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By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Wal-Mart plan faces adamant opposition

Opponents of the proposed Keeaumoku Street Wal-Mart store predicted an intolerable increase in traffic and forced closing of neighboring businesses as representatives of the retail giant faced their first community forum on their plan to build in Honolulu's retail core.

"I don't want Hawaii to look like the mainland; I want Hawaii to look like Hawaii," said Martha Sanchez, owner of a small nearby market. She was one of a half-dozen speakers who attacked the plan last night at a meeting of the Ala Moana/Kakaako Neighborhood Board.

"Small businesses are going to be squashed," said Michael Nakamoto, who has lived in the area all his 53 years. "We need open areas, not more concrete."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced last month that it has signed an agreement to purchase the 8.5-acre superblock which stood vacant for more than 10 years.

It's too early to describe the store size or design, and the decision hasn't been made about building a combination Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, said Jon-Eric Greene, senior vice president of Colliers Monroe Friedlander. He said it will be May before his firm completes a site evaluation and conceptual design.

"Obviously, traffic is a major concern to everybody," Greene said. "Wal-Mart is concerned it will be convenient for customers, convenient for neighbors to get to their own property and convenient for commuters to get through."

He said a preliminary traffic survey shows the store would generate 47 percent fewer vehicle trips per day than the original plan by Haseko Hawaii Inc. for a high-rise luxury condominium, retail and office project. It would generate 25 percent less traffic than the planned retail and entertainment center that was scuttled by Forest City Development last year, he said.

Welding accident causes boat blaze

By Ryan Yamashiro, Special to the Star-Bulletin
The Honolulu-based commercial fishing boat Finback was heavily
damaged yesterday afternoon by fire during repair work at Keehi
Marine Center. Honolulu fire Capt. Richard Soo said the 3:30 p.m.
blaze started during welding operations. No injuries were reported.

In the courts


Trial ends, jury gets Waianae murder case

A Circuit Court jury was to resume deliberating today in the second-degree murder trial of Lana Sayers, accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death in Waianae in 1998.

The state and defense rested yesterday after nearly two weeks of testimony and turned the case over to jurors.

Sayers faces life with the possibility of parole if convicted of second-degree murder.

During the trial, Sayers testified she couldn't remember much about what had happened but didn't intend to kill her boyfriend, Edwin Kalama.

She pulled out a knife and only wanted to scare him into telling the truth about $100 supposedly missing from their joint account, her attorney Mark Worsham said. "There was a struggle, she fell on top of him and he ended up being stabbed."

The state had argued that Sayers was upset over $100 Kalama couldn't account for and thought he was hiding something from her. The couple had just been evicted from their apartment and Sayers was really angry about having to move, said Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Ching.

The jury can find Sayers guilty of lesser offenses, including reckless manslaughter or manslaughter based on extreme mental emotional disturbance, both punishable by up to 20 years in prison with the possibility of parole.

Kalama suffered two stab wounds to his back and one to the neck, which proved to be fatal.

'Heinous' slaying results in life without parole

HILO -- Kona Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra has sentenced Jefferson "Kaui" Pau to life without parole for the stabbing death of Itsuko Ito, 72, at her Keaau home on Feb. 16, 1999.

Testimony showed that Pau, 24, stole money from his victim, stole her car, and within an hour gave the money to his girlfriend, claiming he was a "hit man."

The jury's verdict of guilty of second-degree murder would have brought a sentence of life with possible parole. But in a first-of-its-kind procedure, the jury also determined that Pau committed the stabbing in an "especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel" fashion.

That opened the door to Ibarra's denial of parole.

Pau's attorney, Kay Iopa, could not immediately be reached for comment.

But apparently recognizing the possibility of an appeal, Ibarra said that if the Supreme Court reverses the sentence, then the replacement sentence would be life with parole with a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison.

Pau was also sentenced to five years for auto theft to run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Clown-masked robber hits nightclub at Waipahu

Police were searching for an armed man who donned a clown mask and robbed a Waipahu nightclub this morning.

He entered Club Blue Chip on Farrington Highway at 1:40 a.m. armed with a rifle or shotgun, police said.

He ordered three female employees to the floor and took their money before fleeing on foot, police said.

The man is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall with a slim build. He was wearing a light-colored T-shirt and sweat pants.

Big Island woman dies after truck collision

WAIMEA, Hawaii -- A west Hawaii woman died yesterday from injuries suffered in a two-truck crash on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, police said.

The victim, Norma Busque, 52, of Waimea, was a a passenger in a pickup driven by her husband, Mariano, 55, when he tried to make a left turn from the highway onto Waikoloa Beach Drive about 6:30 a.m., they said.

Their truck was hit by another pickup driven by William Boyle, 47, of Waikoloa.

Busque was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital where she died at 9:34 p.m. Her husband was admitted to the hospital in stable condition. Boyle was not injured.

Wahiawa fuss escalates to death threat, then arrest

A 29-year-old man was arrested last night in Wahiawa for allegedly threatening to kill his girlfriend with a spear.

The two were arguing around 9:35 p.m. at a California Avenue address when the suspect picked up the spear, poked the woman, 35, a couple of times and threatened to kill her, police said.

Police release sketch of suspect in rape case

Info BoxPolice seeking information on a rapist yesterday released a sketch of a suspect who attacked a 17-year-old girl last Wednesday in Wahiawa.

The girl was walking through a secluded area of Wahiawa Shopping Center on California Avenue between 5:45 and 6 p.m. when a man grabbed her from behind by the hair, forced her into a secluded area and sexually assaulted her.

The suspect is in his late teens or early 20s, about 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, police said.

Information can be provided by calling CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

Two are arrested in attacks on moped rider in Wahiawa

Police arrested two suspects for allegedly attacking a 20-year-old man driving a moped last night in Wahiawa.

The victim reported he was on Neal Avenue at 11:23 p.m. when a 17-year-old boy he knows threw a knife at him but missed, police said.

The moped driver continued toward Plum Street, where he was confronted by another suspect, 19, who threw a chair at him and knocked him off the moped.

He drove home, reported the incident to police and later was taken to Wahiawa General Hospital with a fractured shin and cuts on his leg.

Police arrest 3 teen-agers in Feb. 8 shooting case

Police arrested three teen-age suspects yesterday in connection with a shooting earlier this month in Pearl City.

Five suspects barged into a Kaumahana Place home on Feb. 8 and shot the resident, a 53-year-old man, in the leg with a rifle, police said.

Hickam staff sergeant charged in theft

A Hickam Air Force Base staff sergeant has been charged with stealing from the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange.

The Air Force will conduct an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury investigation, this week to determine whether Staff Sgt. Alphonso Palmer will face a court martial.

Palmer, assigned to Pacific Air Forces Computer Systems Squadron, is charged with two counts of conspiracy, two counts of larceny and wrongful appropriation, and two counts of receiving stolen property.

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