'Campers' told to leave site at Kapena Falls
Why is a camper with tent and stove allowed at Kapena Falls? I was shocked when we went for a short hike and saw the squatters there. Will the mayor ask them to leave? There's lots of trash, including a giant pile of Coke bottles. It looks as if they have been there awhile. I know the homeless have nowhere to go, but I was really taken aback at seeing them there in plain sight.
Answer: The "campers" were issued a notice to vacate last week, said Dan Quinn, administrator of state parks for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which is responsible for the area.
There were signs that a tarp was still there on Monday, but Quinn said enforcement officers would be following up to make sure that the camp site is cleared.
Three people had been camping there.
"Often, when we clean up these camps, we find plenty of beer bottles, and other signs of substance abuse," Quinn said. He said he did not see any evidence of that at this site.
"This looks like a case of folks who just haven't been able to make ends meet."
In cases like this, the campers are given a deadline by which to leave. If they don't meet the deadline, enforcement officers are sent to follow up.
If they still resist, citations may be issued and belongings confiscated, Quinn said. "When they understand that, they normally pack up."
Q: Do you know what the latest problem with the Dillingham Fountain might be? Since you answered an initial inquiry about why the fountain was not turned on (Kokua Line, Jan. 15), the fountain has been on maybe seven days total.
A: If no new problems surface, the fountain should be up and running "shortly," according to the city Department of Parks and Recreation.
On Feb. 7, we noted that the fountain, shut down for months, had been newly repaired, painted and turned on the week before, only to be vandalized two days later.
Vandals had tossed dish detergent into the fountain, and a cleanup revealed damaged water jets, a broken pipe and broken rods.
All that was repaired, but parks officials are now stymied by a recurring problem with the paint.
A contractor had been completing minor repairs to the silicone surface of the fountain but kept encountering problems such as repeated blistering with the paint, said Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy parks director.
The manufacturer and contractor had been working together to address the problem.
But after the department inspected the fountain this week, "air bubbles were again found on the center wall," she said.
Repairs were scheduled to be made yesterday and today. Once the repairs are made, the surface needs to cure completely for several days before water is added, Takahara-Dias said.
"We apologize for the inconvenience to the community and we are hopeful to have it up and running shortly," she said.
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