Big Island of Hawaii News is tracking these Hawaii Island stories through Friday, 26 October 2012:
H E A D L I N E S:
Private tax documents lost in transit.
Mayoral candidates cited for traffic violations.
Stryker Brigade could be stationed at PTA.
Hunters may get permission to hunt axis deer.
Pahoa man indicted for producing child pornography.
D E T A I L S (with sources cited):
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald). State Department of Taxation spokeswoman Mallory Fujitani tells reporter John Burnett that a contracted courier apparently lost a bag containing tax documents filed by businesses and individual taxpayers with the Kona and Hilo state tax offices. Fujitani says the container was supposed to be delivered to the air cargo terminal at the Hilo International Airport for shipment to Honolulu.
Fujitani added that “a bag from the back of the truck, I guess, disappeared…upon arrival at the airport, they opened the back of the truck and the bag was missing….” Fujitani said the bag with the tax forms was lost on 04 October. She identified the courier company as Security Armored Car & Courier Service. Fujitani stated that the vehicle was not an armored vehicle, but a truck with a camper top and a latch. Officials with the courier company surmized that the back of the truck may not have been locked.
Police Lt. Greg Esteban tells reporter Burnett “there is a case that has been initiated with (the Hilo) Patrol Division…it does appear that the missing bag also contained items from other clients of the courier service in addition to the lost tax documents.” Fujitani was unable to make a monetary value of the lost check. She said one of her main worries is the Social Security numbers contained on the documents, noting that “the department is very concerned about this, and obviously, we’re evaluating the process and all the movement of the documents from the district offices to the Oahu office.” Businesses and individual taxpayers who believe their documents may be affected by this incident are urged to call the department’s Hilo office at 974-6321.
(Stephens Media). Be careful what you sign–it could come back to bite you. Case in point–recent traffic laws that have ensnarled both Hawaii County mayoral candidates, Billy Kenoi and former mayor Harry Kim.
In Mayor Kenoi’s case, support for a 2009 law banning hand-held cellphones while driving caught up to him in Honolulu on 20 September, where he was fined $269 for using a mobile device while he was driving and for not producing an insurance card and driver’s license for police officers. Kenoi told reporter Nancy Cook Lauer that he has a “Bluetooth hands-free device I use in my car, but unfortunately, I was in a rental car…and my driver’s license was in my bag, so I couldn’t produce it right away.” Kenoi added that “I take full responsibility…I paid my fine; lesson learned.”
In 2008, former Mayor Harry Kim was found at fault in a traffic accident that cost the county $99,500 after occupants of the other car sued the county. The county is self-insured, and Kim was operating a county vehicle, so the settlement came from the general fund. Kim told reporter Lauer that he hasn’t had any traffic violations since 2008. Kim said “there’s no excuse for it…I misjudged the distance, and I was at fault.” Debbie Belise, a passenger in the other car, sustained facial injuries requiring eye surgery.
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald). Rumors are circulating that the U.S. Army may relocate a Stryker Brigade to Hawaii Island. Bob McElroy, the public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Garrison at PTA, tells reporter Colin Stewart, that a relocation plan is “just an idea that our headquarters is considering…at this point, there’s not even a feasibility study, or a cost analysis study, which are the very earliest beginning stages to doing anything like this. This idea is still in its infancy.”
Not everyone is happy with the mention of possible Stryker vehicles on Hawaii Island. James Albertini, a critic of military operations at PTA and president of the Malu Aina Cneter for Nonviolent Education & Action, told reporter Stewart that he would oppose any plan to position the vehicles on the island, noting that he has long campaigned against any kind of live-fire exercises at PTA that could generate dust and risk spreading radiation from spent uranium rounds. Albertini and others claim that that the Army has “misrepresented the dangers.” They cite a resolution passed by the Hawaii County Council in 2008 that recommends the Army stop all activity at PTA until further study and clean-up efforts can be done.
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald). The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has proposed a plan to allow local hunters to kill axis deer without permits or bag limits for up to five years. Paul Conry, the forestry and wildlife division administrator, told reporter Tom Callis that the special designation would clarify the deer’s status as well as help the state with efforts to remove the invasive animals from the island.
Conry says the DLNR will discuss the idea on Friday. The proposal would also declare the illegally introduced species as “destructive to agriculture, native plants, and wildlife” of the island.
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald). On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted 56-year-old John Ridgely Tucker of Pahoa for the molestation of two children in a family-owned Leilani Estates bed and breakfast where he lived. According to reporter John Burnett, the indictment charges Tucker with six counts of producing child pornography. The indictment also accuses Tucker of enticing minor children to produce six images of child pornograph in 2008. Tucker remains in custody without bail in the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu.
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald). The Hilo Downtown Improvement Association will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Friday, 02 November with the “Black White & Gold Ball”. The event marks a date in 1962 when 12 Hilo businessment decided it was time to rehabilitate and maintain the downtown district, which they called “the core and focal point of trade and commerce” on Hawaii Island.
Fred Koehnen, now 88 years old and chairman of Koehnen Ltd., told reporter Hunter Bishop that he was there and remembered how a post-war economic slump and the mechanization of the sugar plantations led to the need to promote teh downtown area. With many stores relocating further from downtown Hilo, the need to preserve and promote historic downtown Hilo became a prime concern. Koehnen says that effort continues today, with the Downtown Improvement Association performing its mission to “foster, promote, maintain and encourage the civil, social, commercail visitor and economic welfare” of downtown Hilo.
For information on the annual “Black Ehite & Gold Ball”, call 935-8850.
HAWAII ISLAND WEATHER FORECAST THROUGH FRIDAY, 26 October 2012:
Hilo and vicinity–Partly sunny with a few showers.
Kailua-Kona and vicinity–Partly sunny with a few upslope showers.
Highs near 83. Lows near 70. Winds shifting to the east south east, 6 to 12 mph, by Friday.
Sunrise Friday–6:19 a.m. Sunset Friday–5:49 p.m. Total hours of daylight Friday–11 hours, 29 minutes, and 50 seconds.
HAWAII ISLAND TIDES FOR FRIDAY, 26 October 2012:
Hilo High Tide–1:16 a.m./12:53 p.m. Hilo Low Tide–7:11 a.m./7:13 p.m.
Kailua-Kona High Tide–1:54 a.m./1:31 p.m. Kailua-Kona Low Tide–7:48 a.m./7:50 p.m.
HAWAII ISLAND SURF FORECAST THROUGH FRIDAY, 26 October 2012:
Hapuna Beach breaks–flat to 1 foot. Kona and Banyans–1 to 2 feet. Ka’u and Pohoiki–1 to 3 feet. Hamakua–2 to 4 feet. Hilo and Honolii–1 to 2 feet.
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PRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS