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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 5, 2010

Kalihi Valley Homes residents support curfew

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Kalihi Valley Homes residents who attended tonight's meeting said they like the curfew, which began last week.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Dozens of Kalihi Valley Homes residents tonight overwhelmingly supported a curfew instituted last week following an escalation of violence at the public housing complex.

Nearly 100 residents crowded into the Kalihi Valley Homes Community Hall to attend an informational briefing by the state House Human Services and Housing committees. The briefing also allowed elected officials to hear from residents and others regarding the curfew that began Thursday.

The event was hosted by Rep. John Mizuno, D-30th, (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, Fort Shafter), chairman of the Human Services committee, and Rep. Rida Cabanilla, D-42nd (Waipahu, Honouliuli, 'Ewa), chairwoman of the Housing Committee.

No residents spoke against the curfew, which requires them to be in their homes from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The curfew is meant to be a temporary solution to a longstanding problem of violence between some residents of KVH and nearby Kuhio Park Terrace, another state housing complex.

But if some KVH residents had their way, the curfew would be permanent.

Moana Hampton, a 25-year resident of Kalihi Valley Homes, told the elected officials that she feels safer at night with the curfew in place.

"It's just temporary, but you can hear a pin drop in the night," Hampton said. "Usually, I'm scared to even walk out because of the hoodlums and their booze and you name it. It's like you're in prison."

Robert Manning, who has lived there for 20 years, agreed and supported a permanent curfew.

"We've been living in bondage for the past 20 years. The gangs, they keep us in our apartments worse than this curfew," Manning said. "Everybody here wants this curfew. Only someone who has something to hide doesn't."

Denise Wise, executive director of the housing authority, said after last night's meeting that she wasn't surprised at the residents' response to the curfew. She said she spent many hours late Friday and Saturday talking to residents who favored the curfew.

Wise said she believes state law allows the curfew to be in place for 120 days. She said she will work with residents to see what can be done to keep the area peaceful. She said the key will be to get residents and leaders of both housing projects together to work out a plan.

"This curfew is not the answer. It is not meant to be the answer," Wise said. "It is meant to have some calming. It is meant so that people can come home and feel safe. That is its intention. But it is not the answer. The answer will come from our community. We have to work together."