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Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, November 18, 1999


Millennium Moments

Millennium special

Multipurpose park

TODAY, Kapiolani Park is host to young soccer players, weekend warriors and other outdoor recreationalists.

But when it was dedicated by King Kalakaua in 1877, the park was host to a particular passion of the people: horse racing.

"What a spectacle there was presented in Kapiolani Park," according to "Hawaii: Offshore Territory." "The great oval of the track, smooth and level and in splendid condition ... the bright, interested, intent faces of the people everywhere. The crowd of carriages range along the side of the course, the attractive ladies, leis in abundance ... and the crowded grandstand."

And then there were the ponds, a venue for canoe paddling, says "Vignettes of Old Hawaii" by David Free.

But in 1889, with annexation came a halt to the fun in the park. U.S. troops set up camp in Kapiolani Park, at the base of Diamond Head, and the racetrack's infield became populated with pup tents, Free says. For five years, Camp McKinley housed soldiers while the Spanish-American War raged in the Philippines.

After the camp disbanded, polo occupied the park in the early 1900s. And after World War I, Kapiolani Park was site of one of Hawaii's first airfields, Free says. In 1920, an inaugural commercial airplane flight departed from the park for a spin around Oahu.

Tapa

Remains may be
drug ring murder victim

Police digging in a Waialua pineapple field found what they believe are the skeletal remains of a murder victim missing for more than two years.

Investigators were looking for John Wailehua-Hansen, 41, one of four men missing in connection with a North Shore drug ring.

A positive identification will be made through dental records, said homicide Lt. Allen Napoleon.

Gregory Peregil, 39, was indicted by an Oahu grand jury in September in connection with Wailehua-Hansen's death. Peregil was charged with second-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bail.

The body was found in an area police had searched a few months ago. But "several sources" said the body was buried deeper.

Peregil is the third suspect in the four men's disappearance. Benjamin Tandal, 20, and Edward Vidal, 33, were charged in connection with the deaths of Steve Tozon and Tranquilino Bati Jr., missing since June 1997. Paris France disappeared in October 1997.

Tapa

Honolulu Shipyard attempts
to block eviction

By Debra Barayuga, Star-Bulletin

Honolulu Shipyard Inc. is seeking a temporary injunction to block the state Department of Transportation from ousting it from Pier 41 over a rental dispute.

In a suit filed yesterday in Circuit Court, the company asked that it be allowed to continue operating from the pier until the state can set a fair monthly rent based on an independent appraisal.

The company in October 1984 obtained a 30-day revocable permit from the state to lease the property for $34,352 a month, with the intention of negotiating a long-term lease.

The property, which owner Dillingham Corp. operated as a shipyard, earlier had been condemned by the state.

Pending the lease, Honolulu Shipyard and Dillingham were unable to make improvements to the property. They have sought a lease for the past 15 years, but the Harbors Division is "unwilling and/or unable" to grant one, the suit says.

Tapa

Kaneohe state hospital receives accreditation

A national accreditation board has given the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe a preliminary three-year accreditation.

Surveyors of the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations said the hospital had made significant improvements since its last accreditation in 1996.

"JCAHO accreditation means that Hawaii residents will continue to have a mental health care facility that meets national standards for acceptable care," said Bruce Anderson, director of the Department of Health.

The hospital has been operating under the oversight of the U.S. District Court after settling a 1991 lawsuit with the U.S. Justice Department over the quality of care at the facility.

Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Advertiser's owner requests rehearing

The owner of The Honolulu Advertiser has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a decision upholding a preliminary injunction that prevents the closing of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Gannett Pacific Corp. filed the request yesterday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It had announced on Tuesday that it planned to file the request..

The company's petition asks for a review of the decision by an 11-judge panel of the appeals court. Three judges issued Monday's ruling upholding a preliminary injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Alan Kay last month.

A majority of the 21 active judges in the 9th Circuit must approve Gannett's request for a rehearing of the case.

Judges generally decide within three weeks whether to deny the petition for rehearing or to ask parties in the case to submit responses to the petition, a clerk with the 9th Circuit said today.



Paper's shutdown on hold

Tapa

Oceanic works to fix Road Runner service

Oceanic Cable today said it is working to resolve problems with its Road Runner high-speed Internet provider affecting some of its 18,000 subscribers since early yesterday.

Company spokesman Kit Beuret said a $500,000 upgrade of the service that began late Tuesday night resulted in some customers losing the ability to log on to the Internet or to receive e-mail.

"The service is much more popular than we'd ever dreamed two years ago when we began it," Beuret said. The upgrade was to expand the high-speed Internet access to a 100,000-customer capacity.

Beuret said Road Runner subscribers should be able to browse the Internet and send e-mail today but that some are still unable to receive e-mail. He said the messages are in the system and can be retrieved when the problems are resolved.

Mirikitani's heart surgery successful

Councilman Andy Mirikitani had successful surgery to correct a congenital heart defect yesterday.

Mirikitani, 44, is expected to remain at Queen's Hospital until the weekend and return to his duties at City Hall around the middle of next week, said close friend Sharron Bynum.

The surgery was to repair a hole between the two chambers of his heart, a condition he has had since birth, and doctors were able to stitch it closed, Bynum said.


Clarification

Tapa

Bullet Moanalua golf course opened in 1898 as an 18-hole course, as stated in Tuesday's "Millennium Moments." It was converted into a nine-hole course in 1901.



Correction

Tapa

Bullet Former UH football coach vonAppen's first name is Fred. An incorrect first name appeared yesterday in a letter to the editor.






Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Police seek suspect in theft of rental Jeep

Police this morning were searching for an auto-theft suspect on the North Shore who drove his stolen car into the water.

A male who stole a 1999 Jeep from Dollar Rental Car slammed into a car near Laniakea Beach at 5:14 a.m., police said.

He started to drive away but apparently lost control and drove into the water.

He was able to get out of the Jeep and run away.

No major injuries were reported.

Hiker with broken leg rescued by firefighters

Firefighters yesterday rescued a 15-year-old boy who broke his leg while hiking on the Mokuleia side of Kaena Point.

Waialua Fire Capt. Thomas Roblin said the boy fell about 15 feet while climbing a dry waterfall less than a mile in from the roadway.

A companion hiked out and called for help. The boy was brought out at about 6:15 p.m.

Makiki man accused of hitting girlfriend

A 33-year-old Makiki man was arrested yesterday for allegedly punching his girlfriend and fracturing her jaw.

The couple was fighting at their Villa Lane home at 10 p.m. when he reportedly assaulted her, police said.

Coast Guard cutter helps disabled vessel

The Coast Guard cutter Washington yesterday towed the disabled fishing vessel Katherine III into Kewalo Basin.

The Katherine III, which had a broken propeller shaft, reported being disabled Tuesday about 85 miles south of Honolulu.

The icebreaker Polar Star, which was en route to Sydney, Australia, assisted in the rescue.

No injuries were reported.






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