1. There is more crime at night in Hilo these days. Someone got hit on the head over by the bandstand at 8:00 pm the other week and had to go to the emergency room. It was a robbery as to why he was accosted. There have been purse snatchings lately. Those didn't used to happen at all. So crime is going up, however, overall it's a pretty safe town. In some areas at some hours you wouldn't feel safe, but you'd have to be pretty dim to not be able to figure out which streets and what hours.
2. You could walk there, but it would be a long walk. A bicycle would be better although it does rain in Hilo so expect dampness. There are other grocery stores closer to UHH than Safeway.
3. There is some animosity towards haoles and there is some animosity towards mainlanders. Most of it has to do with the haole or mainlander acting like an idiot, but not all of it.