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Newswatch


Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Monday, July 19, 1999


Millennium Moments

Millennium special

State song fit for a king

"Hawaii Pono'i" was made Hawaii's state song in 1967 by the state Legislature, almost a century after it was named the Kingdom of Hawaii's national anthem in 1876.

King Kalakaua wrote the lyrics as a tribute to Kamehameha I; the music was composed by Royal Hawaiian Band leader Henry Berger. "Hawaii Pono'i," which means "Hawaii's Own," was first performed by the Kawaiaha'o Choir in November 1874.

Other official "state" entities include:

Bullet The state tree: the kukui, or candlenut tree.
Bullet The state flower: the yellow hibiscus.
Bullet The state mammal: the humpback whale, an endangered species which visits Hawaii's waters annually during the winter season.
Bullet The state bird: the nene, or Hawaiian goose, also an endangered species.

Tapa

Army's chemical weapons
disposal faces probe

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Sen. Mitch McConnell today asked the investigative arm of Congress to review the Army's program to dispose of chemical weapons.

(Weapons are being incinerated at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System facility on Johnston Island, 825 miles southwest of Honolulu.

Work is scheduled to be completed in fall 2000. There are 280,000 chemical weapons stored on the island, or 6.6 percent of the U.S. chemical weapons arsenal.)

In a letter to David Walker, comptroller general of the General Accounting Office, McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Ark., requested that the agency look at all "obligations and expenditures" from the chemical demilitarization program from 1993-1999.

The letter also asks the GAO to examine whether the Department of Defense is on schedule to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile by a federally mandated April 2007 deadline.

"More than $4.5 billion has been provided to the Army, and now they claim they don't have the funds," McConnell said today. "The facts suggest they have enough money to do the job. The bottom line is, the Army will do the job Congress told them to do."

The Army determined in the early 1980s that incineration was the only safe and practical way to dispose of the nearly 30,000 tons of chemical weapons across the country.

Opponents have argued that burning the weapons is too dangerous, with the potential for small amounts of nerve agent to be released from smokestacks.

Congress gave the military $40 million in 1996 and demanded it demonstrate at least two other methods for disposal. An independent review group proposed that six methods be studied, but the Army and the Defense Department agreed to test only three.

Tapa

State executive branch mostly Y2K compliant

State executive branch departments are winning the race to be Y2K computer compliant, said Comptroller Raymond Sato.

"As of June 30, 1999, 701 out of 881 of our Y2K projects are ready," Sato said. "Our completion date for Y2K fixing and testing of systems in the executive branch departments is Sept. 30, 1999, except for three systems, which will be completed in October of 1999."

Ten of the state's 12 mission-critical application information systems are fully Y2K compliant, Sato said.

State agencies are contacting their vendors and business partners for information that could affect the state's operations, and the majority of responses indicate they likewise are working toward compliance, the Department of Accounting and General Services said.

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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Police, Fire

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff


By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
A fire caused $230,000 damage to a sound and lighting
booth and a downstairs smoothie bar on the grounds
of Germaine's Luau Saturday night.



$230,000 fire shuts luau for 2 days

Germaine's Luau will be closed for two days following an electrical fire at its Campbell site Saturday night.

No one from Germaine's would comment, but the luau is scheduled to reopen tomorrow.

According to Honolulu Fire Department Captain Richard Soo, the fire caused $230,000 damage -- $80,000 to the structure, $30,000 to the downstairs smoothie bar, and $120,000 to sound equipment.

The probable cause of the fire was an overheated appliance, Soo said.

Three companies and a battalion chief from the Kapolei and Makakilo stations responded to the fire at 91-1121 Olai St. at 11:42 p.m. Saturday.

The fire was under control at 11:57 p.m.

Tapa

Cops nail 2 young men, juvenile during burglary

Police arrived at Marukin store in Liliha early today during a burglary in progress and arrested two men and a juvenile at the scene.

A tip from a neighbor at 3:38 a.m. alerted police to the break in at 1717 Liliha St.

Responding officers found two suspects in a parked van and another inside the store.

The two adult men arrested are both 20 years old, police said.

Water-main breaks slow Makiki, Waipahu traffic

Two breaks of 6-inch water mains in Makiki and Waipahu slowed early morning traffic.

Board of Water Supply crews expected to have repairs completed by early afternoon.

Liloliho Street, makai of Wilder Avenue, was closed at 3:45 a.m.

A break, fronting 94-1257 Waipahu St. at 4:28 a.m., forced traffic and bus routes between Hianakiu and Mahoe streets to be diverted.






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