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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, December 26, 2000

OHA logo

Apoliona voted OHA chair

By Pat Omandam

Haunani Apoliona was named today as the next chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees, with Kauai trustee Donald Cataluna to serve as vice chairman.

Apoliona, OHA's fourth chairperson since 1997, said she'll stress openness and inclusiveness at OHA. The former chief executive officer of Alu Like Inc. and an award-winning Hawaiian musician said there will be a role for all nine trustees on the board.

Apoliona won the leadership by a 6-3 vote, with Clayton Hee, Charles Ota and Rowena Akana voting for Hee as chairman. For the immediate future, Apoliona said the board must place an emphasis on planning the agency's next move.

"We're going to try to help each other be as anticipatory to the best extent possible," she said.

"Basically, we're trying to look forward."

Apoliona and Hee, the former OHA chairman and senior trustee, were both nominated as chairman at today's 2-1/2 hour board reorganization meeting. When asked to share their vision of the board, Hee turned to an impressive power-point presentation to outline his goals for OHA, while Apoliona worked effectively from scribbled notes.

The vote for vice chairman was closer with Cataluna edging out Rowena Akana by a 5-4 vote.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs


North Shore beaches closed to swimmers

The city Ocean Safety Division closed beaches to swimmers on Oahu's North Shore today because of 15-foot surf and strong currents.

The high surf was down from yesterday's 18- to 20-foot waves, but is still considered dangerous.

Beaches were also closed yesterday.

Surf on the North Shore was expected to remain above 12 feet today and drop to 8 to 12 feet tomorrow.

West-side beaches were expected to get surf of between 6 and 12 feet today and 4 and 8 feet tomorrow.

A high surf advisory was in effect for beaches on the north and west sides of all islands.

The safety division says only a few rescues were reported yesterday after the beaches were closed.

Water was washing onto the highway at Laniakea and Makaha in front of the Cornet Store yesterday, an Oahu Civil Defense spokesman said, but no damage was reported.

Another swell is expected Friday, the weather service said.

UH professor's book wins national award

Eric Yamamoto, University of Hawaii law professor, has received a national award for his recent book, Interracial Justice: Conflict and Reconciliation in Post-Civil Rights America.

A panel of judges selected Yamamoto's work for the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Books Award for 2000.

The Myers Award recognizes outstanding books in the areas of human rights, civil rights and social justice.

Yamamoto's work was deemed one of the 10 best books published for all of North America.

He explores the relationship between communities of color through race history, legal theory, theology, social psychology and stories, examining both the conflict in multiracial America and healing achieved through justice.

Yamamoto in 1994 was presented the Korematsu Civil Rights Award.

He also served on the University Council of the Spark M. Matsunaga institute for Peace.

He received a Rockefeller Foundation Award for international scholars last summer and studied at the Bellagio Institute in Italy.

The Gustavus Myers Program honors the groundbreaking historian who wrote about social justice in America. He died in 1942.

Update your flu IQ with a test on the Web

So, you think you know all about the flu?

Find out how much you actually know by taking the online Flu I.Q. Quiz. It was created by the American Lung Association of Hawaii to test people's knowledge about influenza and prepare them for the flu season.

The quiz can be accessed through the Web site:

Ability to recognize flu symptoms, identify the site of the infection and recognize the importance of immunization are tested in the quiz.

"We've created a fun and interactive tool in an effort to raise the public's knowledge about this potentially deadly disease," said Peter Flachsbart, association president in Hawaii.

Many people aren't aware that vaccination is the best defense against contracting flu and that treatment options are available if they get infected, he said.

Flu is a viral infection of the respiratory tract, and pneumonia is the most serious complication.

At the first sign of the virus, people should see a doctor, because anti-viral medications must be taken within the first 48 hours of the start of symptoms.

A new class of drug was introduced last year to treat influenza types A and B.

These drugs can alleviate flu-related symptoms about one day sooner if they are given within the first two days after symptoms appear, the association says.

Still time to donate vehicles for tax break

There's still time to donate your car to the American Lung Association and receive a deduction for the current tax year.

The Lung Association accepts used cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles and boats. The vehicles are sold to raise funds to fight asthma and other lung diseases through research, personal instruction and support services.

Hawaii has one of the highest rates of asthma in the nation, affecting more than 200,000 residents.

Anyone interested in making a donation should call 537-5966, extension 311, in Honolulu, or the Lung Association office on their island.

To receive a tax deduction for 2000, donations must be made by Dec. 31.

New QUEST center will answer users

A Customer Service Branch has been established by the state Department of Human Services to provide better QUEST and Medicaid services.

The new branch, created by the Med-QUEST Division, will include an Enrollment Call Center to enroll QUEST recipients into various medical and dental plans.

Beneficiaries may call to ask questions related to enrollment and to select medical and/or dental plans.

However, the Call Center can't answer questions about the status of new applications. Also, it won't be able to assist QUEST providers, who should call the Provider hotline, the division said.

To reach the Call Center:

Bullet On Oahu, call 524-3370; neighbor islands, toll-free, 1-800-316-8005; Oahu hearing-impaired TTY, 692-7182; neighbor islands TTY toll-free, pending.

Bullet To fax: On Oahu, 692-7224; neighbor islands, toll-free, 1-800-576-5504.

Bullet Mailing address: Department of Human Services, Med-QUEST Division/Customer Service Branch, Enrollment Call Center Section, P.O. Box 30130, Honolulu, HI 96820-0130.

Queen's hospice gets symbolic windows

The Hospice Hawaii unit in the Queen's Medical Center has new etched-glass windows created by artist Linda von Geldern in honor of her husband, Richard, who died of cancer at Queen's.

The windows, in the Kamehameha III ward, located on the third floor, were dedicated last month in a ceremony attended by von Geldern, her family and staff members from Hospice Hawaii and Queen's. Clarence Liu, Hospice Hawaii chaplain, led a blessing.

Stephen A. Kula, Hospice Hawaii president, said the ceremony "captured the unified spirit of caring that Hospice Hawaii and Queen's perpetuate as part of their mission to care for the terminally ill."

Hospice Hawaii has six beds in its Queen's unit. For more information about hospice care services, call 924-9255.

Tesoro gives HPU environmental grant

Tesoro Hawaii is giving Hawaii Pacific University an $8,750 grant to purchase research equipment for its environmental studies program. The gift is earmarked for a field-based watershed assessment system, which will allow faculty and students to measure vital characteristics of the environment.

"Hawaii's watersheds provide a wonderful opportunity for such field-based studies," said HPU President Chatt Wright.

Tesoro Hawaii provides financial and volunteer support to various community organizations in the state with special focus in the areas of environment and education.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Autopsy scheduled on body found in trash bin

Police homicide detectives are hoping an autopsy will provide clues to the death of a man whose body was found in a Waimanalo trash bin on Christmas.

The autopsy was to be performed this morning. The man had an injury to the back of his head and police have classified the case as "suspicious."

Police believe the victim was a 45-year-old man who had been reported missing. He had no identification, but his description matches a missing person report filed last night. Family members were to attempt to identify the victim today.

The man was well-dressed, wearing black pants and a gray shirt with just one shoe, said police homicide Lt. Bill Kato.

"Obviously, he didn't die there because his shoe is missing," Kato said.

Keith Ward, the owner of Keneke's, told police he saw a pair of legs sticking out of the trash bin behind his restaurant when he went to throw out a garbage bag at 3 p.m. yesterday. It was the first time he went to the bin since 6 p.m. Christmas Eve, police said.

A University of Hawaii entomologist was called in to help police determine the age of insects found on the body, which might tell investigators when the victim died.

Woman, 21, charged in ramming friend's car

Joley Rezantes, 21, was charged with second-degree attempted murder yesterday for allegedly driving her car head-on into her former boyfriend's car Sunday afternoon.

The incident took place outside Rezantes' Kaneohe home on Apapani Street and Luluku Road after an argument with the man, 22, who had returned to the apartment to get his belongings.

He was taken to Castle Medical Center, where he was reported in guarded condition.

Alert neighbor helps thwart burglary attempt

A Christmas Day burglar was surprised by police who caught him in the bedroom of a Waialua house he had allegedly entered.

Police say a neighbor reported seeing a flashlight beam at the house after he heard dogs barking at around 4:20 a.m. yesterday. The man let police into the house at 67-231 Kahaone Loop, where officers arrested a 17-year-old boy.

Waikiki fire injures 1, causes $7,000 damage

A fire at a three-story Waikiki apartment building at 1819 Lipeepee St. sent one person to the hospital and caused $7,000 damage at 2:30 a.m. today, the fire department said. The victim was taken to Straub Hospital and was reported in good condition.

4 men attempt to rob Kalihi paper salesman

Police arrested four men who allegedly assaulted and attempted to rob a man selling newspapers in Kalihi this morning.

The 50-year-old newspaper salesman was at the corner of Hart Street and Waiakamilo Road when a man tried to grab the waistbag in which the salesman kept his money, police said.

Three other men joined the first suspect and punched the victim repeatedly in the face and kicked him, police said.

The victim ran to a nearby fire station, and the suspects fled.

He was treated at the scene for a cut on the face.

A witness helped police identify and arrest the men. The suspects were between 18 and 26 years old, police said.

2 elderly pedestrians hurt while crossing street

Two elderly pedestrians were hit by cars in separate accidents this morning.

A 69-year-old man was hit in a crosswalk shortly before 7 a.m. by a car on Ala Moana Boulevard at Piikoi Street, police said. He was taken to Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, but his condition has been upgraded to guarded. He may have crossed against the signal, witnesses report.

On Aala Street, an elderly woman was struck by a car and taken to Queen's Medical Center before 6 a.m., police said. Her condition was also upgraded to guarded from critical.

Big Isle man killed after car hits stone wall, tree

A man died yesterday from injuries suffered when he was partially ejected from a sedan that ran off a gravel roadway, struck a stone wall and hit a tree on the Big Island.

The man, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at Hilo Medical Center at 7:17 a.m., an hour and 39 minutes after the incident at the end of Kalanianaole Street was reported.

The man had not yet been identified, and police Traffic Enforcement Unit investigators say an autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.

The traffic fatality is the 38th of the year on the Big Island.

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