New environmental study on tap
Developers who want to built 200 multimillion-dollar homes at Molokai's Laau Point expect to prepare another environmental impact study before the year ends.
Molokai Properties Ltd. withdrew last month the environmental study it prepared for the project when it became clear during a hearing held on Molokai that the state Land Use Commission would not accept the report.
The company, widely known as Molokai Ranch, said it would resubmit the study after addressing concerns raised by the commission and the community.
The proposal would transform 500 acres of pristine beachfront land at Laau into a 200-lot luxury subdivision. It would also set aside about 80 percent of the Molokai land the company owns for open space and conservation easement.
The ranch also wants to use revenue from the Laau project to renovate Kaluakoi resort and reopen a 144-room hotel there that closed five years ago.
Separately, the company's chief operating officer, Roy Sugiyama, recently sent employees a letter saying it would need to cut labor costs by 10 percent and operational overhead by 5 percent. The company's working cattle ranch, golf course and resorts employ about 140 people, said John Sabas, Molokai Properties Ltd.'s general manager for community affairs.
Swap blood for ice cream
The Blood Bank of Hawaii is teaming up with Baskin-Robbins Hawaii to provide a pint of ice cream for everyone who donates blood today and New Year's Eve.
Donors will receive a coupon upon their visit to the Blood Bank of Hawaii's Dillingham Donor Center, the Downtown Donor Center at 126 Queen St. or the other blood drive locations listed below for the "Give a Pint, Get a Pint" campaign. The coupon is redeemable for one pint of ice cream in any flavor at all Baskin-Robbins Hawaii locations until December 2009.
To be a blood donor, you have to be in good health, 18 years old or older, weigh 110 pounds or more and have a valid photo identification card.
Here are the locations and times of the "Give a Pint, Get a Pint" Blood Drives:
» Maui Economic Opportunity Center: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
» Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children: 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
» Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
» Kahala Mall: 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
» Waikele Center: 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information or to make an appointment, call the Blood Bank of Hawaii at 845-9966. Those on neighbor islands can call toll-free (800) 372-9966 or visit www.bbh.org.
Beretania lanes will close Jan. 2
Crews have suspended roadwork for the rest of the year for the Beretania Street Rehabilitation Project to alleviate holiday traffic, but motorists should be warned of upcoming lane closures starting the night of Jan. 2, a city announcement said.
Reconstruction and resurfacing work will close lanes between Alapai and Lauhala streets on Beretania Street from Jan. 2 to 11. Three mauka lanes will be closed 24 hours a day starting Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. and ending Jan. 8.
Motorists are urged to avoid the area during the 24-hour closure. Off-duty police officers will be on site to help direct traffic. For more information on the Beretania Street Rehabilitation Project, visit www.ssfm.com/beretania_street or call 591-7666.
Police, Fire, Courts
Motorcyclist dies from crash injuries
A North Shore man who was in a motorcycle accident in Waialua last April died from his injuries earlier this month, police said yesterday.
The man's niece in Springfield, Ore., identified him as Robert Degnan, 53, of Haleiwa. He died Dec. 15.
"He was kind of a free spirit, a little rebellious as a young man," said his niece Theresa Hilkey from her home. Degnan loved surfing and made surfboards in Hawaii, where he lived for more than 20 years, she said.
On April 27, Degnan was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Wilikina Drive when he swerved to avoid a line of cars and hit a car, police said.
He was thrown from the bike and was not wearing a helmet. Emergency responders took Degnan to the hospital in critical condition.
Since the accident, Degnan had been living in a care home, police said. He was released recently for a short time before he got a staph infection and had to be readmitted, Hilkey said.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office withheld Degnan's cause of death yesterday, pending positive identification.
Degnan, a sea captain, was born in Boston. He is survived by his mother, a sister, two nieces and two nephews.
He was the 66th traffic fatality on Oahu, compared with 90 at this time last year.
Copper wire theft lands pair in cell
Police charged two men over the weekend for allegedly stealing 133 pounds of copper wiring.
Police said authorities found both men, age 30, on Saturday morning in possession of the insulated copper wiring in a Kalihi building slated for demolition. One of the men was allegedly carrying a glass pipe with drug residue.
Richard Wallace Malone of Honolulu was charged with first-degree burglary, third-degree possession of dangerous drugs and theft of copper.
His alleged accomplice, Matthew Pacopac of Kalihi, was charged with first-degree burglary and theft of copper.
Both men were in custody in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Resident awakens to sexual assault
Police said a 20-year-old Waimanalo woman awoke early Thursday morning to find a 41-year-old man sexually assaulting her in her bedroom.
Police said the woman reported she fell asleep at about 1 a.m. Thursday and awoke to find a man in bed with her.
The assault occurred sometime between 1 and 4:30 a.m. Police arrested the man at his home at 6:40 a.m.
Man wields knife during robbery
Police are searching for an unknown man who robbed a Nanakuli convenience store yesterday at knifepoint.
At about 6:50 a.m. the man walked into the 24-hour store and threatened the cashier, a 35-year-old woman, with his knife, police said. He took an undisclosed amount of money from the register and fled on foot, police said.