Band di­rec­tor ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault, fired

The Garden Island - - Morning Briefing -

HONOLULU — A pri­vate school in Honolulu has fired its band di­rec­tor amid al­le­ga­tions that he sex­u­ally as­saulted a teenage girl.

For­mer Damien Me­mo­rial School band di­rec­tor Peter John Rucci was charged Satur­day with three counts of first-de­gree sex­ual as­sault and four counts of third-de­gree sex­ual as­sault. He was ar­rested, but re­leased af­ter post­ing $150,000 bail.

The 61-year-old Rucci told the Honolulu Star-Ad­ver­tiser that his ar­rest “was a com­plete sur­prise.” He said he knows the al­leged vic­tim, but re­ferred fur­ther com­ments to his at­tor­ney, who did not im­me­di­ately return a mes­sage for com­ment.

Po­lice said the al­leged sex­ual as­saults oc­curred in June, be­fore Rucci was hired at Damien in Au­gust.

A school spokesman said the al­leged as­sault did not in­volve any Damien stu­dents.

“Upon hear­ing the news, Damien has ter­mi­nated Peter Rucci, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately,” Damien Pres­i­dent and mem­bers of the fish­ing and div­ing com­mu­nity de­cided to post a sign declar­ing their agree­ment that there will be no tak­ing of aquar­ium fish from the dive site.

That sign was posted ear­lier this month.

Pre­serv­ing eels at Koloa Land­ing is an­other goal that Tubbs says he thinks is un­nec­es­sary, be­cause he says the mar­ket isn’t there for the species any­more.

He has fished for mo­ray eels be­fore, and has been named as one of the aquar­ium fish­er­men who fre­quent Koloa Land­ing, but said the last two eels that he had took months to sell.

“Dragon (mo­ray) eel prices have dropped and the de­mand is not even there,” Tubbs said. “Dozens of other lo­ca­tions have dragon eels — I know where to at­tend is im­por­tant to us,” Bor­den said. “We can help as much as we can, fi­nan­cially.”

Hi­ranaka got an­other of­fer from Is­land Temp­ta­tions, a shirt screen­ing shop in Hana­maulu, for an­other $3,000 to help cover the cost of rooms for the Ka­paa team, which also had to re-ar­range their travel plans.

“This is a mir­a­cle for the kids,” said Ne­me­cio Balles­teros, a Li­hue Bull­dog par­ent. “Thank God. We were all wor­ried, and to have these spon­sors come through is ple who could claim a bona fide re­la­tion­ship with some­one or a group in the U.S.

The jus­tices did not list pre­cisely what kinds of re­la­tion­ships were cov­ered, but they left in place a sub­se­quent 9th cir­cuit rul­ing that pro­tected grand­par­ents, cousins and other rel­a­tives.

Mon­day’s rul­ing spells out the “close fam­ily re­la­tion­ship” in­cludes grand­par­ents, grand­chil­dren, brothers-in­law, sis­ters-in-law, aunts, un- tour­na­ment, will serve as al­ter­nates in the event one of the three qual­i­fy­ing teams are un­able to make the trip.

Dur­ing the tour­na­ment, teams build, test and pro­gram an au­ton­o­mous ro­bot us­ing Lego Mind­storms tech­nol­ogy to solve a set of mis­sions in the ro­bot game. Dur­ing this process, teams op­er­ate un­der the First Lego League sig­na­ture set of core val­ues, which cel­e­brate dis­cov­ery, team­work and gra­cious pro­fes­sion­al­ism. The Core award was pre­sented to the Kala­heo School group.

Points ac­cu­mu­lated through the phases are an-

For the last six years, they have opened their home for the din­ner, but for the first time they will be host­ing the gath­er­ing at Ki­lauea Parish Hall.

“We are hon­ored to make this hol­i­day special for them by reach­ing out in the spirit of love and aloha, open­ing up our home and shar­ing this joy­ful com­mu­nity gath­er­ing with sa­cred mu­sic and amaz­ing Thanks­giv­ing din­ner,” said Radha Har­vey.

Vol­un­teers make the din­ner pos­si­ble by bring­ing ve­gan dishes to share, while the Har­veys pro­vide the bulk of the meal and play mu­sic. CEO Wes Re­ber Porter said in a state­ment. “Based upon the dates of the al­le­ga­tions, the con­duct oc­curred be­fore his few months of em­ploy­ment with the school.”

Rucci said he be­gan teach­ing at Honolulu Wal­dorf School in 2000 and was the school’s orchestra di­rec­tor un­til ear­lier this year when he left on good terms to be band di­rec­tor at Damien. He said he trans­ferred to Damien be­cause the school of­fered him bet­ter em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and more hours. some are on Oahu now and I won’t even go up and get them,” he said. “If I had one I could not sell it.”

In spite of the ar­gu­ments against cre­at­ing a vol­un­tary marine pro­tected area, a va­ri­ety of fish­er­men, divers and con­ser­va­tion­ists jumped on board with the cre­ation of Koloa Land­ing’s VMPA.

Surfrider Foun­da­tion’s Kauai Chap­ter was in­volved in the be­gin­ning, for in­stance, when divers and fish­er­men drummed up the idea to post a sign.

“Ecosys­tem health is based on all com­po­nents be­ing present,” said Carl Berg, se­nior science ad­viser for Surfrider Foun­da­tion’s Kauai Chap­ter. “You can’t take out one type of fish or eel with­out shift­ing the whole dy­namic.” truly a mir­a­cle for these kids.”

KYF Coach Nardo Nac­nac spear­headed an ef­fort which gen­er­ated $650, suf­fi­cient to cover the costs of trans­porta­tion for the ex­tra day re­quired when travel plans had to be re­ar­ranged fol­low­ing Is­land Air’s clo­sure.

“Words can­not ex­press how happy and ap­pre­cia­tive we are to see the smiles on these chil­dren’s faces,” Hi­ranaka said. “From the bot­tom of my heart, thank you for all you have done.” cles, nieces, neph­ews and cousins.

The de­ci­sion “closely tracks guid­ance pre­vi­ously is­sued by the Supreme Court,” Hawaii At­tor­ney Gen­eral Doug Chin said in a state­ment. “I’m pleased that fam­ily ties to the U. S., in­clud­ing grand­par­ents, will be re­spected. We con­tinue to pre­pare for sub­stan­tive ar­gu­ments be­fore the Ninth Cir­cuit on De­cem­ber 6 in Seat­tle.”- alyzed to de­ter­mine the win­ner, this year the Hanalei Pixel Bots.

The Ki­lauea Ro­bot­ics Kids earned the top Ro­bot De­sign award, and the Ka­paa Dol­phins from the Ka­paa El­e­men­tary School took the best Project award for their ideas cov­er­ing the cre­ation of timers for wa­ter­ing and show­er­ing to make most ef­fi­cient use of wa­ter. The Ro­botic Voy­agers earned the Ro­bot Per­for­mance award for its per­for­mance dur­ing the Ro­bot Game, where teams had three op­por­tu­ni­ties to ac­cu­mu­late as many points as pos­si­ble in two and a half minutes.

“We are ded­i­cated to con­tin­u­ing this tra­di­tion but look­ing to ease the fi­nan­cial and man­ual bur­den of mak­ing this special meal,” Radha Har­vey said.

Feel free to bring a ve­gan dish to share, do­nate money, help spread the word, make peo­ple feel loved and sup­ported, or help clean­ing up after­wards, she said.

“You never know, even the small­est act of kind­ness can change the world for­ever,” she said.

The din­ner be­gins at 5 p.m.

Info: Radha Har­vey, 5516610-

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