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Homeless Haven

I am outraged. I was driving onto Nimitz Highway today right across the street from K Mart and I saw this homeless haven. The sign couldn’t have been more clear, but none of the twenty or so people seemed the slightest bit concerned.

The bright blue sign said Keep Out, Government Property, Trespassers Will be Prosecuted. All the ‘campers’ had their backs to the sign and were resting on the grass.

There were about a dozen tents, chairs, and twenty or so people milling about. This is a nice shady area with several trees so it is a prime spot for camping.

What makes me doubly angry is that a couple of weeks ago, I got a traffic ticket for being in an intersection when traffic was gridlocked. Meanwhile it took the police officer over twenty minutes to issue the citation, thus tying up traffic in one entire lane of a four lane road.

For me to get a $97 ticket which was uncalled for, and then to see twenty people flagrantly camping on Government Property and nobody is doing anything about this, makes my blood boil.

The homeless situation is getting worse and worse each day. I think many homeless people who can rustle up the air fare to get here are relocating for the winter. No snow, no cold, and sleeping out on the sidewalk is probably a lot more pleasant here in Hawaii than in Minnesota or New York in February.

Even California has snow and cold. Last week it snowed in San Francisco. I imagine that caused a big group to consider flying to Hawaii for a nice warm sidewalk.

There is another area that is inundated with homeless tents, clothes hanging on chain link fences, and garbage littering the entire area. This is right behind and all around the Acura dealership on Ala Moana Boulevard. Imagine taking your $40,000 automobile in for service and having to negotiate this mess.

Some of the tents have strollers and high chairs outside, so it is not just adults, but babies and children as well. Nobody looks very unhappy or hungry. Big families picnicking on the median strip, just as relaxed as can be in their folding canvas chairs.

Meanwhile, the working folks are driving along trying not to look these people in the eye. Forget walking down the sidewalk. They have taken over more than half the space with tents, mattresses, shopping carts and blue tarps.

I don’t know the answer to this, but I thought that vagrancy was a crime and I don’t see why the sidewalks and parks can’t be given back to the people who pay the taxes to maintain them.