STAR-BULLETIN / 2007
Visitors tour the Hawaii Superferry Alakai at Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island.
Big Isle Superferry ready in May
The Hawaii Superferry's second vessel will be ready to provide service to the Big Island in May.
The ferry is being built in Mobile, Ala., and is about 75 percent complete.
Chief Executive Officer Tom Fargo says the company is working on improvements to the second ferry. It is adding an adjustable sound system and other amenities to make it more comfortable.
Rates haven't been determined yet.
The Hawaii Superferry can carry up to 800 passengers and 200 vehicles per trip. It travels between Maui and Oahu every morning and afternoon four days a week.
Workers to target subscribers
Unionized employees at the Honolulu Advertiser have started passing out pledge cards asking subscribers to cancel their subscriptions in the event of a strike.
The cards were passed out to employees yesterday at a union meeting discussing the latest contract negotiations between the newspaper and its unions. Subscribers can sign the cards and mail them back to the union.
"We spent most of the afternoon with our preparations in case there is a strike," said Wayne Cahill, spokesman of the Hawaii Newspaper and Printing Trades Council, which represents six unions at the paper.
Union employees have been working without a contract for more than a year.
Cahill said union members and other unions will help pass out 100,000 of the cards to subscribers.
"We want the authority (for a subscriber boycott) in case it should become necessary," he said. If there is a strike, "then we're going to ask people to stop using the newspaper," he said.
The council also sent letters to advertisers discussing the contract situation, Cahill said. In the event of a strike, the council may ask advertisers to boycott the paper, he said. Union members have authorized a strike but no strike date been set. The Advertiser announced on July 16 that 54 people would be laid off.
The company yesterday declined to comment on the union's actions.
Leeward beach closures delayed
Planned late-night beach closures for several Leeward Coast parks have been postponed due to requests from residents and Neighborhood Boards in the area.
The closure dates for the following parks have been changed from Monday to Aug. 11: Tracks, Nanakuli, Lualualei No. 2 and Pokai Bay Beach parks. Night closure hours will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The park closures stem from community concerns about safety in the areas during night hours.
No more sharks seen at Makaha
Makaha area beaches were reopened yesterday after there were no further shark sightings in the waters.
The beaches from a mile in either direction of Lahilahi Point were closed after a female visitor was bitten by a shark while snorkeling near Lahilahi Point Friday morning.
The woman remained hospitalized at the Queen's Medical Center.
Public school begins this week
Morning traffic should begin to slow down this week as thousands of public school students return to class.
School for most of about 178,000 students enrolled in the public system begins tomorrow, Tuesday or Wednesday, according to the Education Department.
The fall session at the University of Hawaii at Manoa begins Aug. 25, followed by Hawaii Pacific University on Sept. 2.
Police, Fire, Courts
2 hospitalized after motorcycles crash
Two motorcyclists were hospitalized, one in critical condition, following a crash near the Helemano Military Reservation early yesterday.
About 2:05 a.m., two motorcycles were traveling toward Haleiwa on Kamehameha Highway when they tried to pass a 2006 Chevrolet Impala near the intersection of Paalaa Uka Pupukea Road.
The first motorcycle, a 2008 Yamaha driven by a 32-year-old man, hit the left rear bumper of the Impala, went out of control and sideswiped the second bike, a 2005 Yamaha driven by a 38-year-old man, police said.
The two bikes went off the road, and the two men were ejected from their bikes and landed on the left shoulder of the highway. Both men suffered multiple head and body injuries.
The younger man was hospitalized in critical condition, while the other was in serious condition. Both were taken to the Queen's Medical Center. Speed was apparently a factor on the part of both bikers, police said.
Security guard aids in theft arrest
A security guard helped police catch two men who allegedly broke into a car and stole a purse early yesterday.
At about 2 a.m., a security guard saw a white Saturn facing the wrong direction in the parking lot at 2255 Kuhio Ave.
The driver, a 36-year-old man, told the security guard that he was waiting for a friend.
Police said the guard later saw a 21-year-old man searching the inside of a Chrysler parked nearby. The 21-year-old man then pulled a large black purse out of the Chrysler and got into the Saturn, the guard told police. The guard checked the Chrysler and found that the vehicle's locks had been punched out. The guard called police and detained the suspects until officers arrived. The suspects were arrested on suspicion of first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
Fire crews douse blaze near Kalaeloa
Firefighters fought a two-acre brush fire near Kalaeloa Airport yesterday.
Four Honolulu fire companies along with federal firefighters and a state crash crew responded to the 7 p.m. fire and brought it under control in 20 minutes, said Honolulu fire Capt. Robert Main.
The fire was in an overgrown lot near the intersection of Independence Street and Coral Sea Road, outside the airport fence, Main said.
No structures were threatened and no one was injured by the fire.