Question: I saw that the Hawaiian Convention was held at the state Capitol and understand that they used the facilities there. Since this is not a state-sponsored convention, who is paying for the utilities, etc., and will this use continue?
Answer: If an event is held during normal business hours, there usually is no charge for use of the Capitol "since the building is already open and operating," said state Comptroller Raymond Sato, head of the Department of Accounting and General Services.
However, a charge of $35 an hour is levied if a function is held after or extends beyond normal business hours, he said. Additionally, if security is wanted or deemed necessary, organizers would be charged $20 an hour.
Sato explained that use of the facilities within the Capitol is under the jurisdiction of various state agencies, depending on which area is used. DAGS has jurisdiction over the common areas in the building, such as the rotunda and surrounding grounds.
Other areas fall under the state Senate, House of Representatives, governor's office or the lieutenant governor's office.
In the case of the Hawaiian Convention, organizers requested and received permission from the House to use its chambers for their function and were billed according to the fee guidelines, Sato said.
Q:We have had our "Jolly Green Giant" trash cans for about seven-eight weeks. It has started to get dinged up. Who is responsible if it really gets damaged? Whose property is it -- ours or theirs? Does the city and county replace it?
A: The city owns what's referred to as "the automated collection carts."
"The carts may be dinged because the grabber of the truck needs adjustments," said city refuse collection Administrator David Shiraishi. Supervisors watch for such carts to determine when the grabber needs to be adjusted or repaired, he said.
So it is the city that will determine when a cart should be replaced, Shiraishi said, "and when applicable, provides a replacement."
MahaloTo Allen at the Kailua 7-Eleven store. Although it's been several months since he rendered assistance, I have not forgotten how fortunate I was to find him. It is ironic in this day of public awareness of mental health that a hospital would turn away and "escort" a young woman suffering from a chemical imbalance off the premises at 2 in the morning. Because of 7-Eleven and Allen, I made it safely through the night and was admitted to a different hospital for proper treatment later that day. My children, family and I thank Allen for allowing me to "loiter" in safety. -- Randi Mehan
AuweFlora in Hawaii is becoming a sparse item of enjoyment. There is an overabundance of concrete and asphalt. I come home annually for 30 days and the condition is very evident. That is one of the reasons I moved to the mainland. Save the trees! -- Bill
MahaloTo the man who helped my mother when she fell in her driveway on East Manoa Road around 6:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27. Somebody passing by helped her up and into the garage. We found out later that afternoon that she had broken her hip. She had surgery the next day, but is doing fine. -- L.T.
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