Some parking OK on state holidays only
I parked at 1333 Nuuanu Ave. at 3:30 p.m. on Discoverers Day, Oct. 9. A sign there states no parking except after 5:30 p.m., night, weekends and holidays. About 35 minutes later, a police officer said that I had to move my vehicle or I would be ticketed and my vehicle would be towed. I asked him if this was not a national holiday. He said that the State of Hawaii does not recognize federal holidays for parking, only state holidays, and that I was illegally parked. The sign only states "holidays." I was allowed to move my vehicle and was not ticketed, but noticed that about seven cars were towed from this area. What is the law about parking on holidays and if it's true only state holidays are recognized, then why don't the signs say "state holidays?"
Answer: Good question.
The city does acknowledge there are some towaway signs that have not been "updated" to specifically say parking is allowed on state holidays only.
"We're working on changing the signs over," and a work order has been issued for the Nuuanu Avenue area, said city spokesman Mark Matsunaga. "We regret the confusion."
Motorists who feel their vehicles were "unfairly towed" because of the ambiguous signs may file a claim against the city, he said. There is no guarantee of reimbursement, but "the city does have a claims process," he said.
Call the city Corporation Counsel's Office at 523-4639 to obtain a claim form.
While most signs do specify "state holidays," Matsunaga said officials don't really know how many signs need to be updated.
"We are trying to get a handle on it and a plan is being worked on," he said.
Meanwhile, he said the city will increase efforts to inform the public about the fact that federal holidays are not recognized in towaway zones the next time Discoverers Day rolls around.
Q: On Oct. 25, Trees of Hawaii cut and chipped a couple of trees on the city lawn behind the Kalanimoku Office Building. I suspect the trees were diseased or insect infested. If the chipping is used as mulch at other sites, will it help to spread disease or insects to other part of the island? Should the chipping be sent to the landfill as a precaution?
A: The private company was hired by the city to remove the dead Wiliwili trees and the resulting chips were disposed of at a landfill, Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy director of the city Department of Parks and Recreation, assures you.
It's been well-documented how the Erythrina gall wasp has been killing Wiliwili trees statewide.
The wasps lay eggs in the leaves of these trees, "resulting in their deformity," Takahara-Dias explained. As the leaves die, the trees lose their source of nutrients and die, as well.
"Incidentally, trees of only the Erythrina genus have been affected by the infestation of this wasp," she said.
Usable mulch from non-diseased plants and trees is distributed at various city sites, such as city parks, municipal grounds and nurseries, she said.
Got a question or complaint?
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