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Honolulu City Council Targets Waikiki Kiosks and Portlock Easement

Wayne Yoshioka

The Honolulu City Council is also resurrecting legislation to address long-standing community issues.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.  

The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee approved Bill 6, which would ban the use of mobile kiosks in Waikiki.   The measure has been held in committee since April.  But, Jim Fulton, from the Waikiki Improvement Association, supports the measure because many operators don’t follow the rules,

“They wheel them in, wheel them out every day, just like you would your own retail shop.  The law, understands that they should be passing out flyers but I know that there have been observations by many, many people, including HPD, that they are in fact collecting money.”

Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Rose Poe

Residents and tourists with physical disabilities are also impacted.  Rose Poe lives in Kapahulu and visits Waikiki.

“Me, being blind with my stick, I ran over the kiosk people. I hit them. We don’t need all the kiosks.  Period. We don’t need all the people open their little suit cases and selling their little trinkets.”

But, City Department of Facility Maintenance director and chief engineer, Ross Sasamura, says removing size and dimensions of  kiosks could cause enforcement problems in Waikiki.

“So, there may be some other unintended consequences of enforcement, whereby people that have been moving their suitcases with wheels along the sidewalk, that take a moment to sit down, would be subject to enforcement because the size limitation has been removed.”

Bill 6 now goes for a final vote by the full City Council November 14th.  Committee Chair Trevor Ozawa also vowed to fast-track a resolution to condemn privately-owned property in Portlock to provide public beach access.

Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Budget Committee chair, Trevor Ozawa

“This battle has been fought from Chief Justice (William S.) Richardson decades ago and the Supreme Court and other state law.  This really isn’t a time to play politics. Now, we will move forward with it and I will hold a special meeting if we need to have an eminent domain action filed in Circuit Court to take back an easement to provide us access to that beach.”

For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka. 

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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