Ohai St. Fair Fu­els Plan Of Safety, Unity

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Front Page - By SARAH PACHECO

Thanks to an ini­tia­tive by Cen­tral Oahu busi­nesses, com­mu­nity groups and law en­force­ment, the first-ever Ohai Street Fair went off without a hitch Feb. 6, when Wahi­awa streets be­tween Olive Av­enue and Ohai Place were shut down for a full-blown block party de­signed to build a stronger bond among all area res­i­dents.

“Wahi­awa is a won­der­ful com­mu­nity, and the fair was a cel­e­bra­tion of that com­mu­nity spirit,” said Cindy Bauer, di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions for event spon­sor Surf­ing The Na­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Of­fi­cer Wendy At­tabay with HPD’s District 2 Com­mu­nity Polic­ing Team, the idea of a com­mu­nity-build­ing fes­ti­val be­gan in Oc­to­ber dur­ing a meet­ing of the Wahi­awa Com­mu­nity & Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion.

“We try to do a hands-on ap­proach in solv­ing prob­lems in our own area, and we wanted to use this fair as a way to show our­selves — make our­selves bet­ter known — in our com­mu­nity,” she ex­plained. “But what ended up hap­pen­ing was that a lot of the com­mu­nity gave more than we thought they would. It turned out bet­ter than what we had ex­pected.”

In ad­di­tion to the en­ter­tain­ment, games,

bounc­ers, safety demon­stra­tions and ono food (all free from donors), a ma­jor high­light for the 1,000-plus at­ten­dees was the dis­tri­bu­tion of canned food by Leile­hua High Let­ter­man Club.

Mem­bers col­lected more than 1,600 cans of food in De­cem­ber — enough to feed 200 needy Ohai Street fam­i­lies — and gave the items to the non­profit STN. Leile­hua’s band and cheer­lead­ers also spent the week­end as­sist­ing with the event. As a mahalo to the stu­dents, all re­main­ing funds raised fromthe day will be do­nated to LHS Project Grad.

“We were over­whelmed by the fan­tas­tic turnout and the pos­i­tive re­sponse of so many who en­joyed the fun ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages at the fair,” Bauer added. “ The Ohai Street Fair was suc­cess­ful in bring­ing our com­mu­nity to­gether to cre­ate new bonds among all ages and pro­vide a pos­i­tive, drug-free day of fun and fel­low­ship.”

At­tabay says right now the com­mu­nity polic­ing team is rid­ing the fair’s wave of suc­cess and con­tin­u­ing ef­forts to bet­ter the more-trou­bled ar­eas of Wahi­awa. “Right now what we’re work­ing on is re­viv­ing the neigh­bor­hood watch and cit­i­zens’ pa­trol,” she re­ported. “We’re go­ing to try to bring aware­ness to the com­mu­nity so they know to call, so we know what’s go­ing on.”

To join the watch or pa­trols, call At­tabay at 621-0785, ext. 269. Vol­un­teers will re­ceive proper train­ing and equip­ment to as­sist with nightly neigh­bor­hood pa­trols.

“The next pro­posed area is Whit­more Vil­lage,” At­tabay, a for­mer Wahi­awa res­i­dent, added. “We’ve got­ten feed­back that peo­ple are very happy with that.”

The first Whit­more cit­i­zens’ pa­trol meet­ing is sched­uled for 6:30 p.m. Thurs­day (Feb. 25) on Hoi­hoi Av­enue. At­tabay asks that only res­i­dents of the area who are in­ter­ested in help­ing pre­vent neigh­bor­hood crimes at­tend.

For de­tails, call her at the the above phone num­ber.

Leile­hua cheer­lead­ers (front) share du­ties at the Ohai Street Fair with Surf­ing the Na­tions mem­bers (back­ground in T-shirts, from left) Rachel Lloyd (young girl) with Linda Olaus­son, Malin Garpham­mer and Luke Wal­don to help Wahi­awa youths en­joy a day of fun ac­tiv­i­ties Feb. 6 at the STN booth. Photo by Nik­las Eriks­son.

Tents lined Ohai Street as res­i­dents, com­mu­nity groups and law en­force­ment joined hands Feb. 6 to bring neigh­bors to­gether. Po­lice will meet with Whit­more res­i­dents Feb. 25 with a sim­i­lar fo­cus on safety and self-help. Photo by Nik­las Eriks­son.

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