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Makakilo graffiti eradicated with paint

West Oahu Current - January 11, 2006

By Don Robbins

Volunteers from the Healthy Hawaii Coalition spent a part of New Year’s Eve painting out graffiti along the walls at the corner of Palailai Street and Makakilo Drive, according to Mike Gabbard, the group’s founder/president.

Gabbard said, although his organization primarily focuses on watershed protection on the Windward side, members of the group teamed up with firefighters in November to repaint a Windward building that had been a favorite target for graffiti “taggers.”

So Barbers Point resident Gabbard said that, when members of the group saw a Dec. 28 West Oahu Current article about graffiti in Makakilo, they decided to repaint the walls there, too.

According to Gabbard, owners of the walls were contacted before the project, and he believes “people living in the area appreciate it.”

He said about five individuals, including himself and Rock and Ali Riggs of Kapolei, purchased paint and held a New Year’s Eve painting party to erase the graffiti from public sight.

Gabbard said it was difficult to find the exact color for all the perimeter walls for homes on both sides of the street, including right behind a bus stop.

“I’m not satisfied with the match,” he said, predicting that volunteers will try another color of paint.

According to the coalition founder/president, residents believe kids waiting at a bus stop are the graffiti culprits.

“Hopefully, they’ll leave it alone,” he said.

Palailai resident Laurie Tyler, who was quoted about the tagging problem in the Dec. 28 issue, said the new pain is “off color” but is “much better than the graffiti.”

She said that she would gladly have helped with the painting if she had known about it beforehand.

“It’s good somebody stepped up,” Tyler said. She urged residents to “take notice” of what happens in their neighborhoods, call police and do whatever is necessary to combat graffiti.

A Palailani Street homeowner who asked that his name not be used said that the graffiti on the walls was a real “eyesore” and that the effort of the volunteers was “absolutely great.” But he expressed concern that it may merely provide a new canvas for taggers.

Another Palailai Street resident, who gave her name as Nikki, said the same thing about itchy-fingered graffiti culprits. “Tell them to draw on paper,” she suggested, wryly.

As he walked his dog along Palailai, Awana Street resident Jonah Kaauwai said he’s lived in the neighborhood one year and “I love it,” even though it might have its problems.

January 25, 2006

Since the publication of the Jan. 11 article, “Makakilo graffiti eradicated with paint,” volunteers with the Healthy Hawaii Coalition have repainted the walls at the corner of Palailai Street and Makakilo Drive to better match the original color, according to the group’s founder and leader, Mike Gabbard.