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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Families here, on Mainland, hope for good news

By Dan Nakaso and Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

The area behind a home along Wailapa Stream, where a swimming pool once stood, is strewn with fallen trees and broken branches. On an adjoining piece of property, owned by Bruce Fehring, at least six people were swept away by yesterday's floodwaters.

PETER BOYLAN | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Paul Burns, a sailor from Norfolk, Va., arrived on Kaua'i yesterday afternoon for the Saturday marriage of his sister, Kristina McNeese, to Danny Arroyo.

"We were going to have a wedding," Burns, 24, said last night at the Kaua'i Beach Hotel. "Now we're going to have a funeral."

McNeese, 22, who was seven months pregnant, and Arroyo, were among the missing from Kaua'i's flash flood along Wailapa Stream.

"I spoke with her Friday and she told me to bring a raincoat," Burns said last night. "When I arrived I was greeted by a hospice agency, not my sister, and that's not a good sight."

Burns had given photos of McNeese to the Coast Guard, police and other rescue workers who were searching for the missing.

Meanwhile, Bruce Fehring called the family of Wayne Rotstein yesterday with the news that their son and free-spirited brother had also disappeared on Kaua'i's North Shore amid a flash flood of mud, rock and debris.

Fehring, a real estate agent and principal broker on Kaua'i, and his wife, Cyndee, did not respond to several telephone messages yesterday. A man who answered Fehring's cell phone said he did not want to talk to reporters.

Karen Ono, executive officer of the Kaua'i Board of Realtors, said the real estate community was in shock. Yesterday, she sent an e-mail to members asking for their prayers for those missing in the flood that followed the collapse of the Kaloko Reservoir yesterday morning.

"Bruce Fehring and his wife are praying that nine of his family members (seven children, one grandchild and a son-in-law) will be found," the e-mail said.

Wayne Rotstein, 49, worked on Fehring's property as a maintenance man and landscaper, said his brother, Gary Rotstein. It was home to Fehring's daughter, son-in-law and grandson, he said.

About six years ago, Wayne Rotstein moved from Las Vegas to Hawai'i where he found a good match for his laid-back lifestyle.

"He's always lived a very simple, alternative, counter-culture kind of life," Gary Rotstein said. "He loves nature, he loves the outdoors, has no interest in anything material ... He was living this beautiful basic lifestyle in a very scenic setting. He was a very contented guy."

Gary Rotstein, a news reporter with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in Pennsylvania, tried yesterday without luck to get information about his brother from county officials. They didn't even have him listed as a person missing from the flash flood, he said.

Now Wayne Rotstein's family of four brothers and sisters, and his mother in Pittsburgh and father in Las Vegas, would like to hear from Fehring again saying that Wayne is all right.

"I guess," his mother, Marguerite Rotstein, said, "all we can do is wait until we hear some news."

Advertiser staff writer Christie Wilson contributed to this report.

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com and Peter Boylan at pboylan@honoluluadvertiser.com.