State briefs 11/29


Hawaii is most expensive state for home buyers

HONOLULU — A real estate company says the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is more expensive in Hawaii than any other state in the nation.

Coldwell Banker said Wednesday says the average listing for a house that size is more than $742,000 in Hawaii. That’s well above Massachusetts, which ranked second with an average listing price just over $489,000.

The company’s U.S. Home Listing Report analyzes the average listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties on coldwellbanker.com between January 2012 and June 2012.

Nebraska has the cheapest listings at about $145,000. Iowa and Georgia are the second and third most affordable states to buy a home.

Los Altos, Calif. in Silicon Valley has the priciest listings of any community in the nation, with an average of $1.7 million.

Police: Man sexually assaulted woman

HONOLULU — Police have arrested a 48-year-old Kalihi man who allegedly sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman.

The woman reported the man attacked her early in the morning of Oct. 27 in Kalihi. Police arrested him Tuesday on suspicion of second-degree sexual assault.

Oahu beaches smoking ban proposal moves forward

HONOLULU — A proposal to ban smoking on Oahu’s most popular beach parks is moving forward.

A Honolulu city council committee voted 4-1 Tuesday to advance a measure that would ban lighting up at Kapiolani Park and its surrounding areas, Kuhio Beach Park, Duke Kahanamoku Beach Park, the beach portion of Ala Moana Park and Sandy Beach Park.

The full council will hold a public hearing on the measure on Dec. 5, The Star Advertiser reported.

Bill sponsor Councilman Stanley Chang said he introduced the measure in response to complaints from constituents about cigarette litter and secondhand smoke.

“Cigarette butt litter is by far the No. 1 source of litter on our streets, our beaches, in our parks, our public places,” he said.

Councilman Tom Berg cast the lone no vote.

Resident Lancelot Haili Lincoln said a beach smoking ban would violate the civil and human rights of smokers.

“These beaches are for everybody, not just nonsmokers,” Lincoln said.

But longtime Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve manager Alan Hong told committee members that from 2003, when a smoking ban was instituted at the bay, until his retirement last year, he received only two complaints from tourists unhappy with the rule. During the same period, he received numerous compliments from those who appreciate a smoke-free beach, he said.

Approving the ban “would send a strong signal and help enhance Hawaii’s appeal as a tourist destination,” Chang said.

Police Maj. Ron Bode, who heads the Waikiki patrol district, said the department is taking no position on the bill at this time. Police officers would enforce the law and issue citations if such a ban were in place.

Lila Johnson, program manager of the state Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, said the National Poison Control Center receives 15 to 30 calls a year from Hawaii residents about children ingesting cigarettes or cigarette butts.

Members Carol Fukunaga and Breene Harimoto, who joined Chang and Garcia in advancing the measure Tuesday, said they would support an island-wide ban. The committee has five members.

Police: Man fired shots at vehicle in Kailua

HONOLULU — A 24-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly firing shots at two women in Kailua.

Police say the man tried to stop the women, ages 23 and 31, in their vehicle Tuesday at a service station on Kailua, but the women drove away.

The suspect allegedly fired several shots at the car as they fled.

No one was injured.

The man, who was from Waimanalo, was later identified and arrested on suspicion of first-degree reckless endangering.

Prosecutors: Agent was aggressor in fatal shooting

HONOLULU — Prosecutors say a State Department special agent accused of killing a man at a McDonald’s in Waikiki last year spent the night drinking and bar-hopping before going to the restaurant.

In court papers, Honolulu prosecutors say Christopher Deedy appeared “intoxicated” before firing three shots from his handgun - the first narrowly missing a customer, another lodging in the restaurant wall and the third fatally wounding 23-year-old Kollin Elderts.

Proseuctors say Deedy was not heard identifying himself as a law enforcement officer, but told Elderts he had a gun and would shoot him in the face.

City Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa filed the papers Friday in opposing Deedy’s request for dismissal of the murder charge.

Deedy’s defense maintains he is immune from state prosecution under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause because he was acting as a federal law enforcement officer when the Nov. 5 incident occurred.