Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Kokua Line

Illegal off-trail hikers scar slopes of Diamond Head

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Grooved lines along the slopes of Diamond Head are the result of illegal off-trail hikers, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ State Parks Division.

Question: We have noticed grooved lines all along the slopes of Diamond Head. What are these? Are they trails of some sort? Cracks? They can’t have been formed by water runoff since it has been so dry and the lines are on the ridges. Opposite Campbell Avenue, there appears to be a rope running from the top of the ridge to the bottom. I hope people are not creating these bald spots by hiking. We all would rather have the green Diamond Head of winter. The dry Diamond Head of summer is being scarred with all these lines.

Answer: Unfortunately, most of the "grooves" you see along the exterior of the Diamond Head State Monument are the result of illegal off-trail hikers, said Yara Lamadrid-Rose, Diamond Head Park coordinator for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ State Parks Division.

The scarring can be seen on the Monsarrat Avenue and Diamond Head Road sides of the crater.

"Even a few hikers illegally accessing these ridges can create scarring," Lamadrid-Rose said.

Once scars are made, the dry, windy conditions make it difficult for new growth to take hold and erase the scars, she said.

It’s difficult to control access and stop the illegal hiking because the area in question abuts residential areas, Lamadrid-Rose said.

As for a "rope" along the ridge above Campbell Avenue: That’s probably the PVC conduit that runs from a Board of Water Supply site at the base of that ridge to the inside of the crater, she said.

The State Parks Division "encourages hikers to stay on legal trails that are open to the public," she said. "This scarring along Diamond Head State Monument clearly shows the damage that off-trail hiking causes."

Question: The power went out where I live in upper Manoa from about 8:30 p.m. July 4 to 1 a.m. Hawaiian Electric said there also were power outages in McCully, Moiliili and Waikiki, but I have not seen any explanation as to what happened that night. Can you find out?

Answer: The Star-Advertiser did have a brief story on its website saying 615 people in Manoa lost power from 8:45 p.m. July 4 until 1:15 a.m. after a guy wire fell onto overhead lines.

"That was the sole significant outage in that area" that night, said HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg.

"The circuit may extend its tentacles into other areas and so the recorded announcements tend to err on the side of mentioning more neighborhoods" that might be affected, he explained.

Regarding the Manoa outage, Rosegg said the guy wire, used to hold up a pole, broke near the Woodlawn substation. It contacted overhead electrical wires, causing a short-circuit.

The cause of the wire break is not known. The problem itself was not complicated, but it took workers some time to locate the broken wire in the dark, remove it from the overhead line, then re-close circuit breakers, Rosegg said.

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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