Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Saturday, February 20, 1999

New state building’s
woes called temporary

The new State Building at Kapolei is in dire need of proper maintenance. The bathrooms are filthy -- floors not cleaned, toilets unfixed for weeks, pipes leaking and insufficient supplies of toilet paper and hand towels. Only recently have the offices been swept. Why fill a building with employees when you can't maintain it?

State comptroller Raymond Sato, head of the Department of Accounting and General Services, confirmed that the new building has had some start-up maintenance problems.

But it's "only a temporary situation" that he and his staff are working to remedy, he said.

All state employees slated to move to Kapolei are now in the new building, but the moving of furniture was completed only last Friday, he said.

In a personal check of conditions on Wednesday, Sato said he did notice scuff marks and other "wear and tear" caused by the moving. A heavy-duty floor cleaner should take care of the dirty floors, he said.

One pipe also was found to be leaking, but repairs were made as soon as it was reported, he said, and tiles on restroom floors will be sealed. (Sato said he was trying to determine whether the contractor can be held responsible for that job).

He also acknowledged paint damage to walls and the lack of adequate restroom supplies.

Various moving companies will be held liable for repainting walls, he said. The walls were damaged when movers taped cardboard to the walls, then took off some paint when they tore off the tape.

Also, the Lanakila Rehabilitation Center, providing temporary janitorial service, will be asked to provide more manpower -- two instead of one worker per floor -- until permanent janitors are hired, Sato said.

The plan is to institute a "new concept," in which people will be hired not only as janitors, but also to handle light maintenance, such as changing light bulbs.

It's not been an easy transition for many state workers, many of whom did not want to work in Kapolei, Sato noted. But meetings have been held to hear complaints, and Sato plans to have biweekly meetings "until we resolve all the complaints that (employees) have."


Yo-Yo Ma concert

To the person who sent in a complaint about trying to buy tickets for the March 17 Yo-Yo Ma concert: Call Michael Tiknis, executive director of the Honolulu Symphony at 524-0815. He said he's puzzled by your complaint because if you are a current symphony subscriber, you should have had no problems securing $100 tickets and finding out which seats they are.

Tiknis did acknowledge receiving "some strong complaints from people who are not happy that you have to be a (symphony) subscriber" in order to get first crack at buying tickets.

"Subscribers are the heart of our business," he said. "They are the ones who, every year, support the symphony by buying a season ticket and we felt they deserved advance VIP treatment for this concert."

Beginning 10 a.m. Monday, tickets for the general public will go on sale at the Blaisdell.Tiknis said he expects about 200-300 tickets will be available.

Call the symphony box office at 538-8863.



To the Board of Water Supply for recently repairing the road at Waialae and Hunakai streets in Kahala. A water main break had left the road in terrible condition. Now, it's a smooth ride again. -- Helene Webster

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