Neighbors clear fallen branches for Kapahulu homeowner

Campbell Avenue, Kapahulu

What a difference a few helping hands can make.

A viewer alerted KHON2 via Report It to an eyesore and a fire hazard sitting on a Kapahulu sidewalk.

During a violent wind storm, large branches from a kiawe tree broke off and fell onto a truck parked on Campbell Avenue.

Firefighters cleared the branches and left them in a pile on the sidewalk, where they sat for two weeks, raising concerns with some area residents.

“It’s just an eyesore,” said neighbor John Hill. “So is the property, because it ain’t been cleaned up.”

“A cigarette butt tossed from the roadside hitting that tree right there, could be a fire instantly,” said neighbor Kaipo Guerrero. “It’s a kiawe tree and that thing will go up in flames in just seconds.”

The mess frustrated next-door neighbor Wai Fun Chun, who said she tried to get the homeowner to do something about other trees on the property and got no response.

“They (never) open the door. They stay inside, watch TV. I hear the TV and somebody inside,” she said.

On Thursday, KHON2 sidestepped the overgrowth in the yard and knocked ourselves, but no one answered.

An official with the city planning and permitting department was also there inspecting the property after getting a complaint.

She explained that the city’s bulky item pickup could not remove the branches, because they’re considered green waste and must be placed in green bins for scheduled pickup.

Because the branches blocked the sidewalk, the official added, the homeowner could be fined. She told KHON2 that she planned to issue a notice of violation to the property owners, which would give them 30 days to remove the branches.

But after we spoke with other residents on the block, some decided enough was enough. Rather than complaining about the mess or waiting for the city to pick it up, they chopped the branches into smaller pieces and hauled them away in green bins.

They say the homeowner is an older man who’s rarely around.

“All us neighbors, we all help each other out,” said neighbor Dana Hasegawa.

Because the mess was cleared, the notice of violation wasn’t issued.

kapahulu kiawe help

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