Hawaii has good start to New Year by welcoming a new policy as per which, the legal age smoking in the state has been increased from 18 to 21. Hawaii has become the first state in the US to increase the legal smoking age.
The new law is active since January 1, 2016. As per the new law, consumers should be of at least 21 years old to buy tobacco products including electronic smoking devices. Last June, Governor David Ige signed a new legislation to address smoking issues among adolescents.
A disease caused by a fungus called Ceratocystis fimbriata has killed hundreds of thousands of Hawaii’s iconic and native Ohia trees. Experts at the Department of Land and Natural Resources, (DLNR) Hawaii, said that Rapid Ohia Death (ROD) disease is new to Hawaii and it presently impacts just Big Island forests.
But, the DLNR has cautioned that the disease has the potential of spreading throughout the state.
All the construction equipment and vehicles with regard to Thirty Meter Telescope were removed from Mauna Kea on Wednesday. The equipments and vehicles were removed two weeks after the state Supreme Court cancelled the Thirty Meter Telescope’s permit to build on conservation land of the Big Island Volcano.
The Supreme Court of Hawaii has withdrawn the construction consent for the hotly contested Thirty Meter Telescope project in a quite expected ruling on Wednesday. The court has ordered in a 58-page written opinion that a mistake was done by Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources in giving a building permit for the project ‘prior resolving the hearing of the request for a contested case and before holding the hearing’.
On Wednesday, the Hawaiian Supreme Court revoked a permit that would have allowed the controversial construction of one of the world’s largest telescope on the dormant volcano considered as an ideal location on Earth to view the stars. The court said that constructing the telescope on the mountain Mauna Kea is invalid and the Hawaii’s Board of land and Natural Resources should not have approved the permit in 2011.
The number of people infected with dengue fever is on continuous rise in Hawaii, and officials have requested the public to cooperate with them in limiting the virus spread. On Monday, the state Department of Health said that 112 cases have been reported on Hawaii's Big Island since September 11, which includes 14 visitors to the Aloha State.
Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health, said that Oahu, Maui or Kauai, have seen no cases of dengue fever so far.
Lawmakers have doubts whether Hawaii is putting enough efforts to stop dengue fever outbreak in the Island. They believe the state should do more to deal with the outbreak. In a report released on Friday, dengue fever, transmitted by mosquitoes, has made 88 individuals ill. A week ago, the numbers of confirmed cases were less than half of the current confirmed cases.
Upcoming comprehensive coral reef management plan of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is not going to help Hawaii's coral reefs, according to many experts. They said the plan has neglected ‘aquarium fishery’, which is an important aspect to be considered.
The isolated volcanic archipelago is one of the biggest providers of fish to the US aquarium trade. The state transports thousands of fish to other parts of the country to be sold in various pet stores. As per reports, more than two-third of aquarium fish caught comes from Kona coast.
On Tuesday, the Hawaii Supreme Court suspended a permit to allow a giant telescope to be built on mountain which is considered sacred by many Native Hawaiians. Earlier, the permission was granted by the court to the telescope opponents request for an emergency stay of the effectiveness of the permit till December, 2. But, protestors gathered on Mauna Kea and raised their concern to stop the work of telescope, which has now been delayed since April.
As per latest study published in this month’s Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Ozybenzone present in sunscreen lotions can cause irreversible harm to the Earth’s precious coral reefs. Researchers said that the main cause of coral mortality is the Ozybenzone, chemical present in sunscreen, which sucks nutrients out of coral and bleaches it white.
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