By Gary T. Kubota, Star-Bulletin
Principal Vance Yatsushiro stands in
Lahaina Intermediate's first cafeteria..
WAILUKU -- Lahaina Intermediate School Principal Vance Yatsushiro is happy to have a cafeteria after 16 years.
Lahaina Intermediate has cafeteria,
but no appliances
But he's disappointed that he still has to bring lunches from King Kamehameha III School a mile away.
The cafeteria -- the school's first -- has been ready since early April, but the kitchen equipment isn't expected to arrive until the second week in May.
"That's bad because the entire project should have been finished," Yatsushiro said.
The poor timing in cafeteria construction extends beyond Lahaina Intermediate to other schools as well. It partially stems from a lack of coordination by two state departments and two contractors.
While the state Department of Accounting and General Services is in charge of overseeing construction of the $2.5 million cafeteria, installation of the kitchen equipment is left to the state Department of Education.
Education officials blame a process that requires separate bids for building the cafeteria and installing cafeteria equipment.
Circuit Judge John Lim imposed the stiffest sentence possible on a former Honolulu police officer convicted of two counts of third-degree sex assault, noting that Selwin Simmons is dangerous.
Former cop to serve
"You have not taken one iota of responsibility, and that speaks of cold-bloodiness," Lim told Simmons yesterday.
Deputy Prosecutor Victor Bakke argued successfully in court that Simmons met the criteria for "extended term" sentencing -- 10 years per count as opposed to five years for each offense -- because he has two or more felony convictions and is dangerous to the public.
A jury convicted Simmons two months ago for attacking a woman, who was then 18, behind the old Palama fire station on North King Street in September 1994 while on duty.
Today could be decisive in how a proposed same-sex marriage amendment to the state Constitution is worded to go on the November 1998 ballot.
Time crucial in wording
of same-sex ballot item
Legislative conferees met briefly last night while the House side presented a draft to Senate counterparts that says: "The Legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite sex couples."
Senate members said they would consider it and call the House committee today to arrange another meeting.
Rep. Terrance Tom, House Judiciary chairman, told the four senators that the five House conferees have looked over proposals the Senate passed to them Tuesday, and it appears the House and Senate are on at least the same wave length.
Tom said his side would not respond further to the Senate's proposed package of marriage-like benefits for same-sex couples until an agreement has been reached on the amendment.
He said, however, he felt the Senate's latest proposal had drifted farther from the House than its earlier proposal. The House has proposed only limited spousal benefits to same-sex couples, while the Senate has proposed a wide range that includes taxes, workers compensation and state retirement.
Senate conferee Co-chairmen Avery Chumbley and Matt Matsunaga were dissatisfied with Tom's tactic of separating the two issues, but didn't make an issue of it at the table where both bills were on the posted agenda.
Later, however, they stressed there is no way the Senate side would agree to separate the issues of an amendment and providing a package of rights and benefits for same-sex couples.
Time is critical. A proposed amendment must be in Gov. Ben Cayetano's hands by tomorrow if one is to pass this session.
See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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By Star-Bulletin staff
HILO -- Police are looking for a man who robbed the First Hawaiian Bank branch at the Hilo Shopping Center yesterday afternoon, they said.
Police seek robber
of Hilo bank
The man handed a teller a note saying he had a weapon and demanding money.
He was given an undetermined amount of cash and fled on foot toward Hilo airport.
He was described as having a tan complexion, in his mid to late 30s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, about 175 pounds and stocky.
He wore a T-shirt of unknown color, blue jeans and a bandanna on his head.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 961-2311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.
KAILUA-KONA -- Police captured an inmate in Kona yesterday after he escaped from the Hale Nani minimum security prison Tuesday, they said.
Brian Visser, 19, serving time for burglary and theft, was found at a Kailua-Kona house after police received a 1 p.m. tip that he was sleeping there.
Police contacted the owner of the house and arrested Visser without incident.
Other Police/Fire headlines
in todays Star-Bulletin:
- Man caught with gun in CD player
- Cause of critical injuries unknown
- Ex-boyfriend faces assault charges