POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 07, 2012
~~<p><strong>Question: </strong>Over the past year or two, a large number of “permanent” lunch wagons have appeared at Kahe­kili and Kamehameha highways in Kaha­luu. That’s OK, but recently I observed someone dumping a bucket of waste into the waterway beside their wagon. With so many permanent vendors in one small area with no utilities, plumbing, etc., what are the rules for them? On one side there is a porta-potty, but not for those across the highway. There are no electrical, water or (most important) sewer/septic connections for their “kitchens.” Does the Department of Health track these vendors?<br />
Question: Over the past year or two, a large number of “permanent” lunch wagons have appeared at Kahekili and Kamehameha highways in Kahaluu. That’s OK, but recently I observed someone dumping a bucket of waste into the waterway beside their wagon. With so many permanent vendors in one small area with no utilities, plumbing, etc., what are the rules for them? On one side there is a porta-potty, but not for those across the highway. There are no electrical, water or (most important) sewer/septic connections for their “kitchens.” Does the Department of Health track these vendors? Answer: Lunch wagons are not allowed to have any permanent or semipermanent utility connections, and all power, water supply and wastewater must be contained on the vehicle, said Peter Oshiro, environmental health program manager for the state Department of Health’s Sanitation/Food and Drug/Vector Control Branch. They are not allowed to discharge any wastewater onto the ground. “Lunch wagons that handle food are required to have at least one portable sink with a minimum 5-gallon water supply and a waste tank larger than the water supply to hold all wastewater onboard until they return to their support kitchen where the wastewater can be dumped into the sewer system,” Oshiro added. Based on your complaint, an inspector visited two mobile wagons at the site and reminded both that they are not allowed to dump wastewater onto the ground, he said. If you see this again, call the Health Department’s Sanitation Branch at 586-8000. Question: I’m curious about the apparent discrepancy in your column regarding the minimum age of election workers (see “Kokua Line,” Sept. 4). You indicate a poll worker has to be at least 16 and a registered voter to work at a polling place. However, you have to be 18 to vote, so where does the age of 16 even come into play here? I believe you are allowed to preregister once you turn 16, but you still can’t legally vote until 18. Does preregistering equate to being registered and thus eligible to work? Answer: Yes. In Hawaii you can preregister to vote when you are 16, although you cannot vote until age 18, explained Rex Quidilla, spokesman for the state Office of Elections. “We’ve had that on the books for a long time,” he said. “The system automatically keeps track (of preregistered voters), and when you turn 18, we’ll send you the yellow (voter information) card.” The state offers a Young Voter Registration Program with both public and private schools that “allows these island youth to register to vote,” Quidilla said. Eight other states — California, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon and Rhode Island — and the District of Columbia allow 16- or 17-year-olds to preregister to vote as a way to get them involved in the voting process. Other states are considering similar legislation. AUWE To the person riding a recumbent bicycle (in which the rider is sitting in a laid-back position instead of straight up) on the sidewalk on Lanikuhana Avenue near the Mililani Walmart at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 31. Please remember that you need to yield to pedestrians. Although you called out a warning, you whizzed past me. While your “good morning” was polite, you need to slow down or pull over onto the grassy strip and give pedestrians the right of way. Someone could be seriously injured. — A Biker Myself MAHALO To the dear lady who found my wallet and returned it to me at my apartment last month. I didn’t get your name and didn’t thank you enough for your thoughtful action. You are truly a good neighbor (from the neighbor islands). — M. McGowan
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