Star-Bulletin staff and wire


In a familiar scene around town, people waited in line yesterday to mail packages at the main post office near Honolulu Airport. The line extended out of the building, right, but the wait was not too long, according to some.

Keith Philips had his packages loaded and ready to go on a hand truck.

North Shore surf due to reach about 40 feet

Surf is expected to reach 30 to 40 feet today on all north-facing shores, and officials are also warning that Oahu's western shores could see unusually high waves.

The National Weather Service expects the biggest surf to affect Kahuku Point to Kaena Point on Oahu's North Shore but also predicts waves of 15 to 25 feet for western shores as far south as Kalaeloa, formerly Barbers Point.

"We are urging beachgoers to stay out of the water and keep well away from the shore break," said Peter Young, chairman of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. "Coastal residents are being advised to take precautions to minimize damage to their homes."

The swell will provide high surf along north-facing shores through Thursday, according to the weather service.

Straub offers talk on fireworks smoke

An asthma and allergy specialist with Straub Clinic & Hospital will give a free presentation on how to deal with New Year's Eve fireworks smoke.

Dr. Jeffrey Kam will focus on how people with allergies, asthma and other pulmonary conditions can deal with the smoke.

A panel of health professionals will answer questions and discuss inhaler and nebulizer techniques, medications and explain how to use a respirator. People with lung problems can suffer a severe breathing attack from exposure to smoke.

The event will be held at Ala Moana Center's CenterStage on Dec. 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. Free respirators (masks) will be given out while supplies last.

For more information, call the Straub Foundation at 524-6755.

Newsweek magazine puts Obama on cover

Barack Obama started the year as a little-known Illinois state senator competing in a crowded Democratic U.S. Senate primary.

He is ending it on the cover of Newsweek magazine.

Newsweek chose Obama for its "Who's Next" issue highlighting up-and-comers in fields including politics, business and the arts.

The Hawaii-born Obama rose to stardom last summer with his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. He easily won his Senate bid in November.

He was in Hawaii recently visiting with family. He also attended a state Democratic Party fund-raiser and spoke to students at his alma mater, Punahou School.

The Newsweek article focuses on Obama's ability to appeal to both the liberal "blue" Democratic base and people in "red states" who voted for President Bush and chose moral values as the most important issue in the election. It says he will "inevitably make most shortlists for vice president" in 2008.

"The son of a black economist from Kenya and a white teacher from Kansas might be uniquely qualified to nudge the country toward the color purple," the article says.


$14,800 in grants go to McDonald House

» Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii has received $10,000 from the Pettis Foundation and $4,800 from the Honolulu branch of Smith Barney/Citigroup Foundation. The funds will be used to support its two residential facilities and respite center at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children for families of seriously ill children who live off-island.

"Taking Notice" also runs on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


3 caught in theft of gecko sculpture

Police arrested three men yesterday for allegedly attempting to steal a statue of a gecko from the Pacific Beach Hotel.

A hotel security guard saw the suspects carrying the plaster statue away from hotel grounds about 4:45 a.m. Security followed the suspects and managed to detain one of them. Police located and arrested all three suspects for investigation of second-degree theft.


Man, 48, is accused in sex assault of girl

Police arrested a man for allegedly showing a 13-year-old Salt Lake girl pornography and fondling her on separate occasions this month. According to police, the victim told her mother that on Dec. 7 the suspect, a 48-year-old male, sexually assaulted her. On Sunday night, police said, the suspect allegedly made the girl watch a pornographic DVD.

Police said the victim did not disclose either event to her mother until Sunday night. After a brief chase, police arrested the suspect for investigation of third-degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.


Chemical containers are dumped on road

Hikers discovered several containers of what appeared to be a chemical dumped on a city road between the Pali Golf Course and the Koolau Golf Club yesterday.

The state Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response Office is analyzing the chemical, which was labeled "Lindane," a restricted-use pesticide. Sale of Lindane has not been allowed since 1983, but it can be used if still available, said HEER spokeswoman Liz Galvez.

About eight 1-gallon containers and two or three 1-quart containers were discovered intact, Galvez said. Neither golf course has claimed ownership of the containers.

E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com