On Jan. 20, 1900, a catastrophe hit that left 6,000 of Honolulu's estimated 39,000 residents homeless and caused damage totaling more than $2 million.
'Great Chinatown Fire'
The "Great Chinatown Fire of 1900" was started as a routine measure to try to curb the spread of bubonic plague, according to "Vignettes of Old Hawaii" by David Free. The idea was to torch a few of the old wooden Chinatown buildings and, with them, the disease-carrying rats.
But unpredictable tradewinds carried cinders everywhere, and soon the neighboring Kaumakapili Church at Beretania and Smith streets -- with its brass pipe organ from Europe -- went down in flames.
Burning through Maunakea and Kukui streets, the blaze turned Ewa toward the harbor, destroying waterfront homes and businesses, Free wrote.
Despite massive destruction from River Street to Nuuanu Avenue and Kukui to Queen streets, not one person died in the great fire.
UH department wins software licensesThe University of Hawaii College of Engineering has been granted software licenses from Avant! Corp. to support faculty research and train students in computer technology.
The use of circuit-design tools, design libraries and software is valued at several million dollars a year and is renewable for the next five years, according to a university release.
"Avant!'s technology will make the University of Hawaii more attractive to prospective students because it is viewed as state of the art within the integrated circuit design industry," said UH president Kenneth Mortimer.
San Diego group to run isle bird facilitiesThe Zoological Society of San Diego is taking over the management of the state's endangered bird species facilities on Maui and the Big Island.
State land board members on Friday approved allowing the society to manage the facility through June 2000.
State wildlife administrator Michael Buck said the transfer was made at the request of the Peregrine Fund, which has been operating the facilities since 1996.
He said the Peregrine Fund wanted to focus on the propagation of raptors and thought the San Diego group would be able to upgrade efforts to save Hawaii's endangered birds.
Students brighten up holidays for IHS peopleHigh school juniors spread some holiday cheer at a homeless shelter in Iwilei yesterday.
The students decorated the Institute of Human Resources Single Women and Family Shelter and wrapped hundreds of presents. They brought their own gifts of clothes and toys for the residents.
This community service learning project was part of Bank of Hawaii's 2nd Century Scholars program.
Conferees to consider destiny of isle forestsA statewide forestry conference to help determine the destiny of Hawaii's forests will be held on Oahu, Jan. 12 and 13.
"Forestry 2010 -- Actions for the 21st Century" will highlight work done in the past decade to revitalize Hawaii's forests. Participants will help set priorities for the following decade.
Private landowners, government officials, native Hawaiians, environmentalists, forest industry members and community leaders may be interested in attending, conference planners said.
The conference will be held at the Radisson Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel in Honolulu. A pre-registration fee paid by Dec. 22 is $95.
For information, call Carl Masaki, at the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, 587-0166.
HONORS EARNEDMichael A. Lilly of Honolulu was awarded the first place honor for outstanding community service by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. One of his achievements in 1998 was to bring the "Mighty Mo" warship back home to Pearl Harbor as a permanent memorial to the end of World War II.
Bennett Y.K. Fung has been promoted to associate project engineer at SSFM Engineers, where he has been an engineer for five years.
Robert Fujioka has received the Red Cross Chairman's Cup Award for his efforts in the agency's humanitarian drive and raising over $177,000.
Kids Voting Hawaii leaders won three of six national awards. Jim George, vice president of marketing for the Hawaii Newspaper Agency, won the media award. Winning leadership awards were Linda Coble, a media veteran who was instrumental in involving students in statewide efforts, and Noel Trainor, general manager of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort , who made the greatest contribution as a Hilton executive.
Mary Hopkins Miller of Kailua has been elected national president of the 800-member Congress of the American Lung Association Staff. She has been executive director of the Hawaii association since July 1992.
Dr. Laurie S.Y. Tyau, a 1978 graduate of Maryknoll High School currently residing in Rockville, Maryland, has been named one of the top doctors in the Washington, D.C. area by the Washingtonian Magazine. She is an obstetrician-gynecologist with Capital Women's Care.
Warren Nakamura, president and CEO of the Honolulu Federal Employees Federal Credit Union, has been named outstanding credit union professional of 1999 by the Hawaii Credit Union League.
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye has been named the 1999 Marquette University Les Aspin Center for Government's Democracy Award winner.
Gladys Primero Agsalud, owner and president of Casablanca Bridal and Formals in Honolulu, has been included in the National Register's Who's Who in Executives and Professionals millennium edition.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Fire rescue team finds 4 Wisconsin hikersFour men from Wisconsin, who did not return from a hike yesterday, were assisted out of Kahana Valley today by personnel from Fire Rescue 1 and the Kaaawa station.
The men were brought out at 7:45 a.m. and refused medical attention, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Richard Soo.
Area residents, who saw the men hiking into the valley about 11 a.m. yesterday, called police at 9 p.m. after noticing their rented car in the parking lot.
Police contacted the Fire Department, and a rescue team searched the area for about an hour before calling off the operation due to darkness.
Firefighters resumed searching today with a helicopter and located the hikers.
Car runs down officer at theft-arrest scenePolice are looking for the occupants of a brown Honda, which struck a police officer while fleeing the scene of an auto-theft arrest yesterday in Kaimuki
The officer, 33, was treated at Queen's Hospital for a bruised leg and released following the 12:33 a.m. incident on Sierra Drive.
Police at an unrelated traffic collision were notified by a witness, who had spotted a friend's stolen car on Sierra Drive.
Responding officers located the vehicle and arrested two men, ages 22 and 20, who were in the car for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.
The brown Honda, which was behind the stolen vehicle, allegedly drove straight at the officers to flee the scene. The case is classified as an attempted murder.
Two suspects arrested in one of 3 robberiesThe rash of December armed robberies continues as police received three cases from Saturday afternoon to yesterday morning.
Suspects in two cases remain at large.
Two men were arrested in Waipahu in Saturday's 4:47 p.m. robbery of the Bionic Chevron gas/convenience store at 94-485 Farrington Hwy.
A police officer recognized one suspect from the security videotape of the robbery. The suspect was arrested in Waipahu about four hours later and booked on an outstanding warrant.
The second suspect was was arrested yesterday at 11:55 p.m. in Waipahu.
Police, meanwhile, are looking for those who robbed a North Nimitz Highway bar and a clothing store at Ward Warehouse.
Two men with revolvers entered Sweet Lady Lounge at 1030 N. Nimitz Hwy. at about 12:15 a.m. yesterday, tied up three men and a woman, and fled with cash.
In the Ward Warehouse robbery at 10:30 a.m., a woman clerk was confronted by two men, one of whom was armed with a gun. The gunman demanded money and then glued her eyes shut.
The suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. The woman wiped the glue off and called police. She was treated at Queen's Hospital and released, police said.