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City starts enforcing new sidewalk nuisance law

By Gregg K. Kakesako

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:48 p.m. HST, Jul 01, 2013


City and private social workers will spend this week enforcing the county’s new law designed to remove homeless campers from Honolulu sidewalks.

The city hit three spots used by the homeless campers — the Ala Wai promenade at the entrance to Waikiki, Honolulu Stadium Park and Moliliili Field. No one was arrested.

About 10 campers on Kalakaua Avenue near the Hawaii Convention Center were told to move their personal belongings or have them confiscated, Jay Parasco, city spokesman, said. There were only two people at Honolulu Stadium Park and one at Moiliili Field.

The Waikiki operation, which began at 8:30 a.m. today, was conducted with members of the City Department of Facility Maintenance, U.S. Vets, Waikiki Health Clinic and Institute for Human Services.

More sweeps are planned, but city officials said they won’t be releasing information until after the cleanup operation is completed.

Any items confiscated were to be handled by city maintenance workers. 

If any items are confiscated, handbills will be posted telling the homeless where the items could be retrieved.

In April, the City Council adopted Bill 7 that allows city workers to summarily remove any items deemed sidewalk nuisances. The law allows for people to retrieve any items seized if they pay a $200 fee. 

The new city law replaces the existing ordinance, which allows the city to remove objects left on sidewalks if tagged 24 hours in advance.

A sidewalk nuisance is defined in the bill as "any object or collection of objects constructed, erected, installed, maintained, kept or operated on or over any sidewalk, including but not limited to stalls, stands, tents, furniture, and containers, and of their contents or attachments."

Both the old and new laws are opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and (de)Occupy Honolulu — a group whose members have been camped on the sidewalks near Thomas Square for more than a year — argue that the bill criminalizes homelessness and stifles free speech.







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loquaciousone wrote:
I am 1000 % positive that tent cities will be springing up somewhere else. We've just punted the ball into someone else's back yard.
on July 1,2013 | 09:42AM
allie wrote:
agree. In Waikiki hotels making a fortune on tourism refuse to become part of the solution. They refuse to pour millions into mental health and housing solutions that would serve them and their profits well. Wait until some tourist is killed and watch the numbers of tourists drop like a stone. Greed won't win out.
on July 1,2013 | 10:24AM
Wonderful_World wrote:
Huh? You're saying any business that's propering should "pour" money into mental health & housing or just the hotels?
on July 1,2013 | 10:53AM
AhiPoke wrote:
What a stupid comment. Are you implying that it's private industries responsibility to correct the homeless problem? What's the state's/city's responsibility? Businesses and citizens pay taxes, shouldn't taxpayers expect that their money go towards problems like this? Given your apparent definition of "greed", why don't you relocate to a socialist/communist country?
on July 1,2013 | 11:11AM
false wrote:
Agreed. That's a stupid comment alright.
on July 1,2013 | 11:30AM
allie wrote:
Hotels can well afford it and the City won't do it. Or cannot.
on July 1,2013 | 01:22PM
Denominator wrote:
Is it ok for us to tell you what you can afford?
on July 1,2013 | 01:56PM
lee1957 wrote:
Obviously not a business major.
on July 1,2013 | 11:43AM
Mythman wrote:
She works nites at the Sheraton Waikiki and goes to UH in the day time, studying How to Have an Opinion on Everything Based on Being A Naive Female.
on July 1,2013 | 12:23PM
silvangold wrote:
PROBLEM : SHE'S LIVING IN THE WRONG PLACE......
on July 1,2013 | 01:21PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Allie, just a couple of thoughts on your comment. First off the hotels have been very generous with their support to local charities in general and homeless in particular. The hotels are always donating their used, but in good condition towels and linens to homeless families along with some used furniture. Many visitor industry executives volunteer to serve as Directors of nonprofit agencies serving the homeless and others in need as well. Could they do more? Perhaps but that could apply to most of us but to say that they are not part of the solution is not particularly fair You do make a good point that not addressing homelessness, particularly among those with mental illness, poses a risk to the visitor industry and for that matter our community as well. Remember when there was video of rats crawling around a produce stand in Chinatown? When that aired business in Chinatown took a hit. So your point is well taken, if videos of rats adversely impacted business noticeably what would an attack on a Chinatown patron or a tourist in Waikiki do for business? All this adds to the urgency of addressing homelessness in our community, but we all have to play a part.
on July 1,2013 | 12:24PM
allie wrote:
I have studied the matter of how much is given by our hotels. Answer: much less than you think. Why not ask them to join hands to solve a problem which will eventually kill their business: out of control homeless. City cannot or will not do it.
on July 1,2013 | 01:24PM
Denominator wrote:
The City is doing something. It is cleaning them off the sidewalks and from City property. They haven't been on hotel property or private property because they know they aren't allowed.
on July 1,2013 | 01:58PM
hanaboy wrote:
Allie: Why don't you share with us what you studied and tell us how much is actually given. I would like to know.
on July 1,2013 | 03:15PM
honopic wrote:
Me, too, hanaboy. She comes up with these off-the-wall assertions on a regular basis, but never cites any source of verifiable facts or figures to back them up. Case in point - "Answer: much less than you think." What does that mean? How does allie presume to know what we think? Where are the numbers? Where's the hard data? And the assumption that "out of control homelessness" will kill Waikiki tour business is absurd. If Mythman is right and she does work at the Sheraton, is she not biting the hand that feeds her?
on July 1,2013 | 09:31PM
Mythman wrote:
My solution is free beer for all homeless people - we can convert some of those surplus city vans into portable draft beer delivery systems, sponsored by Brinckerhoff Speckerman Grabaskissass.....
on July 1,2013 | 12:25PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
So, any contribution less than a million dollars, and you're really just a part of the problem? That's absurd. If I'm hotel management, please help me explain to my shareholders how our profits would be served well by "pouring millions into mental health and housing solutions".

Second, it's not the responsibility of private enterprise to prop up social services. That's what taxes are for. It's why we choose our elected officials to manage those tax dollars. If they can't do an acceptable job of that, the last thing we should be doing is giving them more to play with.


on July 1,2013 | 12:43PM
allie wrote:
wrong..hotels are beginning to do this in NYC and San Francisco. Hawaii hotels are great at taking profits out of the islands but less good in investing in the community. It is in their interest to do so. Clearly as homelessness gets much worse, expect tourism to drop off. At first slowly and then quickly.
on July 1,2013 | 01:26PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Which of my statements are wrong? I'll concede that more can be done...more can always be done. But why are hotels getting singled out here, and not other businesses? Does it fall on the shoulders of the businesses in the district where the problem lies? If so, then we're going to end up in the same spot we're heading toward now, where the homeless are "punted", as someone put it, to another district where it becomes the problem of the businesses there.

And as for your complaint about hotels taking their profits out of the islands, the same can be said for any company not based here. I'll repeat: It isn't the responsibility of private enterprise to bail out social services.


on July 1,2013 | 02:05PM
primo1 wrote:
If your argument to the hotel industry is that growing homeless = dwindling tourism numbers then you'll be laughed right out of the board room. There are more homeless now than ever before and the tourists are coming in record numbers this year.
on July 1,2013 | 03:57PM
HLOEWEN wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 1,2013 | 01:22PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
That sentence would look like this:

Government is not the solution.!


on July 1,2013 | 02:06PM
kennysmith wrote:
i want to push the people in city hall out into the streets i am a veteran.
on July 1,2013 | 11:12AM
IAmSane wrote:
Hear, hear!
on July 1,2013 | 01:14PM
nearby wrote:
How will that solve anything. Oh, I get it. You want anarchy and then you can go back to being a soldier boy.
on July 1,2013 | 07:06PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
How about posting the names of lawyers in the Hawaii ACLU and their addresses? I'm sure they'll be more than accommodating to have the homeless camp on their front lawns. I'm positive of it.
on July 1,2013 | 12:37PM
pj737 wrote:
Gotta love the "END WORK" sign!
on July 1,2013 | 12:52PM
kennysmith wrote:
they are real sick in city hall, i like to push them out on the streets. i am mad at them. is this how they treat veterans to.
on July 1,2013 | 11:11AM
honopic wrote:
Is this the same kennysmith who commented on the planned closure of the HECO power plant at Aloha Tower? If so, I'm confused. In that post, you said you live in Seattle. In your rants about the homeless problem on Oahu, you indicate you live here. Which is it? If, indeed, you are a veteran, then I can empathize with your problems. But if, in fact, you are just grumbling for its own sake, please don't waste any more of our time.
on July 1,2013 | 09:40PM
false wrote:
While they're at it, can they get rid of those union guys holding the banners up too? They should be deemed a sidewalk nuisance as well.
on July 1,2013 | 11:16AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Great. Hopefully it works.
on July 1,2013 | 12:10PM
kennysmith wrote:
to Hapa_Haole_Boy and False and any others i just like you to see and talk to the person at IHS for men AND see how our veterans is treated. when i was there in 2010. i talk to 6 in IHS and they where told by other we are not wanted on oahu/ honolulu/waikiki. but i talk to the police in waikiki area. that the hawaians are being treated just like us veterans. so i just think you need to fine all of us who was in the service be treated better. i am on a wait list for sec8. i will never go where the state put me, i will go where i want to go or let's go to court.
on July 1,2013 | 12:23PM
loquaciousone wrote:
In keeping with the nuisance theme, does this include political sign wavers?
on July 1,2013 | 12:24PM
loquaciousone wrote:
In keeping with the nuisance theme, does this include political sign wavers?
on July 1,2013 | 12:24PM
Aieagrl wrote:
The state should do a study on a homeless euthanasia program. Because lets face it, all they're doing is sweeping the rubbish elsewhere may as well get rid of it once and for all. If they would use the money wisely and start up a "Shipping container Dorm system" and stick them out of sight it wouldn't be such a bother to everyone. They can have an address, apply for work, and become productive members of society. What they spend on one sweep could be used to build 8 10x8 living quarters for the homeless.
on July 1,2013 | 12:28PM
IAmSane wrote:
Falsely accusing Micronesians of that stabbing last week, and today advocating euthanasia for the homeless. You're on a roll.
on July 1,2013 | 01:21PM
Aieagrl wrote:
Yet you totally miss the solution I offered up as to how we can help the homeless. Just like our Government.
on July 1,2013 | 03:01PM
IAmSane wrote:
No, I didn't miss your "solution." I read it and didn't feel one way or the other, so I had nothing in response to it. "Hmm... shipping containers... yeah... that's original..." Your comment about euthanasia, however, made me raise my eyebrow so I was simply calling you out on it. Then I realized that you were the same person who made that racist Micronesian comment last week so I wasn't too surprised.
on July 1,2013 | 03:22PM
allie wrote:
yikes!
on July 1,2013 | 01:27PM
Anonymous wrote:
I was wondering whether anyone else was wondering whether the sign in the photo was put up by one of the (de)Occupy squatters. Sounds like a rallying cry for them. "Yes, let's put an end to work!!"
on July 1,2013 | 12:32PM
Iuki wrote:
Thank you, City Council! It took a long time, but you finally did something about these tents on the sidewalks. Anyone who has had to walk through these places and who has had to keep the "homeless" from invading their property, will be happy.
on July 1,2013 | 12:40PM
kiragirl wrote:
About time. Hopefully this will have them move into homeless shelters. If they don't want to, their kuleana.
on July 1,2013 | 12:45PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Yep, let hope some of them take advantage of shelters, but you are correct, if the homeless do not want to, that is their choice, but being homeless does not give you the right to do what you want and make house where ever you are.
on July 1,2013 | 02:03PM
PCWarrior wrote:
It's crazy that we have to pay by the minute to park our cars on the street yet people can camp and live on the sidewalk for free.
on July 1,2013 | 01:06PM
goodvibrations wrote:
If you notice where they are camped, they are right next to the parking meters preventing anyone from parking there who are attending programs at the Blaisdell or Academy of Arts, the majority of which are parents taking their children there. I sympathize with the homeless and especially those who are veterans who served in the war, being a former military dependent. But if they refuse to take the offer of free shelter by the people who want to help them, then they will just have to move on.
on July 1,2013 | 01:35PM
jnrz wrote:
Doesn't the de-Occupy guys know that they are primarily to blame for this law which is now going to affect the real homeless? Isn't this contrary to their beliefs? They need to go now.
on July 1,2013 | 01:26PM
IAmSane wrote:
Hmmm, yeah, that's a good point.
on July 1,2013 | 04:25PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Instead of getting rid of the tents, the City should just put bars in front of them and charge admission to throw peanuts at the homeless.
on July 1,2013 | 02:14PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Instead of getting rid of the tents, the City should just put bars in front of them and charge admission to throw peanuts at the homeless.
on July 1,2013 | 02:14PM
primo1 wrote:
The construction required hasn't been budgeted for. Maybe next year.
on July 1,2013 | 03:52PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
I just walked by Thomas square and nothing has been done. Two tents are in violation of ADA laws. Where are the over paid city workers who were to clean this mess up??
on July 1,2013 | 03:54PM
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