Question: I have a makai-facing condo on Lunalilo Street and see construction behind the Honolulu Police Department. How high will it be and what is its purpose?
Answer: The city is building a five-story parking garage as part of a planned $100 million-plus Joint Traffic Management Center on property bounded by Alapai, South King and Kealamakai streets, and HPD headquarters.
The plan is to integrate the city’s and state’s traffic monitoring and management systems to improve traffic flow, accident response times and disaster preparedness, as well as house emergency response operations.
The $20 million, 406-space parking garage is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year. Construction of the management center is not expected to begin until late 2012, according to Wayne Yoshioka, director of the city Department of Transportation Services.
One reason the parking garage is being built first is because access to the new Alapai Transit Center, located next to and mauka of the planned Joint Traffic Management
Center, will be through the bottom level of the parking garage. The Alapai Transit Center also is scheduled to be completed by year’s end. Who will use the completed parking garage during the interim period hasn’t yet been decided, Yoshioka said.
Q: On Saturdays at Puohala Elementary School in Kaneohe, Little League games are held at the adjoining park. The school parking lot is locked. However, on Saturday, May 21, there were signs at the unlocked lot saying, "Keaka’s Party" and "guest parking only." Can private parties be held at a public school?
It’s basically up to each school to decide the use of its facilities to outside groups or individuals, under guidelines set forth in the state Department of Education’s Administrative Rules, said spokeswoman Sandra Goya.
Information on allowed uses and rental/custodial fees can be found online at fssb.k12.hi.us/use_of_facilities.
The department’s "Community Use of School Facilities Program" was set up as a means of providing schools and school districts supplemental income from rental fees.
Users are divided into three types, ranging from school groups to nonprofits to businesses, churches and individuals. Fees are charged according to the type of user.
Prior to her becoming principal at Puohala, many different groups were allowed to utilize the cafeteria, said Alexis Kane. But "there were some infractions" involving alcohol and smoking, so she restricted use to faculty or staff members.
The public is allowed use if a staff member is willing to vouch for someone and be present during the function, Kane said.
"I want people who understand who we are as a school, what we stand for and what expectations we have for the use of these facilities."
Kane also explained that the parking lot is part of the school and subject to the same "use of facility" rules. The lot had been open to Little League use on weekends until "some minor issues," including partying, were reported. Because of that, the lot is now closed to all park users.
To a kind man. Just before 3 p.m. May 4, I had left the HGEA building to go to my car, which was parked in the handicap stall. A car was parked illegally in the access aisle, so I couldn’t get in with my crutches. My mother pointed out the problem to the man, who kindly reversed the car out so we could be on our way. I didn’t get his name, but wish him blessings many times over. — L. Seki
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