POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 2, 2011
QUESTION: What happened to all the street lights on Nimitz Highway under the H-1 Airport Viaduct? Starting at the old Servco used car lot, the lights are out all the way until Byron's Drive Inn. I transfer to bus 19 or 20 coming out of the airport to go downtown. There have been no lights in that area for quite a while, and it is very scary and dangerous, especially for a woman! When are they going to fix the lights? (Two questions combined.)
ANSWER: The street lights have been out since late November because of a "failed power transformer," according to the state Department of Transportation.
The bad news is that the lights won't be back on until May or June, because that's the earliest a replacement transformer can be installed.
The old transformer was installed in the 1970s, during construction of the viaduct, and was custom-manufactured to meet the specific electrical requirements of the area, a DOT spokesman said.
No off-the-shelf models meet the necessary requirements, so "a replacement transformer is being constructed from scratch on an expedited schedule," he said. The expected arrival is three to four months.
QUESTION: Just before the bridge across Kaelepulu Stream in Kailua, there is a narrow strip of sand along the canal. On the mauka end of the sandy area is a practice site for the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Club. The other end, closer to the bridge, seems to be a parking area for trucks and vans advertising water sports, plus racks containing dozens of kayaks for rent. I believe this area is public property. There is a state or city/county sign in the area, but it has been defaced and is not readable. There is also a truck parked at Kailua Beach Park, near the boat ramp, selling shrimp. Is it legal for a commercial enterprise to use a public beach to conduct a for-profit business?
ANSWER: Both the Honolulu Police Department and the city Department of Parks and Recreation are aware of the commercial vehicles that are parked during the day next to Kaelepulu Stream.
"We are in the process of reviewing all the appropriate ordinances and rules and regulations that apply so that our new administration can chart an appropriate course of action," said Craig Mayeda, administrator of Parks Maintenance and Recreation Services.
Regarding selling shrimp: If you are referring to the lunch wagon at the Kailua Boat Ramp, Mayeda said it is a concession approved by the city Department of Enterprise Services.
It is allowed to operate as an alternative to the old pavilion snack stand that no longer met health requirements. The concession generates revenue that goes directly into the city's general fund, Mayeda said.
To a young lady at the Jake Shimabukuro presentation on the night of Jan. 15 at Windward Mall. I was among several hundred people who were walking around waiting to greet Jake and buy CDs. I was caught up in the excitement and dropped my wallet, which a young lady quickly picked up and returned to me. While I was expressing my great surprise and astonishment, thinking what would have happened if I did lose my cards that were in the wallet, I may not have thanked her as she walked away. I deeply regret if I did not do so, so I want her to know how much I appreciate her kindness and honesty. I will never know but hope she reads this. Thank you very much. -- Miyoko Shimoda