Question: I live at the Moana Pacific West condominium tower at Kapiolani Boulevard and Pensacola Street. On a Sunday morning and more recently at 5 a.m. on a Wednesday, I could clearly hear a yard service company blowing leaves or rubbish at a business on Kapiolani. It is difficult to pinpoint the location. I would have to drive or walk down there at 5 a.m. to see who or what company is doing this activity. Are these lawn service companies allowed to use leaf blowers at 5 a.m. on a weekday or on a Sunday morning?
Answer: The new state law dealing with noisy leaf blowers restricts their use to "in or near residential areas" from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and state or federal holidays. Government entities are exempt from the law.
In the past, people were told to direct complaints to the Honolulu Police Department.
However, HPD told us that complaints are now being taken by the state Department of Health’s noise section.
Call 586-4700 to report excessive noise from leaf blowers "occurring at inappropriate hours of the early morning or evening" in residential areas or within 100 feet of a residential area, said Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo.
We asked what constitutes a residential area.
The Health Department was advised by a state deputy attorney general that "residential" areas include single- and multifamily homes, apartments and condominiums.
"So, our interpretation of the law will include these areas but not commercial areas," Okubo said.
Question: I have both a VCR and a TV set whose clocks can be set automatically by connecting to a time signal embedded in cable TV broadcasts. Years ago, KHET carried this embedded time signal, and it worked to synchronize my devices’ clocks. But for several years, if I use the "automatic" setting, the clock can drift several hours off the correct time. I now have to manually set and readjust the clocks every few weeks. Does KHET no longer embed a time signal in their transmission? Is the signal available on some other channel?
Answer: The signal is no longer available. Blame it on advanced technology.
When KHET, the local Public Broadcasting Service station, moved to become all digital in late 2005, "all analog services were discontinued due to the ever-rising costs of upkeeping the aging technology and having to try and provide a digital and analog signal simultaneously," explained Steve Komori, vice president for content delivery at PBS Hawaii.
Unfortunately, he said, one casualty was the time signal.
"The digital signal does not have a designated place to have the time signal reside, and thus you will not find any DVR, DDR or DVD recorders with this feature today," Komori said.
He also clarified that although cable channel 10 "is deemed an analog cable channel, the signal is actually derived from our digital signal and converted to analog for cable’s use on their analog tier."
To the female driver in a Toyota van who discarded her child’s "liquid output" onto Makiki Street just before 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12. This wasn’t the first time I have observed her doing this. Both times, I have seen her child put on his/her underwear afterward in the car. I hope she reads this because I suggest she carry a jar with a lid and allow her child to urinate in the jar, then take it home to flush instead of emptying it onto the street. Shame on you! — An Observer
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.