Vanished Island

Is it possible to save these places?

I read your Oct. 23 article “This Remote Hawaiian Island Just Vanished.” We are Alaskans with relatives in Hilo, so we are always interested in the news and well-being of the islands.

Isn’t there a way to “enhance” the island?

I know it costs money, but with all the conservation groups around the world I believe money could be found to help the managers of this site to help stabilize the island and possibly hold gravel and sand.

We’re facing lots of problems here in western Alaska with storms and rising sea levels that destroy native villages. So much so that some villages need to be relocated or abandoned.

This is just my thoughts on your article.

— Scott Jouppi, Juneau, Alaska

Agribusiness Development Corporation

Better transparency, community engagement needed

As former chairperson of the state Board of Agriculture (1988–1994), I played an integral role in establishing the Agribusiness Development Corporation within the Department of Agriculture.

Recognizing the decline of sugar and pineapple, ADC was created to assist with transitioning to diversified agriculture.

For ADC, community outreach is critical to its success. While ADC is doing their best to inform residents and encourage community participation, more can always be done. However, I feel the Oct. 19 article entitled “Surprise Eviction Notices Have This Old Plantation Community Up In Arms” is misleading.

In response to several complaints from the community regarding illegal activities, ADC completed a boundary photo survey revealing encroachments where residents built unpermitted structures beyond their property line. Following recommendations by the attorney general, ADC began the process of securing its property by sending letters requiring residents to remove belongings for safety and liability reasons.

Currently, ADC is working with the affected residents to come up with a process to allow them to continue gardening on state property next to their homes. As a current member of ADC’s board of directors, we look forward to continue working toward better transparency and engaging with the community on this important project.

— Yukio Kitagawa, Wahiawa

City Council Races

Because of rail, choose Kitashima over Elefante

A rising young leader in the business community, Kelly Kitashima for Honolulu City Council District 8, has both razor-sharp business acumen and the much-needed private-sector relationships to help extricate taxpayers from the dizzying $9 billion rail project. Her opponent, Brandon Elefante, has stated that “…a surcharge on the general excise tax should be dedicated to the operation and the maintenance of the rail project.”

Furthermore, he insists “…the city will be able to receive additional transportation monies from the federal government…” (Civil Beat Candidate Q&A: Honolulu City Council District 8, Sept. 13).

However, on the contrary, the feds are rescinding $800 million of matching rail funds if the City cannot cough up $44 million in a few weeks. Yet, there are still no concrete solutions other than taxation; only blame and confusion.

Kitashima, on the other hand, brings transparency, private-sector partnerships and creative business solutions to sealing the rail project’s completion. The haphazard course of financial ruin is the incumbent’s legacy; our communities deserve a bold, new leader that can be decisive, turn the tide, and save our city.

A vested resident and self-proclaimed “super-mom” like Kitashima, who has cut her teeth in the corporate world but remains grounded and passionate for her community, should now step up to bat.

— Kaiwiola Coakley, Honolulu

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