Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Nonprofit group aids
elderly native Hawaiians

Question: I have an elderly friend who is ill and has very little to live on. Does the fact that she is part Hawaiian entitle her to any forms of assistance designated for those of Hawaiian ancestry?

Answer: Call Alu Like Inc., which has a Native Hawaiian Elderly Services Project, at 536-4494.

The program, for people of Hawaiian ancestry who are at least 60 years old, offer recreational activities and lunches at statewide sites, including in Waimanalo, Waianae and Papakolea on Oahu, said Liana Pang, director of elderly services.

"We do provide nutritious meals with the minimum daily requirements," she said. There are receptacles for donations, but if people are unable to pay, "we don't press them for it."

Transportation also may be provided. However, if people are too frail to leave their homes, there is a home-delivered meal program they may be able to utilize.

In addition to meals and activities, participants have access to information and referral services, education support services and Hawaiian culture activities, Pang said.

"We can oftentimes assess what (someone's) needs might be and refer them to the appropriate resources," she said.

The elderly services project helps about 350 people statewide daily.

Alu Like is a private, nonprofit service organization founded in 1975 that seeks to help native Hawaiians achieve social and economic self-sufficiency. Its services include community economic development, business assistance, employment training and services for the youth and elderly.

Q: The picture of dying trees in your paper recently caught my eye because I was wondering where to turn my concern to. I do not know how many people have noticed the condition of trees and shrubs along the H-1 freeway median, on the airport viaduct. Three dead trees really look sad, and the bougainvillea are choked with weeds. Beautiful oleanders are so dried and are about to die. Hawaii has beautiful flowers and trees, and tourism is the major industry. I am ashamed that the first road tourists take after they land in Hawaii has such a pitiful look. Every day, commuters enjoy and refresh with trees and flowers along the road. Who is responsible for the maintenance of those areas? I strongly hope it will be taken care of as soon as possible.

A: The state Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining those trees, which were victims of being planted in an unsuitable place.

They were to be removed, Martin Okabe, the DOT's Highways Division Oahu District engineer, said last month.

One problem has been broken sprinklers in the planter boxes, he said.

The DOT was in the process of repairing the sprinklers. In the meantime, "We have also found out that the dead trees are too big for the planter boxes," Okabe said. "Our horticulturist will be going to the site to find a better replacement for the trees."


Useful phone numbers

Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
E-mail to

E-mail to City Desk

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