Teamsters ratify TheBus contract
Employees of TheBus, Honolulu's public transit system, have ratified a new five-year labor contract increasing costs by about $3.4 million for this fiscal year, Oahu Transit Services, Inc., announced.
The company's final offer was on July 1 after meeting several weeks with the Teamster's Local 996, representing more than 1,400 employees.
The contract includes the following annual pay increases: 3.4 percent as of July 1, this year, 3.8 percent next year, 4.2 percent in 2010, 4.6 percent in 2011, and 5 percent in 2012.
It also provides for increased employer contributions to the Teamsters Pension Plan. Health benefits are unchanged.
The city's current budget includes funds for the contract amount.
"It made the contract much easier to negotiate knowing we would have the means to fund the offer," Roger Morton, OTS president and general manager, said in a news release.
The contract affects bus operators, maintenance workers, supervisors, storekeepers and administrative employees.
City population ranks 49th in US
If the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Honolulu based on the population of the entire island of Oahu, the city and county would be the 11th most populous municipality in the country.
With a population of 905,601, Honolulu falls below Detroit and above Jacksonville, Fla.
Instead, the Census Bureau uses what it calls the Honolulu Census Designated Place, the 968-- ZIP code area between Hawaii Kai and Red Hill, to determine the metropolitan population of Honolulu.
The Honolulu CDP ranked 49th in population with 375,571 residents on July 1, 2007, falling below Raleigh City, N.C. and above Arlington, Texas.
That is down two places from last year when Honolulu's city center ranked 47th in population.
The census figures released yesterday show most of the growth on Oahu is taking place outside the city center.
Since 2000 the Honolulu CDP has grown only 1.1 percent in population.
Big Isle hospital revises layoff list
HILO » The private North Hawaii Community Hospital on the Big Island was expected to release today the number of staff members being laid off, a one-day delay from the announcement that had been planned for yesterday.
The hospital administration was continuing yesterday to determine the smallest number of cuts it could make and still return to financial stability, said Paul Dunne, vice president for fund development and marketing.
The hospital is facing a deficit of $1.6 million.
The contracts of three administrators of the hospital's Heart Brain Center have already been terminated, and the center is expected to be merged with other hospital functions.
Isle groups join health care drive
Concerned Hawaii groups have joined a national coalition of organizations launching a $40 million campaign to improve health care for all Americans.
The goal is "basic access to affordable quality health care," said the Rev. Bob Nakata, a former state legislator representing Faith Action for Community Equity.
His group was one of six or seven at a news conference yesterday to announce local participation in the national coalition of labor unions, community-based membership groups, women's groups, doctors, nurses, small businesses and activists.
"The problems are huge," he said, citing the growing number of unemployed and uninsured; inadequate Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance payments; physicians leaving Hawaii; and hospitals fighting financial losses.
Pat Zukemaura, FACE organizer on Oahu, said, "We're working in terms of making sure hospitals ... stay open."
He said the local groups aim to get 20,000 signatures on a petition by the end of October to persuade isle candidates for office locally and nationally to support their mission.
Nakata said the Hawaii coalition is hoping $40,000 of the national campaign money will be sent here to help organize a network of unions, community groups, government agencies, legislators and others who want to be involved.
STAR-BULLETIN / 2005
Carlton and Cheryl Kruse enjoy a walk through Lyon Arboretum. The 193-acre tropical rain forest will be open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arboretum to open Saturdays
Starting Saturday, Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawaii at Manoa will be open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Previously, the arboretum has only been open on weekdays.
"By offering Saturday hours, we are responding to the No. 1 question we get, namely, Why aren't you open when I can bring my family?" said Christopher Dunn, director of the arboretum.
The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a 193-acre tropical rain forest in Manoa Valley.
Location: 3860 Manoa Road
Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
On the Net: www.hawaii.edu/lyonarboretum
Police, Fire, Courts
Drive-by shooting victim stabilizes
A 16-year-old boy was in stable condition after being shot by someone in a passing car on the Moanalua Freeway early yesterday, police said.
The boy was a passenger in a Waianae-bound car on the freeway at about 1:45 a.m., police said. A Honda Civic pulled alongside the car the boy was in, and someone inside fire four shots, police said. One bullet hit the boy in the shoulder, police said. A 22-year-old man driving the car with the victim then got off the freeway and found a police officer on Moanalua Road.
The boy was taken to the Queen's Medical Center and was in stable condition.
Man holds up bank in Liliha
A robber held up the American Savings Bank in Liliha yesterday, police said.
The man, in his 20s, showed a revolver to a teller at 5:17 p.m. inside the bank at 1425 Liliha St., police said.
Then he fled on foot. Police did not say whether he stole any money.
He was described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds.
Juvenile charged in attack with gun
Police have charged a juvenile for firing a gun several times at a truck carrying 10 people in Kalihi last month.
The boy was charged Saturday with first-degree attempted murder, three counts of second-degree attempted murder and gun charges.
Police did not disclose the boy's age.
Police said the boy fired a gun at the truck as it carried two adults and eight teenage girls on Nimitz Highway at about 1:45 a.m. June 29.
Several bullets hit the truck and one entered the passenger area, police said. No one was injured. Witnesses identified the suspect, who was arrested Friday at the main police station.
Man is charged in alleged assault
A 21-year-old Maili man was charged yesterday in connection with a severe beating in Maili that left a 31-year-old man in critical condition Monday.
Steven Smith was charged with first-degree assault. He was being held at the police cellblock in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Police responded Monday to a fight near Maile Pink Market at about 8:05 p.m. and found the victim unconscious. They arrested the suspect later at his home.