Maui church files motion to build chapel
WAILUKU >> A Maui church wants a judge to overturn a county planning commission decision against allowing a chapel to be built on the church's land.
Hale O Kaula church, which filed its motion Monday, is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Samuel King on Dec. 12.
The church has asked King to rule that the county's denial of a special-use permit constitutes a "substantial burden" on the free exercise of religion.
Neighbors opposed to expansion on the agricultural-zoned land said they were worried about the traffic and fire hazards and wanted to preserve the rural atmosphere.
The church parcel, which now contains a two-story parsonage and a one-story agricultural building, is at the end of Anuhea Place along a private road.
The county twice denied the group a special-use permit to build a chapel on the same parcel, once in 1995 and again in 2001.
Punchbowl cemetery closures scheduled
The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific's Columbarium will be closed to visitors on two Saturdays -- tomorrow and Oct. 11 -- for preventive maintenance.
It will reopen the following Sundays -- Oct. 5 and 12.
Flowers will be removed from the niche vases in the Columbarium today to allow for high-pressure washing of the six courts and the committal service site tomorrow.
On Oct. 11, caretakers will be applying a protective sealant coat to the Columbarium.
Inouye turns down pay raises for aides
Aides to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye will see no pay increase despite a law signed by President Bush this week making them eligible for a substantial raise, the senator said yesterday.
Inouye essentially said thanks but no thanks to a provision put in motion by Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens that gives senators from the 49th and 50th states the power to give their district office staffers a cost-of-living allowance of up to one-fourth their base pay.
"I cannot in good conscience accept an increase for my own staff at this time, especially when federal employees are working to resolve their own COLA issue," Inouye said, using the acronym for cost-of-living adjustment.
Sixteen Hawaii-based aides to Inouye could have benefited from the bill. It was proposed to put Senate aides here in line with other federal workers who already qualify for the cost-of-living bonus, said Courtney Schikora, a spokeswoman for Stevens, a Republican.
Sen. Daniel Akaka has eight staffers eligible for increases, too. His spokesman, Paul Cardus, said Akaka was "still reviewing the provision and he had made no decision."
Water usage on Oahu rises 1 million gallons
Honolulu Board of Water Supply customers used an average of 162.22 million gallons of water a day for the week ending Oct. 1, up almost a million gallons from last week.
The board attributed the increase to a lack of significant rainfall. Windward and North Shore districts reduced water consumption, but other areas increased.
The public is urged to continue watering lawns and gardens before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, a voluntary water conservation schedule that has been in place since the beginning of August.
Federal grant to help inmate rehabilitation
The U.S. Department of Justice awarded $112,979 to the state Department of Public Safety to support the "Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Program."
The program is designed to reduce recidivism and increase public safety by working with serious and violent offenders reintegrating back into the community.
The program partners with government, social service, faith-based and community organizations.
U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo Jr. said the grants help give imprisoned offenders hope and a better chance of improving their lives, while reducing their chances of re-offending once back in their communities.
Group to honor chiefs at 100th anniversary
The Royal Order of Kamehameha I is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Moku o Hawa'i Helu 'Ekahi (Chapter 1) tomorrow with a 5:30 p.m. reception and dinner at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort.
Three of its most prominent chiefs will be honored: Michael Chun, president of Kamehameha Schools; Col. David M. Peters, trustee of the Liliuokalani Trust; and John D. Waihee, former governor of Hawaii; plus honorary member Dr. Niklaus Schweitzer, honorary consul of Switzerland in Hawaii.
The chapter was established April 11, 1865, by King Kamehameha V.
For ticket and reservation information, call Ramsay Taum at 228-8184 or Edward Akana at 533-0362. For more information on the Royal Order or the dinner, call H.K. Bruss Keppeler at 523-7004.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Kailua-Kona suspect faces drug charges
KAILUA-KONA >> Police charged Michael Amantiad, 32, of Kailua-Kona with several offenses yesterday in connection with arrests for crystal methamphetamine, they said. Amantiad is being held in lieu of $25,750 bail.
Amantiad was arrested Tuesday with two women, age 36 and 37, after police responded to a report of drug activity at a Kona hotel.
The suspects' vehicle was stopped when they left the hotel and police said a narcotics dog alerted them to the presence of drugs in the car. Police seized 23.2 grams of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," 6.3 grams of an unknown crystal substance, a small amount of marijuana and a scale. They also seized $600 in cash, a loaded .22 caliber pistol, and two stolen items, a computer and a camera.
Amantiad was charged with promoting dangerous and detrimental drugs, drug paraphernalia, stolen property, and firearms violations. Police are seeking possible federal prosecution, they said. The two women were released pending investigation.
Suspect arrested in Chinatown robbery
Honolulu police arrested a suspect for allegedly robbing a man in Chinatown on March 25.
Police said the victim, 45, was approached on River Street by the 39-year-old suspect, who asked for money. The victim denied having any money and crossed the street but was followed.
Police said the suspect then demanded money from the victim and grabbed him, causing the men to get into a fight. While they were on the ground another suspect searched the victim's pockets for money and pulled out his wallet and cash.
The victim also struggled with the second suspect. Both suspects fled on foot. Police arrested the suspect who initially approached the victim yesterday for second-degree robbery.
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers