The squatters’ camp along Nimitz Highway in Iwilei has been there for months but authorities just can’t get their act together to do anything about it. It just keeps getting worse, as more shacks are constructed and more derelicts settle in.
How hard can it really be for law enforcement or outreach workers to engage this population and inform them that they simply cannot seize control of public sidewalks, build shacks, pile up trash,and totally block pedestrians and wheelchairs from passing?
Look at the picture above that I took on the way to the hardware store. There’s just no way that a wheelchair could pass. Blocking a sidewalk like that is against the law. But it goes on day after day after day in broad daylight while officials twiddle their thumbs. Thousands of people drive by every day, and what they see is a growing testament to incompetent, dysfunctional government. It’s just totally unacceptable.
It’s amazing that the state and city governments have co-existed here since 1959 but have still not worked out reasonable enforcement protocols for these situations. Instead, they dither while the public gets exasperated at the lack of leadership.
Almost a year ago, the governor, mayor, and others set up a “leadership” committee that’s supposed to make sure everyone cooperates for once. What the hell do they do? Share doughnuts and manapua and talk about the weather?
Can they at least drive by and look at the problem? More tents and shacks are going up because nobody seems to be in charge.