Parking Jenga

Parking Jenga

THE END OF THE ROAD, KAUAI — Julia Lovett and David Werner thought they’d found the perfect spot for their rental car just across the street from the first parking lot on the way to Ke’e Beach early Thursday afternoon.

“It took us five minutes to find this spot,” Werner said, unloading his backpack from the car. “We got lucky.”

Well, they almost got lucky.

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David Werner studies a parking ticket at Ke’e Beach, where many are parked illegally along the highway.

As Werner spoke the words, two cars from Kauai Police Department swept by and an officer warned them over a megaphone that they’d be ticketed if their vehicle was still parked there when the officers got back.

“We got bounced by the 5-0,” Werner announced to the second half of his eight-person party, which was jammed into another car searching for parking in the area. “We’ll get popped if we park here.”

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Tsunami advice

If a tsunami hits Kauai, go to higher ground.

A tsunami watch was issued for the state of Hawaii yesterday due to an 8.3 magnitude earthquake almost five miles underwater in the Pacific off the coast of Chile.

“In this case, an earthquake in Chile, it’s several hours before it’d reach Hawaii,” said Stephen Taylor, a professor at Kauai Community College who teaches geology and oceanography. “Earthquakes in Chile happen quite often and we’ve had several of those recorded in modern history.”

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Hazy rules

Written for The Argus Observer. Printed on August 23, 2015.

PAYETTE, IDAHO— The evolution of electronic nicotine devices, commonly known as e-cigarettes, has left the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a cloud of dust — or vapor — and now the agency is struggling to regulate the growing industry.

According to Michael Felberbaum, press officer for the FDA, the administration is researching all aspects of e-cigarettes and is pushing new rules that would extend the agency’s authority to regulate “additional products that meet the legal definition of a tobacco product.”

“Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed by the president in 2009, FDA can deem additional tobacco products to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act,” Felberbaum said.

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Fears smolder over pot grows

Written for The Argus Observer. Published on August 12, 2015

ONTARIO, OR — A new concern has popped up on Ontario Fire Chief Al Higinbotham’s radar, and that is the fire hazard that cannabis grow sites — both medical and recreational — could have brought with them when they moved into Ontario.

It was a July 24 fire in an unoccupied Portland grow house that piqued Higinbotham’s interest. He said Portland fire officials initially thought the cause of the fire was related to cannabis growing practices. Ultimately the fire’s cause was found to be an error in electrical wiring, according to an article from Portland’s KATU, channel 2 news, but the concept still has Higinbotham worried.

“We’re seeing that a lot, people buying or renting houses here in Ontario and just using them for grow sites,” Higinbotham said. “We haven’t had any fires in grows yet, but that’s not to say that we won’t.”

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