Your Views for June 2

Evacuation plan

I read, with annoyance, the article about how the county is looking at creating an evacuation plan in the event of Mauna Loa erupting (Tribune-Herald, May 31).

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The funny thing is, the county still doesn’t have a concrete plan for Puna — the state’s largest cul-de-sac — in the event that Kilauea decides it’s going to go off again!

This was evidenced by the haphazard way they tried to cobble Railroad Avenue into a gravel road from Nanawale through Hawaiian Beaches into Hawaiian Paradise Park. This is still lying dormant, as if waiting for another eruption to get the county to finally do something meaningful for the “road” to come to fruition.

Why does the county only react to situations like this instead of being proactive? I’m still waiting for Railroad Avenue to become an actual road that’s usable on a daily basis to alleviate some of the congestion getting into Hilo. Have you seen the morning traffic?

And what about the oceanfront road from Hawaiian Beaches to Shipman’s property in Keaau? This needs to be completed as a viable alternative, too!

Imagine waking up to a catastrophic event and all of Puna is trying to get out at once. The traffic would be horrendous. This is where the county has failed miserably!

Do we need to wait for another lava event before the county decides to do something we all know needs to be done? Kilauea is more likely to go off than Mauna Loa — duh! Stop wasting time and playing games with endless studies and surveys!

Sean Hannah

Pahoa

Good program

As a recent high school graduate, I believe the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program being administered by the Federal Communications Commission is such a wonderful idea that is especially appreciated by students.

I hope that more is to be done to spread awareness of this program to the people in our community who need it.

Waiakea High School was 100% virtual, so almost all students were dependent on stable internet connections and laptops to get an education. I myself have struggled with my home Wi-Fi system, and have lost connection numerous times throughout my class periods, and even went to school for important virtual events to ensure a more stable connection.

Before virtual learning, I depended heavily on the school’s resource room, with free access to computers and printing services.

Technology today is extremely expensive, and many students depended on in-school technological resources that are extremely limited during the pandemic. Having a $100 discount to purchase a laptop or computer is a large portion of money saved for many struggling students, and a monthly discount on broadband services is such a burden lifted off of many families who now see internet access as a necessity for their jobs and education.

As over 200,000 households are estimated to qualify in the state of Hawaii, it is alarming that more awareness is not being spread about this program being offered. If not for a school assignment, I and others who qualify for this program would not have known about it.

Especially with such limited funds, the urge to apply as early as possible is extremely imminent. Information should be spread as soon as possible through announcements in schools, mailed letters, social media and even through flyers of common public areas.

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Jade Ishimine

Hilo

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