Your Views f0r March 24

Fixing the ‘eyesore’

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Fixing the ‘eyesore’

In his March 19 letter (Tribune-Herald, Your Views), Tom Goltz described the former Tropical Gardens site on Kamehameha Schools property along Kalanianaole Avenue near the beaches of Keaukaha as an “eyesore.”

While we acknowledge that aesthetically the site has seen better days, we have been working diligently behind the scenes toward removing the deteriorating structures on-site as part of an overall regional plan to join with Keaukaha community members to create educational and cultural opportunities in Keaukaha.

Because this site is located in a culturally and environmentally sensitive area near the shoreline and with a tidal pond on the property, Kamehameha Schools needs to assure things are done right in acquiring the necessary permits and approvals so we are in compliance with the law and other checks and balances while we work toward removal of the structures.

Unfortunately, these things take time, and while we’d like things to move faster, taking shortcuts is not an option.

Fortunately, we recently received a long-awaited approval from the State Historic Preservation Division, allowing us to move forward with permitting. We anticipate removal of the structures to commence within the next couple of months.

We’ve updated the Keaukaha Community Association about the progress of permitting and other site work and will continue to keep the community in the loop when there are significant developments to report.

We also have an ongoing relationship with community policing officers to monitor potential undesirable activity at the site, and we continue to maintain the on-site vegetation.

Focusing on ‘aina-based education and community engagement in the East Hawaii region makes Keaukaha an ideal location to work toward empowering our schools, keiki, ‘ohana and broader lahui.

Alapaki Nahale-a

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Senior director, Hawaii Island

Community Engagement and Resources, Kamehameha Schools

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