Stick a bag or a note on broken parking meter


POSTED: Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Question: I got a parking ticket recently for parking at an expired meter. But the meter was broken. We were parked for an hour and a half. We were going to feed the meter next to it. What is the protocol for parking at a broken meter?

Answer: For sure, it wouldn't have helped to feed the meter next to you.

Instead, Nelson Francisco, the parking meter repair supervisor for the Honolulu Police Department's Parking Enforcement Section, said you should place a bag over the meter and/or attach a note describing the problem.

If a parking meter mechanic repairs the meter while the driver is away, the mechanic will feed the meter for the maximum time.

But it will then be the driver's responsibility to feed the meter after the time expires, Francisco said.

If a driver is cited for parking at a broken meter, he/she should call the Parking Enforcement Section at 832-7836 and ask that a mechanic verify that the meter is broken.

If it is verified, a “;Request to Verify”; form will be mailed to the driver, who then can mail it in with the citation and ask that the parking citation be dismissed, Francisco said.

Question: I've lived in my Kaneohe home 48 years, from when the City and County of Honolulu used to spray from a mobile tank for mosquitos on a regular basis. Only in dry periods have I been relatively free from them over the past years. All of a sudden we are mosquito free. None whatsoever in my lush yard with loads of plants that gather water. Not a one for perhaps a year now. The only thing I see that's different are these ugly black lizards, or geckos which seem to have replaced the old ones. Am I the only one who's noticed this, or has something happened?

Answer: There's really nothing dramatic—or lizardly—to explain the absence of your nemeses except the lack of rain, according to the state Department of Health's Vector Control Branch.

It was a year ago (see “;Kokua Line,”; July 14, 2008) that someone in Waikele complained of being besieged by swarms of mosquitos.

The number of mosquitos is down because there just hasn't been much rain lately, said Dr. Pingjum Yang, an entomologist with Vector Control.

When asked whether a neighbor's mosquito zapper or magnet might account for your mosquito-free environment, Yang was skeptical that that was the reason.

And, while he said geckos might eat adult mosquitos if they land nearby, he believes the basic reason they're not bothering you is that their breeding grounds in your yard and surroundings have somehow been removed or reduced.

Mosquitos need standing water to lay their eggs. Yang predicts you'll see more mosquitos once the rainy season starts in October.

Meanwhile, he advised getting rid of old tires and to turn over buckets and cans before then.

“;Now is good time to check around your house and remove places where the water will collect and mosquitos will lay their eggs when it rains again,”; he said.

According to Vector Control, there were no mosquitos in Hawaii before 1826, when the night-biting mosquito (which can fly three miles) arrived. The day-biting mosquito, which usually stays within a 200-foot radius, was found here in the early 1890s.

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).