My Turn: Show us what you’ve got

The Hawaii County Council needs to take a serious cue from Maui County Council, which has in the past five years morphed from being a voice for pro-development, pro growth, and pro tourism sector into fostering balanced growth, environmental protection with more focus on the local residents.

My Turn: Priorities, priorities

For decades, the public fought against developer-generated and wildly unsustainable growth that was drowning North and South Kona. In the early 2000s, residents turned anger into action, creating a land use plan based on Smart Growth principles. For North and South Kona, this meant passage of the Kona Community Development Plan (KCDP) — an award-winning land use plan made law to change the paradigm of unplanned growth. Inexcusably, the public’s hands have remained tied to a process that saps their energy and good will — with no results. Would the Roth administration prioritize and follow the KCDP as promised, or sideline it to death? That question was answered recently with the administration’s indefinite suspension of all county-organized CDP Action Committee meetings.

My Turn: Kona Open Space Network planning continues

This letter is in regards to the Aug. 24 front-page article “Citizen Panels Put on Hold.” The article was critical of the suspension of advisory committee meetings and holdovers with expired terms. I am one of the holdovers for the Kona Community Development Plan Action Committee (KCDP AC). I have been serving on this volunteer Committee since 2014 through three different administrations. I too am waiting for someone to replace me. However, I also know that it is never a good thing to have eight out of nine members replaced at once because you lose the institutional knowledge of the group.

My Turn: Priorities, priorities

For decades, the public fought against developer-generated and wildly unsustainable growth that was drowning North and South Kona. In the early 2000s, residents turned anger into action, creating a land use plan based on Smart Growth principles. For North and South Kona, this meant passage of the Kona Community Development Plan (KCDP) — an award-winning land use plan made law to change the paradigm of unplanned growth. Inexcusably, the public’s hands have remained tied to a process that saps their energy and good will — with no results. Would the Roth administration prioritize and follow the KCDP as promised, or sideline it to death? That question was answered recently with the administration’s indefinite suspension of all county-organized CDP Action Committee meetings.

My Turn: A special day for special people

This morning (Saturday) was a special day for me. I spent the morning swimming the coast line, starting at Kahalu’u Beach. After arriving on shore, to my surprise, a beautiful event made me smile: “Surf for Special Needs.”

My Turn: Ball dropped again during wildfire

During last year’s disastrous Mana Road fire, a lack of timely, accurate and complete information led to confusion and fear for those of us in the path of that fire in Waikoloa. Compounding the problem was inaccurate information about the condition of the emergency evacuation route on social media that contributed to massive gridlock on the only paved road out of the community (gridlock resulted in numerous deaths in Paradise, CA, during the 2018 Camp Fire).

As I See It: Doing business in Hawaii

Hawaii has a reputation as a notoriously difficult place to start a business. Kicking out astronomy won’t help. There are several impediments, some unavoidable, some hard to fix and some just plain stupid. Isolation is the unavoidable one. Some 2,600 miles of ocean makes obtaining supplies more difficult. The cost per ton mile is low but the cost and delay of removing cargo from the truck or train and securing it on a ship then transferring it to another truck can be significant. If the cargo is bound for a “bruddah” island, that is other than Oahu, repeat. Neighbor island sounds to me like we’re not part of the state. Same thing with deliveries between the “sistah” islands, and the Capitol, you can’t just drive over and drop something off.