Turtle sticker on H-1 sign is vandalism
: Would you please find out why, on a highway sign, there is a turtle with an arrow at the belly? This sign is located on the H-1 freeway, past Exit 23, westbound, just past the Lunalilo Street onramp, and reads: "Vineyard Blvd. 1/4, Pali Hwy. 34, School St. 1 1/4." The turtle is next to the words "Pali Hwy." When I first noticed this turtle, several years ago, I called the state Department of Transportation's Highways Division and someone checked and said it was a legitimate image OK'd by the project person, so I just accepted the answer and forgot about it. Driving home from work recently, I was a passenger in the car so it caught my eye that this same turtle now has become very small in the same location. What's up with the turtle?
Answer: We have to admit it takes a keen eye to discern the turtle on the sign.
State Department of Transportation officials don't know who you might have talked to years ago, but found, "After thorough checking, this turtle design is not part of any DOT highways project," spokesman Scott Ishikawa said. "It is a simple act of vandalism, not unlike graffiti."
We questioned whether someone would be foolhardy enough to attempt to place the turtle sticker on the sign, much less be able to do it in such a specific location.
But the department maintains some reckless person had to have done it as an act of vandalism.
"Numerous highway signs, including some overhanging freeway lanes, have been defaced by individuals with these stickers," Ishikawa said. "This particular brand of sticker is popular with teens and college students and are sold in local surf and skate shops."
He said the Highways Division will remove any stickers found during its monthly graffiti patrol, but that often requires lane closures and wasted work hours. Removing the turtle sticker also would require a portable crane.
When possible, this is timed to coincide with previously scheduled highway projects, he said.
"We are very concerned when someone goes to great lengths -- and heights -- to place these stickers on overhead signs," Ishikawa said. "We've been fortunate we haven't had a serious accident in which a vandal climbing these signs or persons driving below has gotten hurt."
Q: A few months ago, there was an article in the Star-Bulletin about a place taking donations of computers -- any kind, any condition. Is this place is still accepting donations?
A: You're probably talking about the "Computer Drop-off Event" held twice a year at CompUSA on Ala Moana Boulevard.
The event, sponsored by the City and County of Honolulu, CompUSA and Hawaii Computers for Kids, will next be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 12, according to the city's Web site, opala.org.
Usable computer equipment will be taken by Hawaii Computers for Kids for use in classrooms., while broken or outdated equipment will be recycled for scrap.
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