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Thursday, August 21, 2014         

Kokua Line Premium

Question: There's a house on the makai, Diamond Head corner of Bates and Bachelot streets that burned over a year ago. The house is still there and is an attractive nuisance for the kids in the neighborhood. Aren't owners of these damaged properties supposed to tear them down because they're a threat to public health and safety?

Question: Would it be possible for you to find out why the bathrooms at Punchbowl cemetery (near the Visitors Center) are in such disrepair? My wife and I attended services for my dad there in mid-July and went there again at the end of July.

Question: There are a number of vehicles parked downtown at metered stalls, e.g., Richards Street, in which a placard saying "Parking Permit for Government Business" is placed on the dashboard. Can you determine how and why and on what basis these "permits" are being issued?

Question: The state Department of Health has instituted color-coded placards after inspecting restaurants for health standards and food safety. What about food trucks?

Question: There is a coconut tree in Kaneohe, on the mauka side of Heeia fishpond, that looks a lot like the ones infested with the coconut rhinoceros beetles. Could you forward this to the place that handles this problem?

QUESTION: Along Beretania (and other streets) we see a growing number of traffic signals at a single intersection. At Beretania and Victoria (a relatively low-traffic intersection), there are six traffic lights facing Beretania traffic, four of them on an ugly arm that extends over the whole street.

Question: A friend recently had her first baby, and it was very hard to find information on paid maternity leave in Hawaii. She inquired with her human resources section and was told there was no allocation for paid maternity leave, unless she had sick leave to cover her time out.

In April a very unprofessional landscape maintenance crew did a real job on the Kahekili Highway plantings, and the way they left it was a lot of be desired. They almost finished off what damage was done last year. This time they decimated the loulu palms by removing most of the healthy fronds that were finally becoming attractive.

Question: I have several close relatives buried at Punchbowl, including my brother. It's now been more than a year since we placed his urn in a niche, and we are still waiting for his engraved name to be inked in so that we can find his burial site and see his name.

Question: Has Kirk Lankford, who was convicted of killing Masumi Watanabe, been released from prison? Answer: No. It will be a long time before he is released from prison for the 2007 murder of Watanabe.

Question: There are three problems that need to be addressed at Ala Moana Beach: 1. People saving parking spaces by putting a cooler or chairs to block the space or parking a car in the middle of two spaces. I have seen confrontations when people want to park in the saved spaces. 2. Dogs on the beach and in the water.

Question: A Star-Advertiser article on the lack of spaces at Ala Moana for the Fourth of July Fireworks show made me wonder how many spaces Ala Moana Center and Ward Centers have lost during their recent redevelopment. Doesn't each shopping center have an agreement with the city to provide a set number of parking spaces for shoppers and employees?

Question: For the past couple of weeks, construction workers working on the Ala Moana Center expansion project have been parking at Ala Moana Beach Park, leaving very little parking for beachgoers.

Question: Where can we find a listing of restaurants and the ratings issued by the state Department of Health? Answer: For now you're advised to call or go to a restaurant to check on its color-coded placard.

Question: I filed my Hawaii state tax late March for 2013. I am due a refund of nearly $7,000, but have not received it yet. When I checked the status online, it said that amount had been processed, but that no refund is due. When I called, I was told that because of my credit for photovoltaic installation, my refund was under review. How long does it take?

Question: Is it true that people who are registered to vote are more likely to be chosen for jury duty? This is a widespread belief and the reason for the low voting record.

Question: I just got my absentee ballot for the primary election. There was a note that said I must choose a political party to which I belong, and once I choose a party, I cannot vote for any candidate outside that party or my vote will be voided. When was this ridiculous law passed?

Question: Regarding Gov. Neil Abercrombie's campaign commercial in which he plays a taxicab driver: Even though it is a commercial, aren't the governor and his passengers supposed to buckle up? It's the law.

Question: When and where can the absentee ballots be dropped off? I know the ballot can be mailed in the prepaid postage envelope provided, but I do not like the idea of having my signature, name and address on the outside of the envelope for whoever to see. Why can't the signature part be on the inside yellow envelope?

When will the striping on the H-1 freeway between Kahala and First Avenue be clearly marked? Especially during the evening time, it is difficult to distinguish the lines for each lane as you're driving. I believe an accident will occur because of this.

Question: Why does the Board of Water Supply require my driver's license upon entering just to pay a simple bill? I went to their office to pay my bill and was told that I needed to show a photo ID.

I live one block from a bus stop where the two airport buses, the Nos. 19 and 20, stop. You would think it would service residents who want to get to the airport without paying a lot for a taxi or shuttle.

Question: Early one morning my daughter was in her car in the Ewa District Court parking lot, waiting to pick up some forms.

What is the status of the Ala Wai Dog Park? It was reported that the park was supposed to open this spring. Then a gentleman near the park a month ago said the park would open in June after some water fountains were installed. It's now July, and there is still a padlock on the gate.

Question: Around the condominium being built across the Ward Theatres is a huge fence at least 10 feet high. On the wall are plastered photos of the condominiums and large signs advertising the condo sales.

Question: With hurricane season underway, the TV news channels have run several specials on preparedness, reminding us to stock up on essentials.

Question: I was walking Ewa-bound on Ala Moana Boulevard, approaching the Atkinson Drive intersection.

Question: I went to the City Square driver licensing and state ID office in May and June and waited in line at 5:30 a.m. both days. There were about 35 people ahead of me, and the lines got much longer. As soon as the door opened at 7:45 a.m., these people (who were not in line) cut in front of those patiently waiting in line.

Question: I've lived on the North Shore for over 60 years. During my residency, I enjoyed the beauty of Waimea Bay until recently. I've noticed boats anchored really close to the shoreline.

Question: Another year has passed, and the parking lot at the Shell is still under construction.

Question: Several months ago streets in Hawaii Kai were repaved. Many of the manhole covers were removed and left on the curb, replaced by new covers. We now have many manhole covers lined up and down streets such as Lunalilo Home Road.

Question: Who is responsible for the no-smoking signs at bus stops? I did not think any were up at the makai side of Ala Moana Center (nor have I seen any on the mauka side), but then noticed two signs, one each on poles with bus numbers.

Question: Regarding the June 12 Kokua Line on what drivers should do when they're stopped at an intersection and an ambulance approaches from the rear: Quite some time ago the city equipped traffic lights with sensors to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Question: On the evening of Kamehameha Day, June 11, I walked over to the King Kamehameha statue on King Street, expecting to get some great night photos of the king draped in lei.

Question: My husband and I have lived on Oahu for the past 12 years and it appears to me that for the past 12-18 months there is a "different" weather condition happening fairly regularly.

Question: It's difficult to find addresses of places inasmuch as many buildings do not have the numbers easily seen as we drive by.

Question: Several years ago the state set up seven buoys at Ala Moana Beach to prevent collisions between swimmers and stand-up paddlers.

Question: My wife and I were awakened at 1:15 a.m. on a recent Friday by men in hard hats on the Ewa side of the federal building, pounding with hammers on metal pipes.

Question: What is happening with the old Honolulu Advertiser building? When they first announced plans to build condominium buildings at 801 South St., they said Hawaiian Dredging was going to buy the front part of the property and turn it into corporate headquarters. Is that still going to happen?

Question: In the June 2 Kokua Line (bit.ly/1oNZXSN), someone wanted to know what to do if his was the first car stopped at a red light when an ambulance approached from the rear.

Question: My mother is in a nursing home. Is there a way for her to renew her state ID without going in person to an ID card office?

Question: I was watching a YouTube video in which a gentleman with a smoke detector took the 9-volt batteries out and just threw them into his rubbish container.

Question: The bulky-item guys came recently and again left all kinds of trash on Lehua Street in Pearl City. Why are they not cleaning up their mess?

Question: New signs posted on the bathhouse at Ala Moana declare it illegal to use shampoo, soap or conditioner at the beach showers since the runoff may enter the ocean. What about the folks with suntan lotion going into the water or showering off?

Question: I got into an automobile accident recently. I called 911, and they sent a police officer. I asked the officer if I could have a written report, but he said they don't do any written reports for automobile accidents.

Question: A minister has been leading mourners down to the edge of the ocean where he sprinkles ashes of the deceased.

Question: When is the section of Kapolei Parkway across from Costco set to open? It is such a small section, but much needed and finally completed.

Question: If I'm the first car stopped at a red light and the ambulance comes behind me, what do I do? Do I cross the intersection and let the ambulance go?

Question: Could you please tell me what organization collects bottle covers? I couldn't find your past article on this.

Question: I want to release balloons at my father's funeral. Is that legal? Are there any state or city regulations regarding that?

Question: Recently a television newscast talked about illegal car window tinting and a new law. Can you explain window tinting that is legal, what the law is about, when the law will take effect and how can tinting be "tested" for percentage of darkness?

A while back on a Sunday, a roofing company worked a full day on a neighbor's house. I called the state Department of Health to report this violation of noise law and got a recording machine as they are not open on Sunday.

Question: What are the rules regarding turning left into driveways across a contra-flow lane? On Kapiolani Boulevard in the Ala Moana area, a contra-flow lane is set up going Ewa in mornings and Diamond Head in afternoons.

Question: I’m calling about a person who’s driving around in a Jeep with an illegal veteran’s license plate. He’s not a veteran. He’s never been in the military. Whom do I call, or can you help get him to remove his license plate?

QUESTION: Is the Pearl Harbor Bike Path ever going to be continued Ewa of Waipahu Depot Road? Also, who is responsible for its maintenance? The canal that runs along the trail is often filled with debris.

Question: Which schools have recycling bins for newspapers, glass and plastic bottles? Last month several were closed. Are there any left on Oahu?

Question: Kanewai Park on Dole Street has been closed for some time now. What exactly are they doing, and when is it going to be completed? I notice very little work being done on a day-to-day basis.

QUESTION: While reviewing my AARP homeowners insurance policy, I noted it offered a "retiree credit" and a "renewal credit." I was told that Hawaii was one of the few states that didn't allow AARP to offer those credits to policyholders.

Question: I live in the Kukui Plaza condominium, where residents were informed by management that during an inspection by the Honolulu Fire Department and due to a new fire code, there would be no barbecuing immediately on the million-dollar, award-winning designed garden deck of our complex.

Question: Could you please find out if there is a rule or law that says that we cannot fish from the sidewalk on Pier 7?

Question: I receive mail every month from Hawaii Energy telling me how much electricity I use compared with my neighbors.

Question: The new Aiea Public Library is finally finished but stands empty and unused by the public who have been patiently waiting for our new expanded library for years.

Question: As a follow-up to whether it is safe to swim in or eat fish from the Ala Wai Canal in the April 9 Kokua Line (is.gd/AVN3Mv): Because Waikiki and Ala Moana are so close to the Ala Wai, I'm sure pollution gets pushed to both beaches.

Question: How often is the Ala Wai Canal dredged? Does the pollution get cleaned up by this procedure?

Question: I recently renewed my license for two years and wasn't required to present any documents as I already did that in 2012 when the law required them... Would you be able to clarify the need to present documents again?

Question: There seems to be some confusion on the usage of Aikahi Playground, which is adjacent to Aikahi Elementary School.

Question: On Sunday morning, April 6, a speeding vehicle hit a pole on our street next to the KEY Project in Kahaluu.

QUESTION: Wasn't the boat ramp for the public in Ko Olina supposed to have been built by the end of 2013? I also heard that the Phoenician boat ramp at Kalaeloa is not free -- there is a fee for using it. Is this true?

Question: Regarding the condition of the restrooms at Hawaii State Library addressed in Kokua Line -- is.gd/tWLDOv: Why can't they be locked with keys available upon request? "Questionable" patrons can be accompanied by a security guard. Everyone is entitled to use a public restroom, but no one should be allowed to misuse it.

Question: In a 2010 column -- is.gd/ndhT1D -- you stated, "You can buy a lottery ticket in another state and if you win, you can keep the prize even if you're back home in Hawaii."

Question: What is the law regarding the caging and keeping of roosters in a residential neighborhood?

Question: On Pali Highway, there's a drive-off to a lookout where you can see the Honolulu Memorial Park pagoda. A lot of old building material and other stuff has been thrown over the side. Can you kindly inform whoever takes care of this area?

Question: The grass and bushes along the road around Waimea Bay and Sharks Cove block some of the best views in the world.

Question: I live in Ewa by Gentry. Yes, it is in the flight path of Honolulu Airport, and I did sign a covenant that stated airplanes will fly directly overhead between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Once in a while, the airport does runway work that requires planes to fly at all hours overhead, but that's only for a few days and not very often.

Question: Could you tell me why the parking lot adjacent to the downtown post office at 335 Merchant St. has a 24-hour/30-minute parking policy, since the post office is ostensibly closed at night and on the weekends?

Question: Now that work is done on the Ala Wai Canal, I see more people fishing, etc., I wonder about the water's quality. Is it safe to eat the fish or to go in the canal?

Question: A mysterious 2-foot-high lantern with the words "USDA QUARANTINE" and "643-PEST" appeared on a tree in the public sidewalk near my house in Ewa by Gentry last week.

Question: Is it OK to laminate your Medicare and HMSA cards? These cards are required when we register at the Medical Group and for lab tests. The Medicare card is also used to verify Social Security numbers.

Question: Regarding work on the H-1freeway: By the Waipahu exit and by the Palama Settlement area, it looks like they are putting light poles in the shoulder lane. It scares me to think that they're doing that, making narrow roads narrower and more dangerous for drivers. What are they doing?

Question: My Makaha neighborhood is having a problem with overnight scavengers taking cans from the blue recycling trash cans at the scheduled city pickup dates.

Question: The beach on the former Queen's Surf site is sometimes referred to by the news media as Queen's Surf Beach and at other times as Queen's Beach.

QUESTION: Who is responsible for cleaning the leaves/trash on the outside fence of Iolani Palace from the first gate on Richards Street to the Hawaii State Library facing South King Street?

Question: There have been heavy equipment operations going on 24/7 at the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill for the past several weeks. Don't they have to adhere to normal construction hours, that is, 7 a.m.

Question: Can you please clarify the parking charges at Pali Lookout for nonresidents versus local visitors?

Question: I've been seeing TV reports about Lanakila Meals on Wheels, which is subsidized by the state. But there is another organization called Meals on Wheels that is not subsidized by the state. Can you clarify the differences between the two?

Question: I read your article about two years ago saying there are two restrooms owned and maintained by the Hilton Hawaiian Village that are supposed to be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Question: Can you update the public on the results of the recertifying of store security guards? How many retained their jobs, how many were let go? And the names of their companies? Were there any felons hired?

Question: My father died 10 years ago and left several accounts that our family did not know about.

Question: New poles are being placed next to old electric utility poles in Palolo, many of them only a few inches apart. Are there plans to remove the old poles once this project is completed? I fear that the old utility poles will be left in place, leaving Palolo to look like a utility pole jungle.

I live in Manoa. Some of my neighbors and my family have formed an informal neighborhood watch group. One of our neighbors who is not part of our group installed security cameras on their property.

Question: My family went to the Pali Lookout recently and noticed that there is now paid parking. Where does that money go? Is it paying for maintenance of the land? What are they having to do there that they didn't do before?

Question: I seem to have gotten on some political phone message system for one of the people running for office. Almost every day I get calls that fill my landline answering machine. How can I get rid of these annoying calls?

Question: I live in Honolulu and notice there are more light planes flying over the city -- lower, louder, earlier and more frequently.

Question: I reported two street lights out on Hawaii Kai Drive, between Hahaione and Keahole streets, on Feb. 22 and was told there is a two- to three-week backlog.

Question: Can you find out why your newspaper never reports attendance at the home games of the University of Hawaii men's basketball games? Attendance is reported for away games and for all other sports. What's the secret?

Question: I go to the Hawaii State Library on King Street weekly. For years, overloaded carts and other items belonging to the homeless are placed on library property and at the entrance steps. One day, the stench coming from two carts was overwhelming.

I am a senior citizen and have to renew my driver's license every two years. Last time, it was very frustrating. I finally got all the documents requested and got my license. My question, if you know, is, Do I have to take all those documents with me when it's time for me to renew again?

Question: The property owners at 2792 Pacific Heights Road have covered over the city's asphalt pavement with grass, plants and pots in front of their lot where a bus stop turn-out area was. Is this allowed?

Question: I work in a small store. One day, as I approached a customer, he blew out a puff of vapor from an e-cigarette and left quickly. I encounter many users who impart the slogan, "It's not smoke, it's vapor. You're welcome."

Question: I live in Niu Valley and run two to three times a week on Kalanianaole Highway toward Hawaii Kai. For over two years, the Maunalua Bay Beach Park restrooms have been closed for work on a sewer system.


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