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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Neighbor Island briefs

Advertiser Staff and News Services


Body of visitor found outside hotel

WAILEA, Maui — Police are investigating a second fatal fall from a South Maui building in four days.

A worker at the Grand Wailea Resort found a man's body at 7:30 a.m. yesterday near the hotel's lobby entrance. The man, a 37-year-old visitor from the Mainland, is believed to have fallen from the ninth floor, said Maui Police Lt. Michael Kaho'ohanohano.

The unidentified man was staying alone at the hotel, Kaho-'ohanohano said. There were no obvious signs of foul play.

Meanwhile, an autopsy of a man whose body was found Saturday at the Maui Vista condominium in Kihei indicated he died of injuries consistent with a fall. His name has not been released.

Men fined in copter landing in forest

WAILUKU, Maui — A retired state forestry official and his son were each fined $1,000 yesterday for landing a helicopter in a state forest reserve without a permit.

Wesley Wong, 61, also was ordered by Maui Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto to perform 75 hours of community service, while Matthew Wong, 32, was ordered to perform 50 hours.

A jury in February acquitted the elder Wong of using an illegal electroshock device to catch fish in Wailau Stream on Moloka'i, but found him guilty of the helicopter landing. Wong retired as Maui District manager of the Forestry and Wildlife Division in 1999.

His son, an employee of the U.S. Geological Survey, earlier pleaded guilty to the helicopter charge.

A helicopter had flown the Wongs into the remote valley on Moloka'i's north shore May 7, 1999, while they were on vacation.

Needs of deaf to be discussed

WAILUKU, Maui — The Hawai'i State Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Division and Advisory Group is sponsoring two meetings to address the needs of the deaf or hard-of-hearing on Maui.

Issues to be addressed include barriers to employment and an evaluation of vocational rehabilitation services.

The first event, meant for people who are deaf or hearing-impaired, will be May 19 at the Cameron Center in Wailuku, with socializing at 3:30 p.m. and the meeting to begin at 4:30 p.m. Interpreters will be provided.

A meeting for service providers or agencies that serve people who are deaf or hearing-impaired will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. May 21 in Conference Room A on the third floor of the State Office Building in Wailuku.

For more information, call collect to Robin Brandt at the Pacific Basin Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on O'ahu, 592-5900, TDD 592-5906, or fax 592-5909.

Maui group to hold annual powwow

WAILUKU, Maui — The Intertribal Council of Hawai'i's Maui Chapter will hold its annual powwow this weekend at the War Memorial Soccer Field.

For the first time, the Navajo Gourd Society from Arizona will participate in the grand entry at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The powwow runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

There will be hoop dancers, grass dancers, fancy shawl dancers, jingle dancers and others, including 24 high school students from a First Nations group from Surrey, British Columbia.

Booths will sell American Indian and Hawaiian crafts and food such as venison chili and fry bread. There also will be a silent auction.

Host families are needed to house visiting dancers and drummers. For more information, call Loretta Burkitt at (808) 873-0231.

Visitors warned about parking

HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK, Maui — Haleakala National Park is recommending that visitors travel to the summit at times other than sunrise because of a major road project that has closed the summit building and its parking lot.

Starting today, the Kalahaku Overlook parking lot may be closed, making parking even more scarce, park officials said.

"During the next several weeks, we will most likely reach our parking lot capacity every single morning because at least two lots will be closed for construction,'' said ranger Michael Boxx.

The $1.5 million summit road construction project will at times reduce the summit road to one lane on weekdays, close different parking lots and cause changes to visitor center hours and program schedules through July.

Updated construction information is available on the park's Web site at www.nps.gov/hale or by calling the park's 24-hour information number at (808) 572-4400.

Concert to benefit mental health

KAHULUI, Maui — The Makaha Sons — Moon, John and Jerome — will headline a benefit concert June 30 for Mental Health Kokua, a nonprofit agency that provides services to those facing a mental or emotional crisis. The concert will be at 7 p.m. in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater. Tickets are $25 and $18. Call Tom Vendetti on Maui at (808) 244-7405.


Volunteers needed for planting project

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — The volunteer coodinator for Kaua'i County is calling on residents to come out Saturday for a major planting effort at the Lihue Gateway beautification project near Lihu'e Airport.

"We are nearing the end of the planting phase of this project," said Eddie Sarita, head of the county's Ho'olokahi program. "We will be working on the large areas on both sides of Kapule Highway on the Lihu'e side of the Hanama'ulu Bridge."

Refreshments will be provided. Volunteers can get details by calling (808) 241-6623.