POSTED: Saturday, March 20, 2010

Merrie Monarch's Thompson dies

Dorothy “;Auntie Dottie”; Thompson, who co-founded the Merrie Monarch Festival with George Naope and turned it into a vibrant celebration of hula, died of pneumonia yesterday at Hilo Medical Center, according to friend Robyn Gentry.

She and Naope “;wanted to bring tourism to the Big Island, a visitor attraction. It became huge.”;

Under Thompson's guidance and stern policies, the Hilo festival thrived. She refused to take money from major corporations — except a select few, all Hawaii-based.

She also wouldn't move the event to a larger venue, away from its birthplace, Hilo's Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium.

Thompson worked for the Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Department years ago in Hilo. Her daughter, Luana Kawelo, took over leadership of the festival from Thompson.


Kapolei-Kolowaka now a 4-way stop

The Kapolei Parkway-Kolowaka Drive intersection in Ewa is now a four-way stop.

Warnings signs and devices were installed yesterday to inform drivers of the change from the two-way stop. A permanent traffic light will be installed at the intersection within the next three months.

The change is a result of the recent opening of Kualakai Parkway, formerly called North-South Road, and the connection of Kapolei Parkway between Renton Road and Kualakai Parkway. The recent projects created continuous routes for motorists between Papipi Road in Ewa Beach and the H-1 freeway and to Fort Barrette Road in Kapolei.


Family of slain car thief sues city

The wife and children of a convicted auto thief who was shot and killed at Pearlridge Center two years ago in a police stakeout are suing the city and the Honolulu Police Department.

The lawsuit, filed in Circuit Court yesterday by the wife and two daughters of 47-year-old Thomas Joseph Loewe, claims the police used excessive and unjustified force March 19, 2008, when an officer shot and killed Loewe attempting to flee in a stolen car.

Then-Police Chief Boisse Correa said on the day of the shooting it appeared the force was reasonable.

Police said undercover officers saw Loewe break into a vehicle in the center's parking lot. When they tried to arrest him, Loewe drove off, dragging one officer, missed running over another officer and rammed a police vehicle with a third officer inside. A fourth officer was the only one to shoot Loewe.



Maui Pine auctions off equipment

WAILUKU » Now that Maui's last pineapple plantation has closed, Maui Land & Pineapple Co. will be auctioning off warehouses full of equipment, including backhoes, office furniture and golf carts.

Tuesday's auction at the Maui Beach Hotel will feature a complete fresh fruit and palletizing line purchased new in 2007 for nearly $20 million.

There are also 16 big yellow pineapple trucks and a self-contained power plant that includes four large diesel electric generators.

Maui Pine has already transferred and sold some equipment and leases to about 1,000 acres of land to Haliimaile Pineapple Co., which is trying to revive pineapple on a smaller scale.