Question: What is the smoking policy at Ala Moana Center? I thought smoking was totally not allowed there, but people can be seen smoking everywhere — in enclosed areas, right in front of storefronts (not 20 feet away), and security guards do nothing about it. Often, as you are walking past people, they blow their smoke right into your face.
Answer: There are areas designated for smoking at Ala Moana Center — the upper-level parking decks and the street-level perimeter parking areas, said Scott Creel, director of field marketing for the center.
Since the law banning smoking in public areas was enacted by the state Legislature in 2006, "Ala Moana Center has strived to not only educate our customers and center employees as to the law, but direct them to the appropriate areas where they may legally smoke," he said.
Security officers are instructed to look out for violators. Since July they have logged 206 instances in which customers or employees have been advised of the no-smoking law and directed to the appropriate smoking areas, Creel said.
Anyone witnessing illegal smoking at the center is encouraged to notify a security officer or to call 942-2944, providing the location and description of the person so action can be taken.
"In the meantime we will continue to be vigilant, but ask for the public’s understanding as we strive to maintain a safe and comfortable shopping environment for all of our guests," Creel said.
Question: I work at the Queen’s Physicians Office Building on Lusitana Street and live in Kailua. I am a grateful bus user. But my place of embarkation after work, the very busy bus stop in front of the Nuuanu YMCA at Pali Highway and Vineyard Boulevard, looks and smells awful, with trash, graffiti and a broken roof. I was able to pick up trash to help clean the area previously, but then the poor trash can there fell apart. There is a new recycling container for folks to recycle (great idea), but it is overflowing with trash. Can we have a trash container or two so we can at least keep the area clean?
Answer: After your complaint was forwarded to the city Department of Transportation Services’ Public Transit Division in early December, several work orders were put in.
The Department of Facility Maintenance has since power-washed the area and will install a litter container by Thursday, said Wayne Yoshioka, acting director for Transportation Services.
Oahu Transit Services, which operates the city’s bus system, removed the graffiti on Dec. 10.
Regarding the prefabricated shelter’s damaged plastic dome roof, Yoshioka said no spare roof dome is available, so it will be replaced with a newer type of shelter.
The replacement has been designated a priority, with an estimated completion of Jan. 31.
"As you can see, the maintenance of our bus stops is a cooperative effort," Yoshioka said, adding that his department appreciates the help from the other agencies "in keeping our bus stops clean and safe."
To Brandon Ferreira at the Aina Haina Foodland. Last month I got a call from a person who claimed to be a friend who needed to get bailed out of "a prison in Spain." I went to Foodland to arrange to wire $2,900 to this person. But Brandon said it sounded suspicious and told me to double-check. It turned out to be a scam. Even though I was taken aback at first by Brandon’s reaction, I’m glad he was insistent. — Jack Dick, Aina Haina
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.