Da Shadow: Homelessness, Kapaa Beach Park

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.

What are the county’s plans in 2017 to address the continued increase in homelessness?

The county continues to partner with the state, Kauai Economic Opportunity (KEO), Veterans Affairs, our faith-based community, and other service providers to support the specific needs of our houseless individuals, as each person has unique needs. Last year, the county and state awarded KEO funding, which allowed for increased capacity at the homeless shelter and increased assessment services. The state recently dedicated an additional $12 million to addressing the issue of homelessness across the state, and we look forward to Kauai County receiving its fair share so that we can continue to improve and expand services.

Why was the Kapaa Beach Park pavilion removed? Are there plans to rebuild it?

The Kapaa Beach Park pavilion was built in 1962 and had deteriorated to the point that it posed a serious safety hazard. The pavilion was structurally unsound — the roof had rotted through and the rebar in the columns had compromised the structure. The Parks Department had hoped to save the lower ledge of the structure so it could continue to be used as a seating area, but upon demolition it became apparent that the entire structure was unsafe and thus removed. The demolition work was completed in-house, so it did not cost any additional funds to remove the structure. At this time, there are no immediate plans to replace it.

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Jerome Freitas can be reached at theshadow96751@gmail.com or 635-3528. Visit his website at http://theshadow96746.tripod.com.

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