POSTED: Thursday, December 17, 2009

Supply of trees arriving today

About 850 Christmas trees will go on sale this afternoon, giving some families their last chance to buy a real tree on Oahu this holiday season.

The noble and Douglas firs from Oregon were to arrive by air freight at 6:30 a.m. Upon passing inspection, they will be shuttled to Ala Moana Center near Sears, said Richard Tajiri, owner of Christmas Hawaii.

The sale is expected to start at 3 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. A second, final shipment of about 200 trees is scheduled to arrive at noon, Tajiri said.

“;They were cut on Monday and Tuesday,”; Tajiri said. “;People who are buying it now are going to have super-fresh trees.”;

He said he ordered the latest round of trees because about 1,000 people have approached him looking for trees this week.

The trees would normally sell for about $150, but Tajiri said he plans to sell them below $100. Shoppers can call 591-8733 to see if the trees are ready for sale.


FAA inspector, pilot injured in crash

WAILUKU » A Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector and a tour helicopter pilot were hurt yesterday when the aircraft crash-landed in a pasture on Maui after having mechanical problems.

The inspector suffered a broken ankle and was taken via medical helicopter to Maui Memorial Medical Center, officials said. It was not disclosed if the pilot was hospitalized, but his injuries were not believed to be serious.

Their names were not released.

The emergency landing occurred around 1:30 p.m. in a pasture next to the shoreline in Wainapanapa, near the remote town of Hana. Fire and police department personnel responded.

The aircraft, an Aerospatiale AS350BA operated by Sunshine Helicopters, had unknown mechanical problems as the inspector was giving the pilot a routine annual proficiency check required for commercial pilots, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The helicopter's tail boom broke during the landing.


Flags will be lowered to honor Hara

The state flag will be flown at half-staff Saturday in honor of former state Sen. Stanley Hara.

Services for Hara, who died Dec. 1, will be held in Hilo on that day.

Hara was elected as a representative to the Territorial Legislature in 1954 and served in the state Senate until 1980. Hara, a former chairman of the Senate Education Committee, received the distinguished alumni and service award from the University of Hawaii at Hilo last year for his work in helping establish UH-Hilo as a four-year comprehensive university.


Man, 24, indicted in Waimea crash

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment this week against a 24-year-old Waikiki man who allegedly tried to run over a police officer with his car in Waimea last week and crashed into a HandiVan.

Daniel Nichols was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening, reckless driving and resisting an order to stop. His bail is $100,000.

Police said Nichols zoomed past a speed enforcement stop on Joseph P. Leong Highway in Haleiwa on Dec. 9. When officers spotted him later in the Waimea Beach Park parking lot and tried to stop him, they said Nichols struck a metal pole and a vehicle, forcing an officer to jump out of the way.

Nichols then hit a beach park sign and crashed into a HandiVan on Kamehameha Highway before his car came to a stop, police said.



Maui mayor will seek out second term

WAILUKU » Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares has announced she will seek a second four-year term in 2010.

The 66-year-old Tavares asked Monday for the help and support of 550 people who attended a fundraiser for her at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa.

Tavares says the reward of her job comes from making a difference in people's lives.

There are three other mayoral candidates—former Mayor Alan Arakawa, planning consultant Chris Hart and Valley Isle Motors salesman Kalani Tassill.

Arakawa says he wasn't surprised by Tavares' announcement. He wished her luck, adding the public will decide.