By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, May 26, 1998

Chinatown signs may be
granted more prominence

By Gordon Y.K. Pang, Star-Bulletin

The Oahu Market sign at North King and Kekaulike streets is among the most enduring symbols of Honolulu's Chinatown. So, too, is the Wo Fat Chop Suey sign at Maunakea and North Hotel streets.

The signs would never be allowed under current law, but a proposal before the City Council would change that. It would also ease sign restrictions within the Chinatown Special District that merchants say are preventing them from improving their businesses.

For instance, a new Chinatown development cannot have any "projecting" signs which protrude more than 15 inches from a structure. The exceptions are hanging signs, which are allowed.

The proposed law would allow projecting signs of up to 12 square feet.

Downtown Councilman Jon Yoshimura said recent Chinatown developments have been forced to go with bland, look-alike signs.

"What we end up having are cookie-cutter signs," Yoshimura said. "That's fine for Kahala Mall, but this is Chinatown."

Chinatown developer Bob Gerell said current zoning restrictions exclusive to the district make it difficult for the area to retain its ethnic character.

The sign proposal, which must still undergo City Council hearings, is opposed by the Outdoor Circle.

Brian Durham of the Outdoor Circle lobbying group Na Leo Pohai said he sees why Chinatown merchants are eager to liven up their district.

His group is afraid, however, that easing sign laws in Chinatown would set a precedent that others would want to follow.


Missouri is visiting
Port of Astoria

The battleship USS Missouri sailed up Oregon's Columbia River this morning and tied up at the Port of Astoria for a nine-day visit before departing under tow on its last sea voyage to Pearl Harbor.

Astoria is located just inside the mouth of the Columbia River and the "Mighty Mo" will rest there in fresh water to kill marine organisms on the hull. It will leave Astoria June 3.

The historic battleship was towed by the tugboat Sea Victory, at a speed of 6 knots after it left the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, Wash., on Saturday.

It is expected to reach Pearl Harbor the week of June 22 where it will become a floating museum.

The Japanese surrendered aboard the 887-foot Missouri in 1945 to end World War II.


Slaying suspect faces court martial Monday

A Schofield Barracks sergeant accused of the premeditated murder of his wife will face a court martial Monday.

Sgt. Jose Rodriguez has already confessed to Honolulu police homicide detectives that he killed his wife, Angela, and left her body in the family car on Jan. 5 at the heiau at Pupukea.

Rodriguez is expected to enter a plea on Friday. He is confined to the Navy brig at Ford Island.

Rodriguez initially told police that he and his wife had been kidnapped.

Harris is taking part in Tokyo conference

Mayor Jeremy Harris is in Tokyo today to address the Eco-Partnership Tokyo Conference.

The conference was convened by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the United Nations to encourage cooperation on environmental issues between nations.

Harris will host Honolulu's first Asia-Pacific Environmental Summit next January.

He left for Tokyo yesterday and is expected back in his office tomorrow.

The cost of his trip is being picked up by the Tokyo government.

Applications accepted for Home Lands project

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is taking applications from native Hawaiians for a new 95-unit residential project near Punchbowl.

The project developer is Kamehameha Investment Corp., the development arm of the Bishop Estate.

"This is the first DHHL project located in urban Honolulu in more than 30 years," said Kali Watson, chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.

The project, called Kalawahine Streamside, features three-bedroom single-family homes and three-bedroom duplexes ranging from 1,444 square feet to 1,320 square feet of living space.

The homes are expected to be priced at $180,000 to $235,000 and the first units are expected to be ready for occupancy next fall.

Informational meetings for those who qualify and are interested are set for:

Bullet Saturday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Lincoln Elementary School cafeteria.

Bullet June 3 at 7 p.m. in the Kailua High School cafeteria.

Bullet June 6 at 9 a.m. in the Moanalua High School cafeteria.

Bullet June 10 at 7 p.m. at the Kapolei Elementary School cafeteria.

New methods urged to clear Kahoolawe

The state Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission is urging the Navy to try new technology when it begins restoring the island this summer.

Members of the commission, who are the state managers for the island, were briefed on new methods of clearing unexploded ordnance at a conference earlier this month.

Congress wants to restore and return Kahoolawe to the state by 2003. About $400 million has been earmarked for cleanup of the island once used by the military for bombing exercises.

IHS shelter gets funds for new family room

The Women and Families' Shelter is now more like home.

The Institute for Human Services shelter at 546 Kaaahi St. has a new family room thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Kapiolani Childrens Miracle Network. A blessing and reception will be held tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

The grant gave the shelter money to paint, air-condition and furnish a room and buy books, toys, computers, an aquarium and an outside play yard.

The Ala Moana Rotary Club also contributed volunteer help and a $2,000 donation for computers and software.

The shelter, which opened last July, cares for up to 27 families and 60 children every night.

Shafter support unit gets another name

With a new name will come a lot of old war stories.

The Army's Training Support Brigade Pacific at Fort Shafter was renamed the 196th Infantry Brigade, a unit organized in 1921.

The current brigade works with Reserve Component units in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and American Samoa.

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



By Star-Bulletin staff

Woman, 70, crossing highway is killed by car

A 70-year-old pedestrian died after she was hit by a car last night around 8 p.m. in Aiea.

The woman was crossing Kamehameha Highway near East Pali Momi Street, when she was struck by a westbound 1997 Mazda driven by a 25-year-old woman, police said.

The older woman, who was not in a crosswalk, was taken to Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.

She died early today. The medical examiner's office was verifying her identity.

Speed and alcohol didn't cause the accident, police said. However the investigation continues.

Father held for beating his 3-year-old child

A father was arrested Sunday for assault after allegedly beating his 3-year-old child several weeks ago, according to police.

The child apparently was vomiting from injuries on May 14, when the father brought the child to Kapiolani's emergency room. The toddler was injured in the left eye socket, and had fractures to the wrist and arm, police said.

Woman reports boss raped her after dinner

A woman reported that her boss sexually assaulted her in Waikiki last night, police said.

The 22-year-old told police she agreed to have dinner with her 45-year-old boss. After dinner, he offered to drive her home, but instead allegedly raped her in his car, police said.

Copter needed to help two Big Isle hikers

A Big Island Fire Department helicopter was on its way to pick up two lost hikers in Puna this morning.

A 39-year-old man and 23-year-old woman called for help on a cellular phone shortly before 10 a.m. yesterday when they got lost in thick forest in upper Puna near the Pu'u O'o vent.

The Fire Department helicopter spotted the missing hikers at about 4 p.m., but could not rescue them because of bad weather.

The helicopter dropped supplies and instructions to the hikers to stay put until daylight when the Fire Department would come back for them.

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