Question: Now that the Honolulu Zoo parking lot has been contracted out to a private firm, do handicapped parkers need to pay for parking? We asked police at the Waikiki station, but they did not know the answer.
Answer: There seems to be a lot of confusion since the lot was converted into a managed parking concession with 10 pay stations instead of parking meters.
The good news for those with valid parking placards is that they can park in any stall, whether designated for the disabled or not, for free for up to 2 1/2 hours.
Replacing the meters with the pay stations does not change the free parking practices for those with disabled placards, said Sidney Quintal, director of the Department of Enterprise Services.
"We are working on a monitoring system that would allow the concessionaire lot attendants to account for this class of parking for 2 1/2 hours, but disabled placard/plates must be clearly displayed," he said.
It now costs $1 an hour to park in the zoo lot, instead of 25 cents an hour. But those without coins can pay by credit card.
"Simply follow the prompts (at the pay stations) and you can pay for time either with coins or by credit card and even have the option of adding more time" just by phoning, Quintal said.
The concessionaire is monitoring expired parking times and "shortly, we will begin issuing notices for additional parking money due," he said. For now, citations are not being issued as the city continues to implement the new system.
"This lot is the first of its kind in the City and County of Honolulu and we are still working to fine-tune the various oddities that normally occur with something new," Quintal said.
Question: My fiance and I had to postpone our wedding for medical reasons. We called the Department of Health’s marriage license division to ask for a refund or credit because our wedding has been postponed until October. They said they don’t give a credit or refund. Why?
Answer: The marriage license staff "was very sorry" to hear that a medical problem has delayed your wedding, said Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo.
However, she said all couples are warned that the license is good only for 30 days and that "absolutely no refunds" are given.
She said the marriage license application has a box to be filled in, asking, "When do you plan to be married?"
"The agent then verbally warns and make sure all the couples understand that they have 30 days to be married from the date they wrote in this box," she said. "The agent also warns every couple there is absolutely no refunds for lost, stolen, expired, etc. licenses."
The fee pays for the processing of the application and is the price to obtain a license, Okubo said. All fees are deposited into the state’s General Fund; none of it goes to the Health Department and there are no provisions for returning the money, she said.
Couples who aren’t married within the 30-day period are asked to return the licenses.
"We keep track and file every license that is issued," used or unused, "partly for security purposes," Okubo said.
To the angel who saved Sebastian, our 13-year-old, deaf, part-German shepherd dog that escaped because a gate wasn’t closed tightly. He was taken in by the Kapolei Animal Clinic on Monday, Aug. 16, and reunited with us after the Hawaiian Humane Society tracked us down with his implanted microchip. His sister died one month before and he’s been mourning for her ever since. — Sebastian’s Ohana
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