Gate no solution
In late 2018, a gate was installed at the end of Anthurium Street in Fern Acres, restricting access between Fern Acres and Hawaiian Acres.
Fern Acres Community Association Board of Directors made the decision (without stakeholders’ approval) for the gate in an attempt to “mitigate crime and minimize road wear caused by traffic from nonresidents.”
Residents now have to drive almost all the way to the highway, sometimes an additional 15 miles, to get to the next subdivision. I wonder if it has had much impact on crime or road wear.
I own property and have lived in Hawaiian Acres since 1983. Access between the subdivisions has never been restricted.
In 2016, I bought property in Fern Acres. After the gate was installed, I expressed my concern to Larry Roy, board president of Fern Acres Community Association. He told me anyone could have addressed it at board meetings. The meeting agendas aren’t posted, so many stakeholders didn’t know what was being planned. The only public dialog about the gate was on social media. I don’t participate in social media and had no idea.
I suspect the same decision would have been made by the board anyway. Mr. Roy also told me he didn’t need community approval.
Silver lining: The quick, effective response of Hawaiian Acres Road Corp. has been phenomenal. HARC and residents have put in a lot of funds, time and labor toward improvements on Road 1 in Hawaiian Acres. Grading, brush clearing and truckloads of material have resulted in a much-improved roadway.
Proactive people are working toward positive outcomes. I’d like to express my deep appreciation, and hope that the efforts can extend to Hawaiian Acres’ and Fern Acres’ boards in problem solving.
Walls are not solutions.
Grace under pressure
As a New Yorker with close family in Pahoa, I want to give credit where credit is due.
Through months of volcanic activity last summer, and with the horrendous fissure 8 plus the destruction in Lelani Estates, I was sure lives would be lost. Yet, that did not happen despite day after day of uncertainty.
I credit the Civil Defense team for this near-miraculous outcome. Ordinary people usually do not cope well with uncertainty, especially when it goes on week after week.
The outcome could have been much worse, and we need to credit the people who acted repeatedly to prevent the horrors I expected. They know who they are and can bask in the satisfaction of a job done well. But praise and gratitude are warranted.
Kudos to the Civil Defense people, the U.S. Geological Survey and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park staff and all of you who acted sanely during the time of stress.
Visiting in Keaau