The city is being forced to overhaul its publication rack policy in Waikiki as a result of a federal judge's ruling.
Judge tosses out citysBy Gordon Y.K. Pang
publication rack policy
District Judge Susan Oki Mollway granted Honolulu Weekly's request to throw out the city's policy of barring noncoin-operated publications from participating in a lottery for coin-operated racks in Waikiki.
James Bickerton, attorney for the Weekly, said the policy gave better treatment to paid publications such as the Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser.
Bickerton said there are 200 boxes in Waikiki that are divided among the three paid publications seeking space: the Star-Bulletin, Advertiser and USA Today.
Meanwhile, each of 20 or so free publications must compete for about 20 boxes each, he said.
Under Mollway's order, existing permits for coin-operated racks will be revoked and a new lottery held.
Managing Director Ben Lee said the city likely will appeal the case but will hold a new lottery in the meantime that will be open to free and paid publications.
"They will have to purchase a coin-operated box, but it doesn't require them to use the coin-operated portion of the box," Lee said.
Lee disputed Bickerton's numbers.
He said there are about 576 free slots and 288 coin-operated stands.
"We felt this was a reasonable way to regulate the publications in Waikiki because it did provide reasonable time, place and manner," he said. "And it's cleaned up Waikiki of a lot of visual clutter."