Cesspool violations draw fine
HILO » The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. $75,000 for failing to close large cesspools at its processing plant and visitor center south of Hilo, the EPA announced.
The three cesspools were eventually closed last year, the agency said.
At issue were three "large capacity" cesspools, defined in part as those that serve at least 20 people per day at a non-residential location. Together, the Mauna Loa cesspools served about 1,000 people per day, the EPA said.
In July 2004, the EPA informed Mauna Loa, a subsidiary of the Hershey Co., of an April 2005 deadline. The company announced a plan to close the cesspools in 2005, but the cesspools were not closed until last year, when a company waste water treatment plan became functional, the agency said.
The cesspools, which discharge raw sewage directly into the ground, can contaminate ground water and the ocean, the agency said.
Forum looks at recent disasters
East-West Center scholars will discuss recent natural disasters in China and Myanmar, international humanitarian efforts and critical health issues involved, in a free public forum at noon tomorrow at John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road.
Speakers will discuss the disaster response and recovery efforts and the differences between the situations following the May 3 cyclone in Myanmar, formerly called Burma, and the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province of China. They will talk about role of the international community and long-term impacts of the disasters.
The panelists will include East-West Center President Charles Morrison; EWC research director Nancy Davis Lewis, an expert in international public health issues; senior fellow Shabbir Cheema, an expert on civil institutions and governance practices; and senior fellow Allen Clark, specialist in disaster planning and response.
The panel will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the East West Center Gallery. Public parking on campus is $3.
Cultural events raise relief funds
Local organizations plan cultural programs on Sunday to raise funds for relief efforts in Myanmar and China:
» The Hawaii Buddhist Cultural Society will present traditional Chinese dances and a program of contemporary and classical music at 3 p.m. at McKinley High School auditorium. The $20 tickets, available at Chinatown Cultural Plaza and other locations, will benefit efforts to aid victims of the May 12 earthquake in China's Sichuan province. For information about making donations, call 545-1183.
» The Association for Promoting South Asian Culture will sponsor a program of cultural dances and food from South and Southeast Asia. The 6:30 p.m. event at First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, 2500 Pali Highway, will collect donations for recovery efforts in Myanmar, where thousands were left homeless after a May 3 cyclone. Dr. Tin Myaing Thein will moderate a slide presentation on Myanmar, formerly called Burma. For information, call Saleem Ahmed, 371-9360.
Class helps women in politics
Women interested in running for elective office or working on a political campaign can learn more about the political process at a campaign training workshop May 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the state Capitol auditorium.
Gov. Linda Lingle and U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono will be keynote speakers at the "Ready to Run" event, sponsored by the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women.
Others speaking will be Kevin Cronin, chief executive officer, Office of Elections; Barbara Wong, Campaign Spending Commission executive director; former state Rep. Annelle Amaral; Jadine Neilson, political consultant, and JoAnn Maruoka, League of Women Voters-Hawaii.
Debbie Shimizu of the Hawaii State Democratic Party; Keiko Bonk of the Green Party and Linda Smith of the Republican Party also will participate.
Appearing on a panel entitled "If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now" will be state Sens. Suzanne Chun-Oakland and Jill Tokuda, Reps. Marilyn Lee, Cynthia Thielen, Lynn Finnegan, Mele Carrol and Barbara Marumoto, and former Rep. Lisa Naito.
The $10 workshop fee includes breakfast, lunch and a reception, as well as campaign planning materials.
For more information, see www.hawaii.gov/dhs/women/women or contact Sharon Ferguson-Quick at 586-5758 or e-mail: DHS.HSCSW@hawaii.gov.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man, 23, charged in pair of stabbings
HANALEI, Kauai » A 23-year-old homeless man has been charged with stabbing two Hanalei residents in the Ching Young Village Shopping Center about 9 p.m. Friday, police said.
Aerial Star, 23, is currently in Kauai police cellblock, unable to post $500,000 bail on charges of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault, a police spokeswoman said.
Patrick Coan, 32, is in fair condition at Wilcox Hospital after receiving emergency surgery for multiple stab wounds. Lauren Criswell, 24, was released from Wilcox after receiving treatment this weekend.
According to police, witnesses said the stabbing took place after a fight between the victims and Star in the courtyard area of Ching Young Village.
Waimea school fire raises suspicion
Hawaii County Police have begun a criminal property damage investigation in connection with a fire at Waimea Elementary School.
Police reported on Sunday that a fire was observed within a secured fenced area containing plastic storage sheds, a golf cart and a riding lawn tractor with a trailer. Damage was estimated at $4,300.
The fire was extinguished, and a preliminary investigation revealed it to be suspicious.
Police ask anyone with information about the fire to call officer Bobbie-Jo Sagon at 887-3080 or the Police Department's nonemergency number at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.
Hilo Hooganji Mission loses bell
Hawaii County police are looking for the person who stole a bell from the Hilo Hooganji Mission.
Someone entered the property, located on Manono Street at the Piilani Street intersection, and removed the bell sometime between April 28 and May 1, police said.
Police ask anyone with information about this case to call the Police Department's nonemergency line at 935-3311.
4 visitors hurt after mule wagon flips
A mule-drawn wagon with tourists aboard overturned yesterday in a shallow river in Waipio Valley.
Police said that the tongue of the wagon broke about 1:40 p.m. on Waipio Valley Road. As the driver attempted to unhitch the mules, they apparently became spooked and ran away with tourists still in the wagon. The wagon entered a shallow river and overturned.
Four passengers were flown out of the valley by helicopter and taken to area hospitals with non-critical injuries. They were a 59-year-old woman from Japan, a 65-year-old woman from Japan, a 40-year-old woman from Japan and a 62-year-old woman from Chicago.
Plane airlifts man from missile site
BARKING SANDS, Kauai » A Coast Guard C-130 airlifted a 50-year-old Kauai man suffering from shock Sunday from the Pacific Missile Range facility.
The C-130 search aircraft, responding to a call from the state Department of Health, transported the man to Barbers Point, its base. Emergency Medical Services took the man to Queen's Medical Center, officials with the Coast Guard said yesterday.
Man allegedly hits, threatens woman
Police arrested a 21-year-old man for allegedly hitting and threatening his girlfriend Sunday night.
About 9:30 p.m. Sunday, the suspect allegedly punched and knocked out his 44-year-old girlfriend during a fight in their Kalihi home. Police said the woman found her boyfriend later in a bar, and told him not to come back.
The suspect then allegedly held a knife to the woman's throat and threatened to kill her. About 1 this morning, patrol officers found the suspect and arrested him on suspicion of second-degree assault and first-degree terroristic threatening.
Man suspected in assault gives up
A 30-year-old Kaimuki man turned himself in to police Sunday in connection with the rape of a 17-year-old girl Friday night at a school.
Police were called about 10:30 p.m. Friday but the suspect had fled the scene before they arrived.
The man turned himself in at 7 p.m. Sunday at Honolulu Police Department headquarters and was arrested on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault.