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City serves notice to homeless to remove items or lose them

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 04:55 p.m. HST, Jan 09, 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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environmental_lady wrote:
In the past when I lived in Oahu and often couldn't afford the high rent, I camped out at county parks legally after applying for weekly permits. I stored my stuff at the cheapest storage place possible. I commuted by bus and bike. I was a very low income person. I don't see why an air force veteran can't afford to store his stuff in storage and camp weekly at one of the county parks with a permit. I knew many other homeless who stored their belongings at the rental storage place and camped legally at county parks. So there's really no excuse for homeless with limited income to camp on the sidewalks and block the way of pedestrians. I agree with the new regulation. Most homeless people are either working or get welfare, so it's not like they are penniless. The real problem is that they waste so much of their scarce money on booze and cigarettes so they don't have any or enough left over for bus transportation and a storage locker rental. Anyway, as a former homeless I feel that I have the right to speak in favor of the new regulation as I never occupied a sidewalk before. As a woman I wouldn't have felt safe to do so anyway and I couldn't stand the noise and the fumes of the streets, so there! Again, the homeless should camp legally with permits.
on January 9,2012 | 12:00PM
nitrobreath wrote:
Good on you for having the perseverance and fortitude to do the right thing in your homeless situation. If more homeless had your gumption and planning then maybe fewer would be living on the street. Quite often it is the lack of planning that gets people into desperate and seemingly impossible situations, such as homelessness.
on January 10,2012 | 07:14AM
Anonymous wrote:
This "strong arm tactic" won't solve the homeless problem.....
on January 9,2012 | 12:08PM
what wrote:
...but it WILL clean up the sidewalks and keep the homeless on the move. As long as they keep the homeless on the move, it will beautify the city since a moving homeless person gathers less debris and baggage then a camped homeless person.
on January 9,2012 | 12:44PM
lee1957 wrote:
It's not meant to solve the homeless problem, it's meant to return public spaces to the public.
on January 9,2012 | 04:43PM
false wrote:
Maybe they will move to Thomas Square and get rid of the now Occupy homeless.
on January 9,2012 | 12:30PM
Manoa_Hawaiian wrote:
We will see if Peter has what it takes to clear the sidewalk on Beritania at Thomas Square.
on January 9,2012 | 02:49PM
Vivgie wrote:
Put your stuff in a storage space and make a neat little cozy den. Spend all day in the air condition room and read, surf the Internet, talk story with friends, watch TV and relax. Shave in the rest room and shower in the beach parks. Carry your warm sleeping bags and a blue tarp and sleep wherever nobody bothers you. Or sleep in the room during the day and stay awake at night.
on January 9,2012 | 12:52PM
wright wrote:
I hope that the "City Officials" visited the "occupy protesters" to warn them as well.
on January 9,2012 | 01:12PM
Fred01 wrote:
Get a job, or get out!
on January 9,2012 | 01:13PM
akamaiperson wrote:
Wonder if the city will do anything about the growing encampment (30 now) along Iwilei Rd, or is that too out of sight, out of mind?
on January 9,2012 | 02:02PM
SmedleyFerndock wrote:
Are they going to remove all of the tourist flyer distribution bins and Star Advertiser vending bins that are blocking the sidewalks?
on January 9,2012 | 02:33PM
murry wrote:
I thought the city originally said that they would not destroy the confiscated possessions of homeless persons, often the only thing they have left. Meanwhile, we read that Ansaldo has finalized a $1.4 billion contract to build rail cars and operate the Honolulu rail transit system through a process in which they are being excused for not having a license. What guides these decisions? It appears to be a reverse Robin Hoodism - taking from the poor to give to the rich.
on January 9,2012 | 02:45PM
Denominator wrote:
Why does anyone think that they have a right to convert other people's property (in this case Public property) to their personal property or personal use? If you want public help/public assistance - well there's plenty out there. But too many of these people think the rules and restrictions that go along with public assistance are unreasonable (no drugs). Camping on public property has just gotten to be an acceptable life style for too many people. It is also true that our public officials (Governor & mayors) are giving lip service to public assistance while they mismanage those assets terribly! People who can and should be paying rent and paying for damaging their public housing are getting away with their abuse of the situations. We need some sincere hardworking people to address these issues instead of the political cronies and hacks that we have.
on January 9,2012 | 03:41PM
Manoa_Hawaiian wrote:
The city needs to clear the sidewalk on Beritania at Thomas Square. We will see if Peter has what it takes.
on January 9,2012 | 02:48PM
Papakolea wrote:
The homeless will find abandoned private buildings in which to squat. On the mainland, the Occupy protestors are already breaking into, and occupying, bank-owned properties as their way of supposedly getting back at the big banks. The City knows that they are transferring the problem from the public sector to the private property owners.
on January 9,2012 | 03:55PM
tiki886 wrote:
There aren't any abandoned properties in Hawaii. Property is too valuable in Hawaii to abandon. And the liability if anyone is hurt or harmed on someone's property will bankrupt the owner if they don't protect it from tresspassors.
on January 9,2012 | 08:38PM
tiki886 wrote:
There aren't any abandoned properties in Hawaii. Property is too valuable in Hawaii to abandon. And the liability if anyone is hurt or harmed on someone's property will bankrupt the owner if they don't protect it from tresspassors.
on January 9,2012 | 08:39PM
cojef wrote:
Battle of the "haves" and "have nuts". We will see who will win in the long run. I read with awe on the comments written by the environmental_lady. She is a success story of perseverance!
on January 9,2012 | 04:01PM
stevelaudig wrote:
The political ruling class again shows its teeth to the powerless poor. Those who consider themselves 'middle class" might remind themselves they are probably only 3 months from the sidewalk.
on January 9,2012 | 04:10PM
kennysmith wrote:
i just wonder where the people is going to get the money to put it in storage?, and not only that where did they get the place of the order to give the people 42 hours to take there thing off the sidewalk or the city will take it from the people who don't have no place to go at. i just have a hole lot more to say about this. it is just makeing me real mad at the city the way they are doing thing to the people now.
on January 9,2012 | 04:27PM
jnrz wrote:
Next up....Occupy Honolulu.....why just the homeless?
on January 9,2012 | 10:44PM
kapapa wrote:
Wow. I'm really saddened by the complete lack of compassion in the words I'm reading from all of you. But for the grace of....? Do any of you remember that phrase? Meaningful or meaningless. From what I read all that matters is each individual perspective toward their inconvenience. And as for environmental_lady's comment. Thank you so much for your simplistic view and the great solution about permitting and parks. Through your eyes I can write down the solution for the entire middle east conflict. Please!! Think about how hard it is to change yourself, and you think you can just write down the solution to change someone else? Laughable. Don't get me wrong, I am not condoning the homeless' actions and the way they act or especially the seniors feeling afraid to walk where they want. That is just as bad or worse. But the lack of compassion that I've read is unfortunately the norm in what society has become. What happened to being human? Here's my meaning. Look at the words and you'll see the circle is complete. When we are at this point there is no solution. None. The circle is complete. Social, Civil, Political, Ideological. Thats all that matters in todays society. Again, what happened to being human. We're all at fault. The circle is complete.
on January 11,2012 | 10:04AM
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