Vandals strike at Homesteads Park

A Wailua Homesteads resident, who is known to The Garden Island but did not want his name used for fear of retribution, rejoiced when Kapaa Lions Club members removed graffiti from the walls of the bathroom at the Wailua Homesteads Park last March, and repainted the walls.

On a recent visit to the bathroom, the man walked away disgusted and almost enraged, after seeing the bathroom walls once again covered with graffiti.

The man may complain, but there is little he or others can do about the problem, says Brian Inouye, the facilities manager for the county Department of Public Works Building Division.

Why?

“It is a ongoing problem,’’ Inouye told The Garden Island. “Vandalism is a common at county parks. It comes in cycles for some reason.”

The removal of graffiti, however, is carried out as part of periodic maintenance programs by members of DPW crews, Inouye said.

If the county workers don’t clean up the graffiti, members of community groups oftentimes volunteer their help, Inouye said.

In the case of the painting of the Wailua Homesteads Park bathroom last March, county leaders provided the paint to the members of the Kapaa Lions Club, and the organization’s leaders provided the volunteers for the work.

County taxpayers always lose out in acts of vandalism against county properties, Inouye said.

“Money could be used for some other projects instead of doing this (repair work) for this type of vandalism repair,” Inouye said.

The Wailua Homesteads resident said he and other residents have volunteered to paint the exterior walls of the building when they have become defaced, “but no one will remove the paint (graffiti) from the tiles in the bathroom” because the repair work is much more time-consuming.

He said the vandalism takes away a sense of security from neighbors around the county park, and encourages members of more criminal elements to find their way to the park.

The man said he has filed police reports on the incident, and hopes folks who have been adjudicated through the court system can join members of a clean-up team to remove the graffiti as part of their community-service work.

“Wailua residents are concerned about this vandalism,” said the man. “It is just disheartening to see it.”

Lester Chang, staff writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) or lchang@kauaipubco.com.

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