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Water on H-1 near offramp coming from natural spring

For Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By June Watanabe


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?

Answer: Good news: There is no leak.

The water you see is from a natural spring that's trickling up to the surface near H-1 Freeway's School Street offramp, according to the state Department of Transportation.

"It's become active in the past several years and gives many motorists the mistaken impression that a water pipe may be leaking," a spokesman said.

Natural spring or not, DOT officials aren't scheduling any repairs because the water is not directly affecting the pavement or retaining walls.

"To do so would likely require a full closure of the freeway ramp and part of School Street for major excavation and reconstruction work," the spokesman said.

However, a $2.53 million project to repair the retaining wall there -- completed in March 2010 -- also involved installing new drainage at the base of the offramp to eliminate ponding.

"The ponding is now gone, but motorists might still see water running into the new drain, even on sunny days," the spokesman said.

No other "water activity" was found near the freeway onramp, but highway inspectors will continue to monitor the spring's flow for potential problems, he said.

Q: I was at Valley of the Temples graveyard on Memorial Day and noticed a stone marker for Tyke the elephant in the pet cemetery. Who put it there? Where was she really buried?

A: The marker, which states simply, "In Memory of Tyke, the Circus Elephant. Aug. 20, 1994," was placed by Valley of the Temples on July 17, 1995.

General Manager Steve Hawley said he found records showing that Valley of the Temples Pet Cemetery donated the plot and marker, but no other information about how that came about or who was involved.

We do know that Tyke is not buried there.

She was shot and killed by police on Aug. 20, 1994, after she crushed her trainer during a performance at the Blaisdell Arena and went on a rampage on nearby streets,

The city Department of Parks and Recreation moved Tyke's body from Ilaniwai Street, where she died, to the animal quarantine station at Halawa, where an autopsy was done. The body was then disposed of in the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill.

Despite the death of trainer Allen Campbell, the goring of groomer Dallas Beckwith and the attack on local publicist Steve Hirano, who tried to corral her, Tyke became a symbol for animal rights.

Honolulu attorney William Fenton Sink sued the circus and the elephant's owner on behalf of numerous plaintiffs, settling out of court for an undisclosed sum.

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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