By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

Millennium Moments

Millennium special

Bare minimum

BEFORE 1958, the hourly minimum wage on neighbor islands was often 5 to 10 cents less than that on Oahu, according to the "Hawaii Fact and Reference Book" by Anthony Michael Oliver.

Today, the minimum wage set by law is uniform across the state at $5.25. It's a far cry from the $1 hourly minimum of 1958, but then again, the cost of living was much lower, too.

A look at minimum wages over the years, according to Oliver:

Bullet 1964: $1.25
Bullet 1970: $1.60
Bullet 1975: $2.40
Bullet 1979: $2.90
Bullet 1981: $3.35
Bullet 1988: $3.85
Bullet 1992: $4.75
Bullet 1993: $5.25

OHA 'trespasser' not charged

Charges have been dropped against a 71-year-old Hawaiian woman who was arrested after an Office of Hawaiian Affairs meeting last week.

OHA officials confirmed yesterday that the city prosecutor's office has dismissed misdemeanor criminal trespassing charges against Johanna Lawrence, a regular at OHA board meetings.

Lawrence was arrested Thursday shortly after she and other Hawaiian beneficiaries went up to the 12th floor of OHA offices following a board meeting in which OHA Chairwoman Rowena Akana asked Lawrence to be removed from the premises because she was disruptive.

Akana, in a letter sent yesterday to city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle, asked the prosecutor to dismiss the charges against Lawrence because it was never her intention to have her arrested.

"Furthermore, I believe that it is not in the best interests of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to pursue this matter because Ms. Lawrence is an OHA beneficiary," Akana wrote.

"I am sorry that this incident happened, and accordingly, I respectfully request that the pending proceedings be dismissed," she wrote.

House delegation split on campaign reform bill

WASHINGTON -- Among the handful of Democrats -- only 13 -- who joined the majority of House Republicans yesterday in a losing attempt to derail campaign finance reform was Hawaii Rep. Patsy Mink (D-rural Oahu/neighbor islands).

But unlike the Republicans, Mink said she voted against the bill not because she opposed campaign finance reform, but because of an amendment barring foreign-born but legal permanent residents from contributing to federal campaigns.

"I could not give approval to a bill I felt contained something so extremely misplaced and unconstitutional," said Mink after the vote.

Rep. Neil Abercrombie voted for the bill.

The campaign finance bill was approved 252-177 in the House, but it was unclear if the Senate would go along.

Last year, after a similar House bill passed, Senate backers garnered a majority but fell well short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.

Tech Quest scholarships available for students

Technology-minded Hawaii students through the 12th grade have an opportunity to win cash scholarships and prizes in Tech Quest 2000.

The information technology contest is designed to encourage development of high-tech skills for Hawaii's youth, said chairman Jeff Bloom.

Sponsors are the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association of Hawaii and members of the information technology industry in Hawaii.

Students may submit information technology projects in three categories: networking, application development and multimedia/Internet.

Presentations must be submitted by Oct. 18 in html or PowerPoint form on the Tech Quest Web site:

Presentations will be shown at Oceanic Internet Computer Expo '99, Oct. 28-29. The final projects, either as presentations or displays, and judging will occur at Tech Quest 2000 at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 7.

Winners in each category will receive scholarship prizes of $500, $300 and $100 to continue their technology education.

A $10 registration fee is required with each proposal submitted.

The project presentations will be available on the Tech Quest 2000 Web site for review by the public, business and industry leaders.

AIDS conference in Waikiki to focus on native Hawaiians

A conference aimed at lowering the risk of AIDS among native Hawaiians will be held Sept. 20-22 at the Prince Kuhio Hotel in Waikiki.

Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians are diagnosed with the deadly virus more than any other Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic group in the state, according to Ke Ola Mamo, a health care system for native Hawaiians.

The risk is especially high for those who are homosexual or transgendered. The conference will devote special attention to those populations, including trying to destigmatize use of the word "mahu" to describe alternative lifestyles, said Hina Wong of Ke Ola Mamo's HIV prevention unit.

The conference, which is open to the public, carries a $100 registration fee. Cost waivers are available to native Hawaiians at risk for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Call 550-0885 for details.

National anti-crime program will take root in Waipahu

Waipahu will become the second area covered by the anti-crime Weed and Seed program next year, U.S. Attorney Steven Alm said yesterday.

The selection was in an application to the U.S. Justice Department from the Hawaii Weed and Seed Steering Committee.

Alm, noting that the selection was the beginning of the application process, is looking forward to working with Waipahu residents to "learn what they consider to be the chief problems there and see if we can work together to come up with some solutions."

The current Weed and Seed program covers the area of Kalihi, Palama and Chinatown -- which also will continue.

The national program was designed six years ago to weed out violent crime, prostitution, drug use, gangs and drug trafficking from dangerous neighborhoods.

"Waipahu has a long and proud history," Alm said. "We need to work with the Waipahu community to build on the successful efforts currently in place there and to make it as positive and safe a community as possible for residents to live, work and raise their families."

Chaminade ranks 8th for diversity

Chaminade University has tied for eighth place for campus diversity in the U.S. News & World Report annual selection of "America's Best Colleges."

California State University-Dominguez Hills ranked at the top for the western region. Chaminade tied with San Jose State University, San Francisco State and California State-Northridge, according to a news release.

The multiethnic student body of Hawaii's only Catholic university also was ranked last year.



Bullet The name of the Texas man who died in a fall from a Makaha cliff Saturday is Kim Scharpenberg. It was misspelled in a story Monday.

Bullet Singer Lauryn Hill will perform in the Blaisdell Arena in her October concert. Another location was named in a story yesterday.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

The Courts


Alien-smuggling suspects detained

Two Chinese nationals charged with attempting to smuggle three aliens into the United States at $30,000 a head are being held pending a federal grand jury indictment.

Ordered held without bail by U.S. Magistrate Leslie Kobayashi were Wen Liang Chen, copilot of the Yu Xing No. 2, and Qin Chen, the alleged enforcer in charge of passengers.

Another defendant, Fei Wu Song, allegedly the boat's captain, is expected to appear for a detention hearing next Monday. A fourth defendant, Shie Jie Pan, was charged this past Monday after Song identified him as responsible for the ship.

The Coast Guard responded to a distress call from the vessel Aug. 24. Crew members claimed they were having problems steering, had no food and needed medical attention. The 140-foot boat, which authorities said left China on July 4, was 350 miles off Midway Island.

The crew initially had claimed to be the fishing vessel Y Ching with 16 people on board.

However, when the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Kukui located the vessel and boarded, they found 120 Chinese nationals, including 21 females and 99 males between the ages of 16 and 46. Song claimed they were headed to Hawaii to seek asylum.

Hilo grower admits to using pesticide

A Big Island ginger grower has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegal use of a restricted pesticide.

Kap Dong Kim, 52, of Hilo also admitted concealing his use of the pesticide when questioned by a state official who asked about the use of Nemacur on Kim's ginger root crop.

He could receive up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines for the cover-up.

Kim also faces a maximum punishment of one month imprisonment and a fine of $5,000 for improper use of the pesticide. He will be sentenced Jan. 24, 2000.

U.S. Attorney Steven Alm said according to the indictment and other court data, Kim ordered a worker to apply the pesticide without complying with required safety precautions.

As a result, Alm said, one of Kim's workers was hospitalized with acute pesticide poisoning.

Adult video store owner seeks damages

A Florida-based corporation that was evicted from a McCully site after the landlord learned it was selling X-rated adult videos is seeking a court declaration rescinding its lease.

Focus Entertainment International -- owner of the Inserection Adult Fantasy Store -- also is seeking damages against real estate broker Steven Sofos, hired by landlord 7-Eleven to sublet the property, and Colliers Monroe Friedlander Inc., which had been hired by Focus to find a suitable location for a video store.

The suit charges Sofos, of Sofos Realty Corp., and Colliers agent Chad Scoggins with professional negligence, claiming both knew adult videotapes were to be sold.

The complaint, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, alleges Sofos told 7-Eleven that Focus did not plan to sell or rent adult videos.

The convenience store chain approved Focus' lease application on May 14, 1998, based on Sofos' representation. Sofos' statements allegedly were based on conversations with Scoggins.



Waipio man arrested in girlfriend's injury

Police last night arrested a 21-year-old Waipio man for allegedly pinning his girlfriend against a wall with his car.

Police said the girlfriend threw a rock at her boyfriend's car after an argument at 11:30 p.m. at their Oli Loop home. The suspect then allegedly reversed back into the garage, pinning the 28-year-old woman against the garage wall.

The woman was taken to Queen's Hospital in serious condition with a possible broken leg and hip.

Camera gear stolen; suspect is nabbed

A 37-year-old man from Pennsylvania was arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing a camera from a site where the Mrs. America Pageant was filming.

The suspect allegedly walked off with the camera after a cameraman set his equipment down in a cordoned-off area of the Market City Shopping Center at 6:30 p.m.

HPD to auction mopeds, bicycles

A police auction of bicycles and mopeds will be held Saturday in the parking lot behind police headquarters on Beretania Street.

Items may be viewed from 8 a.m., and the auction begins at 9.

All items will be sold as is, cash only, with payment in full at time of sale and immediate pick-up. Items not picked up will be re-auctioned.

People who believe they may own any of the bicycles or mopeds may check the items from 8 to 9, and claim them by presenting proof of ownership.

Suspect arrested in slaying case

Police arrested murder suspect Addison Cabanting, 25, wanted in Monday's fatal stabbing of Alexander Faleafine, 37, during a fight at 755 McNeil St.

A detective said officers arrested Cabanting on Kalihi Street at 11:30 a.m. yesterday. He was not immediately charged.

Cabanting and Faleafine were seen fighting at about 12:30 a.m. Monday. Cabanting was seen fleeing in a red or burgundy four-door Jaguar sedan with two other occupants. Faleafine was taken to Queen's Hospital, where he died.

Cleveland fugitive arrested in Waikiki

A man wanted for a murder in Cleveland was arrested yesterday in Waikiki. Luis McKeller, 22, was one of three men wanted for shooting Marvin Frazier Jr. on July 28. The victim was lured to a residence in Cleveland, where he was tied up, robbed, shot and killed, said FBI Special Agent Myron R. Fuller.

Police investigating fires near Waikoloa

WAIKOLOA, Hawaii -- Police are investigating whether four grassland fires yesterday afternoon in west Hawaii near Waikoloa were set deliberately or were caused by cigarettes from careless motorists.

Three fires were along Waikoloa Road in South Kohala; the fourth, in North Kona.

Stolen jewelry may show at swap meet, pawnshop

Police are asking pawnshops and swap-meet shoppers to be on the lookout for jewelry heisted last month by six young men.

The six, all believed to be under 20 years old, were seen leaving the Waikele Jewelry Mart shortly after the 5 a.m. burglary.

They drove away in a dark-colored, older domestic car such as a Buick Grand National or Chevrolet Monte Carlo, police said.

Some of the unique items they stole were Anne Klein and Conte watches. They also stole trays of Benchmark wedding bands. The total loss was estimated at $69,000.

The men were shorter than 5 feet 5 inches tall and under 150 pounds. They all had short, black hair.

Anyone with information about the suspects or jewelry, call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

E-mail to City Desk

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