By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, July 29, 1999

Hawaii 2000

Slick situations

NOWADAYS, reports of oil spills in Hawaii's waters prompt immediate attention.

It was not always so: Concern for the environment after a ship or marine disaster is a relatively recent reaction.

Among the earliest oil spills with environmental consequences occurred Jan. 3, 1932, at Kalaupapa, Molokai, according to "Firsts and Almost Firsts in Hawaii" by Robert C. Schmitt.

After Inter-Island Steam Navigation Co.'s 1,519-ton ship Kaala was torn from its moorings by rough seas and winds, and thrown against rocks, witnesses reported seeing how leaking crude oil had "killed all the fish."

Other major oil spills in Hawaii noted by Schmitt:

Bullet Oct. 29, 1984: A Navy oiler runs aground 1,500 feet from Honolulu International Airport's reef runway, spilling 50,000 gallons of jet fuel.

Bullet Jan. 20, 1987: Several beaches are closed after a Sause Brothers barge spills 12,000-21,000 gallons of oil into the Molokai Channel.

Batalona ordered held in bank robbery case

A federal magistrate today ruled there was probable cause that Albert Raymond Batalona was one of four men who robbed the Kahala American Savings Bank on July 7 and ordered him held pending grand jury action.

Attorney David Klein, who represented Batalona at today's evidentiary hearing, called the evidence "weak," saying the government is relying on the word of co-defendant Roger Dailey, who admitted his own involvement in the robbery.

Dailey initially lied to police about his keys, which were found in one of the robbers' getaway cars and, when he felt the doors closing in on him, tried to cut a deal, Klein said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Johnson argued that information provided by Dailey was corroborated by the evidence.

FBI agent Anthony Pickard testified that an individual told authorities that Batalona left items at his home, including an assault-type rifle, an item apparently belonging to the owner of a stolen Chevy Blazer used as a getaway vehicle, and photos belonging to Batalona.

Also, based on information provided by a female friend of Batalona, police recovered $20,000 in a paper bag, money believed to have been taken in the heist.

Hawaii resident dies in Alaska boat incident

A Hawaii resident died from injuries suffered in a boating accident in Alaska.

Lucy K. Greer, 38, died yesterday while being transported to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center after being pulled from Uganik Bay by a fishing boat, said Sarah Foster-Snell of the Coast Guard public affairs office in Honolulu.

Greer and her 30-year-old husband, Jason, along with an unidentified teen-ager, were aboard a fishing skiff that capsized Tuesday 600 yards offshore between Village Island and West Point, Foster-Snell said.

Divers were unable to find Jason Greer.

The teen-ager was being treated for hypothermia.

Ban on U.S. warships in Hong Kong still goes

A U.S. Air Force cargo plane was allowed to land in Hong Kong today, but the U.S. Pacific Fleet says there appears to be no change in the Chinese ban on visits to Hong Kong by U.S. warships.

Since NATO bombs accidentally hit Beijing's Belgrade embassy May 7 killing three Chinese nationals, eight Pacific Fleet warships have been barred from docking in the former British territory.

However, a U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane was allowed to land in Hong Kong today on a flight from Southeast Asia.

Until the NATO bombing incident, about 70 U.S. warships had visited the South China port following Hong Kong's reversion to Chinese rule in 1997. As recently as July 5, U.S. warships were denied port visitation privileges.

Yim heads group to fight child abuse

Patrick K.S.L. Yim knows that if left unchecked, the cycle of child abuse and neglect will only continue.

As a Family Court judge, he saw the bothersome cycle.

After his retirement, he became a member of the Hawaii Family Support Center-Healthy Start board, where he saw that prevention programs needed help.

"I became acutely aware that in the recent past, funds have been drying up," he explained.

So when Yim was asked by the group to be president of a new independent foundation to raise funds to aid these programs, he was willing.

Malama Na Keiki Foundation, Hawaiian for "to care for the children," is a charitable organization formed on Dec. 18, 1998. So far, the foundation is the beneficiary for more than $1.5 million in planned gifts.

The funding will benefit groups in Hawaii dedicated to prevention of child abuse and neglect for children up to age 5.

Inquiries and contributions should be addressed to P.O. Box 3406, Honolulu 96801, or call 585-0315.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

If only all bank robbery
cases were this easy for HPD

Star-Bulletin staff

For the second time in four days, Honolulu police responded to a bank robbery alarm and found a suspect waiting for them.

It happened Saturday and again yesterday.

Police yesterday arrested Ted Matsuura, 36, of Manoa outside Central Pacific Bank's Moiliili branch at 2615 S. King St. after he allegedly robbed a teller and then decided to return the money.

Matsuura was charged later with attempting to rob the bank.

An affidavit filed in federal court by FBI Special Agent Jennifer Frasch says Matsuura allegedly demanded money from a teller about 1 p.m. and was leaving the bank with $9,577 when he had a change of heart.

He returned to the teller station, placed the money down and told the teller, "I don't want this. You can have it back."

As Matsuura walked out of the bank, he was met by arriving officers.

He allegedly told the officers, "I robbed the bank because I needed the money" and "I'm your man. I robbed the bank because I needed to eat."

The FBI says Matsuura has a local residence and is not homeless.

On Saturday, police responded to a bank robbery alarm at American Savings Bank's Chinatown branch and Patricia Cantohos sitting on the steps outside, holding a bundle of money.

Cantohos was charged after being identified as the woman who robbed the bank.

Yesterday's bank robbery was the third this month on Oahu and 22nd of the year in Hawaii.


Help sought in finding two missing children

Missing Child Center-Hawaii and Honolulu police are looking for Mary Jean Salazar, 13, and her 12-year-old brother, David Warren Salazar, who are believed to be with their mother, Terry Ann Beasley Salazar.

The children had been living in the Netherlands for the past 18 months pending a custody hearing there, but were taken in June.

Anyone with information is asked to call Missing Child Center-Hawaii at 753-9797 or police Detective Bert Dement at 529-3115.

Police alerted to pools of blood on North Shore

Police are investigating large pools of blood found on a North Shore beach last night.

A couple called police after spotting pools of blood at Kawailoa Beach at 10:30 p.m.

The area was searched with K-9 units, but nothing was found, police said.

Lab tests are pending to determine if the blood is human or animal.

Hatchet-thrower arrested after fighting neighbors

A 26-year-old Punchbowl man was arrested this morning for allegedly throwing a hatchet at his neighbors.

The suspect was fighting with two neighbors at Miller and Lusitana streets at 12:15 a.m., police said.

He chased one man with a knife and threw a hatchet at the other.

The hatchet missed, but hit the man in the back when it bounced off the wall. The man suffered minor injuries.

Sodden ruse didn't work; burglary suspect caught

A burglary suspect tried to make a sly getaway by blending with neighbors who were searching for him.

Officers were sent to a "burglary in progress" call at a Halula Place home in Kailua yesterday at 4:25 a.m. The suspect ran away and jumped into Enchanted Lake.

As police and neighbors searched the area, a drenched man turned up and told officers he was helping in the search.

But the homeowner identified the 23-year-old Kailua man as the suspect who broke into his home.

Suspect remains at large in Kailua hit-run case

Police are searching for a suspect who drove a stolen pickup truck and hit a 51-year-old Kailua resident from behind while he was walking his dog and then drove away Monday morning.

Elbridge Smith, 51, was walking on Ulukanu Street, just east of Ulupuni Street, when he was hit from behind at 7:07 a.m., police said. The suspect then drove away without assisting Smith.

The Mazda pickup truck was recovered Monday night.

Police are investigating whether Smith was targeted or whether it was an accident.

Meanwhile, the case has been classified as a felony hit-and-run.

Smith was taken to Queen's Hospital in serious condition, and remains in fair condition today.

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