Police, Fire, Courts

Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Friday, May 7, 2004

Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department officials responded to a distress call from a sinking ship in Kewalo Basin yesterday morning. The Coreene CII was taking on water due to an apparent fracture along the hull, Coast Guard officials said. The Coast Guard helped pump water out of the vessel. No one was on board.

Beach concessionaire loses bid to stay open

U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor denied a request yesterday to prevent the city from closing Gilbert Hisatake's Kuhio Beach concession.

Gillmor rejected attorney Jack Schweigert's argument that Hisatake's right to due process had been violated when the city gave him two weeks to vacate his Pacific Beach Services stand.

Gillmor said the dispute between the city and Hisatake over $202,000 in unpaid concession fees belongs in state court.

"We're very happy, obviously," Chris Diebling, the city's deputy budget director, said after yesterday's hearing.

Hisatake said he will instruct Schweigert to continue negotiations with the city over the disputed amount. It is not clear whether the city, which formerly offered to settle for half the owed amount, is willing to negotiate further.

The city removed all of Pacific Beach Services' items from the city-provided stand Tuesday evening. The stand, one of four the city leases on Kuhio Beach, is not expected to reopen until after bids for a new contract are received June 3, city Managing Director Ben Lee said.

Amendment clarifies native Hawaiian bill

A bill granting federal recognition to native Hawaiians as indigenous people was amended in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

In the latest version of the Akaka bill, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee clarified a provision for a 20-year statute of limitations to file any claims against the United States. According to the bill, the limitation will start when a native Hawaiian government is established.

"They would need to be filed within 20 years of the establishment of the Hawaiian governing entity," said Paul Cardus, spokesman for Sen. Daniel Akaka.

The provision earlier stated that the limitation would start upon enactment of the legislation.

"I think that's a reasonable clarification," said Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees.

But some members of the Ilioulaokalani Coalition said they oppose the 20-year limitation.

"I don't think there should be any time limit," said Vicky Holt Takamine, the coalition's president.

A similar bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday by Reps. Neil Abercrombie, Ed Case and others.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


1 man dies in head-on collision on Kunia Road

A man was killed and two others critically injured Wednesday afternoon in a three-vehicle accident on Kunia Road.

About 3:15 p.m., a 48-year old man driving a blue 1986 Chevy van makai-bound on Kunia Road crossed into the opposing lane of traffic at a high rate of speed to pass other vehicles, police said.

A 52-year-old man driving a black 1991 GMC pickup truck was heading toward Wahiawa and slowed down to avoid hitting the van, police said.

The pickup was rear-ended by a blue 1986 Chevy Caprice Classic driven by a 41-year-old man, police said.

The impact of that collision pushed the pickup into the path of the van, causing a head-on crash, police said.

All three drivers were taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.

The driver of the pickup truck died at the hospital, police said.


Girl believed missing found safe at a home

Big Island police have called off a search for a 16-year-old Hilo girl after she was found safe at a residence in Kona.

The girl, identified as Barbara Widdecombe, of an Elm Street address, showed up at the residence about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Widdecombe had been reported missing the previous Thursday evening after she failed to return home from school.


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