How else to explain it?
Neal Blaisdell Park in Aiea and the Pearl Harbor bike path that runs along it have been overrun by squatters for years and years. The squatters take over the park’s picnic shelters and restrooms, construct illegal shacks, deal drugs in plain sight, install permanent cooking facilities, pile up tons of busted furniture, bike parts and other crap they illegally collect after people put it on the curb for bulky item pickup, illegally ride mopeds up and down the bike path despite posted signs, and basically just do whatever they want.
And why not? After all, nobody stops them.
Instead, city officials just pretend there’s no problem. Or they weren’t aware of it, despite it being so painfully obvious to anyone who even drives by the park. And that’s just the stuff in plain view. Up and down the bike path is a real zombie zone, especially under the freeway.
And when officials are asked what they’re doing about it, they claim that they don’t know whose responsibility it is. Really.
The TV news finally got around to reporting on this outrageous, festering mess the other day and received total bullshit responses like these:
“Councilman Brandon Elefante is aware of the concerns and made it a priority to find out who’s responsible for the area.”
As if there were really any mystery. It’s a city park, for crying out loud!
‘The east and west boundaries of the park, makai of the Pearl Harbor Historic Bike Trail, would fall under the (city) Department of Parks and Recreation,’ Elefante said.”
After all these years of worsening conditions, that’s the best he can do? What about taking some action to clean up the mess?
The Navy isn’t mincing words:
“The Navy also confirmed it’s the city’s property saying in a statement, ‘Even if the homeless encampments are within the bike path corridor, the city and county still has enforcement jurisdiction.'”
The problem, of course, is that there is no competent enforcement. For years.
Instead, there is the usual, typical, pathetic, ridiculous fake quibbling about jurisdiction and “Not my job. Maybe the Navy. Maybe the State. Maybe the Easter Bunny.”
There is absolutely no excuse for the mess around Blaisdell Park and the bike path. None. There is only simple, shear, willful incompetence by public officials who really do think the average citizen is a complete idiot who can’t see right through this ridiculous crap.
It’s nonsense like this that really makes me cheer the feisty neighbors and elected officials who are becoming so aggressive about these situations in Hawaii Kai and a few other places. They know that once it gets out of control, authorities will just lie and make excuses and wring their hands and hide while things just get even worse.
Total and unmitigated incompetence. For YEARS. And to make matters worse, there’s a big city maintenance baseyard located RIGHT INSIDE THE PARK. So the city just can’t claim it’s not aware of the problems.
It sure seems like a tacit agreement has been made whereby the squatters do some of the maintenance crew’s work, like emptying trash cans, and the crew then looks the other way and doesn’t enforce anything or call for assistance to enforce park closure hours or rules against putting up tents and shacks.
It’s kind of amazing that the Navy hasn’t expressed serious security concerns about all this, given the sensitive activities that occur around Pearl Harbor and the military personnel and dependents who frequent the area.
Do they have to send out the Shore Patrol to get things under control?