By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

Millennium Moments

Millennium special

USS Arizona

NINE minutes, 1,177 lives. So effective were the strikes on the USS Arizona by Japanese bombers on Dec. 7, 1941, that more than 70 percent of the ship's crew perished. The loss of the Arizona and other ships in Pearl Harbor that fateful day plunged the Territory of Hawaii and the United States into World War II.

Only 75 bodies were ever recovered from the USS Arizona, which had been docked at Pearl's Quay F-7, some 25 years after being commissioned on Oct. 17, 1916, says "Stepping Into Time" by Jeannette Murray Peek.

To this day, most of the Arizona's officers and crewmen remain entombed in the sunken battleship.

After the war, fund raising began for an Arizona memorial to commemorate the war years and to honor those who lost their lives for their country. Money came from a variety of unique sources, according to Peek: the Legislature; donations solicited via the TV show "This Is Your Life" hosted by Ralph Edwards; and $64,000-plus raised by a sold-out Elvis Presley concert at Pearl Harbor's Bloch Arena.

Architect Alfred Preis, under U.S. Navy orders that no part of the memorial could touch the sunken Arizona, designed a marble, bridge-like structure spanning over the battleship. The 184-foot Arizona Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day 1962, and features a shrine room and marble wall on which is etched the names of its 1,177 crewmen who were killed.


5-inch rain on Kauai; 2.8 inches at Waialua

Anahola, Kauai, was deluged with more than five inches of rain in the 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. today.

On Oahu, Waialua recorded the heaviest rainfall this morning with 2.84 inches from 8 p.m. yesterday to 8 a.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.

But despite flash-flood watches and periods of heavy rain, police and fire departments reported no major problems or road closures this morning.

About four inches of rain fell on Kokee, Kauai. Despite heavy rain all yesterday afternoon and a series of thunderstorms that hit the island overnight, Kauai police reported only a few minor rockslides that partially blocked roadways.

Radio station KQNG's tower near Lihue was hit repeatedly by lightning, destroying the station's AM transmitter. A backup transmitter went on the air this morning. KQNG's FM station was not affected.

On Oahu, Waianae, Lualualei, Waipio and Mililani recorded more than an inch of rain.

Rocks and debris littered Farrington Highway after a small rockslide near Makua Cave. Farrington remained open while road crews cleared the debris.

Strong winds also cut power to 1,500 homes in Wahiawa at 3:30 this morning. The outage lasted two hours and 45 minutes and was caused by a tree branch hitting a power line on California Avenue near Leilehua High School, said a Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms will continue for all the islands through Saturday.

A vigil remembers abused children

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Melissa Garves holds a sign for Reubyne Buentipo Jr. at the State
Capitol last night during "Children Light the Way," a vigil to end
violence against children. Sponsor Rep. Dennis Arakaki, to her right,
waves the Hawaii Kids Watch banner. Reubyne, 5, remains
in a coma after a beating by his mother.

Waikiki weighs horses in place of Ala Wai golf

The city's Ala Wai Golf Course would turn into a legalized horse-racing track if Sam Bren has his way.

Bren, Waikiki Neighborhood Board chairman, acknowledges that the chances of taking away the state's most popular golf course are "slim to none -- I use it as a shocker to get people's attention."

Still, Bren said he believes his idea of a racing track somewhere on the island is a good money-maker for the state and could gain approval from the state Legislature.

The Waikiki Neighborhood Board will consider the proposal at its meeting at 7 tonight at the Waikiki Community Center.

The Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling opposes Bren's proposal.

5K run dedicated to brain injury victims

A Run for the Brain "La Carrera" 5K Fun Run, Walk and Roll Race will begin from Ala Moana Beach Park at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Hawaiian Wireless, the Brain Injury Association of Hawaii and others are inviting public participation in "la carrera" ("the run" in Spanish) from the park to Aloha Tower Market Place.

The event is dedicated to Joshua Manoa, 15, a Kailua resident, and Juan Sanchez, Mundo Hawaii owner, both of whom lost their lives to brain cancer, and all others who died with any kind of a brain condition.

Participants will receive a T-shirt. The packet pickup will be at the Running Room, 819 Kapahulu Ave., the day before the race. Entry fee is $18.

Awards and prizes will be given following the run. There will be entertainment and other attractions.

For more information call 388-5811.

New fire station gets Wahiawa board's OK

The Wahiawa Neighborhood Board last night voted 8-0 to recommend demolishing the Wahiawa Fire Station at 640 California Ave. and building a new one at the site.

Fire Chief Atillio Leonardi said earlier that a new fire station at the existing site could open by December 2000. Cost would be close to $2 million.

Before the vote last night, Wahiawa resident Barbara Suzui called for preservation of the existing station as a historical structure.

After Wahiawa citizens fought for it 15 years, the city authorized $34,000 to build the fire station, she said. It was completed in 1941.

On Pearl Harbor Day, firefighters from the station battled blazes at Wheeler and Schofield military bases, she added.

Wahiawa station recently received a new fire truck purchased with federal funds, but the $327,000 truck couldn't fit in the existing Wahiawa station and is temporarily housed at Waipahu.

In other news ...

Bullet Extra noise was expected on the Windward side today during demolitions training between noon and 6 p.m. at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Bullet Big Island teen Jesse Spencer left Queen's Hospital and returned home to Kona on Saturday following treatment for a shark bite suffered Oct. 1.

Bullet The Kaneohe-bound lanes of the Likelike Highway will close for construction work from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow, and traffic will be contra-flowed into a Honolulu-bound lane.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Girl reports being raped at Maili Elementary

Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault of a girl at the campus of Maili Elementary School.

The girl reported being sexually assaulted by an unknown man at the school on Sunday.

Vandals spray-paint cars, buildings at HCC

HILO -- Vandals have caused several thousand dollars damage spray-painting graffiti at Hawaii Community College, police said.

The damage done before dawn yesterday included seven parked cars. The paint can't be washed off and repainting them will cost up to $1,500 each, police said.

Several buildings were also defaced.

Because of the extent of the damage, the perpetrators would face felony property damage charges, police said.

The latest incident was part of a series of vandalism acts in the Waiakea industrial and houselot area near the college in the last three months.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to call police at 961-2350 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Fire destroys paint shed at Outrigger Waikoloa

WAIKOLOA RESORT, Hawaii -- Fire caused by spontaneous combustion in paint rags destroyed a paint shed and equipment at the Outrigger Waikoloa resort shortly before 10 p.m. yesterday, the fire department said.

Damage to the shed, a compressor, and furniture was put at $10,700. Formerly known as the Royal Waikoloa, the resort is under renovation, police said.

The Courts


Man denies staging phony car accidents

A man charged with deceiving elderly motorists in phony car accidents pleaded not guilty yesterday in Circuit Court.

Mark Stevens, 50, is charged with one count of second-degree theft and is being held on $20,000 bail. Circuit Judge Richard Perkins set trial for the week of Dec. 13.

Police say Stevens preyed on elderly Asian women at shopping centers. The victims' cars were allegedly marked with crayon to simulate scrape marks matching the color of his car.

He allegedly told his victims their insurance rates would go up if they made a police report and told them they would be better off paying him in cash.

High court disbars lawyer for misconduct

The Hawaii Supreme Court disbarred former Honolulu attorney Jan T. deWerd effective immediately for ethical misconduct in his representation of several clients.

He is accused of commingling and misappropriating client funds and thereby engaging in dishonest conduct.

He will not be eligible for reinstatement until he accounts for all funds and makes restitution, the court said. Additionally, deWerd, according to the Supreme Court, neglected his clients and failed to communicate with them. Also, he is accused of failing to maintain complete records and render accounts to clients and deposit entrusted funds into a trust account.

The court said deWerd charged an unreasonable fee, practiced law while administratively suspended and failed to cooperate in investigations by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Multiple instances of misappropriation of client funds by deWerd were the result of a dishonest or selfish motive and he habitually ignored or neglected his responsibilities as an attorney, the court said.

Drug suspect held in Hilo after pursuit

After a chase by car and on foot, police have arrested Antonio Ruiz for allegedly trying to sell 43 ounces of cocaine in Hilo.

Ruiz arranged to sell cocaine laced with salts and isomers to an undercover informant Friday night, according to a U.S. attorney's complaint filed Saturday in federal court.

The confidential source working with the Hawaii County Police Department planned to buy 1 kilogram of cocaine for $30,000 from a man known only as Val, court documents say. Val told the source to meet him at the dead end of Elama Street in Hilo at 2 p.m.

Police descended on Ruiz and tried to arrest him, but he fled in his Jeep, according to court documents. Ruiz threw a package of cocaine out the window, which police later recovered.

Ruiz drove into a driveway of a home at 1111 Auwae St. and left his Jeep running with the door open. Police saw Ruiz run on foot and chased after him. They found him lying face down in a small ravine trying to hide. They also found a soft green luggage bag containing $79,900 next to him.

Police say couple helped implicate drug trafficker

Police arrested a marijuana dealer who had just flown into Maui, then used him to reach an alleged trafficker back in California.

Miguel "Migi" Doningo Gregory was arrested last week on drug charges after a monthlong investigation, police said.

Police first arrested Jason Charles Pain and his girlfriend Betsy Lee Morales after they arrived in Kahului from Los Angeles. They were found with 16.6 pounds of marijuana in their luggage, divided into 8-ounce bags and gift-wrapped.

Pain told police that for the past four months he sold marijuana on Maui for Gregory.

He was instructed to deposit money from the marijuana sales into the Maui Bank of Hawaii account of Gregory's girlfriend, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday.

Pain told police Gregory got the drugs from another source who bought it in Canada.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Muehleck didn't ask for detention for Pain and Morales since they cooperated with police.

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