Daily Archives: December 9, 2012

Sunday dawn (photo)

A bank of clouds on the horizon prevented any chance of a green flash this morning, but it was a beautiful dawn nonetheless.

The view on Sunday morning from the beach in Kaaawa:

The view towards Kaneohe

Grumbling about deteriorating city services

disrepairWe just aren’t very good at maintaining and fixing things. The Royal “We” here refers to our state and city governments. This morning, though, I’m grumbling about the city.

Here’s another small example. The photo was taken early this morning along Kamehameha Highway in front of the Kaaawa Fire Station. There’s a pole with a light that, if I’m not mistaken, flashes a warning when Kaaawa’s Engine 21 is leaving the station. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

There’s a control box, and an electrical conduit attached to what appears to be a broken siren dangling on exposed wires, once an integral part of the traffic warning system. You can see the rusted bracket above where it used to be attached.

It’s been like this for a while. Probably a good long while, judging from the visible evidence.

Why does something like this go unprepared for so long? It seems like either fixing it or removing it shouldn’t be such a huge task.

But we live in a city in which deteriorating services in many areas are the result of the “feed the train” bandwagon.

I’m reminded of this every time I get on a bus, and I’ve been doing more bus riding since earning my “senior” bus pass, the first real reward for getting older. “Standing room only” seems to be the order of the day on most buses in town these days. And in just $5 billion or so, we’ll be able to stand on the new train, too! Who says we aren’t making progress?

Speaking of deteriorating services, the Star-Advertiser’s Kokua Line circled around to the issue of city recycling again this week, and it’s a dismal story of another widely used public service being dismantled. What does it feel like to live in a third-world city with inferior services? I think we know.

Here’s an excerpt from Kokua Line:

Nearly six months after the city decided to stop subsidizing the community recycling bins, the result is either overflowing bins or no bins at all in neighborhoods across the island.

And the number of bin locations, which topped 100 early this year, has steadily decreased. They were at 26 at last count, with Punahou no longer listed (see opala.org/solid_waste/community_recycling_centers.html).

The city said residential curbside recycling was more effective, quantitatively, and economical in explaining why it chose to stop subsidizing the community bins and in its suggestion to residents in high-rises to consider setting up their own recycling programs.

Fewer schools are participating because they no longer are getting any money for hosting the bins, and Hono­lulu Disposal is making fewer pickups — also because it doesn’t make any money doing so.

Peter Carlisle assumes he’ll be remembered for successfully getting the train through the last layers of approvals, but I think the beggaring of these other city services will be his legacy.