Thursday, December 31, 1998

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
The USS Missouri heads for Battleship
Row at Pearl Harbor.

Scandal, science
helped shape the
year in Hawaii

Mice and the Mo were
among 1998's top stories

Star-Bulletin staff


Year in Review It was a year of unprecedented scandal for the once-impenetrable Bishop Estate.

Of international recognition for local scientists for a cloning breakthrough.

Of a Republican near-revolution that almost ended decades of Democratic control.

1998 was all that -- and more. Here are the year's Top 10 local news stories, as selected by Star-Bulletin editors.

1. Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate controversy widens.

Trustees of the estate -- the state's largest private landowner and among the nation's richest charitable trusts -- came under fire from the attorney general and a court-appointed master. Henry Peters became the first trustee criminally indicted in the estate's 114-year history. Federal prosecutors also indicted former state Sen. Milton Holt, an estate employee, on theft charges. And the trial began over whether to remove Lokelani Lindsey, pitting trustee against trustee in court.

2. Honolulu police shoot and kill three men.

The Honolulu Police Department faced allegations of brutality and discrimination this year after three men were shot and killed by officers. The first two were killed in January during disturbances in public housing projects, and the third was killed in a Pupukea field. Two other men were injured after being shot by police in a McCully incident and a Makapuu confrontation.

3. Layoffs and job reductions.

Residents who lost jobs in the private sector found that traditionally secure government jobs were not readily available. In addition to private companies making work-force cuts, the city, the state and the military also announced that jobs would be eliminated and workers laid off.

4. Republicans make strong showing in race for governor.

The long-dominant Democrats narrowly retained control of the governor's office during the November election. Republican challenger Linda Lingle, who focused her campaign on economic issues, lost to Gov. Ben Cayetano by 5,000 votes. Cayetano said the close election was a "wake-up call" for the Democratic Party.

5. The marriage amendment passes.

After years of emotional discussion, legal battles and a heated political campaign, Hawaii voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment allowing the state Legislature to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

6. University of Hawaii scientists clone mice.

The eyes of the scientific world were focused on Honolulu this year when Ryuzo Yanagimachi and other University of Hawaii researchers announced they had cloned mice. More than 50 mice, spanning three generations, were cloned using a process dubbed "The Honolulu Technique."

7. Ewa Villages scandal broadens.

Prosecutors expanded their investigation into alleged fraud involving the Ewa Villages project. The original probe involved the use of relocation money, but prosecutors began looking at the city's Housing Department Property Management branch. Indictments were handed down, and more arrests were made.

8. "Mighty Mo" comes to Hawaii.

The USS Missouri was rescued from mothballs and towed to Hawaii. The ship, where the Japanese surrendered to end World War II, is now homeported in Pearl Harbor, where the attack on the USS Arizona and other ships plunged the United States into war on Dec. 7, 1941.

9. Hawaii's centennial annexation observance.

In August, Hawaii marked 100 years as part of the United States with ceremonies that encouraged Hawaiian pride and unity. Families and community groups participated in a 91-hour torch march around the island. Anti-annexation petitions, signed by thousands of residents more than 100 years ago, were unveiled.

10. Education leadership changes hands.

Herman Aizawa stepped down as public schools superintendent, and the Board of Education dropped Bart Kane after 16 years as state librarian. Maui District Superintendent Ralph Murakami and his deputy, Helen Orikasa, resigned. Paul LeMahieu became the new schools chief, and Virginia Lowell took over as state librarian. Paul Brown remains interim superintendent on Maui.



Jan. 1: Benedict Manupule, 18, is shot and killed by an off-duty police officer at Mayor Wright Housing.

Jan. 2: Legendary surfer Rell Sunn, 47, dies of breast cancer at her Makaha home.

Jan. 19: Monsignor Charles Kekumano, 78, co-author of the "Broken Trust" article critical of Bishop Estate trustees, dies from cancer.

Jan. 21: "Hawaii Five-O" star Jack Lord dies at 77.

Jan. 22: Police shoot and kill Rodney Laulusa, 30, in Palolo Valley Housing.

Jan. 23: Some 40,000 people pack Aloha Stadium for the first of two Rolling Stones concerts.

Jan. 24: Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Billie Beamer, 70, dies.

Jan. 27: A federal judge allows sailor Timothy McVeigh to remain in the Navy after he is linked to an online computer profile that says he is gay.


Feb. 5: Big Island farmers and residents deal with dry water-catchment systems and line up at public spigots during a drought caused by El Nino.

Feb. 13: Huge waves pound the North Shore, with overnight swells reaching 25 feet.

bullet Demolition of the Aiea sugar mill begins.

Feb. 17: Liberty House announces job cutbacks because of a weak local economy and financial turmoil in Asia.

bullet Superintendent Herman Aizawa announces he will resign.

Feb. 18: Pacific Century Financial Corp. announces that Bank of Hawaii and First Federal Savings operations will be combined, and 550 jobs will be eliminated.

Feb. 20: The Board of Education votes to fire 16-year state librarian Bart Kane.


March 3: The state faces more job losses, as Queen's Hospital, AMFAC/JWB Hawaii, Hawaii Newspaper Agency and the city of Honolulu announce they will furlough workers or eliminate jobs. Within a few days, the military announces hundreds of civilian jobs will be cut.

March 12: Environmentalists, scientists and the Navy disagree about the effects of sonar tests being conducted on humpback whales off the Big Island.

March 13: Kamehameha Schools faculty members vote to form a union.

March 19: Liberty House files for bankruptcy protection.

bullet Gov. Ben Cayetano directs Attorney General Margery Bronster to determine if an investigation of high gasoline prices is warranted.


April 9: The state Land Board approves Honolulu's proposal to restore the Waikiki Natatorium.

April 11: More than 7,000 people join in "The Run Across the Water" over the new Ford Island bridge to Pearl Harbor.

April 13: Trash piles up as garbage collectors stage a work stoppage.

April 15: City prosecutors expand the investigation into alleged fraud at the Ewa Villages project.


May 5: Fortunato Barques III is critically injured when he is shot by police in Pupukea; he later dies.

May 7: Police shoot and wound a man as he flees in a stolen car.

May 12: Miss Universe Brook Lee turns over her crown to Wendy Fitzwilliam in the Hawaii-hosted pageant.

May 14: Maui Mayor Linda Lingle formally files to run for governor.

May 15: A University of Hawaii team returns home after working in the Pacific with the Navy and Robert Ballard, the explorer who found the Titanic. The group reports it has found the USS Yorktown, which was sunk during the Battle of Midway in 1942.

May 26: An Oahu grand jury indicts eight people in the Ewa Villages scheme.

bullet Eight teams decide to leave the Western Athletic Conference, but the University of Hawaii is not invited to join them.


June 3: Vacationing Army helicopter pilot John Latchum Jr. is shot and killed at a military recreation area in Waianae.

June 10: Frank Fasi files to run for governor.

June 11: The Hawai'i Convention Center officially opens.

June 12: Sailor Timothy McVeigh reaches a settlement with the Navy and agrees to retire.

bullet Hawaii-raised Paul LeMahieu is named Hawaii schools superintendent.

June 22: The USS Missouri arrives at Pearl Harbor's Battleship Row.

June 25: A tour helicopter crashes on Kauai, killing the pilot and five passengers.

June 16: About 2,500 Jimmy's Travel customers are unable to go on the Las Vegas vacations they paid for when the travel agency runs out of money.


July 4: Thousands of Japanese-American veterans and their families turn out for a reunion at the convention center.

July 8: Gov. Cayetano criticizes former schools Superintendent Herman Aizawa, who started a new job as head of the adult education program and retained his $90,041 superintendent's pay.

July 16: The Friends of Iolani Palace board struggles with a conflict between group President Abigail Kawananakoa and palace Director Jim Bartels. The dispute, which involved Kawananakoa sitting on and damaging a royal throne, apparently led to Bartels' resignation. Kawananakoa was later removed as board president.

July 22: University of Hawaii scientists announce they've cloned more than 50 mice, spanning three generations.

July 26: Two inmates beat a guard and escape from the Oahu Community Correctional Center; they are later caught in McCully.


Aug. 7: A court-appointed master for Bishop Estate criticizes investment performance and conflict-of-interest policies.

Aug. 8: Groups marking the 100th anniversary of the annexation of Hawaii begin a torch march around Oahu.

Aug. 17: The ZipLane opens on the H-1 Freeway.

Aug. 20: Gov. Cayetano says the state will hire a mainland law firm to investigate why Hawaii gas prices are high.

Aug. 25: Firefighters battle a huge brushfire on Molokai.


Sept. 7: Kam Drive-In, Hawaii's last such theater, closes.

Sept. 10: Attorney General Bronster calls for the permanent removal of Bishop Estate Trustees Henry Peters, Richard "Dickie" Wong and Lokelani Lindsey.

Sept. 12: A police officer and suspect are shot and wounded during a struggle in Makapuu.

Sept. 19: A primary election win for gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle buoys hope for a Republican revolution in November.

Sept. 25: At least half of the St. Louis School varsity football team is placed on probation after reports of a drunken victory celebration in a Las Vegas hotel.

Sept. 29: GTE Hawaiian Tel announces an increase in pay phone rates to 35 cents a call.


Oct. 1: Federal prosecutors indict former state Sen. Milton Holt on theft charges.

Oct. 2: Bishop Estate agrees to implement a new management system headed by a chief executive officer.

Oct. 20: State investigators search and videotape Trustee Henry Peters' Makiki condominium.

bullet Charges are dismissed against two brothers accused in the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder of Big Island visitor Dana Ireland.

Oct. 30: Hundreds of Pacific Palisades residents are stranded during a 22-hour standoff between police and gunman Wayman Kaua.


Nov. 3: General election voters re-elect Ben Cayetano governor and approve a constitutional amendment allowing the Legislature to ban same-sex marriage.

Nov. 9: The trial to remove Bishop Estate Trustee Lokelani Lindsey begins in Circuit Court.

Nov. 20: Calvin Say is selected as speaker of the state House of Representatives.

Nov. 23: President Clinton meets with Gov. Cayetano during a brief refueling stop here.

Nov. 24: The Office of Hawaiian Affairs board picks Rowena Akana as chairwoman.

Nov. 26: An Oahu grand jury indicts Bishop Estate Trustee Henry Peters on one count of theft.

Nov. 30: University of Hawaii football coach Fred vonAppen is fired.


Dec. 2: High winds topple utility poles, force the cancellation of a surfing tournament and knock out power to thousands of residents statewide.

Dec. 10: June Jones is selected as UH head football coach.

Dec. 16: Three Hawaii ships in the Persian Gulf participate in the attack against Iraq.

Dec. 19: The Vatican clarifies rules that affect hula during church services, saying "sacred gestures" are permitted as a form of worship, but dancing as entertainment is not appropriate.

Dec. 25: Three balloonists are safe after splashing down north of Oahu.

Compiled by Dana Williams, Star-Bulletin

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