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POSTED: Thursday, April 09, 2009

City pulls shuttle to Easter service

Oahu's longest-running Easter Sunrise Service will be held at 6:15 a.m. Sunday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.

But this year it will be harder for many celebrants to get to Puowaina Crater because the city will not provide bus shuttle service from Waikiki.

The city Department of Transportation Services notified planners of the 108th annual ecumenical event that the city cannot provide what amounts to charter service from Waikiki. But people will be able to catch a scheduled bus from the Alapai Street terminal in time for the sunrise service, said James Burke of the Public Transit Division.

Burke said the change is due to a rule change implemented last year by the Federal Transit Administration. The same rule change affected people heading to football games at Aloha Stadium last year, with private charter bus companies replacing special shuttles by TheBus at a considerable rate hike for riders.

Burke said the federal rule requires municipal transit agencies to determine if there is a private company interested in providing the service. “;It requires about 90 days to arrange,”; he said. “;Next year we will start earlier to iron out details.”;

The cemetery gates will be opened at 5 a.m. for motorists.

The Punchbowl service will feature music by the Royal Hawaiian Band, the First Tongan United Methodist Church choir and Ronald Allen, author and professor from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, as guest speaker. Donations will be accepted—money or nonperishable food—for the Hawaii Foodbank.

A schedule of other sunrise services will appear on the Saturday religion page.

Judge sustains pair's assault case

A Maui judge ruled yesterday that there was probable cause to sustain charges of second-degree attempted murder against two brothers who allegedly attacked an off-duty police officer with baseball bats.

Police charged Leonard Sauceda Jr., 42, and Steven Sauceda, 38, also known as Steven R. Frederick, after they allegedly struck police officer Jamie J. Becraft numerous times Saturday night.

Becraft, 42, and his wife, Velma, testified yesterday before Maui Circuit Judge Kelsey Kawano.

Becraft described the injuries he suffered to his head, torso, arms, legs and feet. He also had stitches in his face.

Becraft's wife suffered a minor injury to her right hand after one of Leonard Sauceda's sons allegedly threw a rock at her.

The fracas occurred after Becraft observed Leonard Sauceda's 15-year-old son allegedly damaging mailboxes Saturday night along Kahekili Highway next to Waihee Park. Becraft identified himself as a police officer to Sauceda's son, who was with his 14-year-old brother and 16-year-old cousin.

He placed the 15-year-old boy under arrest when a fight ensued. The Sauceda brothers arrived soon after and allegedly joined in the fray.

Lt. John Jacubczak of the Maui Police Department said the two men were aware that Becraft was a police officer.

Rail workshops set for West Oahu

West Oahu residents from Kapolei to Waipahu are getting a chance to provide input on the city's proposed rail transit project.

The city plans to sponsor three workshops to gather public comment and provide information about rail stations being built along the proposed rail transit route.

The first of three “;community workshops”; for planned rail stations in Waipahu is set for Tuesday from 6:30-9 p.m. at Waipahu Intermediate School, 94-455 Farrington Highway.

Similar meetings are planned later this spring for rail transit stations proposed for the West Oahu area (East Kapolei, UH West Oahu and Hoopili area) and at Leeward Community College. All scheduled meetings will be from 6:30-9 p.m., the city said in a news release.

The initial 6.5-mile segment of the transit route is proposed to run from Kapolei to Pearl Highlands near Leeward Community College. The city aims to break ground for the rail project by the end of the year and begin service for the first leg of the transit route in 2013.

For more information on the community workshops, call the project office at 566-2299 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).