Rodents roaming in Hop Bottom
BY PAT FARNELLI
Rats who raided pet food in a local hermit’s yard are now taking their chances elsewhere in the borough, said a neighbor of Hal Akoa’s at the Hop Bottom Borough Council meeting on Tuesday.
A resident held samples of a cut water line and several electrical lines and wires at the meeting, and said that the large rodents have invaded his property and house, severing utility lines with their sharp incisors.
Akoa, who recently lived in a camper near the old creamery, has been hospitalized for the past month, and the dogs were removed. Now that there are no bags of dog food, the rats are venturing into neighborhoods again.
The borough’s April police report still contained dog complaints about Akoa, although the dogs have been gone since last month’s meeting date.
Akoa is presently at Mercy’s extended care facility inNanticoke, and is hoping to find housing which will permit him to keep one dog, said borough councilman Ron Barankovich.
Akoa, also known as William Skirpstunas, has always had dog companions. At one time, he was a successful actor and screenplay writer, and was an original cast member of the TV series Hawaii Five-O.
Akoa’s nephew, Gary Skirpas, has been searching for him for years, and recently tracked down articles in the Susquehanna County Independent. Skirpas said his father is Akoa’s youngest brother.
According to Skirpas, Akoa once lived in an impressive brownstone onWest 13th StreetinNew York City, where he lost his rent-controlled apartment because he would not give up his fifteen dog roommates, one of which was a full-blooded Australian dingo. He refused an offer of $250,000 to end his lease.”He’s been in self-imposed exile most of his life,” Skirpas nephew said.
Akoa’s photo carrying his dog Rusty onPerry StreetinManhattanduring a snowstorm was featured in the Feb. 7, 1993 edition of the New York Times.
While living inNew York City, Akoa was interviewed in the investigation of the murder of John Lennon, as he had moved fromHawaiiat the same time as Lennon’s shooter, who had also been an extra and security guard on the set of Hawaii Five-O.
The board discussed a current title dispute over Akoa’s property in Hop Bottom, which he purchased in March 2010 from Patricia and Herbert Earl Roe Jr. for $5,000, according to the Susquehanna County Court Notes in the Scranton Times-Tribune.
In other business, aMountain Viewstudent planning a parade for the community yard sale day of July 14 reviewed her progress. It is possible she may move the event to 2013 to allow for more planning of the event.
Also, Elizabeth Black, a local Girl Scout Ambassador for Troop 28 is working on her Gold Award. Black plans to help out with the summer lunchbag program forMountain Viewstudents, and wants to plant earth boxes and raise produce for the program behind the firehouse. The council encouraged her in pursuing this goal.
There was an update on the FEMA grant for the sediment basin for the Hop Bottom Creek and Martin’s Creek confluence area.
There was a complaint about an abandoned borough property on High Street. A neighbor told the council that the exterior of wall had fallen down the same day, a window was broken, and the sewer pipe had also ruptured.
A borough cleanup day is scheduled for May 19, and the Diaz companies are donating the dumpster service.
The borough park is still awaiting 300 feet of galvanized tubing for fence posts, and rubber mulch for the play area. The apple tree has been removed, and the lawns have been rolled and seeded.