Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Triangle Park water
spout was not legal

Question: A popular spot to park for bicyclists as well as runners and walkers is Triangle Park near Diamond Head in Kahala. It would be a tough bet to find parking on weekday afternoons and weekend mornings around the park. A few weeks ago, the city or state put a "cap" on a water spigot on the mauka side of the park. The spigot was used by many runners and bikers to wash down after what might have been a 25-plus-mile bike and/or 6-plus-mile run. What was the reason for capping the spigot? Many bicyclists have since moved down to the Kapiolani Park Bandstand parking lot, where parking is worse and showers a distance away. Unless it was illegal to use the water, as usual the city and/or state took away a very popular spot for bicycle, running and walking enthusiasts to wash off, change clothes and relax after a nice workout in the most beautiful place in the world.

Answer: The park is officially known as Fort Ruger Mini Park, and it is under the jurisdiction of the city Department of Parks and Recreation.

The "hose bid," or spigot, was removed because it never was meant to be a water source, public or otherwise.

It was hooked up to the "back flow preventer, with a double check valve," without the knowledge or approval of the Parks Department, explained Craig Mayeda, the department's chief of the Parks Maintenance and Recreation Services Division.

"The back flow preventer is not meant to be used as a water source," he said. It is there to prevent cross-contamination of the city's water source by preventing water flowing from the department's irrigation water into the main system in case of a loss of pressure.

The Parks Department was not aware of the illegal hookup until a supervisor noticed a large eroded area near the back flow preventer.

"This increased use also began to cause other problems, such as causing erosion at the base of the double check valve and the oversaturation of the immediate area with runoff water," Mayeda said.

He pointed out that the Parks Department's rules and regulations prohibit the use of water in city parks "for washing vehicles, filling water tanks on trucks and of course the unregulated shower."

For those who need or want a drink of water -- not a shower -- Mayeda said there is a water fountain located on the Kahala Avenue side of the park.

Q: About 6:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 24, at Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako, I saw several police officers standing around a figure on the ground covered with a white sheet. An ambulance was standing by. I did not see anything regarding this incident in the paper. Can you find out what happened?

A: A man who was sleeping in the park appeared to have died in his sleep, according to a spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department. No foul play is suspected.

The Star-Bulletin ordinarily would not report such cases.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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