City says lights at Waikiki Wall not too bright
: Some months ago, officials installed extremely bright lights at the end of the Kapahulu Groin, which for decades has been a favored site to view the sunset. I understand the safety function, but the lights, which turn on about five minutes after sunset, ruin the sunset ambiance. Can officials reset the time so the lights come on no sooner than a half-hour after sunset and possibly also reduce the lights' intensity? Locals and visitors alike are sad to have lost one of our best sunset-viewing sites.
Answer: The assessment from parks staff, after checking out the area one evening, is that the lighting is "not extraordinarily bright and appears reasonably sufficient for the area," according to Lester Chang, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
For now, "for overall public safety," the lights will continue to come on at the first sign of darkness, he said.
The lights initially were installed for safety reasons when the gazebo at the end of the walkway was built around 2000, Chang explained.
City electricians recently replaced the light bulbs and the lenses of the two lights inside the gazebo area, but did not lessen or heighten the intensity. Chang said staff has noticed, in the past, a lot of stickers and graffiti on the lenses.
"It's possible with the clean and new lens, these safety lights are now more noticeable," he said.
He also said that while you might consider the lights too bright and intruding on the ambiance of the sunset, other people think otherwise.
"We've had incidents in the area and actually receive more (complaints) that the lighting is insufficient," he said.
Q: How come city workers are used on Bethel Street, using city hydrants to clean the street? They seem to be there a lot. Does Hawaii Theatre have a contract with the city to keep their area clean?
A: It's not Hawaii Theatre, but the unsanitary conditions at three bus stops on Bethel Street that's prompting the more frequent cleaning, said Larry Leopardi, chief of the city's Road Maintenance Division.
The city has been receiving complaints about the smell of urine at the bus stops, he said. Officials believe the homeless have been urinating in the area.
"Our city crews are instructed to clean the area frequently and at the same time, we also clean the Chinatown Gateway Park, which is next to Hawaii Theatre," Leopardi said.
The normal street-cleaning schedule is once every two months, but that area is cleaned more frequently to ensure proper sanitation: "We are only performing what is warranted," he said.
Leopardi also said that most of the street cleaning requires use of fire hydrants.
Normally, water is obtained using a "hose bib or quick coupler connections," but if those are not available, workers attach a portable water meter to a hydrant to obtain water.
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