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City serves notice to homeless to remove items or lose them

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 4:55 p.m. HST, Jan 9, 2012

Applying a new city ordinance barring people from storing tents, furniture, clothing and other personal items on sidewalks, officials gave written notices to more than 50 homeless campers in the McCully area this morning to remove their items or have them hauled to the Halawa baseyard Tuesday.

Many of the homeless people, such as 62-year-old Air Force Reserve veteran Dennis Alessi, said they have no choice but to comply, but said they didn't know where they will go next.

Mayor Peter Carlisle on Dec. 9 signed into law Bill 54, which prohibits keeping personal items, including furniture and clothing, in public areas such as sidewalks and parks. The City Council earlier voted 8-1 to pass the "stored property" ordinance.

A delegation of city officials — including Westley Chun, director of the Department of Facility Maintenance; Trish Morikawa, county coordinator of the City Office of Housing; and Allen Sato, of the city's road division — gave written notices to homeless people camped near Moiliili Field, Old Stadium Park and the Pawaa Park.

Morikawa said this is the first phase of the enforcement of the new ordinance. Tents and luggage and other personal items were inventoried and tagged with a "removal notice."

"They have 24 hours to remove their property," Morikawa said. They can't move it to another public property. "If the items are here when we return tomorrow, they will be impounded."

The impounded property will be stored for 30 days at the Halawa Corporation Yard. If, the items are not claimed they will be sold, donated or disposed, the notice said.

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