Re: Response from Congressman Kahele on Hilo Federal Public restrooms closed to the general public

Update on Hilo downtown Post Office/Federal building 1st floor Public Restrooms locked

1PM Wed. Sept. 1, 2021

I had to do some errands in Hilo so I went by the downtown Post office and walked the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building. There are Mens and Womens restrooms on both the 2nd and 3rd floors (not for public use) that are also locked. I believe the 2nd and 3rd floor restrooms have always been for people who work in the building.

Besides the Post Office on the first floor there are really only 4 other offices in the entire 3 story building

1. Farm Program/Farm Loans

2. NRCS (National Resource Conservation Service

3. Rural Development

4. US Dept. of Veteran Affairs.

So the Post Office staff and the 4 other office staff have the 2nd and 3rd floor restrooms to use. They do not need to privatize the first floor public rest rooms but they have.

Remember, the US just left Afghanistan after 20 years of war spending trillions of dollars ($300 million a day for 20 years according to Biden) Yet we can’t keep 2 public restrooms opened and clean. What’s the problem? Government offices are there to serve the public. The public deserve OPEN PUBLIC RESTROOMS.

Jim Albertini


Aloha Kai and staff,

Mahalo for your response on the Hilo Federal Building PUBLIC restrooms being locked for the general public.  I appreciate your efforts to get the building manager to explain the situation but I find the explanation insulting.

I am a tax payer and help pay the salaries of the tenants of that building.  It is clear that since that building was constructed decades ago those first floor PUBLIC restrooms located near the post office area were meant for use by the general public.  To now shift to ONLY key use by building tenants is indicative of the shift in government to serve “special interests” rather than serving “The General Public.”  In my view it shows contempt for, instead of serving, those in need, especially the least among us.  America is going in the wrong direction.

Please stand up to this nonsense and reopen the PUBLIC  restrooms.


Jim Albertini

cc news media

Jim Albertini Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760 Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at

On 8/31/21 8:28 AM, Rep. Kai Kahele wrote:

Aloha Mr. Albertini,

Thank you for reaching out to our office for assistance regarding the restrooms at the Hilo Federal Building. We reached out to building manager, Elaine Arucan, with your inquiry a few months ago and received the following response:
Back in 2018, the building’s Facility Security Committee (FSC) which is made up of the building tenants voted to have the public restroom doors locked. This decision to close these restrooms were made for security reasons as there were multiple incidents of loitering, vandalism, and general misuse of these restrooms. Please see below message that was sent out on December 3, 2018:

I’d like to make you aware beginning today, Monday Dec 6, all 1st floor restroom doors will remain locked.  Last week the buildings Facility Security Committee (FSC) has voted to begin locking all 1st floor restroom doors. The Federal Protective Service has informed the security guard, the committee chair of the FSC has made all committee members aware of this implementation and will also be in contact with local city/county representatives, I have also informed Rendell with Aleut.  Please ensure upon servicing each restroom,  doors remain locked.  All occupants of the building have keys for the restrooms and will be responsible for allowing their own visitors access to the restroom.

As the message states above, tenant agencies in the Hilo Federal Building will be responsible for allowing their own visitors access to these restrooms (so technically they are not closed to individuals who have official business at the building). At this time there are no plans to reopen the restrooms unless the FSC puts it to a vote.
We understand this might not be the outcome you are hoping for, but unfortunately it would be up to the Facility Security Committee (comprised of the building’s tenants) to reverse this decision. Thank you again for contacting our office.


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