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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, July 19, 2000

Diamond Head
vendor irks reader

Question: Can you warn people about a guy who is illegally soliciting a certificate for $2 that says you have successfully climbed Diamond Head? I observed him with a folding table set up in the 3rd Army bunker. He has no sign saying that the certificate costs $2 and when innocent Japanese tourists think it is part of the $1 fee, he signs the certificate and asks for $2.

When I asked the lady collecting the entrance fee about this guy, she said they are aware of him and that he is being fined about once a month for $50. They should fine him every day until he leaves.

If the state were smart, they would put up a concession stand that sold cold beverages, T-shirts and certificates and get money that way. They could then get rid of the illegal selling in the crater as well as allow the people of Hawaii to enjoy the hike without charge.

Answer: The action of the man you cite is "not necessarily illegal," said Ralston Nagata, state Parks Division administrator.

Under the First Amendment, the state cannot prevent someone from selling certificates, or require a permit for such sales, if the certificates have some political, religious, philosophical or ideological message, he said.

The certificates in question carry wording "that could be interpreted" to bear such a message and "on the advice of the attorney general's office, we are not trying to censure speech," Nagata said.

However, he said that man is not supposed to be using a table or any other prop. If enforcement officers see a table being used, they would be able to take action, Nagata said.

Nagata added it is not true that someone is being fined $50 a month for such a violation.

(The state issues only one two-week permit at a time for vendors to set up a table in Diamond Head and peddle literature with a philosophical, ideological, political or religious message. Those without a permit can do so only by walking around.)

As for the state selling certificates and soft drinks to make money, Nagata said that "eventually, we are supposed to have an interpretive center there that would have a small shop. But that's down the road."

Q: I have a client who is trying to replace a lost high school diploma. She graduated from Aiea High in 1966 but when she contacted the school, she was told a fire there several years ago destroyed records. Consequently, they could not verify her graduation date. Is there any other resource I can refer her to? She needs this information to enroll at Leeward.

A: It took some time, but Department of Education spokesman Greg Knudsen was finally able to track down a source. She should call the department's Central District Office, 627-7478. The office doesn't have the records, but Knudsen said he's verified that the State Archives has Aiea High's 1966 graduation records on file.

You will be charged a fee to have someone dig up and photocopy the information.


To Honolulu police officer Dan Chipps for fixing our flat tire and going out of your way to fill air in our spare. You are truly commended for all the consideration and care you gave us. And, much appreciation to your friend who patiently waited for you. May you always be blessed with extra safe days on the force. -- Three Ladies

Where to call for tax forms

Call the state Tax Department at 587-4242 to request a copy of form BB-1 (basic business application). An incorrect number was printed July 13.

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to

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