By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, March 11, 1998

Navy says USS Missouri won't hurt environment at Pearl Harbor

The way is clear for the USS Missouri to make one last voyage into Pearl Harbor, its resting place.

The Navy says the USS Missouri Memorial will have no significant effect on the environment.

At issue is the proposed leasing by the USS Missouri Memorial Association of 2.52 acres at Pier F-5 on Ford Island to temporarily berth the battleship and two acres at Halawa Landing near the USS Bowfin Museum.

"Being environmentally sensitive has been a key component of our plans from the outset, so we're very pleased with the Navy's finding on our request to lease property at Pearl Harbor," said Roy Yee, association president. "We're looking forward to starting our modification program and readying the Battleship Missouri Memorial for public visitation."

Belt Collins Hawaii, a planning and consulting firm, submitted the Navy environmental assessment. The assessment was required by the Council on Environmental Quality regulations that implements the National Environmental Policy Act. The Navy determined an environmental impact statement is not required.

The USS Missouri, now at Bremerton, Wash., will be moored at Pier F-5 until 2001 after which the battleship will move to its permanent berth at Piers F-2 and F-3, about 900 yards farther south toward the Pearl Harbor entrance.

The association will repaint the ship and refurbish it into a memorial museum.

Also, it will make minor modifications at Pier F-5 to provide visitors with access and services -- including safety barriers, temporary education exhibits, a bus shelter and roadway realignment for a turnaround area.

A ticketing facility will go in at Halawa Landing, along with a reception area, expanded restrooms and parking lot. The association will have access to common areas next to the Bowfin Museum and use of the ferry landing driveway for shuttle buses. Visitors at the Missouri Memorial will be transported between Halawa Landing and Pier F-5 by shuttle buses across Ford Island bridge.

The USS Missouri Memorial Association is a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization selected by Secretary of the Navy John Dalton as caretaker of the historic battleship. The association was formed in 1994 and includes a cross-section of leaders from Hawaii's business, civic, political and retired Navy communities.

Longs pharmacists file class action suit over overtime

Former and current pharmacists of Longs Drug Stores have filed a federal class-action lawsuit in San Francisco against Longs for allegedly failing to pay them overtime, not keeping records of their work hours and not paying "off-the-clock" work.

But the company said it is already working on the issues with the U.S. Department of Labor and that there was no merit in the lawsuit. Company spokesman Clay Selland said in a phone interview from the general offices in Walnut Creek, Calif., that pharmacists will be reimbursed for any back wages that might be owed them.

Joe Peterson, spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers, said the pharmacists asked the union last summer to help them get back wages after they learned employees of other companies filed similar suits and won.

Longs has 32 stores in Hawaii and 350 nationwide. The lawsuit covers all current and former pharmacists and seeks recovery of back wages for as long as they believe they have been cheated.

Patrick Loo, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 480, said his union passed out fliers at Longs stores regarding the lawsuit.

Loo said he has received 20-30 responses from local workers and also complaints in the past regarding treatment of workers.

Longs' employees do not belong to a union. Selland called the lawsuit a "union organizing effort. We are confident the employees will see it as such."

Loo said two employees told him the management threatened to "terminate or blackball them" if they didn't turn over the fliers to management.

Selland said the company "wouldn't tolerate" such threats but that it had a no-solicitation policy at its stores.

Public comments due on state conservation

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is taking public comment on management of the state conservation district.

The Discussion Draft Conservation District Management Plan includes ways to restructure conservation district subzones, change conservation district regulations and revise subzone maps for all islands, based on an inventory.

Until Sunday, comments may be delivered to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Land Division, Planning Section, Room 220, 1151 Punchbowl St., Honolulu 96813. Fax is 587-0455. For more information, call project manager Edward Henry at 587-0377.

New commander named for fleet supply center

Capt. Gigette Caldwell has been named the new commander of the Navy's Fleet and Industrial Supply Center at Pearl Harbor.

She is currently with the Navy Inventory Control Point in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

At Barbers Point Naval Air Station, Cmdr. Patrick Smith has taken over command of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 37, relieving Cmdr. Karl Kolesnikoff.

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By Star-Bulletin staff

Early-morning Hilo fire damages 2 businesses

HILO -- Fire damaged a commercial building housing two businesses in Hilo's Kanoelehua industrial area at 2:44 a.m. today, the fire department said.

Tropical Sleep Center and Pacific Images were affected by the blaze, but the extent of the damage was not immediately known.

The fire was out at 3:20 a.m. The cause is under investigation.

Man allegedly threatens estranged wife with knife

Police yesterday arrested a 54-year-old man who allegedly threatened his estranged wife with a knife on Monday.

The man dragged his wife into a bedroom of her North Kukui Street apartment where he apparently beat the woman and threatened her with a knife for 30 minutes, police said.

The man was booked for kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and domestic abuse.

Woman says boyfriend raped her in hotel room

Police are investigating an apparent rape of a 25-year-old woman by her boyfriend.

The woman reported that her boyfriend, 26, tied her up in a room in the Executive Centre Hotel on Sunday and raped her while at least one and possibly two people watched, police said.

Detectives said the woman has injuries consistent with the incident and that sheets and rope were recovered during the investigation.

Police said the couple has had a history of domestic violence and drug use.

No arrests have been made as of this morning.

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