POSTED: Thursday, October 08, 2009

19 take test for job of police chief

Nineteen candidates vying to be Honolulu's next police chief completed a written exam last week, and one will be selected by mid-November, said Honolulu Police Commission Chairwoman Christine Camp yesterday.

Five mainland applicants paid for their own trips to Hawaii to take the essay exam last week. They arrived from cities such as San Antonio; Mesa, Ariz.; and Chicago, said acting Chief Paul Putzulu, also an applicant to succeed Boisse Correa, who left the position that pays $136,236 a year in August after his contract wasn't renewed.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police, a consultant hired for the selection process for $50,000, will return the exam results this month.

A selection committee will then narrow the candidates for an assessment session, where three to five finalists will be selected. The finalists will by interviewed by the commission for the five-year contract.

The commission at a meeting yesterday appointed commissioner Marc Tilker as vice chairman, replacing Keith Amemiya, who resigned last week because of a possible conflict of interest.


Lawsuit claims harm by Jones Act

Two Kauai and two Oahu businesses and a Hawaii island businessman are suing the federal government because they claim they have been harmed by the Jones Act.

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires all shipping between U.S. ports to be done by ships constructed, owned, registered and crewed by United States citizens. The purpose of the act is to support the domestic merchant marine industry.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court yesterday, claims the law has created a monopoly for Matson Navigation and Horizon Lines, the only two companies that ship goods between the mainland and Hawaii, which has resulted in artificially inflated prices.


Businessman charged in tax scheme

A federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging the owner of Magnum Firearms with tax evasion.

The indictment charges Arthur Lee Ong and two unnamed co-conspirators with coming up with a scheme to hide his income and avoid paying federal income taxes since 1994.

The scheme involved Ong transferring income from Magnum and three rental properties he owns to a trust and another entity he created for the purpose of hiding his income from those sources. He then withdrew money from the trust, the other entity and Magnum for his own benefit, according to the indictment.

The indictment also charges Ong with failing to file individual income tax returns beginning with the calendar year 1994 and filing false corporate and trust tax returns.

Ong earned $1,153,400 from 2000 to 2005, according to the indictment. During the same period, he transferred $765,000 from Magnum to the trust and other entity, then withdrew $199,500 for his own benefit.

He also withdrew $479,090 from Magnum in August 2006 to buy real estate, the indictment said.

Ong could not be reached for comment.


Samoans set up info center

Samoan community groups are setting up an information center at Kuhio Park Terrace to allow families here to get information on loved ones in American Samoa and Samoa.

“;What we were hearing from the local Samoan community was the need for current information on family members and villages, so we created an information center where they can come, make calls, go on the Internet if they do not have access at home, and get the latest updated information,”; Tiva Aga, a member of the Samoan community group that formed in Honolulu after the earthquake and tsunami, said in a news release.

The Samoa Hawaii Disaster Relief Information Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The center will also serve as a clearinghouse for donations to the Samoas and counseling services will also be available. A destructive tsunami hit the islands last week after an 8.0 earthquake.



Hunting gets OK at Kauai's Puu Opae

The Puu Opae area on Kauai will be open for hunting this weekend after being closed last weekend because of a brush fire, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The hunting spot is part of the Kekaha Game Management Area.

The fire was reported Friday morning and burned 15 acres in Waiawa Valley before it was contained Friday night.

Fire crews from the state and Kauai County battled the fire including control operations on Saturday.

The state said the Marine Hunter Access Road will be open for hunters this weekend.

For information, call the Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 274-3433.