Judiciary looks to mainland to repair clock
I wrote previously about the nonfunctioning clock on top of the state Judiciary Building, which has been broken for years. It is still broken. However, the time has moved from 3:20 to 4 p.m. Is anything being done to repair it? At this rate, I don't think I will ever see it working in my lifetime.
Answer: You may be right about the time-less-ness of that 147-year-old clock.
Since you first asked the question (Kokua Line, March 10, 2004), asked it again last year (Kokua Line, March 30, 2005) and again this month, Judiciary officials have not been able to find anyone to repair the clock under required guidelines.
The clock was made by the E. Howard Clock Co. in 1859 and has its original parts. The company stopped producing that type of clock tower in 1903, said Judiciary spokeswoman Marsha Kitagawa.
Because the Judiciary Building (Ali'iolani Hale) is on the historic register and subject to historic preservation laws, the clock's mechanisms cannot be replaced with a modern, electric clock, she said.
Kitagawa explained that the clock's central mechanism is connected to the four clock faces of the clock tower. The timepiece has a counterweight and pendulum that must be wound by hand every seven days.
"After an extensive, nearly two-year search, Judiciary staff finally thought they found a licensed, local vendor" to make repairs, Kitagawa said. "Unfortunately, after some negotiation, the vendor declined to bid on the project, forcing the Judiciary to look outside the state."
That led Walter Ozawa, deputy administrative director of the courts, to contact the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum on American History for help in finding a qualified and interested clocksmith.
A source there suggested someone who worked on the clock at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and another who assisted with the historic public clocks in Guyana, Kitagawa said. Other possibilities may also be found on the West Coast.
Anyone with any other leads can contact Ozawa at 539-4902.
Regarding the March 2 Kokua Line
about heater problems at Kailua pool: Auwe to the city Department of Parks and Recreation for not outfitting all its pools with solar heat, except those in areas where a heat pump might be more cost-effective. During the last administration, I tried to get Vision Team money allocated for solar heating of the Manoa pool. The pavilion roof was not strong enough for solar collectors, so the money was used for a storage/meeting room. The collectors could have been put at ground level. Compared with $4,000/month for propane, a district park pool could be fitted with cleaner solar heaters and pay for itself in three or four years, and immediately have year-round pool heat. -- Jim Harwood, first vice chairman, Manoa Neighborhood Board
Parks officials say they will take your suggestion "under consideration."
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