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City steps up sidewalk, park cleanup efforts

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 12:18 p.m. HST, Aug 06, 2013

City maintenance crews returned to Aala Park, Moiliili, Chinatown and Pawaa early this morning to clean up sidewalks and parks used by the homeless.

This morning cleanup operations began at 2:30 a.m. and centered around parks and sidewalks at In-Ha Park, Aala Park, the River-Pauahi-Smith-Beretania-Kukui-Aala streets areas, Sun Yat Sen Mall, College Walk Mall, Vineyard Boulevard, Kamamalu Park and Kauluwela Mall.

Armed with three city laws designed to enforce park closure hours, sidewalk nuisance and private property left on public property, city officials stepped their enforcement efforts on July 1.

The sidewalk ordinance allows the city to remove items deemed "nuisances" from city sidewalks with only a 15-minute notice. The law allows for people to retrieve any items seized if they pay a $200 fee. 

The Stored Property Ordinance allows the city to remove personal items left on city property with 24-hour advance notice.

All city parks close at 10 p.m.

Only three tents remain on the sidewalk on Beretania Street fronting Thomas Square this morning after city officials on Friday cleared the area used as an encampment by (de)Occupy Honolulu protestors. Friday’s operation was the third time crews removed tents, furniture and signs at Thomas Square belonging to the protestors. Two tents were removed. Crews said only one person was present when they arrived, along with two dogs. 

The protest group has been at Thomas Square since November 2011.

The city began enforcing the sidewalk nuisance law July 1 with sweeps on the Ala Wai promenade, Moiliili baseball park, Aala Park, River Street, Pawaa In-Ha Park and Kakaako.

Authorities said these are all locations where the city has received complaints. 

Some of the cleanup operations occur at night near parks in conjunction with the enforcement of park closure hours, the city said.

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."

The sidewalk and stored property laws are opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and (de)Occupy Honolulu. They argue that the bill criminalizes homelessness and free speech.

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SueH wrote:
Hallelujah, and it's about time!!
on August 6,2013 | 10:01AM
hilopango wrote:
It's about time. I think the taxpayers have had enough of having to walk around these people's junk, or cross the street to avoid it. I hope it extends to the people who set up tents along Beretania Street in store doorways after the store closes.
on August 6,2013 | 10:02AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Aala Park? Has anyone gone down there recently? It seems like there are more tents along Beretania Street by the skateboard park.
on August 6,2013 | 10:37AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Hate to tell Kirk but I drove by Pawaa In-Ha Park about an hour ago and guess what...yep, the tents are back on the sidewalk.

How long before we stop throwing money away on this plan? The City should be embarrassed. Does this mean more planters?

on August 6,2013 | 11:43AM
kiragirl wrote:
Keep at it. Do not stop.
on August 6,2013 | 12:08PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Yup, do it again tomorrow!
on August 6,2013 | 12:53PM
Honolulu_Guy wrote:
Absolutely agree. We have to show them that Honolulu will not tolerate this kind of behavior. They can go somewhere else.
on August 6,2013 | 04:47PM
Grimbold wrote:
How? They ridicule you, stare in your impudently in the face and dare you to beat them. Theygrab their junk and are back within a few hours!
on August 6,2013 | 05:26PM
dpinsacto wrote:
forget tomorrow. Do it at 11:59PM tonight.
on August 6,2013 | 07:11PM
MartyL wrote:
Keep it up ... these encampements are an eyesore. I am sure pedestrians will be happy to have the sidewalks used for what they were intended for. It's not like we don't have shelters.
on August 6,2013 | 12:52PM
alohacharlie wrote:
Keep up the long overdue work even if the authorities have to go by those locations every two hours. Is there some fund I can contribute to to help pay for any overtime necessary to keep this blight off of Hawaii parks and sidewalks? When I visit the mainland and talk to folks who have visited Hawaii, what do you think they ALWAYS mention? Yep, all the "bums" blocking the sidewalks, sleeping on the beach benches, and begging for money! I try to explain the fact that if the citizens of Hawaii had a say in this matter, it would not be a problem but since it has to be left up to the politicians and the police, the problems seems to be growing given our warm weather and the "free handouts" that so many of those folks receive.
on August 6,2013 | 01:31PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
These "raids" cost money. Big money. But they accomplish nothing because the sidewalk leeches are back with tents in less than 24 hours. This is the 3rd major sweep as far as I know and the progress has been zero. How many times do we have to fail before we recognize that the plan is a failure? This is ridiculous and demonstrates there is no plan and not much smarts at the City either.
on August 6,2013 | 05:37PM
dpinsacto wrote:
Thats exactly why we should kick them in the face instead. Then make them get up and cary their own junk to the trash.
on August 6,2013 | 07:10PM
Papio001 wrote:
If the ACLU is so concerned about the rights of these squatters, then they should have an ACLU Homeless shelter. Let's see how long that lasts...
on August 6,2013 | 01:33PM
justchecking wrote:
good one, Papio001
on August 6,2013 | 04:04PM
Grimbold wrote:
What about all the stolen shopping carts. Should all be confiscated. And the law should be changed to 5 lashings for stealing them. Enough volunteers would do it for free.
on August 6,2013 | 06:04PM
dpinsacto wrote:
The ACLU can take a long walk off a short cliff. Perhaps Makapu'u?
on August 6,2013 | 07:10PM
Grimbold wrote:
What would a real Hawaiian do if Riffraff camped on his property after he threw them out before? Well he would give the Riffraff a good beating, instead of telling them again and again and instead of being ridiculed by them. they would not come back. Alas our society is too stupid to even deal with Riffraff effectively.
on August 6,2013 | 05:23PM
dpinsacto wrote:
Agreed. The city is incapable of solving the issue. It is time for the tax payers to take matters into their own hands. Kick them hard and kick them frequent. They will learn.
on August 6,2013 | 07:08PM
dpinsacto wrote:
I would like to point out that the general public can also help to remove these freeloaders from sidewalks by kicking them in the face as hard as possible while they freeload on the sidewalk. There is nothing like a swift kick in the face to help one reevaluate their priorities.
on August 6,2013 | 07:07PM
Grimbold wrote:
Good idea would be to "not"see" the tent and fall down into it, whereby destroying it and then file a complaint with police of wrongfully being tripped.
on August 6,2013 | 09:07PM
HulaHair wrote:
Keep doing it. Please!
on August 6,2013 | 07:59PM
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