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POSTED: Saturday, March 14, 2009

Recktenwald confirmed as justice

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Mark E. Recktenwald has been confirmed as a Hawaii Supreme Court justice.

The state Senate yesterday unanimously approved Recktenwald, who was chief judge on the state Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Senators praised Recktenwald for his fairness and leadership as a judge.

Sen. Sam Slom called Recktenwald the “;real deal,”; who inspires dedication and loyalty from his co-workers.

Recktenwald was nominated last month by Gov. Linda Lingle, who also appointed him to the appellate court in 2007.

Before that, Recktenwald was director of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and an assistant U.S. attorney.

EPA cleans up toxic Nanakuli site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it recently completed the cleanup and removal of hazardous substances on a Nanakuli property in Leeward Oahu.

The EPA said yesterday that more than 1,000 tons of solid and hazardous waste, lead acid batteries and contaminated soil were removed at a cost of more than $500,000.

Daniel Meer, assistant director of the EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Superfund Division, said the agency took the responsibility and funded the cleanup to prevent risk to residents and the environment.

In an investigation of illegal dumping, two men leasing the land when it was raided last May were prosecuted for being felons in possession of firearms. Richard Botelho was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison. Dwayne Dano was sentenced earlier to 18 months in prison.

Activists ousted from Maui beach

WAIHEE, Maui » Police on Maui have ousted several native Hawaiian activists from Waihee Beach Park.

Trespass citations were issued against 11 people on Tuesday, including members of the Reinstated Hawaiian Government who have been camping at the park since December.

The sovereignty group claims the county government is not the legal owner of the beach park, which it says belongs to the Hawaiian people.

The police action followed the group's refusal to leave after officials announced the closure of the park for maintenance and beautification.

Nelson Armitage of Haiku asked police to produce evidence the county owns the park. He is the group's spokesman and minister of foreign affairs.

Group leader Henry Noa goes on trial April 3 on charges of trespassing on the island of Kahoolawe.