City contracts cover cutting coconut trees
I was playing tourist the other day in Waikiki and noticed a coconut on the ground. There were a lot of good-size coconuts in the trees. Aren't they supposed to be removed so that they don't fall and hurt someone?
Answer: A contractor started trimming coconut trees under the city's jurisdiction on Oct. 17.
There are about 8,000 coconut palms around Oahu under the maintenance of the Department of Parks and Recreation's Division of Urban Forestry, said the department's deputy director, Dana Takahara-Dias.
Trees in the Honolulu area are covered under a new $189,704 contract. Another contract covering palms in the Windward and Leeward areas was expected to be finalized soon.
Both contracts are specifically for coconut palms and call for two trimmings within the fiscal year, Takahara-Dias said. They require "trimming and shaping the palms and hauling away all tree trimming and debris."
In addition to those under the city's jurisdiction, there are coconut trees on numerous hotel, condominium and other private properties in Waikiki and elsewhere, she pointed out.
"Maintenance responsibility of these palms would rest with the private property owner," she said.
Q: How come Punahou School did away with its annual outdoor "Flaming P" tradition? This year, the school held a rally in the gym with the "P" illuminated electrically, no longer flaming. I'm just curious.
A: As you can imagine, there were concerns about safety, as well as health and environmental concerns, over the more than 30-year-old tradition celebrating the school's athletic teams.
"Safety issues have always been a concern, and many steps have been taken to mitigate the risks of the tradition," said Laurel Bowers Husain, Punahou's director of communications.
Nevertheless, she said, parents, especially those trying to keep track of young children in the dark around the "Flaming P," voiced concerns.
Additionally, health and environmental concerns rose as the school increased its attention to sustainability issues.
Preparations involved pouring flammable liquids all over the structure. School administrators became more aware of these liquids seeping into the ground, Bowers Husain said, as well as of possible effects on the health of people preparing the burn.
It was "decided that it was important to modify the tradition to address these concerns," she said.
Re: feeding feral cats ("Kokua Line," Oct. 2), what about the area by the Park and Ride at Hawaii Kai? Will they put a sign there, too? On weekends, I see people putting lots and lots of food out for the cats. They never remove their foam trays. The rubbish is piling up and the place smells bad. -- Ralph
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