Kakaako park hours shortened after light poles tampered with

Kakaako park hours shortened after light poles tampered with

KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kakaako Waterfront Park hours will be shortened starting Thursday after workers discovered wires hanging from some light poles.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority said the action is needed to protect park goers.

During an inspection Monday, crews discovered more than a half dozen damaged light poles not far from a homeless camp.

It appears some are tapping into the power.

"At the base of the light post I guess the wiring that goes up is where people have hardwired in extension cords, power outlets and the like," said Aedward Losbanos, HCDA interim executive director.

Within hours of finding the issues, HCDA officials cut the power to the park, fearing someone could get hurt.

Because power to the light poles is out, HCDA is closing the park earlier.

Starting Thursday, no one will be allowed inside Kakaako Waterfront Park after 6 p.m. HCDA says it's to keep people safe in the unlit area.

"Gates will be closed. Cars will be towed out of the lot just like they would be at 10 p.m.," Losbanos said.It's unclear how long the repairs will take.

On Tuesday, outreach workers were in the park to let people know of the new rules.

Body surfer Larry Russo says the shortened hours are unfortunate.

"This is a part of people's lives. They like to come down here and watch the sunset. It's a surprise to me to know that you can't go to the beach after 6 p.m. and you can't access the water," he said.

Russo comes to the park to body surf several times a week.

"I think that unfortunately they maybe should have had more supervision over the park and the poles and the electricity. If they were being tampered with how come they didn't know about this before? How come they couldn't prevent this?" Russo asked.

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