Your Views for September 3

‘Contractor abuse’

Hurricane Lane dropped a record-setting 50 inches of rain on some parts of the island, causing widespread flooding and property damage. Unfortunately, natural disasters like this one also bring with them the increased likelihood for contractor abuse as Hawaii residents eagerly work to rebuild their homes.

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Unscrupulous contractors might try and take advantage of the recovery efforts. They often prey on unsuspecting homeowners who are desperate to get their lives back in order. It’s critical that references are checked by contacting the Better Business Bureau. Hawaii residents should always be suspicious of any contractor who tries to rush the process or offers unsolicited repairs.

The safest way for property owners to rebuild is to go through the insurance claims process, working with an adjuster to understand legal rights and customer service obligations that companies must satisfy.

Knowledge about the process and insurance claims regulations will empower you in your recovery.

Mark Sektnan

Sacramento, Calif.

Connector road needed

Rain keeps falling, and the Puna District keeps being left behind. All roads to Hawaiian Paradise Park and lower Puna were isolated from Hilo Medical Center on the night of Aug. 24. What would have happened if you had a heart attack that night?

My friend’s daughter, who lives in HPP and was working a part-time job that evening, was stuck in Hilo, and that was a frightening experience no family should have to worry about.

Highway 130 was flooded and the only other county road (the narrow, dangerous road through Hawaiian Acres on Road 8) to lower Puna became treacherously flooded in several places.

There are more than 20,000 people still living in lower Puna, with more than 10,000 in HPP, Orchidland Estates and Ainaloa alone.

We have the Federal Emergency Management Agency evaluating the island now, and this issue of safe, dependable main artery roads to a large population must be addressed right away. We need at least one more dependable state or county road to connect Highway 11 to Highway 130.

County Road 8 in Hawaiian Acres needs much more infrastructure to make it safe. I don’t even like to travel it on a dry day.

Historically, there was a county road from Highway 11 between Keaau and Kurtistown that connected to Orchidland Estates’ 40th Avenue, which then could be connected to Pohaku Drive. Maybe this would be the shortest route to reopen.

Major flooding issues would have to be addressed for any connecting road between Highway 11 and Highway 130, and probably major flood canals need to be built. It is about time such a connecting road be built to handle future deluges like we recently experienced.

I want to see all the politicians getting on this bandwagon and pushing for results. Puna is crying out for help in so many areas.

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Susan Nakamura

Keaau