Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Saturday, April 3, 1999

Detention center
rising near airport

Question: I just noticed heavy construction for concrete foundation work in progress at the Ewa end of Honolulu Airport. There are two construction cranes in place for what appears to be a major project. There were no signs, etc., posted to indicate what this facility might be. Any clues?

Answer: The work is for a $65 million federal detention center being built by the federal Bureau of Prisons at Elliott Drive and Aokea Street.

Ground-breaking for the 12-story, 558-cell center was last October.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons looked at 88 sites on Oahu before settling on the location, which had been a parking lot for airline employees, behind the Hawaiian and Aloha maintenance terminals, said Charlie Wallace, principal in charge of the project for the architectural and planning firm Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo.

He emphasized that this will not be a prison, but rather a "detention center for pretrial sentencing and short-term detention" of federal prisoners. However, the state is in negotiations with the Bureau of Prisons to try to lease some of the 558 cells -- 496 for the general population and 62 for high-security inmates, he said.

The cells will have a capacity to hold 670 inmates. The center is expected to be completed in three years.


Q: I am writing to Kokua Line because I've never felt so embarrassed, or, I should say, the 911 operator made me feel like I was doing the wrong thing. This is what happened:

I noticed smoke coming from my electric hot water tank, filling my house with smoke. So, I called 911 and told the operator what happened. His response was, "Why are you calling 911?" I didn't know what to say, so he said, "Well, would you like to speak to the Fire Department?" I said yes.

He acted like he really didn't want to, but he connected me with them. He made me feel like I did the wrong thing. I was so worried until the firemen arrived and told me I did do the right thing. But I can't believe how that operator made me feel. Do you think I should report him to his supervisors? I am still really upset.

A: Call Capt. William Chur of the Honolulu Police Department's Communications Division at 529-3264.

"We strive to give people the best service and do not tolerate rudeness by our people," he said. "We vigorously investigate any complaints and take appropriate corrective measures."

You need to provide the approximate time and date of your call. All 911 calls are recorded so your conversation with that operator can be traced. HPD will get back to you on its findings, Chur said.



To the parents and grandparents at a recent Easter egg hunt at the Kahala Liberty House, who ran around and grabbed handfuls of eggs for their kids. The hunt was for kids only! Your greed caused some to go home with only one or two eggs, while your kids unfairly had baskets full. What a terrible example.

Auwe also to store personnel who did not stop these selfish grownups. Why separate the age groups if you allow the adults to help themselves. -- S.M.

("Although customers are reminded that the contest is just for the children, the temptation seems to be too great not to help the little ones in the 2- to 5-year-old category," said Liberty House spokeswoman Barbara Tunno. "We plan to review this contest to try to improve it for next year so no child leaves disappointed.")

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com

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