Skater Justyn Coleman, 12, of Kahala rides the rail at the Kamiloiki Skate Park. Early morning noise from the skate park has prompted complaints from nearby residents.

Residents make noise
over Hawaii Kai park

They complain about kids
skateboarding at all hours of the night

By Leila Fujimori

Noise from a Hawaii Kai skateboard park in the wee hours of the morning is prompting complaints from nearby residents.

"I was calling the police at 3 in the morning," said Pamela May, 37, who lives across Hawaii Kai Drive from the skateboard facility in Kamiloiki Community Park.

The slamming of boards on the cement "was disturbing, but now it's really toned down a lot," she said.

"My biggest fear is what if they busted their heads open," May said.

She recommends keeping the park open until 8:30 or 9 p.m., providing lighting, requiring the use of helmets, and fining violators.

The skateboard facility is surrounded by a 3-foot high chain-link fence jutting up from a cement wall with some portions as low as 2 1/2-feet high, making it easy to hop over. The Kamiloiki Community Park is open 24 hours daily, but the skateboarding area is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and is locked after hours.

"I think the skaters need to take charge and take personal responsibility," said Tony Paresa, a Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board member.

The board's parks committee has struggled to figure out a solution to the problem.

"It would be a bad solution to make it look like Fort Knox," he said. Putting up higher fences would defeat the purpose of trying to make the concrete structure look unobtrusive.

Skaters J.D. Parker of Kaimuki and Johnny Aurio of Keolu go off the lip at the Kamiloiki Skate Park.

Neighbor Gavin Kaapana, 53, said users of the skateboard park are mostly a courteous bunch.

"What I like about it is, the 18- to 25-year-olds will let the younger kids skate first," he said. "Nobody hassles anybody."

But he has gone over a couple of times at about 1 a.m. to ask skaters to keep the noise down and they complied. "It wasn't the clicking sound of the wheels," he said. "It was the talking. The 'yeee!'"

The original skate park and an in-line hockey rink were proposed to be at Koko Head District Park, away from homes, Paresa said. But the mayor had provided $1 million to get the project done sooner next to Kamiloiki Elementary School, and the project went ahead and was completed last year.

Other residents have complained about parking in their neighborhood during tournaments held at the in-line hockey rink.

In response, the city is placing no-parking signs on Kipu Place within one to two weeks, said Manny Menendez, the city's representative to the neighborhood board.

Councilman Charles Djou (Hawaii Kai) said he'd like to do something about the late-night skateboarders, but the proposed solutions are fraught with problems. Hiring a security guard would be expensive and turning on sprinklers at night could be dangerous, he said.

"The solutions might be worse than the disease," he said.

Kirby Darrell, 30, said the 1 a.m. skating time is "definitely unacceptable."

"I can see that's inconsiderate of the neighbors," he said.

But he said a lot of skaters and parents who bring their kids to the park work. He'd like to see lights put up so skateboarders can enjoy the park for two hours after sunset.

"I only skate when it's open," said skater Tony Castillo, 26, who would like to see lights at the park and allow skating until 10 p.m.

May appreciates the skateboard park because she said it keeps the kids off the streets.

"These people should be glad the kids aren't riding around in the neighborhood," she said.

E-mail to City Desk


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