Park waterworks kaput, vandals suspected
  • Sunday, June 16, 2019
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Hawaii News

Park waterworks kaput, vandals suspected

  • DENNIS ODA / OCT. 5

    Last month the light poles at Kakaako Waterfront Park were vandalized, above, and now the water is shut down because of a broken backflow preventer.

  • DENNIS ODA / OCT. 5

    Kakaako Waterfront Park had to be closed four hours early every day starting in October after vandals destroyed light poles to tap into electricity, and now the park’s water system may have been broken into — shutting off water to bathrooms, showers, fountains and the 12 families at the state’s new homeless shelter.The homeless are tearing into the light poles electrical connections and other electrical boxes in Kakaako Waterfront Park to steal electricity. These look like electrical cables next to a tent.

Kakaako Waterfront Park had to be closed four hours early every day starting in October after vandals destroyed light poles to tap into electricity, and now the park’s water system may have been broken into — shutting off water to bathrooms, showers, fountains and the 12 families at the state’s new homeless shelter.

A backflow preventer directly makai of the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center was found to be broken Monday, cutting off water service to the state’s new Family Assessment Center homeless shelter between Kakaako Waterfront Park and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center.

A replacement part for the broken backflow preventer will have to be flown in from the mainland and is not expected to arrive until Friday, said Garrett Kamemoto, spokesman for the Hawaii Community Development Authority, which operates the park.

“We know that somebody has tried to tap into the backflow preventer, but we do not know that that is the actual cause of the problem,” Kamemoto said.

The park is home to an entrenched homeless encampment that in 2015 accounted for more than 300 homeless people.

In October, 13 light poles were vandalized as a way to tap into the electrical system, forcing the park to close at night for nearly a month for repairs.

Kamemoto said he did not know exactly what part on the backflow preventer had been broken, but that he was hopeful repairs can be made Friday and water service restored. (A blackflow preventer keeps the water supply from being contaminated.)

“The part is not on island,” Kamemoto said. “We need to bring the part in, which we’re doing as expeditiously as possible. We do thank everybody for their patience, and we’re sorry about the inconvenience that this is causing.”

The Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center and the UH Medical School and Cancer Center operate on a different backflow preventer and are not affected, Kamemoto said.

Clients at the Family Assessment Center were invited to use the showers and bathrooms at the nearby Next Step Shelter operated by Waikiki Health.

“The problem is isolated to the park, and the Family Assessment Center is part of that,” Kamemoto said.

Adrian Contreras, the Family Assessment Center’s program director, brought in 5-gallon, office-style water bottles for clients’ drinking water and has ordered two portable toilets that are expected to arrive today.

Contreras said he appreciated everyone’s efforts to help homeless families at the Family Assessment Center who are now without running water.

“We’re grateful for Next Step and all of the social services agencies,” he said. “We’re appreciative for all of that.”

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  • Once again proving that many of the homeless are not simply the downtrodden of society, but those who wish to reap the benefits of others’ labor without themselves lifting a finger to better their own lot in life.

  • das why the SOH needs to criminalize homeless and vagrancy–this is nutz. i was hoping to see the part of the story where someone was found electrocuted b/c of tampering w/ electrical wires. why are we putting up with this? run these people off? wait till all the kakaako luxury condos are built and the crime rate for theft & break-in start to increase…den we are going to see stuff happen..why wait… eradicate the vermin now…if you see one cockroach on your kitchen counter and dont get rid of it..tomorrow you will see 2 on your counter and the day after dat you will see 3…eradicate the vermin..and if dont like this thought process why dont you invite the homeless people into you neighborhood…i bet will start treating these people like the pos nuisance that they are..

  • This is just one of hundreds of reasons why certain homeless do not deserve our support.

    Nei would do well to survey all the supposed homeless people to determine who is “Local” and who flew here from the mainland. All true locals would be at the top of the cue for the most assistance and support.

    All those who cannot prove long term Nei connections, new arrival from the mainland just to enjoy the weather and Nei homeless benefits would go to the very back of the line. Only receiving the most basic of assistance. However they would be offered a free flight to their home town on the mainland.

    Let’s git’r done!!!

    • Quit trying to discriminate against non-local people who now live here. BTW, it isn’t just people from the Mainland who have come here. In addition to Micronesians, we have a lot of other homeless from the Pacific, Asia, and other places.

      • justmyview371 – You need to wise up and learn how the world works. Yes I know you attended the Nei’s failing educational system. Let me guide you.

        Nei will never lower the homeless problem if mainland arrivals are constantly coming in, taking our scarce resources. Only when we “Get Tough” with mainland freeloaders, put them at the back of the line, they see true locals receiving the “Gold Standard” while they receive “Steerage Class Support” will they get the message and go back home.

        You can continue to waste your tax money on these leeches. I want to see progress, problem coming to an end.

  • Back-flow preventer? Couldn’t find one in Home Depot? City Mill? Any plumbing supply store? Must be a special back-flow preventer, much like that special transformer for the string of lights on Nimitz Highway under the via-duct.

  • Our troops overseas and many here stateside sleep in tent-like barracks despite working and serving our country. Please tell me why this is so difficult (or against their rights) to do for these people who have taken our taxpayer land from us? And this land that will be used does not need to be in the middle of our beautiful and safe city. Like it or not-we all benefit from tourism. It can’t possibly continue with the outdoors insane asylum we have now. This land will be West of the city. A camp for families, a camp for single women or men and another for the addicts to do what they do. You are welcomed to live there but you may not co-opt the bus stop so our Grandmothers can’t even sit. For many visitors this is their first view of America. The traffic, the crazies, the addicts and the disrepair. This is not so hard.

    • Exactly. Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio puts all his inmates in tents, gives them pink underwear, baloney sandwiches. When told he had to provide televisions, he did and set the channels to CSPAN, Animal Planet, etc. No networks, movies, etc.

      When interviewed, majority of inmates say they never want to come back. They got the message. Nei hasn’t got a clue.

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