By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, June 4, 1997

Reimbursement sought
from Perfect Title

Big Island rancher Harold F. "Freddy" Rice, who failed in an earlier challenge to Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections, is tilting at a company specializing in native Hawaiian claims on land.

Rice yesterday asked the state court to stop the owners of Perfect Title Co. from advertising that land transactions may be invalid if they occurred after the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani.

Rice also asked that David Keanu Sai and Donald Lewis reimburse him for the money he spent on attorney fees to research whether his land titles would be void under the claims of Perfect Title Co. Rice owns a ranch in Kamuela and has other property.

The fifth-generation island resident earlier sued the state, claiming that limiting the election of OHA trustees to people of Hawaiian ancestry violated the constitutional ban on a racial test of voting rights. U.S. District Judge David Ezra found that the requirement is based on recognition of the unique status of native Hawaiians and not on race.

In his latest suit, filed by attorney John Goemans, Rice said the Perfect Title Co. claims are "false, fraudulent and deceptive" and the court should issue an injunction to stop its advertisements from appearing in print and electronic media and elsewhere.

Perfect Title advertises that the Hawaiian monarchy is still the legal government entity in the islands. Some of its clients have stopped paying mortgages after the company found the title held under the state was "invalid."

Isles will be taking part
in worldwide reef check

HANALEI, Kauai -- Volunteers and scientists around the world, including Hanalei Bay, will be diving underwater starting June 14 in the first international effort to gauge the health of coral reefs.

More than 100 teams representing 30 nations, including Mexico, Egypt, Israel, China, Taiwan, Australia, New Guinea and Malaysia, will perform one-day surveys of as many reef sites as possible through Aug. 31.

The reef checks are being coordinated by the Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as part of the International Year of the Reef.

The checks, intended to get an overview of human effect on coral reefs, would also focus public and government attention on the value of reefs and the threats they are facing, said Matt Stout of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is coordinating reef year activities for the United States.

He said organizers hope the increased awareness will lead to better conservation efforts and more money for coral reef research.

Seeds of discontent grow
in Waimanalo garden

Behind the gate, the crops are maturing on schedule: String beans, squash, yams, taro and tapioca reach for the sun.

But William Fonokalafi, among about three dozen people who tend plots at the Waimanalo Community Garden, fears he'll never see the fruit of his labor. As of Monday, they were locked out of the two-acre parcel on Hiimanu Street, which is leased by the Waimanalo Teen Project from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The move was not unexpected. The Waimanalo bean field war has been seething for months.

During that time, garden users have been locked in an escalating turf struggle over control of the governing organization and its rules. Tempers have frayed, relationships have gone to seed.

"For the past six months or so, there's been nothing but arguments and fights and that's among members of the group," said Jimmy Torres, director of the Waimanalo Teen Project, an agency he describes as a very localized YMCA. "In the interest of safety, we've decided to close it until it can reorganize."

But Fonokalafi wants back in so he can tend to his crops and harvest them in six months or so.

"Why us?" he asked. "Why didn't he close it down before we started planting so we didn't waste our time and effort? We put hours and hours into this ... There are some very hard feelings."

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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By Star-Bulletin staff

Two Waipahu men arrested
after reports of gunshots

Police arrested two Waipahu men last night who were allegedly firing guns on a highway and in a residential neighborhood.

Police received reports that the two men, a 31-year-old and a 36-year-old, were firing a handgun in the air from their pickup truck on Likelike and Kahekili highways.

The men apparently drove to the Tropicana Villas on Waipahu Street, where the 31-year-old lived, police said.

An officer noticed the men firing the handgun from the pickup parked outside the apartment.

Police received the man's consent to search his apartment. Police found unlicensed guns in the truck and the refrigerator.

Police confiscated both handguns and the truck.

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

  • Ala Moana bank robber suspected in earlier heist
  • Gunman robs liquor store in Waikiki
  • Nanakuli man is charged in gun-threatening case

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
See our [Info] section for subscription information.

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