The tragicomedy of Kamamalu Playground continued this weekend, emblematic of the systemic failure to get our public parks under control and keep them safe and clean for everyone.
Maintenance crews descended on the playground’s long-waylaid restroom structure and briefly displaced the dozens of drug-squatters and their piles of junk. Most of them simply moved a few feet away and lurked around the basketball courts.
The workers cleaned up the remaining mess, hosed the place down, and departed. Then the squatters moved right back.
Did I say “tragicomedy?” I meant farce.
How many times have we seen this nonsense? Do nothing about obvious worsening problems, then react when the situation becomes a crisis, then abandon all pretense of enforcement and allow the exact same problems to return and worsen.
All that teaches the squatters is that they should not take any enforcement efforts seriously, and that once a sweep or cleanup is completed, it’s “anything goes” for at least the next few months, if not a year or more.
It must be lovely to receive free maid service. Free to the squatters, that is, but obviously not to you and I.
And so the same old Honolulu-homeless-go-’round continues as usual.
Kamamalu Playground is once again full of drug bums, a tent is even erected right out front (directly across Queen Emma Street from the uber-swanky Pacific Club), tarps have been strung from the rock wall, piles of bike parts and other crap have returned, and dank clothing is hanging all over the fence.
Well, the kids can’t play there anyway since authorities simply gave up on enforcement and tore down the play structure the bums had seized and occupied.
So now, everything’s back to the new normal, and authorities can be content to sit on their thumbs and mumble until things reach crisis levels once again.
Such a failure. Such a disgrace.