A waste of a trip
On a recent morning, my wife and I loaded up our pickup truck with a weeks worth of green waste and headed for the Kealakehe waste location. As we turned off the highway and neared the police station, we could see the dump site gate was closed. We exited at the police station parking lot and began to check our phones for info why the waste station was closed on a Wednesday morning and more importantly to us a green waste dump day. One of only three days each week a resident can dispose of their green waste in the village.
We learned this was a training day for staff and thus the site was closed (so they would learn more about trash) and we could return again on Saturday (the next day open for green waste) and dump our green waste. Wonderful, now we have a load of green waste that we can drive around Kailua with from today until Saturday. Maybe we should drive the green waste up to the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill in Waikoloa, wait for them to grind it up, and drive it back too the Kealakehe dump just like the county does every day. Now that makes a lot of sense. What happened to grinding the waste up at Kealakehe site and dumping it in the open field next door, eliminating the round trip to Waikoloa and back? This is called waste makes waste.
Although we were off island until April 19, I did not see any announcements regarding closing of the dump. And I can tell you while we sat in the police department parking lot doing our research we saw car after car after pickup come up the road with the belief the dump was open.
I hope the new administration will find better ways to offer our citizens their needed and well-used services and how about some communications. At a minimum, there should have been an advance sign on the dump road announcing the closure a week or more in advance.
The county needs that money
Mayor Mitch Roth wants to ask Gov. David Ige to veto a pending bill in the state Legislature that would allow the state’s four counties to levy their own hotel taxes. The county is hurting financially because of the pandemic. The county needs these tax dollars. Let the visitors help pay for our island. After all, we give them nice beaches with “free” parking and our tax dollars are used for lifeguards at these beaches to keep everyone safe. Don’t overburden our overtaxed locals to support everything. Roth said the bill places an intolerable strain on the island’s hospitality industry, which already has been pushed to its limits by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotel industry represents a large percentage of the county’s working population, he said, meaning Big Island residents will suffer the most if visitors stay away to avoid higher taxes.
Don’t worry Mayor Roth, the tourists to the Big Island will keep coming because they have plenty money and this little transient accommodations tax (TAT) will not keep them away.
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