Next WCA Town Meeting: Thurs., Oct. 6, 2016. See special arrangements and timing below.
Please join us to Mahalo Mayor Billy Kenoi and his administration for all they have done for Waimea/North Hawai’i and our County over the past eight years. This includes our now-under-construction, long-dreamed-of Waimea District Park – a $20+ million investment in health and wellness for our children and entire community by the County and State Legislature and not counting the land donation by Parker Ranch! This will be one of our last opportunities to formally recognize Mayor Kenoi and his administration before his term in office concludes.
Tentatively, there will be a pre-meeting sneak peak of the new District Park construction site beginning at 4:30 p.m. More details to come as to where to meet near the site thatʻs located on the west end of Ala ʻOhiʻa near Parker Ranchʻs former headquarters. Please wear appropriate shoes. It is a construction site – not ADA friendly – yet!
Then, the Town Meeting will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. in Waimea School Cafeteria for a talk-story with the Mayor and some of his cabinet, followed by a community potluck dinner. Everyone is invited to both the construction site visit and town meeting. For the potluck dinner, please bring a salad, entree or dessert to share. If possible, bring a card to let others know what the dish is and its ingredients. WCA will provide plates, utensils, cold drinks and Starbucks will provide hot coffee.
Also during the meeting, the new President of North Hawai’i Community Hospital Cindy Kamikawa, MS, RN, NE, who was named to assume all day-to-day management responsibilities for the hospital effective August 1, 2016 by Queen’s Health Systems, will be introduced and speak briefly. Her introduction to the community was originally scheduled for Sept. 1 but postponed due to Hurricanes Madeline and Lester.
As always, the entire community is invited to WCA Town Meetings and there is no charge to attend though WCA membership is urged. WCA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit so membership is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Also, continuing the association’s new commitment to support a different not-for-profit community service organization monthly, will be a brief presentation about this monthʻs spotlighted group – United Service Organization (USO), the 75-year-old international organization that recently opened a rest area at Pohakuloa Training Area – the first of its kind on Hawai’i Island. Intended to provide active and retired military personnel and their families with a comfortable retreat, support, and entertainment when not on active duty, the USO is funded by private donations to honor and thank military personnel including veterans. The USO presentation will also include some flashback memories about the USO’s presence and contribution in Waimea during WWII. Donations to the USO will be accepted.
For more information, call Patti Cook (937-2833) or go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.
Under Construction: Waimea District Park – Sept. 2, 2016 – photo courtesy of Melissa Samura
5:15-7 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 4, 2016. Waimea School Cafeteria.
Boards and Commissions provide critical community advice, transparency and accountability for County departments, agencies and services so several current board and commission members representing Waimea/South Kohala will share their thoughts and experiences.
Also, Char Shigemura, who is Mayor Billy Kenoi’s Executive Assistant, will provide an overview of the responsibilities of various boards and commissions to enhance community understanding of how residents can participate in County government and ensure that our community remains the special place it already is.
Also, Waimea historian-author Dr. Billy Bergin will preview his next book about the cultural heritage of this ranching community. All welcome.
New this month is a shift in the association’s monthly giving focus to now support a variety of not-for-profit community service organizations. The August recipient of support will be the Big Island Giving Tree, which is currently working to provide back-to-school supplies for children. Tax deductible donations welcome.
MEETING RECAP: Thoughtful voices of the community were shared at our Aug. 4, 2016 WCA Town Meeting – mahalo to all who shared their experiences serving on important County Boards and Commissions! Mahalo, too, to Mayor Kenoi and his cabinet members for coming to support community volunteers whose service on commissions ensures that our grassroots voices, needs and concerns are heard and addressed…and that county agencies and programs are responsive, transparent and accountable!
Read more here from West Hawaiʻi Todayʻs North Hawaiʻi News section:
A huge warm MAHALO to everyone who participated in and contributed to WCA’s Non-Partisan Primary Election Candidate Forum at HPA’s Taylor Commons. More than 160 attended – including Waimea residents along with friends from North Kohala, Waikoloa and Hamakua – and participated in thoughtful discourse with candidates about the future of our community, our families, our island, state and world. It was up close and personal, fair and even-handed – and reinforced how fortunate we are to live here in Waimea/North Hawai’i/Moku o Keawe…thank you to our candidates, our forum partners and facilitators, Sherry Bracken, HPA and mostly to our community for really caring deeply about this special place and being willing to do the “heavy lifting” required to exercise our right and privilege as voters!
Mahalo to professional photographer Jonathan Rawle who volunteered to take pictures of the forum!
PURPOSE of WCA’s NON-PARTISAN PRIMARY ELECTION CANDIDATE FORUM: To educate voters and encourage voting in the all-important August 13, 2016 Primary Election when many Hawai’i Island races are expected to be effectively decided. Candidates in spotlighted races included:
- Hawai’i County mayoral race with invited candidates Pete Hoffmann, Harry Kim, Wally Lau and Shannon McCandless;
- Hawai’i County Council District 1 with invited candidate Valerie Poindexter, who is running unopposed;
- Hawai’i County Council District 9 with invited candidates Tim Richards and Margaret Wille;
- State House District 7 with invited candidates Jeffery Coakley, Cindy Evans and David Tarnas.
The forum was facilitated by newswoman Sherry Bracken, who began the program with candidates introducing themselves and sharing their reasons for seeking public office and their top three priorities for the North Hawai’i district and island. Then, candidates participated in “speed dating” that involved candidates meeting with small groups of voters to discuss issues and answer questions, and then moved on to the next small group. A volunteer monitor at each table assisted each group in this portion of the program.
Co-hosting the forum with WCA were North Hawai’i Rotary, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy, Waimea Middle School, Friends of the Future/Baby Steps For Stronger Big Island Families, Mala’ai School Garden, Habitat for Humanity – West Hawai’i, Canada-France-Hawai’i Telescope and Hawai’i Wildfire Management Organization.
Healthy snacks were provided by co-hosting organizations and the Blue Zones Project – North Hawai’i, along with hot coffee by Starbucks and herbal iced tea by Mala’ai School Garden
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WCA GENERAL ELECTION FORUM: 5:15 p.m., Thurs., Oct. 6. Waimea School Cafeteria. (Races to be spotlighted to be determined after the Primary Election.)
2016 Elections Schedule
Voter Registration Deadlines
- Primary Election: July 14, 2016
- General Election: October 10, 2016
Mailed Absentee Ballot Request Deadlines
- Primary Election: August 6, 2016
- General Election: Nov. 1, 2016
Absentee Walk-In Voting
- Primary Election: August 1-11, 2016
- General Election: Oct. 25 – Nov. 5, 2016
WALK-IN VOTING IN WAIMEA: Waimea Community Center (65-1260 Kawaihae Road) – Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.
Primary Election Day
- August 13, 2016 (Saturday): Walk-In Voting – 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
General Election Day
- November 8, 2016 (Tuesday): (same hours)
If you are not registered to vote, or have moved or changed your name, click here to register or update your registration: http://elections.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/VR-Form-English.pdf
Past WCA Town Meetings:
June 2 Town Meeting: How Did the 2016 State Legislature Impact/Benefit Waimea/North Hawai’i?
The 2016 Legislature came to a close in early May – how did our community do? What benefits received? What issues addressed? What challenges outstanding? State Sen. Lorraine Inouye and Rep. Cindy Evans will review legislative outcomes including Capitol Improvement Project (CIP) and Grant In Aid (GIA) funding received during Waimea Community Association’s June 2, 2016 Town Meeting in Waimea School Cafeteria.
Also, Hawai’i County’s newly appointed Interim Director of Civil Defense Ed Teixeira, a long time resident of Waimea and experienced leader in emergency preparedness, will provide an overview of CD issues and priorities as he takes over the reigns from former CD Director Darryl Oliveira.
The agenda also will include:
- A Wildfire Prevention Briefing by Pablo Beimler with Hawai’i Wildfire Management Organization — which is very timely given the ongoing drought;
- An update on Hawai’i County Council business by Council Members Val Poindexter and Margaret Wille;
- The latest on The Kohala Center’s community-driven initiative to support Coqui Free Waimea; and
- An invitation from a consortium of Waimea groups to assist with rebuilding the historic rock wall fronting Minuke’ole Park led by members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha Moku O Kohala, Waimea Preservation Association, AYSO, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club and others.
Everyone is invited to WCA Town Meetings and there is no charge though membership is urged in the not-for-profit community organization.
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May 5 Town Meeting: Rapid ‘Ohi’a Death (ROD) Threatens Hawai’i’s Native Forests; What Our Community Must Do To Become “Protectors of the Kohala Forest”
ROD is a truly devastating disease threatening Hawai’i Island’s native forests and watershed. Dr. Flint Hughes, Research Ecologist with the US Forest Service, shared the latest research, policy decisions and recommendations to control spread of the disease at the WCA May 5 Town Meeting. To learn more about becoming “protectors of the Kohala forest” which, to date, does not appear to have been infected, go to: www.rapidohiadeath.org
Or “like” www.facebook.com/rapidohiadeath.
If you suspect ROD in your area, contact:
Dr. Flint Hughes, USDA Forest Service: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 808-854-2617 or email Corie Yanger: email@example.com
Dr. Hughes, Corie and others are available for community briefings too.
April 7 Town Meeting: How An Electric Utility Co-op Might Reduce Hawai’i Island’s Costly Electricity Rates – And The Kohala Center’s New ‘Ainahoi Program’ To Return Land To Pre-Contact Productivity
Even with the cost of oil down to under $50 a barrel from over $100, Hawai’i Island electric utility customers continue to pay one of the highest per kilowatt hour rates in the nation for electricity. How to change this strangling scenario for residents, schools, hospitals, farms, ranches and businesses and also perhaps shift away from dependency on fossil fuel by creating a locally owned cooperative similar to the one in operation on Kaua’i, will be one of two top agenda items at the Waimea Community Association Town Meeting, 5:15-7 p.m., Thurs., April 7, 2016 at Waimea School cafeteria.
Also on the agenda will be an update by The Kohala Center’s new President & CEODr. Kamana Beamer of Waimea about the organization’s recent $8M land “gift” from private donors that is enabling them to launch the Ainahoi Program, which will go beyond protecting the land to returning it to the crops and practices that might have been found on this Kohala Mountain Road property hundreds of years ago.
The entire community is invited and there is no charge to attend town meetings though annual membership is urged.
Briefing the community on what an electric co-op might mean for Hawai’i island will be Jan TenBruggencate of Kaua’i. TenBruggencate, a long time now retired journalist with The Honolulu Advertiser, operates the communications consulting firm Island Strategy LLC on Kaua`i. He is in his seventh year as a member of the board of the Kaua`i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), and in his second year as board chairman. He was raised in the pineapple fields of Moloka’i and is the author of more than a dozen books, including recent histories of the Lihue Plantation sugar mill and the 150-year history of Grove Farm Co., one of Kaua`i’s oldest companies.
He will share a brief historical review about how KIUC bought the investor-owned Kauai Electric and began running the Garden Island’s electric utility in 2002. After 14 years, the cooperative has paid off more than a quarter of the debt from buying the utility. It has also built the island from 8 percent renewable generation to 40 percent, with more coming. KIUC has received national recognition for its aggressive development of solar power.
KIUC’s experience is particularly relevant to Hawai’i Island in part because a group of community and business leaders here recently established Hawai’i Island Energy Cooperative, a Hawaii-registered 421C non-profit cooperative association, to explore and promote a comprehensive approach to develop an integrated, renewable and sustainable energy strategy for the Big Island. Potential merits of such a community-based, cooperative ownership structure for electric utility service on the island include:
- Local, democratic control over the island’s energy infrastructure, providing greater benefits and retaining any excess over the cost of operations for island residents;
- Potentially lower electric costs through tax exempt status, lower cost of capital and no shareholder profits, and; and
- Developing and emphasizing island-produced fuels to provide an energy source for both electric generation and transportation sectors.
The meeting agenda also will include an update on County Council business by Waimea Council Members Valerie Poindexter (District 1) and Margaret Wille (District 9).
As always, attendees at WCA monthly meetings are urged to contribute to the Waimea food pantry with cash or check, though non-perishable, not-expired food items are also welcome. Checks may be payable directly to the food pantry so the donation is tax deductible.
For more information, call Patti Cook (937-2833) or go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.
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WCA Membership: Annual dues are $15/Individual; $25/Family – for January-December, so membership renewal is suggested. WCA is a 501(c)3 non profit so dues are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Dues pay for WCA’s modest expenses – hosting this website, paying for Constant Contact eblasts, printing agendas, lei for guests and the occasional special event such as the recent Mahalo Potluck for First Responders though most everything served was provided by generous members and community businesses. For more information, call President Patti Cook (808-937-2833) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mahalo!
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A Very Warm Mahalo to everyone who attended the Feb. 4 WCA Town Meeting to thank our First Responders for their dedication to protecting our well-being 24/7! Special thanks to the responders able to attend and to everyone who contributed to a lovely dinner!
This letter was read to the First Responders to let them know WHY we so value their service to our community:
Feb. 4, 2016
I would like to send a very special Mahalo to all of the Hawaii County Fire Fighters, Volunteer fire fighters, and all of the first responders who protected Kawaihae Village during the last 2 brush fires. My family and I have lived in the village for over 40 years and have never had a brush fire come within 32 feet from our home before. We could not believe our eyes when we saw the height and speed of those flames. The quick response, hard work and countless hours put into saving our homes by all of you is greatly appreciated. When we came to the various fire stations and police stations with a small token to say thank you, you all humbly said, “This is our job.” Well, to you we say, “You saved our home and our village, no lives or homes were lost and we thank you very much!”
The Bell ‘Ohana
Leighton, Rhonda, Deighton and Neighton
Special thanks for kokua with dinner to our WCA Board of Directors, KTA Super Stores, Tropical Dreams Ice Cream, Guy & Joeliene Schutte, John & Carol Buck, SODEXO and Parker Ranch! We also thank all of our WCA members and community friends who contributed!
PS: Warm mahalo too to everyone who contributed at the February Town Meeting to the Annunciation Food Pantry – your generosity enabled us to give $505 to the pantry!
5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT SPREADING RAPID ‘OHI’A DEATH’: Rapid ‘Ohi’a Death (ROD) is new to Hawai’i Island yet has already killed hundreds of thousands of trees across more than 35,000 acres of our island. It is caused by a fungus. We can all help minimize further spread and buy time to help researchers find answers and potential treatments. New information is being uncovered almost every week. Not only is ‘Ohi’a beloved for its beauty and cultural significance, but it is the backbone of Hawai’i’s native forests and watersheds – the source of our fresh water. Ohi’a trees cover more than 1 million acres statewide – making it perhaps the most important tree in Hawai’i.
How to prevent the spread of ROD:
(1) Don’t Move ‘Ohi’a (wood, firewood, posts, leaves, flowers, especially if from an area known to have ROD).
(2) Don’t Transport ‘Ohi’a Interisland. Comply with the new quarantine rule – don’t move plants, wood or other plant parts, leaves, twigs, flowers, seeds, stems, cuttings without a permit.
(3) Clean Your Tools with 70% rubbing alcohol or 10% bleach – if using bleach, be sure to oil afterwards to prevent corrosion.
(4) Clean Your Gear – shoes and clothing. Decontaminate shoes by dipping the soles in 10% bleach or 70% rubbing alcohol to kill the ROD fungus. Other gear can be sprayed with same proven cleaning solutions; wash clothing in hot water and detergent.
(5) Wash Your Vehicle – the tires and undercarriage with detergent especially after traveling from an area with ROD or if you have traveled off road.
Community priorities and issues top the Jan. 6, 2016 Waimea Community Association Town Meeting agenda, ranging from North Hawai’i’s 2016 legislative priorities to a Pohakuloa Training Area Update to proposed new Department of Health rules governing cesspools.
As always, WCA Town Meetings from 5:15-7 p.m. at Waimea School Cafeteria are open and all are welcome.
With the 2016 Legislature going into session Jan. 20, North and South Kohala State Rep. Cindy Evans will provide an overview of public policy issues on the table including North Hawai’i community initiatives she is focusing on.
Then, Sina Pruder, Program Manager for DOH’s Wastewater Branch, will review proposed revisions to Hawai’i Administrative Rules (HAR), which have been under discussion for some time. While DOH is no longer proposing mandatory upgrades upon the sale of property in response to strong opposition based on site-specific science, they are proposing to ban construction of new cesspools and adding requirements to implement Act 120 which provides for a temporary tax credit for cesspool upgrades for qualifying cesspools located within 200’ of a shoreline, perennial stream or wetland, or located over a drinking water aquifer.
Also on the agenda will be:
- An update on Pohakuloa Training Area by U.S. Army Garrison – Pohakuloa Commander LTC Jacob Peterson;
- Recap of the Big Island Giving Tree’s holiday season;
- Waimea’s 2016 legislative funding request for the next phase of Waimea District Park;
- The 23rd Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival Feb. 6;
- Kahilu Theatre’s Grant-In-Aid proposal to the 2016 Legislature;
- County Council news from Council Members Val Poindexter and Margaret Wille
- Mamalahoa Highway construction update for work that is just starting and will occur mostly at night (8 p.m.-4 a.m. Sundays thru Thursdays) for about four months between Kamamalu Street and Iona Court.
As always, there is no charge to attend town meetings, though donations to, and membership in the nearly 60-year-old community organization are invited. Attendees also are urged to contribute to the Waimea food pantry with cash or check, though non-perishable, not-expired food items are also welcome. Checks may be payable directly to the food pantry so the donation is tax deductible. Attendees at town meetings enjoy free Starbucks hot coffee, though a small donation is suggested to the food pantry.
For more information, call Patti Cook (937-2833) or go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.
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6 P.M., MON., NOV. 30, 2015 – WAIMEA SCHOOL CAFETERIA
(Note: Click here for 2015 Waimea Christmas Festivities and Big Island Giving Tree http://waimeatown.org/?page_id=403 )
In response to an outbreak of Dengue Fever on Hawai’i Island, Waimea and North Hawai’i residents are invited to a Dengue Fever informational briefing at 6 p.m., Mon., Nov. 30, 2015 in Waimea School Cafeteria. Guest speakers will include Darryl Oliveira, Hawai’i County Civil Defense Chief and Incident Command for the Hawai’i Island Dengue outbreak, and Department of Health representatives.
The briefing is being co-hosted by Waimea Community Association in partnership with Waimea Middle School, Waimea Elementary School, Kanu o Ka ’Aina public charter school, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy, Waimea Country School and Parker School. There is no charge and everyone is urged to attend.
Dengue Fever is a virus that is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. It is not transmitted directly from person to person. The most effective method of reducing the spread is to minimize or prevent the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellant, and avoiding areas of high mosquito concentration during early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquitoes are most active. Also, it is important to eliminate standing water around homes, schools and workplace.
If you think you have been infected with Dengue Fever, contact your doctor or a local health clinic and get medical care. Hamakua-Kohala Health, with offices in Honoka’a and Kapa’au, provides care regardless of whether or not you have health insurance year-round.
For additional information on Dengue Fever and preventing its spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001 (Hilo) or 322-4880 (Kona). Additional information about Dengue Fever also may be found at www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation and www.WaimeaMiddleSchool.org.
INFORMATIONAL MEETING TO EXPEDITE MAMALAHOA HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS IN WAIMEA: 6 p.m., Thurs., Dec. 3. Waimea School Cafeteria. Jas W. Glover Ltd., along with the State Department of Health, will hold this community meeting for a noise variance application to enable night work (8 p.m. to 4 a.m., Sundays thru Friday mornings, except holidays,) on needed Mamalahoa Highway improvements between Kamamalu Street and Iona Court (just east of The Fish and The Hog restaurant in the old Fukashima Store, and Minut Stop/’Ohana Fuels). The meeting will focus exclusively on issues related to noise. County-funded roadway improvements will include water lateral installations, reconstruction of the pavement and subgrade, and pavement resurfacing. Night work has been proposed to reduce both in-town and through-town traffic, thereby minimizing congestion that impacts the entire community including schools, emergency services and businesses. Night work will also accelerate project completion. The work will begin Jan. 5, 2016, and expected to be completed by the end of April, but if night work permitted, it could be several weeks sooner. All invited to meeting. Questions? Call David Sato (935-0871).
5-8 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 5, 2015. Waimea School Cafeteria. All Waimea residents, community organizations, athletic groups, schools, landowners and business owners invited to a facilitated workshop about both how to enhance and support important existing community projects and new ones in the “built environment” – parks, trails, complete streets, etc. – as part of the North Hawai’i Blue Zones project to make healthier living and choices easier for all. Two nationally recognized “built environment” planners with extensive Hawai’i experience – Dan Burden and Samantha Thomas – will lead the discussion. All WCA meetings are free. Because this will be a longer-than-usual town meeting, heavy yet healthy snacks will be provided along with cold drinks and steaming hot Starbucks coffee. As always, attendees urged to support Waimea Food Pantry with cash or checks. Info: Patti Cook (937-2833). If questions about the Blue Zones project, contact Carol Ignacio (938-8631). More info: www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.
Click here for the North Hawai’i Community Calendar from Oct. 7, 2015 and beyond.
March 28, 2015
DEDICATION OF LAND FROM PARKER RANCH FOR WAIMEA DISTRICT PARK
To : Chair Valerie Poindexter & Committee MembersAs you know, a commitment was made by Parker Ranch in 2002 to dedicate landsto the County of Hawai’i for public park and recreational purposes. This was partof a rezoning ordinance that recognized a serious shortage of public recreational facilities in the Waimea area that predated 2002 by many years. These lands that were set aside have been used for the Waimea Trails and Greenways project, as well as the proposed Waimea Regional District Park.
The Waimea community has, in the ensuing years, dedicated a tremendousamount of time to working with both the Ranch and County Parks and Rec staff toplan and design a long dreamed of District Park, and more recently, worked with the County Administration, Council, State Legislature and the Governor to secure authorization and release of matching funds for a master plan, and now construction of Phase 1. We sincerely thank everyone who has had a hand in keeping this moving forward, most notably community volunteers with Waimea Park Builders, which is led by Mel Macy.
The dedication of land by Parker Ranch and its trustees as addressed in Resolution No. 121 15 is a critical step to keep this project moving forward. We thank the Ranch for this contribution to our community’s wellbeing, and we urge quick action by this Committee and Council to accept this dedication.
Parker Ranch and Paniolo Power will update Waimea Community Association at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, 2015 Town Meeting on their efforts to pursue renewable energy and lower electricity rates for the immediate community of Waimea, North Hawai’i and perhaps all of Hawai’i Island.
Dutch Kuyper and Jose Dizon will present the most current results of the Siemens team to develop alternative plans. They also will explain the status of things with the Public Utilities Commission in its review of the HECO and HELCO plans as well as the proposed merger between NextEra and HECO.
As always, everyone is invited and there is no charge to attend WCA Town Meetings, though donations to the nearly 60-year-old community organization are welcome. WCA recently became an IRS-approved non-profit, so that donations to support the organization’s activities are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. WCA’s operating expenses are modest as it is entirely volunteer run.
Attendees at WCA Town Meetings also are urged to contribute to the Waimea food pantry with cash or check, though non-perishable, not-expired food items are also welcome. Checks may be payable directly to the food pantry so the donation is tax deductible. Attendees at town meetings also enjoy free Starbucks hot coffee, though a small donation is suggested for the food pantry.
For information, call Patti Cook (937-2833) or go to www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.
Hot topics that are among the 2015 Legislative priorities for Waimea and North Hawai’i will top the agenda of Waimea Community Association’s 5:15 p.m. Thursday, January 8, 2015 Town Meeting in Waimea School cafeteria. As always, all are invited to town meetings, and there is no charge, though donations to support WCA’s educational activities are now tax-deductible.
Joining the community for the 2015 legislative discussion will be Sen. Lorraine Inouye and Rep. Cindy Evans, both of whom will also share insights about the coming session, which officially begins Wednesday, January 21.
A series of presentations will spotlight both new and ongoing community issues, priorities and opportunities including:
- Parker Ranch’s Paniolo Power initiative to lower the cost of electricity;
- Re-prioritizing the long-awaited Kawaihae Bypass, which was removed by the State Department of Transportation this past year from the STIP priority list;
- Supporting completion of Phase 1 and pursuing funding to begin planning for Phase 2 of the Palamanui higher education campus in West Hawai’i, which is expected to open for classes in Fall 2015,
- Getting repairs underway at the potable water reservoir located in the pu’u above town; the reservoir was damaged in the 2006 earthquake and has been sitting empty ever since,
- Exploring the status of public charter schools, which are of particular interest to the district and island because there are four in North Hawai’I and a majority of the state’s public charters are on Hawai’i Island,
- Status of planning and design for Waimea District Park, including whether additional funding will be required,
- Introducing a new STEM education initiative that targets middle and high school students from both public and private Waimea schools to teach coding and hands-on, project-based innovative design, and
- Enhancing youth educational programming at Kahilu Theatre.
Also on the January 8 Town Meeting Agenda will be a briefing on County Council business by Council Members Margaret Wille (Dist. 9) and Valerie Poindexter (Dist. 1).
As always at WCA Town Meetings, attendees are urged to contribute to Annunciation’s Waimea food pantry with cash or check, though non-perishable, not-expired food items are also welcome. Checks may be payable directly to the food pantry. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Attendees and community members also are urged to contribute to WCA to help fulfill its mission:
- To preserve, maintain, enhance and protect community values by embracing our diversity and sense of place;
- To gather and present information and facilitate communication and discussion of issues affecting Waimea;
- To promote open participation in the development of policies and legislation affecting Waimea;
- To inform community members about how and where to make their voices heard, individually or collectively; and
- To encourage new generations of leaders to continue Waimea’s tradition of community building and community service.
WCA is entirely volunteer-run, so annual expenses are modest. Tax-deductible donations payable to Waimea Community Association may be brought to town meetings or mailed to 66-1250 Lalamilo Farm Road, Kamuela, HI 96743.
For more information, call WCA Vice President Patti Cook (937-2833) or go to www.WaimeaTown.org.