2nd Access/Traffic Updates Meeting Summary & Minutes

For those who missed the 03/13/17 Transportation Update meeting, here is a short summary. More detailed minutes are below.
Summary:

In regards to the 2nd Access, DOT will study it, and DHHL will also work on it. One thought is to turn the existing Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR) into a more accessible road. The city is considering expanding the use of WCEAR beyond emergencies, to include other events, such as road work.  

 

In terms of the WCEAR, DHHL plans to work on an EIS to extend it from Helelua St. to Nanakuli Ave. They are drawing up plans and talking to homeowners. DOT plans to provide solar powered flashing signs to direct drivers to the WCEAR, and alert drivers about traffic delays.

 

DOT is also focusing on improving Farrington Highway congestion. They will try to find ways to continue the contraflow after its December 2017 projected end date, by making use of the 1.2 mile turn lane they are now constructing for contraflow. Further, DOT will continue to push to extend the turn/contraflow lane to Hakimo Road. 

 

Questions were raised about the need to synchronize the traffic lights. DOT responded that they are installing traffic cameras and heat sensors at Nanakuli Ave, Haleakala Ave, and Helelua St. These measures should help to improve traffic flow.

 

Questions were also raised about why DOT is expending funds on another traffic study rather than improvements. DOT explained that they must conduct an updated study to obtain federal funds.
Speakers at the 03/13/17 Transportation Update meeting hosted by the Ahupua`a O Nanakuli Homestead (AONH) included, DOT Deputy Director-Highways Edwin Sniffen, DHHL Deputy Director William Aila Jr., Jewelynn Kirkland (AONH), Sen. Shimabukuro, Rep. Tupola, and Rep. Gates.
Feel free to Contact me with your concerns at 586-7793.

Here are more detailed minutes from the 03/13/17 Transportation Meeting…MINUTES:

DHHL

– EIS: To be done from Helelua to Nanakuli Ave. Drawing up plans and talking to homeowners 

– 24/7 Road: HB1378 is about how to establish 2nd access; improve existing roads in Waianae; very expensive; long term; federal funds short supply going forward; $250m+ cost not guaranteed 

DOT

– Funding for additional roads is not there

– cannot federalize a project unless we have an updated study

– DOT does not have $250m to make another road, but will still study it 

– Contraflow -turn lanes will help in morning but not in afternoon; with 5th lane eastbound lane will be returned 

– Turn lanes- want to try to extend to Hakimo Rd.

– WCEAR- under the environmental assessment (EA), emergency use only so cannot use daily; city willing to also consider allowing use for road work/construction too 

Q&A:

1) How can we keep teachers on the Waianae Coast with contraflow making traffic so slow; some days HPD is good,other days not so good.
Ans: Contraflow is ending around December 2017, when turn lane is completed. State and City will do its best to minimize traffic delays for eastbound drivers. 

 

2) Why bicycle lane in Nanakuli homestead?
Ans: In 2012 city did survey re: adding bicycle lane, and community did not object. March 21 NMNB mtg will discuss bike lane.

 

3) Why can’t politicians let community decide for themselves? 
Ans: DHHL tasked with implementing things that impact the trust, as well as neighbors in non-homestead community. We’re trying to listen as best we can; input is weighed. Also have to advocate for people on the waitlist and on standby.

 

4) How can we work together to find viable solution to traffic? 

Ans: We need to work together to sometimes compromise for the greater good.

 

5) How evacuate if emergency at Black Rock?
Ans: Head Mauka.

 

6) Why are developers building more homes but not adding emergency access?
Ans: This is primarily a City issue, since they approve building permits.

 

7) Instead of building new road, why not use existing?
Ans: We are seeking to amend the EA to allow WCEAR to be used when there’s road work, not just for emergencies.

 

8) Can we Find honest contractor to build road around Kaena point? 
Ans: Majority of Community did not support this. 

 

9) Can we make developers create new DOT fund? Chinese development at Ko Olina — how will impact? 
Ans: This is a City question; DOT makes recommendations to DPP as best they can.

 

10) How will balance building more homes and trying to get 2nd access?
Ans: DOT Will try to address that in feasibility study.

 

11) Light at Nanakuli green/red for 60 seconds…why wait to install new lights?
Ans: During peak times there’s not enough green time to put traffic through. Still must balance. That’s why we did contraflow. Turn lane will help in morning. Will try to continue contraflow after. Want to extend turn lane to Hakimo. Also will have traffic cameras at Nanakuli Ave, Haleakala Ave, and Helelua St. Sensors will be heat, not on ground. 

 

12) How much money is there for 2nd Access?
Ans: $6m; $3m from City and $3m from state.

 

13) Will the location of Haleakala Ave crosswalk be moved? Please don’t.
Ans: During construction it’s closed, but it will be returned after construction.  

 

14) Why is WCEAR limited to emergencies only?

City is working on expanding EA to include road work. Community also wants to also include major accidents. DOT going to try and help with solar powered flashing signs to show drivers where the WCEAR is and alert drivers about traffic delays.

 

15) If no $ to build roads why study? Why is WCEAR in 2 phases? Better to spend $ on solutions?
Ans: Have to do study to get federal money to widen highway. Have to study possibility of 2nd access too as option.

 

16) How often does DOT inspect bridge at Black Rock?
Ans: Every 2 years, and that’s why we keep patching it. 

 

17) DOT view on 2nd Access?
Ans: DOT has $450m to spend statewide. $100m goes toward capacity projects. Additional lane westbound on H1 was $120m; $100m for safety improvements, etc. Need additional $90-95/year more per person from raising taxes to add back more projects. So now have to focus on operational projects, eg, added Zipper lane; Moanalua freeway to connect to Kualakai shoulder.  

 

2nd access will take 10 years minimum; will likely never happen though…so need to re-shift focus to add 5th lane to HakimoRd.

 

This is not unique to Waianae, eg, Kawaihae and Kauai not getting bypasses they want either.  
 

18) Why can’t we synchronize lights like on Nimitz from Sand Island to Pacific St.? 
Ans: At Peak time you can’t get enough green time in Nanakuli. DOT can work with City to take a look. Once traffic cameras are installed it will be easier. 

 

19) Kolekole Pass – what is status? And Lualualei Naval Road – why can’t state take it? 
Ans (Rep. Tupola): She wants to try and get an Executive Order to transfer the Navy section of Kolekole Pass to the Army. In regards to LNR, the City and State won’t take it unless Navy upgrades it.  

 

20) Fuel tax and road usage charge (RUC) will impact Waianae and other rural communities the most, so we need more benefit.
Ans: DOT has a federal grant to study RUC. Under RUC, if your car gets around 22 mpg you won’t be affected; if large car, will pay less; if hybrid or electric car will pay more. DOT is Still studying how to do it. As a First step, DOT will send out a fake bill under RUC. A 5,000 driver group will run through the scenario under RUC. There is a national trend toward RUC since it’s fair.  

 

21) $90-95 more per year if increase fuel tax will be very rough on drivers 
Ans (Rep. Tupola): No general funds go to DOT, only taxes.  

 

22) Announcement by Cynthia Rezentes: The City is updating the 2035 general transportation plan, see DPP Website. You should submit comments by May 8; there is a transportation section.

Key Measures Passed in 2017 Which Benefit the Leeward Coast and Beyond!

  

Today was “Sine Die” aka the last day of the 2017 Legislative Session (Note: Opening Day is the 3rd Wednesday in January, and Sine Die is the 1st Thursday in May, each year). I am grateful for a successful session, and want to especially thank my dedicated staff, pictured, from L-R: Kaliko Chun, Shirley Yamauchi, Chantrelle Waialae, Colleen Teramae, me, and Patrice Tanna. (Not pictured: community liaison Geanine Gomes; and volunteers Lopaka Baptiste and Kapua Keliikoa-Kamai).
I will be publishing session wrap-ups in Westside Stories. Here is a glimpse of some of the key bills/initiatives that I introduced or supported, which the legislature passed into law. Please note that some of these bills are still subject to the Governor’s approval. 
TRANSPORTATION

*Contraflow: Convert eastbound turn lane into westbound contraflow lane during afternoon rush hour

*$12m to resurface Farrington Highway along the entire stretch of the Waianae Coast 

*Traffic Cameras and High-Tech Infrared Heat Sensors at the Nanakuli Ave. and Haleakala Ave. intersections

*Leeward Oahu Traffic Improvements: Zipper Lane (added lane and extended hours); Makakilo Interchange; Kualaka`i to Kunia shoulder lane
EDUCATION & YOUTH

*HB937: Appropriates $300,000 for the Executive Office on Early Learning to enter into contracts with third-party providers for family-child interaction learning programs.

*HB957: Authorizes the DOE to borrow moneys interest-free from the Hawaii green infrastructure loan program for heat abatement measures at public schools. Requires DOE to make payments on the loan from revenues saved by energy efficiency measures. 

*HB116: Teacher Housing; requires the City to transfer to DLNR all property upon which certain public schools are situated, in order to plan for teacher housing and other improvements; extends the 21st century schools pilot program by an additional five years.  

 

PUBLIC SAFETY & MILITARY AFFAIRS

*LED Lighting and Tow Truck Service along Farrington Highway

*HB306: Authorizing the fitting of a continuous alcohol monitoring device on persons charged for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant or habitually operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant if the person: (1) Is a repeat intoxicated driver; or (2) Is currently awaiting a pending criminal investigation or prosecution for one or more prior charges of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant or habitually operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. Establishes a process for certain persons to receive financial relief for the cost of the monitoring devices. Requires the administrative director of the courts to submit a report to the legislature evaluating the effectiveness of the alcohol monitoring devices and any known effect on the ignition interlock devices. 

*HB1382: Assists veteran-owned, woman-owned, and other small businesses in the state procurement process by establishing a temporary small business assistance initiative, small business advisory group, small business office, and small business procurement coordinator position within the State Procurement Office. Appropriates funds.

*HB1420: Appropriates funds for funeral and burial services and transportation of remains to the Philippines for qualifying Filipino-American veterans.

 

 HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS 

*HB451: Reduces the minimum Hawaiian blood quantum requirement of certain successors to lessees of Hawaiian home lands from one-quarter to one thirty-second. Effective upon approval of governor and U.S. Congress. 

*HB335: Appropriates funds for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

*HB100 : Appropriates $2.5m to support the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission.

*SCR150/SR71: Requesting OHA to convene a study group to make recommendations to the legislature on an appropriate means to honor Robert William Kalanihiapo Wilcox, Hawaii’s first elected delegate to the United States Congress.

*SR33: Requesting OHA to convene a task force of Hawaiian leaders, legal scholars, and a broad representation of member of the Hawaiian community to review and consider whether its fiduciary duty to better the conditions of Hawaiians and manage its resources to meet the needs of Hawaiian beneficiaries would be better served by having trustees appointed rather than elected.
HEALTH

*HB916: Makes an appropriation for the health care provider loan repayment program administered through the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), which aims to incentivize practicing in underserved areas.

*HB607: Authorizes the Executive Office on Aging to establish the Kupuna Caregivers Program to assist community members in obtaining care for elders while remaining in the workforce. Clarifies the kupuna service and support options provided by area agencies on aging within the program. Appropriates funds.

*HB428: Allows JABSOM to continue to receive a portion of the physician workforce assessment fee for ongoing physician workforce assessment and planning to support the recruitment and retention of physicians in the State, particularly those in rural and medically underserved areas. 

*SB387: Requires a health carrier with a network plan to maintain a network that includes sufficient numbers of appropriate types of providers to ensure that covered persons have access to covered services. Specifies contract, disclosure, continuity of care, and directory publication requirements

 

JUDICIARY & LABOR

*SB859: Grants an employee the right to have a chaperone present during an independent medical examination relating to a work injury for workers’ compensation purposes and, with the approval of the examining physician or surgeon, to record the medical examination. Specifies that if an employee or employee’s chaperone obstructs the medical exam, the employee’s right to workers’ compensation shall be suspended until the obstruction ceases. Repeals on 6/30/2019.

*HB208: Amends the requirements for a court to enjoin an employer who has not secured compensation coverage for employees. Authorizes DLIR to issue an order of wage payment violation to the employer in violation of provisions regarding payment of wages and other compensation. Establishes penalties, enforcement, and appeal procedures related to orders of wage payment violations.

*SB469: Appropriates funds for the judiciary for the fiscal biennium beginning 7/1/2017 and ending 6/30/2019. 

 

 HOUSING

*SB99: Prohibits any county from disqualifying a legal nonconforming dwelling unit from the housing choice voucher program if the unit meets zoning and building code requirements and other program standards such as health and safety standards.

*HB83: Requires the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, in conjunction with and with the advisement of DHS and DLNR, to establish a working group to examine and develop recommendations related to the establishment of safe zones for persons experiencing homelessness. Requires the working group to submit a report to the Legislature. Appropriates funds.

*HB1179: Expands the types of rental housing projects that can be exempt from general excise taxes. Allows the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to exempt certain affordable rental housing projects from general excise tax and use tax costs. Allows the terms of the section 201H-36(a)(5) prevailing wages to be deemed the prevailing wages serving as the basis of compliance with chapter 104, HRS, for the construction of certain rental housing projects.

*SB369: Prohibits associations of apartment owners, boards of directors, managing agents, resident managers, unit owners, and persons acting on behalf of associations or unit owners from retaliating against a unit owner, board member, managing agent, resident manager, or association employee who files a complaint; acts in furtherance of a complaint, report, or investigation of an alleged violation of the State’s condominium laws or a condominium’s governing documents; or exercises or attempts to exercise any right as a unit owner.

 

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

*HB209: Establishes a non-refundable state earned income tax credit. Changes income tax rates after 12/31/16. Repeals the sunset date for amendments made to the refundable food/excise tax credit by Act 223, SLH 2015. 

*HB423: Film; Digital Media Industry; Tax Credit; Amends the qualifications a production must meet in order to claim the credit. Caps the annual amount of tax credits that may be claimed at $35,000,000. Extends the sunset date to January 1, 2026. Requires DBEDT to submit an annual report to the Legislature regarding the activities and expenditures of the tax credit. Clarifies that no rule shall be adopted to expand the scope of the tax credit where the rule conflicts with legislative intent. Requires certain film productions claiming the tax credit to hire an independent third party certification of qualified production costs eligible for the credit. Requires DBEDT, in collaboration with DOTAX, to submit to the Governor and the Legislature a report on the number of jobs created in the State and the fiscal impact of every film production receiving the tax credit in the State.

*HB1498: Part I: requires copies of contracts, written job descriptions, and compensation between the association and any person retained to manage the operation of the property on-site to be made available to any unit owner, and allows certain personal information to be redacted from the contracts. Part II: clarifies that in cases where the removal or replacement of a director elected by a class of unit owners is authorized, such removal or replacement may be by a majority of only the members of that class; and specifies that, for an election in a mixed-use condominium project where directors are elected by different classes of owners, an association may cast the vote or votes allocated to any nonresidential unit owned by the association where those eligible to vote in the election are limited to owners of one or more nonresidential units, including the nonresidential unit owned by the association. Part III: clarifies that tenants are prohibited from serving as board members of a condominium association.
AGRICULTURE

*HB1475: Permits farmers’ markets and food hubs on lands in an agricultural district. 

*HB453: Requires DOA to provide grants to farmers to assist them in paying for the costs of compliance with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, FDA regulations, and state food safety laws. 

*HB1578: Establishes the Carbon Farming Task Force within the Office of Planning to identify agricultural and aquacultural practices to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration in the State’s agricultural and aquacultural sectors. Appropriates funds.
WATER & LAND

*HR122 / SR34: Urging the United States Army Corps of Engineers and DLNR to collaborate to create a mechanism for generating water circulation in Poka`i Bay.

*HB115: Requires each county with a population of over five hundred thousand or greater to take ownership and jurisdiction over all disputed roads under certain circumstances. Defines disputed roads.

*SB992: Clarifies that DLNR may assume immediate control of a vessel that is grounded on state submerged land, a shoreline, or a coral reef, or in imminent danger of breaking up, if the vessel cannot be removed by the owner within 24 hours from the time the vessel is grounded. Clarifies that the Department may assume immediate control of a vessel grounded on a sand beach, sand bar, or mudflat not in imminent danger of breaking up after the owner has been given 72 hours’ notice to remove the vessel and has not done so. Effective 9/1/17.
For more information, contact me at:

State Capitol, Room 222

415 South Beretania Street

Honolulu, HI 96813 

808-586-7793 phone 

808-586-7797 facsimile 

maileshimabukuro@yahoo.com

Facebook: Like Me

Twitter: @SenMaile 

Blog: http://21maile.com

State Lawmakers Rep. Gates and Sen. Shimabukuro Secure Over $20 Million for the Wai‘anae Coast Community

Honolulu, Hawaii –The Wai‘anae Coast will finally see some substantial funding, as lawmakers approved the state budget yesterday. More than $20 million will go toward the improvement of the area’s infrastructure and over a million dollars will funnel into non-profit organizations and programs.

“The community of Wai‘anae has waited too long for these needed improvements to our coastline, and I’m proud to say those improvements are finally funded in the budget passed Monday,” said Rep. Cedric Gates. “In a joint effort with Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, a lot was done for the Wai‘anae Coast.”

Like every community, certain organizations are the heartbeats of its residents. The Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, approved to receive $850,000 for the construction of its dental clinic, will assist in the community’s dental care needs, especially for the keiki. Waianae’s youth will also benefit from the $100,000 slated for the After-School All-Stars athletic initiative. The acclaimed Searider Productions Foundation, known for its digital media expertise, will receive $110,000 for a hospitality-training program for Mākaha, Ko‘Olina, and Kapolei.

For the first time, the Wai‘anae Coast Community Foundation received approval for a $68,200 state grant to implement community events like Sunset on the Beach, Toys for Tots, food distribution, and other events.

“For years, I’ve heard their voices and the passion in them,” said Sen. Shimabukuro. “I am glad to help bring the community together in acquiring these much needed funds and resources. This is long overdue.” Other funding highlights include $151,000 and three permanent positions for Nānākuli Library, $2.5 million for the Youth Challenge Academy at Kalaeloa, and $800,000 for Nānākuli Voice of America Phase 1 Infrastructure by DHHL, all located in Sen. Shimabukuro’s district on the Wai‘anae Coast.

Additionally, Rep. Gates passed House bill HB845 which garnered $25,000 to require the Department of Public Safety, in collaboration with agencies to issue civil identification cards and to assist inmates in obtaining their birth certificate, Social Security card, and other relevant identification necessary for successful reentry into society.

Weary residents may find relief with the over $20 million in Capital Improvement Projects dedicated to Wai‘anae Coast transportation infrastructure and pedestrian safety, approved yesterday by the legislature. The rehabilitation of the Mākaha and Kaupuni bridges, the fifth-lane road extension study from Kalaeloa to Hakimo Road, and the bikeway from Waipio Point to Lualualei Naval Road will significantly help the community travel within and out of the area.

Wai‘anae Coast residents will also see agricultural park improvements, a Marine Science learning center and a rubberized, all-weather track and field for Waianae High School; crosswalk improvements, traffic signal cameras, and highway widening for efficient traffic flow, and finally, plans for the land acquisition, design, and construction of the Wai‘anae Coast secondary access road.

Lawmakers Rep. Gates and Sen. Shimabukuro, who are members of their respective finance committees, also helped garner over $100 million for projects that will benefit Leeward Oahu tremendously. UH West Oahu improvements, $18 million for Kalaeloa Airport, Kupuna care and early learning initiatives, $3 million for Kalaeloa Enterprise Avenue Energy Corridor, charter school enrichment, homeless outreach, HI Farmers Union United programs, mental illness and health care treatment programs are among those approved by the legislature’s finance committees. All will have a lasting and positive impact on the state as a whole.

Rep. Gates and Sen. Shimabukuro represent House District 44 and Senate District 21 respectively. Together, their districts encompass the Wai‘anae Coast of Mākua, Mākaha, Wai‘anae, Mai‘li, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale,
Ko ‘Olina, and Nānākuli. Both agree that the Wai‘anae Coast is not the only community in the state that deserves funding, but according to Rep. Gates, “it is our responsibility to make sure that our district residents receive their fair share and the support they deserve.”

Here are some of the highlights from HB100 CD1, the final version of the 2017 Budget:

TRANSPORTATION:

$3m Farrington Highway 5th Lane Extension Study / Traffic Solutions for Waianae Coast

$3m 2nd Access Road / Traffic Congestion Relief (Funding for Rep. Cedric Gates’ second acces bill, HB1378)

$400,000 Leeward Bikeway/Multi-Use Path from Waipio to Lualualei Naval Rd

$92m Highway, intersection, and other traffic improvements – statewide

EDUCATION

$1.75m / $650,000 Waianae High School rubberized all-weather track and field and marine science learning center

$151,000 and 3 permanent positions: Nanakuli Library

$75,000 Read to Me International Foundation GIA

$158m DOE facilities maintenance and improvements; ground and site improvements; new facilities; equipment and appurtenances; classroom renovations – statewide

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & JOB TRAINING

$110,000 Searider Productions Foundation GIA

$40,000 Marimed Foundation for Island Health Care Training GIA

$2.5m Magnet school development with industry partners

$2.5m UHWO improvements and library

HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

$68,200 Waianae Coast Community Foundation GIA

$500,000 Medical treatment for homeless with serious mental illness

$250,000 ID card obtainment for homeless (civil legal service assistance)

$54m Rental Housing Trust Fund, Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund, and Low Income Housing Tax Credit Loans

HEALTH

$850,000 Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC) dental building expansion

$200,000 Project Vision HI GIA

$150,000 Life Foundation GIA

HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS

$800,000 Nanakuli Voice of America Phase 1 Infrastructure by DHHL

$200,000 Pacific Islanders in Communication GIA

$45,000 Polynesian Voyaging Society GIA

WATER & LAND

$10m Makaha Bridges Replacement

$1.5m Kaupuni Stream Bridge Rehabilitation

$18m Kalaeloa Airport improvements

AGRICULTURE

$500,000 Waianae Agricultural Park Improvements

$1.5m Slaughterhouse Facility

$90,000 HI Farmers Union United GIA

PUBLIC SAFETY & MILITARY AFFAIRS

$1.75m Youth Challenge Academy at Kalaeloa and Hawaii Island operating expenses

$800,000 Youth Challenge Academy at Kalaeloa building improvements

$25,000 ID card assistance for prisoners being released

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

$3m Kalaeloa Enterprise Avenue Energy Corridor

$200,000 Kupu GIA

$9.9m Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund

Sen. Shimabukuro’s SB-502 IVF Equal Coverage Bill Update 4/24/17

Bill seeks in-vitro fertilization coverage equality
By Taylor Polson
Star-Advertiser, April 12, 2017

Lawmakers are once again considering a measure to require insurance companies to offer in-vitro fertilization coverage to same-sex couples, unmarried couples and unmarried women.

Advocates of the measure say the current system amounts to discrimination because only married, heterosexual couples currently qualify for the benefit.

Planned Parenthood, in supporting Senate Bill 502, wrote that, at present, “insurance coverage discriminates against and essentially restricts a person’s reproduction based on their sex, sexual orientation and/or marital status. This kind of discrimination simply has no place in Hawaii law.”

The LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party also offered testimony in strong support of the measure, which passed the state Senate and is up for a vote in the House this week.

Sen. Maile shimabukuro (D, Kalaeloa-­Waianae-Makaha), who introduced the bill, said this is the third session at which such legislation has been presented. She said similar measures weren’t passed in previous sessions in part because insurance companies were concerned about expenses.  Continue reading

2017 Neighborhood Board Elections April 28 – May 19

All eligible voters are encouraged to cast their vote for their neighborhood board representatives. The list of Neighborhood Board candidates as well as their profiles are on the NCO main page and a list of all contested seats is here.

The voting period is from Friday, April 28 through Friday, May 19. The main method of voting is online; however voters may request paper ballots. Results of the elections will be released no later than June 1, 2017.

Star-Advertiser: ‘Gold bars use kiawe as base’ 3/28/17

By Jason Genegabus
Star-Advertiser 3/28/17

I love discovering products that are both good for me and make me feel good about buying them. ‘Ai Pohaku’s Waianae Gold ‘Aina Bars fit that description, with two types of treats made with an unlikely ingredient common throughout the islands.

‘Aina Bars in 6 oz containers. Wai’anae Gold ‘Aina Bars are a rich slow burning energy food. Perfect for the long run.

According to ‘Ai Pohaku founder Vince Kana‘i Dodge, kiawe trees have grown in Hawaii for nearly two centuries but were never used for food. Dodge discovered in 2006 that indigenous people from the southwestern United States milled mesquite wood into flour; he also traveled to Argentina in 2012 to visit with the indigenous Wichi, who have used kiawe flour for hundreds of years.

Vince Kana‘i Dodge, Tel. 808-478-6492, Email aipohaku@hotmail.com

Dodge’s two ‘Aina Bars are made with kiawe bean-pod flour, organic ground peanuts and organic raw honey. Blondie bars then add Hawaiian sea salt; Brownie bars use organic cacao for a chocolate note.

While kiawe flour produces a noticeable grittiness, the peanuts and honey balance things out and make it seem like you’re eating an energy bar.

Find the bars at Oahu Down to Earth stores. A 6-ounce container of Blondies is $10.79; Brownies are $12.39; a 50-50 mix is $11.59. They’re also sold at the Waianae Store, Kahumana Cafe Store and Kokua Market. Call 478-6492 or visit waianaegold.com for info.

Read the full article on the Star-Advertiser site.

Summary of Transportation Update Meeting on 03/13/17

  
Speakers at the 03/13/17 Transportation Update meeting hosted by the Ahupua`a O Nanakuli Homestead (AONH) included, L-R: Sen. Shimabukuro, DOT Deputy Director-Highways Edwin Sniffen, DHHL Deputy Director William Aila Jr., Rep. Gates, Jewelynn Kirkland (AONH), and Rep. Tupola.

Aloha! Here is a summary of the Transportation Update Meeting on 03/13/17.

In regards to the 2nd Access, DOT will study it, and DHHL will also work on it. One thought is to turn the existing Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR) into a more accessible road. The city is considering expanding the use of WCEAR beyond emergencies, to include other events, such as road work.   

In terms of the WCEAR, DHHL plans to work on an EIS to extend it from Helelua St. to Nanakuli Ave. They are drawing up plans and talking to homeowners. DOT plans to provide solar powered flashing signs to direct drivers to the WCEAR, and alert drivers about traffic delays.

DOT is also focusing on improving Farrington Highway congestion. They will try to find ways to continue the contraflow after its December 2017 projected end date, by making use of the 1.2 mile turn lane they are now constructing for contraflow. Further, DOT will continue to push to extend the turn/contraflow lane to Hakimo Road.  

Questions were raised about the need to synchronize the traffic lights. DOT responded that they are installing traffic cameras and heat sensors at Nanakuli Ave, Haleakala Ave, and Helelua St. These measures should help to improve traffic flow.

Questions were also raised about why DOT is expending funds on another traffic study rather than improvements. DOT explained that they must conduct an updated study to obtain federal funds. 

Contact me with your concerns at 586-7793. Have a Happy Easter!