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.
Shadow: The road leading from Leho Drive to Lydgate Beach Park has a lot of potholes. Are there any plans to repave it?
County: Parks was assisted by Public Works to fill potholes along Nalu Road and the driveway through Lydgate Beach Park on June 17, 2013. Parks does not currently have plans or funding for repaving Nalu Road and the Lydgate Beach Park Driveway at this time. We will request assistance from PW to fill potholes again should significant potholes begin to reoccur prior to fully repaving this roadway and driveway.
Shadow: Weinberg Sports Park soccer field bathrooms, handrailing need to be replaced. When will this be complete?
County: Parks completed the repairs to these handrails by mid December 2013.
Shadow: What is the water quality at Morgan’s Ponds? Has it improved since the pond restoration project?
County: As Parks reported on Oct. 24, 2013: The ponds at Lydgate Beach Park have nearly returned to their condition prior to the dredging work. The public use of the ponds has also returned to normal.
Shadow: According to a 2007 plan, Parks was supposed to get its own maintenance personnel and equipment versus going through PW. What is the status of that?
County: This is no longer part of the overall plan. Instead, the Public Works and Parks Department have collaborated to create a work order system that will prioritize all repair and maintenance job via a priority ranking system, regardless of whether it’s a facility under control of Public Works or Parks. The system is working and therefore there is no longer a need or desire to create a new maintenance crew for Parks.
Shadow: Did the county buy a new bucket truck? How much did it cost? Is it up and running? Have drivers been trained?
County: Yes, Parks has purchased a new bucket truck at the cost of $283,000. Staff to operate the truck and perform tree trimming operations are being requested in the FY 14-15 budget currently being prepared.
Shadow: The public is complaining about lack of parking at the Wednesday farmer’s market. Is there an opportunity for additional parking? Also, traffic is an issue. Could KPD be hired to direct traffic in that area during that time?
County: The Kapaa sunshine market is a victim of its own success. It is the most popular market situated in the most populated district on Kauai. Since the sunshine markets are a county program housed on county property, we try to utilize county facilities. We did consider opening up the field between the baseball fields and the football stadium and Kapaa New Town Park, but using it as a parking lot would damage the field and be a large expense to the taxpayers. Other options would be to move the Kapaa sunshine market to another location, but we have been unable to identify a site that is ideal and doesn’t bring its own set of issues. We are currently looking into how we can resolve the traffic situation in the current location and working with a local security company to determine how much manpower is required and what the cost would be.
• Jerome Freitas can be reached at email@example.com or 635-3528. Visit his website at http://theshadow96746.tripod.com.