An artist's rendering of the University of Hawaii-West Oahu campus.
UH-West Oahu chooses designer
The University of Hawaii at West Oahu has chosen
Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. as its design-assist partner and general contractor to build the first phase of the $144 million UH-West Oahu campus in Kapolei.
Groundbreaking is expected to take place early next year, and the first classes at the new campus will be held in the fall of 2010, according to university officials.
Kobayashi will work with the university in cost estimating, value engineering and other related pre-construction issues. The company was formerly owned by former UH Board of Regents Chairman Bert Kobayashi Jr. but was sold to its employees in the 1990s.
Phase one of the UH-West Oahu campus will accommodate more than 1,500 students with six buildings: Administration, Campus Center, Library, Classrooms 1-A and 1-B, and Maintenance.
UH-West Oahu is seeking a zone change request and a plan review use permit from the Honolulu City Council before it can begin construction.
Inouye vows to ease Kapaa traffic
WAILUA, Kauai » Sen. Daniel Inouye met with county and state officials yesterday and pledged to help alleviate Kapaa traffic.
Inouye, who was scheduled to meet with Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste, instead met with interim Mayor Gary Heu, numerous county officials and staff from the state Department of Transportation at the site of the former Coco Palms hotel. Baptiste died June 22.
Baptiste had been pushing for years to get another lane of traffic for Kuhio Highway in Wailua, including the area in front of the hotel, which has been shuttered since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
The county, state and federal governments have all pledged to help put another lane over the Wailua Bridge, just south of the site.
But when plans to renovate Coco Palms fell through last year, thanks to the denial of a permit to put in a health spa on the site, the developer's agreement to add a lane an additional lane on Kuhio Highway from the Kapaa Temporary Bypass to the bridge fell through.
The road-widening project is also complicated by the Endangered Species Act, since the area is frequented by the Hawaiian petrel and the Newell's shearwater, two endangered species that have often been found on the ground after tangling in the web of power lines above the hotel and along Kuhio Highway.
So to comply with the law, transportation officials will put all the power lines underground, which will cost $15 million alone. While the state has offered to put up almost half of the $15 million, Inouye has been asked to help out with the rest.
"We're just working out the details," he said yesterday.
While construction to add a lane to the Wailua River bridge is expected to start in January, the construction of the road widening could start in late 2009, if all goes according to plan, state officials said.
1,200 attend Abercrombie event
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie filed for re-election yesterday and celebrated his June 26 birthday with a political fundraiser for 1,200 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Abercrombie is running for an 11th term in Congress. His opposition so far is from Republican Daniel Brackins.
The 70-year-old Democratic congressman is a former state legislator and city councilman who was first elected in 1974.
Now considered one of the senior Democrats in Congress, he is ranked 41 among the 236 House Democrats. Abercrombie is chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces and has oversight of the Army and Air Force operations, budget and weapons systems.
In declaring his candidacy yesterday, Abercrombie said ending the Iraq war is his top priority in Congress.
"I am concentrating on 2008, my election and the election of Barack Obama, Hawaii's son. I am concentrating on seeing that our troops are taken care of," Abercrombie said.
Police, Fire, Courts
Police arrest man after stabbing
Police arrested a 44-year-old Nanakuli man early yesterday morning who allegedly punched and stabbed a 22-year-old woman in Kalihi.
The man allegedly punched the woman in the head at about 12:30 a.m. yesterday, then allegedly stabbed her in the back with a knife, police said.
Police located the man, and he was identified by the victim and arrested for investigation of second-degree assault.
Rain tamps down wildfire above Laie
Timely rain contained a wildfire in the hills above Laie last night.
Fire crews were called about 8:15 p.m. Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said smoke was coming from a remote area.
Residents offered the use of all-terrain vehicles to help bring firefighters closer to the source of the smoke, but then it started raining.
The fire was declared contained by 11:30 p.m.
Kunia standoff ends peacefully
An almost 19-hour standoff with police ended peacefully today when a 23-year-old man gave himself up.
At 4:30 yesterday afternoon, police received a call about a distraught man at the Villas at Royal Kunia on Anonui Street.
When police arrived, the man threatened to hurt himself, said police spokesman Maj. Frank Fujii. Fujii said the man had firearms.
Police evacuated 14 units in the immediate area before closing the street. Fujii said officers from the Specialized Services Division and crisis negotiators were on the scene this morning.
Negotiations ended shortly after 11 a.m. and the man surrendered. Police cleared the area at 11:20 a.m. A news conference on the incident is scheduled for this afternoon.
Burglary attempt leads to 3 arrests
Police arrested three people in connection with an attempted burglary in Ewa Beach early yesterday morning.
Police said a 30-year-old man was asleep in his Ewa Beach home when he awoke to noise outside his sliding glass door. When he looked outside, he saw the two suspects outside and called police.
Arriving officers found the two suspects nearby and a third sitting in a car, police said.
Police arrested all three - a 43-year-old Ewa Beach man and an 18-year-old Ewa Beach woman and her 24-year-old sister, who was sitting in the car - on suspicion of first-degree attempted burglary. The man was also arrested on suspicion of third-degree detrimental drugs after police found a pipe in his pocket containing what appeared to be marijuana, police said. The 24-year-old woman was also arrested on a probation violation.