The historic downtown Honolulu post office is expected to be put up for sale after a long-planned deal to transform the complex into a shopping center collapsed.
Post office plan fails;
site may be sold
The U.S. Postal Service said yesterday that it ended negotiations with USPO Redevelopment Corp., which had planned on purchasing the 300,000-square-foot site for $11.5 million and converting it into $54 million boutique shopping center.
Felice Broglio, a Postal Service spokeswoman, said the developer wasn't able to get his financing together.
A USPO spokesman couldn't be reached for comment.
The company first announced the project in 1996 and had hoped to begin construction the following year. But it encountered delay after delay, partly because of the difficulty in obtaining financing.
The Postal Service plans to re-evaluate the property, then ask whether any federal, state or local governments want to buy. If not, it would go on the open market. The sale will be handled by the Honolulu office of CB Richard Ellis.
After the building is sold, the Postal Service intends to maintain operations there, the agency said.
Much of the 78-year-old building currently is vacant.
The Honolulu Weekly will ask U.S. District Court Judge Susan Mollway to strike down a city ordinance that holds separate lotteries for coin- and noncoin-operated news racks in Waikiki.
Weekly asks court aid
in news-rack issue
Mollway, in an order this week, ruled in the city's favor that the ordinance was content-neutral.
But distinguishing between coin- and noncoin-operated racks is an "improper time, place and manner restriction" because it doesn't advance safety and aesthetics -- two areas the city can regulate.
The city will appeal that particular issue because it feels the ordinance logically promotes the city's interests of safety and aesthetics, said University of Hawaii law professor Jon Van Dyke, who is representing the city.
The city believes the size or compactness of the news rack furthers safety and aesthetics.
"We're comfortable with the ordinance and feel it meets constitutional standards," he said.
There should be a distinction between coin and noncoin racks because coin mechanisms require for security reasons that the rack and its enclosure be larger and heavier, Van Dyke said.
The Weekly currently occupies 10 coin-operated racks and fully expects the judge to issue a more permanent injunction that will allow it to occupy all 21 racks it sought earlier, said Jim Bickerton, attorney for the free Weekly.
Kunia repairs detour northbound trafficTraffic will be slowed on Kunia Road from North Kupuna Loop to Anonui Street for lane reconstruction.
Starting Tuesday, northbound drivers will be detoured onto a newly widened portion of Kunia Road.
Absentee voting begins statewide on MondayAbsentee voting begins Monday through Sept. 21.
Voting at most places will be available Monday through Saturday and voters must show proof of identification.
On Oahu, voting will be held at City Hall and at an office next to the Satellite City Hall at Windward Mall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at the Pearlridge Satellite City Hall, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Maui County voters may cast ballots at Maui County Building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at Kaunakakai State Office Building from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
Absentee voting on Kauai will be available at the Kauai County Building, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On the Big Island, residents may vote at Hilo County Building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m; Waimea Community Center, Monday-Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Pahala Community Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m.; and North Kohala Courthouse, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m.
MondaySome events of interest
Philippine President Joseph E. Estrada arrives.
7 p.m., Maemae Elementary School: Liliha/Kapalama No. 14 Neighborhood Board meeting, 319 Wyllie St.
7:30 p.m., Aiea Library: Neighborhood Board meeting, 99-143 Moanalua Road.
7:30 p.m., Waimanalo Library: Neighborhood Board meeting, 41-1320 Kalanianaole Highway.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Crash in fleeing police spurs manslaughter caseThe driver of a car that was allegedly involved in a traffic fatality following a police pursuit on the Big Island has been charged with manslaughter.
Richard Rosario, 20, has also been charged with resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle, having no drivers license and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.
Police allege Rosario failed to stop when so ordered and drove at a high rate of speed until his vehicle crashed into a car carrying 31-year-old Ellison Sweezey at the corner of Kanoelehua Avenue and Makaala Street in Hilo at 3:18 p.m. Thursday.
Sweezey became the Big Island's 27th traffic fatality.
Bus shelter collapses on 4, including toddlerFour people, including a 22-month-old child, escaped serious injury yesterday when a shelter made of aluminum and fiberglass was hit by the mirror of a city bus and collapsed on them.
The incident, at Kamehameha Highway and Olive Avenue, was reported to police at 4:30 p.m.
A woman and the child were treated at Queen's Medical Center and later released. Two adults were taken to Wahiawa General Hospital, which declined to release any patient information.
Officials from Oahu Transit Services, which operates the city bus,were unavailable for comment yesterday.
'Peeping' suspect arrested in WahiawaA 47-year-old man accused of peeping into windows in Wahiawa has been arrested.
On July 1, two residents found a man peeping inside an apartment in Wahiawa with his zipper undone, police said.
When confronted, he pulled out a small, sharp object, stabbed a man two times and ran away, according to a police report.
Police located the suspect Thursday and arrested him at his Wahiawa home.