Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Denver stadium tour will cost state $8,000

Taxpayers are paying about $8,000 to send state senators and University of Hawaii officials to study a stadium in Denver to see if a similar stadium can be built on Oahu.

Going on the trip are Senate President Robert Bunda, Vice President Donna Mercado Kim, Minority Leader Fred Hemmings, UH President Evan Dobelle, athletic director Herman Frazier, UH General Counsel Walter Kirimitsu and Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council Vice President Lynn Kinney.

The travel costs for three state senators is $4,108.70 including air fare and accommodations, Bunda's office said.

Spokesman Paul Costello said the tab for UH officials is an estimated $4,000 for air fare and accommodations.

The group will meet on Saturday with Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who is a part-time Hawaii resident and business owner, to learn more about how Invesco Field at Mile High was built and financed.

Panel backs payroll tax for senior health care

A renewed proposal to hit Hawaii workers with a mandatory $10 monthly payroll deduction to pay for limited long-term care insurance is being recommended to the 2003 Legislature, but this time the monthly tax would hit $23 by 2012.

A panel established by a law passed after the 2002 Legislature rejected such a proposal earlier this year issued its recommendations yesterday through the state's Executive Office on Aging.

"There is an urgent need to develop new revenue streams to help pay for the care of the elderly and disabled populations in Hawaii," said the Long Term Financing Board. "While this is not a problem unique to Hawaii, it is of pressing concern in our state because we have one of the fastest-growing populations, 65 years of age and older, in the nation."

The recommendation is similar to the $10 a month tax proposed early this year by a group led by then-first lady Vicky Cayetano and dubbed "Vickycare" by its critics, primarily Republican lawmakers.

Gov. Linda Lingle has opposed the plan.

During the campaign, she suggested as an alternative tax credits for families who provide long-term care in their own home and for people who buy long-term insurance.

Qi gong expert to talk about holistic healing

Master Hong Liu, a grandmaster of qi gong, will conduct a free workshop on natural healing from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Central Union Church.

He will discuss healing methods to fight diseases, including traditional Chinese holistic therapies such as qi gong exercises, healing foods and diet, herbal remedies, massage and feng shui.

Feng Shui is the science of channeling the energy in your home, workplace and environment for maximum health, prosperity and harmonious relationships.

Monthly meetings discuss hepatitis C

A monthly support group for residents with hepatitis C, the "HepCats," meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the private room at Coffee Talk cafe, at the corner of Waialae and 12th avenues in Kaimuki.


[Taking Notice]

>> Kathryn Gemmer, a University of Hawaii graduate, is the 2002 recipient of the Distinguished Science Teaching Award from the Tennessee Academy of Science. She is a biology and physics teacher at University School on the campus of East Tennessee State University. She received a bachelor's degree in 1985 and a master's degree in 1988 in animal science from UH's College of Tropical Agriculture.

>> The Center for Philippine Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has chosen Anthony Medrano as the first recipient of the Alfonso T. Yuchengco Endowment Award for Philippine Studies. He will receive $1,000 for his field study during spring 2003. He is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in political science and working toward a graduate certificate in Philippine studies.

>> The Hawaiian Humane Society has presented several community awards to the following:

Chairperson's Awards to Verizon Hawaii and Verizon Foundation for financial support and matching grants for their employees' volunteerism and donations.

Helen Kinau Wilder Friendship Awards to Norna Hamamoto, who established an avian rehabilitation network on Oahu; the Honolulu Fire Department for rescuing animals; volunteer Sherry Hunt, who has coordinated a hiking club for people and dogs for six years; and volunteer Patt Spencer for providing foster care for cats for two years.

For the rescue of Hok Get, the dog left aboard an abandoned tanker Insiko, the society recognized the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International for financial support; the Kauai Humane Society for providing her with free quarantine; Kathleen Baker for alerting the society to Hok Get's plight; Feather and Fur Clinic for contributing free veterinary services; American Marine Services for rescuing Hok Get from the tanker; and the U.S. Coast Guard for its part in the mission and preserving the natural resources of the ocean.

"Taking Notice" runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Please send items to City Desk, Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813.


Corrections and clarifications

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers


Man arrested after telephone poll crash

Police arrested a 38-year-old Wahiawa man this morning after his 1991 Ford Escort veered off Kaukonahua Road about 12:12 a.m. and crashed into a telephone pole.

The suspect received minor injuries in the crash and was taken to Wahiawa General Hospital.

He was treated and then arrested on suspicion of driving while drunk.

The crashed brought down the telephone pole, blocking both lanes of Kaukonahua Road. Traffic was routed to Kamehameha Highway while crews made repairs.


Gunman robs Waipahu Salvation Army store

Police are looking for a man who carried a shotgun and robbed the Salvation Army in Waipahu about 7:35 a.m. yesterday.

The robber demanded money from a clerk at the store at 94-925 Waipahu St. and ran away after he took an undisclosed amount of money.

The robber was described as 5-foot-6, 130 pounds, and wearing blue jeans and a dark shirt.

Suspect in 3 Leeward robberies arrested

Police arrested a 32-year-old man as a suspect in three store robberies in Leeward Oahu.

The first robbery occurred on Nov. 30 at Reynold's Recycling located, at 99-1160 Iwaena St., where the robber brandished a shotgun, police said.

The second robbery occurred on Dec. 4 at Baskin Robbins in Waipahu where the robber also used a gun to demand money.

The third robbery occurred on Dec. 8 at Domino's Pizza, 91-775 Papipi Road, where the robber was armed with a handgun.

Car window damaged by some kind of bomb

Police found a car in Mililani damaged by an explosive device yesterday afternoon. The device damaged the rear window, police said.

The vehicle was found in a parking lot of Mililani Shopping Center at 95-221 Kipapa Drive at about 1:50 p.m., police said.


Hit-and-run motorist injures pedestrian, 47

A 47-year-old woman was injured yesterday in a hit-and-run accident in Kailua-Kona, Big Island police said.

The victim was walking south of the makai shoulder of Alii Drive about 11:15 a.m. when she was hit by a light-colored older-model compact sedan, police said.

The victim was in stable condition at Kona Community Hospital.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Grad Elarianoff at 326-4646 or CrimeStoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo.

Big Island man sought in domestic abuse case


Big Island police continue to look for 36-year-old Leven Campbell of Hilo, who is wanted for abuse of a household member and for several outstanding warrants.

Campbell is described as 5 feet 10, 170 pounds with a medium build.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Ann Mejia at 961-8810 or 935-3311.



Gambling 'muscle' man gets 6 months' prison

A 57-year-old Nanakuli man who admitted to providing protection to a Chinatown gambling house was sentenced yesterday to six months in federal prison and six months of home detention.

Gabriel Aio apologized to his family and to the court saying he was "extremely remorseful and truly embarrassed" for his past acts but had learned from his mistakes and is turning his life around.

He promised U.S. Circuit Judge David Ezra "that you will never see me in your courtroom again."

Aio was one of 32 people charged in four separate indictments in May 2000 that stemmed from a three-year federal investigation into illegal gambling activities in Chinatown, Ewa, Nanakuli, Waianae, Pearl City and Pawaa.

Aio admitted to arranging payments to police officer Earl Koanui, who posed as a crooked cop from August 1997 to May 2000 by accepting bribes in exchange for alerting the gambling operators of potential raids by Honolulu police, according to assistant U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni.

In May this year, Aio pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder illegal proceeds of a gambling operation and to one count of criminal forfeiture of more than $86,000 in connection with his role at a gambling business on the second floor of a building at 1152 Maunakea St.

Although Aio arranged for only $14,000 in payments to Koanui, he acknowledged in the plea agreement that the total amount paid by him and others was $82,620.

In handing down the sentence, Ezra told Aio he needed to serve some time in prison to send a message to the community that illegal gambling will not be tolerated and that people "should not look the other way."

Aio admitted to getting paid about $2,000 per week for his protection services. Ezra described Aio's role as a "muscle" with a reputation for being someone who could take care of himself and had the right kind of connections.

Aio, who lost his job this year as head of security at Matson Navigation Co., was ordered to turn himself in on Jan. 30.

Of the 18 co-defendants charged in Aio's case, only two will go to trial in February, including the owner of the gambling business, Hung Chi "David" Ho. Of the 16 who have pleaded, two have already been sentenced.

Tax preparer indicted again in tax fraud case

A tax preparer sentenced last July to six months in prison and five years' probation for filing fraudulent tax returns for clients was indicted again by an Oahu grand jury yesterday for identical offenses.

Richard Basuel, 60, who has been preparing tax returns for 20 years and owned RB Tax Services, was charged with:

>> Eleven counts of attempting to evade or defeat a tax.

>> Eleven counts of making false and fraudulent statements by preparing a tax return that he knew was false.

>> One count of first-degree theft.

Also yesterday, four individuals were indicted for filing "suspect" returns, according to Deputy Attorney General Rick Damerville.

They are Robin Nakamura, 42; Dale M. Keama, 40; James Faria, 29; and Douglas Abarca, 60.

"This alleged scam involves more than 900 individuals in the state of Hawaii who have filed suspect returns and are subject to criminal prosecution," Damerville said.

Damerville added that the fraud is happening around the country and is not unique to Hawaii.

The loss of revenue from these cases in Hawaii exceeds $1.5 million, he said.

The four indicted yesterday each face two counts of attempting to evade or defeat a tax, two counts of making false and fraudulent statements on their tax returns and two counts of second-degree theft.

They received tax refunds ranging from $1,670 to $5,677.

E-mail to City Desk


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