About 1,000 islanders turned out today to hear U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speak in what was described as a "historic educational event."
1st Amendment forum
features Justice Scalia
Scalia and national American Civil Liberties Union President Nadine Strossen held "A Conversation About Liberty: The First Amendment in America Today."
In his first public appearance since the Supreme Court's decisions affecting the presidential election, Scalia said he is not a strict constitutionalist but an "originalist." He said First Amendment rights are inherited from the Anglo-Saxons and basically have not changed.
Strossen asked why freedom of speech was written in broad terms in the Constitution if it was not to be interpreted.
About 35 protesters representing human, civil and gay rights groups carried signs and chanted on South Beretania Street outside the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, where the talk was held.
"Justice Scalia is the most right-wing, conservative justice," said Eric Beyer of the human rights group Refuse and Resist. "Everything we stand for, he's against, and everything he stands for, we're against."
Marcella Clark, 17, among 30 Sacred Hearts Academy students at the event, said she just took a course in American government. "I'm interested in hearing what a real Supreme Court justice has to say about freedom of religion and freedom of speech."
She said she was particularly interested in the rights of students and, since she attends a private school, the voucher system.
"It's rare for a sitting jurist to speak at a public event," said ACLU of Hawaii Executive Director Vanessa Chong. "We're grateful to have his participation in a public forum."
The event was part of the Davis-Levin First Amendment Conference.
Whale watchers wanted for Hawaii 'snapshot'It's time for the annual whale count.
A nonprofit group and a federal organization in charge of protecting humpback whales in Hawaiian waters are enlisting volunteers for the count on Feb. 24. The volunteers will look for marine mammals in coastal waters around Oahu, Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui.
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is coordinating the ocean count on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. The count is to take place from 9 a.m. to noon.
A humpback whale count on Maui will be conducted 8 a.m. to noon on the same day by the Pacific Whale Foundation.
The sanctuary and the foundation say the counts give an "anecdotal snapshot" of marine mammals in our waters and encourages a greater understanding of humpback whales and their habitat.
Those wishing to volunteer may call the sanctuary office on Oahu, 397-2651, or the foundation on Maui, 879-8860.
Eight isle libraries will issue passportsEight public libraries here soon will begin accepting completed applications for U.S. passports.
The state library system and the Honolulu Passport Agency of the U.S. Department of State will hold a joint news conference at 10 a.m. Thursday at Aiea Library to inaugurate the service. Other libraries taking part in this program are Ewa Beach, Waialua, Waimanalo on Oahu and Keaau, Kealakekua, Laupahoehoe and Naalehu on the Big Island.
People planning to travel abroad may bring in completed applications, U.S. citizenship documents, two passport photos and current identification. Only personal checks and money orders will be accepted.
H-1 lanes, ramps close for night, day workRoadwork will shut down the Kinau Street offramp of H-1 Freeway eastbound from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly from tomorrow to Thursday for shoulder and guardrail improvements.
Other work means lane closures during those times on H-1 westbound between Vineyard Boulevard and Pali Highway offramps for guardrail work, lane and shoulder closures at Wilder Avenue offramp and restricted traffic on Wilder for barrier upgrading. Lanes at Kapiolani interchange will close for barrier endpost work.
H-1 work from Monday to Friday, generally 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will result in the following:
One lane of Kalanianaole Highway eastbound between Analii Street and Kalaniiki Street will be closed for gas line work, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.Drivers are advised to use caution or take alternate routes.
The King Street offramp of H-1 westbound will be closed for guardrail work.
There will be lane, ramp and shoulder closures between Pali overpass and Kapiolani interchange for guardrail work.
There will be lane, ramp and shoulder closures at various locations for electrical installation work.
There will be lane closures and traffic detours on Lunalilo Street for concrete gutter work and waterline work.
The median lane between 11th Avenue and Koko Head overpass will be closed for median barrier upgrade work.
The Lunalilo offramp of H-1 westbound will be closed for waterline work.
There will be lane closures on Ward Avenue and Kinau Street for waterline work.
The purchase price for the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort is said to be around $200 million. A story in the first edition of Hawaii Inc. yesterday had an incorrect price.
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Kaneohe boy, 16, dies trying to retrieve hatA 16-year-old Kaneohe boy riding in a truck bed in Kahaluu lost his life while apparently trying to retrieve his hat just before midnight last night, police said.
The truck was traveling on Kamehameha Highway near Hunalepo Street when the boy's hat blew off, police said. He asked the driver, another 16-year-old Kaneohe boy, to stop.
While the truck was still moving, he jumped out. He hit the pavement and was killed.
The medical examiner's office identified the boy as Taulen Fujihara.
An autopsy will be performed Monday to determine the exact cause of death.
Aala Park crack dealer sentenced to 15 yearsMaave Maave Jr., 37, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Chief Judge David Ezra to 15 years in federal prison, without the possibility of parole, for distributing crack cocaine in Aala Park.
Maave is one of 26 people recently arrested at Aala Park in a federal and state "buy-bust reverse-sting operation" conducted last spring. The sting was part of the ongoing "weed and seed" initiative to eliminate drug trafficking in Chinatown, Kalihi and Waipahu.
David Mueller, 39, and Linda Grilho, 50, were arrested with Maave and prosecuted in federal court for drug distribution.
Ezra sentenced Mueller to 42 months and Grilho to 33 months in prison without the possibility of parole. Both are serving their terms in federal facilities on the mainland, as will Maave.
Newspaper carrier's moped robbed by pair at gunpointPolice are looking for two men who robbed a 17-year-old newspaper delivery boy at gunpoint at 5:05 a.m. today, stealing his moped.
The suspects drove up to the boy in an older van, possibly a Toyota or Nissan, while he was delivering the morning paper at 904 Kohou St.
Man arrested in Queen's Beach kidnapping, rapePolice arrested a Honolulu man early yesterday morning after he allegedly raped a woman at Queen's Beach in Waikiki.
After they went swimming, the man forced the woman to have sex, punching her face and raping her several times, police said.
The woman's cheek was swollen, legs cut, and hands and scalp injured. The man faces sexual assault and kidnapping charges.
Remains of man who lived under H-1 are identifiedThe medical examiner's office has identified the skeletal remains of a homeless man who had been living under the H-1 freeway as James Ferrer, 59.
Ferrer's brother called the examiner's office on Jan. 22 in response to a newspaper article.
An acquaintance said Ferrer had been homeless for 15 years. He was found under the freeway north of Kamehameha Highway and west of Middle Street.