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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Honolulu remembers former Mayor Fasi

Posted by By Dan Bilefsky / New York Times on 03/03

Honolulu remembered Frank Fasi with a public memorial service for the feisty former mayor known as much for his combative political personality as his considerable accomplishments in office.

The service was held this morning in the courtyard of Honolulu Hale, with a large viewing screen set up outside in a public viewing area.

Draped in a U.S. flag, Fasi's coffin was escorted into Honolulu Hale by a Marine Corps color guard and members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Hawaii Chapter. Fasi was an honorary alii of the Order. Members saluted the coffin and greeted the Fasi family, who lined the front of the stage.

After the playing of “Impossible Dream,” as sung by Hawaiian entertainer Willie K, Fasi's son, Charles, remembered his father as a “voice for those whose voices were not heard and those in need.”

“He never forgot that he once was the little guy,” Fasi said.

Charles Fasi recalled his father's love for Hawaii and his start in the islands as a small businessman before launching what became a 60-year career in politics.

“My dad loved being mayor and there was nothing he wouldn't do to help people and his beloved city—as he would say, his 12th child,” Fasi said.

Frank Fasi, who served as Honolulu mayor for 22 years, died Feb. 3. He was 89.

Choking up as he eulogized his father, Fasi thanked all those who turned out for the service and who have shared their stories of the mayor with him over the past month.

“In his 89 years of life we see that the love he gave has been returned to him 100 fold,” he said.

Ed Hirata, who served as Fasi's managing director, described his boss as “an energetic guy who wanted to make Honolulu the best city in the country.”

He spoke of Fasi's tireless effort to improve the city, from the municipal building that now bears his name to the civic grounds to the city bus system, recalling the famous tale of Fasi's trip to Dallas to buy the vehicles.

Hirata ticked off the attributes that made Fasi a champion of Honolulu.

“Was he the greatest mayor the city ever had? There's no doubt in my mind hat he was,” Hirata said, adding, “Good luck in your quest to make heaven a better place.”

Gov. Linda Lingle, who is in attendance, has ordered that state flags fly at half staff throughout the day in honor of Fasi.

City Council members past and present, along with dignitaries including Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, neighbor island mayors, and former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie are in attendance.

Hannemann also took a turn at remembering Fasi, first thanking the former mayor's family for allowing the city to honor him publicly with the service at Honolulu Hale.

He broke down the letters of Fasi's name to describe the attributes he felt best embodied his predecessor in office: friend, ability, strength and ingenuity.

“He looked at every crisis, every challenge, as an opportunity to be creative and make things better,” Hannemann said.

He recalled how his father always voted for Fasi because he stood up for the little guy.

“One of the hardest things I had to do was tell my dad in 2000, I said, 'Daddy this is one election you cannot vote for Frank Fasi,'” Hannemann recalled. “He said why, I said, 'Because your son is running for the same office.”

The mayor ended his eulogy by singing a Fasi campaign jingle.

Hawaiian entertainer and former running mate Danny Kaleikini performed a rendition of Frank Sinatra's “My Way,” on the second floor landing overlooking the casket, looking skyward at times and closing with the line, “Frank Fasi you did it, you did it your way.”

Kahu Curtis Kekuna of Kawaiahao Church ended the remembrances of “the people's mayor,” recalling how Fasi gave residents a sense of ownership in the city.

“He was our hero, fighting to raise our quality of life,” Kekuna said. “We all know the time was always right now.”

Melveen Leed closed the service with a rendition of “Kanaka Wai Wai,” also from the second floor landing, before Kekuna delivered the benediction.

About 200 invited guests attended the roughly 75-minute memorial service inside Honolulu Hale. After the service, Fasi's body will lie in state for public viewing until 6 p.m.

Flowers lined the stage inside Honolulu Hale with one arrangement designed in the shape of Fasi's trademark “shaka” campaign sign. Photos of the former mayor were arranged in displays around the hall, showing Fasi from various times during his administration.

Fasi served as mayor for 22 years from his election in 1968 to 1994, a stretch broken only by what he called a “forced sabbatical” after voters turned him out for a term from 1980-84. He mounted five unsuccessful quests for governor from 1974 to 1998.

After one gubernatorial loss, Fasi was asked what he would run for next, and the ever-colorful politician reminded reporters, “The pope is an elected office.”

His last political bid came in 2004, when he tried unsuccessfully to regain the mayor's seat.

City, state testing nine sirens around Oahu today

Posted by Star-Bulletin staff on 03/03

 The city Department of Emergency Management and state Civil Defense will be testing outdoor siren warning systems in nine areas around Oahu.

The tests, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., are planned for:

>> Aikahi Park

>> Ala Wai Community Park

>> Kahaluu

>> Kaneohe Bay

>> Kewalo Basin

>> Makaha

>> Maunalani Heights

>> Nanakuli/Maili

>> Swanzy Beach Park.

City officials said the tests are being conducted to ensure that these sirens are operating at full power and providing optimal range. Residents may hear several 20-second siren soundings during the testing periods, they said.

Scientists grudgingly defend climate work

Posted by John M. Broder / New York Times on 03/03

WASHINGTON » For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media and on the Internet, accused of hiding data, covering up errors and suppressing alternate views. Their response until now has been largely to assert the legitimacy of the vast body of climate science and to mock their critics as cranks and know-nothings.

But the volume of criticism and the depth of doubt have only grown, and many scientists now realize they are facing a crisis of public confidence and have to fight back. Tentatively and grudgingly, they are beginning to engage their critics, admit mistakes, open up their data and reshape the way they conduct their work.

The unauthorized release last fall of hundreds of e-mail messages from a major climate research center in England, and more recent revelations of a handful of errors in a supposedly authoritative U.N. report on climate change, have created what a number of top scientists say is a major breach of faith in their research. They say the uproar threatens to undermine decades of work and has badly damaged public trust in the scientific enterprise.

The e-mail episode, dubbed “climategate” by critics, revealed arrogance and what one top climate researcher called “tribalism” among some scientists. The correspondence appears to show efforts to limit publication of contrary opinion and to evade Freedom of Information Act requests. The content of the messages opened some well-known scientists to charges of concealing temperature data from rival researchers and manipulating results to conform to precooked conclusions.

“I have obviously written some very awful e-mails,” Phil Jones, the British climate scientist at the center of the controversy, confessed to a special committee of Parliament on Monday. But he sharply disputed charges that he had hidden data or faked results.

Some of the most serious allegations against Jones, director of the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia, and other researchers have been debunked, while several investigations are still under way to determine whether others hold up.

But serious damage has already been done. A survey conducted in late December by Yale University and George Mason University found that the number of Americans who believed that climate change was a hoax or scientific conspiracy had more than doubled since 2008, to 16 percent of the population from 7 percent. An additional 13 percent of Americans said they thought that even if the planet was warming, it was a result solely of natural factors and was not a significant concern.

Climate scientists have been shaken by the criticism and are beginning to look for ways to recover their reputation. They are learning a little humility and trying to make sure they avoid crossing a line into policy advocacy.

“It's clear that the climate science community was just not prepared for the scale and ferocity of the attacks and they simply have not responded swiftly and appropriately,” said Peter C. Frumhoff, an ecologist and chief scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We need to acknowledge the errors and help turn attention from what's happening in the blogosphere to what's happening in the atmosphere.”

A number of institutions are beginning efforts to improve the quality of their science and to make their work more transparent. The official British climate agency is undertaking a complete review of its temperature data and will make its records and analysis fully public for the first time, allowing outside scrutiny of methods and conclusions. The U.N. panel on climate change will accept external oversight of its research practices, also for the first time.

Two universities are investigating the work of top climate scientists to determine whether they have violated academic standards and undermined faith in science. The National Academy of Sciences is preparing to publish a nontechnical paper outlining what is known — and not known — about changes to the global climate. And a vigorous debate is under way among climate scientists on how to make their work more transparent and regain public confidence.

Some critics think these are merely cosmetic efforts that do not address the real problem, however.

“I'll let you in on a very dark, ugly secret — I don't want trust in climate science to be restored,” Willis Eschenbach, an engineer and climate contrarian who posts frequently on climate skeptic blogs, wrote in response to one climate scientist's proposal to share more research. “I don't want you learning better ways to propagandize for shoddy science. I don't want you to figure out how to inspire trust by camouflaging your unethical practices in new and innovative ways.”

“The solution,” he concluded, “is for you to stop trying to pass off garbage as science.”

Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious scientific body in the United States, said that there was a danger that the distrust of climate science could mushroom into doubts about scientific inquiry more broadly. He said that scientists must do a better job of policing themselves and trying to be heard over the loudest voices on cable news, talk radio and the Internet.

“This is a pursuit that scientists have not had much experience in,” said Cicerone, a specialist in atmospheric chemistry.

The battle is asymmetric, in the sense that scientists feel compelled to support their findings with careful observation and replicable analysis, while their critics are free to make sweeping statements condemning their work as fraudulent.

“We have to do a better job of explaining that there is always more to learn, always uncertainties to be addressed,” said John P. Holdren, an environmental scientist and the White House science adviser. “But we also need to remind people that the occasions where a large consensus is overturned by a scientific heretic are very, very rare.”

No scientific body is under more hostile scrutiny than the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which compiles the climate research of hundreds of scientists around the globe into periodic reports intended to be the definitive statement of the science and a guide for policy makers. Critics, citing several relatively minor errors in its most recent report and charges of conflict of interest against its leader, Rajendra K. Pachauri, are calling for the IPCC to be disbanded or radically reformed.

On Saturday, after weeks of refusing to engage critics, the IPCC announced that it was asking for the creation of an independent panel to review its research procedures to try to eliminate bias and errors from future reports. But even while allowing for some external oversight, Pachauri insisted that panel stood behind its previous work.

“Scientists must continually earn the public's trust or we risk descending into a new Dark Age where ideology trumps reason,” Pachauri said in an e-mail message.

But some scientists said that responding to climate change skeptics was a fool's errand.

“Climate scientists are paid to do climate science,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, a senior climatologist with NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies. “Their job is not persuading the public.”

He said that the recent flurry of hostility to climate science had been driven as much by the cold winter as by any real or perceived scientific sins.

“There have always been people accusing us of being fraudulent criminals, of the IPCC being corrupt,” Schmidt said. “What is new is this paranoia combined with a spell of cold weather in the United States and the 'climategate' release. It's a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”

The answer is simple, he said.

“Good science,” he said, “is the best revenge.”

 

Flemings' flourish

Posted by Star-Bulletin staff on 03/03

It was one last tantalizing glimpse of what might have been, and what still could be.

On Saturday, Hawaii's Roderick Flemings showed people in the Stan Sheriff Center what it meant to walk upon air. In his best all-around game as a Rainbow Warrior — featuring several above-the-rim highlights — Flemings led UH to a senior-night victory over Nevada and kept hopes alive for a Western Athletic Conference tournament berth.

Though the exasperating UH season of 2009-10 isn't over yet for Rainbows fans, to them it had to feel like a last hurrah of unfulfilled potential. UH can qualify for the tourney with a win at eighth-place nemesis Boise State tomorrow, but must overcome an 0-7 road record.

Flemings, the 6-foot-7 senior swingman, will be the first to tell you that things didn't happen quite as he envisioned when he signed with the Rainbows in the summer of 2008 as a junior out of Weatherford (Texas) College.

This was the guy who did the unthinkable — spurned Kentucky — and elected to finish out his journeyman's college career in the middle of the Pacific on his way to the NBA Draft.

That was the dream. This is the nightmare: He's dealt with nagging ailments both seasons and watched as things around him went from bad to worse in a hurry, with an almost-comical sequence of what's-going wrong-next? events during his senior year.

HE IS AWARE of the hype that shrouded him on the way, following an outstanding prep career at Desoto (Texas) High School, a season at Oklahoma State, and a JUCO All-America year at Weatherford.

“I mean, it's been a rough two years, man. I am kind of disappointed it hasn't reached that level,” Flemings said. “Especially because of injuries (ankle and knee sprains). I really haven't been a person to get injured in my life, so this is a very different experience for me. I'm glad it wasn't a serious injury or nothing like that, but I'm just kind of disappointed that I couldn't even show what I could do throughout the whole season.”

               

     

 

UH BASKETBALL

        » Who: Hawaii (10-18, 3-11) at Boise State (13-16, 3-11)
       

» Where: Taco Bell Arena, Boise, Idaho

       

» When: Tomorrow, 4:05 p.m.

       

» TV: None

       

» Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM

       

No one can say Flemings quit on his 10-18 (3-11 WAC) team. Over the last half of the season, the Dallas native has been a man on a mission — coinciding with his renewed health. By averaging 20.5 points over the Rainbows' last 10 games, he raised his senior scoring average to 16.6 points per game. He's also notched six double-doubles this year.

Point guard Hiram Thompson appreciates the work Flemings has put in despite all the 'Bows' hardships, which have included two season-ending injuries to teammates and the indefinite suspension of scorer Dwain Williams. The team captain was “in awe” of some of Flemings' sky-high dunks and rebounds on senior night, when Flemings played in front of 11 family members, including his mom, grandma, and sister from Dallas.

“He's really carrying us as a team,” Thompson said. “We know he's our leader. Coming out each day and bringing it, so when he's doing that he's hard to stop.”

SOME HAD Flemings pegged as a second-round NBA Draft pick at the start of the season, but he dropped off the radar with a slow start to an anticipated monster final year.

He's closed strong, however, with the return of his freakish leaping ability. His one-handed alley-oop slam vs. New Mexico State on Jan. 21 remains a topic of conversation, and is his favorite moment at UH.

His regular conversations with his mom, Kim, and grandmother, Lula, help him balance the good moments with the bad. And there've been a lot of the latter.

“My family's been real supportive, just trying to keep me motivated,” Flemings said. “Sometimes I get down on myself, because I've never been like a loser. Lose a lot of games and things like that. So they just try to keep me up, tell me I got to keep playing. Show people that I can play. Gotta keep it going.”

He went for 39 in a losing effort to Cal Poly on Feb. 20, the fourth-highest output ever for a UH player and most by a 'Bow in the Sheriff.

Unfortunately, it might be a case of too little, too late for NBA teams — at least until he proves himself elsewhere, like in upcoming summer camps or in an alternate league.

“I think Rod still has a long ways to go to get drafted,” said Aran Smith of the Web site nbadraft.net. “The big scoring output should help his cause in securing a spot at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (a Virginia event for top college players). I think he lands on an (NBA) Summer League roster and from there it will take finding a role with a team. Most likely he'll end up in Europe or D-League. He still has a ways to go skill-wise, but has an intriguing combination of strength and athleticism.”

FLEMINGS KNOWS there's much more to be done, and what lies before him.

“I'm just trying to focus to get on a team, man, some kind of professional level to make money playing basketball,” he said. “Wherever that might be.

“But I know I got a shot at playing in the league.”

With his 20-point, 12-rebound effort against Nevada, Flemings moved past Terry Houston and Al Davis into 18th place on the UH career scoring list. At 929 points, he is behind only Tom Henderson (1,082), Anthony Carter (1,070), Reggie Cross (1,013), Michael Kuebler (977) and Trevor Ruffin (967) among two-year players at UH.

He's eighth in free-throws made (241) and seventh in free-throws attempted (346) with at least two games left. He's currently tied with Predrag Savovic for eighth in career scoring average.

“That ability has always been there,” UH coach Bob Nash said. “He's just starting to exhibit it. As he got in better shape and looking at his future, the certain things he has to do nightly, he's gotta play defense, he's gotta score, he's gotta do a lot of different things for us, play a lot of minutes. He's taken on the coaching.”

What pleased Nash the most, though, is Flemings being on track to graduate this spring.

What'd please Flemings the most is making the WAC tournament and upsetting a few teams along the way. In this kind of season, can you blame him?

“It'd feel great,” Flemings said. “That'd be like a fairy-tale ending.”

 

'Iolani aims for return of state title

Posted by Star-Bulletin staff on 03/03

It was a twist of fate.

A clutch, last-second 3-point bomb by junior Trevyn Tulonghari not only gave 'Iolani a 50-49 win over Kamehameha 10 days ago to seal the ILH championship.

It also earned the Raiders the Division I top seed in the Hawaiian Airlines/HHSAA Boys Basketball State Championships.

Now first-year coach Dean Shimamoto and his team are chasing a state title, which 'Iolani won five years in a row (2001 through '06), but hasn't captured since. The current seniors have not won a state title, but Shimamoto thinks they're ready.

“Having played must-win ball for over a month and closing things out with two state tournament-like games against Punahou and Kamehameha, I feel pretty comfortable at this point,” he said.

Meanwhile, defending state champion Kamehameha fell to Punahou two days after the loss to 'Iolani and qualified for states by beating Honokaa on the Big Island on Monday in a play-in game. The Warriors could play five games in six days as a result, but they're in the state tourney — the hard way.

Shimamoto's team had many ups and downs. The Raiders began the season with some key players still busy with postseason football. Guard Kainoa Chu carried the scoring load early, while Tulonghari, Andrew Skalman and Jarrett Arakawa found their basketball legs after leading 'Iolani to the Division II state football championship.

There were injuries, too. Key rebounder Kainoa Scheer is playing with a partially torn meniscus.

As a whole, the field is about parity. 'Iolani will play Mililani or Farrington tomorrow. Mililani, led by streaky shooter Reginald Griffin, has enough size and athleticism to give any team a scare with its run-and-gun style. Farrington, the Division II state champion two years ago, is the sixth and final entry from the OIA. The Governors' Lancelot Williams is one of the top centers in the state.

               

     

 

BOYS BASKETBALL

        State tournament
       

TODAY

       

At Radford
        » Farrington vs. Mililani, 5 p.m.
        » Waiakea vs. Kahuku, 7 p.m.

       

At Farrington
        » Kamehameha-Maui vs. Punahou, 5 p.m.
        » Campbell vs. Kamehameha, 7 p.m.

       

Moanalua, the No. 2 seed, will face Campbell or Kamehameha. The Sabers, led by play-making guard Kristian Manuel, likes to run and could catch Kamehameha a bit weary tonight.

Third-seeded Hilo is a mystery team. The Vikings are a mesh of returning talent, including Scotty Wong, and transfers like Mitchel Shintani. Hilo will face Kamehameha-Maui or Punahou tomorrow.

The Buffanblu are tall at every position and have one of the best sophomore combinations ever in 6-foot-7 DeForest Buckner and 6-5 Malik Johnson. KS-Maui, led by Terani Richmond and Kekoa Turbeville, has a tall order after barely squeezing into the state tourney.

Fourth-seeded Lahainaluna is hoping to follow the lead of its girls team, which won the state crown two weeks ago. The Lunas are coached by former assistant Casey Brummel, whose father, Dr. John Brummel, is the principal at Mililani. Both teams are in the same bracket.

The Kahuku-Waiakea winner will play Lahainaluna. Kahuku, coming off a string of long bus rides and playoff games, finished second in the OIA. Waiakea, a senior-heavy team, traveled to Oahu for preseason games. The Warriors, with Clayton Morante working hard in the paint, are undersized and physical.

Roosevelt, the No. 1 seed in the Division II state tourney, has a tough matchup in Pahoa. While the Rough Riders have a workhorse in Kaipo Pale (6-5) at center, Pahoa has a high-flying athlete in Isaiah Ekau. The Daggers upset Kohala in the playoffs to reach the state tourney.

Second-seeded Seabury Hall, coached by former Maui and Hawaii-Hilo guard Scott Prather, has height, talent and youth. Michael Palmer, Phelan Pagano and Dylan King are key contributors.

The Spartans will meet Academy of the Pacific, which outlasted Hawaii Baptist on Monday in a play-in game. AOP is led by Micah Dunhour, a 6-3 junior.

St. Joseph, a season-long Star-Bulletin Top 10 team, is the No. 3 seed. Among the Cardinals' wins in December was one over Moanalua at Na Menehune's gym. Streaky shooter Jacob Andrade scored a single-game, state-high 44 points during the regular season. Center Thomas Fairman (6-5) is a scorer and smart passer in the low post, and point guard Will Scanlan-Leite, son of coach Harry Scanlan-Leite, is the glue to their deliberate attack.

St. Joseph has a tough draw in OIA White runner-up Kailua, one of the tallest teams in the OIA. Point guard Corey Lau and center Jordan DeCorte are a tough 1-2 combo.

University High is the fourth seed after winning the ILH D-II crown. Isaiah DeLaura and Makena Suan-Rothenburg are key scorers for the Junior Rainbows, who will face KIF champion Kapaa.

Kapaa got 16 points from Spam Lindsey in the KIF-title clinching win over Kauai two weeks ago.

With just eight teams in the field, the D-II tourney will not start until tomorrow.

 

Athletes of the Week

Posted by George W. Greene on 03/03

Athletes of the Week

Tyson Tynanes-Perez

Campbell wrestling

The senior overcame a midseason injury to win his second 189-pound title at the state wrestling championships

Macy Yonamine

Kamehameha wrestling

The senior earned a second state title at the state wrestling championships

 

Honor Roll

BASKETBALL, BOYS

» Nehoa Akina, Kahuku: 20 points against Moanalua

» Micah Christenson, Kamehameha: 22 points against Honokaa as the Warriors qualified for the state tournament

» Micah Dunhour, Academy of the Pacific: 21 points against Lanakila Baptist

» P.J. Minaya, Hanalani: 32 points against Hawaii Baptist

» Christian Morimoto, Hawaii Baptist: 27 points against Hanalani

» Kaipo Pale, Roosevelt: 17 points, 15 rebounds against Kailua as the Rough Riders won the OIA White title

 

WRESTLING, BOYS

» Ian Akamine, 'Iolani: won the 145-pound weight class, his second state title after winning the 140 division last year

» Raynald Cooper III, Pearl City: moved up to the 160-pound division and claimed his second straight state championship

» Jacob Luning-Hoshino, Kamehameha: captured the 135-pound class for his second state crown

» Shayden Terukina, Kamehameha: won the 130-pound class for his second state title

 

WRESTLING, GIRLS

» Chrissy Chow, Punahou: moved up from 114 pounds to 125 and won her second title

» Mindy Chow, Punahou: Pinned Morgan Yamaguchi of Kalani in the final minute to win the 130-pound class

» Sanoe Spencer, Pearl City: outlasted Brayanne Moe of Radford in two overtimes to win the 220-pound class

Punahou rules the paint

Posted by Drake Zintgraff on 03/03

Few high school basketball teams in Hawaii can make the claim of having one good big man, let alone two, but that is exactly the situation Punahou has with DeForest Buckner (6-foot-7) and Malik Johnson (6-6).

The Buffanblu's 20-4 record and berth into the HHSAA state basketball tournament after last week's 65-59 victory over No. 4 Kamehameha has been largely guided by the powerful 1-2 punch of the sophomore towers.

“You can't teach height,” Punahou head coach Alika Smith said. “The first thing when I seen them I said we have to find out what kind of individuals they are, and they are better individuals than they are basketball players, and that is what makes it easier. From the first day they just want to absorb everything they can from us as a coaching staff and they have been doing that and they have been succeeding.”

The dynamic duo first met in the summer of their eighth grade year and now share more than just a connection on the court.

“We just cruise around school together, eat lunch; on the weekends I go over to his house or he comes over to mine,” Buckner said.

“Sometimes we go to movies, play games or whatever, we just hang out with each other a lot,” Johnson interjected.

While Buckner and Johnson have known each other for just a handful of years, their bond has grown strong and they both have hopes that it could continue on much past their time at Punahou.

“We were talking about that, about getting a scholarship, at the same school that we would both like and be able to play ball together in college,” Buckner said.

Although Buckner and Johnson now have a great friendship and good feel for each other on the court, those traits didn't develop over night.

“I knew it was going to be a good thing because of how tall (Buckner) was, but it took some time for us to connect and click. After time came, we started to connect and click and it started to look good,” Johnson said.

The close friendship that the two sophomores have developed has also allowed the twosome to push hard against each other in practice and not worry about hurt feelings.

“In practice we go hard against each other a lot. We like to compete against each other; we go one on one and see who is the better big man. When he goes out and makes a big play, it drives me to go out and make a bigger play. We just feed off each other,” Buckner said.

The competition of two of the best big men in the state of Hawaii going at it day after day in practice has changed the feel of games for both of the Punahou towers.

“Nobody is as big as (Johnson), so practice is harder than the game because how he plays against me and how other guys play against me, he is much harder competition than other guys,” Buckner said.

Buckner and Johnson's hard work in practice and imposing stature on the court will make it difficult for teams to handle once the state tournament begins today. The Buffanblu open against Kamehameha-Maui at 5 p.m. at McKinley.

“On offense, if they are double-teaming him, I'm going to get some easy layups. They have to pick their poison; either they have to get me or get (Buckner). One of us is going to go off,” Johnson said.

'11 Pro Bowl to be played week before Super Bowl

Posted by By Brian McInnis on 03/03

The Pro Bowl will be played before the Super Bowl when it returns to Honolulu next year.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority and the NFL announced yesterday that the game will be at Aloha Stadium on Jan. 30, the Sunday before the Super Bowl in Arlington, Texas.

The Pro Bowl had historically been played in Honolulu the week after the Super Bowl, but was changed when the all-star game moved to Miami this year.

Frank Supovitz, the NFL's senior vice president of events, said playing the Pro Bowl before the big game generated more excitement and interest and was a good kick off to Super Bowl week.

Ratings were up for the AFC-NFC matchup that was televised on ESPN. It was watched by an average of 12.3 million viewers, the most since 2000. That's up 40 percent from the 2009 Pro Bowl on NBC, which drew 8.8 million viewers when the event was held after the Super Bowl.

This year's game was in a later time slot, when more people watch TV, and competed against the Grammys on CBS, which attracted 25.8 million viewers, the most since 2004.

However, one drawback of playing the Pro Bowl first is not having any Super Bowl players.

About 40 percent of those originally selected didn't play in Miami. That included seven Indianapolis Colts and seven New Orleans Saints because they were preparing for the title game.

Cash-strapped Hawaii, which depends heavily on tourism as its economic engine, is eager to have the game back.

“We know how much the Pro Bowl means to our residents, the players and to the thousands of fans from the mainland who enjoy visiting our state for the game,” Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a statement.

Prep briefs

Posted by Peter Baker / New York Times on 03/03

Softball umpires needed

The lookout for potential new softball umpires continues.

Numbers are still low, according to Walter Yamatsuka, who handles umpire assignments for the Oahu Interscholastic Association. His counterpart in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu is Warren Okinaka, who is also seeking new additions.

“We're in better shape than a couple of years ago, but furnishing umpires for 24 games — ILH, OIA, UH and Division II (colleges) — in one day is an awesome task,” Yamatsuka said.

Training will be provided, he said. Call Yamatsuka at 295-4707 or Okinaka at 927-1360 for more information.

 

Football coaches clinic nears

For football coaches and student-athletes, the new season isn't that far away.

Coaches will get a treat on May 22 when Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance brings back its coaches clinic. The most recent event, held almost two years ago, featured college coaches as speakers.

PIAA, a non-profit organization, will host its annual athletes combine on May 29. A second combine will be held on the Big Island on May 5.

Also, an inaugural fundraiser golf tournament will be held on May 11.

For more information, go to PacificAthleticAlliance.com.

Local aces

Posted by Associated Press on 03/03
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
 DATECOURSEHOLEYARDSCLUB
Bob OyamaFeb. 20Coral Creek G.C.21158-iron
Aiea
Dennis HiguchiFeb. 20Ewa Villages G.C.21415-iron
Aiea
Arlene OshimaFeb. 21 7876-iron
Pearl City
Rory KamitonoJan. 22Mamala Bay G.C.6122PW
Wahiawa
Miriam ChoyFeb. 21West Loch G.C.5777-iron
Mililani
Len YamadaFeb. 21Turtle Bay111215-hybrid
Honolulu Fazio Course
Gareth YinFeb. 22Ted Makalena G.C.61306-iron
Honolulu
Phyllis VohsFeb. 22Turtle Bay13949-wood
Haleiwa Palmer Course
Eric D. Robbins Sr.Feb. 22Navy Marine G.C. 134PW
Ewa Beach
Kwang So ChoFeb. 23Ewa Beach G.C.161375-iron
Honolulu  
Jan OkashigeFeb. 23Honolulu C.C.81155-wood
Honolulu

Send aces to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 529-4321.

Television ratings are all that matter to Pro Bowl

Posted by By Mark Niesse / Associated Press on 03/03

At first I was surprised ... for about 2 seconds. Then I remembered.

It's all about the ratings. It's all about TV.

The NFL is staging the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl once again for just one reason: When it did so for the first time this past season, viewership increased by 40 percent.

One of the highlights of the Pro Bowl experience in Hawaii was always the stars from the winning Super Bowl team arriving joyous and bleary-eyed during the middle of the week, having just been feted with a parade in their home city. No more of that, at least this time.

Most of us in Hawaii would like the Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl, not before it. It takes a lot of the allure out of the all-star game when it's missing the guys from the two best teams.

I guess we're supposed to be grateful we've got the game back at all.

Here's the positive of the situation for Hawaii: If the ratings are good again, that means added exposure for the islands during a time of frigid weather on the mainland. Free advertising (well, not really free, since funds from state tourism taxes pays $4 million in rights fees annually for the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2012).

» Chad Ochocinco gets Ochenta y seis'd from Dancing With The Stars early on, unless Darrelle Revis is his partner. Judging from the Bengals-Jets games last season, the uber corner has 85's every move memorized.

As for the rest of the lineup, wow. Pam Anderson, Erin Andrews, Shannen Doherty and Honolulu-born part-Hawaiian Nicole Scherzinger. Make that quadruple wow. Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin must have gotten the invite for his experience around heavenly bodies.

» Early impressions of UH baseball:

Young arms coming along well. Pi'ikea Kitamura is smooth at third base and off to a decent start hitting as a freshman.

I really can't remember a more consistent defensive shortstop than Greg Garcia — which is interesting when you consider how wildly streaky he is as a hitter.

Team defense is good, but team baserunning still needs improvement.

» The Daniel Smith vs. University of Hawaii case will likely turn out to be a whole lot of nothing — unless a judge decides the entire system of college sports recruiting is messed up; then it could revolutionize the way schools procure student-athletes.

Smith is the football player who accused UH of rescinding a scholarship offer; something which is done on a regular basis by many schools.

Smith ended up at Portland State. His family contends he turned down other Division I opportunities because he thought his offer at UH was solid. UH coaches were deposed in the matter recently.

» My favorite quotes from last night's inductees to the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame:

Waterman Richard “Buffalo” Keaulana, King of Makaha: “Thank you for all the lei. I feel like one horse.”

LGPA Tour winner Lenore Muraoka Rittenhouse, who was going to play basketball at UH before an injury: “When I was a kid I wanted to throw a baseball like Sandy Koufax or shoot a basketball like Pete Maravich. My real shot came when I broke my foot.”

———

Reach Star-Bulletin sports columnist Dave Reardon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), his “Quick Reads” blog at starbulletin.com, and twitter.com/davereardon.

Hawaii Beat

Posted by Star-Bulletin staff on 03/03

Patacchia advances

Fred Patacchia was the lone Hawaii surfer to advance to the fourth round of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Australia today.

Patacchia defeated Hawaii's Kekoa Bacalso 14.17 to 12.64 in today's third round at Snapper Rocks. Hawaii's Andy Irons lost to Bobby Martinez 14.16 to 11.26 and Hawaii's Dusty Payne lost to Australia's Joel Parkinson 16.63 to 12.20.

 

BYUH defeats Dominican

Lucas Alves scored 18 of his 28 points in the first half to lead the Seasiders in a 90-81 men's basketball victory over Domincan last night in San Rafael, Calif.

Alves also led the team in rebounds with seven, while J.R. Buensuceso racked up 19 points for Brigham Young-Hawaii (11-2). Jet Chang added 13 points for the Seasiders.

Alex Ward finished with 21 points for the Penguins (6-9), who are now sixth in the conference.

Brigham Young-Hawaii is now tied for second place with Hawaii Pacific, and leads the nation in field-goal percentage.

» Matt Cousins scored 20 points to lead Chaminade to a 74-39 win over Academy of Art yesterday in San Francisco.

Shane Hanson and Steven Bennett added 12 points each for the Silverswords (8-14, 5-8 PacWest).

 

Dominican beats BYUH women

Richelle Fenenbock scored 13 points in the Brigham Young-Hawaii women's basketball team's 74-58 loss at Dominican yesterday in San Rafael, Calif.

The Seasiders fell to 9-14 and 5-8 in league play.

 

Grand Canyon sweeps UH-Hilo

Joey Jacobson's two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh inning lifted Grand Canyon to a 6-5 baseball win over Hawaii-Hilo yesterday at Wong Stadium.

The Antelopes then beat the Vulcans 6-2 in the second game of the doubleheader. UH-Hilo's Keoni Manago drove in two runs in both games.

 

HPU splits doubleheader

The Hawaii Pacific softball team suffered its first loss yesterday against Grand Canyon, then came back to earn a split of the doubleheader at Howard Okita Field in Kaneohe.

Amy Searcy held the Sea Warriors (11-1, 3-1 PacWest) to five hits in GCU's 2-0 win in the opener. Nicole Morrow's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth gave HPU a 3-2 win in the second game.

 

UH-Hilo 16th in golf tourney

The Hawaii-Hilo women's golfers shot a 351 as a team yesterday to finish 16th in the St. Edward's Invitational in Austin, Texas.

Nicole Aoki led the Vulcans at 25-over 167 to tie for 35th place in the individual standings.

Scoreboard

Posted by By Philip Elliott on 03/03

CALENDAR

Today

BASKETBALL
Division I boys state tournament: Farrington vs. Mililani, 5 p.m.; Waiakea vs. Kahuku, 7 p.m.; games at Radford gym.
Kamehameha-Maui vs. Punahou, 5 p.m.; Campbell vs. Kamehameha, 7 p.m.; games at McKinley gym.

SOFTBALL
PacWest: Grand Canyon vs. Hawaii Pacific, 1 p.m., Okita Field.

TENNIS
PacWest women: Grand Canyon vs. Chaminade, 9 a.m., Central Oahu Regional Park.
ILH boys: Punahou at Kamehameha, 4 p.m.; Pac-Five at Mid-Pacific, 4:15 p.m.

 

BULLETIN BOARD

TENNIS
Hawaii Pacific Tennis Foundation: March Open—NTRP Tournament, March 13-14, Schofield Barracks Tennis Courts. Entry fee: $22 for singles, $34 per doubles team. Register online at usta.com or call 677-1334 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Deadline for online entry is Friday.

 

BASEBALL

OAHU AJA LEAGUE
Sunday
At Ala Wai Field
Sheridan 8, Manoa 2

 

TENNIS

ILH
GIRLS
Monday
Le Jardin 3, Maryknoll 2
Yesterday
Punahou 3, St. Andrew's Priory 2
Kamehameha 3, Maryknoll 2
'Iolani 5, Pac-Five 0

 

Pot tax and furlough tax survive, cross over from Senate to House

Posted by Malia Wollan / New York Times on 03/03

Furlough Fridays would be gone, marijuana for medical purposes would be taxed $30 an ounce and gas-powered leaf blowers would be outlawed in Hawaii as the Legislature moves to the halfway point.

The bill to allow the sale of medical marijuana, Senate Bill 2213, would allow the counties to license “compassion centers” that could grow and sell marijuana “to persons who are certified for the medical use of marijuana and their primary caregiver.”

The House and Senate exchanged bills yesterday, to meet a deadline for bills to “cross over” to the other chamber. The Legislature is set to adjourn April 29.

Lawmakers passed more than a dozen specific tax and fee hikes on companies, tourists, drivers and residents as they try to add up enough money to plug the state's projected $1.2 billion budget shortfall.

Neither the House or Senate approved measures raising the general excise tax, but the idea could be revived later using a bill still pending from last year's legislative session.

Representatives also backed off a proposal to take the counties' hotel tax money for use by the state, instead passing a bill yesterday limiting the counties' share of that cash to $94 million.

Under the marijuana bill, the drug would be given out according to existing state medical marijuana laws, but the bill provoked a debate on the Senate floor. It eventually passed 20-4.

“I don't think this is helping to alleviate the drug problem,” said Sen. Norman Sakamoto (D, Salt Lake- Foster Village).

Windward Oahu Republican Sen. Fed Hemmings said the Federal Drug Administration should test marijuana before people sell it.

But Sen. Gary Hooser (D, Kauai-Niihau) defended the bill, calling the arguments against it “offensive to many in our community whose only relief from cancer or HIV is thorough the use of marijuana.”

The bill and its special $30-an-ounce tax now goes to the House for further consideration.

The Senate also offered to spend $86 million from the Hurricane Relief Fund to restore the remaining public school furlough days through 2011.

But SB 2124 requires that the money be released “upon negotiations of the parties necessary to execute the restoration of instructional days.”

Senators noted that the Legislature had said in October that it was willing to use money from the rainy day fund to restore furlough days, but the schools, unions, governor and school board have not been able to agree on a deal.

“The Board of Education and the teachers union have held parents and students hostage. We are giving extortion money to unions,” Hawaii Kai Republican Sen. Sam Slom said.

But Sen. Brickwood Galuteria (D, Downtown-Waikiki) said Hawaii already offers “the most meager education in the nation. ... This will provide a course to remedy the problem if only temporarily.

“I am the parent of a senior at McKinley (High School). We will never know her full potential because we are not giving her the education that we had,” he said.

The bill moved to the House with 'no' votes by GOP Sens. Slom and Hemmings.

The Senate did find agreement in its dislike for leaf blowers and voted unanimously in SB 2356 to ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Electric leaf blowers could be used, but not on Sundays or state and federal holidays, although government operation of leaf blowers would be permitted.

Senators also passed SB 2441, which would make it a Class C felony to intentionally kill an endangered Hawaiian monk seal. That offense is punishable by up to five years in prison. Hemmings cast the lone vote against the measure.

In the House, lawmakers said they could raise $2 million by adding a $20 tax whenever someone applies for licenses or permits. House Bill 2877 would require that businesses pay an extra $20 when they apply for any permit or license with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, including business licenses, corporate filings or registering a trade name.

The Tax Department would charge an extra $20 for applicants for excise tax, liquor tax or tobacco tax licensees.

“Asking struggling businesses for $20 more is irresponsible,” said Rep. Gene Ward (R, Kalama Valley-Hawaii Kai).

The bill passed to the Senate with five 'no' votes in the House.

———

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pearl City woman dies in house fire

Posted by Associated Press on 03/03

Retired firefighter Ronald Ronquilio said he heard an explosion, then saw the house across the street was on fire and ran to try to help, but the front door was bolted.

“I tried to kick the door open, but no can,” he said. “The fire went real fast.”

Firefighters found the body of Lillian Sato at the back of her home at 1348 Hoolaulea St. in Pearl City.

The 89-year-old woman was a retired cashier who worked at the former Nakatani Store in Nanakuli, her relatives said.

Fire Capt. Terry Seelig said the fire caused an estimated $250,000 in damage to the three-bedroom house and its contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Seelig said the death was the first fire fatality of the year on Oahu. There were three fire fatalities last year.

The fire took 20 minutes to control and 34 minutes to extinguish after firefighters were dispatched at 12:27 p.m. yesterday, Seelig said.

Sato, who would have been 90 on April 11, lived alone but was visited frequently by her children and their spouses, who tried to look after her, neighbors said.

She had lived in the same house since the 1950s and was not about to be moved into another home, said her eldest son, Ronald Sato.

“She was independent. She wanted to live by herself,” he said.

Her niece Sharon Nakamoto said Sato's family had pulled out the plug for the stove in her kitchen to avoid any unintentional fires.

[Preview]    Oahu house fire kills woman
  [Preview]
 

A fast-moving blaze has claimed the life of a Pearl City resident

Watch ]

 

Nakamoto said the fire might have been caused by the explosion of an unattended microwave oven.

She said the location of the body near the patio indicated Sato had tried to get out of the house but was unsuccessful.

Ronquilio said that after failing to enter Sato's home, he was using a garden hose to shoot water at the house when the picture window exploded and the fire spread quickly, especially with the wind blowing hard.

Ronquilio said he would see Sato in her front yard in the mornings sitting on her stool and weeding the lawn.

“This morning I saw her. I waved to her,” Ronquilio said.