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New royal palm trees replace those that had been removed

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Question: Our street, Royal Palm Drive in Wahiawa, is lined with beautiful royal palm trees that I believe were planted during our plantation era. In March several small palms were planted between certain trees. Who decided to do this? Why weren’t residents given the opportunity to stop this? Who paid for this?

Answer: A private contractor for the city Division of Urban Forestry planted the 11 Cuban royal palms on March 11 to replace trees removed last year because existing “conditions” warranted their removal.

Nine residents were notified, because their cooperation in watering the palms planted adjacent to their properties was required, according to the city Department of Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry Division.

The palms are listed on the city’s register of “exceptional trees” (Section 41-13.7 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu), which protects “a tree or grove of trees with historic or cultural value, or which by reason of its age, rarity, location, size, esthetic quality or endemic status has been designated by the City Council as worthy of preservation.”)

Urban Forestry estimates the palms were planted at least 50 years ago.

The city’s practice is to plant replacements when removals are necessary and if replanting is possible.

We’re told it’s not always the case that trees are replaced. Many “old” trees do not conform to city standards, such as adequate clearances, distance from utility lines, etc.

Also, in some cases, because irrigation is important for the trees to grow, adjacent private property owners have to be willing to help with watering.

On Royal Palm Drive a few trees were relocated to alleviate concerns about utility lines and private driveways.

A representative of the Wahiawa Community and Business Association expressed interest in the replanting project last September, Urban Forestry officials said.

The association helped to solicit the support of property owners in watering the new palms after the contractor’s two-month maintenance period.

The green bags at the base of the new plantings are watering bags.

Urban Forestry officials said young containerized palms were selected for practicality and to minimize costs. The cost for the plants, installation and maintenance is about $7,300.

Question: Isn’t it illegal to buy realistic-looking toy guns for your child? I saw a little boy in a Longs parking lot pointing a gun at people and laughing. His father was encouraging this behavior. I know there is no law on bad parenting, but what about the sale of these toys?

Answer: There was a proposal to prohibit the sale of toy guns to minors — not to adults — during the recent state legislative session, but it never made it out of committee.

However, Section 40-23.2 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu already prohibits anyone from carrying or displaying a “replica gun” on any street, alley, public road or on any public lands unless it’s in “a suitable case or securely wrapped,” or to brandish it in the presence of a law enforcement officer “engaged in the performance of his or her duties.”

A “replica gun” refers to any toy or object that looks like an actual firearm.


To a lady without any class. At lunch time on April 21, I was standing in line at Down to Earth when she just cut in front of me. She looked directly at me and said nothing. No “mahalo.” I was just appalled! Lady, were you raised in a barn?

Kathy from Kailua

Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email
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