Question: Some of the rescuers involved in the Sacred Falls landslide have been described as being part of the Sacred Falls Assistance Program. What is that? Is this just another ruse to sell T-shirts?
hikers help, too
Answer: The Hawaii Wilderness Foundation, some of whose members or principals are also involved in the Hanauma Bay Preservation Society and Eco Quest, had obtained a renewable two-week permit from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to set up a table and chair at Sacred Falls (temporarily closed).
The group's Sacred Falls Assistance Program had been there for about a month before the Mother's Day landslide, which killed eight people. It provides hikers with complimentary trail guides, drinks, mosquito repellent and sunblock, said David Pahk, who was among the first to help aid victims of the landslide.
Afterward, hikers are offered various "gifts" for suggested "donations," including T-shirts, nature cards and a certificate of completion, he said.
Hawaii Wilderness Foundation members also can be found at Diamond Head Crater and, more recently, according to state parks administrator Ralston Nagata, at the start of the Manoa Falls Trail, albeit not on DLNR land.
Pahk and a man who declined to identify himself bristled at being described as "T-shirt vendors." The latter said, "You should go interview the people coming down (from hikes). These are the recipients of our program."
Individuals or groups are allowed to set up tables at Sacred Falls and certain other state parks by permit "as a First Amendment activity," Nagata said. Under the permit, they are allowed to sell literature if it contains some kind of political, philosophical, religious or ideological message.
"That's the only thing they can sell," Nagata said.
Offering other kinds of merchandise for a cloaked price, a "disguised sale," is not allowed on state property, he said.
New park rules proposedDLNR last week began statewide hearings on proposed changes to its rules regulating this kind of activity.
The proposal is to totally ban the sales of merchandise and literature at six areas under the state parks division (Diamond Head, Iolani Palace, Royal Mausoleum, Nuuanu Pali Lookout, Haena Beach Park on Kauai, Iao Valley Park on Maui) and two beaches (Fort DeRussy and Duke Kahanamoku in Waikiki) while allowing sales of literature and merchandise, with conditions, at about 60 other state parks.
However, the Hawaii Wilderness Foundation member interviewed maintains the state has no right to restrict their activities anywhere and will not succeed in doing so.
Q: When the Liberty House bakery is closed, my friends and I want to know where the baker is going, so we can follow him. Can you find out?
A: No personnel information can be given out, said Liberty House spokeswoman Barbara Tunno.
The baker will leave when the Ala Moana store's bakery closes Saturday.
However, "our employees have been encouraged to apply" for new positions when the new "Hawaii Regional Cuisine Marketplace" operators are ready to hire, Tunno said.
That new setup, to be overseen by chef/restaurateur Alan Wong, will have a bakery, she said.
If anyone knows what the baker in question plans to do, call Kokua Line, 525-8686.
Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org