comscore Contact planning office about 'gutter buddies' left behind | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Kokua Line

Contact planning office about ‘gutter buddies’ left behind


QUESTION: Who’s responsible for putting barriers at storm drains around Honolulu? More important, who’s responsible for taking them off? At Portlock Road and Lawai Street, one of these barriers has been there in excess of five years. Most of it has washed into the storm drain, with about a fifth of it hanging out into the gutter.

ANSWER: As "Kokua Line" explained yesterday, it is the responsibility of the contractor or the public agency that places "gutter buddies" to remove them once a project is complete or when a rainstorm is predicted.

Keoki Miyamoto, acting director of the city Department of Facility Maintenance, said his department is responsible for maintaining the city’s storm drain system.

But the problem, he said, is that it cannot possibly keep track of all the construction permits that the city Department of Planning and Permitting issues.

So, for concerns about forgotten gutter buddies, such as on Portlock Road, the easiest way to find out who is responsible is to contact Planning and Permitting, he said.

Call the customer service office at 768-8127 or file a complaint online at

If the responsible party cannot be determined, "then they will inform us, and we will go out and take it out," Miyamoto said.

In the event of heavy rainfall, contractors temporarily will move the gutter buddies, usually to the curb, leaving them there until the storm has passed.

If the storm barriers have not been removed in a potential flooding situation or other emergency, the public is advised to call police at 911.

Police will then contact Facility Maintenance, where crews are on 24-hour call, to remove them, Miyamoto said.

QUESTION: Roadwork was done few weeks ago in my Salt Lake neighborhood. The workers left all these snake-looking sandbags on the road. People carried them onto the sidewalks, and they’ve been there for weeks, making it dangerous for people walking at night. They should be removed by whoever left them there. Can you please contact the people responsible?

ANSWER: Based on your description, the city Department of Design and Construction said it’s likely that a city contractor doing paving work was involved.

"We will inform the contractor of this issue and ask them to remove the ‘gutter buddies’ should it be theirs," said Collins Lam, director of Design and Construction.


Re the Feb. 12 "Kokua Line" about two men seen fishing from a motorboat: Stan Wright, retired photographer, a former host of the "Let’s Go Fishing" TV show and lifelong fisherman, told us he was one of the fishermen aboard the boat that day.

On the day in question, he said they caught three papio and 12 barracuda, the largest about 2 pounds.

But all the fish were subject to "CPR — catch, photograph and release," Wright said.

While he allows that the fishing in the Ala Wai "is good," he, like most people, know how dirty the canal is.

"No way would I eat any fish out of the Ala Wai. That place is so polluted I can’t believe that people canoe and kayak there," Wright said.

He says whenever he and his friends fish in the Ala Wai, they carry a small spray bottle of alcohol to clean their hands — often.

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


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