Editor’s note: Old-timers might still remember the introduction from The Shadow radio program: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” Jerome Freitas, a retired state Department of Transportation worker who is now better known as Da Shadow, since 2004 has been meeting with government representatives about problems he has discovered or that have been reported to him, and reporting the county’s responses.
Puhi Metals Recycling Center
Da Shadow: Why are we paying $2.1 million for the cleanup of this facility? Why didn’t the previous operator pay for the cleanup?
County: The previous operator was found to be in default of the contract and ordered to perform the site repairs and cleanup. While continuing to perform metal recycling services under the contract, the contractor started site cleanup and repair work.
By virtue of contract provisions, all moneys due to the contractor for metal recycling services performed were retained by the County.
The contractor was able to complete only a portion of the repairs and cleanup when the land owner (Grove Farm Co.) reassumed control of the property and the metals recycling operation.
Because the operator failed to fulfill its obligation to clean up the site, the land owner and the County are performing the remaining cleanup work.
Funds retained from the contractor will cover some of the costs. The County will seek recovery of the remaining balance of cleanup and repair costs through legal means available.
Da Shadow: This road has striping problems also. Between Papalina and Lauoho Roads it has been striped on the straight away but not on the curvy portion. The shoulders are in bad shape too and need some attention. When will this be addressed?
County: We were unable to locate shoulder area that needs attention on Waha Road. Striping of roadway is on our backlog list and will be addressed by May of 2014.
Wailua Homesteads route
Da Shadow: A woman reported she has been riding the bus from this area for 10 years, and there is no longer service on the weekends. Is there any plan to resume weekend service?
County: There are currently no plans to resume weekend service for Wailua Homesteads, however this request will be considered when developing the short-range transit plan next year.
Da Shadow: With the new seat belt law requiring all passengers to wear seat belts, what happens if there are no seat belts in the back?
County: If a vehicle was manufactured with seat belts in the back and they were removed, the driver of the vehicle can still be cited for a seat belt violation. Only classic or antique cars, which were not manufactured with seat belts, are exempt.
Da Shadow: The County has a contract with a private vendor for coconut tree trimming. What is the scope of that contract? Is the county charged per tree?
County: The scope of the coconut tree trimming contract is to trim all of the coconut trees in the parks two times per year. Along with trimming is the cleanup of the leaves, flowers and coconuts. The contract covers all districts from Waimea-Kekaha to Hanalei, and serves to trim over 1,250 coconut trees twice each year. Yes, the contract and bid documents are based on a per tree basis.
Kapaa New Town Park
Da Shadow: The lights at the tennis courts are rusted. When will they be repaired or replaced?
County: These lights are not scheduled to be replaced until next fiscal year (July 2014-June 2015).
Kapaa Beach Park
Da Shadow: The weeds are overgrown between the fence and the sidewalk facing Kuhio Highway. Can the weeds be trimmed?
County: This work was completed by Parks recently.
Kapaa New Town Park
Da Shadow: The county was installing an ADA ramp and guardrails at the roller hockey rink, but the work wasn’t completed and it stopped. Also, this area is overgrown with weeds and needs to be weed-whacked. When will this work be finished?
County: Public Works is waiting for the new bleachers to arrive and be installed, and will then complete the ADA retrofits. No timeframe is available for installation at this time. In the meantime, weed maintenance will be scheduled by Parks and Recreation.
Kapaa New Town Park
Da Shadow: Two picnic tables across from the Armory are all rotten and in danger of breaking. They need to be replaced, repaired and/or repainted. When will this be addressed?
County: They have been replaced.
Kapaa Triangle Park
Da Shadow: The coconut trees in this park needs trimming. When will the county address this?
County: This is one of the last parks to be trimmed in the first cycle of coconut tree trimming. The Department has contacted the contractor and asked him to get this park done.