Mayor to try to build ties in Philippines
Mayor Mufi Hannemann's quest for a mass transit system on Oahu is taking him to the Philippines.
Hannemann said he is scheduled to travel to the Philippines on Nov. 26 to promote Honolulu and study a light rail-transit system in Manila. Hannemann has said construction on a new transit system on Oahu could begin as early as 2009.
During the trip, he wants to strengthen cultural and economic ties and to talk about a vibrant Honolulu "that goes beyond tourism and sand, sea and surf," Hannemann said. "I'd like to bolster those cultural ties and look for substantive economic relationships. We want to be more than paper relationships."
Hannemann will meet with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Manila Mayor Jose "Lito" Atienza Jr. and business leaders before returning home on Dec. 1.
All 20 Honolulu officials making the trip will pay their own way, Hannemann said.
The mayor also noted that 2006 will mark the centennial for Filipino immigration to Hawaii. He said he would invite Philippine officials and business leaders to a conference and trade exposition set for December 2006 in Honolulu.
Health groups honor Star-Bulletin reporter
Veteran Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter Helen Altonn has been honored by two local health care organizations. The Healthcare Association of Hawaii planned to give Altonn its "Media Person of the Year" award today at the group's annual meeting at the Hawaii Prince Hotel.
The association, a nonprofit group of Hawaii health care providers, recognized Altonn because "the quality of your work has always been of the highest caliber," Richard Meiers, the group's president and chief executive, wrote in a letter announcing the award.
"Your reports have consistently been clear and informative, which is no small task due to the complexity of the many issues involved," he wrote to Altonn.
In addition, the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii honored Altonn as its "2005 Media Champion of the Year" last month.
Altonn, who last month marked her 50th year with the Star-Bulletin, covers health and science.
Mental health services benefit from grant to UH
A $1.2 million federal grant has been awarded to the University of Hawaii-Manoa's Social Science Research Institute to improve mental health services for older adults.
The project will be conducted by the institute with the state Health Department's Adult Mental Health Division and agencies specializing in services to people over age 60 who have a serious mental illness.
"Mental health is a serious issue for many of our seniors," said Michael Wylie, associate professor with the institute. He said the project will provide seniors with treatment as well as prevention services.
The grant will be allocated in $400,000 increments over three years by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Initially, the project will involve development and delivery of direct services, primarily on Maui. Statewide implementation will follow.
Conference to assess emergency readiness
Experts will review how well Hawaii is prepared to deal with hazards at a meeting from 1 to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Queen's Conference Center, 510 S. Beretania St.
The state Department of Health and the Queen's Medical Center are sponsoring the free forum, titled "Are We Prepared? The State of the State's All Hazard Preparedness."
Speakers will include Dr. Paul Effler, state epidemiologist and chief of the Health Department's Disease Outbreak Control Division, and Ed Texeira, Hawaii State Civil Defense vice director.
State Health Director Chiyome Fukino encouraged all health professionals to attend the session. It was scheduled during a Health Department conference in September, but two panel members were deployed to assist with Hurricane Katrina's devastation.
Call the department at 586-4400 to register or obtain more information.
Missouri to install 4 missile launchers
The Battleship Missouri memorial will be closed tomorrow for the installation of four Harpoon missile launcher canisters.
The missile launcher was donated by Boeing Co. Prior to the battleship's second commissioning in 1986, the ship was upgraded and equipped with 16 anti-ship Harpoon missiles.
The memorial will reopen at Ford Island on Thursday.
[ TAKING NOTICE ]
» The University of Hawaii at Manoa has awarded its 2005 Chancellor's Citation for Meritorious Teaching to Sun-Ki Chai, assistant professor of sociology; Jason Maddock, associate professor of public health sciences and epidemiology; John Rieder, professor of English; and John Zuern, an associate professor of English.
» The Josh Jerman Realtor Maui Scholarship Fund sponsored two $1,000 scholarships for the 2005-2006 school year to college-bound Destinie Corpuz of Maui High School and Noela Oliveira of Hana High.
» Brandon Arakaki, a fifth-grader from Waikoloa and the state winner of the 2005 Tar Wars poster contest, placed fourth in the national contest in Washington, D.C. The anti-tobacco contest is sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
» The Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation awarded scholarships to 30 outstanding scholar-athletes, totaling $38,500, and more than $40,000 in grants to clubs and organizations providing community sports and youth programs. The scholarships went to Virginia Aguilar of Waimea High School; Sean Aoyagi, Mid-Pacific; Jeffrey Casebier, Punahou; Leslieann Casino, Molokai; Lauren Cheape, Mililani; Kekai Crabbe, Kamehameha; Leilani Dimond, Konawaena; Jason Fung, Honolulu Waldorf; Fallan Kahlbaum, Kalaheo; Dana Kaio, Maui; Lacey Lavarias, Iolani; Jennifer Lindsey, Kapaa; Larisa Luehrs, Kahuku; Serena Makaiwi, Leilehua; Celeste Manuia, Waiakea; Chelsea Meyer, Kamehameha; Sara Mirels, Kahuku; Kimberly Moore, Moanalua; Sarah Morihara, Leilehua; Liana Nakazawa, Kapaa; Kealaonapua O'Sullivan, Kamehameha; Janet Plescia, Pahoa; Leoho'onani Reyes, Kamehameha; Garrett Sakimae, Kauai; Kristin Simunovich, Punahou; Emalia Suehiro, King Kekaulike; Evone Wong, Maui; Lehuanani Yap, Nanakuli; Ivy Yi, Kalani; and Cameron Zackery, Kahuku.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
HPD investigates fire at truck business
Police are investigating a Sunday night fire that damaged three trucks at a Honolulu truck business.
Police said the three trucks were being prepared for final delivery when fire struck at 8:18 p.m. at HT&T Truck Center, 311-A Pacific St.
Damage was estimated at $162,000. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
HT&T sells trucks and parts and services trucks.
Pair arrested outside Keeaumoku nightclub
A 48-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man were arrested Saturday night for allegedly assaulting police officers at a Keeaumoku Street nightclub.
Police said the man and woman had refused to pay for drinks and were ordered to leave the club but came back a second time.
Police were called about the disturbance at 655 Keeaumoku St. before 10:41 p.m., when the alleged assaults took place.
The woman allegedly jumped on the officer's back and scratched him, police said. The man allegedly bit another officer, police said.
Police arrested the man and woman at 11:10 p.m. Saturday on first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer.
Samoan Alzheimer's sufferer is missing
Police are asking for the public's help in finding an 82-year-old man who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
Loa Tausaga was last seen 8:30 a.m. yesterday at his Fern Street residence.
Tausaga is known to frequent the downtown area.
He is described as Samoan, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 180 pounds, with white hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and long blue denim pants.
He also wears prescription glasses and has a faded tattoo on his left shoulder.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call officer James Vasconcellos at 479-5452 or CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, *CRIME on a cell phone.
Dead body pulled out of waters near Pier 22
Fire personnel pulled the lifeless body of a man from waters off Pier 22 in Honolulu yesterday morning. He is believed to be a fisherman.
Police said a body was spotted floating about 100 feet from Pier 22 about 7:10 a.m.
Police said the body could be that of a 40-year-old fisherman from the Philippines who was reported missing Sunday from the fishing vessel Paradise 2001.
Police do not suspect foul play.
The Medical Examiner's Office has not yet identified the body.