Man-o-war stings close Hanauma Bay
Officials closed Hanauma Bay at 3 p.m. yesterday after about 30 people were stung by Portuguese men-of-war within an hour.
Over the course of the day, about 50 people were stung, said Ocean Safety dispatcher Rob Miller. The jump in stings that started about 2 p.m. is believed to be related to the incoming tide, Miller said.
The wind-driven men-of-war were brought into the bay by onshore winds that are expected to continue today.
Miller said officials could close the bay today depending on the number of men-of-war spotted in the morning.
Teamsters sued over coming union election
Nine members of the Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996 have filed suit in federal court against the union, alleging they are being deprived of their right to nominate and vote for the candidate of their choice.
The plaintiffs include Anson "Slim" Ilae, a bus driver who sued the union but was denied a court order to get his name on the ballot for the upcoming Teamsters' elections.
U.S. District Judge Susan Mollway ruled Tuesday that Ilae had not shown he was being discriminated against when the union, at the last minute, declared him ineligible to run for president against incumbent Mel Kahele, who is on the ballot unopposed. But Mollway left the door open for Ilae to file an amended complaint or provide new information.
The plaintiffs contend that if Ilae's name is not placed on ballot and they can't vote for anyone other than Kahele for president, they will suffer irreparable harm.
Mollway is expected to hear their arguments for a temporary restraining order today.
Nimitz lane to be shut for contraflow test run
The left Ewa-bound lane of Nimitz Highway will be closed from 9 p.m. to midnight today to allow for a final test run of a new contraflow lane.
During the closure, drivers traveling Ewa-bound on Nimitz will not be allowed to make left turns onto side streets.
The lane is expected to be open on Monday. It will serve as a contraflow lane from 4:30 to 8:45 a.m. weekdays.
The contraflow lane will run from the Keehi Interchange and Middle Street area to Pier 32 near Hilo Hattie.
For more information, call the state Department of Transportation at 587-2160 or go to www.state.hi.us/dot/publicaffairs on the Internet.
Hospital hosts art exhibit and benefit
The fourth annual "Art from the Heart" exhibition and fund-raiser at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 3 in the hospital lobby, 226 N. Kuakini St.
The art is presented for sale by patients in the hospital's Louis Vuitton Creative Arts Program. Paintings, gift boxes, flower pots and handmade bags useful as lap covers or for the back of wheelchairs are available for sale.
"This is an affordable way to get original art for homes, offices and other spaces," said Ellen Matsumoto, who heads the art program.
Most of the artists will be there "to make the purchase even more special," she said.
The art therapy program, begun in 1994, offers a creative outlet to patients learning to cope physically and emotionally with a disability, including those with strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and orthopedic and sports injuries. Patients receive art instruction on the hospital's outdoor lanai for 10 hours a week. Art works are always on display in the hospital hallways and available for purchase.
Funds raised from the sales sponsor the artist and the program.
The back cover of the Verizon Oahu Super Pages, featuring the painting "Hybrid Hibiscus" by Joyce Arizumi, is an example of the patients' artistry.
The program is open to anyone who has gone through the rehabilitation or maintenance process at the hospital or one of its statewide outpatient clinics. Materials, supplies and art instruction are provided.
Walk raises awareness of Down syndrome
The fifth annual Buddy Walk to promote awareness and acceptance of people with Down syndrome will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 4 at Kakaako Waterfront Park.
Children and adults with Down syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality, as well as friends, family and supporters are encouraged to join the walk, sponsored by the Hawaii Down Syndrome Congress and National Down Syndrome Society.
Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the walk will start at 10 a.m. after guest appearances by former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano and Duke Bainum.
Food, children's games, a raffle, prizes and entertainment will follow the walk with Brickwood Galuteria as master of ceremonies.
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. More than 350,000 Americans have the abnormality, according to the Hawaii Down Syndrome Congress.
Waikoloa club hosts free wellness program
Kohala Sports Club & Spa at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island's Kohala Coast will host a free spiritual and wellness program for breast cancer patients and survivors from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 4.
Kathy Mason, who heads the club's spiritual health and wellness programs, will guide participants through ancient healing practices. A silent meditative walk is planned along the ocean to the hotel's Koi Pond Garden to sample Chinese Chi Gong healing.
After light exercise, meditation and lunch, participants will be able to sample treatments offered at the Kohala Sports Club & Spa.
For information, call (808) 886-1234 or see www.HiltonWaikoloaVillage.com.
Health center to hold membership meeting
Waimanalo Health Center will hold an annual general membership meeting from 6 to 8:30 tonight in its H. William Goebert Education & Training Center.
Members of the center are clients, relatives of clients and others interested in the community's health and wellness.
The center also is looking for people to serve on its board of directors. Interested applicants should mail a resume to the Board of Directors Selection Committee at the health center, 41-1347 Kalanianaole Highway, Waimanalo 96795.
Event teaches benefits of Polynesian plants
The public is invited to learn how Polynesian plants can help with healing at a free event from 5 to 7 tonight in the Community Resource Center, Kuhio Park Terrace, 1485 Linapuna St.
The Honolulu County Committee on the Status of Women and the KPT Women's Center are sponsoring the event. It will include "Tastes of Polynesia" with Pacific Island foods prepared by the Women's Center.
For more information, call Kat Brady, 927-1214 or e-mail HCCSW@hotmail.com.
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>> Hawaiian Cement has awarded scholarships to three college-bound children of its employees. The recipients are Chad Itokazu of Pearl City High School, $8,000; Justin Muraki of Mid-Pacific Institute, $8,000; and Cherlyn Koizumi of Pearl City High, $4,000.
>> Twenty high-school graduates have received $1,000 Fun Factory/University of Hawaii scholarships. They are Alisa Amian, Melanie Li, Joyce Nip of Moanalua High; Christian Cook, Royce Hanada, Kapaa; Dawn Egusa, Richard Pigao, Sheryl Tong, Pearl City; Michael Karlson, Kealakehe; Lai Kin Kwong, Kaiser; K'ley Legaspi, Kauai; Michelle Macedonio, Aiea; Christine Mattos, Katrina Thompson, Waimea; Suzannah Mills, Baldwin; Brandon Miyashiro, Castle; Jennifer Przgodziniski, Hawaii Preparatory Academy; Michelle Sagario, King Kekaulike; Noe Sekimoto, Kalani; and Tristan Nino Sotto, Waipahu.
The second-year scholars attending the University of Hawaii who also received $1,000 awards include Darcy Gibo, formerly of Kalani High; Tracy Nagao of Lahainaluna; Janelle Pang of Maryknoll; Mia Takahashi of Hilo; and Andrea Wong of Waiakea.
>> Hanakekua Joao, a seventh grader from Molokai, is the grand prize winner of the 2003 Hawaii Pizza Hut and Hawaii State Public Library System Young Adult Summer Reading Shopping Spree Sweepstakes at Pearlridge Center. She was entered by the Molokai Public Library.
Hanalani Herring, a ninth grader from the Big Island, won a $500 shopping spree. She was the Pahoa Public and School Library entrant. Hawaii Pizza Hut has sponsored the contest the past 11 years.
>> High school students Andrew L. Savini of Kahuku; Marsha S. Ng and Kiani A.J. Arkus of Honolulu; and Curtis T. Lefrandt of Aiea have won $4,000 scholarships from the Elks National Foundation's Most Valuable Student competition.
>> Ryan Camou, 18, of Mililani has been offered a scholarship to attend the San Francisco Ballet School for the 2003-2004 season. He has trained with John Landovsky of the Hawaii State Ballet for the last 10 years.
Taking Notice runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Please send items to City Desk, Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
4 teens arrested after liquor store burglary
Police arrested four teenagers yesterday morning in connection with a burglary of a Kakaako liquor store.
Police said a witness reported hearing some glass shatter about 2 a.m. and saw two suspects inside Harry's Liquor Store at 1101 Waimanu St. The witness said one of the suspects confronted him and an altercation followed.
By the time officers arrived, the three other suspects had fled. Police located and arrested them at Ala Moana Beach Park. The suspects were ages 17, 15, 15 and 13.
Police also recovered $316 worth of cigarettes taken from the store.
Man in drug rehab dies of possible overdose
A 49-year-old man died of an apparent drug overdose Monday night while attending drug rehabilitation counseling.
The man was at Drug Addiction Services of Hawaii offices at 1130 N. Nimitz Highway about 6 p.m. when he had trouble breathing and collapsed, police said. The man was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.
A friend of the man reported the victim had used cocaine about 45 minutes before the counseling session, officials said.
Man sought in robbery of 2 taxicab drivers
Police and CrimeStoppers are asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect in the robbery of two taxicab drivers.
About 4 a.m. Sept. 13, a taxi driver picked up a man in Makiki headed for the Ala Moana Hotel. Upon arrival, the man produced a knife, demanded money and fled on foot.
Also about 4 a.m. Sunday, another taxi driver was robbed by a man picked up on Kewalo Street. The man demanded money before producing a small knife and stabbing the taxi driver. The wound was minor.
The suspect fled on foot with the keys to the taxi and money.
Anyone with information about the robberies may call Detective Derrick Kiyotoki at 529-3436. Anonymous calls also may be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.
Police look for 2 men wanted on warrants
Police are looking for two Kona men wanted on outstanding warrants.
Jordan A. Montoya, 23, is wanted for revocation of a deferred acceptance of guilty plea, two outstanding warrants for contempt of court and an all-points bulletin for miscellaneous offenses. His bail was set at $8,300.
Police say Montoya is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 145 pounds and has green eyes and brown hair. He has a Chinese character tattoo on the right side of his neck.
William M. Wagstaff Jr., 29, is wanted for violation of parole and three outstanding warrants for contempt of court. His total bail has been set at $1,100.
Police say Wagstaff is 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighs about 160 pounds and has brown eyes and hair. He has numerous tattoos.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of either Montoya or Wagstaff may call the Kona Warrants Detail at 326-4270 or the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.
Fire in Hilo leaves family of 11 homeless
Three adults and eight children in Hilo were left homeless yesterday afternoon after a stove fire spread to their kitchen walls and cabinets.
Seven firefighters responded to the blaze about 4:04 p.m. The fire was extinguished by 4:06 p.m. and did not cause extensive damage to the building, but officials said the family will be unable to return to their apartment until the fire damage is repaired.
The family was home when the fire occurred, but no injuries were reported.
The American Red Cross is assisting the family. Damage from the fire is estimated at $3,500.
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New York man gets life term for murder
A 26-year-old New York man convicted of murdering a Mililani man at Ala Wai Community Park was sentenced yesterday to a life term with the possibility of parole.
Circuit Judge Richard Perkins also ordered Anibal Ortiz to serve a mandatory 15 years for using a firearm in the slaying.
A jury in July found Ortiz guilty of fatally shooting Odin Ortiz, 37, in the eye Dec. 28, 2002, three days before he was to be married. They are not related.
Witnesses say the two may have argued about the victim disturbing Anibal Ortiz's possessions. Both were homeless at the time and hung out at the park bleachers at night.
At his sentencing yesterday, Anibal Ortiz continued to profess his innocence.
He apologized to the family of Odin Ortiz for the "inconvenience" he has caused them and said he was sorry that they believed he killed their son. "I do feel sorry you lost your son and brother," he said.
Priscilla Ortiz, mother of the victim, wept as she shook her head and said: "It's not enough. It's not enough."
At trial, Anibal Ortiz maintained he was nowhere near the park when Odin Ortiz was shot. But witnesses said Anibal Ortiz was the only one standing near the victim when they heard a gunshot and saw the victim fall to the ground.
Jerry Villanueva, deputy public defender, said what occurred was out of character for Anibal Ortiz.
In the aftermath of 9/11, Ortiz helped people affected by the attacks and helped recover body parts, Villanueva said. Ortiz also scrapped plans to join the Navy to come to Hawaii and care for his dying mother.
2 found guilty in separate fraud cases
Honolulu resident Asoaga F. Afoa, 63, has been found guilty of second-degree theft for fraudulently obtaining food stamp benefits.
Afoa, also known as Raymond Afoa, concealed his employment as a taxicab driver while receiving food stamps. Circuit Judge Sandra Simms denied a motion by Afoa on Tuesday to wipe his no-contest plea from his record if he abides by certain conditions.
Afoa was placed on five years probation and ordered to pay $1,633.50 in restitution.
In a separate case, Waikiki resident Linda Polo, 38, was found guilty of second-degree theft for welfare fraud. Polo, a mother of six, failed to reveal that she was pregnant and that the unborn child's father had income and assets.
The child's father, Larry Howard, was sentenced in April to five years probation and one year in jail.
Circuit Judge Marie Milks placed Polo on five years probation Tuesday and ordered her to pay $4,071 in restitution for her role in the incident. The judge denied Polo's request to defer her no-contest plea, which would allow her to wipe her record clean by following certain conditions.
Court orders hearing into man's conviction
The Hawaii Supreme Court has ordered the Circuit Court to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Peter Moses agreed to disclose results of a drug test introduced at his trial for the attempted murder of a Honolulu police officer in 1998.
Moses was convicted of eight counts, including attempted murder, for shooting at officer Earl Haskell, who was arresting him for breaking into a car at Makapuu Point.
The Intermediate Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Moses after finding that a toxicology report showing he had cocaine in his system was privileged communication and should not have been admissible at trial.
The appeals court also found the record wasn't clear on whether Moses had waived his privilege to keep confidential his medical record. Prosecutors had argued that Moses waived his privilege when he voluntary disclosed his medical records to the prosecution.
In their ruling yesterday, the Supreme Court justices did not find the lower court erred. But they said the question of whether Moses had furnished the records to prosecutors and waived his privilege should be decided by the court.
If the court finds Moses did not waive his privilege, he is entitled to a new trial, the justices said. If the court finds he did waive his privilege, the court should reinstate his convictions, the justices said.
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers