I wish I had been reminded that as of Oct. 15 the Windward site for driver’s license renewal is not at Windward City Shopping Center. I walked in, and there was a large sign saying there was a change of location for driver’s licenses to the satellite city hall at Temple Valley Shopping Center. Why?
When Ward Avenue was repaved between King and Beretania streets, the repaving stopped just short of the marked pedestrian crossing on Beretania. As a result, the crossing is still full of holes and breaks in the pavement.
Question: My father, a decorated World War II 100th Infantry Battalion veteran, died in 1995. We were told that Punchbowl had no available burial plots. He was buried at the Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe without honor guards or the playing of taps.
Question: Is the state Department of Health or the federal government spot-testing fish sold here for radiation exposure due to the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant following the March tsunami/earthquake in Japan — in particular, fish known to migrate to Japanese waters?
Question: The city's reference center next to Mission Auditorium has been closed to the public for some time. Will it reopen? What will happen to the materials and archives if it doesn't reopen? Where should the public go if they need access to these records?
Question: I recall reading about a law regarding gift certificates issued by stores that there could not be a short expiration date or that there now was no expiration date. Can you provide some information on that? I have a gift certificate my friend bought for me last year that says it expires after one year. The shop owner said she would allow me to use it this time, but insists she does not have to honor it past the one-year expiration date.
Question: A neighbor placed a large leather couch at curbside a day or two after the bulky-item pickup truck came through our area. After a few days I placed a set of garbage pickup rules in this resident’s mailbox hoping the couch would be returned to the owner’s property. When no action was taken, I called the city complaint office, which put me in touch with the Refuse Division. I said the city should issue a citation and require the couch to be removed. Nothing happened; the couch remained curbside for a full month until the next pickup. Is the new ordinance being enforced, and what is the contact for a complaint?
Question: I called the Hawaiian Humane Society to pick up a cat I had trapped on my property and was told that as of July 4 it would cost me $25. In the past the Humane Society picked up stray cats for free and, as an incentive, offered a cage if you needed one.
Question: I live in Hawaii Kai, and for the last few months, our household trash has not been picked up on the scheduled Wednesday, but a day late many times and, in one case, two days late. Also, the Saturday green/blue bin pickups occasionally don’t occur until Monday. In the 18 years I’ve lived here, the trash was always picked up on schedule without fail, except for the last few months. The city refuse department says it’s due to “equipment issues.” What is really causing this delay, as it’s never happened in the past?
QUESTION: Here in Waialua I am seeing more customized golf carts, all-terrain vehicles and other smaller vehicles traveling on the roads. Are they legal? I would like to have one to get around this small community instead of driving my car or truck.
Question: I was driving home from dinner on June 18, and I noticed someone raising the U.S. and state flags in front of the state Capitol. Since when are those flags raised at 11 p.m.? I am from a military family and found this to be quite disturbing. Who is responsible for raising the state Capitol flags?
Question: Every time I go to the Aloha Tower area, my heart breaks to see the condition of the Falls of Clyde. We visited the East Coast, and at every port we visited, there were beautiful, well-kept three- and four-masted schooners representing their cities. What’s happening with our Falls of Clyde?
Question: In Waipouli, Kauai, there is a beach that residents refer to as Baby Beach or Fuji Beach. In newscasts in the past, incidents there referred to the location as Fuji Beach. How did Fuji Beach get its name, and which name do most people identify with?
Question: What are the rules regarding memorials and advertising on cars? I’ve seen very large text and photo advertising covering cars. They are a visual blight. There are also cars with memorials on the back windshield that are so large they block visibility.
Question: I received my Board of Water Supply bill on the same day the bill was due. I checked the envelope for the date when the bill was mailed out only to find the presorted first-class block with no date stamped anywhere.
Question: There is a water leak on the H-1 Freeway, westbound, before and after the School Street ramp. I have reported this situation twice within the past year, but so far, no action has been taken. Can you help?
Q: The digital display board that shows bus arrival and departure times at the Mililani Mauka Park and Ride has been out of service for months. What is the problem, and when will it be functioning again?
Question: How is bail determined? Is it based on income? This is in reference to the $5 million bail set for Toby Stangel following the shooting spree on June 3. That seems to be high. Do you know who had the highest bail amount?
Question: There was an auto accident the week of May 30 in Makakilo. The damaged vehicles were removed by a towing company. The damaged stoplight was moved to the median, along with the front bumper of one vehicle. Broken glass and smaller vehicle parts were swept to the median curb. Four days later a city vehicle picked up the stoplight. Six days later all the rubbish is still on the median, including the bumper. Who’s responsible for cleaning up after an accident?
Question: At about 4:30 or 5 p.m. Friday, June 3, a bunch of police cars in Waikiki blocked off Kala-kaua Avenue from Liliu-okalani Avenue to Kapahulu Avenue and moved everyone off the beach and makai side. I asked bystanders what was going on and was told that a suspicious package was found on the beach, and police thought it might be a bomb. I then saw police leading a lifeguard in handcuffs to a police car. I couldn’t find any mention of the incident in the newspaper the next day. What happened?
Question: Recently, there have been lots of thunder and lightning over our state. I read something that really amazed me — that the number of lightning strikes to the ground was in the thousands. Is that true? If so, why hasn’t there been more damage?
Question: Can you provide an update on what’s going on with all the boxes shipped to the Philippines by PB Direct Express that haven’t been delivered? Unverified reports have it that the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs would be sending a lawyer to the Philippines.
Question: Are halogen headlights and light-blue covers for the headlights legal? When driving at night, my classmates and I feel they are blinding to our eyes. The people who put tinted blue covers over the headlights are also trying to make the car look like police cars.
Question: Can you tell me where I can properly dispose of used mercury-filled light bulbs or CFLs?
Question: The past few times when I’ve gone to the Kapaa Transfer Station, they made me go on the scale that commercial trucks use. I was told that because the truck has a flat bed, it is classified as a commercial vehicle. Is this correct? Is there a way to get a waiver? I have been able to convince workers that this is my personal truck and household waste, and I have been let go without a fee.
Question: Does anyone know how I can get rid of or minimize the population of those ugly, dark brown anole lizards that are running wild and rapidly increasing in population? They look like little dinosaurs and seem to be very aggressive.
Question: What is the derivation of the name Velzyland on the North Shore? I always presumed it was named after the famous board surfer Dale Velzy. However, I recently learned that when Velzy was asked when he last surfed Velzyland, he responded, “Never been there.” So how did Velzyland obtain its name?
Question: There appear to be cameras mounted on H-1 freeway overpasses at Pali Highway, Kalihi Street and Puuloa Road. There is one device for each lane, and every one points at the rear of cars. What are these devices? Who operates them and for what purpose?
Q: I often see troops from Fort Shafter jogging mornings in front of Moanalua schools on Mahiole Street. One day, I saw two of them with full backpacks and M-16 rifles. Is it legal to carry these weapons openly on a public street?
Q: I read your May 6 column about PB Direct Express and Philbox Express. I also mailed several boxes to the Philippines by using PB Direct. Checks were cashed, but I found out none of the boxes had been delivered. Most are sitting in a warehouse in Tarlac in the Philippines. My wife spoke to a woman at the warehouse, who told her that they would not be delivered until authorization was received from Millennium Express. Can you let people know what’s happening?
Q: The annual Hawaii State Surfing Championships were held at Ala Moana “Bowls” on May 5, 6 and 7. On the 5th and 6th, recreational surfers were told to clear the very popular surf spot for the contest to start at 7 a.m. and at 6 a.m. on the 7th. If the contest’s permit reserves the surf spot from 8 a.m., shame on the organizers and sponsors for illegally clearing the area earlier. This deprives the recreational surfers of their rights to enjoy it for a couple of hours before the contest. Doesn't the state Department of Land and Natural Resources ensure that their permits are followed so the public is not unfairly taken advantage of?
Q: Our street, Royal Palm Drive in Wahiawa, is lined with beautiful royal palm trees that I believe were planted during our plantation era. In March several small palms were planted between certain trees. Who decided to do this? Why weren’t residents given the opportunity to stop this? Who paid for this?
Question: Recently we’ve noticed red/pink worms in the bowl of our toilet. They are very thin and approximately 1 to 2 inches long. Our concern is that this might be a parasite infecting one of our family members, but since we don’t see it anywhere else, we’re not sure whether it is just a pest or bug larvae. Do you have any ideas of whom we could contact?
Q: Every day I drive from Ala Moana Center, go down Keeaumoku Street and turn left at South Beretania Street. Turning left on South Beretania is the longest part of the journey, as the left-turn light does not seem to be long enough. It will only allow about half the cars, if that, to go through. I find myself waiting for at least two light cycles each day. Who is the person or what department can I contact with concerns about traffic light timing?
Question: Regarding the new Kapolei Interchange: It seems they haven’t worked on it for months, yet it’s almost finished. What is the holdup? What is the expected time they are going to start up again, and when will it be completed?
Question: It seems like the Kapolei Freeway Interchange project has been going on forever. Once they’re finished, how are they going to alleviate the traffic from Campbell Industrial Park, Costco and Target going west on Farrington? The new traffic from Makakilo, which will be turning left to go to Costco, will double or triple the traffic and prohibit people getting out of Campbell.
Question: My grandson bought a 2000 pickup truck from my friend for $400. My friend had not driven this truck since 2003 because of mechanical problems and has not renewed the registration since that time.
Question: Regarding the Department of Homeland Security giving states until January 2013 to comply with the REAL ID Act (Kokua Line, April 21): Does any Hawaii license issued so far comply? I got my driver’s license in March, but I can’t tell the new one from the old one. (Combination of two questions.)
Question: I was at a North Shore beach where they filmed “Lost” on Friday, April 15, and saw three people riding horses on the beach. The horses deposited three large piles of manure. Is it legal to ride a horse on a beach, and what about leaving behind horse manure?
Question: I’ve been told over and over never to give out your Social Security number. I have volunteered for more than 25 years as a driver, but now they want my number to check my past driving record. It’s been so long, about 40 years, that I cannot remember the last time I received a ticket. I have provided a copy of my driver’s license, and if they want they can get a traffic abstract. But because I refuse to give them my Social Security number, I no longer can drive for them. Am I right in refusing to give it?
Q: What possible concept exists to block off one lane all the way through the Pali Highway tunnel with nothing going on? • Q: Kahekili Highway sprinklers aren't working. Who do you report this to? • Mahalo
Question: The city has placed parking meters along South King Street from Washington Middle School and, from our understanding, will continue on to University Avenue. We can accept this, since I guess every 25 cents counts. However, the meters are for one hour only! Parking on South King is generally used by people who work in the area during the day. Now we are forced to run outside every hour to feed the meters or, worse, park in the neighborhoods, taking parking away from residents. But what are we to do?
Question: Regarding the Oct. 7, 2010, Kokua Line about renewing the state ID card for flying and whether it has to be changed by May 11: Can we have an update? We will be traveling and wonder if our state ID or driver’s license will be valid under the REAL ID Act.
Question: Many years ago a good friend shared with me that he is the person who is credited with coining the term “vog” (volcanic smog). He had an old newspaper clipping that said so. Now that the term has become so ubiquitous that it even has a Wikipedia entry, is it possible to credit him? Are you able to confirm that “Buddy” Watanabe, who was born on Molokai and who worked for Kaiser Permanente on Oahu for years, indeed invented the word “vog”?
Question: In your Feb. 26 column, you wrote about the prescription drug take-back program and that there would be another one in April. I’ve accessed the hawaii.gov/ag website, but there is no information about having the program again. Do you have any information about when there might be another program?
Question: I saw one of those yellow stand-up road signs in Manoa that remind drivers they should slow down because there is a crosswalk. Would the city consider putting one on the crosswalk at 22nd and Harding avenues in Kaimuki?
Question: I have about 6 gallons of cooking oil that I’ve accumulated over the years frying turkey. Several calls and emails to various agencies have proven futile in helping me get rid of this oil. I certainly don’t want to dump it in the trash or down a storm drain. Who is willing to take this oil for recycling?
Question: I've been noticing more and more “bouncer houses” at our beach parks. They are noisy, with generators putting out exhaust all day; they take up a lot of space; and they detract from the natural beauty of our public spaces. I have two kids who love these things, but find them intrusive, especially at smaller parks like Kaimana Beach. Can’t a middle ground be reached in which people have to obtain permits and vendors have to educate the public as to where they can install them? • Question: Regarding the website that provides text and email alerts during a tsunami can you let readers know it is www.nixle.com? • Mahalo
Question: Do scientists and seismologists think that what happened in Japan could happen in Hawaii, meaning a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami? • Question: During the TV coverage of the tsunami alert last month, a Pacific Tsunami Warning Center official mentioned a partnership between PTWC and a website, in which a text message and email of the center’s alerts can be sent. Given that some residents might not hear the warning sirens, could you provide information on the site and its operation? • Mahalo
Q: I went to Koko Crater Botanical Garden and found a sign that said it was closed on a recent Friday. I've not seen these closures mentioned anywhere. What are they? • Q: Since when is liquid in my water bottle not allowed to be carried into the Federal Building? • Mahalo
Question: I live in Ewa Beach. Regarding the new utility poles that were put up after the old ones were knocked down by trees, causing the Ewa Beach power outage last month: A lot of the new poles are not vertical; they’re leaning at different angles. If we have another heavy wind, are those poles going to fall over and cause another power problem in Ewa Beach?
Question: Is there some way to check daily vog levels? It affects me a lot, as well as several friends. If I’m feeling really sick, it would be good to see whether it’s because of the vog. Is there a website or someplace to check?
Question: With regard to the maps of tsunami evacuation zones, do you know at what wave or surge height these are based on? The tsunami in Japan was reported at 23 feet in some areas. It was also reported that the surge traveled three miles inland. The maps don't indicate what height is anticipated, so I can’t tell whether these are best- or worst-case scenarios.
Question: Can you help us take a rooster out of the Lusitana Street area, near the Queen’s Medical Center? It’s been crowing at 1 a.m. for the past 12 weeks! I called the Hawaiian Humane Society, but they said they don’t do anything with roosters anymore and referred me to Royos Farm. But I can’t get in touch with Royos Farm.
Question: Why wasnt Kapahulu Avenue opened for the emergency evacuation of Waikiki on Thursday, March 10, when we had the tsunami alert? I realize there was a water main repair job under way, but surely city or civil defense authorities could have found a way to open up at least one lane for the evacuation.
Q: What is the purpose of the roadwork and all those new cement patches along the H-1 freeway, Koko Head-bound, near the 6th Avenue offramp That area always caused a bucking motion of my car; now it is worse, and the pavement is like a washboard.
Question: In this age of cutbacks and increased city fees, does the city still allow city workers to park at the Neal Blaisdell
Center parking structure at vastly reduced rates, or did they correct that and start charging market rates? I thought that
always was a perk that wasn't deserved — that they could park there and get free shuttle service from the Civic Center to
the Blaisdell parking structure.
Is it legal to park in front of a mailbox? • I sent my confidential tax information via Certified Mail but now it is lost. Can you help? • Is the Postal Service cutting back pickup times at some stations?
Q: Why weren't there any police officers to control major intersections in Ewa during the March 4 power outage at peak traffic times as a minimum? • Q: Some cereal boxes have "recyclable" printed on the box. Do I throw these into the trash instead of the recycle bin?
Question: We live in a downtown high-rise condominium. One night recently a police officer came to our door asking whether anyone had called 911, as they had received a call for an ambulance, supposedly from our unit.
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The Red Raider Experience
I wouldn’t call it a quest needing to be filled before some fateful date, but until Oct. 17 I had never been to a Kahuku football game in Kahuku. Somehow, this just seems like a mistake for any area sports fan. Read More »
Coach Wagner’s Excellent Retirement
Former University of Hawaii head football coach Bob Wagner is a Facebook friend of mine. Recently, I’ve been enjoying his posts and pictures as he’s been visiting various college football stadiums around the country. Read More »