HPD opposes bill banning distractions while drivingTalking on a wireless phone, combing your hair and eating would be outlawed under a bill passed yesterday by three Senate committees.
A driver would be fined up to $500 or jailed for up 30 days for engaging in "distracting activities" under Senate Bill 411 Senate Draft 2, which cleared the Senate Transportation, Tourism and Judiciary committees and now goes to a Senate floor vote.
Distracting activities include personal grooming, consuming food, reading, interacting with passengers or pets and using an electronic device such as a radio, personal digital assistant or wireless.
But the Honolulu Police Department opposes the bill, saying it does not need changes in the law to target those who are inattentive to driving.
"We can already cite for this," said Honolulu police Capt. Bryan Wauke.
Under the bill, law enforcement agencies would be required to list on traffic accident reports whether a distracting activity played a role in causing an accident before Dec. 31, 2003, so a report can be compiled for the 2004 Legislature.
Land Board sets hunting feesThe state Board of Land & Natural Resources has established new hunting fees.
The fees are expected to generate an additional $25,000 in the remainder of this fiscal year and another $200,000 next fiscal year, the Department of Land & Natural Resources said.
The money will be used to lease hunting land on Lanai and to develop other mammal- and bird-hunting areas, among other purposes.
For hunts or seasons that require a permit, lottery application or tag, fees are established of $5 to $10 for residents and $20 to $25 for nonresidents.
The cost of a Hawaii Wildlife Stamp, needed to validate a hunting license, will go to $10 from $5.
The Land Board also set the Big Island turkey season from today to April 14.
For further details, see www.state.hi.us/dlnr/chair/pio/pionr.htm.
Beach donation gets Kauai land deal approvedLIHUE >> A four-year battle between environmentalists and a Colorado developer over an upscale residential development named Kealia Kai ended last night with the Kauai County Council giving approval for the project to proceed.
The Council unanimously accepted a deed from the developer granting Kauai 57 acres at Donkey Beach for use as a county park. The donation of the park land was a requirement of a special use permit issued earlier by the Kauai Planning Commission.
Without the donation, the permit for the homes on the bluff above Donkey Beach would have been voided, and the project would have died.
Environmentalists fought restrictions in the deed originally offered by developer Tom McCloskey of Aspen, Colo. The version presented to the Council last night eliminated restrictions that would have allowed the park to be open only during daylight hours.
McCloskey also took out language that would have allowed his private security guards to patrol Donkey Beach, which for decades has been a nude sunbathing beach.
State to halt case against former estate trusteeThe state has decided to halt two criminal cases pending against former Kamehameha Schools trustee Richard Wong and his former brother-in-law Jeffrey Stone.
Deputy Attorney General Lance Goto said Wednesday that immediate action would be taken to dismiss the cases that are currently on appeal before the state Supreme Court.
The decision stems, in part, from last Friday's ruling by the high court that affirmed the dismissal of theft charges against Wong and fellow former trustee Henry Peters, Goto said.
The Supreme Court also affirmed Circuit Judge Michael Town's dismissal of theft and bribery charges against Stone, as well as conspiracy and hindering-prosecution charges against Wong's former wife Mari.
The state's overall investigation involved the sale of estate land under a Hawaii Kai condominium complex to Stone and his partners.
Better care at life's end wins grants from HMSAThe HMSA Foundation has awarded grants to several organizations to improve end-of-life care.
The Hawaiian Islands Hospice Organization received $15,000 toward a public-awareness campaign in partnership with the Hawaii Association of Broadcasters. It will focus on the issue of sensitive and appropriate care of the dying, and resources and information available at Kokua Mau.
A $130,687 grant also was given to the University of Hawaii Center on Aging, John A. Burns School of Medicine, for a three-year program called Appropriate Care of Residents of Nursing Homes. The program is aimed at improving end-of-life care for residents in eight nursing facilities across Hawaii.
The Center on Aging will work with nursing-home staff to improve their ability to assess and manage pain, identify and respond to grieving and arrange for spiritually and culturally appropriate care for residents at the end of their lives.
Both organizations are partners of Kokua Mau, Hawaii's Center for End-of-Life Resources, which began three years ago with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Big Island gets grant to fight violent crimeThe U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Hawaii County a $240,000 grant for its Community Gun Violence Prosecution Program, according to U.S. Rep. Patsy T. Mink.
Administered through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the program provides direct funding for chief prosecutors to hire assistant prosecutors.
These assistants focus on cases involving violent crimes committed with guns and other violations of gun statutes involving drug trafficking crimes, according to Mink (D-Rural Oahu, Neighbor Islands).
Health fair recognizes Nutrition MonthThe Hawaii Dietetic Association and Victoria Ward Ltd. will present a Nutrition, Health and Wellness Fair tomorrow at Ward Warehouse in recognition of March as National Nutrition Month.
Hawaii physician and nutritionist Terry Shintani will give a seminar based on his newest book, "The Good Carbohydrate Revolution," from 9 to 10 a.m. in the Kewalo Conference Room, second floor.
The Moca Java Cafe at Ward Center will feature Shintani's Hawaii Diet menu.
The health fair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with 40 organizations sharing their information and expertise, including kidney screening kits, free blood pressure readings, tofu samplings and recipes, cholesterol and glucose screenings, food safety information and "Ask-A-Dietician" and more.
The Honolulu Police Department will present its Keiki Print Safety Awareness program in the Kakaako Conference Room, and Honolulu Emergency Services will offer medical identifications.
The Senior Medication Management & Wellness Program encourages fair-goers to bag their over-the-counter and prescribed medications, herbal and nutritional supplements for review by a program pharmacist.
The fair is free and open to the public. For more information, call 591-8411.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corrections and clarifications
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Police arrest grandma in alleged hammer attackHonolulu police arrested a 65-year-old grandmother for allegedly hitting her granddaughter twice in the arm with a hammer yesterday at a Waianae home. Police arrested the suspect for assault, then later charged her with abuse of a family member.
Arson suspected in blaze at Ewa Beach home
A fire that destroyed half of an Ewa Beach home last night was intentionally set, police and fire officials said.
Officials estimate the damage at $120,000. No one was injured in the fire. The 45-year-old man who lived at the home at 91-231 Fort Weaver Road was next door visiting a neighbor when the fire broke out at about 7:17 p.m., fire officials said.
Man charged in standoff with police in McCullyA man who was involved in a seven-hour standoff with police at his McCully apartment on Wednesday was charged last night with harassment, disorderly conduct and abuse of a household member.
Bail for Calvin Kodama, 45, is $4,000. Police said when officers went to Kodama's apartment at 910 Pumehana St. to respond to a spouse-abuse call, Kodama threatened the officers with a knife and said he was going to shoot them. Kodama had a large kitchen knife but no gun. He kept police at bay for more than seven hours before surrendering.
Oahu residents warned of Canadian phone scamCrimeStoppers and the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii are warning the public of a Canadian "Top Choice" phone scam. Police said various individuals, possibly working as a group, are contacting Oahu residents and informing them that they have won money.
Police said the caller instructs residents that before they can claim the prize money, taxes or a processing fee must be paid in advance. The caller requests that a money-gram, money order or cashier's check be sent to an address in Quebec, Vancouver or Montreal.
This week, police said the callers posed as agents from the "Canadian Federal Board of Claims." One woman said she was contacted yesterday and was told that she would need to send $4,750 to get the package regarding the program. Another woman reported last week said that she sent $14,000 in money-grams so she could win her prize of $100,000.
Police said the individuals making the calls have used the names Jo L. Davenport and Charmaine Powell.
According to Honolulu police, Canadian law does not require that taxes or processing fees be paid prior to receiving a prize.
Alleged knife threat gets woman, 18, arrestedAn 18-year-old woman allegedly swung a knife at the manager of a Zippy's Restaurant for having her car towed from the parking lot.
Police said the woman and her boyfriend parked the car in the Kailua Zippy's at 44 Oneawa St. and went somewhere else. The couple returned as a tow truck operator was about to tow their car away. Police said the woman swung the knife at the restaurant manager during an argument over the drop fee charged by the tow-truck operator. She was arrested for terroristic threatening.
Squatters' candle blamed in West Maui house fireWAILUKU >> An abandoned house in West Maui apparently occupied by squatters sustained $25,000 in damage yesterday morning in a fire, according to a fire official.
Assistant Fire Chief Greg Chong Kee said the fire started when a candle ignited curtains in a bedroom of the house at 857 Kopili Place in Lahaina.
Chong Kee said the fire also caused about $1,500 in damage to a vehicle, but no one was hurt, and the blaze was under control about 25 minutes after the alarm at 5:57 a.m.
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