Question: Has the ordinance regulating the placement of bulky items on sidewalk areas been passed by the City Council? If so, what number can we call to report gross violations?
Answer: Bill 78, which allows the city to impose a $250-per-day fine on property owners who put bulky items out too early, was passed by the City Council and signed into law by acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell in August.
It takes effect on Jan. 1. But it may be several months after that before the law can be implemented, because administrative rules detailing the violations process have to be adopted, said Markus Owens, spokesman for the city Department of Environmental Services.
Until the rules are in place, in six to nine months, no citations can be issued, he said.
For now, anyone who sees people placing bulky waste out at inappropriate times is asked to call 768-3203, the illegal-dumping number.
For now the property owner will be sent a letter noting the collection schedule and the appropriate time to put out bulky waste.
"We have issued hundreds of educational letters to violators with information on the impending law," Owens said.
The Department of Environmental Services will address whether to publish a separate phone number to handle bulky-item complaints.
Question: Recently, a neighbor was approached by a man identifying himself as an "independent contractor" hired by the city to enforce Bill 78. He began writing a citation, despite my neighbor’s claim that the bulky items were not his. This stopped him. Other piles in the neighborhood were pointed out, though he made no effort to go to those addresses. He then recited the pickup schedule for our Kapahulu neighborhood incorrectly. The city said it had hired three additional inspectors to enforce the law. As independent contractors? Further, Bill 78 does not take effect until Jan. 1. Is this an instance of impersonation?
Answer: "We believe this is a case of impersonation," said city spokesman Markus Owens.
The city does not have any independent contractors enforcing the new ordinance. The three new inspectors have city-issued ID badges, as do other city employees who have contact with the public, Owens said.
Independent contractors are hired to pick up bulky items if city collectors are unable to do so in the allotted three- to four-day period per area, he said.
These independent contractors do not have city-issued ID badges and cannot issue warnings or fines to a resident.
Question: I called the Hawaiian Humane Society and asked how many dogs someone could keep within the city limits, and they told me 10 is lawful. I said I thought that was ridiculous, but was told that’s the law whether I liked it or not. Is it true that someone can keep up to 10 dogs?
Answer: Under Section 7-2.5 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, households are allowed a maximum of 10 dogs, 4 months or older, in a residential neighborhood.
But there is no limit to the number of dogs under 4 months.
The law also specifies a maximum of two chickens per household in residential neighborhoods, but does not set a limit on the number of cats, birds or other companion animals that may be kept.
You can read about all the animal-related laws in Honolulu at www.hawaiianhumane.org/current_laws.html.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.