Shattered sinks at Waialae Beach Park latest in string of public vandalism

Four sinks, reduced to rubble.

That was the scene discovered Friday morning in both the women’s and men’s restrooms at Waialae Beach Park.

Now, all that remains is caution tape stretched across pipes.

It’s a frustrating problem that ends up costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

People who go frequent the beach park often are angry.

Richard Okimoto goes to Waialae Beach Park two to three times a week to swim, and says he is disgusted.

“They’re a bunch of idiots,” Okimoto said. “This is for the locals, residents, and tourists. Messing up the park, I don’t know why they do that.”

“I come here regularly like once or twice a week with my dog,” said Keli Miamednick. “It’s just disappointing. There’s no reason for it.”

The city said it will cost $2,000 to buy four new sinks, but that doesn’t include the labor costs to install them.

This isn’t the first time that a senseless act of vandalism was committed.

“It is something that our maintenance team does deal with on a regular basis,” said Nathan Serota, spokesman for the city Department of Parks and Recreation.

He said there were 659 cases of vandalism between 2014 and 2017. It cost the city more than $885,419 to fix them during that time.

That includes the renovations at Kaiaka Bay Beach Park. The comfort station in Haleiwa took three years to fix after it was intentionally set on fire in 2014.

Ala Moana Regional Park also suffered a rash of vandalism.

“That one was really disheartening,” Serota said. “Because we had just renovated that comfort station over there and someone had smashed one of the toilets. It’s kind of a very similar situation where the porcelain was just completely obliterated.”

Surveillance cameras were installed at both Kaiaka Bay and Ala Moana beach parks.

“They’re actually very successful,” Serota said. “At Ala Moana, the cameras there, the staff has not reported any vandalism at those areas since they’ve been installed, which was about a year ago.”

So why not install cameras at all the comfort stations?

“We are certainly looking at it,” Serota said. “Especially with the success we’ve seen at the Ala Moana.”

But he said it’s not as easy as it seems. Once of the biggest challenges is that there are more than 200 comfort stations.

“It would be a long process to put security cameras there,” Serota said. “So we urge the public, if they see something, say something.”

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