THE OUTDOOR CIRCLE
The Outdoor Circle has received "a lot of calls" about the dying trees on Kamehameha Schools' former CompUSA site.
CompUSA landscape needs maintenance
I live across from the old CompUSA building on Ala Moana. The area was nicely planted, but since they moved out, everything is dying out. Would the Outdoor Circle have any pull to get somebody to water the property because the trees and plants are all dying out? If I had a long enough hose, I'd run over and water the plants myself. It's worthwhile for our community and city to save all those plants.
Answer: The Outdoor Circle had received "a lot of calls" about the dying trees and plants and already had contacted Kamehameha Schools about doing something by the time you called us last week.
CompUSA, which vacated the property last year, still holds the lease on the property, which is owned by Kamehameha Schools.
Bob Loy, the Outdoor Circle's director of environmental programs, provided us with photos of "severely drought-stressed and poorly maintained travelers palms," including some "completely dead with no fronds;" a "severely drought-stressed monkeypod" tree; and "mostly dead hibiscus" plants.
On top of that, Loy said, there was "litter and debris all over" and the property had "become a neighborhood eyesore."
He acknowledged that Kamehameha Schools was "between a rock and a hard spot" since the lessee wasn't assuming responsibility for the property's upkeep. But, "CompUSA is gone and we don't think they're coming back to water the plants," he said.
Because of that, "The Outdoor Circle has asked Kamehameha Schools to clean up the property and maintain the trees and landscaping until a new tenant can take over," Loy said.
Earlier this month, we received a complaint about graffiti marring the building (Kokua Line, May 8). At that time, spokesman Kamehameha Schools spokesman Kekoa Paulsen said officials were not able to get CompUSA to respond to complaints about the condition of the property, so they would hire a vendor to get rid of the graffiti.
The graffiti was removed, although it looks like vandals have since left their mark again.
This time, in response to the dying landscaping, Paulsen told us, "Ultimately, we will be taking responsibility."
However, the question last week was whether the water was still turned on at the property, he said.
"We're going to do what we can to keep (the plants and trees) alive," Paulsen said, whether that would mean manicuring the landscape or just keeping everything alive until the next lessee comes in.
CompUSA "contractually is still responsible for the property, but it remains to be seen what we will be able to recover from them," he said.
Meanwhile, Loy said the Outdoor Circle has "faith that (Kamehameha Schools) will honor its pledge to resolve this problem and we very much appreciate its commitment to help keep Honolulu beautiful."
To all the wonderful people who offered me assistance when my car stalled near the intersection of Kahekili Highway and Haiku Road on the afternoon of May 10. Being stalled in heavy traffic is not pleasant, however, the many drivers who slowed and offered to help made the situation much more bearable. The generosity of complete strangers reminds me why Hawaii is truly a special place to live! -- Chris in Kaneohe
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