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Honolulu fireworks permits are a matter of public record

By June Watanabe

LAST UPDATED: 8:44 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Question: Ninety-three firecracker permits were issued for this Fourth of July. Where can I find a listing of who bought the permits? Are the permits public record?

Answer: Firecracker permits issued by the city are a matter of public record, but it's too late for anyone to see them before this Fourth of July holiday.

In the future, however, you can put in a request to view the records at the Honolulu Fire Department headquarters on South Street.

"It would be the same process that any government agency follows," said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig. "It could be an informal request or a formal request ... in writing," although he said a written request would be preferable.

Seelig said that if anyone is concerned about whether someone has a permit to legally use firecrackers, they should just call 911.

The permits are supposed to be displayed where the firecrackers are used, in a prominent place, noting the applicant's name and the date, time and location of firecracker use.

However, Seelig said opening the records to public inspection will require redacting the applicants' addresses and phone numbers because of privacy concerns.

The address of the applicant might be the same as the usage site but still has to be blacked out, he said.

That task wouldn't have taken much time for this holiday, Seelig said, but for a New Year's Eve, when "we're talking in the thousands (of permits), it would take us longer," he said.

He also pointed out that permits are issued at satellite city halls, which means it might "take a while" for them to be transferred to the Fire Department.

Question: Where can we get Kupuna IDs? Are they still issuing them?

Answer: You can get a Kupuna (grandparent or elder) ID card from the Honolulu Police Department, but only at selected community events and fairs.

They are not issued at any police station.

To find out where the next event is, call the nearest police station (check your telephone directory or go to and ask for the district community policing team, said spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

Bringing a driver's license or state ID card is not required, but will speed up the registration process, she said.

Kupuna IDs are not considered official government-issued identification cards. They are meant only to identify the person carrying the card -- for example, someone with mild dementia.

The ID includes the person's name, photo, emergency contact name and phone number, along with other personal information.

Initially, the Kupuna ID program was sponsored and coordinated by the state Department of the Attorney General's Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division, in partnership with HPD and private businesses.

However, the attorney general is no longer involved in the program.

Check HPD's website:


To Tom Yee of Hawaii Kai. At about 11:45 a.m. Friday, June 10, I was on my way to the airport when I got a flat tire on the freeway. Tom stopped and changed the flat and also made sure that we were in a safe area. Because of him, my family made it to the airport on time to make their flight. He was truly our blessed angel. God bless him. -- J.M.

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

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