Northern Notes: 04-29-19

Legislative, council and county budget meeting Thursday

They say “the devil is in the details” and it’s especially true with public policy – including taxes.

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Waimea Community Association’s Town Meeting in Waimea School Cafeteria will dig into the devilish details of the just concluded 2019 State Legislature at 5:15 p.m. Thursday. It will also look at the current County Council, including their focus on rebuilding after a series of severe natural disasters impacted the island, plus priority projects and a deeper look at the mayor’s proposed $573 million county budget.

Providing the legislative review will be Rep. David Tarnas, who just hours earlier will have participated in “sine die” – the official conclusion of session at the State capitol. He will review accomplishment and disappointments and some of the background including what to expect in terms of the governor’s review and approval process.

Then, Council Chair Aaron Chung will share personal insights on the now 5-month old county legislative body, providing a glimpse of “the personnel capital” of council members.

“I’m very impressed by the quality and diversity of skills and life experiences that this council embodies; it ensures that a balanced perspective is brought to bear as we work through addressing our county’s needs, challenges and aspirations,” said Chair Chung.

Then, Chair Chung and North-South Kohala Councilman Dr. Tim Richards will dig into the Mayor’s proposed county budget, which reflects a significant increase in proposed spending – going from the current fiscal year budget of $518 million to a proposed $573 million.

There will be time for questions and answers.

Info: www.WaimeaTown.org or www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation or email Patti Cook at cookshi@aol.com or call 937-2833.

Ige releases funds to buy land for Waikoloa library

Gov. David Ige has released $1.9 million in capital improvement project funds to buy a 1.750-acre parcel for a new Waikoloa Public Library.

“I am very grateful to the governor for releasing these funds to purchase the land where the future Waikoloa Public Library will be built,” said Rep. David A. Tarnas (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala) in a press release. “The Waikoloa community has been working on this project for many years, led by the dedicated volunteers of the Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region. We still have much to do and I know the Waikoloa community will continue the hard work needed for this project to succeed.”

Once the parcel is purchased by the state, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is required to prepare an environmental assessment for the project and the public will have the opportunity to submit comments. After that, the project will start its design phase during which the community can provide their advice about what should be included in the facility.

Astronomy talk May 13

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“Exploring Planets Orbiting Nearby Stars” will be the topic of guest speaker Courtney Dressing, assistant professor of Astronomy at University of California at Berkeley, from 7-8 p.m. May 13 at HPA’s Gates Performing Arts Center.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The talk is sponsored by the Rob and Terry Ryan Foundation and is free and open to the public.

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