Public urination prohibited only in Downtown, only until 2010
Is there a law against urination in public? I have seen people urinate at both a bus stop and right off the sidewalk, both places when many people were able to see the person relieving themselves.
Answer: The state Legislature passed a law in 2004 making it a violation to urinate or defecate in a public place -- such as street, sidewalk, driveway, alley, doorway, mall, plaza, park, public building or parking lot -- but only within Downtown Honolulu.
Downtown Honolulu -- the area bounded by the seashore, Nuuanu Stream, H-1 freeway and Ward Avenue down to the seashore -- was targeted because most complaints about people relieving themselves in public reportedly come from that area.
But the law is good for only another two years. It will be repealed on Dec. 31, 2009.
Under Chapter 711 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, "A person commits the offense of urinating or defecting in public if the person intentionally or knowingly urinates or defecates in a public place or any area where such an act is likely to be observed by any member of the public within the boundaries of the downtown Honolulu area."
The law does not apply to someone whose medical condition might have prevented him or her from using a restroom. The offense is punishable by a maximum $200 fine or 40 hours of community service.
Q: Regarding the options of recycling phone books (Kokua Line, Dec. 4): Before delivering all the unnecessary phone books, I should have the option of wanting them or not wanting them. How do we stop this legal pollution? Also, how can I stop MidWeek and the neighborhood weekly from coming to my condo? How do I get off their mailing lists?
A: Interestingly, you might be getting a phone book from Hawaiian Telcom even if you're not one of its customers.
Hawaiian Telcom is obligated, as the only "incumbent local exchange carrier" in the state, to "publish and distribute" the white and yellow pages to all telecommunications customers in the state, not only its own, said Hawaiian Telcom spokeswoman Ann Nishida. "This is a regulatory requirement that applies only to Hawaiian Telcom."
Because of this obligation, she said, there is no provision for people who don't want the directory to refuse delivery.
You'll have to dispose of it on your own.
"Most consumers" find Hawaiian Telcom directories "to be a valuable resource that they use all year long," Nishida said.
You should contact the publishers of each of the other publications you don't want. We passed your name and request on to MidWeek, the Star-Bulletin's sister publication.
Kokua Line will be on vacation until Jan. 3. Mahalo to our readers for a year's worth of both vexing and enlightening questions and for sharing stories of the kindness of many people.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers