Urgent Advisories & Town Meeting Schedule 2019

2019 WCA TOWN MEETING SCHEDULE:
5:15 – 7 p.m. – Waimea School Cafeteria
Always First Thursdays

September 5
October 3
November 7
No December Meeting

There is no charge to attend WCA Town Meetings and everyone is welcome. However, membership is encouraged and supports our not-for-profits’ modest operating expenses. (We are all volunteers so overhead is extremely low.)

WCA Membership: Dues $15/person; $25/family/year. Please join!

For more day-to-day news/events, visit our Facebook page.

Next Town Meeting: Meet New HELCO President & Dive Into Energy Issues & Opportunities For Hawai’i Island; Also County General Plan Update – Laying The Framework For Decades To Come!!

September 5, 2019 – 5:15-7 p.m. – Waimea School Cafeteria – All Invited! 

  • Hawai’i County General Plan Update – April Suprenant from the Planning Department staff will review the GP update process and recommendations – something that is supposed to occur once every 10 years. Department Director Michael Yee also will attend.

  • Introducing the new HELCO President Sharon Suzuki, who with Hawai’i Island Director Kevin Waltjen will provide an update on the utility’s programs and services and Integrated Resource Planning – what lies ahead.

November 7, 2019 – 5:15- 7 p.m., Waimea School Cafeteria 

  • Annual Salute to Waimea’s & North Hawai’i’s First Responders – to include community potluck mahalo!  WCA to provide steamed rice, plates, utencils, ice water and Tropical Dreams will provide Waimea’s own hand-made artisanal ice cream!  All invited.  Please bring a dish to share!  

December 2019:  NO MEETING – Please join us for the 59th Annual Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade – Sat., Dec. 7, 2019 – 5:30 p.m.  

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Next Town Meeting: Thurs., August 1, 2019 – Waimea School Cafeteria

WITH HURRICANE SEASON UPON US, A HURRICANE HARDENED EMERGENCY SHELTER ON WAIMEA TOWN MEETING AGENDA

WAIMEA, Hawai’i Island — With the season’s first hurricane heading this way (Hurricane Erick has been upgraded to a Category 4 but still expected to pass south of Hawai’i island though will probably bring high surf, wind and rain) and a second storm, Flossie, is brewing in the eastern Pacific and is possibly more threatening, it’s timely to think about our community’s need for a seriously “hardened” hurricane shelter.  This will be one of the primary topics at this Thursday’s Waimea Community Association Town Meeting, 5:15-7 p.m., August 1, 2019 in Waimea School Cafeteria.

As always, everyone is welcome to town meetings.

Hawai’i Island has literally only one “hardened” hurricane shelter – in Ka’u.  However, the long term plan for Waimea District Park includes a community center, so the discussion at Thursday’s Town Meeting will include exploring with Hawai’i County Parks & Recreation Director Roxcie Waltjen, Deputy Director Maurice “Mo” Messina and staff and Waimea Council members the possibility of converting this proposed facility into a hurricane hardened shelter.

Hawai’i County P&R staff were expected at last month’s Waimea town meeting had to be postponed. Now, while here, they also will review P&R programs, services, challenges and opportunities for Waimea, which is timely and relevant because the community has now settled into using the new Waimea District Gym – the “first phase of the first phase” of the long dreamed of Waimea District Park.  It’s time to talk about how it’s working, and what next, including what needs to be addressed.  P&R staff also will discuss work they have done to recover from serious vandalism at Waimea Park and other community concerns.

Since paying for all of this is a key ingredient, Hawai’i County Finance Director Deanna Sako will attend and present an overview of the recently Council-approved 2019-2020 County budget and what the community can expect.

As always, Waimea council members Val Poindexter and Dr. Tim Richards will participate as will Waimea Community Policing Officer May Lee with a community safety update.

Other brief presentations will include Hawaiian Ethos – one of the island’s two licensed cannabis growing operations located in Lalamilo Farm Lots.  Also, Paniolo Preservation Society will talk about presenting “Old Hawai’i On Horseback,” a stunning pageant about paniolo history entirely on horseback at Waiki’i Ranch on Sat., Sept. 14, 2019.

This month’s spotlighted not-for-profit will be the Waikoloa Dryland Forest Initiative.

Also as always, steaming hot Starbucks and cookies will be provided.

For more info, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.

COMING TOWN MEETINGS:  We almost always meet 5:15-7 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month in Waimea School Cafeteria.  Please join us – no charge, everyone welcome!  

September 5, 2019

  • Hawai’i County General Plan Update – April Suprenant from the Planning Department staff will review the GP update process and recommendations – something that is supposed to occur once every 10 years. Department Director Michael Yee also will attend.

  • Introducing the new HELCO President Sharon Suzuki, who with Hawai’i Island Director Kevin Waltjen will provide an update on the utility’s programs and services and Integrated Resource Planning – what lies ahead.

November 7, 2019: 

  • Annual Salute to Waimea’s & North Hawai’i’s First Responders – to include community potluck mahalo!  WCA to provide steamed rice, plates, utencils, ice water and Tropical Dreams will provide Waimea’s own hand-made artisanal ice cream!  All invited.  Please bring a dish to share!  

December 2019:  NO MEETING – Please join us for the 59th Annual Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade – Sat., Dec. 7, 2019 – 5:30 p.m.  

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Next Waimea Town Meeting – Thurs., July 11, 2019: Game Changing Opportunities – Hydrogen For County Buses & A Hardened Emergency Shelter for Waimea/North Hawai’i — Please join us!

Our next Waimea Town Meeting will be the 2nd Thursday of July – July 11, 2019 – to avoid  Independence Weekend and give everyone an opportunity to participate in learning about two game-changing possibilities:  Hydrogen-powered buses for our County and a “hardened” emergency shelter for our district.   Everyone’s understanding of, involvement and support will help transform these possibilities into realities.  

Please plan to join us – 5:15 – 7 p.m., in Waimea School Cafeteria.  

The agenda will include a dive into Hawai’i County Parks & Recreation programs, services, challenges and opportunities!  This is very important both to discuss progress as the community has settled into using the new Waimea District Park (and field work currently underway), recovering from vandalism at Waimea Park, and addressing community priorities — including what it will take to secure funding for a real hurricane hardened emergency shelter (with other meaningful uses of course) for the district.   

Then, we’ll have a fascinating Science 101 lesson about hydrogen as a fuel source – why it’s got such exciting potential for our island and how it could transform our county bus system – rather quickly.  This would lesson our dependence on burning fossil fuels for transportation, thereby reducing climate impacts and increasing overall reliability.  This isn’t a far-horizon idea, it’s used for transportation all around the world, and contrary to what many think instantly when the word “hydrogen” is mentioned (aka, the Hindenburg), it’s a fuel that must of course be respected, but it’s less dangerous than what we use today in our cars.  And – get this – we can produce right here on island.       

We also will have a brief update by Hawai’i County Fire Department as we move into the dry season.  

Please join us.

As always, everyone’s welcome to Waimea Town Meetings; membership in the community association is not required though is always urged to support our low-budget activities (yes, we’re all volunteers!) 

Also as always, steaming hot Starbucks and cookies will be provided.  (Mahalo, Starbucks!) 

For more info, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.  

FUTURE MEETINGS:

August 1, 2019: 

  • Hawai’i County – New Budget, New Year with County Finance Director Deanna Sako

  • Hawaiian Ethos Update – One of Hawai’i’s licensed cannabis growing operations = this one located in Lalamilo Farm Lots – will also be opening a retail dispensary. 

  • “Old Hawai’i On Horseback” Saluting Na Wahine Holo Lio – To be presented by Paniolo Preservation Society Sat., Sept. 14, 2019 – Waiki’i Ranch polo grounds – 1o a.m. to 1 p.m. 

September 5, 2019

  • Hawai’i County General Plan Update – April Suprenant from the Planning Department staff will review the GP update process and recommendations – something that is supposed to occur once every 10 years. Department Director Michael Yee also will attend.

  • Introducing the new HELCO President Sharon Suzuki, who with Hawai’i Island Director Kevin Waltjen will provide an update on the utility’s programs and services and Integrated Resource Planning – what lies ahead.

November 7, 2019: 

  • Annual Salute to Waimea’s & North Hawai’i’s First Responders – to include community potluck mahalo!  WCA to provide steamed rice, plates, utencils, ice water and Tropical Dreams will provide Waimea’s own hand-made artisanal ice cream!  All invited.  

December 2019:  NO MEETING – Please join us for the 59th Annual Waimea Christmas Twilight Parade – Sat., Dec. 7, 2019 – 5:30 p.m.  

 

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GAME CHANGING PROJECTS INVOLVING CLIMATE, ENERGY AND COMMUNITY TOP JUNE 6, 2019 WAIMEA TOWN MEETING AGENDA

Please join us! 

The Hale Kuawehi solar-plus-battery-storage partnership with HELCO and Parker Ranch, now approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), is one of several “game changers” on the June 6, 2019 Waimea Community Association Town Meeting agenda.  The meeting will be from 5:15-7 p.m. in the Waimea School cafeteria and everyone’s invited. 

The PUC-approved Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for Innergex’s Hale Kuawehi solar project will reduce the cost of electricity with a 25-year fixed rate of 0.09 per kilowatt hour.  This price, which will be charged to customers with no mark-up or profit to the utility, is significantly lower than the cost of electricity on Hawai’i Island produced by burning fossil fuel, which is currently about 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and expected to continue climbing. 

As important, the project will replace the burning of nearly 500,000 barrels of fossil fuel and avoid production of 180,000 tons of green house gasses over the 25-year life of the project. 

At the June Town Meeting, Innergex team members will review ongoing archaeological, environmental and technical studies that will help inform the final design layout and construction of the project. 

Continuing the “game changing” theme, two community-initiated programs to support safe, healthy keiki, will be spotlighted.  First will be Waimea Athletics, which will be the not-for-profit for the June meeting.  Established by a group of parents and volunteer youth coaches, Waimea Athletics helps support and maintain a wide array of youth sports including volleyball, basketball, soccer, rugby, football and baseball.  Working in close collaboration with the County Department of Parks & Recreation, Waimea Athletics provides scholarships to fund equipment, coaching and competitive games.  They also provide scholarships for kids unable to meet financial requirements to play in youth leagues.  Looking forward, they hope to provide athletic scholarships to graduating high school seniors for post-secondary education. 

Two years ago, Waimea Athletics adopted the Waimea Fall Festival – also called Pumpkin Patch — as a community partner event to provide both a fun safe day for families and help many other sports and school groups and community organizations fundraise.  The 2019 Fall Festival will be Sat., Oct. 12, 2019 at  the Waimea District Park Complex. 

Also following the “game changing” theme will be a briefing about an unlikely partnership by two Waimea not-for-profits, KALO and Baby Steps To Stronger Big Island Families – both of which were awarded federally-funded 21st Century Community Learning Center “after-hours” youth programming grants.  For a second summer, the two will join forces to provide two, three-week summer sessions for Kindergarten through 8th graders from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. offering 64 classes ranging from academics and technology, to performing and visual arts, to sports and hands-on activities. The program also includes breakfast, lunch and snacks daily and includes multi-cultural learning experiences. It currently has nearly 200 children registered from all Waimea schools including public, private, public charter, and homeschoolers – also a “game changer” in that it provides an opportunity for many of the community’s children to build new, lasting friendships that cross school lines. 

Also contributing to this summer youth partnership is the collaborative involvement of four Waimea restaurants which will prepare lunches, and North Hawai’i Community Hospital, which will be preparing USDA-approved breakfasts. 

The WCA Town Meeting agenda will also include an update on Hawai’i County business including current County budget discussions by Council member Dr. Tim Richards, and Waimea Police Captain Sherry Bird will introduce newly appointed Community Policing Officer Aaron Kaeo. 

As always, there is no charge to attend town meetings and membership is not required.  Also as always, hot Starbucks coffee and cookies will be provided.

For more information, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation

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Waimea Town Meeting Thurs., May 2, 2019: ‘Devilish Details Of The 2019 Legislature, County Council and County Budget Top Agenda – All Invited!

Meeting Recap:  WCAʻs May Town Meeting was extremely interesting – about both the 2019 Legislature – wins and losses and benefits to our district and island – and the challenges the County Council faces with the County budget…great turnout, good questions, some answers that are chilling.  Clearly, we all must pay attention.  Mayor Harry Kim has since submitted a final proposed budget of $583.9 Million – $10 million more than earlier proposed.  We must stay tuned!   

Rep. Tarnas shared the attached newsletter recapping the 2019 Session – heʻs happy to discuss specifics – email or call him! 

2019 MAY sk e-newsletter

Mahalo Rep. David Tarnas, Council Chair Aaron Chung and Councilman Dr. Tim Richards both for information-loaded presentations including research in progress to better understand how the economy and budget and community needs intersect. Lots of work ahead including needing to rethink state law related to Sunshine rules to enable more substantive discussion of something as critical as the budget and use of tax dollars. Hard to have and advocate a thoughtful “vision” going forward when you’re dealing with a $500+ million budget with little time and opportunity to examine what it means about services, programs, costs going forward.  (For more about the meeting, scan down please.) 

 

NEXT WAIMEA TOWN MEETING:   Thursday, June 6, 2019, 5:15-7 p.m. – Waimea School Cafeteria: 

Innergex – Project update on the HELCO-Innergex 30 MW PV w/ Battery Storage Backup Project planned for Waimea.  

News From Julia Mancinelli – Innergex Renewable Energy, Inc. – www.halekuawehisolar.com  (April 2019)

“I wanted to share the exciting news that the Public Utilities Commission has approved HELCO’s Application for a Power Purchase Agreement (aka Contract) for our Hale Kuawehi Solar Project to be located on Parker Ranch.

“We are currently in the process of undertaking our archaeological, environmental and technical studies that will help to inform the final design layout and construction of the project.

“We are looking forward to sharing the details of this news as well as a project update at the June 6, 2019 Waimea Community Association meeting.”

 

MAY WAIMEA TOWN MEETING:

They say “the devil is in the details” and it’s especially true with public policy – including taxes.  Waimea Community Association’s Thursday, May 2, 2019 Town Meeting at 5:15 p.m. in Waimea School Cafeteria will dig into the devilish details of the just concluded 2019 State Legislature, and then, an inside look at the current County Council, including their focus on rebuilding after a series of severe natural disasters impacted the island, plus priority projects and a deeper look at the Mayor’s proposed $573 million county budget.

Providing the legislative review will be Rep. David Tarnas, who just hours earlier will have participated in “sine die” – the official conclusion of session at the State capitol.  He will review accomplishment and disappointments and some of the background including what to expect in terms of the Governor’s review and approval process.

Then, Council Chair Aaron Chung will share personal insights on the now five-month old County legislative body, providing a glimpse of “the personnel capital” of council members.

“I’m very impressed by the quality and diversity of skills and life experiences that this council embodies; it ensures that a balanced perspective is brought to bear as we work through addressing our county’s needs, challenges and aspirations,” said Chair Chung.

Then, Chair Chung and North-South Kohala Councilman Dr. Tim Richards will dig into the Mayor’s proposed county budget, which reflects a significant increase in proposed spending – going from the current fiscal year budget of $518 million to a proposed $573 million.

This includes an increase in the General Excise Tax and other fees, and also discussion of Council priorities dealing with planning, climate change, public safety, housing, parks and recreation, senior services, environmental management and economic development including agriculture, visitor industry and employment diversification.

They also will discuss plans and timing for the one-time $60 million allocation authorized by the 2019 State Legislature for emergency recovery.

There will be time for questions and answers.

This agenda reflects a change as it was previously expected that the meeting would include an introduction of the proposed Nakahili Workforce Family Agricultural Community – an innovative 1,200-unit development on property in Waikoloa near the intersection of Māmalahoa Highway with Waikoloa Road — south of Waimea and mauka of Waikoloa Village.   Explaining the postponement of the Nakahili presentation, project manager Greg Brown said:

“In working with the mayor’s office, they have suggested some alternate ways to facilitate the project with lower impacts.  This could help simplify and expedite the process.  We will make our final decisions on this over the next few months with further meetings.  Through this we will then have a clear path to present on how we intend to develop the property.”

As usual at WCA Town Meetings, Community Policing will provide a public safety report.

WCA’s spotlighted not-for-profit for the May Town Meeting will be Waimea Trails and Greenways  – a now 20+ year community dream to provide a safe pedestrian and bike friendly alternate path along Waikoloa Stream.  Over the years, a core group of community volunteers has met almost every Monday to discuss the maintenance of the trail and plan with county, state and federal agencies, planners, landowners and interested friends to bring this to reality.  Providing the update will be the group’s dedicated Chair Clem Lam, AIA.  As always at town meetings, attendees will be asked consider making a tax deductible donation to the spotlighted organization.

Also as always, steaming hot coffee will be provided compliments of Starbucks, and cookies or a light snack will be donated by WCA Board members.

For more information, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.   Or, email Patti Cook at cookshi@aol.com or call 937-2833.

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April 4, 2019 Waimea Town Meeting Follow-Up – Please Send Comments/Suggestions/Questions Re: Kamuela Post Office Relocation

KAMUELA POST OFFICE – POSSIBLE RELOCATION

Information provided at WCA Town Meeting April 4, 2019:

  • The United States Postal Service is asking our Waimea/Kamuela community for input – comments – questions on this possibility. Must be received within the next 30 days, by May 4, 2019. No decisions have been made – they want to hear what we think and need in terms of postal retail services.  Also, if you have a suggested location, know of land and/or facility that might be suitable, please communicate with them.

  • Mail comments (or walk written letter into Kamuela PO and they will send it) to:

Patricia Webb, Real Estate & Assets – U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 27497, Greensboro, NC 27498-1103

Or email comments to:

Duke Gonzales, USPS – Duke.Gonzales@usps.gov

Angela Okumura, USPS – Kamuela Postmistress – Angela.m.okumura@usps.gov

 

April 4, 2019: 

Hawai’i County Planning Director Michael Yee will kick off the April WCA Town Meeting with a briefing on the important General Plan update process, coming CDP updates, vacation rental rules, and a brief discussion about the Climate Change Commission. There will be time for Q&A.

Then, United States Postal Service representatives will discuss the possible relocation of services from the Kamuela Post Office located adjacent to Waimea Elementary and Middle Schools, Waimea Senior Center and Parker Ranch Center to another location in Waimea “to provide better access and that better meets the overall needs of Waimeaʻs postal customers.”

Note: Comments on the proposed Kamuela Post Office relocation may be submitted within 30 days of the April 4 town meeting to the Postal Service for consideration prior to its final decision. Please submit written comments to:

Patricia Webb, Real Estate & Assets – U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 27497, Greensboro, NC 27498-1103

WCAʻs Spotlighted Not-For-Profit at the April Town Meeting will be Hope Services

Letter from the US Postal Service to Hawai’i County Mayor Harry Kim (and community) about possibly relocating the Kamuela Post Office.  Double click on the document to open and read or download.

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Waimea Town Meeting Thurs., March 7: No Grumbling – Here’s How To Make A Difference In Your Community; Also, An Update On Waimea’s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Grumbling about something that bugs you in your community might feel good briefly but to really make a difference, to help fix concerns or issues, serving on a county or state board or commission is worth considering. 

“It’s a meaningful way to have an impact and you will learn a lot about your community and much more – from the US and State Constitution, County Charter and related rules and regulations, to community sensitivities and values.  Our decisions make a difference in the life and well-being of a community now and in some cases, 20 years from now,” said Nancy Carr Smith, a Waimea resident and Waimea Community Association Secretary who currently serves on as the County Leeward Planning Commission’s Vice Chair. 

“It takes a lot of time to prepare for meetings but it’s very interesting.  I enjoy listening to community member views, issues and concerns as well as to project developers and the various public and private agency representatives that either have a say in what happens, or are advocating for a cause.” 

“It’s certainly not black and white and I have come to have great respect both for the county’s planning staff, and also for communities that are trying to advocate for what they believe is best for their area.  I also value the opinions of my fellow commissioners.  We don’t always agree, and we don’t make everyone happy, but we do try to do the right thing and honor the law,” she said. 

To more fully explore what it means to serve on a Hawai’i County board or commission, Waimea Community Association will dedicate most of its 5:15-7 p.m., Thursday, March 7, 2019 Town Meeting to a panel discussion that will include:

  • Rose Bautista, Executive Assistant to Mayor Harry Kim (she assists with recruiting community members for all county boards and commissions) 

  • Leningrad Elarionoff, Hawai’i County Water Board

  • Nancy Carr Smith, Hawai’i County Leeward Planning Commission – Vice Chair

  • David Greenwell, Hawai’i County Liquor Commission – Vice Chair

  • Diane Kanealii, South Kohala Community Development Plan Action Commission – Chair

  • James Fritz, Hawai’i County Environmental Management Commission

  • Ralph Yawata, Hawai’i County Fire Commission

  • James Hustace, South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee – Chair

  • Riley Smith, Hawai’i County Liquor Control Adjudication Board

All of these panel members are Waimea/North Hawai’i residents and some have served on other boards or advisory groups as well.

The presentation will begin with a brief powerpoint overview of the county’s many boards, commissions  and advisory groups, how they generally function, what disclosure is required to participate as a private citizen, and how “sunshine” rules apply.  Mrs. Bautista will also briefly explain how to go about applying to serve. 

Also on the agenda will be representatives of the soon-to-open in Waimea medical marijuana dispensary operated by Big Island Grown.  Jaclyn L. Moore, Pharm.D, and Craig Pollard, Pharm D will provide a brief overview and answer questions.  Big Island Grown opened this island’s first medical marijuana dispensary on January 16, 2019 in Hilo.    

As usual at WCA Town Meetings, Waimea’s County Council member Dr. Tim Richards will provide an update on county business.  Council member Val Poindexter is out of state so unable to attend.  Also on the agenda will be a public safety report by Hawaiʻi County Police.    

WCA’s spotlighted not-for-profit for the March Town Meeting will be the Waimea Community Association. 

“Each month we focus on an organization that provides valuable services to the community and this month, we are asking the community to help us enhance our monthly town meetings with buying our own sound and visual equipment.  We have been borrowing equipment from members and friends and it doesnʻt always work out well; last monthʻs town meeting we had some serious audio-visual challenges.  Itʻs time to purchase our own equipment thatʻs more reliable and suited to the space we meet in,” said WCA President Patti Cook.    

As always at town meetings, attendees will be asked consider making a tax deductible donation to the spotlighted organization.

Also as always, steaming hot coffee will be provided compliments of Starbucks, and cookies or a light snack will be donated by WCA Board members. 

For more information, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.   Or, email Patti Cook at cookshi@aol.com or call 937-2833. 

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Feb. 7, 2019 Waimea Town Meeting Continues 30-Year Community Push To Provide Post-High School Education for North Hawai’i

More than 30 years ago, North and West Hawai’i residents started asking the University of Hawai’i and State Legislature to make post-high school education accessible and affordable for residents who lived long distances from Hilo-based college and university options.  Many — from anxious parents to school teachers and administrators to employers and regular citizens — wanted post-secondary education programs and services on par with those available in Honolulu and East Hawai’i.

It took years of community advocacy to finally celebrate construction of a campus at Palamanui above Keahole Airport, and it was just the beginning.  Also serving North Hawai’i residents is a smaller campus called North Hawai’i Education and Research Center (NHERC) in Honoka’a.  Today, both are providing exciting learning opportunities including distance learning connectivity to campuses and programs statewide.

To help the Waimea/North Hawai’i community become more familiar with the wide array of programs and services available, and to listen to current-day community needs and priorities, HCC Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas, Ed.D will be the lead speaker at Waimea Community Association’s Town Meeting, 5:15-7 p.m., Thurs., Feb. 7, 2019 in Waimea School cafeteria.

Solemsaas was appointed HCC Chancellor by the UH Regents in 2016.  Joining her will be the new Interim Director of the Palamanui campus, Kalei Haleamau-Kam.

“Chancellor Solemsaas is a powerhouse educator who is totally committed to throwing the doors wide open to the community – to improve access and affordability and to try to meet the needs and dreams of residents across the age and interest spectrum,” said Kathy Damon, a long time educator and HCC advocate from Waimea.  “I’m very excited about her willingness to try new things, and to think about more and better ways to help residents use education to improve their quality of life,” said Damon.

“She’s asking the hard questions; how do we get students to not only get into college but also stay on track and finish their educational goals – to get their degree soonest; how do we look at barriers like cost and work and family schedules and provide options.  What are the jobs of tomorrow and how do we help prepare – or retrain people for these jobs?”

“Chancellor Solemsaas’ vision goes well beyond educational attainment; she calls it the college’s ‘Vibrant Hawai’i Initiative,’ and it is a framework for paddling together to reduce poverty on our island.”

Also on the agenda will be a 20-minute briefing by the volunteer Chair of the Hawai’i County Charter Commission, Douglass Adams, about the ongoing charter review.

“Doug’s talk will be about ‘the process,” not specific charter issues, said WCA President Patti Cook.

“Understanding the process and thinking about desired outcomes will be our focus.  We asked Mr. Adams to let the community know what the charter review is about, what the legal requirements are, and how to participate, most notably how to work with members of the commission to consider issues or ideas of particular interest.  He also will review the timeline.  While the final proposed amendments won’t be on the ballot until November 2020, which seems like a long way off, the decisions about what will be included will be made very soon.”

“There’s not a lot of time left for residents to bring forward ideas or concerns as the commission will soon be required to finalize the list of possible amendments that they agree to put forth.”

The commission will hold a series of six public hearings around the island to give residents an opportunity to comment on specific amendments proposed or that should be considered.  Dates for these public hearings are still being finalized but expected to occur in late March, early April.

Thereafter, the commission will finalize its recommendations for County Council review.

Waimea/North Hawai’i residents serving on the charter review commission this time around include Dr. Billy Bergin and Kit Roehrig.  Others on the commission include Michelle Galimba, Paul K. Hamano, Kevin Hopkins, Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, Sally Rice, Donna Mae Springer, Marcia Saquing and Jennifer Leilani Zelko-Schlueter.

As usual at WCA Town Meetings, Waimea’s County Council members Dr. Tim Richards and Val Poindexter will provide an update on county business, and Community Policing Officer Kelena Ho’okano will provide a public safety report.

WCA’s spotlighted not-for-profit for the February Town Meeting will be Tutu’s House, a popular well-used health-wellness resources center.  Staff member Michelle Medeiros will provide a brief overview of the array of programs and services available, including a now monthly meeting of a Parkinson’s support group.  As always at town meetings, attendees will be asked consider making a donation to the spotlighted organization — Tutu’s House — and funds raised will be used to purchase new resources related to Parkinson’s care and support.

As always, membership is not required to attend WCA Town Meetings but is encouraged.  It’s $15/year for individuals; $25/year for families or businesses and is a tax deductible donation to the extent permitted by law.

Also as always, steaming hot coffee will be provided compliments of Starbucks, and cookies or a light snack will be donated by WCA Board members.

WCA will continue to hold monthly town meetings throughout 2019 on the first Thursday of each month except in July when the meeting will be held on the 2nd Thursday – July 11, 2019 – to avoid Independence Day celebrations.

For more information, go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.   Or, email Patti Cook at cookshi@aol.com or call 937-2833.

 

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Happy New Year! Our First Waimea Town Meeting will be Thurs., Jan. 3, 2019 – 5:15 p.m. Please join us!

What’s On Your Mind, Waimea, for the 2019 Legislature?  Plus – Meet New Waimea Family Court Judge Mahilani Hiatt, Catch Up On Recent Vandalism & Learn About Essential Air Service Proposals for Kamuela Airport

It’s a new year and time to think about our community’s needs, concerns, aspirations when it comes to the 2019 State Legislature that begins on Wed., Jan. 16.  Our re-elected State Senator Lorraine Inouye, and newly elected State Representative David Tarnas will share their thoughts about the coming session – and welcome your mana’o.

Also, newly sworn in Family Court Judge Mahilani Hiatt will be introduced — many know her because she has lived in this community many years and is an active coach in youth sports.

We have asked the Hawai’i County Police Department for an update on the recent, very disturbing vandalism sprees and also invited the Small Business Development Council for a briefing on the services they provide.  And there’s more.  Our re-elected County Council members – Val Poindexter (District 1) and Dr. Tim Richards (District 9) will provide insight about the newly sworn in Council and leadership.

Equally important will be a briefing on two airlines’ response to the US Department of Transportation’s Request For Proposals to provide federally subsidized Essential Air Service (EAS) to Kamuela Airport for the residents of North Hawai’i.  Presentations will be made by both Mokulele Airlines and Makani Kai Air. The discussion will include each of the airlines’ service proposal, cost and community “match” as required now by relatively new federal rules related to subsidized service to airports such as Kamuela’s that are less than 40 miles from a major hub.

As always, the meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. in Waimea School Cafeteria.  Starbucks will again provide steaming hot coffee and the WCA Board provides cookies or other snacks.

BUT…before 2018 comes to a close, we wish to convey a warm mahalo first to our WCA Officers and Board for organizing a meaningful series of community discussions and forums throughout the past year.  We thank all of the presenters who have helped inform us and also we thank everyone who attends our meetings for their involvement!

AND…we thank those who have opted to become formal members!  Membership in WCA is encouraged; we are a 501(c)3 and entirely volunteer run, so dues pay for the modest expenses incurred for this website, printing agendas and other modest meeting expenses and our enewsletter.  Membership dues are $15/person; $25/family and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Mahalo to all.  Have a wonderful, safe holiday season — and Happy New Year!

 

PS:  Here are links to the two proposals submitted by Mokulele Air and Makani Kai Air to provide Essential Air Service to Kamuela Airport.  The deadline to comment on these RFPs to the USDOT is January 22, 2019.  Please send your comments directly to Scott Faulk, Transportation Industry Analyst, U.S. Department of Transportation – Office of Aviation Analysis:  scott.faulk@dot.gov

Mokulele Flight Services Kamuela_EAS Cover2018

Schuman Aviation Makani Kai EAS proposal for Waimea 2018

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MAHALO POTLUCK Honors Community’s Dedicated First Responders – Nov. 1, 2018

2018 Photo of First Responders Honored at WCA Mahalo Potluck! 

Thanks to all of the First Responders who attended — both those “on the clock” for the County, State, Federal governments including Pohakuloa Training Area, and the not-for-profits, and also the amazing volunteers!  Shown speaking here is WCA Board Member James Hustace who coordinated the First Responder participation.   

For a fourth year, Waimea Community Association hostedg a MAHALO POTLUCK for all of our community’s First Responders – Police, Fire, Emergency Services, including volunteer fire and community responders, Pohakuloa Training Area men and women who provide first responder coverage on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, and also for our County Lifeguards and State DOFAW Officers! 

The gathering was Thurs., Nov. 1, 2018 in Waimea School Cafeteria.

 

 

The program also included a briefing on Innergex Renewable Energy, LLC’s (pictured above) anticipated power purchase agreement with HELCO to develop a 30 MW photovoltaic project with battery storage here on Parker Ranch Land. 

There also was a brief overview of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) activities responding to recent emergencies and recruiting Waimea/North Hawai’i volunteers, and an introduction to Anekona’s volunteer fire fighting commitment that involves volunteers with equipment working side-by-side with County fire.  

There also was a brief update on the Waimea Ocean Film Festival Jan. 1-9, 2019.

Mahalo to all who attended and contributed including the delicious potluck dinner! 

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