Dinner to honor noted UH alumni
The University of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii Alumni Association will honor six outstanding alumni at the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Awards.
This year's recipient's are Beadie Kanahele Dawson, chief executive of the Dawson Group; Attilio Kanei Leonardi, Honolulu Fire Department chief; Thelma Chock Nip, lifelong Hawaii educator; Barry K. Taniguchi, president and chief executive of KTA Super Stores; and Frank Watase, chairman and president of California-based Quality Natural Foods Inc., chairman of Yum Yum Donuts, and owner of Sonoma Valley Bagels and East Coast Bagels.
The UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award will be also presented to Ah Quon McElrath, an International Longshore and Warehouse Union advocate.
The alumni will be honored at a 5 p.m. dinner May 20 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.
Established in 1987, the alumni association's awards recognize outstanding UH alumni who have used their university education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others and provide service for the benefit of the community.
Gas Co. contract goes to Teamsters vote
Teamsters will be voting on a contract offer made by The Gas Co. during a 21-hour negotiating session that ended yesterday morning.
"We'll be calling a membership meeting sometime this week to discuss and vote on the company's latest offer," Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996 President Mel Kahele said.
If the offer is voted down, Kahele said an extension of the current contract allows for continued negotiations.
The current contract expired at midnight Friday, after local members voted overwhelmingly this past week to authorize a strike.
Pension, health and welfare benefits, as well as job security, are the main issues in the negotiations, the union said.
The company's offer includes language that would prevent layoffs for the next five years and 45-cent hourly wage increases in each year of the contract, union officials said.
No agreement was reached on the employer's medical contribution, they said.
About 200 Teamsters work for The Gas Co. as tanker and transport drivers, service, counter and accounting clerks, storekeepers, mechanics, plant operators, dispatchers and other laborers.
Haiku Stairs land swap details being refined
A proposed land swap that could reopen the popular Haiku Stairs to hikers is being refined by the city and state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, officials said last week.
Instead of trading two parcels of city-owned land in Ewa for 142 acres of Haiku Valley in Kaneohe, the city might trade one parcel for 30 to 40 acres of the valley, City Managing Director Ben Lee said.
When the city first proposed a land trade in November, it was offering 50 acres of its undeveloped Varona Village, plus additional lots in Ewa Village. Now, only the Varona Village acreage is on the table, Lee said.
Hawaiian Home Lands spokesman Lloyd Yonenaka said the agency is "waiting for the city to tell us exactly what they need" in Haiku Valley. Negotiations have been extended to the end of May, he said.
The city paid $875,000 in 2002 to restore the 3,922 metal stairs up the Koolau Mountains. But attempts to access the base of the stairs through a former Coast Guard facility now owned by Hawaiian Home Lands have been fraught with controversy.
The city continues to pay security guards to prevent hikers from using the stairs, at the request of area residents who say hikers trespass through their yards.
UH player's stepdad faces trial in game riot
The stepfather of a University of Hawaii football player faces a Sept. 20 trial date in Las Vegas on charges he fought with police and incited a riot at the UH-UNLV football game last year.
James Voss of Honolulu was arrested at the UH-UNLV game at Sam Boyd Stadium on Sept. 19, 2003, following a confrontation with police.
Voss has a civil suit pending against the Las Vegas police, alleging brutality.
He is the stepfather of UH senior slotback Chad Owens.
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Former islander to be honored
Former TV newscaster and Hawaiian Electric Industries community relations director Scott Shirai will receive an award at the White House on May 21 for outstanding fund-raising in helping to raise $3.6 million from federal employees in Denver.
Shirai, executive director for the Denver Combined Federal Campaign, was selected from more than 350 nominations.
Shirai also serves as chair of Colorado Public Television and director and co-producer for Denver's fund-raising Gridiron Show.
>> Mid-Pacific Institute, a college-preparatory school in Manoa Valley, has received five major gifts from the following donors:
Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, $100,000 for emergency costs incurred due to the demolition of Wilcox Hall and the relocation of the boarding house;
LeBurta Atherton Foundation, $100,000 to assist with the Wilcox Hall demolition;
G.N. Wilcox Trust, $50,000 to install air conditioning in Atherton Pavilion;
The Hawaii Community Foundation, $28,000 for the Epiphany Elementary School's transition of faculty and curriculum to the new facility;
Minnie Ho Pang, $20,000 to establish the H.Q. and Minnie Ho Pang fund, a donor-advised permanent fund to benefit the arts program.
>> The J. Walter Cameron Center in Wailuku, which houses and supports nonprofit agencies that provide health, social services, culture and arts assistance, spent $13,000 to complete the renovation of its heated therapeutic pool and $24,000 to provide a handicap-accessible restroom nearby.
>> Goodwill Industries of Hawaii raised more than $73,000 for the agency's employment service programs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment through its 13th Annual Fundraising Auction.
>> Trinity Christian School in Kailua received 415,000 from the Atherton Family Foundation to help replace its termite-eaten playground structures.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Police close Kalakaua in search for shooting suspect
Police closed off Kalakaua Avenue from Kapiolani Boulevard into Waikiki looking for a shooting suspect yesterday morning.
A man was shot at 4:27 a.m. yesterday near the intersection of Ena Road and Kalakaua Avenue during an argument between two men in a black Mercedes, a witness told police.
A police officer responding to the shooting yesterday morning reported that the man with the gun pointed the weapon at the officer and pulled the trigger, and the gun clicked but didn't fire.
The injured man fled in a taxi and was in good condition yesterday at a hospital, police said.
Police closed off the area around the shooting until about 10:18 a.m., looking for the suspect in nearby apartments.
Man charged in death of Kapahulu woman
Police charged Ronald Howe, 48, of Kapahulu with second-degree murder Friday in the death of a woman whose body was found April 23 in an Ewa field.
Howe's bail was set at $1 million and he remains in police custody.
Robyn Mae Nakaji, 46, a Kapahulu wife and mother of two, was last seen alive about noon on April 22. Her throat had been cut and she had been hit in the head, then wrapped in a blanket, comforter and tarp and left along a dirt road leading up to a goat farm at 91-2161 Old Fort Weaver Road.
Howe and his sister, Patricia Malabey, 49, were arrested Friday in connection with Nakaji's death. Police released Malabey Friday pending further investigation.
Police look for suspect in shoplifting attempt
CrimeStoppers seeks the public's assistance in identifying a man seen on surveillance cameras attempting to shoplift $763 worth of clothing and merchandise at the Kahala Macy's on March 29.
When confronted about 1 p.m. that day by store agents, the man abandoned the items and left in a four-door sedan.
Police suspect the man may be involved in other shoplifting cases.
He is described as being in his 30s, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 220 pounds, with black hair, a medium complexion and clean shaven. He was wearing a black short-sleeve T-shirt, denim shorts, athletic shoes and a thick chain necklace.
Anyone with information may contact Detective Timothy Walsh at 529-3069. Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, *CRIME on a cellular phone.
Search on for inmate who left Hilo prison
Big Island police are looking for a 41-year-old inmate who escaped from the Hale Nani Correction Facility in Hilo.
Blaine K. Faris escaped from the minimum security facility sometime between 8 and 9 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
Faris has brown eyes and brown hair, is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 250 pounds. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.
Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.
California fugitive is arrested on Big Island
Big Island police arrested a 51-year-old California fugitive wanted on an extradition warrant from San Mateo County at 7:45 p.m. Friday.
Charles Halsey Weeks was arrested near Pepeekeo in South Hilo and is being held in the Hilo police cell block on three warrants -- one for extradition without bail, one for contempt of court with $300 bail and one for failure to appear in court with $300 bail, police said.
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers