Ann and David Latham, Kailua residents and Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle members, took down signs yesterday that were illegally posted on a utility pole at the intersection of Kuulei Road and Kainalu Drive in Kailua.

Sign patrol makes
statement in Kailua

Volunteers also scout
Haleiwa and Kahala,
taking down eyesores

By Leila Fujimori

Outdoor Circle volunteers were on a mission yesterday to rid Kailua, Haleiwa and Kahala of unsightly signs.

To promote the Outdoor Circle's Sign Law Awareness Day, the volunteers combed the public streets and sidewalks, tearing and pushing down signs posted on public property.

"The sign laws promote the beauty and the good aspects of what we have to offer in Hawaii," said Betsy Connors, the Outdoor Circle's Oahu sign chairwoman.

Connors and another volunteer walked through Kailua, removing flyers from telephone poles and folding up and laying down about a dozen sandwich board signs advertising events, craft fairs and garage sales.

Connors said city and state laws prohibit posting advertising posters and flyers on public right of ways.

Three elderly volunteers combed a residential area around South Kalaheo Avenue and Kuulei Road and took down other signs and posters.

Their efforts were not always well received.

Susan Phillips, who was holding a garage sale yesterday, put her signs back up after a customer told her people were removing them.

A utility pole in Kailua was covered yesterday with rusting nails, tacks and staples from illegally posted signs.

"To arbitrarily do this is self-centered," she said. "It's not really reflecting the community spirit."

She said garage sales were a Kailua tradition, and she takes her signs down after the sale.

"We usually take a blind eye to the garage sales," Connors said. But since yesterday was a special awareness day, she said they made it a point to take down all illegal signs.

"We want Kailua to be clean, green and beautiful," said a 67-year-old woman sign patrol volunteer who declined to give her name to a reporter for fear of being harassed and receiving "calls in the middle of the night."

The woman and two other volunteers watched from across the street as a large man put three signs that they had taken down back up. They cringed as he walked past, and were relieved as he bid them "good morning."

The signs had been tied to a traffic signal pole, a utility pole and metal posts, which stood on a grassy area they determined was a public right-of-way, making them illegal, the volunteers said.

"Oh, look. The sign is up again," one woman said, looking toward a cardboard sign tied to a utility post covered with rusty nails, tacks and staples. "It's kind of hopeless. We'll take it down one more time."

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