City trees are removed on case-by-case basis
A tree has uprooted the road and sidewalk in Mililani. Recently, a contractor marked the area to be repaired with white paint. The tree roots also have damaged the storm drain. Why doesn't the city just cut the bothersome tree down and save the money required to fix the road and walkway? This is not the first time costly repairs have been done in this area.
Answer: "Trees are evaluated for removal on a case-by-case basis," said Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy director of the city Department of Parks and Recreation, which oversees the Division of Urban Forestry.
A tree can't be removed unless the sidewalk is "opened," so the markings do not necessarily mean the tree will not be removed, she said. "If the tree is uplifting the sidewalk with relative frequency, it will be considered for removal."
However, she said that street trees are important to a community's "sustainability."
They are considered to be part of the infrastructure.
"Just like street lights, roads and sidewalks, trees require maintenance," she said. As part of that, the city repairs sidewalks damaged by "root uplift."
Q: Leeward bus riders were "evicted" from our beautiful Kapolei transit center one month ago to make way for the new freeway offramp. We were moved to Haumea Street with no shelters or trees to protect us from searing heat and rain, as well as dust from nearby construction. Is there any plan to put up shelters for this major transit center?
A: Shelters are in the works.
"After our first month of bus operations at Haumea Street, we learned that we must shift some of the stops and make sidewalk improvements," said James Burke, chief of the city's Public Transit Division.
He said the shelters will be installed after these improvements are completed within the next two months. The city hopes to have them up by summer's end.
To a young couple who were so kind to my co-workers and me at the recent Charity Walk sponsored by the Hawaii Hotel and Visitor Industry Association. I had brought my digital camera to take "before" and "after" photos of the people from our company participating. Just before the walk began, a very nice young man agreed to take our photo. It was then I realized the camera batteries were dead and I didn't have any spares with me. This young man asked what kind of batteries my camera used, walked over to his family, returned with two batteries, inserted them into my camera and took our picture. I was so thrilled he did that. In turn, I took their family photo with his camera. In my excitement, I didn't get their names and also failed to return his batteries. I kept an eye out for them but didn't see them again. To this young couple with a toddler son: Mahalo for your kindness and generosity! We now have our shots for our company newsletter. -- Sharon K. and Grateful Co-Workers
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