Fire Ant Infestation A Serious Community Matter
Kidani’s Korner…Sen. Michelle Kidani
When the state Department of Agriculture (DOA) confirmed that fire ants had established a foothold in Mililani Mauka, I began planning a town hall meeting with my colleague, Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz.
This is an urgent matter, and our community needs information about how to deal with infestations and prevent the tiny pests from spreading.
The little fire ant is considered one of the world’s most invasive species. It has been found on Hawaii island since 1999, and in December 2013 was detected on Maui and Oahu. More recently, six acres in Waimanalo have been treated to eradicate the pest.
In Mililani Mauka, the ants may have been present for several years. A thorough inspection has identified the infested area in 15 to 20 house lots along Auina Street, in an adjacent gulch and across the gulch along Kopalani Street.
Our town hall session was packed with people from communities across Oahu because of the seriousness of this pest whose painful bite can be especially harmful to young children and pets.
The DOA said the ants can be eradicated if people are careful about not spreading them, and if we cooperate with the use of pesticides and other control and detection programs that will occur over the next several months.
There are several sources of information online that are helpful. A good overview may be found at hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/main/lfai nfo. If you have questions or concerns, call the DOA Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (643-7378).
Vote — your right and your responsibility
Primary election day is less than two weeks away: Saturday, Aug. 9. If you are a registered voter, please make sure you cast your ballot for the candidates of your choice.
You may vote by mail with absentee ballots that have already gone out to voters who requested them. You may still request an absentee ballot for the primary until Aug. 2.
You also may vote “absentee” in person at walk-in polling places, open now through Aug. 7. On Oahu, walk-in voting sites are at Honolulu Hale downtown or at Kapolei Hale in West Oahu. Both locations are open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Election Day, polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you have questions about any of these options, call the Office of Elections at 453-VOTE (453-8683).
Back to School
Students and teachers on Mililani Middle School’s multi-track “year-round” calendar already have gone back to their classrooms. This week the 2014-2015 Hawaii public school year begins for the remainder of our campuses. We have such high expectations for our youngsters, and we have had much to be proud of over the last several years as we celebrate their successes. I look forward to visiting the schools in our community again this year to learn about the exciting things our students and their families discover. Have a great school year; see you on campus!
Contact state Sen. Michelle Kidani, D-District 18 (Mililani to Kunia) at the State Capitol, Room 228, by phone at 586-7100, or email email@example.com.