comscore Kokua Line: Who is responsible for often-overgrown medians along Ala Moana Boulevard? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Kokua Line: Who is responsible for often-overgrown medians along Ala Moana Boulevard?

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A median is overgrown with weeds along Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A median is overgrown with weeds along Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A median is overgrown with weeds along Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue. Above, a vehicle drives past the median.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A median is overgrown with weeds along Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue. Above, a vehicle drives past the median.

Question: The median on Ala Moana Boulevard, for as long as the last 10 years or so from the Ala Moana mall area to downtown, is very unkempt. The grass (mostly weeds) oftentimes is overgrown and unsightly. Given that it is among the most heavily trafficked roads in the state, why is the median so unkempt? Who is responsible, city or state?

Answer: The state Department of Transportation owns the medians along that stretch of road, but Honolulu County is responsible for maintaining the trees and grass — two city departments are involved with the upkeep. “The Department of Parks and Recreation’s Division of Urban Forestry maintains the trees and the Department of Facility Maintenance maintains the groundcover/grass,” Tim Sakahara, spokesman for Mayor Rick Blangiardi, said in an email.

The grass, which was the focus of your complaint, is supposed to be mowed about every six weeks, “subject to available resources,” he said.

Malfunctioning or inoperable sprinklers in the medians on Ala Moana Boulevard also have been a source of complaints over the years, as parched trees and grass caught readers’ attention. Staff from the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Facility Maintenance have repaired the irrigation system since the last flurry of complaints, about a year ago, but vandalism is an ongoing concern.

Q: Which of Oahu’s DMVs have the standby line for driver’s license renewal?

A: “The Kapalama Driver’s Licensing Center, Kapolei Driver’s Licensing Center, and Koolau Driver’s Licensing Center are offering stand-by service on a limited basis to customers who don’t have an appointment; however, same-day service is not guaranteed. The stand-by service is intended to offset the no-shows for appointments and last-minute cancellations,” according to Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Services.

Q: Regarding the city’s rental relief program, aren’t you supposed to report your unemployment compensation as income? My neighbor’s son isn’t. He’s taking in more money now than he did when he was working.

A: Yes, people should report unemployment payments as income when applying for Honolulu County’s Rental and Utility Relief Program, according to the city.

The pandemic-era program, which pays up to 12 months of rent and utility payments for eligible Oahu residents, assesses household income when determining eligibility. Applicants are required to submit documents verifying their eligibility.

You or anyone else who suspects specific instances of fraud may call 768-2489 to report it.

For more information about the program, see oneoahu.org/renthelp.

Vaccine clinic change

A COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Kamehameha Homes will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. today, the state Department of Health said Monday. The walk-in clinic had previously been scheduled for the morning. Residents 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated.

Mahalo

On Saturday at about 4:15 p.m., I was walking my dog on Piikoi Street between Beretania and Young streets when an unkempt woman approached and grabbed my dog’s leash, saying it was her dog. I naturally pulled back as he is my dog; I’ve had him for 12 years. She kept pulling hard on his leash and yelled and yelled. My dog’s harness came off, he toppled over and ran off close to traffic. A car with a young man and woman pulled out of the traffic queue to assist me. Another young man walking on the block also assisted. They made sure my dog and I were OK and the woman was not following me. I was still flustered and probably did not thank them properly. I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to these fine young people. May they be blessed always! — L.G.


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 kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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