U.S. House funds landfill cleanup
The U.S. House of Representatives approved $2.5 million this month to clean up a former landfill on Bellows Beach, bringing funding a step closer in the lengthy community fight to expunge the tons of trash buried underneath.
At a news conference yesterday, U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono said she is optimistic the U.S. Senate also will approve its version of the appropriations bill in October, the final step necessary to secure federal funding.
"The best thing that could happen here would be for us to clean out this dump," Hirono said, motioning to the 1-acre site fenced off by signs warning of environmental hazards. "If all goes well, we'll be able to see this whole area being cleaned up, I hope, with the start being at the end of the year."
Ironwood trees and grass cover the area, but underneath lies 8,500 tons of trash -- including rusty metal, oily debris and construction waste. It was used as a burn pit and converted into a landfill after World War II.
Community members and the state Health Department said erosion eventually will cause the trash to surface and fall into the ocean.
Peace Day planned at Capitol
The public is invited to celebrate Hawaii's first Peace Day Sept. 21 at the state Capitol.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace is coordinating an all-day event that includes an "Expression of Peace" art contest, a "Peace Tree" planting, a candlelight vigil and a statewide moment of prayer for peace.
Hawaii will be the first state in the nation to celebrate its own Peace Day annually, a day also marked around the world as the United Nations International Day of Peace.
Art and literary works for the "Expressions of Peace" contest will be limited to paintings, drawings, prints, posters, essays and stories of 500 words or less. The Matsunaga Institute asks that artists include their name, age, mailing address and telephone number. Artists may also include a brief biography and explanation of their piece.
To submit art, send pieces to Dr. Jeannie Lum at Matsunaga Institute for Peace at UH-Manoa, Saunders Hall 723, 2424 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822; or drop off pieces to Office of Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu, State Capitol Room 427, Honolulu, HI 96813.
All art pieces are to be submitted by Sept. 7 and will not be returned. For more information, visit peace.oceanit.com.
Gabbard studying party switch
State Sen. Mike Gabbard confirmed yesterday that he met with Democratic Party members this weekend about switching parties.
Earlier in the week, rumors swirled that Gabbard (R, Kalaeloa-Makakilo) was going to make an announcement Saturday at Democratic Party headquarters. However, he said yesterday he has not set a date for any announcements.
Gabbard did not give any other details about his potential party switch. This change would be controversial because Gabbard is known to clash with Democratic policy points, especially his staunch opposition to same-sex marriage.
He became widely known after leading a successful campaign for a 1998 constitutional amendment to block the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Noted surgeon joins isle staff
A vitreoretinal surgeon who was on a team of doctors who saved one eye of a 10-year-old Iraqi boy severely injured by a land mine has joined the Retina Institute of Hawaii.
Dr. J. Shepard Bryan, who specializes in diseases of the retina and vitreous, was featured with other physicians on Fox News after performing a corneal transplant and retinal surgery on the boy last year. The boy regained sight and was able to return to his family in Iraq.
"Retina Institute of Hawaii is proud to be making this announcement, and our Hawaii community is fortunate to be claiming Dr. Bryan as a resident and new health care professional," said Dr. Michael Bennett, president and chief executive officer of the institute and Hawaii Vision Project.
Bryan has a special interest in pediatric retinal surgery and ocular trauma. He is involved in many clinical research trials investigating new treatments for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vascular disease.
He has worked the past 12 years in a private practice in Phoenix and as a clinical instructor at the Maricopa County Medical Center.
Police, Fire, Courts
Airport accident victim is identified
A 51-year-old Hilo man who died Monday after a commercial roller ran over him at Honolulu Airport was identified yesterday as Harvey Kojiro.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office said Kojiro died of multiple internal injuries in an industrial accident.
Kojiro was working for Jas W. Glover Ltd. when the machine operator mistakenly reversed over him at about 1:10 p.m.
Man found floating in ocean is named
The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office identified yesterday an 84-year-old man who had died after his son found him floating in waters off Waikiki as Hisao Naiki of Honolulu.
An autopsy for Naiki is scheduled for today.
At about 10 a.m. Thursday, Naiki was snorkeling in knee-deep water about 10 feet away from shore when a small wave struck him, police said, and his son found him floating and unresponsive.
Naiki was taken to a hospital, where he died Saturday.
1 man caught, 1 at large in robbery
Police arrested a 31-year-old man and are looking for another man who allegedly robbed a restaurant deliveryman in Waikiki Saturday night.
At about 10:45 p.m., police said, two men approached a deliveryman walking to his car. They allegedly took the man's car keys and cash, then started to beat him. The deliveryman ran away, called police and tried to follow the two men as they walked away from the area.
The deliveryman flagged down a police officer and pointed out his attackers. Police arrested one man with no local address nearby on Kalauokalani Way on suspicion of second-degree robbery but have not located the second man.
Firefighters tow in grounded vessel
Firefighters towed a grounded boat to shore yesterday that had been carrying 12 people before it hit bottom in Kaneohe Bay.
At about 7:03 p.m. firefighters responded to tow the 24-foot pontoon boat, rented from the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, said Honolulu Fire Capt. Terry Seelig. The passengers were unfamiliar with the area and ran aground near Heeia Fishpond, Seelig said.
A fireboat, engine and ladder assisted in the rescue, bringing the boat to Heeia Pier about an hour later. No one was injured in the incident.
Help sought to find missing Hilo man
Big Island police want help finding a Hilo man missing since last Thursday.
Adam Paglinawan, 29, of King Avenue in Hilo was seen at the Wailoa boat ramp in Hilo before 7 p.m. Thursday. He also is known as Sid.
Police said he is about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weights about 210 pounds, with brown eyes. He usually has a shaved head and a goatee and could be driving a gold 1988 Honda Civic two-door sedan with license plate HJP 044.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 935-3311.