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Glitch in law may delay beach smoking ban enforcement

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:34 a.m. HST, Apr 09, 2013

Smoking is no longer legal at Kapiolani Park, Kuhio Beach Park, the beach side of Ala Moana Regional Park, Sandy Beach Park and three other city recreational facilities in East Honolulu under a bill signed by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell Monday.

The ban takes effect immediately but it is not yet enforceable in most of the parks due to a technical glitch, city attorneys from the Office of Corporation Counsel said.

Six of the seven properties are owned by the state and, as a result, require separate language changes to the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu for enforcement to be allowed, Parks Director Toni Robinson said in a letter to City Council Chairman Ernie Martin last Tuesday.

An additional bill will now likely be needed.

Violators are subject to fines of up to $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second violation within 12 months and $500 for subsequent offenses.

Other beaches where the ban will apply: Duke Kahanamoku Beach Park, Kapiolani Beach Park and Kapiolani Park Beach Center.

Before Monday, smoking was allowed at all outdoor city parks and beaches except Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

The bill was sponsored by Councilman Stanley Chang, who argued that it was both a litter and health issue.

Councilman Ikaika Anderson unsuccessfully tried to have the ban apply to all city parks and beaches.

But Chang and others said they wanted to see how an expanded ban worked first.

Caldwell indicated to media in recent weeks that he would be open to supporting a ban on all city beaches and parks.

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oahusbesthomes wrote:
This is a start! Now just ban those nasty smelling things at ALL Hawaii Beaches!
on April 8,2013 | 03:39PM
8082062424 wrote:
Waikiki and ala moana is filthy and it from over use not smokers. all you smell there is sun tan oil . let see you do something to really clean it up
on April 8,2013 | 03:45PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Was there just yesterday afternoon. Cigarette butts littered the place everywhere.
on April 8,2013 | 05:20PM
KoloheWiz wrote:
Did you pick any of them or any other trash up and put it in a garbage can? Probably not.
on April 8,2013 | 06:40PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Actually, a whole bunch of us did. And way more than just butts. Thanks for asking. So what have you done lately to make our community better. I mean, you know, other than snarking at people you've never met or know anything about.
on April 8,2013 | 10:36PM
kailua000 wrote:
personally - I will pick up trash if I see it blowing around, but I dont touch cigarette butts. I dont know whose mouth they were in and if Im not wearing gloves thats a heath hazard.
on April 9,2013 | 04:13AM
poidragon wrote:
Why not just pass legislation to get rid of tobacco products once and for all and make it a 'controlled substance' like they have done with pharmaceutical drugs, that are dangerous? No more beating around the bush, no more 'Tobacco companies' targeting teens, minorities or the public with their cancer sticks of death! Oh but wait one minute, Congress has a problem with that, as they get a hefty portion of their 'dirty money' from Tobacco company lobbyists and big pharma companies, why would they cut their own selves off rom their 'political funding sources' just to appease a few constituents?.......................They would not!
on April 8,2013 | 08:01PM
bender wrote:
They might be closer than you think. Tobacco has already been put under the control of FDA. But states like Hawaii would suffer immensely because they base so much of their budgets on tobacco taxes. Recently UH built their Cancer Research Center and it was to be funded and supported by tobacco taxes. What happens when that revenue source dries up. I think you know.
on April 9,2013 | 05:44AM
MariaBetty wrote:
Instead of cleaning our parks from squatters that pay little in taxes. Pick on the group who pays most in taxes... "No taxation without representation." Honolulu needs adequate designated smoking areas instead of this PR noise."
on April 8,2013 | 04:06PM
kailua000 wrote:
those squatters pay taxes on the cigarettes.
on April 9,2013 | 04:14AM
Who_Said wrote:
That's alright, I'll just switch to chewing tobacco. There's no ban on spitting at public beaches yet, is there?
on April 8,2013 | 04:45PM
Anonymous wrote:
Really! Walk any sidewalk 'n you have to watch all the expectorating on the ground 'n all around! Smokin not the only filthy habit goin on! No need wonder why the TB numbers in the Islands oh so high! Watch your slippahs do the slide on the sputum on the sidewalks 'round the parks! lol No puffer fish but got plenty spit fish?
on April 8,2013 | 04:56PM
stingray65 wrote:
You chew all you can, but no spiting, or you can smoke all you want but do not exhale in public!
on April 9,2013 | 12:07AM
kennysmith wrote:
on April 8,2013 | 04:49PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
"Glitch" - that's a technical, legal term that means the City attorneys, paid by your tax dollars, scroo'd up the language so bad that the law they produced is unenforceable. In private practice, they would be fired.
on April 8,2013 | 05:02PM
kiragirl wrote:
I agree. Council members don't know which parks they have jurisdiction upon. Incompetency at their level is a joke.
on April 8,2013 | 05:59PM
OldDiver wrote:
The language of the bill is written by the City Council not the City attorneys.
on April 8,2013 | 08:27PM
soundofreason wrote:
Same geniuses who "handled" the homeless sidewalk campers
on April 8,2013 | 06:58PM
bender wrote:
Actually it means the City Council members (paid by our tax dollars) screwed up the language. They were in such a hurry to push this through they forgot who owns the parks. Big heads but no breains.
on April 9,2013 | 05:46AM
Workingrl wrote:
LOL and Mr. Stanley Chang who introduced the bill is an attorney himself. You would think he would have looked into legal aspects.
on April 9,2013 | 07:31AM
panepane wrote:
About time! I think Ikaika Anderson has the right idea. Smoking is a known proven cause of cancer. Many smokers just throw their butts as litter. Smokers complain about their rights, but what about everyone else's rights? How would smokers like it if HIV people leave their blood around where smokers hang out? After all, people stricken with HIV did not ask for it, and they have rights too.
on April 8,2013 | 05:08PM
Wardog wrote:
Dumb analogy
on April 8,2013 | 06:42PM
thevisitor967 wrote:
I'm with Wardog. Dumb analogy.
on April 9,2013 | 09:09AM
KoloheWiz wrote:
FACT: Our economy relies heavily on tourism. FACT: Many tourists smoke. FACT: The first time any one of them is innocently walking down the Kalakaua or Paki side of Kapiolani Park and gets hit with a fine for smoking they will tell their friends who will tell their friends and so on. There goes the economy and life in the islands. I am a smoker. I walk around the park several evenings a week and have for years. There is only ONE trash can with a built-in ash tray on the entire route and it's in the Natatorium area - nowhere else in the entire route around the park (Kalakaua / Paki / Monsarrat) is there any safe way to dispose of a cigarette. If you throw a cigarette you think is out and it's not into a garbage can you could start a fire. The only alternative is the ground or the street. I myself step on it and look for a garbage can which is difficult to locate without actually getting into the lawn area of the park. You already overtax cigarettes and now we are getting banned from what are high taxes help pay for. Oh yeah, when did Kapiolani Park become a beach? The law was supposedly banning smoking on beaches. KP is surrounded by asphalt. I can see the soccer kids parents that are smokers having to stay away from their keiki's game because they'll get fined if they attend. Once again bureaucracy punishes smokers and in the end the entire population via the loss of tourist income.
on April 8,2013 | 05:13PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
FACT: Smoking kills.
on April 8,2013 | 05:22PM
KoloheWiz wrote:
DowntownGreen - You are wrong. Smoking DOES NOT kill. It merely increases the possibility of getting a terminal illness that a person may or may not die from. There are people that are 90 years old and have smoked most all of their lives and are still alive and don't have any medical problems. FACT: Alcohol kills. More college students die from alcohol poisoning than anything else. FACT: Carbon monoxide (vehicle exhaust) kills when inhaled in excess. Based on your statement and apparent line of thinking (or lack of) then all motor vehicles and alcoholic beverages should be banned. Don't you find it strange that as long as you're in the park at Ala Moana and not at the beach then you can smoke but you can't smoke anywhere in Kapiolani Park? Also, since when does the Mayor of Honolulu get to sign laws that concern State owned property? II suppose you also support the stupid rail project which is yet another example of the ineptness of the City government with a few Council person exceptions.
on April 8,2013 | 06:33PM
OldDiver wrote:
You are making the argument that Russian roulette only increases the chances of dying because most people who play Russian roulette live.
on April 8,2013 | 08:29PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Not really OD. His/her argument makes way less sense than that. But at least we know he/she is passionate. He/she uses CAPS.
on April 8,2013 | 10:38PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
You might want to pull out that logic textbook again. It seems it's been a long time since you've read any of it.
on April 8,2013 | 10:39PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Great news. But what good is having a law that goes into effect tomorrow that is unenforceable?
on April 8,2013 | 05:51PM
KoloheWiz wrote:
Eh Surfer_Dude... not tomorrow... it takes effect immediately.
on April 8,2013 | 06:34PM
Surfer_Dude wrote:
Which is the one beach not owned by the state.........Duke Kahanamoku fronts Ft. Derussy. Does that make it a federal beach?
on April 8,2013 | 05:59PM
tiki886 wrote:
After you finish your cigarette, put it out, then swallow it, then choke on it you i diot!
on April 8,2013 | 06:14PM
Manoa_Hawaiian wrote:
And the mayor as an attorney and surrounded by attorneys did NOT catch this before it passed. Wake up Captain Kirk!!!
on April 8,2013 | 06:15PM
KoloheWiz wrote:
This surprises you? SNAFU: It's the way many Hawaii politicians do things nowadays. Act first then engage the brain. Kinda like only when all else fails do you read the instructions.
on April 8,2013 | 06:39PM
OldDiver wrote:
The Mayor did not write or pass this bill. The City Council did.
on April 8,2013 | 08:31PM
bender wrote:
But he certainly signed it. Doesn't he read what he signs, or at least have a staffer verify it?
on April 9,2013 | 05:50AM
poidragon wrote:
"Six of the seven properties are owned by the state and, as a result, require separate language changes to the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu for enforcement to be allowed, " This is just too funny to imagine! So much for Caldwell and the City council and all their hard work to get this 'no smoking on the beach bill' passed, only to run into problems because 6 out of 7 beaches listed on the legislative bill are owned by the State of Hawaii and not by the City and County of Honolulu!!!! All of this should have been done under the part of 'research for the legislative bill' before it was proposed and voted on in the City Council and yet nobody in the City administration or council bothered to do their due diligence!!!
on April 8,2013 | 07:56PM
mrluke wrote:
"Glitch in law"!? The whole law is a glitch!
on April 8,2013 | 08:09PM
mrluke wrote:
The m0r0ns who run the city worry about smoking at city beaches, yet allow disgusting, filthy bums to live on the sidewalks! Gimme a break!!!
on April 8,2013 | 08:12PM
OldDiver wrote:
The m0r0ns are the ones over the past few weeks who were critical of plans to deal with the homeless.
on April 8,2013 | 08:33PM
bender wrote:
No, the morons are the ones who think they can change a chronic just by giving them free housing but fail to recognize the chronics want nothing to do with freebies if they come with strings attached.
on April 9,2013 | 05:52AM
MexMe wrote:
Those "disgusting, filthy bums" are human beings whose issues are far more complex than just banning them from public areas. Something does need to be done about homelessness but it doesn't mean the city, county and state can't address other issues simultaneously, mrluke. Your line of reasoning is very flawed.
on April 8,2013 | 09:56PM
bender wrote:
Just because they are human beings doesn't mean they have the right to take over the sidewalks, parks and other areas of our city. The majority of them refuse assistance because it comes with rules. They're making the choice to remain on the street and we shouldn't have to put up with their life style just because they're making the wrong choice. BTW, who believes this smoking bill will be enforced on the homeless population. I don't. It will be enforced on the average citizen who has the ability to pay.
on April 9,2013 | 05:56AM
SteveToo wrote:
What a bunch of idiots. Hope this dosen;t turn into N.Y.C. with crazy Bloomberg as mayor.
on April 8,2013 | 09:44PM
CriticalReader wrote:
What are the chances that this law ever actually gets enforced? The other day, I was at a city park. When I got there, a couple were letting their dogs run around into more remote areas without leashes. If the dogs went potty there, the owners would never have known it. Another couple drove up and let their two Huskies (Huskies, In Hawaii!!!) out of the car. They walked the dogs right next to the SUV parked in a stall facing the parked area. It was hard to notice see the new low profile blue light on the roof of the SUV. And, the cop in the front seat was hidden by his car's tint until you get an angle inside the front seat side windows. The owners of the first two dogs chased their dogs around right in front of the cop's car. The owners of the second set looked sheepishly at eachother when they realized they were passing a loaded cop car. The sign at the entrance of the park said many things were prohibited, INCLUDING ANIMALS. Like I said, good luck seeing this new law enforced even if they do get rid of the glitches.
on April 8,2013 | 11:34PM
st1d wrote:
so, no smoking on the beaches. sounds good, less smoke, certainly reduces butts in sand.

however, what if the smoker walks into the water which is state jurisdiction?

on April 9,2013 | 03:24AM
kailua000 wrote:
how you gonna fine tourists who leave butts on the beach? like they are gonna pay. not like a speeding ticket where they rental car company goes after them. I do realize our locals do a lot of the smoking mess too, but how to fine the toursits?
on April 9,2013 | 04:12AM
bender wrote:
Don't worry, those tourists who smoke will quit coming so it will be a non issue.
on April 9,2013 | 05:58AM
thevisitor967 wrote:
How is smoking outdoors at a windy beach a health hazard? Sitting in your car with the window down in bumper-to-bumper traffic on H1 is more of a health hazard. And cigarette butts are no more of a litter problem than candy wrappers, potato chip bags or soda cans laying around the parks/beaches. This is all crap. And even if you're not a smoker, you should be concerned about this law because who knows what the city/state will do next to infringe your rights.
on April 9,2013 | 09:02AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Leave ot to the City government workers to botch up their bills. "An additional bill will now likely be needed." It takes 2-3 times longer and 2-3 times the expense for Hawaii government workers to do something. How about City and State governments start firing the incompetents who are simply hanging on to get their pension and free medical.
on April 9,2013 | 10:21AM
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