County heightens security

LIHUE — Extra security measures will be in place today for the Kauai Council meeting regarding the controversial Bill 2491, officials said Wednesday.

Anybody planning to attend the meeting will be screened by handheld metal detectors before they’re allowed to enter the Historic County Building as a precautionary measure to reported threats Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and other officials received after the mayor vetoed the bill last week.

“In light of the conduct of some members of the public that took place inside of the council chambers of the Historic County Building during the Oct. 15, 2013 special council meeting … coupled with the increased tensions that have arisen since the mayor’s veto of the bill, the Kauai County Council and Kauai Police Department will be taking extra precaution in ensuring the safety of our community,” a county press release stated.

Personal belongings, including bags, containers, food and beverage containers will not be allowed in the chambers, according to the release.

Anyone who does not comply with this policy will not be allowed into the meeting. Media with verified credentials will only be allowed to bring in electronic equipment after receiving clearance.

The police department is still investigating reported threats the mayor and others received after the mayor’s veto. Police Chief Darryl Perry told The Garden Island over the weekend that the department has received tips on possible suspects, that the FBI could get involved, and that the department will make an announcement if someone is arrested.

Before the mayor’s veto, the County Council passed Bill 2491 6 to 1, which would require large seed companies to disclose their pesticide use, among other restrictions. Beginning at 9 this morning, the council could consider what its next step is in regards to scheduling a vote to override the veto. An override would require five council votes, and that vote could happen next week.

After the county said it was investigating possible threats, it said that the initial investigation showed the alleged threats were “the actions of individuals who are not representative of the anti-GMO movement here on Kauai.”

“Our investigation has not shown there is a connection to the pro-bill movement and the people who are leading the charge,” Perry said Saturday. “This appears to be, like I said, individuals who are expressing their own ideology; the threats are coming both locally and off-island.”

 • Tom Hasslinger, managing editor, can be reached at 245-0427 or thasslinger@thegardenisland.com.

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