By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Millennium Moments

Millennium special

Tiny Necker Island, a bird
sanctuary, teems with artifacts

Stretching out beyond Kauai, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are rich with ancient artifacts.

Take Necker Island, for example, which has an area of about 0.07 of a square mile at an elevation of 276 feet. Artifacts have been found there, as well as remains of fishponds, ditches, agricultural terraces, and house and temple platforms, according to "Place Names of Hawaii" by Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Elbert and Esther Mookini.

The tiny island was discovered on Nov. 4, 1786, by La Perouse, and was named after Jacques Necker, French minister of finance under Louis XVI, the authors say.

Necker Island was annexed to Hawaii in 1894, and today is part of the City and County of Honolulu as a bird sanctuary.


Record 59 temperature puts a big chill on Hilo

HILO -- Mainland relatives facing snow and ice on the ground might disagree, but for the people of Hilo, the last two early morning temperatures have been downright cold.

The temperature dipped to a low of 59 degrees yesterday and this morning, the National Weather Service said. The previous record low for Dec. 29 was 60 degrees, reached in 1965 and 1984. The previous low for Dec. 30, also 60 degrees, was reached in 1950, 1959, 1985 and 1990.

Kuakini nurses ratify their new contract

Registered nurses at Kuakini Medical Center overwhelmingly ratified a new contract last night, closing the door on the possibility of a nurses strike at any of the "Big Five" hospitals.

More than 70 percent of the 220 nurses voted to pass the three-year contract.

It allows nurses to participate in staffing decisions and to collect data on nursing indicators, which will look at the type and quality of care nurses give. It also gives them an 8 percent raise over three years.

A New Year's first for Pearl sub's sailors

Sailors on a submarine homeported at Pearl Harbor will be the first U.S. military personnel to welcome the New Year, the Navy said.

The USS Topeka, a Los Angeles class nuclear-powered submarine on a routine deployment, will surface at the international dateline on the equator to welcome the New Year.

There, the crew will simultaneously experience different hours, days, months, years, centuries and millennia in two hemispheres and two seasons.

Box jellyfish alert up today through Saturday

Advance teams of box jellyfish should start hitting Oahu beaches today, with the primary invasion expected to peak Friday and Saturday.

The Ocean Safety Division has issued a box jellyfish watch and lifeguards will be assessing beaches during the alert period and posting advisories as necessary. The Ala Moana Beach Park swimming channel and Waikiki Beach are most commonly affected.



Bullet The YWCA 2K Millennium Run will be held at 10 p.m. tomorrow. It begins and ends at Likelike Mall, the strip between Iolani Palace and Hawaii State Library. An item Monday had an incorrect time and location.

Bullet The Hugo Stangewald residence on Iliahi Street was torn down several years ago despite attempts to preserve it. Monday's Millennium Moment said incorrectly that it still existed.

Bullet William H. Taft was the second future president to visit Hawaii -- in 1900 -- before ascending to office. Herbert Hoover was the first, in 1899. Tuesday's Millennium Moments said incorrectly that Taft was the first.

Bullet In today's preprinted insert on the University of Hawaii football team, the final chart in the statistics of the 9-4 record should be titled Oahu Bowl.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Two banks robbed on Oahu yesterday

With a day to go, Hawaii has tied the record for most bank robberies in a month, the FBI said.

Two bank robberies yesterday brought the number of bank robberies in December to 11. The record was first set in September of this year.

A man described as possibly a teenager robbed the Kaneohe branch of Bank of Honolulu at 4:40 p.m., the FBI said.

The suspect entered the bank at 46-028 Kawa St. and gave a teller a demand note, the FBI said. She gave him an undisclosed sum, which he placed in a Liberty House bag. A dye pack with the money exploded when the man fled.

The suspect was described as about 5 feet 6, 160 pounds, with brown hair, black T-shirt and faded blue jeans.

In the other incident, the American Savings Bank branch at the Salt Lake Shopping Center was robbed by a man who said he had a bomb in a fast-food bag.

The man in the 12:42 p.m. robbery allegedly showed a teller a pistol in his waistband. He fled with an undisclosed sum and left the bag at the teller's window. A police bomb squad cleared the bank and found the bag contained six "D" batteries, the FBI said.

The man appeared to be in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 10, slender, about 160 pounds, with light brown hair, brown eyes and a tan complexion. He was dressed in a white button-down shirt over a brown T-shirt and jeans.

The two bank robberies brought the state's total for the year to 50. The record for the most bank robberies in a year is 65 set in 1995.

Two divers drown in waters off Big Isle

HILO -- Big Island authorities reported two apparent drownings in unrelated incidents yesterday.

A visitor from Oahu died while skin diving with companions off Puhi Bay in Hilo shortly before 9 p.m. yesterday, police said.

Charles Oyama, 64, of Honolulu, appeared to lose consciousness and had to be helped to shore by friends, police said.

At Honuapo in the Kau District, a person was found on the ocean bottom by fellow divers about 10:54 p.m., the fire department said.

Maui motorcyclist critical after accident

LAHAINA -- A 32-year-old motorcyclist is in critical condition at Maui Memorial Hospital following a traffic accident in Lahaina in which the man hit a car, police said.

Grant Antis of Lahaina struck a Cadillac which turned in front of him while making a left turn from Front Street to Papalaua Street about 6:12 p.m. yesterday, they said.

The driver of the the Cadillac, Michael Potasni, 41, of Michigan, was not injured.

Firefighters save residence in Hilo

HILO -- County firefighters limited damage to an Ainaola Drive home in Hilo to $22,000 when a refrigerator compressor caught fire yesterday, they said.

The major part of the home, owned by Toshiko Shiroma and valued at $155,000, was saved, they said.

Man is arrested for knife threat

Police arrested a 24-year-old man who allegedly used a kitchen knife to threaten a woman in Kaneohe yesterday.

An off-duty police officer saw the man threaten the woman on Kekikane Loop at 9:30 p.m., police said. The man was subdued by the officer and witnesses.

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