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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, August 23, 2001

Honolulu gets A-minus kid-friendly grade

By Jean Chow
Advertiser Staff Writer

Honolulu received an overall grade of A- for kid-friendliness and ranked 32 out of 140 independent cities, according to a report released this week.

The nationwide report, released by the environmental organization Zero Population Growth, offers a glimpse of the health and well-being of more than 20 million children in 239 American cities with populations of 100,000 or more.

The cities were separated into three categories: major cities, which contain at least 2 million people; component cities, which are suburbs; and independent cities, which are more than 100,000 but less than 2 million people.

"I think the A- is a wonderful reflection of Honolulu," said city spokeswoman Carol Costa.

Each city was graded on various aspects of "kid-friendliness," including health conditions, safety, education, and environmental cleanliness. New to the report this year were the categories of "community life," which reflects the number of libraries and parks and "health improvement," which reflects the effort cities have made in reducing the percent of teenage births, infant mortality and the percent of low weight births.

The report also featured "extra credit" projects from each city. Honolulu was recognized for planning to install 50 children's playground sets annually in public parks.

Honolulu received As and Bs for all categories except for a C grade in public safety, which took into account the number of violent and property crimes per 1,000 people.

Costa questioned those numbers.

"We were rated the safest city out of 27 cities with a size of 500,000 or more in another recent nationwide survey by the FBI," said Costa.

The Zero Population Growth report said Honolulu had 6 violent crimes and 109 property crimes per 1,000 people, but according to the Honolulu Police Department, those numbers are actually 2.6 and 51.1, respectively, Costa said. She does not know where the organization obtained the statistics, but said that those numbers were wrong.