City office will offer some holiday service
: We just found out that the city's driver licensing sections will be closed on Monday. My child is attending a year-round school, and this is one of the few opportunities we have to take the driver licensing examination since there is nothing open on Saturdays. I cannot understand why they need to close down the whole city operation just to do a little "training." What kind of training are they doing that requires closing down driver licensing operations at Kapolei, City Square, Kaneohe and every place else? Are they revamping the computer system?
Answer: After we asked city officials Friday why the Department of Customer Services was closing for the day tomorrow, the city issued a news release to say that at least one office would be open on a limited basis tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Discoverers' Day, a holiday observed by the federal government, but not by the state or county governments.
"As a convenience to our customers who need to renew their driver's license or get a duplicate license, the City Square location on Dillingham Boulevard will be open during its normal business hours with a skeleton crew," the release from administration spokesman Bill Brennan said. "Customers can expect some delays, as the facility will not be fully staffed."
However, no road tests were scheduled for tomorrow and none will be given.
As announced earlier last week, all satellite city halls, motor vehicle licensing and permitting stations, the city print shop, the Information and Complaint Office, the municipal library, records management and bookstore will be closed tomorrow for "special employee training."
Brennan said the city had not received any other complaint about the closures, but that the mayor, who was traveling in Japan, insisted "that while we train, we also provide service."
When asked what the training entailed, Brennan said employees basically would be trained on customer service. The computer system is not being changed.
Brennan said the training was scheduled for tomorrow because Discoverers' Day typically is not a busy day -- apparently many people assume it's a holiday for all government employees. He also said it would have been costly to hold the training on the weekend.
STAR-BULLETIN / AUGUST 2005
A feral cat eats from a plate while birds wait nearby in Kakaako. The Hawaiian Humane Society says it hopes the city Department of Parks and Recreation will reconsider its decision to post "no feeding of animals" signs in its parks.
More on feral cats
The Hawaiian Humane Society says it hopes the city Department of Parks and Recreation will reconsider its decision to post "no feeding of animals" signs in all its parks (Kokua Line, Oct. 2).
"The unintended consequences of this policy may mean that these animals (specifically feral cats) will suffer and the work of caregivers is undermined," said HHS spokeswoman Jacque Smith.
The Humane Society's president, Pamela Burns, also had a commentary in Thursday's Star-Bulletin -- starbulletin.com/2005/10/06/editorial/commentary.html -- about the work of hundreds of volunteer caregivers to watch over the cats and the feared consequences of the Parks Department's action.
In response to a complaint about people feeding pigeons and feral cats at Magic Island, it was noted in Kokua Line that the Parks Department had two kinds of signs posted: "Do not feed birds" and "Do not feed animals."
There were signs prohibiting bird feeding in some parks, such as Magic Island, and signs prohibiting general animal feeding in other parks, but not Magic Island.
Following our query, the department decided it needed to have a consistent policy throughout its system and said it would immediately institute a "no feeding of animals" rule at all its parks.
But Smith said: "Birds and cats are entirely different creatures. And one policy does not fit all."
The Parks Department said it does not consider the move to post uniform signs a policy change, just a matter of enforcing an existing policy consistently.
However, Smith said her organization believes that by erecting signs where there were no signs before, the department essentially is establishing a new policy in parks where feeding had been permitted.
When asked if the Humane Society planned to challenge the move, she said: "We're not planning to challenge or take an adversarial approach to this. Polarization and divisiveness won't help."
Instead, the group says it would like to help parks officials "develop a criteria for caregivers to agree to, and for city to partner with them and us on this issue."
Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy parks director, said she has spoken with Burns and Smith and is willing to meet with them to discuss the matter.
However, as of now, "we are going forth with our decision," she said.
To the Magic Island walker who took it upon herself/himself to personally point out to the couple that it was against the law to feed the pigeons (Kokua Line, Oct. 2). I say, "GET A LIFE." What is the problem? I, too, walk around Magic Island and if there is pleasure and compassion to the person feeding the animals and it is not causing a troublesome problem in spite of the signs, all right! It is more annoying dealing with some of the walkers. -- No Name
To the young woman driving a teal-blue late-1990s Chevrolet, coming down Sierra Drive in Kaimuki and trying to make a left turn onto Waialae Avenue ahead of the oncoming traffic on Friday, Sept. 30. You very nearly ran me down as I was in the middle of a very well-marked crosswalk with the walk signal lit. At least you had the good grace to look sorry for your very serious lapse in judgment. I would apologize for my choice of language at the time, but quite frankly, I am getting damned tired of people in cars having absolutely no concern for the pedestrians around them. -- Miriam L. "Mimi" Gans/Foodland Super Market
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