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    August 2008
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Update After the Highway 130 Meeting

We were called in to have dinner at 5:45, which consisted of chicken katsu, rice and salad or a veggie burger.

Cheryl Soon moderated the panel and began by telling us the CSS process was “an attempt to bring the community in early.”

Approximately 20 of us on the actual panel, however, it appeared that there were about 5 – 9 people that were obviously with the project, however, not on the panel…(I think they were from Oahu)

Brief list of advisors (people that were actually sitted at the tables forming a square):

Wesley Olson, Larry Brown, Neil Erickson, Dan Domizio, Jennifer Perry, Faye Hanohano, Bill Davis, Lorraine Goody, Dina Lau, Susan (didn’t catch last name), Oliver (from shipman didn’t catch last name), Paula Kekauhana, Jon Olson, Emily Naeole, Fred Blas, Roy Takemoto and myself.
(Sorry if I missed anybody)

We first were handed some worksheets that had the following questions:

1. Where in the world are we?
2. Where is Keaau-Pahoa in the State of Hawaii?
3. How do you get around?

(I kid you not)

We also were asked to make a bumper sticker that would best represent your views of Puna. Mine was: “I’m a Punatic…. Get Off My ASS!”

We were given disposable digital cameras (so it was said…but now that I look at these cameras…there is nothing “digital” about them and they are just disposable cameras) and assigned to take 15 pictures in the next month in the following break down:
5 pictures that represent the context of Keaau-Pahoa Area
5 picures of good things about Pahoa that typify area
and 5 things that needs improvement.

We were also given Driving “Logs” and we are to calculate our driving habits from 4:00 AM until we go to sleep for 7 consecutive days sometime between now and the next meeting.

I asked how much this project is costing…. first figure they threw out was $900,000, I then asked for clarification…. and the project is supposed to be done in two phases if I heard it right at a cost of approximately $56 Million.

Now my thoughts are if they already have these numbers….and all these state people came over for the meeting….but didn’t participate other then throw out numbers…. Has this design already been completed?

Who knows…

I did enjoy the way the panel worked together.

Sticky point in the meeting came when it was mentioned that we were not to mention anything confidential to the media.

I had to put my foot down and say something to the effect of: “Hey… this is a public meeting….etc…. Yadda Yadda…. and I told them about this blog and How I would be writing on my personal Blog about this…”

Had one person that was strongly opposed but he later relaxed up a bit about the idea.

Next meeting: Monday September 22 at 6:00 Keaau Community Center

(The vote was 11 – 8 as to whether it should be in Pahoa or Keaau)

Will update if I remember anything more.

Did see candidate Marzi in the audience…. wheres your H-130 response?

I guess I’ll be hearing directly from Blas, Naeole and Hanohano on their thoughts so I’ll excuse them for not sending in any comment on the project;)

Heather Forester from SSFM International in Hilo gave us her card as a contact for further meeting information.  (She was the one that called me last week to remind me of the meeting also)

Interesting looking at what other projects SSFM has been involved with.

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