Field Notes: Gripes and Grievances at the Waikiki Neighborhood Board
Field Notes takes inside looks at the scenes and subcultures of Honolulu. This month: the Waikiki Neighborhood Board.
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In theory, the 17 elected members of Neighborhood Board No. 9, Waikiki. In reality, not everyone makes it. Also: government officials and others giving reports and presentations, Waikiki residents sharing their concerns, a disproportionate number of retirees.
Ask a Cop
A police lieutenant from the Waikiki substation reads the month’s crime statistics, then takes questions. A 79-year-old man says he was struck by a bicycle on the sidewalk while boarding a bus in front of the Ilikai. The lieutenant asks if the man sees this bicyclist regularly. No, says the man, but aren’t bicyclists advised when they register their bikes not to ride on the sidewalk? “No bicycles are supposed to be on the sidewalk from the Ala Wai Bridge all the way down to the end of Kapiolani Park,” the lieutenant says. Are golf clubs, the man asks, legal on the sidewalk? “I guess that would depend on your handicap,” the lieutenant deadpans. “So I could carry a golf club as a defense?” asks the man. “Uh, yes sir,” the lieutenant says. “I always forget to bring my golf club,” the man declares.
What's on Their Minds?
>> Radioactive Tsunami Debris A board member worries that it’s in the ocean and that a research vessel has brought some to Kewalo Basin. “Irresponsible!” he says.
>> The Homeless They’re multiplying.
>> Prostitutes They’re multiplying, too, and getting more aggressive. A board member reports that he was solicited on Kalakaua Avenue, then attacked. “I said , ‘I’m not interested,’ and kept walking. She followed me. I said, ‘I’m not interested, go away.’ She followed me again. I took out my camera. Took a picture of her. She hit me.”
>> Drunks “Our neighborhood has become a 24/7 frat party, screaming and yelling at all hours of day and night,” says a woman who lives in Seaside Towers. “It’s just god awful.”
>> Sidewalks Multiple problem spots, but according to a woman who lives near Aloha Drive, hers is the worst. “It’s a mess, it’s disgusting, it’s shameful, it’s very sad,” she says.
>> Blighted Park on Kuhio Avenue Despite talk of cleaning it up, it’s still a mess. A neighbor reports: “The rubbish is still there, people are still using it for a restroom facility, the sidewalk is still filthy. It’s absolutely disgusting.”
>> Dog Poop A board member reports the misdeeds of a small black dog whose owners regularly let him “do his business” on Kuhio Beach at night.
>> X-Rated Fliers on display for all to see. “These girls here are totally nude,” says a concerned citizen, holding a flyer, “but they were told to put tape over the top part.”
>> Jaywalkers They make right-hand turns difficult for motorists.
>> Street Performers They make too much noise.
>> Protestors They sit across the street from McDonald’s displaying a sign that says “McCruelty.” A board member wants to know if they’re allowed to do that. “I think maybe they’re vegans, or vayguns, and they’re protesting the way McDonald’s prepares their meat, possibly,” he says.