Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

House members take
health trip to Big Isle

House Health Committee members are visiting state hospitals and community health centers on the Big Island to examine long-term care facilities and investigate health needs of remote areas.

Rep. Dennis Arakaki (D, Kalihi Valley-Moanalua-Kamehameha Heights), committee chairman, is leading the delegation, which left yesterday for two days of site visits and meetings.

Reps. Corinne Ching (R, Lili-ha-Nuuanu) and Lynn Finnegan (R, Mapunapua-Foster Village), committee members, are accompanying him.

The executive budget proposes an increase of $32 million a fiscal year in the next two-year budget for the Hawaii Health Systems Corp., which oversees state hospitals.

Arakaki also is looking at the Hilo Hospital site of a proposed facility to provide 200 long-term care beds for veterans.

An $8 million general obligation bond is proposed in House Bill 898 to fund the state's share of construction costs, but Arakaki said a Big Island legislator is concerned about the state having to operate and maintain the facility after it is built.

The committee is using part of the Legislature's mandatory recess for the trip.

Arakaki met with Kona seniors yesterday at a convention at the King Kamehameha Hotel, discussing long-term and elder-care issues and elder abuse and protection.

The legislators planned to meet with county and state health officials regarding the Big Island's crystal methamphetamine (ice) epidemic.

Several House bills are pending for prevention, intervention and treatment programs, with three bills targeting the Big Island, Arakaki said.

Despite a high priority on substance abuse treatment and prevention, Arakaki said the executive budget proposes cuts of more than $4.5 million in that area over the next two years.

He said few treatment programs are available for young people across the state.

"Our committee realizes that health issues on the neighbor islands, especially in remote areas on the Big Island, are very different from those on Oahu," Arakaki said.



>> Hospice Hawaii has received $10,000 from the Frear Eleemosynary Trust to support the Children's Bereavement Program.

The grant will be used for counseling and grief management at monthly meetings and help with costs of the annual Children's Bereavement Camp, held every summer.

Children at the camp are encouraged to express their feelings through art, music and sharing with others who lost a parent or loved one.

Hospice Hawaii also received $3,500 from the Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation for general use and $4,000 collected by First Insurance employees.

Hospice Hawaii, a nonprofit organization, provides care for terminally ill people, their families and caregivers. For more information about the services, call 924-9255.

>> Community members have donated more than $17,600 to Lanakila's Adopt-A-Senior program, which provides hot meals to homebound seniors.

Donations include $5,000 by the Hawaii Hotel Association for Lanakila's participation in the Charity Walk.

The Meals on Wheels program is supported by government grants, private grants and individual supporters.

Lanakila is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide those who have physical, cognitive or age-related challenges with the encouragement and skills to live with dignity and independence to become productive community members.

>> The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii has received a $50,000 grant from Nike as part of a NikeGo Program to encourage kids to get more active physically.

It will be used to support the "IMUA! Heritage Canoeing Program" at the club's Kapaa Clubhouse.

About 100 club members and 45 community youths will receive paddling instruction, hiking experiences, nature awareness and strength development activities.

The Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, a youth guidance organization, operates clubhouses on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island with more than 6,000 youths ages 7 through 17 as members.


Corrections and clarifications

>> Some information in a story about Hawaiian Airlines transporting troops that ran on Page A3 on Feb. 14 came from the Los Angeles Times, which was not credited.

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


Suspect allegedly took accident victim's purse

Honolulu police are looking for a female suspect who allegedly stole a woman's purse after the victim had gotten into a traffic accident.

Wanted mug Police said Tara Maka, 30, was a bystander during a traffic accident who allegedly stole the purse of one of the victims in that collision while the woman was being attended by emergency personnel.

Maka is also wanted on six other traffic and misdemeanor warrants.

Maka, who is also known as Taralynn Garcia, is described as 5 feet 5, weighing 150 pounds, with dark brown hair and brown eyes.

Police said Maka had previously been living at the Institute for Human Services and a beach in Waianae.

Anyone with information about the case may contact Detective Dwayne Takayama directly at 547-7211.

Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.

Same teen suspected in 2 armed robberies

Police are looking into whether two armed robberies Thursday were committed by the same teenage boy.

The first robbery occurred just before 1 p.m. at Nani Mini Market at 428 Kalihi St.

Police said the suspect walked into the store, confronted the owner with a handgun and demanded money. He fled in a vehicle parked around the corner.

The suspect is believed to be 15 to 17 years old, 5 feet 7, 130 pounds, with short black hair and a tan complexion.

The description is similar to the suspect who robbed a liquor store in Kaimuki 3 1/2 hours later.

Rainbow Country Liquors at 3398 Waialae Ave. was robbed about 4:30 p.m.

The suspect was described as 15 to 17 years old, 5 feet 6, 100 pounds, with a brown complexion and straight brown hair. He was wearing a white long-sleeve shirt over a white T-shirt and long pants. He was carrying a silver, medium-size semiautomatic handgun.

The cashier told police the suspect entered the store, walked up to a display, turned around and exited the store. A few seconds later, he returned, walked up to the same display, grabbed a bottle and walked up to the counter.

Police said he brandished a handgun and demanded money, then fled after receiving some cash.


Police look for robber of Kaneohe food mart

Police are looking for a man believed to be in his 30s who robbed a service-station food mart in Kaneohe yesterday.

Police said the suspect walked into the food mart at 46-004 Kamehameha Highway about 4 a.m. armed with a handgun and demanded money from the cashier. He then ran down the street and around the corner to a waiting vehicle and fled.

E-mail to City Desk


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