I am happy to announce that Resolution 14-254 and Resolution 15-142 were recently passed, regarding renaming Ewa Beach Park to Pu’uloa Beach Park and Ocean Pointe District Park to Ewa-Pu’uloa District Park.  According to members of the Ewa community, historically, the name “Pu’uloa” is the traditional name for the area within the Ewa Moku where this park resides and is used by many long-time residents to refer to the community.

A City Council resolution, which shined light on long-delayed road safety and maintenance improvements in the Villages of Kapolei and Sea Country Maili, and forced the City to reevaluate how quickly it processes and accepts road improvements, has now brought about change to Sea Country, Maili, a community that has waited for years for the city to take ownership of its roads.

 

The Maili subdivision of Sea Country needs road repaving and street light replacement. However, the City had delayed acceptance of these roads into its inventory until Councilmember Pine’s Resolution 15-11, Requesting the City Administration to Set Forth Specific Requirements for Dedications of Roadway Improvements Constructed Pursuant to Conditional Zoning Agreements, was adopted in February.

 

“Leeward communities have waited too long for these basic City services, and because the City did not streamline its road acceptance process earlier, that wait turned from months to years, and this is unacceptable,” said Councilmember Pine.

 

Since adoption, the City has streamlined the acceptance of roads in Sea Country, Maili, with five Sea Country streets coming under City ownership with Council’s approval of Department Communication 190 in the April 29th 1:00 p.m. meeting of the Committee on Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability.

 

The City Council finalized acceptance on Wednesday’s full Council meeting.

 

Ed Lauer, General Manager of the Sea Country Community Association, expressed his happiness about the road dedication.  “We can’t tell you how happy we are at Sea Country.  Over the past 15 years, the process had taken far too long but the recent Honolulu City Council has fixed the process.”

 

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Councilmember Pine with Ed Lauer, General Manager of the Sea Country Community Association

 

 

Roads to be accepted for ownership by the City are:

  1. Anaha Street
  2. Owelo Place
  3. Pii Street
  4. Konini Street
  5. Kaipoi Street

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After all lanes on Farrington Highway were closed following a fatal crash near the intersection of Milikami Street and Farrington Highway, and traffic continued to back up past Kahe Point last month, Waianae residents sat in traffic for hours. Without a secondary emergency access road open, residents faced yet another overly burdensome commute and dangerous commute.

 

“It is unacceptable that taxpayers paid to have these roads built, but can’t use them in an emergency that closes all lanes of traffic on the only road in and out of the Leeward Coast. The City Administration needs to come up with solutions to this problem.” Councilmember Pine said.

 

However, community, City and State officials had planned a Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR), a traffic mitigation tool to be utilized during emergencies when there would be long delays of transit along Farrington Highway.  Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, in response, introduced Resolution 15-108, which requests the City Administration to set forth and inform the public on those conditions under which the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road will be opened and identify and implement improvements to more efficiently open the road during emergencies.

 

“We the Residents of the Coast need the support on this issue and we hope the parties involved will help us and agree to open and keep these roads to assist us,” said Richard Landford, Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board Member and Chair of the Neighborhood Board’s Transportation Committee.

 

Councilmember Pine’s Resolution was adopted at the May 6th Council meeting and also calls upon the City to be introducing a resolution calling for the City Administration to develop signage along the route and renegotiate the terms of licenses with private landowners upon whose land the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road lies, to include the use of the road during peak traffic delays. The recommended deadline for the City to produce this comprehensive plan is July 31, 2015.

Parks are a gathering place for families, organizations and community groups to meet, recreate and enjoy. As your councilmember, one of Councilmember Pine’s ongoing goals is to keep the parks in our district safe and clean for our community by ensuring our Parks Department has the funding it needs for ongoing maintenance and new capital construction projects, encouraging communities to be good stewards of our parks, and creating a new Adopt-a-Park program to make it easier for communities to create and participate in park adoption projects.

Recently, Councilmember Pine spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon on the Leeward Coast at Makaha Community Park renovating the park bathroom, providing new play equipment and planting ti leaves on the park grounds. This event kicked off the next phase of her ongoing commitment to revitalize Leeward Coast parks and transform the community.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell joined to help plant ti leaves and showed his support for our efforts at the Makaha Community Park Rededication as he delivered a message of civic pride and community duty to be good stewards of our recreation resources.

It’s amazing to see what can be achieved when volunteers come together to revive their community. In partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation, Laborers International 368, Grace Pacific Maintenance Solutions, the Pacific Links Foundation, PBR and Associates, Hawaii Electrical Workers and the Active Hawaii Foundation, the community combined efforts to clean-up, paint, and refurbish the heavily-used park. Volunteers helped to restore the park’s comfort station with fresh paint and the Microguard protective coating that resists graffiti and staining, and install new lights for safety. Meanwhile, the Parks Department replaced all fixtures, sinks and toilets and community members participated in a park clean-up, painted benches and removed graffiti from the park grounds. The before and after results are profound, and provide a fresh new outlook to the park.

 

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Volunteers from Laborers Local 368 and the community painting the park comfort station.

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After completing all the work in the morning, volunteers gathered together to participate in a beautiful and inspiring rededication ceremony led by Reverend Kahu Steven Costa.   Dipping a ti leaf into salt water in his koa bowl, Kahu Costa sprinkled salt water to all corners of the park, blessing the grounds and drawing forth positive energy. Meanwhile, students from neighboring Makaha Elementary School also helped to breathe fresh life into this park by symbolically planting ti leaf cuttings near the park’s entrance. The ceremony concluded as Councilmember Pine joined community leaders, volunteers and Makaha’s keiki, untying a maile lei and commemorating a new beginning for this park.

The Makaha Community Park Rededication was touching and demonstrated what can happen when volunteers and the City come together to transform our community.

In addition to this project, Councilmember Pine is working hard to bring bathrooms to Puu O Hulu Community Park in Maili and build new bathrooms at One`ula Beach Park.

With the help of community volunteers, we can transform all of our Leeward parks into safe and clean environments for our keiki. If you would like to know more about how to get involved in a park restoration, please feel free to contact Councilmember Pine’s office via e-mail: kmpine@honolulu.gov, or telephone (808) 768-5001.  It is absolutely fulfilling to give back to our community, and transforming our parks is a great way to do so.

City officials announced the opening of a new sludge receiving station today at the City’s H-Power waste-to-energy plant in Campbell Industrial Park.  The new machine will take sludge and waste products and convert them into fuel.

 

According to the Department of Environmental Services, the Honolulu Program of Waste Energy Recovery (H-POWER) processes over 600,000 tons of waste annually, and has the capacity to produce up to 10% of Oahu’s electricity.  H-POWER began operation in 1990 and today, coverts nearly 2,000 tons of waste per day, creating enough electricity to power 60,000 homes.

 

The City’s new sludge receiving station will reduce 40,000 pounds of waste that enters the land fills per year, putting less dependence on the Waimanalo Gulch land fill.  The addition of the receiving station ensures that less material is going into the landfill and sets the city on a course to eliminating the need for a landfill in my district.

Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine partnered with the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce to bring a unique job and career fair to West O’ahu – one that focuses on “Connecting Leeward residents with Leeward Jobs”. The 3rd Annual Hire Leeward Job and Career Fair took place on March 24, 2015, (Tuesday) at the University of Hawai’i – West O’ahu campus from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 

With a theme of “Connecting Leeward Residents with Leeward Jobs”, the Fair hosted over 70 businesses offering Leeward-based job opportunities. There were free business and personal development seminars to give attendees new skills and tools for their career development path.  Businesses and organizations offered many opportunities from a wide range of industries including: healthcare, food service, hospitality, retail, and administrative, as well as trade apprenticeships.

 

As an example, Leonard Smith can now sleep in 2 hours more than he used to, before getting up for work every day.  Ever since he switched his job and cut his commute time job by 85%, he looks forward to spending quality time each morning with his wife and kids, rather than sitting in gruesome traffic.  Leonard has been with U.S. VETS – Barbers Point for the past 3 years. Prior to this, he was spending long hours driving to his job in town. With the long commute time and traffic issues, driving to work, according to him, became a bear.  He consciously began searching for employment that was closer to home in order to alleviate his commute time, thus improving his quality time with his family.

 

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Leonard Smith (right) – Leeward resident, was featured on Hawaii News Now’s Sunrise show, where he recently shared his testimony about reducing his morning commute by finding a job closer to home.

Today, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a major new park initiative during his third State of the City speech.  The initiative, E Paka Kakou, or “parks together” will be a city partnership with community organizations to step up and revitalize parks.

 

“This parks initiative works hand-in-hand with the Adopt a Park Bill – Bill 58. Together, these will ease the process for groups wishing to adopt and make major capital contributions to our parks. We are looking forward to working with Mayor Caldwell in the upcoming budget process to see our proposals succeed,” said Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine.

 

Councilmember Pine introduced Bill 58 on September 29th, 2014. If passed, the bill will create a more transparent and clearly defined process for park adoptions, donations and capital improvements, making it easier for organizations to improving specific parks in their communities.

 

Mayor Kirk Caldwell also revealed that $2 million in the fiscal 2016 budget will be dedicated to making improvements at park comfort stations.  According to Caldwell, these funds will be used to refurbish 24 restrooms at parks and 16 sets of existing playground apparatus throughout the island.

 

The Department of Parks and Recreation will be installing Microguard, a protective coating that is graffiti and rot resistant, on 24 comfort stations, throughout the next year beginning with Asing Park, in Ewa Beach.