Honolulu Star-Bulletin - Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, July 7, 1999

City does its best to
clean restrooms

Question: Is there any way we can improve the cleanliness of public restrooms at public parks? My friends and I run, bike and swim at various locations around the island. We'd like to use the facilities, but in most cases, they're a mess! Whatever the Department of Parks and Recreation says in response (I anticipate something like "we have our usual staffing for these areas, once a day maintenance ... " or whatever), it's not enough. Probably the two most heavily used restrooms, used by locals and tourists alike, are the one next to the Magic Island parking lot and the one behind the bandstand at Kapiolani Park. Invariably, they are dirty, broken or out of paper, especially in the early morning, when races are held.

Answer: The Magic Island comfort station had been cleaned twice a day, but maintenance has now been stepped up to three times a day, said Craig Mayeda, administrator for the city Park Maintenance and Recreation Services.

The restrooms near the Kapiolani Park bandstand already were being cleaned three times a day. By comparison, comfort stations at smaller parks are normally cleaned only once a day.

It's a fact of life that budget cuts have exacted their toll. In the past, workers were assigned to specific parks or locations within large parks. Today, crews are assigned to multiple parks and locations, responsible for cleaning toilets, collecting and emptying trash and "handling any situation that could be hazardous," Mayeda said.

"After they finish their morning comfort station duties, they return to parks to weed-whack, clean and groom the park," he said.

Even at Kapiolani Park and Magic Island, "Staff is not available to stand by to clean comfort stations," Mayeda said. They have been told to check the restrooms more often.

Q: I fully agree with the Board of Water Supply when they issue pleas to curb excessive water usage, fix leaking faucets, etc. They should send those bulletins to their brethren in the city Department of Parks and Recreation. A public water fountain at Ala Moana Park has been leaking for at least two months. The drip is more nearly a steady stream and forms a large puddle of wasted water.

A: See answer above for a general answer. The leak was repaired in early June, a week after we sent your complaint to parks officials. When asked how a leak like you described could have gone undetected, park maintenance administrator Craig Mayeda said workers had to "look hard to find it."

Also, in the past, one person was assigned a specific area to monitor and maintain. If there was something wrong, it was easy for the worker to find, Mayeda said. "Now, we have three, four people who take up areas that used to be done by eight or nine people."

Heco telemarketing update

In response to complaints about telemarketing calls to unlisted numbers (see Kokua Line, July 1), Hawaiian Electric Co. last week asked the company contracted to make the calls to stop, at least temporarily, spokesman Fred Kobashikawa said.

He also emphasized that Heco has "never sold customers' phone numbers to telemarketers and doesn't plan to do so." Central States Indemnity was under contract to call Heco customers about a bill payment protection program and was "prohibited from reusing" the numbers for any other offers, Kobashikawa said.

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

E-mail to City Desk

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