NATION Saturday, November 18, 2017 East Oregonian Page 15A Keystone pipeline leak won’t affect last regulatory hurdle San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office via AP This photo provided by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s office shows Randall Saito being arrested in Stockton, Calif., Wednesday. Saito, who escaped from a psychiatric hospital in Hawaii, was captured as the result of a tip from a taxi cab driver. Hawaii psychiatric patient says he’s surprised escape worked FRENCH CAMP, Calif. (AP) — A man who acknowl- edges killing a woman nearly 40 years ago said Friday that he is surprised he was able to walk out of a Hawaii psychiatric hospital and make it to California before being captured. Randall Saito spoke to The Associated Press in a jail near Stockton, California, before briefly appearing in court and telling a judge he doesn’t want to go back to Hawaii. “I was surprised that it actually worked,” the 59-year-old said in the jail interview. “I was expecting almost every leg of the way, I was expecting them to be right around the corner just going to nab me.” Saito left Hawaii State Hospital in suburban Hono- lulu on Sunday, got a taxi to the airport and took a charter plane to Maui. From there, he caught another flight to San Jose. He refused to say if anyone helped him escape, where he got the money to travel or how he acquired what he called “a pretty good” fake ID. He insisted that he only escaped to show that he should be free. “I had no delusions of settling down. That’s gran- diose. I was just trying to get as much time as possible under my belt to prove my point that I could be in the community without supervi- sion and not be truculent or violent or stupid,” Saito said. “I just wanted a track record to throw back into the hospital and say, ‘Look, nobody was there to super- vise me. I was out. I didn’t drink. I didn’t drug. I didn’t hurt anybody,” he said. Saito said he knew his money would run out at some point. “But I wanted to extend my time out there as much as possible, maximize my record, my track record, that would be in and of itself irrefutable proof that I was out there doing it,” he said. Saito was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity in the 1979 killing of Sandra Yamashiro. A 2002 article by the Honolulu Advertiser reported Saito picked his victim at random. “I am terribly contrite for what I did,” he told the AP. “I’ve regretted it from the day I realized that I had done it. And no one can be sorrier than I because no one is more culpable.” He said he faked mental illness to get out of a prison sentence and go to the state hospital instead. Saito, who has said he abused substances before the killing, said the hospital was never going to give him a chance so “whether this worked out or not, or whether it made things worse, what does it matter?” “I was riding that cab. The wind was blowing in my face. I was looking at all the lights in San Jose, and I actually felt human. And I thought to myself, ‘Oh my God, I’m a human being,’” he said. Saito was captured Wednesday in Stockton after authorities got a tip from a taxi driver. The driver, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because she was fearful Saito could retaliate against her, said she gave him a ride Tuesday before he called back and requested her again. She said Friday that she wonders whom Saito knows and if her life is in jeopardy. In court, Saito refused to agree to immediately be sent back to Hawaii, where he faces escape charges. Prose- cutors called it a “stall tactic.” He’s set to be back in court in California on Nov. 27. Saito didn’t have privi- leges to leave the hospital grounds without an escort. Saito’s repeated attempts to win such passes were rejected by the court. But he was allowed to roam the hospital grounds unattended. It took the hospital at least eight hours to notify law enforcement that Saito was missing. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has said the public and authorities should have been notified much sooner. The state has placed seven hospital employees on unpaid leave while it investigates. ROUND-UP: Sales on retail items, ticket and beverages were all up Continued from 1A Round-Up Publicity Director Randy Thomas said Friday that it’s not uncommon for stockholders to voice differing opinions. “The great thing is that everybody is included,” he said. But it isn’t common for a group of past directors to try to nominate someone against the board’s choice, Thomas said. Thomas declined to name the group of past directors who are pushing the nomi- nation and didn’t want to speculate as to who they would propose. According to the Round- Up’s bylaws, the Round-Up president must have at least four years of director experience before they are nominated and ratified by the stockholders. If past directors do nominate an alternative to the board’s choice, it would have to be a former director. Round-Up directors must retire from the board after eight years, creating a large pool of past directors. Several prominent past directors and board presidents interviewed said they had no direct knowl- edge of the board challenge. Mike Thorne, a former director, said he had been traveling recently and was out of the loop while John Trumbo said he knew about the potential challenge but gave a similar answer. “I’m out of the mix,” said Trumbo, a former Umatilla County sheriff. “I’m done with politics.” Butch Thurman, the board president in 2007 and 2008, declined to comment, citing his seat on the Round-Up Foundation Board. Thurman’s successor, Randy Severe, said he has also heard talk about the presidential nomination and couldn’t shed any light on the situation. But he did offer a statement. “There’s a lot of tradition with the Round-Up,” he said. “Nothing about this is traditional.” The board could have further broken with tradition if they had stuck with a plan to move up the annual meeting to August. But according to an Aug. 16 letter from the board of directors, the meeting was delayed until November after they consulted with past board presidents. “We understand this will allow for more participation and attendance while enabling the directors to concentrate on their duties in preparation to the Round-Up,” the letter states. In the letter asking stock- holders to support O’Neill, the board wrote that they would also address concerns from “a few past directors” by having a presentation on the future of the Round-Up and the rodeo’s finances. Thomas said the board has only been able to provide “highlights” during the past two meetings instead of a full financial report because the bookkeeper was unable to close the books for the previous rodeo by the time of the meeting. He added that the Round-Up has changed bookkeepers since then and will have a full report at the stockholder’s meeting. Thomas said there will be a lot of positive financial information shared at the meeting, including figures that show sales on retail items, tickets and beverages were all up. As the Round-Up goes for its third Best Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year award in a row, the board will also share some of its expansion plans, like its partnership with Blue Mountain Community College to bring an indoor arena to the Round-Up grounds. ——— Contact Antonio Sierra at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-966-0836. LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Discovery of a 210,000- gallon oil leak from the Keystone pipeline would seem to be poor timing four days before regulators in Nebraska decide whether to allow a major expansion of the system, but officials say state law does not allow pipeline safety to be a factor in their decision. The Nebraska Public Service Commission was scheduled to rule Monday if a Keystone XL expan- sion pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. can cross the state. The commission’s decision is the last major regulatory hurdle for a project that has faced numerous local, state and federal reviews and lawsuits since it was announced in 2008. Keystone operator TransCanada Corp. shut down the existing pipeline early Thursday morning and workers were testing to determine the cause of the spill on agricultural land in Marshall County, South Dakota, near the North Dakota border, about 250 miles west of Minneapolis. State and company officials said the spill was not a threat to waterways or drinking water, but critics were quick to use the leak as an example of what they see as the risks to the environment. The Nebraska vote Monday will be on a proposed route for Keystone XL, a massive expansion that also would be operated Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP, File This Nov. 2015 file photo shows a sign for TransCan- ada’s Keystone pipeline facilities in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada. by TransCanada. The new pipeline would carry an estimated 830,000 barrels of oil a day from the oil sands areas of Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it would connect with the existing Keystone pipeline. The decision will hinge on testimony and documents generated from public hearings over the summer and from more than 500,000 public comments, Nebraska Public Service Commission spokeswoman Deb Collins said. A state law passed in 2011 prevents the commission from factoring pipeline safety or the possibility of leaks into its decisions. “The commission’s decision ... will be based on the evidence in the record,” Collins said. The Keystone XL proposal has faced intense opposition in Nebraska from a coalition of envi- ronmental groups, Native American tribes and some landowners who don’t want the pipeline running through their property. Nebraska lawmakers gave the five-member commission the power to regulate major oil pipelines in 2011 in response to a public outcry over the pipeline and its potential impact on the Sandhills, an ecologically fragile region of grass-covered sand dunes. But when they passed the law, legislators argued that pipeline safety is a federal responsibility and should not factor in the state decision. Opponents of Keystone XL are incensed that the leak won’t be considered. “There is a reason TransCanada and the big oil lobby did not want this information on the record,” said Jane Kleeb, director of the Bold Alliance, a coali- tion of groups that have opposed the Keystone XL for nearly a decade. e-Edition AVAILABLE EACH MORNING BY 5:30 A.M. Access is included. Read the East Oregonian early in the morning each publication day with our e-Edition. Full access to this exact digital replica of the newspaper is included in your subscription. 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