'Dear Mayor': Students write letters asking for new lights at North Shore park
Waialua District Park has been in the dark with no field lights for almost two years.
A North Shore park has been in the dark, with no field lights, for almost two years now.
"It's really sad to pass by the field that's just empty," said Kenneth Capes, a concerned resident and member of the North Shore Neighborhood Board Parks Committee. "After people would get off work.. the whole field was filled with community members enjoying, having a great time -- and now it's not happening because we have no lights."
Honolulu City Councilman Ernie Martin says the lights at Waialua District Park were removed in March of last year because the light poles were deemed defective.
"The administration represented that it will take two years before the project is completed.. and I think that's why the community is very frustrated that the project couldn't be expedited after how long they've already been waiting," Martin said.
In hopes of speeding up the process and having the city take quicker action in replacing the lights, not only have community members started a petition, but also Waialua Elementary School students recently wrote hundreds of letters addressed to the Mayor.
"Dear Mayor," read 8-year-old, Sol Capes. "Lights at the park mean something to the Waialua community and without lights people don't get to have fun."
"And we need the lights at the Waialua District Park, so we can play soccer for longer periods of time," 12-year-old, Meilan added as he read his letter aloud. "Please, give us these lights to help our community."
Capes says the lack of lighting for more than a year now, has impacted some youth and adult sports, while bringing to an end other recreational activities.
"The swimming pool has no lights as well.. the high school swim team doesn't now have a pool to practice in.. it's really sad," Capes said.
According to Martin, the project to replace the parks lights costs roughly $4 million, and is currently in the design phase.
"We have talked the department about the possibility of having some temporary lights placed at the park while this project is being planned.. Unfortunately the department has not gotten back to us as to whether that is an accommodation that can be utilized," Martin said.
For now no lights at the park leaves the Waialua community, especially its young students in the dark over when they will again have a place to play at night.
"I just hope that one day that the lights will be working again.. and that everyone's happy," 8-year-old, Capes said.
The letters from students are expected to be delivered to the North Shore Neighborhood Board, and then the Mayor by the end of this month.