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OK to scatter ashes at city's Lanai Lookout


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POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Question: Ashes of a deceased person are not allowed to be scattered within a state forest preserve or watershed area, or on state or federal property. Scattering on private property can be done with the owner's permission. Is not the Lanai Lookout state or federal property? Can I scatter the ashes of a deceased relative at that location?

Answer: Lanai Lookout is part of a 509-acre parcel, including the Halona Blowhole area, owned by the City and County of Honolulu.

The city does not prohibit the scattering of human ashes there, said Lester Chang, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

For the most part, the city's main concern regarding the scattering of ashes is that it be done in relatively remote locations, be done discreetly and away from where the public may gather.

He said many people choose the Leeward Coast to scatter the ashes of loved ones.

Chang noted that the Lanai Lookout is in a relatively remote area, but that when Barack Obama scattered his grandmother's ashes there in December, it ended up becoming a public spectacle through no fault of the now-president.

Lanai Lookout also was where Obama had scattered the ashes of his mother, who died in 1995.

Generally, people do not ask the city for permission to scatter ashes and generally it's not required, Chang said. "But if it's out of the ordinary, we may require a permit."

As we've reported previously, there are no restrictions regarding the scattering of ashes on land, sea (within three nautical miles) or air, except that ashes are not allowed to be scattered in a state forest preserve or watershed area, or on state or federal property. It is allowed on private property with the owner's permission.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates burials at sea—see http://archives.starbulletin.com/2007/02/15/news/kokualine.html.

The EPA requires caskets or bodies to be released at least three nautical miles out to sea, with notification, while the state Department of Health allows scattering of human ashes within three nautical miles without any special permit or notification required.

Q: Do you know where we can get those 3-D glasses for the Super Bowl and also for the "Chuck" TV show that has "Dom" from "Lost" in it?

A: The 3-D glasses, for viewing two 3-D commercials during the Super Bowl game on Sunday, as well as the NBC TV series "Chuck" on Monday night, are available for free at SoBe Lifewater displays at several retail outlets on Oahu.

According to PBG Hawaii, distributor of SoBe in the islands, the glasses will be available at all Safeway stores, beginning today, as well as at these locations:

Foodland Super Market—Market City, Beretania, Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina, Kaneohe, Dillingham, Kailua, Ewa Beach, Laie, Pupukea and Waipio; Sack N Save—Stadium and Nanakuli; and Times Super Markets—Liliha, Waimalu, Aiea, Kunia, Waipahu, McCully, Beretania and Kahala.

Also, at Kmart—Stadium, Nimitz and Waikele; Longs Drugs—Kamehameha, Wahiawa and Mililani (although there may not be displays in the two stores in Mililani); and Tamura's—Waianae and Wahiawa.

If you have questions, call PBG Hawaii at 484-1777.