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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Construction hasn’t even begun on Hawaii Kai dock that was supposed to be done by now

Question: When is the Hawaii Kai boat ramp expected to be completed? The last correspondence from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, via Kokua Line, indicated a July completion date. As of Thursday it appears no work has been done.

Answer: “The DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has a contract with Sea Engineering to install the new loading dock. We’re hoping to begin construction in August with completion by October-­November,” A.J. McWhorter, a DLNR spokesman, said in an email.

The previous timeline got off track because “we had to wait for permits,” he said.

If the dock is installed by November, that will mean fishers and pleasure boaters will have gone for nearly two years without a public loading dock at the Maunalua Bay Boat Ramp in East Oahu. The boat launch ramp remains accessible, without a fixed dock for loading and unloading.

DOBOR closed the old dock in January 2019 because it was collapsing, and had it removed that March due to irreparable structural failure.

When we addressed this issue in September (, McWhorter said that “if permitting goes smoothly,” construction should begin in June and wrap up by mid-July. As you noted, that did not occur.

Q: How are we supposed to know whether the off-brand hand sanitizer we bought is toxic? It was all the store had. Do we just read the ingredients on the bottle?

A: No, reading the label isn’t good enough, because the manufacturers of dangerous hand-sanitizing gels generally don’t list methanol — a toxic chemical — as being in the product, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Check the FDA’s website, at, for a searchable list of more than 80 sanitizers that consumers should not use. You can also find the list by going to the FDA’s home page,, and scrolling down to Monday’s news release on the matter; it has a link to the “do-not-use” list, which is updated regularly.

Retailers are being told to remove tainted products from store shelves, and the FDA has blocked importation of the toxic sanitizers about which it is aware, it said.

Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, is used to make fuel and antifreeze. It can be toxic when absorbed through the skin and life-threatening when ingested, the FDA warns.

Q: Once we mail back our ballot, is there a way to confirm it was received?

A: Yes. Hawaii voters can confirm the county clerk received their ballot by checking at You’ll need to input your Hawaii driver’s license or state ID number and the last four digits of your Social Security number to log in, the website says.

Q: Some time ago you had a long list of places helping people pay their bills. I didn’t need it then but I need it now. Could you please repeat this information?

A: The Aloha United Way website at has a comprehensive list of help for people whose lives have been upended by the pandemic. On that page, click on the red button that says “Coronavirus Information.” If you’d rather speak to someone by phone, call 211.


On Wednesday I went to Costco Hawaii Kai. The line to enter stretched all the way down the length of the building. I got halfway down the line when I realized that I had forgotten my mask and said out loud, “Oh God, I forgot my mask.” A lady standing in line offered me a mask she had in her purse. It was in the original packaging. She gave it to me and saved me from a trip back home. Thank you, lovely lady, for helping a forgetful old man. It is acts of kindness like this that remind me that aloha still exists here in Hawaii. — J.O.

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 email

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