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A way needs to be found to enhance safety in Pali Highway crosswalks

LAST UPDATED: 10:51 p.m. HST, Jun 24, 2010


Board No. 12



Sylvia Young

Vice chairman

Philip S. Nerney

Secretary / Treasurer

Nicole Hori


James Bannon, Mason Aiona, Kathleen Hodai, Jamie Moody, Jay Fidell, Alex Garcia, John Harrison, Audrey Hidano

(The board is putting out a call for four more members from the Punchbowl area.)

To Get Involved The board meets at 7:15 p.m. this Tuesday at Pauoa Elementary School. Call 768-3710 or 768-3715, or see


» Punchbowl Crater, an extinct volcanic tuff cone, was formed some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago. It is the location of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Punchbowl's Hawaiian name, "Puowaina," means "Hill of Sacrifice."

» The Nuuanu Pali was the site of the Battle of Nuuanu, one of the bloodiest in Hawaiian history, in which Kamehameha I conquered Oahu, uniting the islands. In 1795, after conquering Maui and Molokai, Kamehameha, with 10,000 soldiers, fought the pivotal battle in Nuuanu Valley against Kalanikupule, whose soldiers ended up trapped above the cliff; more than 400 were driven off the edge to their deaths 1,000 feet below.

A way needs to be found to enhance safety in Pali Highway crosswalks

1. Traffic on Pali Highway in Nuuanu Valley and recent traffic fatalities. The board is looking at possible ways to enhance safety at crosswalks, such as imbedded lights on the road, some sort of alternative, because the rumble strips didn't work. It's looking at other things to slow down traffic.

It's been very difficult trying to get the state to respond, or to get through to the governor's office for a response.

2. Crime, especially in the Pacific Heights and Nuuanu areas, where there have been a lot of burglaries lately. There's been a spike of burglaries, so we're very concerned about that type of activity.

3. Development. A few projects are coming up: Nuuanu Baptist School is looking for a conditional use permit to expand. Another project is the retirement complex at Craigside Place, which would share an entrance way with an adjacent cemetery; it is run by the same people that run Arcadia. It's a construction site; people in Craigside are worried about construction, and about viewplanes, noise and dust. But mainly it has to do with obstruction of viewplanes, which affects the value of condos.

Then there's the Dowsett Highlands subdivision: Nuuanu Valley residents were concerned because of the topography of the area. Neighbors had been complaining about boulders coming down, mudslides and water runoff. It's in the preliminary clearing stage.

4. Status of the Honolulu Memorial Park Cemetery. Families have been going to take care of the gravesites, but the pagoda is in bad shape and needs to be renovated and restored. We don't know how safe it is.

This hasn't come up before the board for a few years, but it's a standing issue. It's been kind of put on the wayside because nothing has been addressed, but it's not been resolved either.

5. Nuuanu reservoir. The state is going to lower the water level there to only 10 feet, and that means the level, with all the mud and silt, will be too low for catfish; there will not be enough water in there to maintain the catfish. The state won't be replenishing the reservoir. There is some concern that lowering the water level in the reservoir will raise the water level further downstream.

With the cutbacks in government services, recreational activities like the catfish program are gone -- and that's a shame. These kinds of activities don't cost families a great deal of money for recreation and relaxation, and they are good and useful to help people de-stress -- and are needed even more in this type of economy.


Steeped in history

It's a very historical area -- people don't realize the history of our community -- the Nuuanu, Pacific Heights, Papakolea and Punchbowl areas. Up in Nuuanu Valley, there's the Queen Emma summer palace; plus the petroglyphs alongside Kapena Falls and Alo Loke falls. The first electric tram was at Pacific Heights. In the Punchbowl area was first Portuguese colony, on Madeira Street and Azores: The steps go up to Prospect Street, typical of what it's like in Portugal.

Most people who live here represent several generations, and there are families that have been here for several generations.

Living here is very unusual because it's like we live in the country, but we also live so close to town.

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