70,000 customers lose Oceanic digital cable
All 70,000 Oceanic Time Warner digital cable customers on Oahu were without service for hours yesterday because of a problem that occurred during a software installation.
Oceanic Vice President of Operations Norman Santos said the disruption began at about 9:30 a.m. when the company attempted to load new software that turned out to be faulty.
"We had some corrupted data get into our boxes," which affected reception for almost one-quarter of the company's 275,000 customers, Santos said. Direct hookup and analog television subscribers were not affected.
The problem was fixed by 11:15 a.m., but thousands of customers were still without service because their cable boxes needed to be rebooted. Customers can manually reboot by unplugging their boxes for 10 seconds and then restoring power.
But most people do not know that, Santos said, and by late afternoon the company was still receiving hundreds of calls from residents complaining of no service.
During the calling peak, 90 people were on hold, 70 operators were speaking to customers and still more residents encountered a busy signal as they tried to get through to the company.
"We couldn't answer 70,000 calls," Santos said. So at 6:30 p.m., Oceanic sent out a "forced reboot" message to restore service to all of its affected customers.
"The real deal was to try to get everybody on by 'American Idol'" at 7:30 p.m., Santos said.
Panel approves fines for 2 campaign donors
The state Campaign Spending Commission unanimously approved $21,500 in fines against two local political donors yesterday.
By a 5-0 vote, the commission finalized an $11,500 fine against Russell Oda, president of Oda/McCarthy Architects Ltd., for allegedly funneling $23,000 to the campaigns of former Gov. Ben Cayetano and former Honolulu City Councilman Arnold Morgado.
The commission also voted to approve a $10,000 fine against Sam Hyun, president of local engineering firm MCE International Inc. The commission alleged that Hyun made several political donations under false names to the campaigns of Cayetano, Morgado, Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris, former state Sen. Matt Matsunaga and former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono.
The commission previously fined Hyun and MCE's predecessor company, W.A. Hirai & Associates, $19,000 in April for making separate false-name contributions to Harris, Cayetano, Hirono and former Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana. W.A. Hirai & Associates changed its name to MCE.
The state agency also fined Oda/McCarthy $3,000 in February 2003 for making $7,000 in illegal contributions to Cayetano and Hirono.
State law bars donors from making contributions in other people's names. They are prohibited from giving more than $4,000 for a county office and $6,000 for a state office during a four-year election cycle.
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>> The Maui Non-Profit Directors Association has presented Michael H. Lyons II, retired Bank of Hawaii executive, with the Standard of Excellence Award 2003. He is presently board chairman of the J. Walter Cameron Center, a nonprofit organization housing other nonprofits that provide assistance in health and social services in Maui.
>> The American Diabetes Association has received $15,000 from the James & Abigail Campbell Foundation for its "Diabetes and You" youth education program. The program is a partnership between the ADA and the state departments of Health and Education.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Police hunting suspect in alleged sex assault
Police said a 19-year-old Waikiki woman was raped Monday night when a man forced his way into her apartment.
The suspect allegedly knocked on the victim's door at 10:30 p.m., and when she answered, he shoved his way inside.
The suspect was described as in his late teens to early 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall and about 220 pounds, with a muscular build, a mole by his left eye and dark hair shaved on both sides of his head with short blond curls on top.
Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or by dialing *CRIME on a cellular phone.
Hilo girl missing since Sept. 3 turns up safe
Big Island police have called off the search for a 13-year-old girl reported missing from her home in Hilo since Sept. 3.
The girl was located safe on Saturday.
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers