Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Police advise calling 911
for disruptive park users

Question: On Saturday, June 30, my wife and two of my children stopped by Ala Moana Park to enjoy the evening air. The sun hadn't completely gone down. What we found was completely appalling: Cars blocking the road, blasting their stereos, and drunk, swearing girls stopping cars so their herd of more drunken girls could cross. We immediately left for Waikiki and walked the promenade with my kids. Why was Ala Moana Park allowed to become such a bad place? I didn't see a single blue light in the park. There needs to be some policing done to bring back the peaceful and safe feeling the park used to have.

Answer: You should have called 911, especially if it was as bad as you describe, said Honolulu police Sgt. Curtis Sakamoto.

Ala Moana Park is closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. All other times, it is open to the public and officers are assigned to patrol the park frequently, Sakamoto said. There are also police bike patrols.

"I'm not making excuses, but that being a Saturday evening, most likely, it could have been fairly busy," Sakamoto said. "We're called to cases all over and we really can't be everywhere at one time."

"Obviously, if (people) see a problem like this, they should call us," Sakamoto. If people are drinking, blocking the road and stopping cars, "that needs to be addressed."

Asked if police have received similar complaints recently, Sakamoto said the night watch has not reported "any problems per se, but they do make frequent patrols of Ala Moana Park because it is a big area."

Officers also issue citations when they observe camping, parking or drinking violations, said police Sgt. Robert Grean. But, he added, most park users abide by the rules.

Q: On Matlock Street, someone set up a trapeze on his property. Are we allowed to have circus equipment on our property? Even a trampoline might be considered dangerous. The back of the trapeze is near the Kinau onramp to the freeway, so it looks dangerous.

A: It's not so much a safety issue as it is a building code issue, city officials said.

If it met building code regulations, a trapeze would be allowed on residential property.

However, the trapeze owner is required to obtain a permit, indicating the structure meets the city's building code, said building inspector Dennis Maielua.

The owner did not have a permit. Also, the 30-foot-high trapeze did not meet spacing requirements, being at least five feet away from the property line, Maielua said.

A notice of violation was issued last week and the owner had 30 days to either obtain a permit, remove the trapeze, or face a $50-a-day fine thereafter, Maielua said. The owner indicated he was going to remove it, he said.

Q: Why were the flags, American and Hawaiian, flying at half mast just outside the H-3 tunnel, on the Honolulu side, yesterday morning?

A: By state executive order, all flags on state property, including the H-3, were flown yesterday at half-mast in honor of former state Rep. Richard "Ike" Sutton, who died June 30.


Many thanks to some alert folks at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor (Dale and Manfred) and an Ilikai resident (Ray) who summoned the police after my sailboat was illegally untied and set adrift about 2 p.m. Sunday, June 24. The observant and caring individuals from the Ala Wai also managed to secure my boat and prevent major damages. The suspect is allegedly a homeless person who has been seen loitering in the area. -- Fred (sailing vessel Czechmate)

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Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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