State roundup for July 29
Schatz keeps his ballot secret
HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz is keeping his ballot secret as he casts his vote in Hawaii’s primary election.
Schatz voted Monday at Honolulu Hale, then said when asked whom he voted for in other races: “I’ll keep that to myself.”
The Democrat running against U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa for U.S. Senate said he thinks everybody is entitled to a secret ballot.
The Schatz family lives in the Makiki neighborhood of Honolulu, meaning Schatz is voting in the state’s biggest Democratic races besides his own.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie faces state Sen. David Ige in a primary for governor. And seven Democrats are seeking a House nomination in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.
Schatz cast his ballot with his wife, Linda Kwok Schatz, on the first day of early voting.
Food container ban considered
WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A Maui County Council committee will consider a bill that would ban disposable plastic foam food containers.
The Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee was scheduled to consider the bill Monday. The bill would prohibit food establishments and vendors from using or selling polystyrene containers.
The containers are now widely used to serve plate lunches.
Maui food providers would be able to apply for a one-year exemption if they can show no reasonable alternatives are available or if complying with a ban would cause significant economic hardship.
The Honolulu City Council is considering a similar bill. The Oahu bill would require plates, cups, bowls, trays and other food containers to be compostable.
Possible suspect in robbery spree
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police have arrested a 26-year-old homeless man for allegedly robbing a restaurant in Waipahu.
Investigators are trying to determine if the suspect is responsible for any of the dozens of armed robberies on Oahu in recent months.
Police say the suspect entered Elena’s restaurant at Tropicana Square around 7 a.m. Saturday and demanded money while wielding a 12-inch kitchen knife.
Officials say the man left with cash and later forced himself into an apartment with two people inside. With the help of witnesses, police tracked him down and arrested him on suspicion of first-degree robbery. No one was hurt.
Police officials said Friday there have been at least 11 robberies at convenience stores, 24-hour drugstores and fast-food restaurants in Oahu since June 30.
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