Chinatown friends adopt Kekaulike Mall
Cleaned-up sidewalks, painted walls and more organized sidewalk vendors are just a few of the changes being made by The Friends of Chinatown at the Kekaulike Mall.
The group, a mixture of merchants, police and residents, began their work in January. They were disgusted by mountains of rubbish left behind by vendors — some legal, others not — and from negative publicity from a video about rats leaping from baskets of produce at one of the markets.
It got so bad late last year that residents were afraid to leave their homes after 5 p.m. said Barbara Hao, a resident of Kekaulike Courtyard, a public housing fronting Kekaulike Market.
"We're adopting this area," Hao said. "We're surveying the mall every day and remove the illegal vendors. So far it's been nice and clean."