Your Views for September 8

Shipman’s plan

Aloha, Planning Department: I am writing today to ask you to NOT APPROVE any further residential units in Keaau.


1. There are still tens of thousands of undeveloped lots in subdivisions on ex-Shipman land which have not been developed. No paved roads, no electricity, no water, no phone. I could understand adding homes if the lots were all full, but they are not.

2. Thousands of people live in lower Puna, have no escape, as there is only one road to Hilo. Anyone below Ainaloa is trapped if that one road, Highway 130, becomes impassible.

W. H. Shipman has refused to provide alternate access to Hilo, even though almost all substandard subdivisions in the entire Puna district were created from their land with the full knowledge and approval of the county Planning Department. EMERGENCY ROADS BEFORE ANY FURTHER DEVELOPMENT.

3. Instead of providing secondary access to lower Puna, the county is using Puna road money in Hilo to improve Shipman Industrial Park roads for business interests, and this should be investigated. Shipman needs to use Puna road money to pave their industrial park roads, they certainly can’t afford to build 900 more housing units.

4. Both upper and lower Puna flood terribly from old dikes or walls put in illegally and without permits by sugar companies to divert flood waters from sugarcane fields. Please correct the flooding.

5, Once 1 through 4 above have been corrected for the people, then perhaps the county planners can approve new residential construction.

Sara Steiner


Something’s not right

As of Monday, Sept. 3, Civil Defense continues to spend taxpayer money to turn locals and tourists away from ground access to the now-quiescent fissure 8 eruption site ($5,000 fine and/or one year imprisonment).

Instead, they continue to funnel business to the helicopter tour operators who have been relentlessly buzzing our homes and making our lives miserable since early May, while getting fabulously rich in the process. Meanwhile, small businesses in Pahoa are going bankrupt.

At this point, the specious “public safety” argument no longer holds water, if it ever did.

We are not monkeys out here. There is something else going on, and I believe that we are entitled to know what it is. Particularly, we are entitled to know what the relationship is between decision makers in Civil Defense and the those in the helicopter tour industry who radio in the position of “criminal loiterers” in their eruption monopoly zone while buzzing our homes.


John Powers