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HAWAII COUNTY COUNCIL NEWS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS - 2013

A NEW COUNCIL, A YEAR WITH MANY MILESTONES

Hawaii County Council
Aloha and Happy New Year!
 
It has been just over a year since I took office and I wanted to share with you some of our accomplishments for District 8 and the highlights of 2013.
 
I was chosen Vice Chair of the Council and chair all Kona Council meetings. I also serve as Chair of the Human Services/Social Services Committee, which recommends and oversees the distribution of $1.5 million in grants to Non-Profit Organizations throughout the County.
 
Recent news designating Kailua-Kona as among the “Top U.S. Destinations on the Rise” adds even more fuel to my commitment to make West Hawai‘i a better place for residents and visitors alike.  My focus remains on improving our parks, protecting open space, supporting our Veteran’s, helping small business and working to ensure infrastructure improvement are done concurrently with development. 
 
I extend a sincere Mahalo to the Administration for supporting the West Hawai‘i Civic Center the Ane Keohokalole Highway and for attention to our parks and roads.  These efforts have made a huge difference in improving government services and quality of life.
 
 
Among the Highlights of 2013:
  • Dedication of the Shoreline Park at Kohanaiki
  • Acquisition of ‘O’oma with 2% Open Space Preservation Fund
  • Strengthening the County Code prohibiting alcohol in certain public places
  • Passage of Bill to Restrict/Regulate the Propagation of GMO Crops
  • Support for Veteran’s Cemetery POW/MIA Memorial
  • Finalize Water Improvement District

SHORELINE AND OPEN SPACE

Hawaii County Council
COUNTY ACQUIRES 'O'OMA PROPERTY WITH 2% OPEN SPACE FUND

The County of Hawai‘i's latest acquisition with the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resource Preservation funds will protect 217 acres in Kona, between Kohanaiki and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i.

'O'oma was the last privately-held open coastline area between Kailua town and the Kuki'o resort, and was the top-ranked property on the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission's latest report.  The Mamalahoa Trail and the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail run through the property, and the preservation of 'O'oma also will help preserve the Class AA ocean water quality and contribute to a healthy reef ecosystem.
Hawaii County Council
The acquisition extends the pubic, county owned, shoreline park from Kohanaiki to 'O'oma and ensures all people will have access to the shoreline for fishing, surfing, subsistence gathering and recreation. 

The purchase of the 'O'oma property closed on December 31, 2013 for $6.2 million, slightly more than half the $12 million asking price.  Kohanaiki Shores, the neighboring development, assisted the County in the purchase with a $2 million donation.

Mahalo to Mayor Kenoi for realizing how important this area is to our community and who's "can-do" attitude pushed this forward at the opportune time. Mahalo to the Kona community and to those warriors who never gave up the dream of an open public shoreline.

This open space purchase is the culmination of over 25 years of efforts on the part of the Kona community, which held onto a vision of an open coastline at Kohanaiki and 'O'oma.  This is an awesome gift to our community and validates the power in a shared vision.

Hawaii County Council
KOHANAIKI SHORELINE PARK

Dedication of the Kohanaiki Shoreline Park to the County in June was a highlight of 2013. As many of you know, this park was the result of years of legal work, negotiations and grass roots efforts and sets forth a 3-way partnership with the Community, Kohanaiki Shores LLC and County of Hawai‘i Parks and Rec. The park includes vehicular shoreline access, preservation of the historic Ala Kahakai walking trails, showers, bathrooms, canoe and canoe halau, and the largest multi-use halau on the island for cultural/educational uses and programs.
Hawaii County Council
Mayor Kenoi, Angel Pilago, Joe Root take part in the blessing at Kohanaiki

SUPPORT FOR VETERANS

Hawaii County Council
I have committed to helping our Vets in any way that I can.

The West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery is one of only 3 in the nation that have earned “Shrine Status” granted by the United States Veterans Administration. Mahalo to the West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery Development and Expansion Association for all of their hard work.
Hawaii County Council
POW/MIA MEMORIAL

I was happy to provide $15,000 from District 8 Contingency Funds for a memorial garden at the West Hawai‘i Veterans Cemetery to honor the selfless men and women who have answered the call to service and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace, and in defense of our freedom. Mahalo to Susan and Paul Graffe for spearheading this effort.
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KE ALA KOA – THE ROAD OF WARRIORS – I introduced a Resolution to give an official name to the road leading to the cemetery. This Resolution was approved by the Council in November.

VETERANS CENTER – I introduced a Resolution urging the State Legislature to appropriate funds for site selection and planning of the West Hawai‘i Veterans Center, $300,000, pursuant the House Bill 1468 re Capital Improvement Projects for the Seventh Representative District. This Resolution was approved by the Council and forwarded to the State Legislature on March 13, 2013.

WATER FOR PU’UKALA RESIDENTS

Hawaii County Council
WATER IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT FOR KONA OCEAN VIEW PROPERTIES

I was able to introduce and get Council approval for the last steps in the Legislative process for the Construction of a Public Water System, which process is now complete and construction beginning very soon and will bring County water to Pu’ukala residents.

NEW BILLS INTRODUCED AND APPROVED

INTOXICATING LIQUOR PROHIBITED IN CERTAIN PLACES

I introduced and received unanimous Council support for a Bill regarding the prohibition of liquor in certain public places, Public parking lots, entire areas within County-owned or operated off-street parking lot or facilities, including ingress and egress to these areas.

While this Code Amendment applies island-wide, it was conceived as a way to help protect the small businesses and the overall ambiance in Kailua Kona Village where there are increasing safety concerns.
Hawaii County Council
ONIZUKA SPACE CENTER

I introduced a Resolution urging the State Legislature to appropriate funds for the construction of the new space Center at the Kona Airport, pursuant to House Bill 1468 re Capital Improvements, in the amount of $3,000,000. This Resolution was approved by the Council and forwarded to the State Legislature on March 13, 2013.

COUNTY RELATED PROJECTS IN KONA

DISTRICT 8 CONTINGENCY FUNDS APPROPRIATED:

$5,000 towards Project Grad to support an alcohol and drug free graduation night event for seniors at Kealakehe High School.

$5,000 for Teen Dating Violence Conferences with Ann Murray and the Status of Women

$ 3,800 to the Pu’uanahulu and Kalaoa Volunteer Fire Departments for wild land fire fighting boots

$1,000 for Kapilina Brick Garden at the WHCC

$1,000 for CRIB Project – Creating Readers in Babies with the Twinkling Stars 4-H Club of Kona along with Kona Hospital.

SUPPORT FOR PARKS IN KONA

DISTRICT 8 CONTINGENCY FUNDS APPROPRIATED:

$2,000 for Sports Programming with the Department of Parks and Recreation.

$18,307 for Hale Halawai Renovations - chairs, tables, padded chairs for Senior Club, folding tables for Senior Club, Floor Auto-Scrubber.

$8,000 for Makaeo Events Pavilion Renovations - new chairs

$8,000 for Old Kona Airport Park – Shade Canopy

ENSURING CONCURRENCY

Provided an amendment to a rezoning Bill for the construction of a Shopping Center in the Keonepoko, District of Puna to require the completion of an “intersection improvement project” at the Pahoa Village Road/Pahoa Bypass, before a certificate of occupancy can be issued.

Provided an amendment to a rezoning Bill in Kona regarding Hualalai Partners to require completion of the improvements to Hualalai Road and the completion of the internal connector roads prior to occupancy of any homes on the property.

SUPPORT FOR ISLAND-WIDE INITIATIVES

MOBILE FOOD TRUCKS

In the process of having Public Works look at allowing mobile food trucks in municipal parking lots and on certain County Roads.

REGULATION OF GMO CROPS

Hawai‘i County Council adopted Bill 113 Draft 3 which restricts and regulates the propagation of Genetically Modified Crops on Hawai‘i Island.  Rather than global agribusiness corporations, we want to encourage and support community-based farming and ranching. 

AG TOURISM

Came up with mitigation solutions to balance the needs of the farmers while also considering the impacts to neighboring communities.

SUPPORT FOR STATE-WIDE INITIATIVES

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT LABELING

Submitted testimony to Senate Committee on Agriculture supporting a Senate Bill regarding truth in labeling, fair marketing and disclosure, particularly re honey, macadamia, tea and vanilla.

SMALL BOAT HARBORS

Submitted testimony to the Senate Committee on Water and Land and Senate Committee on Tourism and Hawaiian Affairs, in support of requiring DLNR to accommodate moorings of native Hawaiian canoes owned by non profit entities to be used for education purposes.

TRANSPORTATION

Submitted testimony to Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs; Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs; Judiciary and Labor, regarding a Bill that would allow government agencies that assume maintenance of disputed roads to improve the condition of the disputed roads without incurring liability.

VIDEOCONFERENCING

Submitted testimony to the House Committee on Judiciary regarding Videoconferencing that would require both chambers of the legislature to implement rules to permit residents to present testimony through audiovisual technology and to appropriate the funds to establish these systems throughout the State.

RECOGNITION OF ACHIEVEMENTS IN OUR COMMUNITY

Hawaii County Council
Leahi Camacho - the youngest to swim from Molokai to Oahu, through the Kaiwi Channel.
Hawaii County Council
Kona Gold Senior Softball Team, State Champions
Hawaii County Council
HPA Scholars - Madison Inman scored in the top 1% in the nation on her SATs. Kristiana Van Pernis, Hannah Twiggsmith and Melia Cavedoni for scoring in the top 5% in the nation on their SAT’s. Lysha Matsunobu from Parker School not pictured
Hawaii County Council
Certificate of Presentation for Eagle Scouts, Aholelei, etc.
Hawaii County Council
CERTIFICATE PRESENTATION, Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (C.A.L.E.A.) for complying with nationally recognized standards in providing quality service to the Big Island Chief of Police Harry Kubojiri,
Hawaii County Council
KEALAKEHE KIDS – CERTIFICATE OF PRESENTATION. Kealakehe High School’s Applied Global Citizen Organization for promotion of better future leaders and awareness in the community.
Hawaii County Council

Certificate for Keahii Delovio

OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY

Hawaii County Council
SUPPORT FOR VOYAGING PROGRAMS WORLD WIDE VOYAGE


‘AI PONO WORKSHOP – Planning stages to involve School Garden Network in growing food and creating menus for provisioning Hokule'a and Makali'i on their worldwide voyage
Hawaii County Council
Attended the memorial ceremony for Senator Daniel Inouye
Hawaii County Council

Attended the tribute to Senator Dan Akaka

Hawaii County Council
Attended the NACO (National Association of Counties) Conference in Washington DC
Hawaii County Council

Met with U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, and U.S. Senator Maize Hirono

Hawaii County Council
Celebrated Filipino American Heritage Month at U H Hilo
Hawaii County Council

Hosted Community Update outreach meeting

Hawaii County Council
Attended Student Government Day at WHCC
Hawaii County Council

Presented Officer of the Year award

Hawaii County Council
Attended Older American lunch
Hawaii County Council

Spoke at event honoring Mary Teshima

Hawaii County Council
Hosted Teachers for America at Kohanaiki

MAHALO

Mahalo a nui loa to all for your continued support.  I look forward to working with my fellow council members, the administration and my constituents to make 2014 a great year!
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WORKING TOGETHER
As County Council Member for District 8, and the Council Vice-Chair, I welcome you to my website.

This platform is here to address the issues that face our island home, and to encourage you to participate in county government.
STAY IN TOUCH
I believe in free and open communication, so I know where you stand on issues and am better able to represent your interests. Feel free to contact me or my staff by phone, email or mail.

DISTRICT 8 IMPROVEMENTS

As we move forward in 2014, here are the key areas of focus for our district:
  • $9 million upgrade for Old Kona Airport Park 
  • $500,000 for Kealakehe Regional Park
  • $12 million for Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade
  • Palani Road & Ka'iminani Drive re-surfacing
  • U.H. Community College at Palamanui
  • Extension of the Ane Keohokalole Highway
  • Rebuilding the Ellison Onizuka Space Center
© 2014 Karen Eoff
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