, we’re truly sorry for that.”

More fish have died because of the spill than in any other incident in the area, Gill said. The fish are dying because the high concentration of molasses is making it difficult for them to breathe, said Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

The spill occurred in an industrial area where Matson loads molasses and other goods for shipping. The harbor is west of downtown Honolulu.

Three days after the spill, several patches of discolored water were clearly visible from across the harbor where Matson operates, and fish were tougher than usual to see.

John Hernandez, owner of a fish broker across the harbor from Matson, said he believed it would take years for the waters to restore.

Downstream from the spill, workers collected dead fish in nets at a small sailing club, placing them in plastic bags and blue plastic tubs.

Angoco said Matson temporarily patched the hole and the pipe stopped leaking Tuesday morning. The company was working on a permanent fix.

As much as 233,000 gallons of molasses leaked into the harbor. That’s equivalent to what would fill about seven rail cars or about one-third of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The state has been documenting the collected fish and keeping them on ice for possible testing. Officials were also collecting water samples. The data will allow the department to estimate the duration and severity of the contamination.

Matson ships molasses from Hawaii to the mainland about once a week. Molasses is made at Hawaii’s last sugar plantation, run by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. on Maui.

Milwaukee’s Latest De-Icing Strategy: Cheese Brine

MILWAUKEE (AP) – It’s a road Milwaukee’s been down before: What can the Department of Public Works add to rock salt to help de-ice streets in the winter?

While rock salt is plentiful and inexpensive, some have raised concerns about its long-term effects on roads and the environment. So, this winter, crews will sprinkle in a little cheese brine, the liquid waste product left over in the cheesemaking process. The only downside, the city says, is its distinctive odor.

Milwaukee has experimented with alternative de-icing products before, such as beet juice in 2009 which, when mixed with salt in the city’s trucks, turned into something resembling oatmeal, the Journal Sentinel reported. The city has also used a molasses-type product in the past, but residents complained they were tracking the sticky stuff into their homes.

Polk County, in far western Wisconsin, has used cheese brine since 2009. Officials there say salt trucks spread 30 percent less road salt when using the cheese brine mixture. They also said using the cheese byproduct saved $40,000 in 2009-2010.

The county’s brine is supplied by F & A Dairy, which otherwise would have to find another way of disposing of the waste.