Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, January 13, 1998


Heeia Kea pier allows
emergency repairs on land

At Heeia Kea pier, a state harbor, someone is using the parking lot as a repair shop and taking up valuable space for weekend boaters. These are big boats - big-time repairs. Can you please look into this?

Steve Thompson, Oahu district manager for the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Small Boat Harbors, was surprised at your complaint.

The practice has been allowed for years, he said, going back to when he was a youngster. And it's something that occurs at many harbors, he said.

"Periodically, we allow boats to be pulled out of the water for repairs," Thompson said. "In some cases, it's for emergency repairs, where the boats would not be able to get to Honolulu."

Boaters must obtain a permit from the harbor master. Permits are issued for a specific length of time. A fee, based on the length of the boat, is assessed.

"The harbor master takes the parking situation into account and tries not to overload it" when issuing permits, Thompson said.

If you have specific complaints, call Heeia Kea harbor master Earl Imoto at 233-3603.

I brought my car in to Lex Brodie's Pearlridge Tire Co. for new tires. The car was turned over to me with a damaged front fender in their public parking stall, caused by a suspected tow truck. Am I missing something here when they claim no responsibility due to a posted warning sign, even though they parked the car there?

Whether or not you can hold any business liable would seem to be a case-by-case matter and probably something to be taken up with an attorney.

Asked if there are any state laws that might apply here, Jo Ann Uchida, executive director of the state Office of Consumer Protection, said such cases "would be fact-intensive." That means an investigator would have to look at the specific situation.

Your complaint has since been resolved to your satisfaction, but before that, we asked Scott Williams, manager of the Pearlridge branch, about your complaint.

In addition to the posted sign, a handwritten work order that you signed specified the same warning in bold letters, he said. That warning said Lex Brodie's took no responsibility "for any damage or injury to a vehicle parked" in the company lot. Your car was parked, work completed, and awaiting pick up when a suspected vehicle from another company hit it, Williams said.

"If we damaged the car, by all means, we will take care of the damage," he said.

This was not the case with your car in a lot shared with two other companies, he said.

"If you park at Liberty House at Pearlridge (Center) and someone hits your car, you can't hold Liberty House responsible to fix your car," he said. "That's basically how we view it."

That said, the company decided to repair your damaged fender.

Your complaint also will prompt the installation of security cameras in the lot, as is the case at other Lex Brodie stores, Williams said.

The cameras should help pinpoint the responsible party in future accidents, he said.

In your case, "everyone thinks it was a tow truck, but there were no witnesses."

Mahalo

To Mr. Patrick Cambra of the city Refuse Department who sent his crew back on Saturday morning, Dec. 13, to pick up rubbish they missed on Friday. - Grateful senior citizen

Auwe

To traffic jams! In December, from the Punahou on-ramp, it took me 20-30 minutes to get past Punahou School. The trouble is cars waiting in the right lane at the intersection of Punahou and Wilder Avenue to enter school grounds.





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