By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, February 21, 1998

School board plan: Parents pay more

Raising A+ after-school fees $15, from $55 to $70 a month. Increasing school lunches from 75 cents to $1. Raising the bus fare from 25 cents to 50 cents one way.

Board of Education officials hope those proposals will generate an additional $4.7 million to help balance the schools' budget.

"They're all cuts and they all hurt, but what is least hurtful? If adjustments are made, what are the consequences?" said Dr. Mitsugi Nakashima, chairman of the school board's Committee on Budget and Fiscal Accountability.

Board members Friday approved fee increases and other proposals to come up with $25 million to cover the department's supplemental budget. The proposals were sent to the Legislature.

Earlier this month, the governor told the Department of Education that it could not fund its $25 million supplemental budget request for fiscal 1998 and asked that the department look to current services for funding.

Included in the request were money and positions for student support systems required by the Felix consent decree; funding to proceed with a review of the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards; vice principals; clerk-typists; school security guards and seven additional days of instruction in the teachers' contract.

Order for estate's IRS records put on hold

The state's investigation of Bishop Estate received a temporary setback when the state Supreme Court suspended a lower court ruling that would have forced the estate to turn over confidential Internal Revenue Service records.

The high court Friday issued a temporary stay for the IRS records, which could show whether Bishop Estate trustees received personal benefits and perks at the expense of the nonprofit charitable trust.

Attorney General Margery Bronster subpoenaed the documents in the state's investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by individual trustees. Last month, Circuit Judge Kevin Chang ordered the estate to hand over the IRS documents.

"It seems to be obvious that there is something in there that the trustees are attempting to hide," Bronster said. "Unfortunately what we have here is another delay. I think it's consistent with what the trustees have been trying to do all along."

Bishop Estate attorney William McCorriston, who is appealing Chang's decision, has argued that the state is not entitled to IRS documents since they are partly privileged material.

Bishop Estate Archive

Pearl Jam had fans wanting seconds

Assessing a few rough spots in Pearl Jam's performance Friday night at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, singer Eddie Vedder apologized to the crowd of 5,000, "I just wanted tonight to be perfect, I've been waiting for it for a long time."

But fans who had been waiting a long time too were more than forgiving. "I'd give it five stars out of four," said Adam Kuklok, a Vedder lookalike from Tacoma, Wash., about the concert.

If Pearl Jam had intended to work out its kinks on a mellow crowd, the band couldn't have picked a better venue. Lulled by the ocean, palm trees and clear canopy of stars, the crowd was far tamer than any Oahu crowd would have been.

Signs posted on pillars warned against stage diving, but the center's staff didn't have to worry. There were a handful of crowd surfers, but no divers and, shockingly, no mosh pit. Instead, thousands merely danced in place to a set list that drew from all five of the band's major recordings.

The sound throughout was clear and balanced, without an excess of decibels or boom of bass. In spite of the excellent sound, the band had few moments of pure jam and showed none of the abandon of musicians caught up in a groove. There was little divergence from songs as recorded.

Man is first local patient to receive new artificial heart

A donor heart wasn't available when Richard Panui, 58, needed it last week, so he got a "Heartmate."

It's an artificial heart -- a revolutionary air-driven device specifically for heart transplant candidates.

The Ewa Beach resident became the first Hawaii patient to receive the life-saving Heartmate, St. Francis Medical Center said today.

Panui was admitted to St. Francis Feb. 12 with a severe heart condition and put on the waiting list for a heart transplant. The left side of his heart had weakened and was unable to pump blood. The Heartmate has taken over that job.

St. Francis purchased the medical device late last year. Without it, Panui would have had to go to the mainland for medical treatment and to wait for a heart transplant.

St. Francis is the only Hawaii hospital to perform organ transplants.

Performing Panui's surgery was Dr. Carlos Moreno, heart transplant surgeon, assisted by Drs. Collin Dang and Jeff Lee. Dr. Robert Hong is Panui's cardiologist.

Theater chain threatens legal fight on labor ruling

The National Labor Relations Board has overturned a decision that favored Consolidated Amusement Co. in a clash with Local 5 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union.

The action, taken by the NLRB head office Feb. 12 in Washington, D.C., was disclosed Friday.

According to the union, the case has been sent back to the agency's regional office for remedy, which would include sanctions against the theater chain for cutting wages and benefits to employees during a labor dispute last year.

But Consolidated officials say that won't happen without a protracted legal battle, which wouldn't benefit either side.

"We believe the best way is to sit down at the bargaining table and try to resolve these issues," said Phil Shimmin, president of Consolidated.

Union spokesman Tony Rutledge Jr. yesterday agreed, saying he'll likely try to set up a meeting with theater negotiators next week.

"Hopefully we'll try to work something out that's fair," he said.

OHA trustee's charges leave Inouye 'insulted'

The power struggle at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has even involved Sen. Daniel Inouye.

Inouye says he resents accusations by OHA trustee Rowena Akana that he planned a "clandestine meeting" with OHA Chairwoman A. Frenchy DeSoto at a Waikiki hotel this week.

Akana wrote to Inouye and DeSoto Feb. 13 complaining that all eight trustees should be invited to the meeting at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Feb. 19 since "OHA is paying for the meeting room."

Inouye on Feb. 17 wrote back to Akana that he "wasn't aware of any meeting, clandestine or otherwise, scheduled for Feb. 19 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village involving the OHA chair and myself."

"However, I will be with my wife, my son and about 1,300 others at the Coral Ballroom, Hilton Hawaiian Village for a special gathering of friends."

The affair was a $100-a-plate campaign dinner, and the Hawaii Democrat told Akana that his campaign committee could help her purchase tickets.

He questioned why Akana didn't attend an earlier meeting with other trustees and said he was "personally insulted and impatient with these ridiculous charges."

10-year-old Waialua girl killed crossing street

A 10-year-old Waialua girl died Friday after she was struck by a pickup truck on Waialua Beach Road.

Police said the 4:55 p.m. accident occurred 125 feet east of Komo Street in Waialua.

The girl was crossing the two-lane road from north to south when struck by an eastbound pickup driven by a 27-year-old Waialua man.

Police want to talk with a witness driving a white Chevrolet pickup that turned left on Komo Street going away from the scene.

See expanded coverage in Saturday's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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