Watada, supporter to speak
U.S. Army Lt. Ehren Watada and former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright will speak about their anti-war experiences at the Church of the Crossroads on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Watada, who faces a court martial for refusing to deploy to Iraq, is in Honolulu to meet with his attorney. He will give an update on his case and thank supporters. Wright, a witness for Watada during his Article 32 hearing and for Cindy Sheehan at her trial for trespassing, will discuss her work as an activist.
King Street changes aim to improve flow
To improve traffic flow on South King Street downtown, the city plans to consolidate two bus stops into one and restrict the far right lane of King beyond Fort Street Mall to right turns onto Bishop Street, except for city buses.
The changes will begin Thursday, when the two bus stops -- fronting Bank of Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Co.-- will be consolidated into a new stop fronting First Hawaiian Bank near Alakea Street.
Regular service and morning peak hour express (X) buses currently stopping at the two stops will switch to the new stop. A, B and C express buses will continue to use the bus stop on South King Street just past Alakea, adjacent to the Subway restaurant.
Kailua-Kona to receive new traffic shortcut
KAILUA-KONA » A new extension of Lako Street in Kailua-Kona is scheduled to be opened Wednesday, providing much-needed relief of traffic congestion, according to the Hawaii County Department of Public Works.
Just a fifth of a mile long, the mauka-makai extension will allow easy access between Kailua's main thoroughfare, Kuakini Highway, and the upland area of Holualoa, cutting driving about seven miles between some points.
Widespread frustration with traffic is thought to be one of the factors in veteran County Councilwoman Virginia Isbell's loss to development critic Brenda Ford in the November elections. It was among several council changes that produced a new alignment of members thought to be more cautious about permitting new developments until roads and other facilities are built.
Volunteers needed to help prepare taxes
Aloha United Way needs volunteers to help prepare tax documents for Hawaii's low-income residents.
The group's family self-sufficiency program is an overall coordinator of statewide agencies offering free tax assistance. Volunteers are needed to assist in preparing basic state and federal tax returns, and to help residents claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits.
Volunteers must be certified, but training classes will be offered. Those interested can call 543-2201 or e-mail susant@ auw.org.
Disaster aid available to earthquake victims
Disaster assistance will be available to people on Oahu who suffered damage from the Oct. 15 earthquakes:
» Today, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Waianae District Park, 85-601 Farrington Highway;
» Tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Kaneohe at Heeia Elementary School, 46-202 Haiku Road;
» Monday, 12 to 7 p.m. at Kapolei Hale, 1000 Uluohia St.;
» Wednesday and Thursday, 12 to 7 p.m. in Moiliili at the Japanese Cultural Center, 2454 S. Beretania St.
For more information, call the Hawaii State Civil Defense at 733-4300 ext. 610.
State puts road work on hold for the holidays
The state Department of Transportation has postponed major highway and road construction projects during the holidays.
» The H-1, H-2, H-3 freeways
» Kalanianaole Highway between Kahala Mall and Lunalilo Home Road
» Kamehameha Highway from Acacia Road to Valkenburgh Street
» Kamehameha Highway from Kaneohe to Kahuku
» Nimitz Highway/Ala Moana Boulevard from Valkenburgh Street to Kalakaua Avenue
» Kalihi Street/Likelike Highway from Nimitz Highway to Kamehameha Highway
» Pali Highway/Kalanianaole Highway/Kailua Road from Vineyard Boulevard to Kailua town
» Vineyard Boulevard from Palama Street to Punchbowl Street
» Moanalua Freeway
» Kahekili Highway
Work in those locations will resume Jan. 3.
Shoulder work, landscaping and other projects not involving lane closures might continue, according to a DOT news release, and emergency road closures will be scheduled when necessary.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man held in trashing of girlfriend's home
Police arrested a 21-year-old downtown Honolulu man who allegedly trashed his girlfriend's house Thursday.
Police said the 29-year-old woman told them the man had gone into her house on Hoolai Street without permission and damaged everything inside at about 7:30 p.m.
Police said the man was upset because he had seen his girlfriend talking with an ex-boyfriend earlier in the afternoon.
Police arrested the suspect for investigation of first-degree burglary.
Family fight leads to arrest of man, 38
A family fight escalated into a physical confrontation and the arrest of a 38-year-old man in Kalihi, police said.
They said the man and an 18-year-old woman were involved in a family argument at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday that escalated.
The suspect put the victim in a choke hold, according to a police report.
The man was arrested for investigation of abuse of a household member.
20-year-old driver charged after chase
A 20-year-old man who allegedly led police on a vehicle and foot chase near the Pearlridge Center was charged yesterday with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.
Police said Nathan C. Branco was seen driving a stolen vehicle at about 11 a.m. Wednesday near the Pearlridge Center and fled when he noticed he was being followed.
Branco allegedly abandoned the vehicle at the parking lot of Toys "R" Us and fled on foot into a swampy area on private property.
Police arrested Branco at 67 Lihiki Circle nearly two hours after seeing him driving the vehicle.
Man has wallet stolen after being hit on head
Police are looking for a man who allegedly used a weapon to rob another man of his wallet in Waikiki.
Police said the 22-year-old victim told them he was hit on the head with an object and his wallet was taken at about 5 a.m. Thursday.
They did not provide a description of the suspect.
Brass knuckles reported in school fight
HILO » Police and Keaau High School officials are investigating an attack on a student that witnesses said included the use of brass knuckles.
The 17-year-old victim was treated at Hilo Hospital and released after the attack Monday.
Police and Department of Education officials said they heard student reports that brass knuckles were used at the school south of Hilo, but the claims have not been confirmed.
Principal Ann Paulino said the youth who hit the victim had his arm wrapped in a piece of clothing, preventing people from seeing anything he may have held.
The victim turned a corner of a building and was punched several times, Paulino said.
The fight was apparently related to an incident that happened off campus over the weekend, she said. But she and police said the motive for the attack is not known.
Four regular security personnel were off campus for confidential personnel reasons, Paulino said. The security manager, two vice-principals and a teacher were doing security duty when the incident happened, she said.
A 16-year-old suspect was arrested and released pending investigation, said detective John Ancheta.
Six students were suspended, including some students told to stay home for their own safety, Paulino said.