By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, August 15, 1998

48 percent say Clinton
lied about sex

But his Hawaii ratings are still
favorable, a poll finds

By Pete Pichaske, Star-Bulletin

Big Island resident Edwin Appleby thinks Bill Clinton is doing "a pretty good job" as president, and he could not care less about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

"If his wife's not mad at him, why should I be?" said the retired musician and entertainer. "It's totally irrelevant. I don't see what it has to do with the United States."

Appleby's reaction is typical. A Star-Bulletin/NBC Hawaii News 8 Poll of 417 registered voters found that 55 percent have a favorable opinion of President Clinton and 66 percent believe he is doing either an excellent or a good job.

Moreover, while 48 percent believe the president was lying when he denied having an affair with former White House intern Lewinsky, only 26 percent believe he should be impeached even if he is.

Clinton is scheduled to testify Monday before a grand jury investigating his relationship with Lewinsky, testimony considered crucial to his White House future. Independent counsel Kenneth Starr will file a report to Congress on his investigation, probably in a few weeks, that could be the basis of impeachment proceedings in Congress.

The Hawaii survey results, which mirror those of national polls, seem to reveal a voting public largely unconcerned with what they consider a private matter. Telephone interviews with a few survey respondents supported that view.

"It's absurd," said Judith Fitzgerald, who runs a business records business on Oahu. "I would guess every recent president except Carter had something on the side, and Carter lusted in his heart. What would they do, impeach Kennedy?"

The poll found that 25 percent of those interviewed thought Clinton was doing an excellent job and 41 percent a good job.

It also found that women were slightly more likely than men to support Clinton and, less surprisingly, Democrats were far more likely to be in his corner than Republicans.

Even Republicans, however, were less than convinced of the seriousness of the Lewinsky affair. Slightly less than half said the president should be impeached even if he lied about it.

The poll was conducted Aug. 4-7 by Mason Dixon Political/Media Research Inc. The margin for error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Bus drivers grieve death
of generous peacemaker

By Pat Omandam, Star-Bulletin

When Julia Alameida of Waialua began her career as an operator for TheBus in June 1976, Gladys Wai was quickly there to say hello.

"I was the first friend that she ever met at the company," said Wai. Earlier this summer, she organized Alameida's retirement party at the Wisteria restaurant in Makiki.

"I had the other drivers help me out because she was just a beautiful person. And I heard through the grapevine that she never had a party in her life," Wai said.

Esther Aweau, another close friend and co-worker, added: "When she walked in and looked at everybody, she just cried and cried, and couldn't stop crying.

"She just looked at us and said, 'You son of a guns!'"

Just six weeks into her July 1st retirement, the 62-year-old Alameida died early yesterday at Queen's Hospital after attempting to break up a fight at 9:30 p.m. Thursday in front of her home on Kaamooloa Road in Waialua.

A 16-year-old girl, who allegedly fired the rifle shot that killed Alameida, was arrested and faces possible second-degree murder charges in the shooting on the one-lane country road.

Police said a confrontation between at least two families at the end of the road escalated when a 30-year-old man allegedly hit a 36-year-old woman and the girl. Police said the girl then went into her house, picked up a .22-caliber rifle and went outside, where a shot was fired.

Although Alameida's neighbors declined to discuss the incident or life on the quiet lane, news of her death spread quickly at the bus company, especially in the lunch rooms and training areas for bus operators.

Wai, Alameida's senior by less than a year, said she brought pictures of the retirement party to work, hoping the shared memories would help ease the pain of losing a friend.

Co-workers say Alameida and her husband, John, were planning to move to the Big Island to live on retirement property they had purchased. They described Alameida as a gentle, elegant person, who always had a smile for a co-worker or bus rider.

"When they told us the news, we were shocked," said Calvin Kapua, a bus operator and training instructor for 38 years.

Kapua said Alameida was a warm-hearted, caring individual who was always giving things to co-workers. Wai recalled countless times Alameida left fruit and snacks in her bag even though Wai said she wasn't hungry.

It was a cherished highlight she made sure everyone knew about at Alameida's retirement party, held during the Memorial Day weekend.

"As the emcee, I told her husband, 'Please don't get mad at me, but you know your wife, she feeds everybody. That's why she's so skinny. She gives everybody her food,'" she said.

About 50 bus drivers chipped in to buy Alameida a gold Hawaiian bracelet inscribed with her name and the dates she was hired and retired.

As Alameida gained seniority in the company, she was able to avoid busy bus routes and instead opted to operate the shuttle bus between Leeward Community College and Pearl City. She drove Route 73 for the last five years or so, Wai said.

Aweau, her daily lunch partner, said Alameida's priority was her children.

"She was really family-oriented, and looking forward to her retirement. They bought on the Big Island, I think it was in Kona, and they were going to move up there. It was something that she wanted to do," Aweau said.

Trustee Lindsey loses bid
to delay removal trial

By Rick Daysog, Star-Bulletin

A state judge has denied a request by Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey to postpone her trial for six months, saying she failed to show that her right to a fair trial would be impaired.

Circuit Judge Kevin Chang said Lindsey's attorneys did not show evidence or legal grounds for changing the date of a Novemberhearing on a petition for Lindsey's removal filed by Bishop Estate trustees Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis.

The ruling means that the estate's five trustees -- who oversee the operations of Kamehameha Schools -- could be involved in two independent removal proceedings at the same time.

The attorney general's office, which is investigating allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by Bishop Estate trustees, has said it will soon wrap up the fact-finding stage of its inquiry.

Sources have speculated that the state may seek to remove one or more trustees. State attorneys have declined comment on what actions they plan to take, saying they have not completed their investigation.

Lindsey's attorneys, David Gierlach and Michael Green, sought the postponement, citing the large number of witnesses and documents submitted in the case. Gierlach said Stender, Jervis and the state have submitted the names of more than 200 witnesses and 20 experts to testify in the case.

A six-month delay would allow for a fair trial, Gierlach said.

"This is a huge case and it involves hundreds of thousands of documents and hundreds of witnesses," Gierlach said. "This state has never seen anything like this case."

Both Stender and Jervis opposed delaying the trial, saying they don't want to prolong the controversy and hurt Kamehameha School students and faculty members. The two trustees have alleged that Lindsey, who formerly was the lead trustee for the estate's educational programs, breached her fiduciary duties and was unfit to serve.

Crystal Rose, Stender's attorney, said that if an extension were granted, Kamehameha Schools students and staffers would be entering a third year of conflict with no resolution in sight. Rose noted that Lindsey initially agreed to the November trial date.

"Mrs. Lindsey has not been blindsided. She has failed to diligently pursue her own case," Rose said.

Home Depot wins right to buy site

Opponents have mixed reactions now that Home Depot is once again close to purchasing the city-owned Pearl City Junction site.

The city Friday announced that Home Depot won the right to purchase the site for $17.5 million, the amount it was prepared to pay six months ago.

Home Depot was the sole bidder for the 13.75-acre site, city spokeswoman Carol Costa said.

The matter now needs to return to the City Council for a vote.

Jonathan Young, who once fought bitterly against Home Depot's purchase, says he's satisfied that the national home and hardware retailer has obtained the property fairly.

Young said that doesn't mean he's happy Home Depot is putting up a store at the site.

Young's business, FKS Rental and Sales in Mapunapuna, is a hardware distributor. Sales dropped 10 percent to 20 percent when Eagle Hardware first opened in Waikele, he said.

David Lundquist of the Windward side's Hardware Hawaii, however, said he'll continue to fight the purchase.

"It's mainland-style urban sprawl and traffic," Lundquist said.

Kema children's custody weighed in Hilo court

HILO -- A series of hearings have begun in Hilo Family Court to determine whether two children should be removed from the custody of Peter Kema Sr. and his wife, Jaylin, already the subjects of public scrutiny because of the disappearance of their son Peter Jr. last year.

"Peter Boy" Kema, who would now be 7, was last seen about the middle of last year when his father says he turned the boy over to "Auntie Rose Makuakane," a family acquaintance on Oahu.

Police have not been able to locate the boy or find any record of Makuakane.

Family Court Judge Benjamin Gaddis earlier released information that the child was under court protection from 1991 to 1995 because of injuries when he was 4 months old.

Peter Boy's father has publicly denied killing the boy.

Seven attorneys were involved Friday as closed-door hearings got under way, but none could comment because state law makes the proceedings confidential.

The TV series will be filmed at Kekaha Kai State Park

After more than three months of discussions with state officials and residents, NBC Television this week finally received state permits to use a Big Island state park and part of Kawaihae Harbor to film 12 episodes of the series "Wind on Water."

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the network and the production company agreed to more than two dozen conditions to protect Kekaha Kai State Park during 90 days of filming that will begin Aug. 24.

Georgette Deemer, Hawaii Film Office manager, said the number of conditions and the length of time for the permit approvals are "very unusual" compared to normal film permits.

Each episode will cost about $1.8 million, with 60 percent of that amount spent in Hawaii, Deemer said.

About 80 to 100 Hawaii residents will be hired for the production.

Cayetano slams 'pathetic' Lingle plan

Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano has criticized a key element of Republican challenger Linda Lingle's blueprint for Hawaii, saying her initiative to offer a 5 percent cash rebate to companies that create new jobs is problem-filled and would lead to a bloated bureaucracy.

His administration had earlier examined the concept and rejected the idea, Cayetano said yesterday.

"You create a brand-new bureaucracy just keeping track of people who create jobs, how long those jobs last and whether those jobs were old jobs that were again newly created and that sort of thing," Cayetano said.

He added: "When companies create jobs in Hawaii, they will be creating those jobs in response to market demand. They're creating them anyway."

Lingle, Maui's mayor, countered that Cayetano's remarks revealed "a defeatist attitude" not open to new ideas. Such a plan is working well in Oklahoma, she added.

Funding rule spurs Lingle to sue state

Republican gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle is taking the state Campaign Spending Commission to court over $272,458 in public funds.

Last month, the commission voted 3-2 to approve new guidelines that would limit the amount of money a candidate for governor can receive to $136,229 in the primary and $136,299 in the general election - 10 percent of the voluntary expenditure limit for each election.

In 1994, candidates for governor were entitled to up to 20 percent of the voluntary expenditure limit for each election.

"It's a matter of principle," Lingle said. "There was no change in the law, and yet (the state Campaign Spending Commission) wants to cut in half what I'm eligible for. It's unfair."

In a letter to the Star-Bulletin last month, Campaign Spending Commission Executive Director Robert Watada wrote that adopting the higher payout could have a "potentially devastating" effect on the state's system of public funding of campaigns.

Lingle earlier agreed to abide by campaign spending limits, which would have entitled her to public money for her campaign.

ZipMobile debuts amid high expectations

When most Central and Leeward Oahu commuters are still sleeping at 3:30 a.m. Monday, "Zipperator" Jim Seiferling will be revving up the "ZipMobile" to help get them to work in less time.

Seiferling will open up a "ZipLane" between Manager's Drive overpass on the H-1 freeway in Waikele and the Pearl Harbor interchange. The new system "borrows" a lane from outbound traffic for inbound drivers.

Buses, vehicles carrying three or more people, and motorcycles headed toward Honolulu will be able to use a 10-mile contra-flow lane, which will be opened for town-bound traffic on the Ewa-bound side of H-1.

What the bright yellow and blue striped ZipMobile lacks in speed it makes up for in might. It moves at 5 mph and transfers millions of pounds of movable concrete barriers from storage in the median across the ZipLane to separate it from oncoming traffic. The barriers are lifted off the ground and moved diagonally below the ZipMobile along rubber rollers.

"It's a humdinger," said Seiferling, an employee of Barrier Systems Inc., who will be here six months to train state workers.


Man charged in robbery of his mother, 77

A 41-year-old man was charged yesterday for allegedly robbing his mother of her jewelry and car.

Keith Shigeta was charged with second-degree robbery, auto theft and other misdemeanor offenses and is being held in lieu of $60,000 bail, police said.

On Aug. 2, Shigeta went to his parents' Gulick Avenue home and demanded money and jewelry, police said. When his 77-year-old mother refused his requests, Shigeta reportedly yanked a gold necklace off her neck. He then stole her television set and car.

The parents told police that the man had been apparently victimizing them for years.

Fire causes $100,000 damage in Salt Lake

Only a few minutes after a misbehaving 4-year-old boy was sent to his room for a "time-out", a fire broke out on his bed.

The boy's grandmother, Brenda Kadomoto, went to check on him and discovered the fire shortly after 4 p.m. yesterday.

"All of a sudden it was like the whole mattress blew up. (The flames) shot up to the ceiling," she said. "It went very fast. It was a matter of seconds and smoke filled the apartment."

Kadomoto grabbed her grandson and his 6-year-old brother and crawled out of the two-bedroom apartment under the thick smoke that filled it.

The fire caused $100,000 damage to the apartment and contents on the 10th floor of a building at 1160 Ala Napunani St. in Salt Lake.

Kadomoto said she had just purchased school supplies and new clothes for the boys, who live with her and her husband.

The Fire Department was able to bring the fire under control 10 minutes after arriving. The cause remains under investigation.

Maui man suspected of hitting monk seal

WAILUKU - A Maui man has been charged with violating an endangered species law by hitting a monk seal with a coconut.

Harry A. Hueo, 59, of Keanae posted $250 bail after being arrested and charged yesterday with the misdemeanor.

According to at least one witness, Hueo allegedly tossed a coconut on the stomach of a seal lying on the rocky shoreline at the Keanae peninsula Wednesday, said Keith Keau, the state conservation enforcement chief on Maui.

Keau said the seal did not appear to be seriously injured and was continuing to rest on the shoreline.

Hilo police crack down on public drinking

HILO -- Police charged 13 people with illegally drinking in public places yesterday in the first of an intended series of monthly sweeps to halt public drinking, they said.

The purpose is to keep areas safe for public enjoyment, police said. The arrests were made between 4 p.m. and midnight at the beachfront "Four Mile" area, the Banyan Drive hotel area, and nearby Liliuokalani Park.

In other news ...

nPolice arrested 27 people in a downtown gambling raid last night. Five women, ages 25 to 61, and 22 men, ages 25 to 55, were arrested for various gambling offenses at a gambling house at 121 North Hotel St. at 10:45 p.m., police said.

nKailua Beach Park was evacuated today when a cylinder containing an unknown substance washed ashore and was found at 8:19 a.m., police said. The beach closed for more than an hour while Kaneohe Marine Corps Base officials collected the cylinder.

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