By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, August 29, 1998

Northwest pilots strike;
passengers wait

The airline has nine flights per day from
Hawaii to Asia and the Mainland

By Mary Adamski and Helen Altonn, Star-Bulletin

Northwest Airlines Saturday began canceling Sunday flights from Honolulu Airport, after scrambling Friday night to find seats for more than 600 people stranded by the strike.

More than 200 people at a time Friday night lined up in a long, looping queue, nudging their luggage forward slowly and waiting two or more hours to reach the ticket counter.

They passed within 20 feet of the Air Line Pilots Association picket line, where 40 uniformed strikers marched in a circle at the threshold of the airport's terminal lobby after the strike started here at 6:01 p.m. Friday.

Northwest has nine daily flights from Hawaii to Asia and the mainland.

Finding other accommodations for the airline's passengers "is a challenge, especially on our flights to Japan, because it's peak travel time," Doug Killian, the airlines' director of international communications, said Saturday.

"A lot of Japanese are returning from vacations and the start of the school year is around the corner."

Killian said Northwest is working with Japan Airlines to help passengers, and both have extra staff in Honolulu. Japan Airlines on Thursday said it was adding nine extra flights, including seven to Hawaii, to make up for Northwest's cancelations.

Northwest also is working with all other carriers to re-book people on services that will get them out as soon as possible, Killian said.

But other airlines report full flights.

Keoni Wagner, Hawaiian Airlines spokesman, said, "We were full Friday night and our flights essentially are full this weekend." Only a "small number of seats here and there" might open up, he said.

Northwest reserved rooms at the Sheraton-Waikiki Hotel and Hilton Hawaiian Village for people who couldn't be accommodated Friday night, said Northwest district sales director Nani Mahoe.

"We have buses, they can go back to the hotels, have meals and make their arrangements in a more relaxed atmosphere. We don't expect them to wait at the airport," she said.

Northwest has five daily flights from Hawaii to the West Coast and four daily flights to Japan. Earlier this week, the airline announced cancelation of some Friday flights, including three between Honolulu and Japan, a Honolulu-Los Angeles run and an inbound San Francisco flight.

Carolyn Harper of New York, one of several in line heading home from the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees convention here this week, said: "I don't mind staying. Whatever they're offering, I'm taking."

"I told my job I'll be back Monday," said her traveling companion Azilee Johnson. "What're they going to do, send the Marines for me!"

"I sympathize with the pilots," said Harper.

Not so Kelly O'Connor of Atlanta, whose comments and gestures as she neared the picket line were X-rated. "They're not any better than any other employees," said O'Connor, a mortgage company employee. "They're greedy," she said about the pilots, shouting at them, "Some of us gotta get to work."

"I used to tell people Northwest is the best," said O'Connor, who was traveling on a frequent flyer free ticket. "I will never fly Northwest again."

William and Kay Kim of Honolulu, heading for a family wedding this afternoon in Seattle, arrived at the airport believing their flight was still a go. "Only a few people in the family will be there, we have to be there," said Kay Kim. "As it was, we had just enough time to rest, get dressed, do my hair."

Ululani Daguay of Honolulu was in line even though she's not scheduled to leave until Wednesday. She wanted to ensure that her planned visit with her daughter in Palo Alto, Calif., isn't jeopardized. "As soon as I saw the strike on the 6 o'clock news, I headed down here. I can't get through on the (airlines') 800 number."

State economists estimated the strike could cost Hawaii $2.54 million a day in overall spending, and lawmakers in a letter to President Clinton said the damage to the islands' economy would be $180 million in the first month.

Greg Baltmiskis, local spokesman for the pilots' union, said there are 397 Northwest pilots based in Honolulu. He directed the picket line turnover, as strikers were relieved by another shift and climbed aboard a bus to take a break at the nearby ALPA headquarters.

Members of the other five unions representing Northwest employees stood with support signs on the sidelines, as did pilots from other airlines, Baltmiskis said. All six unions have been in contract talks for 24 months, he said.

"I feel sorry for all the people we inconvenienced," said Steve Flanagan, ALPA legislative affairs chairman. He said pay is not as much an issue as the airline's "outsourcing" of regional flights to other nonunion companies.

Downstairs in baggage claim, passengers off the Los Angeles flight which arrived minutes after the strike began, said they're counting on a speedy resolution to the strike to ensure their return tickets.

"We're not too worried, we have three days," said Nette Slaby. She and husband, John, work in Osaka, Japan, and are returning after a mainland visit with family. With their four children, they're taking a weekend vacation in Hawaii. "I'm sure they'll work it out. If not, Hawaii is a nice place to be stranded," she said.

Roland Bessler of Grand Junction, Colo., said, "We knew about the possible strike and made alternate arrangements with another airline just in case." He and wife, Mary, will return home on Sept. 6.

Jim Skivington of Detroit, said "as soon as I get to a phone, I will get it changed. My daughter has to get back to school."

Alexander Fuchs said "I think there's a lot of trouble ahead." He and wife, Kirsten, are returning home to Karlsruhe, Germany, after 10 days on Maui. "It won't be easy," to be rebooked, since they have several steps to their journey, he said. "I'm due back at work Tuesday."

Sonya Nunes, due back at work in San Francisco after a week on Maui, said she was aware of the threat of a strike. "No wonder they told me to call to reconfirm. I couldn't get through on the phone. Now what are we going to do? We don't get paid if we don't work."

Frances Hatfield of Tulsa, Okla., arriving on the last Northwest flight for a two-week vacation, said, "I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to relax and have a good time. I don't care if I ever get back."

Stolen Ewa T-shirts
ineligible in drawing


Bob Kato, head of the Friends for Ewa community-preservation association, was stunned when he heard that Ewa T-shirts were being sold for 50 cents at the swap meet.

The shirts, each one individually numbered, are being sold to raise funds to restore the plantation manager's building, the focal point of the small plantation village.

"We asked the printer if he was missing any shirts, and he said, no, but when he checked, it turned out one of the delivery vans had been broken into," Kato said. "More than 2,300 shirts were missing."

The numbers are to be used in a December drawing to win a plantation house just down the street from the manager's building. "The numbers of the stolen shirts are recorded, and we'll take them out of the running," said Kato.

For more information, call 681-3284.

Bishop Estate subsidiary
agrees to supply documents

By Rick Daysog, Star-Bulletin

Bishop Estate's for-profit subsidiary has agreed to give state investigators records of credit card transactions and copies of employment contracts with current and former trustees.

Pauahi Management Co., formerly Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center Inc., and parent Pauahi Holdings Inc. also agreed to deliver documents it filed with the Internal Revenue Service, which is conducting an audit of the multibillion-dollar charitable trust.

The agreement was reached during a hearing Friday in state Circuit Court over subpoenas issued by the state. Circuit Judge Kevin Chang gave both sides until Sept. 16 to work out the details of the document transfer.

Lawrence Goya, senior deputy attorney general, said the Pauahi Management documents are among a few remaining Bishop Estate records that are being sought by the state in its yearlong investigation into charges of financial mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty by trustees.

Goya said he expects the state to conclude the fact-gathering stage of its investigation soon.

"We're really nearing the end," Goya said.

The state subpoenaed the documents in July after receiving tips from confidential informants that at least one Bishop trustee -- Henry Peters -- was given personal use of company credit cards.

The company opposed the subpoena, saying the state's request for information is overly broad. Peter Lee, Pauahi Management's attorney, argued the company would have a hard time complying with the original subpoena, saying the state asked for financial information from 160 of the company's employees.

Lee said the company would have agreed to hand over the records weeks ago if the state were willing to narrow the request to records relating to current and former trustees, family members and several employees.

"We just wanted the subpoenas to be clarified and specified," Lee said. "Sometimes you have to beat some heads a little bit to get what you want done."

Feds can still use some homestead land under deal

The federal government will get continued use of Hawaiian homestead land at Lualualei and Waimanalo on Oahu, and at Kalaupapa on Molokai, under a settlement agreement it will sign Monday with the state.

In return, the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will receive 894 acres of surplus federal land from the U.S. Interior Department.

The agreement comes under the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act of 1995, a law designed to "restore and make whole" the Hawaiian homes trust.

The act, signed by President Clinton on Nov. 2, 1995, authorizes the conveyance of federal fee land in Hawaii to the Hawaiian homes department.

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, Navy Secretary John Dalton, Hawaii's congressional delegation and state officials will sign the agreement at Washington Place.

Census aims for better minority count

Historically, the U.S. census has done a better job of counting the general population than racial and ethnic minorities, says the man in charge of the 2000 census.

This time, says James F. Holmes, "we will do everything we can to count those populations at a higher rate than in the past."

That includes native Hawaiians, who will be listed with Pacific Islanders as one of 12 major race categories, said Holmes, the acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Census.

Census numbers are critical in determining federal policies and spending, as well as apportioning congressional representatives among states.

The real issue is how people will be counted if they check off more than one racial group, said Holmes. There is no multiracial category although they will, in effect, be multiracial, he said.

The Office of Management and Budget will make the final decision on how to count racially mixed people, he said.

Holmes was here this week for the 18th Population Census Conference at the East-West Center. About 40 census officials attended from throughout Asia, the Pacific and the United States to discuss census methods and conformity.

Massage parlor owner arrested after sting

A massage parlor manager has been charged with running a credit card through an interstate wire system for acts of prostitution, according to federal officials.

Federal agents Friday arrested Ok Harrison, also known as "Oggie," part owner of Osaka Relaxation at 641 Keeaumoku St.

Cedric Lee, special agent for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said in a federal court affidavit that Honolulu police conducted an undercover investigation June 28 and 30, resulting in prostitution arrests at the massage parlor.

Lee said a police officer received a massage from a female who later asked him what else he wanted. When he requested sex, the female "agreed and told him it would cost $200," Lee said.

She took the credit card, "left the room and returned shortly with a charge slip in the amount of $220, which included a 10 percent fee for using a credit card."

The officer signed the charge slip and later "used a fabricated excuse to leave."

Bank, businesses give supplies to Kalihi school

Linapuni School students don't have to worry about whether they have all the school supplies on their lists.

American Savings Bank and other local businesses this week presented the Kalihi school with supplies collected from commercial customers and vendors. The K-2 school with about 250 students serves residents of Kuhio Park Terrace and Kuhio Homes.

The bank also made a monetary contribution to purchase additional supplies for the entire student body.

"We were really excited and thrilled they selected Linapuni to be a beneficiary, and all will be put to good use," said Principal Evelyn Nugent.

Each child will receive pens, colored pens, pencils, folders, paper towels, tissues and T-shirts.

Other businesses who contributed include Clarke American, Hawaii Pacific University, HMSA, Leeward Radiation, Papersource Inc. and Tomra Pacific Inc.

Grants to help research Pacific ag, health ties

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has awarded nine research grants totaling $97,000 to Hawaii and the Western Pacific area, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said.

The funds will be used to investigate and demonstrate creative ways to reduce human health and environmental risks from farming practices while maintaining or improving diversified agriculture, Inouye said.

Crops involved include vegetables, fruits and ornamentals.

Commercial growers and researchers will work together.

"I am optimistic that this program will demonstrate that a viable diversified agriculture can be consistent with sound environmental stewardship and high standards for human health," Inouye said.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Agricultural Research Center will work with large and small farms.

Northern Marianas College will carry out research in the Western Pacific.

Application deadline nears for ethics panel

The Judicial Council is extending the deadline for applications to the state Ethics Commission.

Those interested in applying now have until the close of business Sept. 8 to submit an application to fill a vacancy after Commissioner Leslie Baker resigned in June. Baker's term expires June 30, 2001.

Applications should be mailed to the Judicial Council, Hawaii Supreme Court, 417 S. King St., second floor, Honolulu 96813.

Forms are available at the Judiciary public affairs office on the second floor of Ali'iolani Hale at 417 S. King St.

The Ethics Commission regulates the ethics of legislators, registered lobbyists and state employees with the exception of judges.

Private heliport near Big Isle national park must move

HILO -- Hawaii County planners violated the county zoning code when they allowed a private heliport 30 feet from the boundary of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a state judge ruled Friday.

Judge Riki May Amano said heliport owner ManuIwa Airways must move within approximately one month.

The ruling was a victory for Citizens Against Noise, which has been arguing against the site for over a decade, most recently with the assistance of Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund.

ManuIwa received its first permit in 1985, saying it planned to ferry golfers from Kona to the Volcano Golf Course.

But most of its business has been tour flights over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and contract work for the park and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

In 1992 the county Planning Commission extended ManuIwa's permit at the national park boundary site for five years, saying the purpose was to give the company time to find a new location.

At the end of the five years, instead of ordering the company to move, the commission gave the company 10 more years.

Citizens Against Noise appealed the decision, leading to Amano's order for the company to leave within 30 days after a written order is filed. The judge indicated she might allow some flexibility in the exact timing.

Big Isle man gets 40 years for killing father-son duo

HILO -- A man who in 1995 dragged the bodies of a father and son behind his truck for miles along Big Island back roads after shooting them to death was sentenced to 40 years in prison Friday by Judge Greg Nakamura.

Ronald DeReis, 48, had claimed through his attorney, Brian De Lima, that an attack of epilepsy left him with no memory of the events.

As trial for DeReis on charges of murdering Ernest Martinez Sr., 58, and his son Ernest Andrew Martinez Jr., 32, got under way in May, DeReis changed his plea to no contest to two counts of manslaughter.

Testimony during the trial -- before it was cut short -- indicated DeReis was angry at his ex-girlfriend Cynthia Rixie for having an affair with Matilda Martinez, daughter of Ernest Sr.

At the request of Deputy Prosecutor Brenda Carreira and Martinez family members, Nakamura ordered the 10-year sentence for each manslaughter count extended to 20 years, and ordered the 20-year terms to be served back to back.

The earliest DeReis would be eligible for parole would be in 14-1/2 years.


Man dies in Moanalua Freeway accident

A man died early Saturday in a traffic accident on a westbound lane of Moanalua Freeway, just before the Halawa prison exit, according to police.

The accident was reported at 3:48 a.m. Traffic investigators remained at the scene this morning.

Police are checking on whether more than one vehicle was involved.

Police seek man, 23, suspected of kidnap

Police are looking for a 23-year-old man who allegedly threatened to kidnap and kill his former girlfriend Friday night in Kapiolani Hospital's parking structure.

The 23-year-old Waialae woman was walking to her car after her shift at the hospital at 11:40 p.m. Friday when the suspect, who was hiding behind her car, grabbed her, police said.

The suspect, of an unknown address, then took the woman's keys and tried to put her in the trunk of her car. The victim told police that he told her not to scream because he had a gun and would kill her.

The suspect then asked the woman to drive him to her home, but got out of the car while they waited for a traffic signal at the intersection of Waialae Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard, police said.

The woman then called police. The suspect faces possible charges of kidnapping, abuse and terroristic threatening.

Waianae man suspected of threat to girlfriend

A 25-year-old man Waianae man was charged Friday after he allegedly threatened to kill a 22-year-old female roommate with a rifle.

Brian Mendoza of Hakimo Road was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening after he told the woman he would kill her with his Winchester .33 caliber rifle on Wednesday.

The two live together on Hakimo Road with three children.

Police arrested the suspect after finding him Friday sleeping in a van at Maile Point. Officers recovered the rifle, which was loaded.

The suspect is in custody pending bail of $25,000.

Police suspect Bethel fire linked to burglary

Police suspect arson was used to cover a burglary early Saturday at a Bethel Street building.

It is the latest in a series of fires this month that have been started to hide break-ins and burglaries of downtown businesses, they said.

Witnesses reported the fire at 12:32 a.m. at 1127 Bethel St., known as the Hawaii Building. They told police smoke was coming from the Pauahi Street side of the building.

Once firefighters arrived and entered the building, they discovered the fire was set in three different places, suggesting arson was used to cover possible burglaries, police said.

They said stolen property was recovered outside the building. Four businesses were burglarized, according to police.

The fire caused $50,000 damage to the structure and $60,000 damage to its contents.

Police said there are no suspects in the case and an investigation is continuing.

Search for missing Wailupe surfer renewed

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Honolulu Fire Department Saturday resumed their search for a surfer missing since Friday night off Wailupe Circle.

Fire officials said the surfer was reported missing shortly before 8 p.m. by a companion surfer, who had been paddling back to shore with him. The Fire Department's Rescue One boat and another boat from the Hawaii Kai fire station were launched to look for the man, but halted when darkness fell.

The search resumed at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, with surf expected to reach up to five feet.

Brush fire affects phone service to, from Molokai

A suspicious brush fire damaged phone cables on Molokai and affected calls to and from the island for customers with a 552 prefix.

The brush fire, reported at about 3:30 p.m. Friday, broke out west of the Mauna Loa Highway and Kalae Highway junction.

It burned some 100 acres, and was brought under control within 40 minutes, although fire crews were on the scene for several hours.

No homes are threatened.

Meanwhile, two others fires continue to burn.

Fire officials say rough terrain is hampering efforts to put out a stubborn brush fire burning above the Hawaii Kai golf course since Tuesday. Firefighters also continue to battle a 17,000-acre brush fire that has been burning since Sunday on Molokai.

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