Thursday, May 17, 2001

Chris Riddle shows his empty mailbox at the Lehua Nani
complex, where there has been no postal delivery for 10 days.

Dispute goes
postal: Building’s
mail halted for
the last 10 days

Tiff between a tenant and
mailman leaves residents of
Pearl City complex sans delivery

By Rosemarie Bernardo

A confrontation between a tenant and a mailman has left residents of a 49-unit Pearl City apartment building without mail delivery for the past 10 days.

"We're very upset," said Coral Williamson, a resident of Lehua Nani at 950 Lehua Ave. "It's just terrible that we're all inconvenienced like this."

On May 4 around 11:30 a.m., an argument occurred between resident Charles Hall and a postal carrier from the Pearl City Post Office. While details of the disagreement differ, one thing is certain: The mail has not been delivered since then.

Hall said yesterday that he was just trying to talk to the mailman about what some residents considered poor service.

Hall said he tried "to convey to him that the residents in the building were frustrated with the mail being delivered in the wrong box and mail being crammed into the box" but that the mailman took offense.

Charles Hall: His dispute with a mailman has
left neighbors without postal delivery

But Pearl City Postmaster Glen Ono said Hall verbally threatened the mail carrier.

Two supervisors from the Pearl City Post Office went to Lehua Nani to investigate, Ono said, and postal authorities decided that until the situation is resolved, mail service would be curtailed indefinitely to residents in the building for the safety of mail carriers. Ono refused to identify the mailman.

"One way we would resume delivery is if he (Hall) was no longer there," Ono said. "If he wasn't there, there would be no apparent threat."

Hall, a computer network engineer, said he made no threats and only requested better service.

Hall, a nine-year resident of the building, said management of Lehua Nani sent him a letter yesterday asking him to move.

Executives of Hawaiiana Management Co., which oversees the building, could not be reached for comment. The resident manager of the building refused to comment.

However, a notice from Hawaiiana in the building's lobby stated that because of an "egregious act of violence" against the mail carrier, postal delivery will not be available.

"There was no violent attack that took place," Hall said. "I can't believe this evolved into something serious that they would ask me to leave this home."

The Hawaiiana notice to residents said that postal supervisors who came to Lehua Nani to investigate received "the same treatment" from Hall.

Ono said mail stoppages normally occur when a carrier's safety is at risk due to nearby construction work or an animal on the loose, but not because of a person. "This is unusual," he said.

Ono said he does not recall any mail stoppage in an apartment structure in the Wahiawa, Waianae and Pearl City area since he was assigned as postmaster in 1995.

Lehua Nani tenants, meanwhile, have to go to the Pearl City Post Office to get their mail.

"I think it's ridiculous that one person has the power to disrupt people's lives," said a resident who asked to remain anonymous. "We expect to have postal delivery."

Some residents of the seven-floor apartment building agreed with Hall that their mail service had been unsatisfactory for the past few months.

"It (mail) was crammed in the mailboxes quite a bit," said Williamson, a three-year resident of Lehua Nani.

Hall said he regrets the entire situation.

"The residents in my building should not be punished for something they feel I've done wrong," he said.

"I will never, ever speak to the postman again," he added.

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