Summit fights tobacco in Pacific
The goal for more than 150 delegates meeting in Honolulu through tomorrow is a tobacco-free Pacific.
The Pacific Partnership for Tobacco-Free Islands, a coalition of faith-based, traditional, governmental, public health and nongovernmental agencies, is sponsoring the conference.
Representatives are expected from throughout the U.S.-associated Pacific islands. The meetings will be at the Ala Moana Hotel and the Queen's Conference Center.
"The agenda, like a lau hala mat, weaves cultural values into public health strategies," said Papa Ola Lokahi, a nonprofit native Hawaiian organization dedicated to improving the health of native Hawaiians and other Pacific peoples.
Pacific island youth will discuss how best to involve their peers as emerging leaders in tobacco control programs.
"It's very exciting to be involved in an initiative that is created by Pacific islanders for Pacific islanders," George Cruz of Saipan, interim chair of the coalition, said in a news release.
African author to speak at UH
An internationally known African author, playwright and human rights activist was named a 2008 Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals and will be speaking next week at University of Hawaii campuses at Manoa and Hilo.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o, a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California at Irvine and director of the International Center of Writing and Translation, is known for his novels and plays published in Kenya and throughout the world that were critical of colonial rule.
In the 1960s he studied at universities in Kenya and England, and returned to become a professor of English at Nairobi University.
Authorities arrested Ngugi in 1977 and named him a threat to "the preservation of public security." Amnesty International and other human rights organizations demanded his freedom as "a prisoner of conscience."
Ngugi's schedule for this week includes:
Wednesday: Reading and book signing with Albert Wendt at 6 p.m., preceded by a reception at 5 p.m. at the UH-Manoa Hawaiian Studies Auditorium.
Friday: An Evening with Ngugi on "Globalization: Readings from Wizard of the Crow," at UH-Hilo, UCB 100, at 7 p.m.
Faculty honored for productivity
Faculty in five University of Hawaii-Manoa programs are among the most productive in the nation, according to a new survey that ranks graduate programs by the scholarly output of researchers and faculty.
The oceanography program at UH-Manoa was ranked second in the nation; marine sciences was fourth; teacher education for second-language acquisition came in sixth; faculty in geophysics were seventh; and epidemiology was eighth.
Last year, faculty in marine biology ranked fourth, and physical oceanography was sixth.
The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, partly financed by the State University of New York at Stony Brook and published by Academic Analytics, a private company, rates faculty members' scholarly output at 8,182 doctoral programs at 387 of the nation's universities.
The index covers 2006-07 and ranks faculty based on books and scientific papers published, federal research grants awarded and honors received.
More information is available at the Academic Analytics Web site at www.academicanalytics.com.
Free kidney screenings offered
State Rep. Michael Magaoay (D, Kaena Point-Schofield) will be hosting a free kidney screening Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at Liliuokalani Church in Haleiwa.
The health screening program, conducted by the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, can provide early detection that could prevent the onset of kidney disease, a release said.
Call Magaoay's office at 586-6380 to make an appointment.
Police, Fire, Courts
Arson caused fire at Salt Lake house
A fire that caused $480,000 in damage to a Salt Lake house Sunday was intentionally set, investigators said.
Honolulu police have opened an arson investigation. However, no arrests have been made.
At 3:36 p.m., firefighters received a call for a fire at 1218 Ala Pili Loop. A man living alone at the single-story structure was already outside when firefighters arrived, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
1 man and 2 teens arrested in robbery
Police arrested a 23-year-old man with no local address and two 17-year-old boys for allegedly burglarizing a Honolulu home and robbing three men, ages 45, 48 and 50.
Police said one of the victims was in his bedroom when he heard a commotion coming from the front room at 11:53 p.m. Sunday.
The 45-year-old man found three unknown males inside his home.
The suspect told him that one of his roommates owed him money. The suspect then tried to hit the victim with a brick.
The victim fled to a nearby supermarket and called police.
The 48-year-old man awoke and found one of the suspects inside his bedroom, allegedly demanding money from him, police said. Another suspect allegedly stole a boombox and fled, police said.
The third victim, 50, awoke to find two suspects in the front room. The 23-year-old allegedly threw a liquor bottle at him, which broke on his shoulder and caused cuts. Another suspect allegedly threw a stick at him.
Police broadcast an all-points bulletin, and the three were found and arrested.
Missing woman last seen Sunday
Police are asking for the public's help in finding a 78-year-old Wahiawa woman who suffers from dementia and depression.
Police said Guillerma Camba was last seen leaving her Dole Road home at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Camba is known to frequent shopping areas in Wahiawa, police said.
Camba is described as Filipino, 5 feet 2 inches tall, 118 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue floral top, blue pants and possibly carrying a black umbrella.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.