UH surprised by housing lawsuit
The University of Hawaii at Manoa responded yesterday to a lawsuit filed by a gay couple denied family housing on campus.
"The lawsuit is surprising and disappointing because UH-Manoa was already working on changing our housing policies to accommodate couples such as the plaintiffs and families in similar situations, and we are in the process of doing so," Francisco Hernandez, vice chancellor for students at UH-Manoa, said in a written news release.
The UH student and his gay partner, a student at a private college, were granted family housing for the 2006-07 school year, but were told that it was done in error.
An attorney for the couple said they had been having talks with UH officials about changing the policy and indicated they had been receptive, but officials never said they actually would, nor did they give any guarantees.
The complaint filed Monday in Circuit Court alleges the action violates the men's constitutional right to equal protection. The couple had to find alternative housing, costing more money and forcing them to commute.
Sekiya's gets approval to reopen
Sekiya's Restaurant and Delicatessen, 2746 Kaimuki Ave., has regained its permit to operate after correcting problems that resulted in seven people getting sick from E. coli bacteria.
There were six confirmed cases in December and one in February. The permit was suspended on Feb. 23. E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. All seven people recovered.
The state Health Department reinstated the permit after the restaurant passed final inspection last night.
The restaurant developed an intensive remedial plan with DOH that included hiring a private food safety consultant, removing all food products and supplies and disinfecting and cleaning the entire restaurant.
"The owners and management of Sekiya's Restaurant have given us their full cooperation and we feel confident that they are now in compliance with state food safety codes," said Deputy Director for Environmental Health Larry Lau.
He said the DOH is continuing to investigate.
Nanakuli site to get cesspool fix
The state will spend more than $720,000 to replace nine cesspools at the former Nanaikapono Elementary School.
The Nanakuli campus on Hawaiian Home Lands is shared by several groups, including the Ka Waihona O Ka Na'auao Public Charter School, Kamehameha preschools, 'Aha Punana Leo Hawaiian Immersion School and Waianae Coast Early Childhood Services' Parent & Child Development Center, according to Gov. Linda Lingle.
The project, required under a mandate by the Environmental Protection Agency, will use nearly 2,000 feet of sewer lines to connect cesspools to a sewer system that will be linked to a city main along Farrington Highway. It also will restore sidewalks, pavement, fencing and landscaping, Lingle said Monday in announcing the release of the funds.
The work is scheduled to begin in April and last until July.
Leeward college hosting festival
Food, entertainment, games and cultural activities on Saturday will cap four days of activities at Leeward Community College to mark the school's 15th annual International Education Festival.
From today through Friday, the college will present lectures and presentations on globalization.
The festival opens with a keynote address at 10 a.m. today by Walden Bello, executive director of the Bangkok-based Focus on Global South, in the campus theater. Additional presentations include "Globalization and Human Rights" at 11 a.m. by University of Hawaii law professor Jon van Dyke and the "Impact of Globalization on the Hawaii Economy" by Howard Dicus at noon.
Topics such as the effects of globalization on the environment, traditional culture and art, and international relations will be presented tomorrow and Friday.
The "One World" festival will run from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at the Eucalyptus and Tuthill courtyards. Entertainment includes a Chinese lion dance, Mediterranean music and dance, a Philippine kulintang ensemble, Japanese taiko drums, music by the Royal Hawaiian Band and Brazilian capoiera. A variety of international foods also will be offered.
The International Educational Festival is free and open to the public.
Court acquits Imelda Marcos
MANILA, Philippines » A Manila court acquitted former first lady Imelda Marcos of 32 counts of illegal money transfers Monday, in just one of a series of corruption trials she has been subject to in roughly two decades.
The trial court judge, Silvino Pampilo, said the government failed to prove its case -- that Marcos, her husband, Ferdinand, and his associate, both now deceased, illegally transferred funds 32 times to bank accounts in Switzerland between 1968 and 1976.
After the Marcos government was deposed in the "People Power" uprising in 1986, succeeding Philippine governments sued Marcos, her children and her husband's close associates, accusing them of stealing nearly $10 billion during their 20 years of authoritarian rule. Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.
Only a small fraction of the missing money has been recovered. More than 10,000 victims of human rights abuses during the regime have not yet received the compensation that a U.S. federal court awarded them.
Police, Fire, Courts
Sick man rescued from fishing boat
The Coast Guard rescued a 30-year-old man from a fishing vessel 300 miles north of Oahu to Honolulu Harbor after the man complained of stomach pains.
He was brought into Honolulu Monday night aboard the 110-foot patrol boat Kiska and driven to the Queen's Medical Center, a Coast Guard official said.
The 79-foot fishing vessel Golden Eagle called for help at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, a Coast Guard news release said. The Kiska linked up with the vessel Sunday.
Ailing seaman flown off Navy ship
The Coast Guard evacuated a 56-year-old man with neck and chest pains 1:30 p.m. yesterday from the U.S. Navy ship Bridge.
The Coast Guard received a call at noon from the 754-foot ship's captain when the Bridge was located 20 miles south of Pearl Harbor.
The Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew landed on the flight deck of the vessel and the man was taken to the Queen's Medical Center at 1:45 p.m.