UH marine program holding fund-raiser
The University of Hawaii's Marine Option Program, which has provided hands-on ocean education for undergraduates for 35 years, will hold a fund-raising celebration Friday.
The 6-9 p.m. party at the Elks Lodge, 2933 Kalakaua Ave., will feature live entertainment by John Cruz and Malika Dudley, Miss Hawaii 2005, a silent auction, heavy pupus and a cash bar.
The Marine Option Program was conceived in 1970 by UH professors Jack Davidson and John Craven to provide students in any field of study a group of core courses to enhance understanding and appreciation of the ocean.
Some of the projects undertaken by the Marine Option Program in the past 35 years include the Blue-Water Marine Laboratory Program, which provides experiential education to elementary through high school students statewide; construction of aquaculture ponds at the Pearl City Instructional Facility; the Molii Fishpond Project in Kaneohe Bay; and baseline and impact assessment surveys on numerous reefs statewide. Many working biologists in Hawaii's conservation field are alumni of the "MOP."
Tickets are $30 or $15 for current marine option students. They are available at the MOP office, by calling 956-8433 or by e-mailing Jeff Kuwabara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former state officer gets 90 days in jail
A former senior probation officer was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail for misappropriating state funds.
Circuit Judge Derrick Chan sentenced Freddie Esperanza last week and ordered him to pay the state $21,300 in restitution. Esperanza was charged with first-degree theft.
Between October 1993 and November 2002, Esperanza, then a senior probation officer on Oahu, misappropriated state funds by having probationers he oversaw pay their court-ordered fines and restitution directly to him in cash. Esperanza kept the money instead of turning it over to the court.
An audit determined that Esperanza had stolen at least $23,800. The Department of Accounting and General Services has received $2,500 in restitution from him.
First-degree theft is considered a Class B felony with a maximum prison term of 10 years and a maximum fine of $25,000.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Soldier charged in knife attacks
Police charged a 20-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier yesterday after he allegedly attacked four men near Aala Park.
Police identified him as Luis D. Martinez. According to a Schofield Barracks spokesman, Pfc. Martinez is assigned to the B Company, 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment.
About 2:23 a.m. Saturday, police said, Martinez flagged down a cab at King and Beretania streets and asked to be driven to Schofield Barracks. He then allegedly punched and bit the 41-year-old cabdriver, showed him a knife and threatened to kill him before getting out of the cab.
Police said he walked down Beretania Street yelling at passers-by. Within a couple of minutes, he stabbed two men and cut another man near a bus stop.
The two stabbing victims were taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition and were later upgraded to guarded condition. Police said the third man was treated and released at the scene.
The three male victims were described as in their early to mid-40s.
Martinez was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening, two counts of second-degree assault and unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle. He is being held in lieu of $50,000.
Public is warned of fake firefighter fund
CrimeStoppers officials, the Honolulu Police Department and Honolulu Fire Department are warning the public about a man allegedly involved in a donation scam.
On Thursday, police said, the suspect called a retail establishment, said he was with an organization called Firefighter Rescue 911 and asked for a monetary donation. Police said the employee told the caller that they were not interested.
Later that morning, a man went to the same establishment, saying he was collecting money for new "coloring books" for the Honolulu Fire Department. The man refused to provide any information, said HFD spokesman Capt. Kenison Tejada. HFD is not soliciting any donations for its Firefighter Safety Guide or any other project, he said.
Police said the man was last seen getting into a white Honda driven by a woman. The man is described as in his 40s, with gray hair and wearing glasses. The vehicle was described as a white four-door Honda with the license plate FJV 358. Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.
Man is charged with threatening ex
Police charged a 26-year-old man after he allegedly held his ex-wife hostage for more than five hours Friday at her Makaha townhouse and threatened to kill her. He is identified as Luis A. Garcia, with no local address.
Garcia has up to 60 outstanding Family Court violations totaling $61,000 in potential fines, most of which involve violations of calls made to his ex-wife.
Garcia was charged Saturday with kidnapping, first-degree burglary and first-degree terroristic threatening. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 aggregate bail.
Free-diver apparently drowned off Kualoa
A man in his 20s apparently drowned off Kualoa yesterday while free-diving, police said.
The man's body was found in shallow waters at 12:34 p.m. about 20 feet offshore by a woman who brought him in and flagged down an ambulance headed to an unrelated case.
The paramedics started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, with no results. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police would not disclose the man's identity, pending notification of next of kin. They said his free-diving equipment was found in the water nearby.