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, aretired state Department of Transportation worker who is now better known as Da Shadow, since 2004 has been meeting with government representatives about problems he hasdiscovered or that have been reported to him, and reporting the county’s responses.
Hanama‘ulu Beach Park
There is a damaged electrical outlet. It is taped up and seems dangerous. Can this be fixed? The location of the outlet is in the only pavilion at Hanamaulu Beach Park.
The Parks Department has initiated a work order to have facilities maintenance repair the problem.
Kapaa Beach Park
This park is highly used for various events. Are there any plans to repave this parking area, make it ADA accessible, or beautify this area?
Currently this site is not scheduled for re-paving. However, the site is ADA accessible which was completed with the construction of the path.
No further beautification projects are currently scheduled for this area.
What are the county’s plans to address the erosion occurring on the makai side of this area?
DOPR does not have plans at this time to address the erosion, but it continues to monitor this natural course of events.
What are the repair and maintenance plans for Puhi Park by Kaneka Street?
Please advise if there is a specific concern for repair and maintenance (equipment, landscaping, etc.) and will we address it.
There is overgrown grass on the sidewalk fronting Rice Street (in front of Piikoi Building and across from Bank of Hawaii). When will the administration be performing maintenance on this area?
Parks staff is scheduled to perform this maintenance on Sunday, Aug. 28.
What are the current plans for the old Big Save space?
The administration is continuing to review its options for this space.
What is the administration doing to address the homelessness issue?
See answer below.
The homeless have their personal belongings in shopping carts, cardboard boxes, etc., around the entrance to the old Big Save space.
Are there any plans to address this aesthetic and possible safety hazard?
Through an agreement with Kauai Economic Opportunity Inc. (KEO), the county is providing funds for more bed space to increase overnight accommodations from 19 to 39 at the emergency homeless shelter operated by KEO.
This initiative of adding 20 more bed spaces includes the cost for staffing, janitorial services, security, meals, cots, lockers and utilities.
The agreement with KEO is for a period of 18 months in conjunction with the governor’s state of emergency declaration.
The cost to the county is $239,000. It is important to note that KEO, through a grant from the state, has instituted day use operation at the shelter since Aug. 1 to provide social service assessments for those experiencing homelessness, along with offering accessibility to restroom, shower and laundry facilities.
The county also temporarily opened a fenced covered area at its Civic Center in April of this year for the homeless while waiting for KEO to open its operations in the daytime.
Up to 11 people at a given time took up shelter.
On Sept. 2, the county is closing this temporary facility after giving the homeless 45 days’ notice to vacate.
The county continues to encourage these individuals to seek assistance from KEO and the other service providers.
Due to some incidents involving the homeless and county employees, at the request of our employees, the county has hired security from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The county continues to seek help from faith-based organizations to assist with the homeless situation.
A number of these organizations are currently providing food pantries, free meals and laundry service.
These organizations are willing to do much more in the way of providing shelter. However, due to lack of funding, it is difficult for these faith-based organizations to do so.
Jerome Freitas can be reached at email@example.com or 635-3528. Visit his website at http://theshadow96746.tripod.com.