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Waimea Community Association Meeting Set For Thursday

October 5, 2021, 1:48 PM HST
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The Waimea Community Association will host its next Virtual Town Meeting from 5:30-7 pm on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. 

Topics will feature the protection and management of watersheds, as well as how to deliver safe, potable water at a time when climate changes can threaten supply. The meeting will include an update from the County Department of Water Supply on significant potable infrastructure projects and repairs in the Waimea region, followed by watershed protection program insights from The Kohala Center.

The meeting will next offer a glimpse of a little-known nonprofit, Terraformation, represented by its founder Yishan Wong, the stated vision of which is to bring Silicon Valley technology expertise to the climate movement. Wong recently completed construction of the world’s largest, fully off-grid 100% solar-powered desalination system on Hawai’i Island to alleviate water shortages that hinder arid ecosystem restoration. This relieves a key bottleneck that has prevented mass reforestation from closing the gap on comprehensively solving climate change. 

WCA’s virtual town meeting will be streamed “live” on WCA’s Facebook page and all are welcome to log on.

The meeting will be saved to Facebook and YouTube for on-demand viewing thereafter. Also, questions are welcome, preferably in advance. Send emails to [email protected].com. Questions can also be typed into the Facebook “chat” during the meeting and will be addressed as time permits. 

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WCA’s October Virtual Town Meeting will also include a mixed plate of news about important events, opportunities, pandemic safety and ways to get involved. 

Meeting Rundown

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The meeting will begin with a brief overview by Greg Chun, Ph.D., with UH Center of Maunakea Stewardship, of the draft Maunakea Master Plan. The plan, which is available for review and community comment by Oct. 26 can be found at https://maunakea.konveio.com/.

Next up will be Hawai’i County Redistricting Commission member Meizhu Lui on the process in progress for realigning County Council district boundaries with the 2020 Census. She will share how the community can participate in the process, including using an online tool to draft proposed new County Council district maps. Following redistricting will be Dr. Crystal Hammer with a COVID-19 update on behalf of Queen’s North Hawai’i Community Hospital. 

Then, WCA’s spotlighted not-for-profit for October — West Hawai’i Mediation Center — will be represented by Kate Sims, who will discuss a new state law regarding eviction mediation. The intent of the law is to try to prevent evictions and more homelessness throughout the island’s and state’s already tight, high-cost housing market through mediation, as well as counseling and referrals to a variety of possible support programs and services. 

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Next up will be a proposal to “Pink It Up Waimea!” to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It will be presented by Tammy Muranaka who, along with both Waimea Elementary and Waimea Middle Schools, is urging the entire community to wear PINK on Friday, Oct. 8. 

Following her will be WCA Board member Mary Beth Laychak, briefing the community on a new Hawai’i Science Walk that will replicate the annual Waimea Solar Walk along Ala ‘Ohi’a Road with a series of free videos highlighting science from across Hawai’i Island. The videos will be accessible via a QR code on the sidewalk that will link to a wide range of topics — from humpback whales to the Alala (the Hawaiian black crow – a keystone species now extinct here in the wild) to wayfinding and astronomy. The new Waimea Science Walk is a partnership involving the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the W.M. Keck Observatory, Thelma Parker Library, UH Institute for Astronomy and many others. It will be accessible to the entire community in late October.

Council members Heather Kimball and Dr. Tim Richards will then provide a county issues update, and then it’s all about water with Keith Okamoto, P.E., Manager-Chief Engineer with DWS, followed by a trio from The Kohala Center including Liam Kernell, Mahina Patterson and Jake Merkel, and then Yishan Wong w/ Terraformation. 

‍Also on the virtual town meeting agenda will be an update by Waimea Community Policing representatives. 

For more info about the meeting or community association, email WCA President James Hustace at [email protected] or go to www.WaimeaTown.org.

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