Welcome to the neighborhood | Liliha / Alewa


POSTED: Sunday, November 22, 2009

On Sundays in the Insight section, we'll spotlight one of Oahu's 33 neighborhood boards to give readers a sense of the issues facing our communities. Responses about area concerns and characteristics were supplied by the board chairperson in response to a questionnaire.

Our communities of Liliha, Alewa, Puunui and Kamehameha Heights have a rich history of Hawaiian ancestry, enterprising locals and old-time flavor.

People here have established many familiar restaurants and shops such as Liliha Bakery, Natsunoya Tea House, the original L&L Drive-in and Young's Noodle Factory. Major hospitals and long-term care facilities here include Kuakini Hospital, Hawaii Medical Center, Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, Maluhia, and Convalescent Center of Hawaii. Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center provides activities for thousands of senior citizens.

One can find historic attractions such as the Royal Mausoleum and Oahu Cemetery along Nuuanu Avenue. Also, elementary schools such as Ma'ema'e and Lanakila are some of the best public elementary schools on Oahu. Kamehameha Schools also is within our boundaries.

; BOARD NO. 14
        The officers
        Robert Stubbs
        Vice chairman
        Wesley Fong
        Brandon R. Mitsuda
        Dale White Members
        Brandon Lau, Dale White, Sesnita A.D. Moepono, Jacce Mikulanec, Claude Uehara, Donald Nitta and Wayne Taketa
        To get involved
        Meetings at Ma'ema'e Elementary School cafeteria are held on the second Monday of each month, at 7 p.m. E-mail Bob Stubbs at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

These treasures are a part of what make this district special to Oahu. They are reminiscent of old Hawaii and the kind of place we love to call home.

Our top issues

1: Kuakini Extension Project. This involves the construction of a roadway connecting Kuakini Street to Keola Street and a new four-way intersection at Kuakini Street and Lanakila Avenue. The long-term effect is expected to be beneficial to the surrounding community.

The realigned segment of Kuakini Street will promote a safer, more direct route, avoiding the need for westbound motorists to make a right turn from Kuakini Street at its intersection with Lanakila Avenue, and then a left turn from Lanakila Avenue onto Keola Street before heading to the Hala Drive intersection.

Eastbound motorists traveling on Keola Street will similarly not need to execute a right turn at the intersection with Lanakila Avenue and then a left turn back onto Kuakini Street before continuing further east. The new road realignment will permit motorists to continue along this project segment of Kuakini Street between the intersections of Lanakila Avenue and Keola Street.

2: Kunawai Park. This ongoing project has made some progress over the past five years, but is not yet complete. The original project called for refurbishing bathrooms, making the park handicap-accessible, and replacing playground equipment and other amenities. Due to safety issues, the bathrooms were demolished; area residents would like new bathrooms built. A resolution was passed and submitted by the board as one of several items desired by the residents.

3: Land use law and zoning violations. Such violations often come before the board, which tries to work with residents and government agencies to resolve concerns. Heads of agencies are occasionally invited to meetings to explain the situations.

The board's concern is for the greater good of all concerned and against those who try to circumvent zoning rules. Occasionally residents damage infrastructure and action must be taken for repairs. At times, the responsible party is not so responsible and the city must take action.

Recently it was reported that a homeowner damaged a storm drain during construction. City representatives present at our meeting acted and an inspector sent a notice of violation to the property owner. The inspector will be following up to confirm the homeowner's receipt of the letter and to determine when the fixes will be completed.

4: Illegal parking is a persistent problem. This usually involves cars parking on unmarked pedestrian rights of way so that pedestrians must walk into the road and traffic to get by illegally parked cars. At times, even posting signs does not change behavior and police do their best to cite or have illegally parked cars moved when called.

5: Pedestrian safety and traffic flow. As an area with a large number of young students and blind and elderly people walking throughout the district, this is always high on our list of concerns. Street sign and traffic safety warning sign maintenance is a priority, and the city's Department of Transportation Services is working with the board and local community to improve safety.

Facts & figures

» Liliha is named after the former governess of Oahu, Kuini Liliha (1802-1839), who was credited with her husband, Chief Boki, for providing the land for present day Punahou School.

» The Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu—Mauna 'Ala or “;fragrant hills”; (shown at left)—is the sacred resting site of Hawaii's two prominent royal families: the Kamehameha Dynasty and the Kalakaua Dynasty.