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Quick Updates

Residents will have noticed the Department of Transportation is finally fixing the roads that were neglected for far too long. It is not much fun to get caught in the construction traffic, but DOT claim the deep road rebuild will last much longer than previous resurfacing projects. Here’s to a smooth future!

The Kahuku Red Raiders finally got the quality football field and track they have long deserved. It was with great pleasure that I joined thousands of fans a few weeks ago to see the state’s finest football team continue its winning tradition on the new turf. Representative Sean Quinlan and I are happy to have been able to secure the funding and to work with the incredible movers and shakers at the school to make it happen.

There is reason to be optimistic about protections for our near shore waters with passage of a carrying capacity pilot program for the heavily used Shark’s Cove and Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District. We also passed a resolution calling for better enforcement against illegal commercial activity on Kaneohe Bay. Critical to supporting better management is the expansion of state conservation officer positions, the DOCARE training academy, and plans for dedicated ocean enforcement officers.

It came as a surprise when No Parking signs were installed on both sides of Kamehameha Highway throughout Malaekahana, thereby restricting public access to the very popular bike path along Gunstock Ranch between Kahuku and Laie. DOT deemed the parking a safety hazard but seems to not have considered the consequences of the parking ban. Now, instead of parking next to the path, people must park across the highway in places like Malaekahana State Park and then hustle across the busy highway. This is a real challenge for seniors and families with strollers and children. I asked DOT to reconsider their decision and to expedite safe alternatives to the current situation.

The Governor has nominated eight members for the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority. They are Kamanamaikalani Beamer, Gary Krug, Rich Matsuda, John Komeiji, Pomaikai Bertelmann, Joshua Mangauil, Paul Horner, and Michelle “Noe Noe” Wong-Wilson. The eight appointed members will serve with three other voting members: a representative from the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the University of Hawaii, and the Mayor of Hawaii County. The Chancellor of UH Hilo will participate as a non-voting member.

Governor appointments to important boards and commissions require the Advice and Consent of the Senate. It is not yet known whether Governor Ige will call the Senate into special session for confirmation hearings within the next few weeks, or if these nominees will serve on an interim basis, subject to approval of the next governor and Senate.

Interim appointments are customarily left for the next regular legislative session; except the Senate does convene special sessions to consider judicial nominations when they occur. We have done so twice this summer and we are expecting to convene once again next month.

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