Smoking ban lives past veto
HILO » A statewide clean-beach group is praising Hawaii County Council action overriding Mayor Harry Kim's veto of a smoking ban at public beaches and parks, thereby upholding the ban.
It is the first such ban in the state.
"I commend the Council for taking strong action to protect the environment as well as the health of the people of Hawaii. I hope that other islands follow this example and make their beaches smoke-free also," said Suzanne Frazer, co-chairwoman of the Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii (BEACH).
The Council voted 7-2 Tuesday to override the veto.
The regulation went into effect immediately in all county parks and beaches, as well as the municipal golf course, rodeo arenas, Hilo Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, Panaewa Equestrian Complex and Hilo drag strip. Parking lots at all the spots are included. Violators could be issued a $100 citation.
In Kim's veto message, he said he opposed the measure because it applies to all parks, including large parks where people may camp overnight, giving them no designated smoking area.
He said a better idea would be to encourage voluntary smoking restriction by providing designated smoking areas with cigarette butt disposal containers.
Outright bans should be limited to small parks, especially those designed for young children, he said.
Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter left by beachgoers, Frazer said. They are mistaken for food and eaten by fish, whales, birds and other marine animals, she said.
Lingle vetoes election reform bill
A proposal to elect the president of the United States by a national popular vote was vetoed Tuesday by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.
But Democrats in the state Legislature might attempt to override her veto, which would take a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. Lingle vetoed a similar measure last year.
The bill attempts to nullify the Electoral College system by awarding each state's electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote.
It would only kick in if states representing a majority of the nation's 538 electoral votes pass laws to make the same change.
Lingle says she does not want the possibility of Hawaii's electoral votes going to a candidate whom the majority of state residents do not support.
Isle airports get federal grants
Almost $4.5 million in federal grants has been awarded to two neighbor island airports for improvements, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye announced yesterday.
Lanai Airport will receive $2.4 million for the second phase of the expansion of the general aviation apron. About 143,280 square feet of aircraft parking apron will be built. Molokai Airport will receive about $2 million for safety improvements to Runway 23. An open drainage culvert will be replaced with a new closed culvert, and the area around it will be regraded.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii is a statewide group. Originally, this article incorrectly identified BEACH as a Big Island group. Also, Suzanne Frazer, co-chairwoman of the group, said cigarette butts are the most common form of litter left on beaches. The story incorrectly paraphrased her as saying cigarette butts are the most common form of beach pollution. She said the most common beach pollution is plastic debris that floats in from the sea.
Police, Fire, Courts
Police investigate man in coma
Five days after a 20-year-old man was found unconscious and partially clothed in a Pawaa driveway, his mother and police made a public plea yesterday for any witnesses to come forward.
Adam Joseph Turin
Adam Joseph Turin has been in a coma since he was found 7 a.m. Friday in front of the A.Y. Wong Building, 1507 S. King St., at King and Kaheka streets.
Police initially thought he might have jumped from the four-story building, but his injuries were inconsistent with a fall, CrimeStoppers Coordinator Kim Buffett said.
"We don't know what happened to him," Buffett said.
Police said he received facial injuries and a broken arm, which could indicate he was beaten.
Turin's mother said the Kahuku High School graduate is a nice guy and well liked by his friends, Buffett said.
She had spent the day with him until 5 p.m. and did not see him until he was found the next morning.
Police said Turin was last seen leaving the Netwerx Internet cafe on Kapiolani Boulevard at about 9:30 p.m. last Thursday near Keeaumoku Street.
The manager at the Internet Cafe said Turin was a regular who spent about a half-hour on a computer. Turin had been wearing a white T-shirt and blue denim long pants, and was carrying a black backpack. He was found partially clothed and without a backpack, Buffett said.
Police seek man in bank robberies
William J. Foley
Police are looking for a 34-year-old man for questioning in connection with recent bank robberies.
William J. Foley is also wanted on a $250 traffic warrant. He is known to frequent the downtown area. Foley is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Woman allegedly stabs man in fight
Police arrested an 18-year-old Waikiki woman yesterday who allegedly stabbed a 26-year-old man.
On March 11 the man and woman got into a scuffle, which escalated, police said. During the ensuing fight, the woman stabbed the man in the stomach with a knife, police said. The stabbing occurred at about 3:30 a.m. in the Honolulu area. The woman fled the scene, and police arrested her yesterday at the main police station on suspicion of second-degree assault.
Teenager arrested in carjacking
Police arrested a 17-year-old boy Tuesday who allegedly stole another teenager's car at knifepoint.
The suspect is an acquaintance of the victim, a 16-year-old boy, police said. At about 9:30 p.m. the suspect asked the boy for a ride. Before reaching the suspect's Wahiawa home, the suspect allegedly grabbed the victim by the neck and pointed a knife at a 20-year-old man riding in the car with them.
Police said the suspect told the 16-year-old and the 20-year-old to get out of the car, then drove off. The suspect was found later and arrested on suspicion of first-degree robbery and auto theft.
Man faces assault and kidnap charge
Police arrested a 24-year-old man Monday who allegedly punched and choked his ex-girlfriend and then allegedly kidnapped her and her daughter.
At about 9 p.m. Sunday a 19-year-old woman drove to pick up the suspect to give him a ride in Waianae, police said. He approached the car and began choking and punching the woman, police said, forcing his way into the driver's seat and driving the woman and her daughter away. He refused to let them go, police said. The woman and daughter escaped later and called police. The suspect was found Monday night and arrested on suspicion of two counts of kidnapping and felony abuse.
Drowning victim from California
A man who drowned Saturday at Kalapaki Beach on Kauai was identified as Johnny Truong of Santa Ana, Calif., a Kauai County spokeswoman said.
The 30-year-old was a United Airlines flight attendant. Truong had been swimming with two co-workers when they lost sight of him. They contacted hotel security, and when they returned, a person who had brought him to shore was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him. Truong was pronounced dead at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
Coast Guard rescues boater
Oahu and Maui Coast Guard crews rescued a Maui man whose 21-foot boat was taking on water at about 2 p.m. yesterday three miles southeast of Kahoolawe. Crews arrived at about 3 p.m. and began removing water from the boat, while a helicopter remained to assist, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard rescue boat towed the 21-footer to the small-boat station.