UH campus cafe ordered to start fixing bird problem
Birds are taking over the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus! Particularly at the popular Paradise Palms cafe, dozens of birds swarm the outdoor tables, repeatedly pecking at our food, feasting inside trash cans and leaving their droppings on the floor, tables and seats. It's a disgusting eyesore, an annoying inconvenience and possibly a health hazard. Despite a couple of homemade signs in the cafe that discourage feeding the birds, one man comes to the campus daily with bags of food to feed the birds right outside the cafe perimeter. Getting Paradise Palms to get trash cans with better lids would be a great start. But the rules on bird feeding need to be known and enforced. Is there anything that the city, state or university could do to curtail this growing problem? Can someone tell this man, and others, to stop feeding the birds or, at the very least, do it away from outdoor food establishments?
Answer: There should be a lot less competition from birds for your food.
UH-Manoa officials were aware of the problem, but we were told earlier this week that they were still looking into whether the flocks of birds had become a health and safety issue "and, if so, what our options may be."
UH does not prohibit bird feeding, but does not encourage it, either, according to a spokesman.
To try to resolve the problem, maintenance workers had removed nesting areas near tables and posted signs to discourage bird feeding.
In the meantime we contacted the state Department of Health to see if more could be done. We were told yesterday that situation was "not considered to be an immediate public health threat."
However, a registered sanitarian with the department visited Paradise Palms on Tuesday and cited the establishment for "a minor violation," said Peter Oshiro, a supervisor with the Sanitation Branch.
During his visit from 11:30 a.m. to 1:20 p.m., the inspector noted 15 to 20 birds around water puddles just outside the exterior dining area fronting Hamilton Library. But no birds were observed on tables, chairs or actively pecking at customers' food, Oshiro said.
The restaurant power-washes the exterior dining area as needed, according to the inspector.
He ordered Paradise Palms to have more "Do Not Feed the Birds" signs posted around the perimeter of the outdoor dining area; get trash cans with tightly closed lids; have employees monitor the outside dining area to ensure that people are not feeding the birds; and consult with pest control operators to mitigate the problem.
Paradise Palms was given three weeks to comply with the order, Oshiro said.
To the driver who almost ran me down in a crosswalk recently. It was broad daylight, but you must have been daydreaming as you rolled into the crosswalk right at me. I somehow managed to scamper onto the curb and sidewalk. -- No Name
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