Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, March 10, 1998

Loose Haleiwa buoy
to be removed this week

Buoy No. 4 broke loose from Haleiwa Harbor and is now dragging on the reef, near Camp Mokuleia. It's been one month and the Coast Guard said it would look at the problem but it's still there. We would like to go back fishing and diving in the area. Can you help?

Verta Betancourt, program director at Camp Mokuleia, could see the bright orange buoy bobbing in the waves from her office window when we called and asked about it last week.

"It's pretty much staying in one spot," she said.

The problem has been getting to the 560-pound foam buoy, said Coast Guard Lt. Greg Fondran.

However, yesterday, he reported, "Good news." A dive team checked on the buoy and, barring bad weather, should remove it this week.

Ships available since the Coast Guard-owned buoy broke loose in early February, when the North Shore was pounded by giant waves, were too big to get close enough, Fondran said. The weather also hasn't cooperated, and the alternative route, from shore, also hadn't been feasible.

A dive team from the cutter Sassafras will be working from a small boat to get to the buoy.

Fondran was surprised to hear your concerns about reef damage, saying if that were true, attempts to retrieve the buoy would have been hastened. "The latest information we have is that there hasn't been any reef damage," he said, adding that staff from Camp Mokuleia reported liking the buoy because it's been attracting fish.

Mariners had been given weekly notices of the missing buoy, said Steve Thompson, the state's Oahu manager for small boat harbors. Fondran said another buoy would be installed soon at Haleiwa, while two others that had been pushed off-site will be repositioned.

Is there any law against feeding homeless cats in the parks?

Chapter 7 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu deals with various matters of "Animals and Fowls," but nothing regarding the feeding of cats. So it is not illegal.

"From the Humane Society point of view, we believe that all cats are domestic animals and every cat deserves a home," Hawaiian Humane Society spokeswoman Eve Holt said. "We understand that people want to do something to help (homeless cats), but whether that's helping on private or public property becomes the question."

The Department of Parks and Recreation "is definitely challenged with the proliferation of stray cats roaming our parks," said spokeswoman Patti Nagao. The situation has "recently escalated," she said, making it a community and health issue involving state and county parks and the Humane Society. The city and the Humane Society are exploring ways to resolve the problem.

"We are seriously considering adopting a 'zero tolerance' policy where we will not allow any feeding of stray animals in parks," Nagao said. "Until this is official, however, we are requesting that the public cooperate."


To a clerk at the Kalihi Satellite City Hall. I was waiting in line for about half an hour to renew my vehicle registration, when a man asked her to help a female friend. Although there were five people ahead of that woman, the clerk let her cut in. This is not elementary school. Be professional! -- T.H.


To two special people at a UH men's basketball game. Not only was it disappointing because they lost, I also misplaced my wallet. Mahalo to the security guard for finding it, with everything in it, and turning it in to the police, and to the police officer for driving all the way to my house to drop it off. -- Deanna

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