New Kailua Road lane opens
The state opened a temporary Kailua-bound lane in the median of Kailua Road yesterday.
The new lane was done a week ahead of schedule.
Traffic was backing up because the right Kailua-bound lane was closed due to the threat of landslides.
Ex-lawmaker Iwase joins governor's race
Randy Iwase, former city councilman and state senator, formally entered the Democratic primary race for governor yesterday.
Iwase, who retired as chairman of the state Labor Appeals Board to run for governor earlier this year, said his campaign has been growing and has collected an estimated $125,000.
Iwase faces William Aila, the state Waianae harbormaster, in the Sept. 23 primary. The winner then campaigns against GOP incumbent Gov. Linda Lingle.
In his announcement yesterday afternoon, Iwase said his campaign issues are improving the state's economy and the education system.
"Our campaign has gotten a whole lot busier. Our message that there is need for leadership is resonating," Iwase said.
"There is a need to grow our economy in the areas of technology.
"I think there is a sense that nothing really has been accomplished in the last four years," Iwase said.
Deputy promoted to city design chief
Mayor Mufi Hannemann has promoted Eugene Lee to be director of the Department of Design and Construction.
Lee, deputy director since last year, had been acting director since Wayne Hashiro left the director's post earlier this year to become city managing director. Lee has been with the city since 1981.
"He's an engineer that has done terrific work throughout the city for the past several years," Hannemann said yesterday at a news conference.
The job requires overseeing the design and construction of sewers, roads, parks and other facilities.
"He did not want this job. He did not ask for this job, but I said, 'Eugene, you cannot go, because we have major work we have to do with design, construction engineering, and we've got to make sure we get it done,'" Hannemann said.
[ TAKING NOTICE ]
Aiea High student wins $10,000 award
of Aiea High School received the $10,000 Horatio Alger National Scholarship. He won an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., with 106 other scholars to receive the award, given to students who overcome daunting personal adversity to achieve academic excellence.
» Alexander & Baldwin awarded four $2,000 college scholarships to children of employees, renewable to cover four years of education. The recipients are Michael Buelsing of Punahou School, son of Norbert Buelsing, executive vice president of A&B Properties Inc.; Kristin Inouye of Pearl City High School, daughter of Dennis Inouye, heavy equipment mechanic for Matson Terminals; Megan Keala McCully of Kamehameha Schools, daughter of Paul McCully, sales representative for Matson Navigation Co.; and Matthew Scott Yoshida of Punahou, son of Michael Yoshida, sales representative for Matson Navigation.
» Lisa Fong of Sacred Hearts Academy won a scholarship from the National Rifle Association and admission to the Youth Education Summit, a week-long, expense-paid educational workshop on government. Forty-two winners were chosen through a competitive application process. Fong has been a member of the Lancer Rifle Team since her freshman year, was sophomore class president and has volunteered at numerous charitable organizations.
» The University of Hawaii at Manoa awarded six 2006 Chancellor's Citations for Meritorious Teaching. The recipients are Benjamin Bergin, assistant professor of linguistics; Tep Dobry, assistant professor of electrical engineering and director of academic affairs; Gwen Naguwa, associate professor of pediatrics; Steven Robinow, associate professor of zoology; Scott Rowland, associate specialist in geology and geophysics; and C. Alan Titchenal, assistant professor of human nutrition, food and animal sciences.
» The Honda International Center at Kapiolani Community College selected the following students to participate in exchange programs with Japanese universities for the 2006-2007 school year:
Robert Manshardt of Kapiolani Community College will attend Kansai University to master the Japanese language and culture; Matthew Fujita of KCC and Jonathan Oshiro of Windward Community College will attend Aichi University to study language and culture and linguistics, respectively; Sarah Baker of Leeward Community College and Matthew May of KCC will go to Osaka Gakui University to study Japanese language and Asian studies, respectively.
» First-place winners of the Hawaii Education Association's annual Creative Writing Festival:
Essay contest -- grades 4-6, Katherine Kelley of Aikahi School; grades 7-8, Marissa Mann, University Laboratory School; grades 9-12, Chelsey Nakanishi, Mililani High School.
Short Story -- grades 7-8, Connor Wakayama, University Lab School; grades 9-12, Travis M. Kaya, Baldwin High School.
Free Verse Poetry -- grades 1-3, Warner James Lawson-Brown, Connections New Century Public Charter School; grades 4-6, Abigail Clarke, Iao School; grades 7-8, Kelsie Orikasa, Iao; grades 9-12, Elsyse Kanda, Kahuku High and Intermediate.
Problem-solving -- grades 7-8, Sherilyn Tamagawa, Brandee Goo, Kawananakoa Middle School; grades 9-12, John Leong, Sandra Kugisaki-Ongie, McKinley High School.
"Taking Notice" also runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Police, Fire, Courts
Woman is charged in store cigarette theft
Police charged a 28-year-old homeless woman Thursday for allegedly taking a cigarette display with cigarettes from a Kalihi convenience store.
Police said Nikki Vazquez went into the Kalihi Fastop at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and removed a cigarette display containing cigarettes, police said.
The store manager confronted her and tried to take the display from her but finally let her take both cigarettes and display, police said.
Vazquez was charged with second-degree robbery.
Man sought in Keehi restroom sex assault
Police are looking for a man in his 20s who attempted to sexually assault a 39-year-old homeless woman in the Keehi Lagoon area yesterday.
Police said the woman walked into the restroom at Keehi Lagoon at about 11 a.m. yesterday when an unknown man armed with a knife tried to sexually assault her.
Police said the two got into a struggle and that the woman managed to escape.