HECO to keep vegetation clear of power lines


POSTED: Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Question: I have talked to the city about the overgrown trees overhanging the road on the 800-900 block of Alewa Drive. They told me that that was Hawaiian Electric Co.'s problem because the trees are overhanging the electrical lines.

I called HECO twice in the past six months. Well, no one came and you can guess how bad it is now with all rain we have been having. Whose responsibility is this, HECO's or the city's?

Answer: In this case, HECO is taking responsibility for trimming trees on the “;secondary level”; and the trees should be trimmed by the end of next week.

HECO is responsible for keeping electrical lines clear of vegetation for public safety and to avoid local outages, as well as to “;ensure the best possible service,”; said spokesman Peter Rosegg.

It is not responsible for trimming overgrown vegetation along city or state rights-of-way, which can include trees overhanging a road or growing into telephone or cable lines, he said.

Meanwhile, property owners are responsible for maintaining vegetation growing on their property.

Based on your complaint, HECO inspected the Alewa Drive site last week and found the trees needed to be trimmed at the second level of lines from the top, Rosegg said.

He said last week that a work order had been issued and the trimming would be done by a contractor within two weeks.

Anyone who sees trees that are close to touching electric power lines - generally the top lines on a utility pole that may also include lower telephone and cable lines - should call HECO's vegetation management at 543-7836 or customer service at 548-7311.

“;We appreciate the customer bringing this to our attention through Kokua Line and ask in the future that customers call directly to the vegetation management line,”; Rosegg said.

Q: I live on Liliuokalani Avenue and the city needs to remove a palm tree that's blocking the electric wires in front of my apartment. I'm worried it might cause a fire. Can you help?

A: See above for contact information for HECO.

Q: I have been following Robin Sabatini's case and noticed that she and her father were sent to prison. Is that still true for Robin? I want to send her a letter but do not find her using the federal inmate locator.

A: Robin Sabatini is being held at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif. She is due to be released on May 9, 2011.

We initially also could not find her name in the federal prison system using the inmate locator until we typed in Robin Rodrigues Sabatini.

Sabatini, 44, convicted of mail fraud and money laundering, went to prison on Jan. 7, 2008.

That same day, her father Gary Rodrigues, 67, the former head of the United Public Workers union, began serving his sentence in Taft Correctional Institution in Taft, Calif. Convicted of mail fraud, money laundering and embezzlement, he is due to be released Aug. 27, 2012. (See http://archives.starbulletin.com/2008/02/28/news/kokualine. html.)

The federal inmate locator can be accessed via the Federal Bureau of Prisons Web site -  http://www.bop.gov/.


Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).