Vandals destroy tribute to former police chief


POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2009

QUESTION: Can you find out whether and when the City and County of Honolulu will replace the sign for the Chief Michael S. Nakamura Park on Hikikaulia Street in Central Oahu? It's been gone for a while.

ANSWER: It's uncertain when the sign, damaged by vandals, will be returned to its spot at the Mililani park.

The park, formerly called Mililani Town Center Park, was rededicated in April 2008 in honor of the late Honolulu police chief. Nakamura, who served as head of the Honolulu Police Department from 1990 to 1997, died in 2006.

The cost of the sign was privately donated by HPD officers, friends and others in the community, according to HPD.

Collins Lam, deputy director of the city Department of Design and Construction, said the material used for the sign was Corian instead of redwood to accommodate the inscription.

“;It is unfortunate and sad to say that the park sign ... was taken down due to significant damage sustained from repeated acts of vandalism,”; he said.

The latest damage was so severe that the sign was removed about three to four months ago, he said.

Lam said the department's consultant is working with a sign maker to determine whether the sign is salvageable. If not, a more “;vandalism resistant”; sign will be designed.

The costs for potential repair of the sign have not yet been determined, and “;unfortunately, the sign will not be reinstalled until we finalize a better solution,”; Lam said.

QUESTION: I'm sure everyone's wondering, but nobody's apparently asked: There appears to be an- other strain of ants everywhere. They're smaller, reddish ants that seem to like sweets. I've noticed them from Kailua to Hawaii Kai. What can we do to control them?

ANSWER: We posed your question, and also provided the photo you sent to us, to the state Department of Agriculture.

It's difficult to definitively identify the ants—they're not clear in the photo—but that they appear to be a “;common”; ant, according to insect taxonomist Bernarr Kumashiro.

If you want a definitive answer as to what those ants are that are bugging you, he suggests either mailing or bringing in samples to his office, 1428 S. King St. (near the intersection with Keeaumoku Street).

While mailing samples is OK, he said, they usually come in damaged.

If you do come in person, he says to call first so you can get instructions on where to enter and to make sure that he's in. Call 973-9560.