Volunteers from the Lighthouse Outreach Center Assembly of God took part in a cleanup of the "Pupu streets" yesterday in Waipahu. Among them was Reupena Tuiolemotu, who went after sidewalk grass with a trimmer on Pupukahi Street.

Volunteers clean up
‘Pupu’ area

The group of children and
adults haul trash out of the
Waipahu neighborhood

By Leila Fujimori

About 150 children and 50 adult volunteers turned out to clean up the "Pupu streets," a low-income apartment neighborhood in Waipahu yesterday, said Irene Elston, president of the Waipahu Neighborhood Improvement Association.

The group hauled trash from streets and yards, and moved out old cars, beds and appliances littering Pupuole, Pupupuhi, Pupukahi and Pupunohe streets and Pupuole Place.

"Our streets really look good," Elston said after the cleanup. "It doesn't look like Hawaii Kai, but it looks good."

The association also provided food and entertainment for the volunteers, who worked from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Among those who lent a helping hand were residents, building owners and managers, members of the Weed & Seed program, Samoan churches, lawmakers, and the Hawaiian Team for Youth and Family sponsored by the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center, Elston said.

"We're taking our neighborhood back," said Elston, who lives in the area.

Waipahu was designated as Hawaii's second Weed & Seed zone three years ago this month. Weed & Seed is a federal Department of Justice program designed to reduce crime and strengthen the community.

Cleaning up the streets also means getting rid of undesirables, like the homeless who live in cars, drug addicts and dealers who hang out on street corners, said Elston, who is also a landlady.

"People are afraid to get out and go down to the park," Elston said, referring to the Pupuole Mini Park.

Elston hoped that many absentee landlords would take an interest in maintaining the area.

The association plans to continue the cleanup every three months, start a neighborhood patrol with the Weed & Seed program, and plant trees and flowers to spruce up the area.

E-mail to City Desk


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