Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Tire trouble forces Samoa flight to return

Hawaiian Airlines officials turned around a flight to Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa because of tire trouble yesterday evening.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said Flight 465 left Honolulu at 4:30 p.m. when it was noticed by ground crews that the tire on the right side of the landing gear lost some rubber during takeoff.

The pilot also felt a little "blip" during takeoff and realized that a piece of the rubber from the tire went through the engine, according to Hawaiian Airlines officials.

Both the control tower and pilot decided it best to turn the 767 jet around and head back to Honolulu. The flight came back at 5:22 p.m. with all 155 passengers on board. No injuries or problems with the landing were reported.

Passengers were loaded onto another aircraft and departed for Pago Pago at 6:52 p.m. Airlines officials said they believe no damage was done to the airplane by the piece of rubber, but they will be conducting a thorough inspection of the aircraft.

Officials to document Upcountry rash cases

WAILUKU » State health officials are documenting cases of Upcountry Maui residents who have experienced rashes and other problems they believe are due to the addition of phosphoric acid in drinking water.

Upcountry residents with rash symptoms are being asked to go to the Pukalani Community Center parking lot today between 2 and 5 p.m. and on Monday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Dr. Lorrin Pang, the state health administrator on Maui, said the information from the interviews, along with photographs of the rash, would remain confidential.

The county reduced the phosphoric acid levels in the drinking water in the Upper Kula system on May 20, after continuing to receive complaints from customers about eye irritation and rashes.

County water spokeswoman Jacky Takakura said the phosphoric acid level also was reduced because testing in May showed there was a drop in the lead levels in the drinking water.

Phosphoric acid, a corrosion inhibitor that coats pipes, has been put into the drinking water by county officials to reduce lead leaching into the water system.

Honolulu water rates to hold steady for year

Water rates will stay the same for at least another year, Honolulu Board of Water Supply officials announced yesterday.

"We've held water rates at this level for the past 10 years," said Clifford Jamile, the agency's manager and chief engineer. The board is "committed to providing a safe, adequate and reliable supply of water to our customers at a fair and reasonable cost."

During a Monday meeting, the board agreed to keep rates level.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a fiscal 2005 fiscal year operating and construction budget totaling $198.6 million.

More than $37 million will go to capital improvements, including upgrades of water pipelines in Kalihi, Haleiwa, Makiki and Pearl City.

State revokes license of bail bondsman

Officials have revoked the license of a Honolulu bail bondsman who failed to notify the state of his conviction on multiple federal drug charges.

Arthur Lee Jr., who runs Ace Bail Bonds in Ala Moana, was also ordered to pay $10,000 in civil fines and penalties after the bondsman submitted license renewal forms but didn't notify the state, as required by law, of his conviction.

Lee pleaded guilty last month to charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine. He was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.

Convicted felons are required to obtain a waiver from the state to operate insurance businesses, which Lee also failed to do.

Administrative hearings on the license revocation are scheduled for early next month.


A women walked with an umbrella along the shoreline of Lanikai Beach during a brief sunrise shower yesterday.


» Frederick A. Birkett, a former administrator with charter elementary schools in New York and Massachusetts, has been selected as principal of Lanikai Elementary School.

» The state Department of Transportation has named nine winners in its 2004 International Aviation Art Contest, whose theme is "Flying Saves Lives!" First-place winners received an interisland round-trip coupon and a $100 certificate. Their artwork will be sent to Washington, D.C., for a national competition.

In the 6-to-9 age group: Sydney Garguilo of Shafter Elementary School, first place; Justin Grizze of Shafter Elementary, second; Chelsie Toyomura of Waiakeawaena Elementary, third.

In the 10-to-13 age group: all from Kalakaua Middle School, Mariepaz Redona, first; Alden Godoy, second; and Kristen Simon, third.

In the 14-to-17 age group: Thomas Y. Tamangided of Hilo High School, first; Jason Fung of Honolulu Waldorf School, second; and Paul Caitano of Hilo High, third.

» Students at Moanalua High School received regional awards in the 2003-2004 eCYBERMISSION competition, a Web-based science, math and technology contest sponsored by the U.S. Army. A ninth-grade team was selected as the first-place team from the southwest region and will compete in the national contest June 26 in Washington, D.C. Three other ninth-grade teams also won in other categories, and won $2,000 savings bonds.

» Keoki's Paradise restaurant in Poipu, Kauai, honored Koloa Elementary School educators Lei Fernandez, Mila Sagucio, Joy Matsumura and Wade Tasaka for their outstanding commitment to excellence in education as Educators of the Month for November and December 2003, and January and February 2004, respectively.

» Winners of the Meadow Gold Dairies of Hawaii's 8th Annual Milk Carton Regatta, involving 30 student teams from Oahu, include:

Middle School division; Mililani, first and second place; Kapolei, third.

Waipahu Intermediate was named the "Most Creative Boat" and Mililani won the "Most Team Spirit" award.

High school division: Campbell, first; Kaiser, second; Sacred Hearts Academy, third.

Sacred Hearts was named the "Most Creative Boat" and Saint Louis School won the "Most Team Spirit" award.


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