By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, September 29, 1999

Millennium Moments

Millennium special

Villa grande

TODAY, it's a school for girls. But once upon a time, it hosted Presidents Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Prince of Wales, Bing Crosby, Nelson Rockefeller and Gen. George Patton, among many others.

La Pietra, at the foot of Diamond Head, was the social site for the town's elite for some 40 years. It was designed by Chicago architect David Adler for tycoon/developer Walter F. Dillingham and his bride, Louise, in 1922. Back then, the cost of the Italian-style villa was $400,000 -- for such features as hand-cut lava rock, a central open courtyard, stuccoed stone walls, red tile roof, Italian statuary, fountains and gardens, says "Architecture in Hawaii" by Rob Sandler, Julie Mehta and Frank S. Haines.

La Pietra was patterned after its namesake villa in Florence, Italy, owned by Louise's aunt and where the Dillinghams were wed. It was built on a 5-acre parcel once owned by King Lunalilo.

In 1968, La Pietra was sold to the Hawaii School for Girls for $1 million; it also has been a popular site for weddings and receptions.


Inquiry targets alleged affair of Army general

An Army major general who once served as commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division is under investigation for allegedly having sex with a subordinate's wife.

Maj. Gen. John Maher III was removed as vice director of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon, pending the outcome of the inquiry.

Before his Washington assignment, Maher served as commander of the 25th Infantry Division from June 8, 1995, to June 19, 1997.

Like Maj. Gen. David Hale, who also served in Hawaii, Maher has nearly 30 years of service.

Hale, who was at Fort Shafter as deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific from 1994-96, lost one of his two stars for similar conduct after he was allowed to retire. He is fighting his demotion.

UH faculty union files charges against state

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly filed a prohibited practice charge against the state yesterday, claiming the state has refused to bargain over a host of contract language issues.

UHPA, which represents 3,000 university faculty members at UH-Manoa, UH-Hilo, UH-West Oahu and the seven community colleges, in a news release accused state negotiator Davis Yogi of refusing to respond to proposals on sick leave, personnel files and program transfers.

Yogi contends these issues are excluded from collective-bargaining because there are references to them in other state laws and a state Supreme Court decision prevents the state from bargaining on these noncost items, UHPA said.

The union claims the collective bargaining law supersedes other laws which might be in conflict and that the court case is no defense against state refusal to bargain on these matters.

Accident injuries fatal to 80-year-old woman

An 80-year-old woman, critically injured Sunday night in a head-on collision on Kaneohe Bay Drive, died yesterday in Queen's Hospital, raising the Oahu traffic fatality count for the year to 33.

A man, 22, injured in the same collision, remains in critical condition in Queen's.

Meanwhile, another elderly woman was critically injured yesterday in a crash in Kalihi.

The woman, 74, was a passenger in a sedan that was broadsided by another vehicle while negotiating a left turn into a private driveway at 2130 N. King St. at 1:10 p.m.

Two others -- another passenger in the car that was struck and the driver of the other vehicle -- are in good condition at Queen's Hospital. The 71-year-old woman driver of the car that was struck was not seriously injured.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Purse-snatching victim hurt as robber flees

Police are searching for a man who allegedly robbed a woman tourist of her purse and injured her yesterday.

The woman, 26, was walking toward Waikiki on Kapiolani Boulevard when the suspect grabbed her purse from behind at 3:30 p.m., police said.

She chased the man to his vehicle. When he attempted to drive away, she grabbed onto the vehicle's window and suffered head injuries when she fell off the moving vehicle..

Police hunt two who robbed taxi driver

Police are searching for two men who robbed a taxi driver by knifepoint early this morning.

The driver, who works for the The Cab Co., picked up two men in Waikiki who wanted to be dropped off in Kalihi.

The suspects robbed the driver on Kaiwiula Street near Kalakaua Intermediate School at 12:20 a.m. and ran away, police said.

Investigators say fire in Mililani was arson

Arson investigators say a fire that scorched a Mililani carport last night was maliciously set.

Damage at the 94-331 Alula Place address was estimated at $10,000 to the structure, $1,200 to a 1988 Suzuki Samurai, a jeep-like vehicle, and $500 to miscellaneous contents.

A woman, 49, was at home cooking dinner when she saw a fire in her carport at 6:57 p.m. She attempted to put it out with a garden hose, Fire Capt. Richard Soo said.

The fire was brought under control at 7:06 p.m. No injuries were reported.

In other news...

Bullet Police yesterday arrested a man who allegedly beat a woman at her Leeward Coast home on Sept. 18.

She was admitted to Kapiolani Hospital in critical condition and underwent surgery a few days after the beating, police said.

Bullet Maui police are investigating the cause of death and seeking the identity of a man whose body was recovered yesterday in a remote area near rural Kaupo. Foul play is not suspected in the death.

Bullet A police officer cleaning his gun at the Koko Head shooting range accidentally shot himself in the hand yesterday.

The officer had completed training when the gun accidentally discharged at 12:38 p.m., a police report said.

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