Star-Bulletin staff and wire


American Lung Association-Hawaii volunteers held signs and passed out quit-smoking kits yesterday on Vineyard Boulevard and Pali Highway. Holding up a series of humorous signs were Nathan Nitta, foreground, Derek Kabasawa, Dolly Figueroa, Grace Amen and Alvin Wong (not shown). The signs read: "She kissed the ashtray / by mistake / She thought it was / her husband Jake / Quit smoking."

Box jellyfish expected today and tomorrow

The city Ocean Safety Division is warning the public of an influx of box jellyfish today and tomorrow. Yesterday's influx was average, with about 200 found, and should be negligible by tomorrow.

Waikiki Beach, particularly the Kuhio Beach Park area, is the most commonly affected area. Other areas include Hanauma Bay, Pokai Bay, Makaha Surfing Beach and Waimea Bay.

Lifeguards will assess beaches for jellyfish and post warning signs if warranted.

Anyone stung by box jellyfish should flush the area with lots of white vinegar. A person who has difficulty breathing, muscle cramps or spasms or persistent pain should seek immediate medical attention.

Lifeguard stations are supplied to treat stings. For information regarding ocean conditions, advisories and warnings, call 922-3888, ext. 51.

High court denies landowners' appeal

The state Supreme Court has turned down a request by 93 landowners at the Hokulia residential project in Kona to throw out a lower court ruling that stalled the project.

The owners argued that their rights were not properly protected because they were not parties to the lawsuit that pitted certain environmentalists and Hawaiians against Hokulia developer 1250 Oceanside Partners.

Circuit Judge Ronald Ibarra ruled last year that the 1,550-acre project is an urban development being illegally built on agricultural land.

In a ruling Monday, the Supreme Court said the action sought by the 93 owners is the same as relief sought by the developer in its appeal of Ibarra's ruling. The high court said the owners can file "friend of the court" papers with the appeal, explaining their position.

Attorney Robert Kim, who represents some of the plaintiffs, said owners could have joined the lawsuit to defend their interests during the several years that the suit was in Ibarra's court, but they relied on Oceanside instead.

Kim noted that Ibarra told Oceanside that it could ask the state Land Use commission to change the land designation at the site to urban, but the company has chosen not to do that.

Hokulia president John De Fries said he believes the Supreme Court wants to deal with the case quickly, although the court has turned down a formal request to speed the appeal.

De Fries said the 93 owners who sought high court action are part of 155 owners who own 198 properties at Hokulia.

UH-Hilo names new Arts & Sciences dean


Randy Hirokawa: Kauai-born academic comes to Hilo from University of Iowa post

HILO » Communications expert Randy Hirokawa has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the school announced.

Hirokawa comes to the post from the University of Iowa, where he served as chairman of the communications studies department. He replaces Stephen Hora, who held the dean's post on an interim basis.

Hirokawa was born in Hanapepe, Kauai. He received his bachelor's degree from UH Manoa and his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Washington.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


Waimanalo man, 32, is held in apartment shooting death

Police arrested a 32-year-old Waimanalo man yesterday in connection with the shooting death of a 71-year-old Makiki man Dec. 22.

Police said the suspect owed the victim a gambling debt.

Robert E. Lee was shot and killed the night of Dec. 22 with a single bullet to the head in the carport of his three-story apartment building at 1555 Pensacola St.

Police had recovered gambling records from the victim's home after the shooting.

Some tenants and a friend said they believed the shooting was related to Lee's gambling. Lee and his two sons owned the building, and he was also the resident manager.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Transformer blast causes fire, damage

An electric transformer in a Kakaako building blew up yesterday afternoon, flinging the vault door into a passing vehicle.

A switch in the transformer located on Coral Street across from Fisher Hawaii failed, igniting the oil inside and causing a fire that damaged as many as four cars at 2 p.m., Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman Peter Rosegg said. Rosegg called such fires "very rare."

The fire was under control in 10 minutes, fire officials said. The driver of a passing vehicle reported seeing a large billow of smoke and said his car was struck by a flying door, Kane said.

HECO's tests for PCBs were negative, Rosegg said.

No one was injured. The space above and next to the transformer are vacant.


Second man arrested in shotgun robbery

Police arrested a 24-year-old Aiea man yesterday, one of four suspects in an Oct. 19 robbery in which a sawed-off shotgun was used.

The victims, a man, 23, and a woman, 26, were at home watching TV when four men came to their door. One of the victims recognized two of the men and invited them all in.

One of the suspects brandished a sawed-off shotgun and demanded drugs and money. Another suspect searched the home, and a third suspect took the woman's laptop computer, police said. Three of the four men have been identified. The suspect was the second arrested in the case.

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