Sunday, March 03, 2024|
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to be addressed
“Good morning,” I said to a man sitting on the bench at the entrance of Walmart, and as I came closer, “Are you OK? was a follow-up question, noticing he likely was a local homeless men of same age as me (Generation X).
“Um, would you be willing to buy me something to eat”? he asked. “Yes, uncle, sure, come, come inside. What would you like, and later, can I sit and eat with you?”
I learned that he was on the Puainako side of town — a choice he made to get away from the bullies at the bus stop. He asked if I heard of the homeless guy from the mainland who died in the rain. He reported that only then the county stepped in.
Uncle reported: “All we ask is a safe place to lay our heads at night, with a bathroom and water to wash up. During the day, we going disburse and do what we need to do, but we need to have a place to safely sleep.”
“What do you mean about the bullies”? Uncle reported on a handful of guys — younger generation, who have no respect — who make it hard to survive down there. Gambling, fights, stealing, messy, feces, fecal matter.
I took up uncle’s ask to see how it looks and drove into Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal. I slowly made my way toward the back parking lot area. And there it was, the scene described to me by uncle: Where parked cars would have been, instead there were plastic picnic tables lining the stalls where people were leisurely making their food and congregating.
My encounter with uncle was a week before the death of 34-year-old Jimmy Kaneala Clifford Carmichael at Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal and the “park rules enforcement action” on Jan. 18-19.
I read the Jan. 21 Tribune Herald headlines and learned about the homeless woman giving birth on the sidewalk. The issue of homelessness and mental health is a serious issue that needs to be addressed humanly.
No judgement on how the county moved in to clear up the area. It was a solution for now that needed to happen.
I am encouraged to be part of the solution. How can I be of help?
‘Thanks so much’
to Pahala officers
At age 75, sometimes I think I can do almost anything for my age. But get this: I went to Kona (recently) about 2:30 p.m. and went to a music concert. What I didn’t know was the concert ended at about 8 p.m.
On the way home, I got lost and ended up on some “road” that had bushes and weeds.
I called my caregiver, and she said just stay put and call 911. At about a half an hour later, two police officers came. They asked for a jack, which I produced from my car. They jacked the car up, and one of the police officers took the driver’s wheel.
Somehow, they managed to get the car to Pahala where I was near. I was trying to get to Hilo where I live.
They escorted me in their two cars to a parking lot and told me to stay put until the sun came up so I can see better.
I hear a lot about bad cops these days, but these officers bent over backwards for me to safely come to Hilo.
One of the officers from Pahala was named “Walker.” They struggled to get my car out of the mud and dirt for about an hour.
Thanks so much, “Walker,” and the other officer whose name I didn’t get.
I’m thankful for good cops.
Stanley Tadashi Aoki
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