By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, July 7, 1998

Master seeks more time
on Bishop Estate review


Bishop Estate's court-appointed master, Colbert Matsumoto, who sharply criticized the estate's investment policies last November, said he plans to seek a one-month extension to complete his review of the estate's finances.

Matsumoto said he will file a motion with the Probate Court today to push back the due-date for his report from July 10 to Aug. 7.

The extension is due to the large volume of work required by the master's reports. Matsumoto is reviewing the estate's operations for fiscal years 1993-1996.

Besides the three-year review, Matsumoto also is working with the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen to conduct a financial and management audit of the estate.

In November, Matsumoto criticized the estate's management of its assets, saying it faced losses and loss reserves of up to $264.1 million in fiscal 1993-1994. But the estate has said it is in good financial shape.

Bishop Estate Archive

Helco rate hike would break budgets, some say

HILO -- An 11.5 percent rate increase for Big Island electrical customers would have a disastrous effect on the shaky island economy, several speakers told the state Public Utilities Commission last night.

The figure is the average increase the Hawaii Electric Light Co. is asking the commission to approve, amounting to $17.3 million more per year to the company.

Jon Olson of the Puna Community Council responded, "If you give them this rate increase, our economy is going to go into a death spiral."

"There are people out there just hanging on right now. That's residents and businesses alike. Pull $17.3 million out of this economy and I frankly think we're done for," Olson said.

The Puna District, adjoining Hilo, has become a rural bedroom community of low- and moderate-income families because of relatively cheap land there.

Virginia Aste, a past president of the Puna Community Council, said it is the poorest district in the state, with families typically having no more than $300 left over for all other expenses after their rent is paid.

Five Office of Hawaiian Affairs candidates unite for election

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chairwoman A. "Frenchy" DeSoto has assembled a slate of candidates apparently to rid the OHA board of opposition, says dissident board member Rowena Akana.

"The slate doesn't suggest democratic politics, but rather a controlled board," said Akana, who added she plans to run in the fall election. "It's dangerous to support a slate because their allegiance is to each other, rather than to the people."

DeSoto yesterday introduced the slate she will run with for the board's five seats up for election this fall: Herbert Campos, Mahealani Kamauu, Mokihana Watson and Larry Joy Kiyohiro.

"I'm offering to the community a group of people that can get the job done," DeSoto said.

Her prime motivation for the slate was to gather people who trust each other and who put the people first, said DeSoto, adding that she wants to take OHA to the next level.

"I have chosen my warriors to stand by me in time of war," she announced under arched palm trees before Iolani Palace. She raised her running mates' hands in the air and declared, "These are my warriors."

Akana called DeSoto's lineup an attempt to create a rubber-stamp board.

Former Shafter officer cited in Pentagon probe

A retired two-star Army general, formerly stationed at Hawaii's Fort Shafter, "engaged in a pattern of inappropriate behavior" with the wives of four subordinates while he was the top American military officer at a NATO base in Turkey, an internal Pentagon investigation concludes.

Maj. Gen. David Hale, 53, also sanctioned the misuse of government funds for travel and made "false and misleading statements" to investigators and Pentagon officials, said the report by Defense Department Inspector General Eleanor Hill.

A copy of the 49-page report was obtained yesterday by The Associated Press.

The allegations involve a period from 1996 to 1997 while Hale was in Turkey as the deputy commanding general for NATO land forces in southeastern Europe.

Hale went to Turkey after being stationed at Fort Shafter from February 1994 to January 1996 as deputy commander of U.S. Army Pacific. A Fort Shafter spokesman had no further comment today.

The inspector general's report said Hale "strongly denied all the allegations of inappropriate conduct," while acknowledging a "relationship that he maintained with the former spouse of a subordinate Army officer who served with him in Hawaii."

Hawaii County will ask to be cleared of fine

HILO - Hawaii County has been fined $10,875 by the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division for violations at the Hilo sewer plant, county Public Works Department official Peter Boucher confirmed.

But circumstances have improved and the county will ask the fine be withdrawn, he said.

Michael Last, a county worker at the sewer plant until his appointment ended last Tuesday, said he complained to the state agency in January about a nonfunctioning system designed to warn of chlorine leaks at the plant.

Boucher said Last was right in saying the warning system was broken, but the system was not required. The county instead was fined for not having a federally mandated safety program related to the presence of more than 1,500 pounds of chlorine at the plant.

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Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Sua's defense closes
by saying police lied

Deputy Public Defender David Hayakawa has accused some police officers of making up the "Big Lie."

Attorneys gave closing statements yesterday in the trial of Robert Sua, accused of trying to murder a police officer last year.

Hayakawa told jurors that only one officer, Eli Walters, was consistent in his report and testimony that Sua, 20, arose after being shot by officer Danny Thornton at least four times. Walters said Sua then surged forward and tried to stab Thornton in the chest.

Officer Ronald Pinho Goldman did not write those same details in his initial report, Hayakawa said, but added them six days later and then included them in his testimony.

"A knife to the chest . . . How can you stop at the juiciest part?" Hayakawa asked jurors about Goldman's initial report. "Because that's where the story ends."

Hayakawa said three other officers testified they didn't see Sua get up after being shot but simply fall forward slowly.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jean Ireton said the reports police wrote were only meant to refresh their memories. "Just because it's not in the report doesn't mean it didn't happen," Ireton told jurors.


Man accused of making drug stays behind bars

A man accused of manufacturing the so-called date rape drug GHB or gamma hydroxy-butyrate is being held at the Oahu Community Correctional Facility pending a preliminary hearing tomorrow at 1:30 p.m..

Stevan Eberhardt, 45, is being held on $100,000 bail.

At an appearance yesterday in District Court, his lawyer, Philip Bogetto, asked that bail be reduced, but the motion was denied.

Eberhardt's family and doctor say he did not intend to distribute the drug but made it to treat himself for symptoms of hepatitis C.

Two escape house fire near Waialae golf club

A man and a woman escaped unharmed from a house destroyed by fire early today next to the Waialae Country Club.

Six fire companies battled the blaze at the 915 Waiiki St. home. It started at about 4:38 a.m. and was put out at 4:56 a.m.

John and Lily Penny were sleeping when they saw flames in the corner of their bedroom, fire officials said. They attempted to put the fire out with a blanket and pillow before evacuating the home.

"The flames were huge," said neighbor Robert H. Kessner. "In five minutes, it was all gone - finished - down to the ground.

"I felt sick."

A shaken John Penny stared at his home this morning after the fire engines cleared out at about 8:15 a.m. Only a stone wall stood in the heaps of charred rubble. Flames also scorched the front lawn and a car parked in the garage. The Pennys' dog was not able to escape.

Battalion Chief Warren Ho said the flames were shooting 20 to 25 feet in the air when crews arrived. Some embers caused a fire when they landed on the roof of another home nearby.

Fire officials had no estimates yet on the amount of damage, but homes in the area have an estimated value of $800,000 to $1 million.

Man allegedly stabbed his niece in stomach

Police yesterday charged a Salt Lake man who allegedly stabbed his niece in the stomach with a steak knife.

Jaime Herreira, 47, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault and is being held on $20,000 bail, police said.

Police said Herreira reportedly stabbed the woman, 21, in the stomach during a family dispute at his Keaka Drive home.

The woman was transported to Queen's Hospital in stable condition.

Four teens arrested in firing of handgun

Police arrested four teens last night in connection with firing a handgun during an argument in Wahiawa.

A man, 19, was in the garage of his home near Cypress and California avenues with some friends when the four teens, 17, 17, 18 and 19, pulled up in a car, police said.

The suspects then drove off following an exchange of words. A short while later, the suspects returned on foot, and one allegedly fired a handgun into the air, police said.

The suspects were booked for first-degree reckless endangering. They were all released pending further investigation.

Big Isle fire declared out flares up again

KAWAIHAE, Hawaii -- A flare-up of a grass fire had Fire Department units responding to the Kawaihae area in west Hawaii from as far away as Hilo last night, the department said.

The fire near Spencer Beach Park, started by boys playing with fireworks, was reported Sunday and declared out yesterday after burning about 70 acres, then flared up about 9 p.m., the department said.

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