THE NEW BLACK
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa gained a new addition to its penguin family with the birth of Buddha, shown in the foreground, an African black-footed penguin born Oct. 20. After eight weeks, Buddha lost his downy feathers and grew new blue feathers. Within a year he will get his prominent black-and-white coat.
Health facility gets $2.4M grant
The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center has received a $2.4 million gift from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation for construction of a three-story medical building.
The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Family Medical Building, to be completed this summer, will offer integrated health care to a community that has grown substantially since the health center opened in 1972.
The facility will change how health care is provided at the center. Primary-care physicians, dietitians, native Hawaiian healers, psychologists and others will go to patients' rooms instead of having patients move from one department to another.
The Waianae center is the only safety-net provider of health services to uninsured and needy families in Leeward and Central Oahu.
Forum will discuss medical care
A free public forum on patient access to medical care will be held at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Kihei Community Center, 303 E. Lipoa St.
The Hawaii Medical Association is sponsoring the event. Panelists include legislators, community leaders and doctors. They will discuss medical liability reform and proposed bills to help recruit and retain physicians in Hawaii. For information, call HMA at 536-7702, toll-free (888) 536-2702, or visit hmaonline.net.
U.K. leaves telescope partnership
HILO » The United Kingdom has withdrawn from the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea and from its twin, the Gemini South telescope in Chile.
The government Science and Technology Facilities Council cited a net savings of $33.5 million through 2012.
The telescopes are operated by a partnership of six remaining nations -- the U.S., Canada, Chile, Australia, Argentina and Brazil -- as well as the University of Hawaii. Each telescope has a mirror 26.5 feet across, making them among the largest in the world.
The United Kingdom's intention to withdraw was announced in November. The nongovernment Royal Astronomical Society protested at that time while acknowledging a shortfall in funding.
"The Gemini North telescope in Hawaii is crucial for U.K. astronomers to remain in the front rank of international astronomy," the society said.
In December the British government proposed to the Gemini partners that it be allowed to withdraw from Gemini South but continue in Gemini North. On Jan. 24 the Gemini Board rejected the proposal.
Police, Fire, Courts
Rescuers save 3 at Portlock
Three tourists were rescued yesterday afternoon after falling into the ocean while taking pictures on a ledge near Spitting Caves in Portlock, a Fire Department spokesman said.
One man was able to make it back onto the ledge but was unable to climb up to safety. Bystanders threw a cooler to a woman who was drifting about 100 yards offshore, and another man drifted about 300 yards from shore, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Earle Kealoha.
The Fire Department responded to the call at 1:30 p.m. The Hawaii Kai fire station launched a boat from Maunalua Bay and was able to reach the man and the woman in about 20 minutes with help from Ocean Safety lifeguards, Kealoha said. Fire rescuers on the ground assessed the man on the ledge and called for the Fire Department helicopter to pick him up.
The three victims were brought to the boat launch area at Maunalua Bay by 2:03 p.m. and taken by ambulance to Straub Clinic & Hospital. The man rescued from the water was in critical condition. The two other victims were in stable condition, officials said. The ages and hometowns of the victims were not available yesterday afternoon.
A high-surf advisory was in effect yesterday for east-facing shores of Oahu because of a wind swell.
TV dispute brings punch, threat, bust
An argument over turning down the sound on a television set led to the arrest of a 30-year-old Honolulu man yesterday, police said.
When a 67-year-old man told the suspect to turn down the volume, the suspect allegedly punched the victim on the side of his face, picked up scissors and threatened to kill him. The victim escaped and called police. He was treated by paramedics for a minor cut behind his left ear.
The suspect was arrested shortly after the 4:14 a.m. call.
Woman and dog safe after rescue
The Fire Department helicopter rescued a stranded hiker and her dog Saturday night above Kahuku, the department said.
Spokesman Capt. Earle Kealoha said the woman was hiking near the Boy Scout camp at Pupukea and called for help on her cell phone after 6 p.m.
Using the GPS system on her cell phone, the Fire Department helicopter was able to spot the woman at about 9 p.m. The helicopter landed and picked up the woman and her dog and brought them safely to the Sunset Beach fire station, Kealoha said. The woman was not injured.