Wednesday, December 30, 2009


No DOH overtime, no solution to Chinatown rat problem

by Larry Geller

The Department of Health rat class made the news on each major TV station in Honolulu last night, and in an Advertiser story in this morning’s paper. Rats even made their way into the front-page fireworks article.

Who would have thought that the story would last this long? This time it was because only two vendors were able to attend the DOH’s class on how to end the infestation and keep their food safe. From the Advertiser story:

[Kekaulike Market vendor Paul] Min said time conflicts (Kekaulike Marketplace closes at 6 p.m.; the meeting started at 4:30 p.m.) and fear of media coverage kept many vendors from attending yesterday's session. He said he will share what he learned with his neighbor businesses, including an informational handout that included Chinese and Vietnamese translations.

No overtime for DOH inspectors means the rats in other markets and restaurants are not going to be discovered or exterminated. No overtime for DOH means vendors won’t be able to attend classes, it seems.

No overtime for DOH means the rats win, vendors and shoppers lose.

Credit our state government’s intransigence for the rat’s continued success and the ongoing media attention. Those classes need to be held when the vendors can attend, and the inspections need to be carried out where and when the rats can be found.


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