Vagrant Island saga continues with no end in sight

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This would be funny if it weren’t so ridiculous and tragic.

The newspaper and others have reported several times on the vagrants who have seized control of a traffic island for pedestrians at the corner of Ala Moana and Atkinson for months and erected a pile of junk and sleeping quarters.

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Authorities are “conducting outreach efforts” and chasing their tails but having very limited success.

On Monday, the paper reported at the end of an article about electric cars that “the pedestrian island at Atkinson Drive and Ala Moana Boulevard was cleaned up Friday, the state coordinator on homeless confirmed.”  He even supplied the paper with a photograph to show that the vagrants had left “after consistent outeach by social service agencies over the past few weeks”

The only problem was that the vagrants had returned Friday evening to the exact same spot, which was even reported on the TV news that same night.

I’m not sure why the paper is reporting Friday’s news on Monday without checking the situation, but I was incredulous reading Monday’s paper and went to the corner to see for myself.

Sure enough, the vagrants were still there and had no intention of moving.

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The newspaper reported on Tuesday, at the end of an article warning residents not to paint their curbs without government permission, that “the pedestrian island at Atkinson Drive and Ala Moana Boulevard did not stay cleared for long.  The site was again occupied by homeless people shortly after being vacated and cleaned Friday.  Scott Morishige, Gov. David Ige’s point person on homelessness, said Monday that the state would continue to pursue a deal giving the city enforcement rights on the property, which is under the state Department of Transportation’s jurisdiction.  Outreach workers also will keep up their efforts, he said; shelter space is available.”

So there you have it.  You can create very dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians by taking over a traffic island and living under a mound of trash while authorities sit on their thumbs, but if you actually own a home and paint the curb in front you will get in trouble.

No wonder people are so angry these days.

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