Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Natural disasters and traffic a big concern of Nanakuli residents

Natural disasters and traffic congestion were were a few of many concerns reiterated throughout Rep. Karen Awana's "Lawmaker's Listen" in Nanakuli last night with House leadership and committee chairs.

Photo (L-R): Kaiawe Makanani, Rep. Awana, Kimo Kelii.

Constituents asked the lawmakers to do more and work more swiftly to guard the Waianae Coast and all its residents from being completely wiped out in a natural disaster. It's time to stop pointing fingers and just get it done, one constituent said. Another asked the lawmakers whether nearby communities could even handle the intake of 30, 000 displaced residents, less than half of current residents, during a natural disaster. Because Kapolei and Makakilo wouldn't be capable of bearing the burden, the Waianae Coast must be self-sustainable, he said. He suggested more safe haven structures on the coast for residents to go to during a natural disaster.

Traffic was another hot topic last night. Some residents opposed the addition of car lanes to Farrington Highway. They feared for the safety of neighborhood children who already risk getting hurt by sprinting across the freeway to school. It would be harder to cross the highway and children will have to run faster across the lanes before getting hit. A school cross guard also mentioned the urgent need for more children crossing signs and school crosswalk lights.
One resident suggested the State develop a zipper lane solely for drivers heading to Nanakuli, Waianae, Ewa Beach and Waipahu. He said that it didn't matter if there was only one entrance from Honolulu because people would use it and it would alleviate traffic on H1 during rush hour.

Other concerns including the need for more frequent landfill and waste water treatment plant inspections and monitoring policies, and assistance with legislation that can help retain teachers at community public schools.

Photo (L-R): Kamaki Kanahele, Rep. Awana, Aunty Aggie Cope.

At the end of the meeting, Speaker Calvin Say urged the crowd to follow up with the representatives and persevere to see a project through. He told the audience that legislators and staff will work hard to address their concerns and that the public is an important part of making the magic happen at the Capitol.

Photo (Center): House leadership and committee chairs joined Rep. Karen Awana at a "Lawmakers Listen" community meeting in Nanakuli to listen to public concerns. (L-R) Rep. Awana, Rep. Shimabukuro, Rep. Mizuno, Vice Speaker Chong, Speaker Say, Majority Leader Caldwell, Rep. M. Oshiro, Rep. Brower, and Rep. Ito.

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