Manipulations of the processBy Rick Daysog
at Bishop Estate's Kamehameha Schools
are investigated by the state
The state attorney general's office is looking into the admissions policies of Kamehameha Schools as part of its investigation into Bishop Estate.
The state said in court filings Friday that it subpoenaed Kamehameha Schools' director of admissions, Wayne Chang, on possible "manipulations of the student admissions process."
The state's examination is a follow-up to court-appointed fact finder Patrick Yim's December report, which was highly critical of trustees' oversight of the Kamehameha Schools.
The attorney general is investigating allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by trustees of the $10 billion charitable trust.
The Yim report concluded that trustees influenced elementary-school admissions and that the schools' admission director instructed admission committee members to place red dots next to names of applicants who would be admitted into the schools, regardless of their qualifications.
A spokesman for the estate had no comment. But trustees in the past have said they were unaware of any such preferential treatment.
In an affidavit, senior Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Goya said that Chang refused to answer questions as to whether children of some prominent local residents were granted favoritism in the admission process.
Chang also refused to answer questions whether Bishop Estate trustees influenced the admission of the children, who were identified by name during the interview, Goya said.
Howard Luke, Chang's attorney, said the state misrepresented the details of his client's interview. Luke said Chang testified for nearly a full day and was willing to cooperate with the investigation.
But Luke said his client was concerned about violating students' and parents' rights to privacy. Under federal law, parents and students have the right to due notice and can object to the release of any information about their children, Luke said.
The state wants the Circuit Court to order Chang to answer questions about Kamehameha Schools' admission policies, although it said it's willing to protect the children's rights to privacy.
Kamehameha union vote
to be held March 13
The faculty accepts the dateBy Debra Barayuga
rather than further delays
Bishop Estate trustees have selected March 13 as the date to hold a union election for Kamehameha Schools faculty.
Attorneys for both sides had been trying to nail down a date since the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Kamehameha teachers may vote on whether they want to be represented by a union.
"It's not the date we had selected or wanted," said Dean Choy, attorney for the Kamehameha Schools Faculty Association. But rather than delay the election further, the faculty accepted it.
"I think they're happy the time frame for the election occurred within a reasonable amount of time," he said.
Bishop Estate attorneys also submitted a list of 238 teachers and school librarians who will be allowed to vote.
The ballot will contain one question that basically asks if they want the faculty association to be their representative for collective bargaining.
Now that a date has been set, Kamehameha faculty can begin organizing their campaign and responding to the administration's contention that a union is unnecessary and may make it harder for teachers to get the kind of changes they're looking for, Choy said.
The faculty this week asked trustees to guarantee they will not be pressured by threat or special treatment to influence their vote.
Teachers have already been required to attend one of three meetings held in the past week, where President Mike Chun told them a union wasn't necessary to resolve their concerns and suggested a nonunion faculty association instead.
Bishop Estate attorneys received the teachers' "fair election pledge" request Thursday, but trustees have not yet discussed it as a board, said Bishop Estate spokesman Kekoa Paulsen.
The National Labor Relations Board will conduct the election by secret ballot in the lobby of the secondary school auditorium.
All those eligible will have a chance to vote either before or after school.
Kamehameha Schools attorney Robert Katz has until Feb. 20 to file an exception to the labor board's decision.
Waves relentlessly pound North ShoreAlice Tracy eyes the rising surf at Ke Iki beach in Pupukea, unafraid of the threat it poses to her property.
"I'm a very spiritual person and I don't think the gods will let it happen again," the 70-year-old owner-manager of a beach house rental complex at 59-575 Ke Iki Rd. said Friday.
Just over two weeks ago, high surf swept through two of Tracy's rental units, causing an estimated $140,000 damage.
"I was insured, but the main thing is nobody got hurt," Tracy said.
The U.S. Weather Service reported Friday night forecasted North Shore surf of 25 feet. It was expected to be about 10 to 15 feet Saturday on the north shores of Kauai and Oahu and somewhat lower elsewhere.
"We're expecting another swell late Saturday, but it looks like it'll be under 20 feet," Weather Service forecaster Bob Farrell said last night.
Large ocean swells have traveled thousands of miles to reach Hawaii the past two months from a series of low pressure systems moving across the North Pacific, forecaster Tim Craig said today.
"Last night's was a biggy, and there will be other ones."
Tracy, a Lanai native who has lived on the North Shore for 25 years, fears wave direction more than size.
"If the surf comes from Sunset Beach toward Waimea Bay, my whole complex can be wiped out," Tracy said.
"There's a reef that protects most of the units when the big waves come from the opposite direction like it did a couple of weeks ago."
Lifeguards closed Waimea Bay at about 5 p.m. yesterday after surf rose from 10 feet to 18 feet in 2-1/2 hours. They were to decide this morning whether to keep it closed, said lifeguard Lt. Patrick Kelly.
Team will investigate how dirty the waterfront isIn an unprecedented move, the state, oil companies and major landowners are joining to clean up petroleum contamination along the Honolulu waterfront.
The voluntary agreement announced Friday requires the state Transportation Department, BHP, Chevron, Hawaiian Electric, Shell Oil and Tosco (formerly Unocal) to absorb the costs of hiring a consultant, assess the extent of the problem and determine what, if any, cleanup is required.
The state Department of Health will oversee the project.
"It's the first time we're dealing with a problem of this magnitude," said Bruce Anderson, deputy director for environmental health. "The state alone can't deal with it. No single landowner is able to deal with it effectively."