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.

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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