Hometown Heroes: Meet the much-loved ‘mayor of Bachelot Street’

Hometown Heroes: Meet the much-loved ‘mayor of Bachelot Street’

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every weekday morning for the past 24 years, Albert Yoshio Matsumoto has positioned himself outside his home on Bachelot Street in Liliha.

He stands beside a homemade sign that reminds people to drive with aloha.

"Most of the cars do speed. Except for the ones who open the window and say, ‘Good morning,’” said Matsumoto.

Matsumoto, 93, is known affectionately as the “mayor of Bachelot Street."

The Hilo native and Army veteran says his motto is, “do good, feel good.”

"In the morning, I look in the morning and smile. That’s the first thing I do. And it smiles back at me,” he said.

Down the road from his home is Hoopono Services for the Blind, a care home, and Kuakini Medical Center and Lanakila Pacific, a non-profit organization for people with disabilities.

Matsumoto hopes his actions make them feel safe.

“He’s such a great asset for us," said Kyle Laconsay, an instructor at Hoopono.

“He greets all our students in the morning and every teacher and staff of Hoopono and Lanakila that’s right next door to us. So, he’s such a great person.”

But Matsumoto's aloha doesn't end there. Aside from assuring everyone is driving safely, he also mows his neighbors' yards and brings in strangers' trash bins.

"Tuesdays and Fridays after they come in, I take in all the bins and make it nice,” Matsumoto said.

“We had a pothole one time in front of our driveway that wasn’t getting fixed and he would come and fill up gravel every time so our staff wouldn’t scrap their bumpers. I see him weed whacking people’s grass lawns,” said Gavan Abe, community services coordinator at Hoopono.

Matsumoto’s neighbors say his compassion and selflessness is what makes Bachelot Street so special.

"I'm very happy that someone notices me," Matsumoto said.

To nominate a “Hometown Hero,” email hometownheroes@hawaiinewsnow.com.

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