Keiki Corners Set Up at Family Court to Support Children and Families

This is one of the children’s keiki corners at the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei. There is one keiki corner on the 2nd floor open to the public and a play area on the 3rd floor dedicated for the children involved in the Zero to Three Court. A third keiki corner is planned to open in the next couple of months.

This is one of the children’s keiki corners at the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei. There is one keiki corner on the 2nd floor open to the public and a play area on the 3rd floor dedicated for the children involved in the Zero to Three Court. A third keiki corner is planned to open in the next couple of months.

The Hawaii State Judiciary partnered with the William S. Richardson School of Law Child Welfare Clinic to set up keiki corners at the Ronald T.Y Moon Judiciary Complex, or Family Court, in Kapolei. These areas are aimed at supporting children and families while waiting for a court proceeding.

Three clinic students, Jacqueline Camit, Jamie Lyn Leonardi, and Grace Baehren, initially created a space for the children participating in the Zero to Three court, so the children have a place to play and interact with their parents and siblings. Because of the outpouring of support and donations from the community, the students were able to plan and create comfortable keiki corners in other areas of the court, where children can read and play with toys donated by the community.

“Courthouses can feel very sterile and intimidating, so this space can make a world of difference to a young child and their family,” said Cheryl Marlow, Deputy Chief Court Administrator. “We would like to thank the Friends of the Library, Friends of Family Specialty Court, University of Hawaii at Manoa Children’s Center, and the many organizations and individuals who donated books and toys to support this endeavor.”

Family Court Chief Judge R. Mark Browning said the partnership between the courts and the UH students has been rewarding and powerful. “This is all about our keiki. It is difficult for any child to sit and wait patiently in a court setting. We hope these areas will provide a place for kids to be kids.”

If you have new or gently used toys or books to donate, please contact Malia Alo at Diana.m.alo@courts.hawaii.gov or Tiffany Ige at tige@hawaii.edu.

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HNN: $6 Million for West Oahu Traffic Relief (6/6/16)

The following are excerpts from Jobeth Devera’s “State, City Officials Announce $6 Million to Bring Relief to West Oahu Commuters” (Hawaii News Now, 6/6/16).

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HNN: “Through the efforts of State Senator Maile Shimabukuro and City Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, a total of $6 million will be used for the land acquisition, planning and design for an extension of the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR).”

State and city officials are ramping up efforts to alleviate traffic woes along Oahu’s Leeward coast.

Through the efforts of State Senator Maile Shimabukuro and City Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, a total of $6 million will be used for the land acquisition, planning and design for an extension of the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR).

“If there’s an accident or an emergency, it just compounds and that’s why we have situations where people are stuck in traffic for 6, 8 or 10 hours it’s ridiculous,” said Shimabukuro.

Shimabukuro witnesses first-hand how Farrington Highway becomes a parking lot when any incident disrupts the commutes, like this water main break last summer.

“Traffic is the number one quality of life issue for people on the Waianae coast,” Shimabukuro said.

Currently, an access road opens for Leeward drivers during emergencies between Sea Country or Kaukama Road to Helelua Street.

The $6 million in combined city and state funds will extend the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road further east through the Nanakuli Hawaiian Homestead community.

“We’re hoping to make it a permanent road for them to use all the time,” said Pine.

The project is just one of several solutions to relieve the gridlock.

In February, the state announced it will create a third travel lane for westbound drivers between 3 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, excluding holidays. The mile-long contraflow lane is planned to begin at Piliokahi Avenue and continue past Helelua Street.

In addition, the state Department of Transportation and the City, in partnership with Oceanic Cable, will install traffic cameras at the four busiest intersections for residents to access online — including Piliokahi Avenue, Nanakuli Avenue, Haleakala Avenue and Helelua Street.

“This will allow the city to remotely control those four intersections,” said Shimabukuro.

Preliminary discussions are contemplating the WCEAR extension to be an elevated road at the back of the homesteads with fingers leading into the main arteries.

“This means a lot more hope for the people of Waianae,” Pine said.

Pine and Shimabukuro will be working with DHHL, the City Department of Emergency Management (DEM), the Ahupua’a o Nanakuli Homestead, Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board, Puu Heleakala community associations, Nanakuli Ranch and other stakeholders to plan the extension.

Watch the video and read the full article on the HNN site.