POSTED: Saturday, April 10, 2010

Candy-sale ban dead in house

A proposal to ban candy and ice cream sales at Hawaii public schools won't become law after several representatives left the House floor, leaving too few votes to pass the measure.

Final approval of the bill fell short on a 21-20 vote in the House yesterday. Ten representatives were absent after the session had dragged on for more than two hours.

The bill is now dead after it had previously passed the Senate and a similar version had passed the House in February.

Opponents said a total ban would have prevented students from selling candy after school to raise money for their sports teams or other extracurricular activities.

Others argued that state law should comply with nutrition guidelines to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity.


Hawaiian Home Lands leader backed

The state Senate has unanimously confirmed Kaulana Park as chairman of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Gov. Linda Lingle in August appointed Park to head the agency, which provides housing to native Hawaiians on former kingdom lands.

One of Park's chief challenges will be working on ways to get more Native Hawaiians into homes. Thousands of Native Hawaiians are stuck on waiting lists.

Senators praised Park's leadership abilities and determination before confirming him yesterday.

Park's term lasts until Dec. 31, and then the next governor will appoint his successor.


Federal warden charged in gun threat

A federal enforcement officer is facing a felony charge that he threatened a man with a loaded, sawed-off shotgun.

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment this week charging Travis Timothy Slovak with first-degree terroristic threatening.

Slovak, 21, works as a warden with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Armina Ching, a deputy city prosecutor.

Witnesses said Slovak confronted the man outside The Shack in Hawaii Kai on Nov. 30, pointed a shotgun at him and threatened to “;put a hole”; in him, police said. The witnesses also told police Slovak took the shotgun out of a pool stick bag and cocked the gun to load a cartridge in the weapon's firing chamber before pointing it at the man. They said Slovak and another man then left the parking lot in a vehicle.

Slovak turned himself in to police Jan. 8.

Police have not recovered the shotgun, Ching said.


Last-minute tax mail pickup offered

The U.S. Postal Service will offer late collection of mail from specially marked collection boxes Thursday to accommodate last-minute drop-offs of federal tax returns.

There will be 27 post offices across the state offering special collection boxes and/or lobby drop slots with bright orange signs, labeled: Tax Mail Drop - Final Pick-Up Midnight. Tax forms with correct postage deposited by midnight will receive April 15 postmarks, a release said. Collection boxes and lobby slots at all other post offices will be collected only at their regular posted times on April 15.

All post offices will close at their regular times. The Honolulu Airport post office will be the last to close at 8 p.m.

The 27 post offices offering late collections are:

On Oahu: Airport, (Main) Downtown, Ewa Beach, Haleiwa, Hawaii Kai, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kapalama, Makiki, Mililani, Wahiawa, Waialae-Kahala, Waianae, Waikiki and Waipahu. On Maui: Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Makawao, Pukalani and Wailuku. On the Big Island: Hilo Airport, Kailua-Kona and Kamuela. On Kauai: Lihue. On Molokai: Kaunakakai. On Lanai: Lanai City.



Kauai talks for electricity deal continue

KEKAHA, Kauai » Purchase power agreement talks between Pacific Light & Power and the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative are continuing.

But it's been almost three months since the signing of a lease to operate a $70 million, 10-megawatt concentrated solar thermal power plant on some 100 acres between Waimea and Kekaha.

The cooperative's president and chief executive officer, Randy Hee, says the cost to members would be too high and put the utility at unacceptable risk.

Pacific Light & Power Chief Executive Officer Dick Roth says the project could potentially bring power to some 8,000 homes, offset around 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide and save the island from importing about 1 million gallons of diesel annually.