Monday, November 30, 2015         


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Beach park’s sewage woes keep restrooms off-limits

By June Watanabe


Question: Do you have any information regarding the restrooms at Maunalua Bay Beach Park in Hawaii Kai? They’ve been closed for several months now. We’re wondering if they will ever be reopened.

Answer: The blue signs posted on the boarded-up restrooms don’t give any clue beyond saying, “Closed for Repairs. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

But, it looks like park- and beachgoers will have to get used to the portable toilets that were set up after the comfort station was shut down at the end of last year.

The restrooms were closed because the city plans to upgrade the cesspool system there to either a septic system or one connecting to the sewer system, said Collins Lam, director of the Department of Design and Construction.

However, the location “does not offer an easy and quick solution because there is no city sewer system in the area,” he said.

Compounding the problem is the proximity of the restrooms to the ocean, making the option of a septic system and leach field “a challenge.”

“We are currently evaluating the potential of tying into a private sewer system, but this option still involves significant challenges,” Lam said.

He hopes to put the project out to bid early in 2012, at which time the cost of the project will be determined.

Until the project is completed, two portable toilets will be in place in the parking area.

Question: I know there is a state law banning children 12 and under from riding in the back of a pickup truck, but is there one for riders sitting on top of the sides and/or the tailgate while it is being driven? I live in Waianae and often see trucks speeding by with people sitting on top of the tailgate or along the side. I’ve never seen police stop or ticket them. I would hate to be behind them when they fall out.

Answer: There is a state law requiring passengers in pickup trucks to be following certain safety rules.

First, under Section 291-14 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, no one is supposed to be standing in the bed or load-carrying area of a pickup while it is in operation.

Furthermore, no one is supposed to be driving a pickup with a passenger in the bed UNLESS there is no seating in the cab area; the side racks are securely attached and the tailgate is securely closed; and “every passenger in the bed or load-carrying area of the vehicle is seated on the floor and does not attempt to control unlashed cargo.”

However, there are exemptions. This law does not apply to businesses that serve the public or are subject to regulations by state agencies.

The provision prohibiting carrying passengers 12 years old or younger in the bed of a pickup does not apply if there is an emergency threatening the life of the child or the pickup is in a parade, caravan or exhibition officially authorized or otherwise permitted by law.

Violators are subject to fines of $25 or $50.

In 2010 the Honolulu Police Department issued 66 citations under various provisions of Section 291-14, said Sgt. Danton Nakama, of HPD’s Traffic Division. As of May 2011, 10 citations had been issued.

“There have been several unsuccessful attempts over the years to ban anyone from riding in the back of pickups,” he noted.


To the driver of a Toyota. About 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, at Petland Kahala, security cameras showed you pulling into a parking stall and hitting my new truck. Your wife got out and told you to park a couple of stalls mauka from mine. Too bad I couldn’t get your license number, or I would have filed a hit-and-run case with HPD. However, we’ve got photos of you both. As they say, what goes around comes around. May it happen many times over to you, and may you have many sleepless nights. I have to repair the damage, which means time away from my job and additional expenses on my tight budget.

— Innocent

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

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