Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Kailua hill needs
water for new grass

Question: The Board Of Water Supply is constantly telling us to conserve water by taking shorter showers and watering our lawns in the early evenings. So why then are the sprinklers at the newly reduced Castle Junction hill in Kailua turned on during the middle of the day? I've driven past there numerous times, rain and shine, and they're always on. I understand that the sprinklers might be on timers, but couldn't the timers be set for a more reasonable time?

Answer: The state Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over that area, says the hillside needs to be watered around the clock for now to give the grass a chance to take hold.

Two types of grass were planted there, following the department's $7.8 million project to prevent future landslides along Castle Junction.

"Our engineers say it's necessary to water the slope during the day because the area gets dry fast from the sun and wind," said transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.

"The sprinkler system is turned on to maintain moisture in the soil and allow the Australian carpet grass seeds to germinate, grow and develop a healthy root system, especially at the lower section of the slope," he said.

Meanwhile, although the Kikuyu grass planted along other parts of the slope looks healthy, its root system is still developing as well, he said.

Once the grasses have taken hold, he said the department will look at readjusting the timing of the sprinkler system.

Q: Since I activated new phone service about a year and a half ago I have been continuously bombarded by collection agencies searching for someone whom I do not know. I have repeatedly told these people that I am not that person and that he is not at this phone number, but they continue to call. Sometimes, the same person will call me again several weeks later. Some agencies use automatic dialers, which leave recorded messages. Many will not disclose what company they work for. Aren't there any laws against this? How can I get them to stop?

A: For a case like this, call Verizon's Nuisance Call Bureau at (800) 257-2969 and it can help end the calls.

According to Verizon, the bureau "functions as the primary and initial customer and/or law enforcement contact for nuisance call complaints (harassing, nuisance, threatening, obscene, misdirected faxes, computer calls, etc.)."

There are laws specifically dealing with collection agencies (under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), although they deal with the method of collecting debts, not calling the wrong person.

There are also federal laws regulating the use of automatic telephone dialing systems, known as autodialers.

Among the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission: Autodialers must state at the beginning of its prerecorded message the identity of the company or person, as well as give a telephone number (other than the number of the automated message) during or after the message.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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