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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted at 4:08 p.m., Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chinatown needs care to sustain revival

Police have moved swiftly to give the safety of Chinatown residents and businesses, who are worried about the recent spate of criminal activity in their community, the attention it deserves.

City officials and community leaders are being called to improve communications, which are often complicated by the diversity of groups living in the area, language barriers and cultural aversions to dealing with authorities.

It's a challenge, but given the renaissance and restoration of this historic business district, it's well worth the effort.

This effort is taking shape through pledges by police to redeploy more officers to the streets after dark. And on Saturday, the Chinatown Business & Community Association plans activities to enlist the help of more people who live and work in the area.

Association President Chu Lan Shubert Kwock said events such as First Friday have enlivened the fledgling arts sector of Chinatown but added that more events involving the larger community are needed. She's right: Bringing visitors to the area regularly is essential to reclaiming Chinatown; so is attention to larger social problems, such as homelessness.

But first the police need to sustain their increase in surveillance and patrols so that the public can feel assured of safety. Lines of communication, such as anonymous hotlines that serve the various ethnic groups, should be strengthened.

It's this cooperation that can ensure Chinatown will continue to add its cultural richness to the heart of Honolulu.

Get involved

Chinatown residents will gather at an informational rally and march through the neighborhood to draw attention to recent concerns about area crime.

10 a.m. Saturday

Kekaulike Mall, across from Oahu Market

Information: 391-4350