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City tallies haul from encampments

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 09:19 a.m. HST, Feb 05, 2013

The City last week confiscated 32 items, including chairs, a sofa, coolers, a rug, a mattress and a Christmas tree stand, from Occupy Honolulu and homeless campers who use the makai sidewalks on South Beretania Street fronting Thomas Square.

Responding to complaints, city crews on Jan. 30 removed and stored 32 items which included: 13 chairs, 1 sofa, 2 coolers, an area rug, 2 office chairs, a Christmas tree stand, 2 one-gallon paint cans, a folding mattress, a pillow, a men’s belt, a quilt, a hat, slippers, an umbrella, 2 box springs, 1 queen mattress, a hand bag, 2 signs and 2 tents.

Crews from the City Facility Management Department assisted by city parks officials tagged the items on Jan. 29 under a 2011 city personal storage property law, which forbids storage of personal items on city property. Homeless campers and Occupy Honolulu protestors had 24 hours to remove the items or face having them confiscated. The items will be held at Halawa base yard for 30 days before being destroyed. 

The city issued 127 removal notices at Thomas Square and the other locations.

The cleanup also included public sidewalks in the areas at Aala Park, Smith Street, Pauahi Street, River Street, Makiki’s Cartwright Park, Pawaa Park, Kalamalu Playground and Park and Punchbowl and Queen streets. However, no items were removed from these areas because homeless campers removed the items after they were cited.

The city reported that 7.75 cubic yards of trash were removed from Thomas Square and other sites.

City crews also power washed the sidewalks after the tents and other items were removed.

Occupy Honolulu protestors have camped on the sidewalks of South Beretania Street in front of Thomas Square since November 2011.

However, civic groups, including supporters of the Honolulu Museum of Art, whose entrance fronts Thomas Square, have complained that sidewalks there during the past several months have once again become an encampment of homeless people.

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kiragirl wrote:
Why can't the City remove, without notice, all items not attended from public places? Further, why don't the super markets round up their shopping carts, with an armed escort of course?
on February 5,2013 | 06:58AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
'Cause it's a bit expensive for the supermarkets to send their people off site to collect carts but you can do a favor for them by collecting and returning them to the proper market.
on February 5,2013 | 07:13AM
Grimbold wrote:
How often do we see cretins dragging carts. And police should arrest them rught away
on February 5,2013 | 07:34AM
aceman808 wrote:
If they do a cleanup every month then the homeless and Occupy Honolulu will get the message and not camp there. They should also cleanup the Old Stadium Park area and Moilili Park area.
on February 5,2013 | 07:32AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
They have been going monthly.
on February 5,2013 | 08:10AM
aceman808 wrote:
No they have not.
on February 5,2013 | 08:13AM
ghstar wrote:
Why does it take complaints from civic groups to get the city to enforce the laws?? The cops drive by Thomas Square all the time. Do they not notice that there is illegal camping on the sidewalk? Do they not know it is illegal and its their job to enforce the laws? I know the police are busy and have to prioritize what they work on, but if they consistently, every day, enforced the no camping on sidewalks at Thomas Square(and other locations as well) we would have a much better chance that the squatters would give up and not come back.
on February 5,2013 | 07:46AM
aceman808 wrote:
Agreed. Perhaps the mayor should set a special department to handle the cleanup of the different areas. I guarantee they will be kept busy!
on February 5,2013 | 08:16AM
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