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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, August 5, 2006

HAWAI'I BRIEFS
Man, 54, charged in beating death

Advertiser Staff

A 54-year-old man was charged with manslaughter yesterday after another man died of injuries he suffered after being punched Wednesday night.

Kapeli Lafaele was charged yesterday afternoon and was being held on $100,000 bail. Police said Lafaele is homeless.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, two men got into an argument when one of the men took a bedsheet from the other on Beretania Street. Another man, 58, intervened and was punched by the suspect, police said.

The man got up, but was punched again and this time he fell and struck the back of his head on the roadway, police said. The man was taken to The Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. Police said he died of his injuries Thursday afternoon.

Police arrested Lafaele shortly after the incident on suspicion of first-degree assault. But Lafaele was charged with the more serious crime after the injured man died.



MARATHON PADDLE CONTINUES TODAY

A group of outrigger canoe paddlers will leave Kaua'i today to continue an extended marathon paddle through the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Voyaging Society two years ago paddled from Kaua'i to Nihoa in 27.5 hours, and last year paddled from Nihoa to Necker Island, or Mokumanamana, in 32.5 hours.

On this trip, after traveling from Kaua'i to Mokumanamana, their canoe will be placed in the water and the 16 paddlers plan to traverse the 450 miles from Mokumanamana past French Frigate Shoals to Laysan Island.

Fifteen men and one woman will rotate in and out of the six-seat canoe hourly, and the canoe will keep going night and day. The group expects to be paddling for 94 hours the longest voyage it has yet attempted.

The 40-foot canoe, built for this mission, will be accompanied by a powered escort vessel, where crew members will eat and rest when not paddling.

Society leader Kimokeo Kapahulehua, in a written statement, said the multiyear effort actually started on the Big Island, and its goal is to travel the entire Hawaiian archipelago.

Kapahulehua said the trip is a voyage of reconnection with the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, promoting the stewardship of the Hawaiian Islands and its culture and perpetuating the experiences of ancient Polynesian voyagers.



FAULTY CORD LINKED TO 'AIEA HOME FIRE

A faulty electric power cord caused the fire that claimed the life of an 'Aiea man on July 24, the fire department said yesterday.

The fire, which started in a rear bedroom, destroyed the one-story wooden Uwau Street home and killed 81-year-old Susumu Kajiwara. Neighbors tried to fight the blaze with hoses before firefighters arrived to find the structure engulfed in flames.

The Red Cross provided aid and counseling to Kajiwara's brother, who also lived in the home.



THREE BOARDS CREATED TO HEAR TAX APPEALS

In an effort to speed up the processing of city property tax appeals, Mayor Mufi Hannemann has signed into law a new ordinance that allows the creation of three additional appeal boards.

"This new ordinance allows the city to reduce the backlog in taxpayer appeals, which grew from 2,500 to 4,000 last year and 6,000 this year," Hannemann said.

The boards hear and decide on taxpayer challenges to property tax assessments. The two current boards meet at the Real Property Tax Office in Honolulu. Hannemann said an additional board will meet at Kapolei Hale.

The administration had proposed adding a single additional board, and the City Council authorized up to three more, for a total of five.