Night gunfire at Tripler jars neighbors
I live near Moanalua Valley. At about 3:45 a.m. Wednesday, I was awakened by a noise that sounded like a machine gun. The noise was repeated every 15 to 30 minutes after that. I finally realized it must be some kind of military exercise going on near Tripler Hospital. Why is the military doing such exercises so early in the morning near residential homes and disturbing everyone's sleep? This is not the first time.
Answer: A spokesman for Tripler Army Medical Center confirmed that the shots -- blank rounds -- were fired as part of military training exercises on the grounds of Tripler beginning at about 4 a.m.
"We do apologize for the noise," said public information officer Mark Jackson. "The training was necessary for our people to be prepared to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan."
He said the Provost Marshal's Office had contacted representatives of the surrounding community to alert them to the early-morning exercises.
"We are proactive in meeting with the community boards in trying to give everybody notice," he said. "Unfortunately, we understand that not everybody can be reached."
Asked why the training had to take place at that time and in that area, Jackson said, "Unfortunately, the war is not just a daytime operation. The only way we can accomplish certain training is during the hours of darkness."
It is also a situation in which no one really wants military exercises taking place in their back yard, he said. "That's why we confine it to the grounds of Tripler, and we try to minimize any impact that it's going to have on the area surrounding us."
The good news: the military is looking to "adjust those hours (of training) so it will have minimal impact on the surrounding community," Jackson said. "Hopefully, we can all work together and come to a good solution."
Q: It's been three months, and the sidewalk on Waialae Avenue by the public storage construction site still hasn't been widened to 60 inches, as mentioned in the March 6 "Kokua Line." What's happening?
A: The contractor has complied with the state Department of Transportation's order that there be enough space for wheelchair passage, said transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
The March 6 column quoted him as saying that the Americans With Disabilities Act specified a minimum clearance of 36 inches, and the Transportation Department required Nordic Construction to provide a clearance of 40 inches.
At that time, Ishikawa also said that Nordic was replacing and widening the section of sidewalk in question to a width of 60 inches.
The Transportation Department checked last week and saw there was at least three to four feet between the temporary fence and the curb, meeting ADA standards.
Under the Transportation Department permit, the sidewalk will be returned to its original width of eight feet once the project is completed. The contractor "is not touching the sidewalks," but plans to improve the areas near the entrance/exit, Ishikawa said.
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