Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Speed of bail processing depends on variety of factors

By June Watanabe


Question: After my daughter was arrested for DUI, she called me to bail her out. I immediately went to the police station. It took about two hours. However, the Star-Advertiser reported that HPD Lt. Jason Kawabata, who was arrested for abuse, was released about a half-hour after his arrest after posting bail. What is the average time it takes for a person to be bailed out? Does it make sense that police are held to higher standards but perhaps receive special treatment in getting processed?

Answer: There is no "average" time for being processed for bail, with different circumstances determining how long the process takes, according to the Honolulu Police Department.

HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu said she could not comment specifically about Kawabata or how he was treated. (The prosecutor's office has since dropped the charge against him, saying there was not enough evidence.)

But Yu noted that anyone who turns himself or herself in typically gets processed more quickly. That's because the person knows what offense he or she faces and is prepared to post bail, she said.

Kawabata had turned himself in and was released after posting $1,000 bail.

At the other end of the spectrum, processing may take longer on weekends, or if large numbers of people are arrested at about the same time.

HPD explained that "for safety reasons, (it) tries to minimize prisoner-to-prisoner contact." That means "movements into and out of our Central Receiving Division are highly regulated and time-consuming."

Question: It's been weeks since the primary election, but a lot of candidates who lost still have their signs up. Is there a law that penalizes candidates who don't take down their signs?

Answer: Despite attempts to set restrictions on campaign signs, including limiting the time before and after a election they can be posted, there is no such law. Political/campaign signs are protected constitutionally as free speech.

While many campaign signs have disappeared, the Outdoor Circle says it still receives daily complaints about posted signs.

"Those whose signs should be gone include all candidates who lost or failed to qualify for a runoff election," said Bob Loy, director of environmental programs for the watchdog group.

Candidates who won their races outright also are included, he said. "For example, the election for mayor is over, yet campaign signs for both the winner and losers still are posted around Oahu."

The Outdoor Circle considers it reasonable that the signs come down within 10 days after an election.

Loy said the public should call the candidates directly to complain about their signs. Or, call the Outdoor Circle at 593-0300 and it will call them for you.

"Common courtesy dictates that when your election is over the signs should come down," Loy said.

Question: What is the legal time for a landscaper to run his leaf blower, weed whacker and tree shredder (mulcher) in a residential neighborhood? We had a company running its shredder at 7 a.m.

Answer: The new state law restricting leaf blowers doesn't deal with any other noisy yard-cleaning equipment.

Leaf blowers in or near residential areas are restricted to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and state or federal holidays. Government entities are exempt from the law.

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail

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