On July 27, the Weekly published, “Kukui Plaza Prostitutes—While prostitutes cruise Kukui Plaza, the neighborhood takes action.” An accompanying photo of the Kukui Plaza complex was labeled, “Beware, there be hookers here.”
The headline incorrectly suggests that Kukui Plaza is responsible for Kukui Street’s prostitution problem. There have been no reports of prostitutes within the Kukui Plaza complex.
The Weekly regrets this error.
All of the activity has occurred on the streets surrounding the complex and throughout the neighborhood.
In reality, Kukui Plaza staff and residents have been actively involved in increasing the security surrounding the complex and working with the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) to ensure the safety of the neighborhood. A shooting in July of 2006 (related to prostitution activity) took place right outside the doors of Kukui Plaza, and brought even more attention to realistic dangers and increasing safety problems on the surrounding streets.
“As accurately reported in the article, prostitution has decreased in this area, and we believe this is due to the collaborative efforts of our residents, security staff, management, and the HPD,” says General Manager Michael D. Lakey. Here are some of the many efforts of Kukui Plaza management to deal with the prostitution problem:
1. It established a committee to help coordinate and encourage resident involvement in the downtown citizen’s patrol and to encourage lawmakers to support tougher legislation.
2. It organized a public rally on August 29, 2006 to send a message to lawmakers that tougher legislation was needed. It held a second rally on February 28, 2007 when the prostitution bill (HB 330) stalled in the state House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
3. It increased the exterior lighting along Kukui Street to discourage illegal activity. In addition to increasing security patrols, Kukui Plaza also installed security cameras so that any illegal activity could be monitored and reported to the police on a regular basis.
4. HPD developed a strong relationship with Kukui Plaza over the years. In fact, HPD trained our Kukui Plaza staff on what type of criminal activity justified reporting. “We believe that this relationship has led to increased police presence and prostitution stings in our area,” says Lakey.
5. Kukui Plaza management has organized letters of testimony from its residents and employees in support of legislation (HB3002) relating to prostitution
The bottom line is that Kukui Plaza management has always been open and cooperative with the media in their coverage relating to prostitution in the area, and the Weekly regrets using a misleading a completely inaccurate headline and photo caption that could damage its reputation. We also thank you for the good work you are doing to help keep your community safe.