POSTED: Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vendor of illegal fireworks jailed

A federal judge sentenced a man who sold 4,200 pounds of illegal fireworks from his home to six months in prison.

Rodney Ballesteros had pleaded guilty to dealing in explosive materials without a license. He admitted he sold $80,000 worth of illegal display fireworks from September 2007 to December, said Edward Kubo Jr., U.S. attorney for Hawaii.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra sentenced Ballesteros yesterday to six months in prison, three years' supervised release and community service and fined him $2,000.


Cleanup starts at Leeward beach

Crew members began cleaning Ulehawa Beach Park No. 2, also known as 7-Elevens, yesterday.

The homeless living at the park were notified of the cleanup two months ago. During the park's closure, crew members will be doing repairs that include plumbing fixtures in the comfort station and the irrigation system, according to Les Chang, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Ulehawa Beach Park is slated to reopen Friday. From there, nightly park closures will be enforced at the site from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

On Oct. 12, Lualualei No. 1, or “;Sewers,”; is also scheduled to close temporarily for a weeklong cleanup. Nightly closures will also be enforced at the park.

Chang said the cleanups were scheduled at this time as two more transitional shelters on the Leeward Coast - Villages in Maili, an 80-unit project and Building 36, a 70-unit project - is due to open shortly.

In August, a 72-unit transitional shelter and affordable rental site called Kahikolu Ohana O Waianae opened.


State to test warning sirens

State Civil Defense sirens will sound at 11:45 a.m. tomorrow in the monthly test of the Emergency Alert System.

The 45-second steady tone that will be heard on sirens throughout the state would be used to alert the public to an emergency that would threaten life and property, such as natural disasters and technological hazards.

The siren warnings will be coordinated with a test of the live audio broadcast system that will be heard on radio and television stations.


Airport economy parking lot shuts

The Honolulu Airport's economy parking will close temporarily starting Monday because of a drop in parking demand.

Ampco Parking Systems will not allow vehicles to park in the lot, located on the corner of Aolele Street and Lagoon Drive, if a traveler's return flight is after Sunday. All vehicles must be picked up by midnight on that day. The lot opened in November to address the lack of parking space at the airport. In a news release, Brian Sekiguchi, deputy transportation director for airports, said temporarily closing the parking lot will help reduce operational costs.

“;We will continue to monitor the overall parking situation at the airport and when necessary, will offer alternatives for parking when we anticipate heavy resident travel,”; Sekiguchi said.

Construction of a new 1,800-stall parking garage is nearing completion and is slated to open to travelers before the holiday season.


Resolution honors Waipio champs

Congress honored the Waipio Little League world champions, unanimously approving a resolution introduced by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

The U.S. House of Representatives resolution reads: “;The achievement of the Waipio Little League baseball team is the cause of enormous pride for the Nation, the State of Hawaii and the community of Waipio.”;

The team clinched the Little League World Series title Aug. 24, beating the Matamoros team from Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Congress commended the team's families, coaches and community for their support and dedication to help them succeed.