Newswatch


By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, September 12, 1996



Foes of vote on sovereignty
deride turnout

Opponents of the Native Hawaiian Vote say the low turnout - less than 40 percent of eligible voters returned ballots - shows that Hawaiians don't want the proposed approach to sovereignty.

They planned to claim victory at a news conference today at the King Kamehameha Statue.

Meanwhile, members of the Hawaiian Sovereignty Elections Council are planning educational and fund-raising campaigns in the wake of yesterday's disclosure of final results. They estimate that $8 million to $12 million will be needed to complete the sovereignty process.

Voters endorsed the proposal, to elect delegates to advance a native Hawaiian government, by nearly a 3 to 1 margin with 22,294 in favor and 8,129 against.

But the 30,423 ballots returned in the mail-in vote is just 38 percent of the approximate 80,000 ballots sent to eligible voters.



Bidding law hurts
local firms, contractor says

KAILUA-KONA - In 1993, Guy Lam was head of the largest construction company on the neighbor islands. Now his new company is penalized in state building jobs by a law that is supposed to help local contractors.

Despite submitting the lowest bids to renovate state hospitals in Kona and North Kohala this year, he lost both jobs.

That's because the law required state officials to add 5 percent to his bids because his company hasn't been in business in Hawaii for a required minimum number of years.

And the Legislature toughened the law this year. On new bids, Lam will see 15 percent added.

"It's very unfair obviously," Lam said.

Sen. Cal Kawamoto, who pushed the toughened law, said the intent was to ensure tax money is kept in the state to benefit local companies and labor.

He said the Legislature knew companies like Lam's would be hurt, but they couldn't find a better way to write the law to protect the majority of local companies.



Tax revenues dropped
but general fund grew

State general fund tax revenues were down by 6.6 percent, a decrease of $15.9 million in August compared with the same month last year, according to the state Tax Department.

But overall, the state is in better shape during the first two months of this fiscal year.

General fund revenues totaled $463.2 million - $5.3 million more than in the first two months of the last fiscal year.

The August decrease is attributed to a decline in general excise and use taxes - the state's largest revenue source - by $9.1 million for August, officials said.



For expanded versions of these and other stories,
see today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.




Police/Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff



Waikiki sees a boost
in office safe burglaries

In the sixth break-in this week involving an office safe in Waikiki, a safe at a Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center store was discovered burglarized early yesterday.

Police have noticed an increase in commercial burglaries involving safes in the past three months, said Waikiki theft Detective Henry Ah Loo. More than 10 cases have been reported in Waikiki at various stores and restaurants.

Five of the break-ins were discovered Sunday after a burglary at a travel office in the old Mitsukoshi Building.



Big Island fisherman
found after short search

MANUKA, Hawaii - Fire Department rescuers today located a fisherman missing near the Manuka Natural Area Reserve on the boundary of South Kona and Kau.

He had suffered scratches on his leg and had spent the night sleeping on lava, but was otherwise fine, said Fire Capt. Grant Kojima.

The search began at 5 a.m. today and ended at 6:15 a.m., a fire dispatcher said.



Other Police/Fire headlines
in today's Star-Bulletin:

  • Kalihi man is arrested in assault with umbrella
  • Hotel lobby camera catches thief in action

See expanded versions in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.





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