Council plots pickup fee waiver
Qualifying low-income residents may not need to pay a fee for a second weekly trash pickup in the city's planned curbside recycling project, a City Council committee proposed yesterday.
Some council members hope to put the waiver in place for Mililani residents in the city's curbside recycling pilot program who would have to pay $30 per quarter if they want a second weekly trash pickup beginning in January 2008.
"Ten dollars (a month) is medicine and co-pay for medical insurance," said Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz. "I doubt that very many will use it, but the people who need the waiver, you have to give it to them."
Other council members, including Charles Djou and Todd Apo, said they'd rather encourage people to recycle more by imposing this fee.
"I'm very sympathetic to people who can't afford the fee," said Djou, who rather would see a discount for low-income households instead of a full fee waiver. "But you have to put some bite to recycling. Otherwise, it's not going to work."
Under the bill that outlines the city's curbside recycling project, the committee also set a start date of an islandwide program for Feb. 1, 2009.
Kalihi event features music, food
The city and the Filipino Chamber of Commerce Foundation will hold the "Taste of Kalihi" celebration 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday on Colburn Street between McNeill Street and Waiakamilo Road.
The daylong event, featuring Kalihi's restaurants, businesses and performers, is a result of Mayor Mufi Hannemann's Kalihi Economic Summit held in April to improve the quality of life in Kalihi.
"Having been born and raised in Kalihi, I am excited to see community members come together and create an event that will let our island neighbors know just how special Kalihi has been, is and will continue to be," Hannemann said in a statement.
The event will also have a display of 25 classic cars and performances by Kamehameha Schools students, Brother Noland and Ten Feet.
DHHL awards land on Maui
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands awarded vacant lot leases to 34 families in Kula, Maui, yesterday, the first substantial award of vacant lots by the department in more than five years.
The families must show the financial ability to build a home on the land and construction must begin within one year.
The lots are next to the DHHL's Keokea-Waiohuli subdivision. The department said the infrastructure for the 386-lot subdivision is under construction and on schedule to be completed next summer with the first phase of homes ready for construction in the fall of 2008.
Keokea-Waiohuli includes 66 farm lots and 320 undivided interest leases.
Police, Fire, Courts
Burglary victim shoots suspect
A man suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen Monday night during an alleged burglary attempt in Huelo, Maui.
Maui police responded to a reported gunshot coming from a residence on Door of Faith Road in Huelo about 8:45 p.m.
Police said a preliminary investigation indicated that an adult male and two juvenile males unlawfully entered a residence intending to steal items.
The occupant of the residence confronted the intruders with a firearm. At least one gunshot was fired, striking the adult intruder in his abdomen, according to police reports.
The three intruders fled, police said, but the adult suspect later sought treatment at Maui Memorial Medical Center. The man had surgery yesterday and was listed in critical condition, but is expected to recover.
The occupant of the residence also had surgery for severe and multiple facial fractures. He is listed in satisfactory condition.
The two juvenile males were later located, arrested and released to their parents.
Suspect allegedly runs over victim
Police arrested an 18-year-old woman who allegedly ran over a man with her car earlier this month.
Police said that about 1:40 a.m. Sept. 9, there was an argument at a Kailua nightclub that escalated into a large fight, spilling into the street. During the fight, the suspect allegedly ran over a 28-year-old man, causing injuries.
The suspect was arrested Monday on suspicion of attempted second-degree murder.
Investigators say child started fire
Fire investigators found that a child playing with matches or a lighter started a fire that destroyed a Nanakuli house on Monday.
Two families were left homeless by the fire at 87-1594 Farrington Highway. The occupants were renters, a family of eight on the first floor and six people in the second floor unit. Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig said the fire, which started in a second-floor closet, was classified as accidental.
"There were three children there. We didn't determine which one did it," Seelig said.
Damage was estimated at $250,000 to the structure and $50,000 to contents.
Waianae man held over sexual abuse
Police arrested a 21-year-old man for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl for about four months.
A 15-year-old Waianae girl reported to police that the man had sexually assaulted her from September last year to January this year. The suspect was found at his Waianae home Monday and arrested on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault.
Boyfriend abusive, girlfriend charges
Police arrested a 41-year-old Aiea man for allegedly abusing his live-in girlfriend.
The 33-year-old woman reported to police that her boyfriend had assaulted and choked her Monday, police said.
Police arrived at their home, but the man had already left. The man later called police and asked to meet. He was arrested on suspicion of abuse.
HFD finds source of 2-house blaze
The Honolulu Fire Department released the probable cause of an Aug. 27 fire that destroyed two Wilhelmina Rise houses.
Investigators determined that the blaze began in the laundry room at 3802 Mariposa Drive, fire Capt. Terry Seelig said.
"They ruled out suspicious circumstances," Seelig said.
The fire spread to 3804 Mariposa Drive. Damage was estimated at more than $450,000 to both buildings.
[ COURTS ]
Husband indicted over death of wife
A man accused of suffocating his wife by lying on her during an argument at their Ewa Beach home was indicted yesterday by an Oahu grand jury.
Bail for Michael M. Schuette, 45, who maintains he immobilized her so she would listen to him, was set at $100,000.
He is charged with second-degree murder in the Sept. 10 argument that ended in Victoria M. Schuette's death. The argument allegedly began because she started removing plants that he had planted in their yard earlier that day, prosecutors said.
"That progressed to a physical altercation where the wife ended up on the ground and he used his super size and strength to compress her into the ground to a point where she suffocated," Deputy Prosecutor Rom Trader said.
Police initially had classified the case an unattended death after Schuette said he pushed his wife and she hit her head. The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office has since ruled she died of asphyxia.
The couple was already experiencing problems in their marriage and Victoria Schuette, 49, had filed for divorce in April, Trader said. They had been arguing recently about how to divide their marital assets. He also had resisted moving out despite her requests for him to leave, Trader told the court.
Bus rider accused of 2 molestations
A 27-year-old man is accused of molesting two girls on separate occasions on city buses.
Esrom William was indicted yesterday for third-degree sexual assault and two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.
Police were called to Waialae and Fourth avenues on Sept. 19 after a 15-year-old girl reported a passenger who sat next to her had touched her. William was arrested while still on the bus.
She told police that while seated next to her, William started running his right leg against her left leg. He then allegedly rubbed her left breast and rib area with his right forearm and elbow. When she moved away, he allegedly slouched down, repositioned himself and tried to touch her again, according to court documents.
The fourth-degree sexual assault counts relate to an Aug. 20 incident in which William is also accused of touching another female on her breast and private area.
Circuit Judge Derrick Chan increased bail for William to $75,000.
Twigg-Smith aide charged with theft
A former personal assistant to former newspaper executive Thurston Twigg-Smith is accused of stealing more than $329,000 from her employer.
Holly M. Green, 44, was indicted yesterday for first-degree theft and 46 separate counts of second-degree forgery for forging checks on the Thurston Twigg-Smith Group account over a 30-month period that began July 16, 2004.
Green used the checks to pay off five of her personal credit cards, prosecutors said. The payments averaged $7,000 to $8,000 per check.
Bail for Green was set at $25,000.