Tuesday | December 12, 2017
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The Food Basket working hard to serve community

The Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food pantry, is doing good work, and expanding their backpack program. By reaching out to schools with the highest percentage of free and reduced lunches — some over 90 percent — The Food Basket helps make sure that keiki have nutritious food to eat over the weekends. Thanks for your help spreading the word; it makes a difference.


Rep. Mark Nakashima would like to remind seniors 60-plus living in the Hamakua area about the Elder Law Clinic to be presented by the Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office and the Legal Aid Society. The clinic will be held at the North Hawaii Education and Research Center (NHERC) in Honokaa on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. It will include discussions on preventing elder abuse and a presentation on Advanced Health Care Directives and Durable Power of Attorney. For more information, call the Elder Abuse Unit at 961-0466.

Rep. Nakashima would also like to pass on some “Beware of Fraud” tips from the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA): (a) never let anyone in your home that you don’t know or you aren’t expecting, (b) consider having a second line of defense at your front door (such as a locked screen door or a security chain), (c) never give personal information about yourself over the phone, and (d) do not give your credit card number unless you made the call and are dealing with a reputable business that you have done business with before. If you are interested in receiving more tips, please call 974-4000, extension 6-6680, or email him at repnakashima@capitol.hawaii.gov.


Here’s news from Patti Cook’s North Hawaii Community Calendar to share three important-to-Waimea projects which include: Keoki Magoon’s Greenwood Center; ‘Ouli Park and Liquid Robotics.

Keoki Magoon’s Greenwood Center will soon begin construction on vacant land across Mamalahoa Highway from the Waimea schools. Recent road improvements in the area have been completed by the developer as required and include tying together pedestrian-friendly public sidewalks from the adjacent Carter Professional Center to improvements near the main intersection. This project has been in planning for a number of years and both the property owner and architect have worked closely with Waimea Community Association’s Planning and Design Review Committee to address community design elements including visual and landscape plans.

Greenwood Center is designed to become a small retail center that uses a “main street concept” to create a sense of place that provides a more appropriate architectural composition sensitive to the local and traditional townscape of Waimea.

A presentation was made at the previous Waimea Community Association meeting to secure community input on a proposal to develop a management plan for a small 8-acre linear nature park, tentatively called ‘Ouli Park, though for many, still nicknamed “Clark Park” because the land was donated to the community by the Clark family. The project is a collaboration of People’s Advocacy For Trails Hawaii (PATH), Waimea Trails and Greenways and Ka ‘Ahahui o Ka Nahelehele, a native dryland forest advocacy not-for-profit. Nahelehele has secured two small grants including one from the Richard Smart Fund, to develop a management plan and possibly begin park development.

‘Ouli Park as envisioned is a passive park that could serve as the western terminus for the Waimea Trails and Greenways. The park project’s goals include creating a showcase of native trees, plants and shrubs that are present or previously existed in the area, as well as a demonstration of best management practices of watershed as Keanu‘i‘omanu Stream spans the length of the 8-acre parcel. There are many issues to be addressed including safe vehicle access to the site, archaeological features, safety concerns, boundary delineation (the park boundary is the center line of the stream), wildfire, etc.

Presenting the project was Waimea environmental planner Mike Donoho with Kukui Planning. Donoho has already begun going door-to-door in the nearby Kamuela View Estates subdivision to seek input from neighbors, and has also met with County planners and rancher Freddy Rice who holds the lease on adjoining property.

Also of interest to the Waimea community is Liquid Robotics, a Kawaihae and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based ocean data services provider and developer of the Wave Glider®, the world’s first wave-powered, autonomous marine robot designed to help address some of the biggest challenges the world faces, including global climate change, hurricane and tsunami warning, and offshore energy and resource management. Because of their energy independence, Wave Gliders are able to persistently gather and communicate ocean data on a far broader scale and with greater timeliness than ever before, at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. They open up new abilities to conduct groundbreaking scientific research, map and explore for resources and protect marine assets.

First introduced in 2009, Wave Gliders have since traveled more than 350,000 nautical miles and have set a world record for longest distance traveled by an autonomous surface vehicle. Liquid Robotics has received numerous international awards for their pioneering achievements in energy harvesting ocean robots. From the Arctic to the Equator, Wave Gliders are expanding understanding of the world’s oceans, upon which we are dependent for the health of our environment, food, trade and economics.

Liquid Robotics’ local outreach and community collaborations are centered on malama ‘aina, or caring for the land as stewards, and include local public and private schools, the University of Hawaii, Kailapa Community Association, South Kohala Conservation Action Plan and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among others.

The Liquid Robotics Test and Engineering facility is in Kawaihae, and the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale. To learn more, go to: www.liquidr.com.

Carol Yurth’s column is published every Sunday and spotlights activities on the Hilo-Hamakua coast. She welcomes items for her column. Reach her by mail (46-1250 Kalehua Road, Honokaa HI 96727) at least 10 days before the requested publication date, call her at 775-7101, or e-mail waiukahenutz@gmail.com.


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