Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Monday, June 24, 2024 84° Today's Paper

Kokua Line

No rules prohibit using sink to bathe at comfort stations

QUESTION: In May, a city employee confronted a homeless man in a playground restroom in Waikiki. The homeless man filled the basin with water and began to take a bath by pouring water on himself with a cup. Police were notified, but stated they could not cite him because there are no signs saying it is illegal to do what he was doing. The man was completely naked. Another time, this same man filled the restroom basin with water to wash his clothes. When the employee discussed this situation with his supervisor, he was told, "We cannot put signs in every public restroom." Is this true? Will the homeless be allowed to do whatever they want to do?

ANSWER: It’s true that there currently are no city park rules or signs that prohibit bathing in restrooms.

Putting up signs is not seen as a solution, but as a move that would just complicate matters.

"Park comfort stations are designed for people to ‘do their business,’ wash their hands, and leave," said Lester Chang, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

There are no rules that prohibit using the basin sink to bathe, because it is difficult to legally define bathing, Chang said. For example, he pointed out that people often use sinks to wash their faces, forearms and more, especially in hot weather or after recreational activities.

"Common sense and decency should prevail regarding nudity beyond shower and changing rooms," Chang said.

Both he and Maj. John McEntire, commander of the Honolulu Police Department’s Waikiki district, said public bathers could possibly be cited for another violation, such as indecent exposure or open lewdness.

Despite what officers said about not being able to take any action, McEntire said you can call 911 to meet with an officer and make a complaint.

The officer would ascertain whether a violation, such as indecent exposure, has been committed "and take appropriate action," he said.

QUESTION: I would like to know if you could help me find Freddie Morris, who had a show in Hawaii with a dummy named Moku Kahana. I haven’t heard about him in years.

ANSWER: The ventriloquist died in August 1998 at the age of 39 after collapsing at his home. He reportedly had suffered from a seizure disorder for two years.

Famed local agent Kimo McVay, also deceased, said that after he began managing Morris, he suggested completely changing his dummy Archie’s name and appearance.

According to McVay, it was only later that he realized Moku Kahana is "Kahanamoku" backward. He said it must have been a Freudian slip because he had been a close friend of Duke Kahanamoku’s.



To two young men for saving my life. My husband and I were walking out into the water at Waikiki on June 12, when a huge wave knocked us down. He was able to swim to the breaker wall, but I was swept out and started going under. I just knew I was going to die. When I popped up for what I thought was the last time, I saw a young man with a yellow surfboard and yelled, "Help me!" He came and told me to get on his surfboard, but as I did so, I caused him to fall into the water. That was when the lifeguard came and said, "I’ve got her now" and brought me to shore. They both disappeared so I didn’t get their names, although I was able to give one of them a big hug and kiss later. I hope they see this to know how grateful I am.—Verna Crum / Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.

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 e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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