By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, March 25, 1999

UH seeks $1.5 million from
feds to attract Hawaiians

By Susan Kreifels, Star-Bulletin

The University of Hawaii is aiming for $1.5 million in federal funds this year to spend on programs that will get more native Hawaiians into college and help keep them there until graduation.

The last Congress set aside $3 million under the Higher Education Act for programs in institutions with at least 10 percent native Hawaiians or Alaskans. Half is earmarked for Hawaiians.

Unlimited funding was also approved for the next four years.

Officials at all UH community colleges and universities are writing proposals for the money. Applications are due in May.

Kuhio Day Pat DeLeon of Sen. Daniel Inouye's office said the money is targeted at community colleges, not major universities like UH Manoa.

"This is a program geared for small developing institutions, to seek out a population that might not go to college at all," DeLeon said. "This is for communities with unique student bodies and problems."

Hawaiian students at UH-Manoa drew attention to the funding last week at a Board of Regents meeting. They asked officials what they were doing to get the money and to get more Hawaiian students.

Throughout UH, enrollment was 13.9 percent Hawaiian last year. At UH Manoa, 10 percent of undergraduates are Hawaiian, as are 8.8 percent of the total of undergraduate and graduate students.

Retention of Hawaiians is the lowest of all ethnic groups. Just 48 percent are still in school by their fourth year. The retention rate of Japanese Americans is highest - 66 percent in the fourth year.

Kathy Jaycox, acting vice chancellor for Student and Community Affairs, said all seven community colleges have at least 10 percent Hawaiian students and are seeking the federal money.

$1.8 million to help isle
crime victims

Awards of $364,000 and $1,421,000 in federal funds have gone to the state to help support crime victim compensation and crime victim assistance programs, respectively.

Funds are from the Office for Victims of Crime of the U.S. Department of Justice and are released from a fund established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984.

The fund is financed by penalties assessed against convicted federal criminals, not by taxes.

Compost firm preparing response to allegations

State environmental health officials appear willing to give a Waimanalo composting facility some time to correct alleged violations, but the clock is ticking.

On Feb. 17, the Health Department's Office of Solid Waste Water Management notified Unisyn Biowaste Technology that it was not in compliance with its permit.

The letter noted the waste receiving area, grinder, mix tank, harvest tank and screening area must be totally enclosed, and that the effluent storage lagoon may not be used to store treated wastewater.

Unisyn has indicated that the state's concerns will be addressed in a draft environmental impact statement that is being prepared.

"We are attempting to negotiate a reasonable time frame for when they can comply" with their permit, said Gary Gill, deputy director of environmental health.

Unisyn has postponed a scheduled public information meeting.

Mililani teacher faces charge of sex assault

Police yesterday arrested a 36-year-old elementary school teacher in connection with the sexual assault of an 11-year-old student inside a classroom.

The Mililani Mauka Elementary School teacher was arrested after a girl reported an assault to her parents, police said. The assault allegedly happened March 18.

The teacher, who turned himself in at police headquarters after detectives called him, was booked for first-degree sexual assault at 4:54 p.m.

He is expected to be charged today, a detective said.

School officials could not be reached for comment.

Homeless man accused of killing transvestite

Police yesterday arrested a 39-year-old homeless man in connection with the death of a 40-year-old transvestite earlier this month.

The two men, who are acquaintances, had an argument in Chinatown near Puahi and Maunakea streets on March 14, homicide detectives said.

During the fight, the suspect cut the man's throat with a knife. The victim, whose identity has not been released, was taken to Queen's Hospital in critical condition. He died Friday.

The suspect was located yesterday on Punchbowl Street and booked for second-degree murder.

'Baywatch' producers meet with Teamsters

A "Baywatch" producer is optimistic that the syndicated television show may still relocate its production base from Los Angeles to Hawaii following a meeting yesterday with two Teamster union leaders.

Producers Greg Bonann and Frank Conway met with Tony Cousimano, Teamsters' Local 399 president/business representative/organizer, and Tom Marchetti, Local 399 business representative/organizer, to explain that the hour-long lifeguard drama "fully intends" moving to Hawaii or Australia but needs wage concessions to remain in the U.S.

Any suspicion whether "Baywatch" intends to leave Los Angeles after nine years of production was erased in the meeting, said Greg Bonann.

"They saw the empty warehouse, offices, and stage," he said. "They clearly understand our situation."

Local 399 head Leo Reed, who last week said he would not approve wage concessions for his members working on the show, did not attend yesterday's meeting.

The final decision on wage concessions rests with him.

Mainland group gives Molokai land for taro

WAILUKU -- A national conservation group has donated two acres of land in east Molokai to a Hawaii-based organization to use for the cultivation of taro.

The Trust for Public Land's donation, announced yesterday, is the second 2-acre parcel it has conveyed for taro farming in Halawa Valley.

The lands have been given to Maui Open Space Trust to manage for the use of Halawa Valley residents.

The trust is a nonprofit group based in San Francisco.

Festival will celebrate cultures from Africa

Leeward Community College will show off African cultures next month.

The Pacific and Asian Affairs Council will sponsor the International Festival Celebrating Africa on April 8 in the college's Eucalyptus Courtyard. The festival will include student displays and food booths plus drum performances at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

For more information call 455-0537.

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Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff


Child causes Makiki fire, injuring 72-year-old man

A child playing with a lighter started a fire yesterday that caused an estimated $100,000 damage to a second-floor Makiki unit of an apartment building at 1508 Dominis St., firefighters said.

Fire Capt. Robert Bird of the Makiki station said a 72-year-old man who lives in the unit suffered burns to his right hand, but there were no other injuries.

Firefighters, responding to the 2:32 p.m. alarm, reported the fire under control at 2:43 p.m.

Meanwhile, a storeroom fire earlier yesterday at 1936 S. King St. caused damages estimated at $200,000 to structure and $75,000 to contents.

The storeroom was used by Lois' Place, a bar on the ground floor of the building.

Investigators say there is no indication the cause of the 2:46 a.m. blaze is malicious.

Man faces four counts of sex assault on girl

Police yesterday charged Rocky Nahinu with four counts of sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl last year.

Nahinu, 30, is charged with one first- and three third-degree counts of sex assault.

He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Cops seek armed robbers of Temple Valley market

Police and CrimeStoppers are asking the public's assistance in identifying the men responsible for an armed robbery of the Temple Valley Times Supermarket on March 21.

Three men crashed a stolen white Mazda 626 into the locked doors. The driver, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, stayed in the car while the two others entered the store.



Man gets year in jail for stabbing his stepfather

Diamond Kealoha, who stabbed his stepfather a half-dozen times, has been sentenced to a year in jail and 10 years probation.

In a plea bargain, Kealoha's charges were dropped from attempted murder to attempted manslaughter, Deputy Prosecutor Maurice Arrisgado said yesterday.

Kealoha and his stepfather got into an argument last June concerning the stepfather's alleged abuse of Kealoha's mother. Kealoha picked up a seven-inch kitchen knife and stabbed his stepfather about six times in the neck and back. Most of the wounds were superficial and the victim survived.

Kealoha's mother and stepfather were reluctant to push for stronger charges against their son, Arrisgado said.

Kealoha, 22, must also pay $5,129 to his stepfather and attend anger management classes.

Dad charged with assault in son's severe beating

Samita Hall Sr., was arraigned in court yesterday on first-degree assault for allegedly abusing his 6-week old son, Samita Jr.

The infant suffered brain damage and severe bone fractures throughout his body, according to the prosecutor's office.

Hall Sr., 22 of Laie, was arrested for second-degree attempted murder Tuesday. The charge was lowered to assault at his arraignment.

He will appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Monday. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Racetrack owner suesto get Barbers Point land

Barbers Point land that he sought for a racetrack was given to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands instead and the owner of Hawaii Raceways Park wants another chance at it.

Hawaii Motor Sports Center, headed by Michael Oakland, filed suit yesterday, asking the U.S. District Court to stop the transfer of the 250-acre site he wants.

The transfer violates federal law, which does not permit an exchange of land by the federal government if the property generates an income or has the prospect of generating income, the suit says.

Oakland applied for the land in July 1994 and "went through various administrative hurdles to obtain it, either by purchase or lease," said attorney Edward Kemper. It was after he presented his case to the Barbers Point Redevelopment Commission that the new law was passed that undermined his effort.

Congress passed the Hawaiian Homes Recovery Act in November 1995 which provides that the United States could swap land originally designated for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for other federal property.

But, Kemper said, that act prohibited an exchange if the property generates income for the federal government. "One of the purposes is to provide employment in an area that is going to lose employment when a base closes," Kemper said.

Big Isle business owner sued for sex harassment

HILO - Two women who formerly worked for Big Island anthurium grower Steven Lichter have sued him, alleging sexual harassment at various times last year.

Eloise Krause and Joanne Tavares say in their suit that Lichter, who owns Pacific Paradise Anthuriums in Puna, asked them if they were wearing bras, pulled on their bra straps, asked them if they liked rough sex, and described his penis to them.

He also allegedly asked Tavares to become topless and give him a haircut, offered to give money to Krause to meet him after work, exposed his genitals to her and asked her for oral sex.

Lichter's attorney Brian De Lima said Lichter denies the accusations and believes the woman are trying a scam because they know his business is profitable.

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