By Star-Bulletin Staff

Monday, February 15, 1999

Public can get aboard a
workhorse that cleans the
harbors of Hawaii

The public will have the opportunity to tour the Army Corps of Engineers dredge ship, the Essayons, Thursday at Pier 10, Aloha Tower.

The vessel, one of four nationwide, is performing maintenance dredging of navigation channels throughout Hawaii harbors.

Tours are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. while the Essayons is docked in Honolulu.

The 350-foot-long "hopper" dredge uses drag-arms and vacuum mechanisms to sweep up accumulated silt and sand from harbor bottoms.

Such buildups sometimes can threaten safe navigation.

The tour is free.

And reservations are not required.

Island Digest

Adopting siblings ages 2-12 under the Casey Family Program will be the topic of a free information meeting from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at 1848 Nuuanu Ave.

The private foundation's Honolulu division, headquartered at that address, provides care for young people unable to return home.

Waihee to head federal committee on Samoa

Former Hawaii Gov. John Waihee will head a new commission to boost the economy of American Samoa, which is facing a $30 million-plus deficit.

U.S. Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt named Waihee to the American Samoa Economic Advisory Commission, the Interior Department said.

The commission will create an economic plan to diversify the U.S. territory's economy and make it more self-sufficient.

Navy fuel pipeline is source of oil leak

The mysterious oil leak near the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge turned out to be from a corroded Navy aviation fuel pipeline.

"We were surprised," said Lt. Cmdr. Rod Gibbons, Navy spokesman.

Originally the Navy thought the leak had come from buried oil drums.

The Navy determined the source Friday, turned off the oil and patched the 8-inch pipe.

The oil leak was originally discovered Jan. 29.

State Department of Health officials estimated a total of 40 to 60 gallons of aviation fuel leaked to the environment.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife feared the oil would threaten endangered bird species in the wildlife refuge about 100 feet away.

The Navy plans to spread the contaminated soil out in the area and let the fuel decompose naturally. The Navy now deliberates whether to turn the pipe back on, or to shut it off permanently, Gibbons said.

The pipe had been scheduled for closure in April due to Barbers Point closing.


Presidents Day


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Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff


Man charged in sex assault and with punching two cops

Police yesterday charged a Kailua man, 30, with assaulting officers investigating a rape complaint. Valentin Lecuona of Enchanted Lake is being held in lieu of $40,000 bail. He is charged with second-degree assault and sex assault.

A woman told police she was asleep on a sofa and was sexually assaulted by Lecuona.Lecuona became belligerent during questioning and allegedly punched one officer on the forehead, causing a laceration. He then allegedly punched a second officer, breaking the officer's jaw, police said.

Search continues for Marine who was swept into the sea

Honolulu Fire Department rescuers were to resume searching today for a 21-year-old Marine who was swept off one of the Mokulua islands Friday. Yesterday, a daylong effort using divers and a helicopter failed to locate Lance Cpl. Kenneth Abell of Bowie, Md.

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