State briefs for March 6

Manoa monkeypod tree to be removed without replacement

HONOLULU — City officials have confirmed that a large monkeypod tree in Manoa will be removed.


The tree residing near the busy five-stop intersection at Manoa Road and Oahu Avenue will be removed next week, Hawaii News Now reported Saturday.

A recent inspection found severe decay on the tree that has been in its current spot for more than 50 years.

“It’s sad to think of anything that iconic to the valley not being there anymore,” said Dale Kobayashi with the Manoa Neighborhood Board. “But it’s potentially dangerous because branches fall off and could damage homes or hurt people.”

The decision comes one day after Mayor Kirk Caldwell launched a new campaign to create more shade in Honolulu. Currently, 25 percent of the urban canopy is covered. The city’s goal is to cover 35 percent by the year 2035 to make Oahu more livable for future generations.

Nonetheless, city officials said the iconic monkeypod will not be replaced.

Area residents agree it’s time to take it down.

“The city has a duty to keep our trees in a safe inventory and I think they do a good job given the hundreds of thousands of trees they have to look out for,” Winston Welch with The Outdoor Circle said. “While we’re sad to see it (the monkeypod) come down, I think that it reminds us that these trees do age and a lot of our trees are older and we need to make an effort to replant them.”

Practice of shipping pigs to Hawaii for slaughter ends

HONOLULU — The practice of shipping live pigs to Hawaii for slaughter has ended.

Industry players said a combination of economic forces, including a long decline in locally raised pigs sent to Oahu’s only slaughterhouse, led importers to quit the business, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.

The last pig import was a shipment of 220 hogs that arrived in Honolulu on Sept. 27, state records show.

The practice of shipping pigs to Hawaii arose decades ago to supplement the fresh “hot pork” supply.

Animal rights supporters touted the cessation of imports as a victory in a campaign they had waged for over a decade.

Laurelee Blanchard, founder and president of Maui animal refuge Leilani Farm Sanctuary, heralded the change as an end to a “filthy four-day nightmare journey” where pigs regularly died.

Hawaii Food Products Inc., a major pig importer, got out of the business late last year because of factors that included rising costs for feed, shipping and processing, company CEO Norman Oshiro said.

“It was many small factors here and there,” he said.


Oshiro said a slide in local pig farming put upward pressure on slaughterhouse fees, and that operating hours for processing imported hogs became less convenient.

Jack Beuttell, Kunoa Cattle Co. co-founder, said the practice of shipping live pigs has been declining for years because of imported chilled pork.

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