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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, January 11, 2002

Neighborhood board listens to rooster critics

By Scott Ishikawa
Advertiser Central O‘ahu Writer

ALIAMANU — Last night's Aliamanu/Salt Lake/Foster Village Neighborhood Board meeting was for the birds.

Board members heard the concerns of Salt Lake residents who complained about crowing roosters in the wee hours of the morning.

Since the issue was not on the board's agenda, the panel could take no action. Board chairman Grant Tanimoto said the board probably would vote next month to ask the City Council to strengthen animal nuisance ordinances.

City Councilman Romy Cachola, who represents the area, said he would look into the matter, but strengthening animal noise laws might not help, since they already are difficult to enforce.

"Tracking down where the rooster noise came from is already hard enough," Cachola said.

It is not difficult to hear the roosters, however.

Naomi Watanabe, who attended last night's meeting, said crowing regularly wakes her up at 3 and 4 in the morning.

"It is like an alarm clock," said Watanabe, who has lived in Salt Lake for 35 years. "And the crowing comes in a rhythm, so once it starts, you cannot go back to sleep because you're dreading the next time it'll start up again."

Tanimoto said he talked with Hawaiian Humane Society officials, who said they would investigate and give warnings and citations.

The Humane Society has logged an average of 640 rooster noise complaints per year since 1994, said Eve Holt, the group's community relations director. (There were 575 complaints in 2001, 10 of them in Salt Lake.)

Animal officials use two laws to control the crowing problem. One ordinance limits the number of chickens per household in residential areas to two. Another animal nuisance law says the animal may not be noisy for 10 minutes continuously or 30 minutes intermittently.

The initial fine for violating the animal nuisance law is $50, with a $100 fine for a second violation within the next two years. Subsequent fines within another two years would be between $500 and $1,000, and/or between 30 days to six months' probation.