As a Kapoho resident for 38 years, it has been difficult to make the adjustment of now having to live elsewhere.
However, Kapoho still exists, not only in the memories of those who lived and worked there, but also in the memories of island residents and visitors who came through the years to enjoy the beauty of Wai‘opae and Kapoho Bay.
The tide pools and the bay have been replaced by a series of wonderful beaches and enclaves from Cape Kumukahi to Pohoiki, and what we need now is connectivity. This is to ease the burden of lower Puna residents who lost their homes, businesses or are still isolated by the flow.
We need to make the effort to reconnect the roads, easing the traffic in Wa‘a Wa‘a, Hawaiian Beaches, Kamaili and Kehena. This will give these residents and visitors to Pohoiki or the “four corners” area more options than one way in and out on narrow roads. We need to create a visitor viewing area near the Highway 132 “Y” area to help restore the suffering businesses of Pahoa.
Finally, we need to address the loss of agricultural land, where 50 percent to 70 percent of Hawaii’s cut orchids and papaya were grown.
The Puna coastline is still a magical place, an area for all of Hawaii to enjoy. It is up to our state and county governments to work tirelessly in an effort to find ways and means to get residents back into their homes and restore roadways and ease the traffic burdens for surrounding communities.
The federal, state and county governments have faced a huge, daunting task in their effort to combat this natural disaster. While it is easy to be critical about the perceived pace of the recovery, we must be appreciative of their overworked, understaffed and underfunded effort to bring our Puna community back because it very important to our health and well-being to begin to feel whole again.
I found myself amazed when reading Suzanne Kaliko’s letter (Tribune-Herald, Jan. 6).
Having been an avid newspaper reader for more than five decades, I find the Tribune-Herald among the best for its balance and highlights of all points of view. The letter that was published from Kathleen Balagot (Tribune-Herald, Jan. 4) I found to be well thought out and thought-provoking — beyond suitable for the commentary section of your paper.
Ms. Kaliko’s response seemed to come from a prior century, perhaps the 17th.
As a subscriber to your paper, I look forward to more young people having their valid thoughts and concerns published for all to consider.
Thank you, and keep up the positive work.