Wednesday, July 21, 1999

City & County of Honolulu

Council to vote on bill
aimed at pushy animal

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


The bird is plopped on the shoulder of the startled tourist. Before he knows it, a picture is snapped and a fee demanded.

Requiring a fee is illegal. But Jean Rolles, founder and coordinator of the Aloha Patrol, says the scene is replayed daily in Waikiki.

A bill designed to curb the sometimes unscrupulous practices of animal solicitors is up for a vote by the City Council tomorrow.

"We just feel it doesn't present an overall nice image of Waikiki," Rolles said. "People leave with the impression that the streets of Waikiki are kind of schlocky."

There are as many as five to 10 animal solicitors operating in Waikiki at any one time, sometimes demanding as much as $25 for a photo.

Asian visitors and those with families are prime targets of those who apply pressure to pay for pictures, Rolles said.

Waikiki police Capt. Karl Godsey said shopkeepers, as well as visitors, complain about the animal solicitors because they block the entrances of their businesses.

Under the bill, introduced by Waikiki Councilman Duke Bainum, animal solicitors would need to wear chest signs that make it clear in English and Japanese that the photos taken are for donations only.

A similar bill was passed last year, but judges refused to process the violations because of a technical error in the ordinance, said city Deputy Prosecutor Lori Nishimura.

The new bill further restricts animal solicitation by making it prohibitive to conduct such business on private property without written permission.

Godsey said the additional language is needed because some animal solicitors step onto "privately owned public property," common area sidewalks that are privately owned, to evade being cited by police.

Rick Egged of the Waikiki Improvement Association said there are some legitimate animal solicitors who rent space and conduct themselves in a business-like manner.


Other measures to be decided tomorrow would:

Bullet Allow developers to sell affordable housing units to all prospective buyers, regardless of income, during a two-year trial period.

Bullet Restrict nude dancing nightclubs and teen-age nightclubs.

Bullet Allow prosecutors to shut down a business where three prostitution convictions have occurred over a five-year period.

Bills to be introduced would:

Bullet Allow some businesses in Waikiki to put up signage on the second floor of their buildings. The Waikiki Special District is the only area of Oahu where second-story signs are barred.

Bullet Establish a tax credit for apartment, condominium and cooperative units whose owners pay for private refuse collection.

Bullet Eliminate the apartment classification from real property rolls and merging them with the single-family classification, which has a lower rate.

Bullet Ban smoking at the Waikiki Shell.

E-mail to City Desk

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