State briefs for December 26

Potential coastal flooding forecast this week

HONOLULU — The state faces the possibility of coastal flooding this week, according to the National Weather Service.

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King tides, high winds and possible heavy rains are expected to affect most of the state. The weather service warned residents about tides that could be higher than normal and changing weather conditions west of the islands.

The weather change could bring coastal flooding in low-lying areas, especially around the peak high tides that occur between midnight and daybreak, experts said.

The potential for coastal flooding is likely to dwindle by the end of the week, but residents are advised to stay alert before then, forecasters said.

The impacts of king tides, combined with the approaching weather pattern, might cause flooding at beaches that normally remain dry. Saltwater inundation of low-lying roads, docks, boat ramps and other coastal infrastructure is also possible.

The current weather pattern could bring winds from a different direction, resulting in some downed trees and possibly some power outages, according to forecasters.

Judge sentences dog abuser to 1 year in prison

HONOLULU — A man who was recaptured after fleeing the state was sentenced to a year in prison for severely abusing a dog.

Steven Boos received the longest sentence for second-degree cruelty to animals because of the severity of the animal’s injuries,.

The dog suffered head trauma, pelvic fractures and other wounds that required the amputation of a hind leg and implantation of a metal plate, authorities said.

Boos pleaded no contest to abusing his then-girlfriend’s dog in 2017. He received a sentence of 30 days in prison that he was scheduled to begin serving in July 2018. Authorities said he fled to the mainland and was recaptured and extradited to Hawaii following an anonymous tip to the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Boos said he received death threats following news of his conviction.

Boos told a judge he simply played too rough with the dog, named Tulip, and did not mean to harm the pet.

District Court Judge Myron Takemoto said during sentencing that Boos didn’t do anything to demonstrate remorse.

“Playing soccer with a 6-pound (2.7-kilogram) dog, that’s ridiculous,” the judge said.

Boos didn’t acknowledge beating the dog. Instead, he said it fell off a couch, got hit by a car or was accidentally sat or stepped upon, said Deputy Prosecutor Jan Futa.

Enforcement division attempts to clean up harbor area

HONOLULU — Recent enforcement sweeps by state officials meant to clean up a waterfront area on Oahu resulted in 550 violations.

The state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement conducted the sweeps at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor. But area residents said homeless encampments, derelict and sinking boats and piles of trash were evident again only weeks after the sweep, indicating the need for a continued presence.

The pilot program took place during three weekends in November, when enforcement officers patrolled the harbor at night.

State Sen. Sharon Moriwaki, a Democrat, said the action was successful enough that she hopes to make the pilot a permanent effort, either through a bill or by adding resources to its budget.

The enforcement division is part of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The division received more than 47 complaints during the past five months about the harbor separate from its enforcement efforts.

The complaints involved criminal activity and security concerns such as illegal parking, boating activities, small-boat harbor rule violations and violations against people, said Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla.

“The saturation type of operation was determined to be the initial course of action to address illegal activities because it had been used in the past, and was a successful enforcement model,” Redulla said.

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Moriwaki plans to work with the enforcement division to learn its needs to maintain a more permanent presence.

“We need to get the harbor to the point where it’s clean and managed and secure,” Moriwaki said. “We don’t want boats having unexpected visitors or people feeling that they can’t walk about at night without worrying that they could be accosted.”

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