Waimea Community Association to Host Virtual Meeting Feb. 3

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The Waimea Community Association will take up several topics during a meeting this week, including updates on the COVID-19 situation around the Big Island and from Community Policing representatives.

“We’re living in a ‘mixed plate’ world – or so it seems with all that’s happening around us as we wade more deeply into 2022 and the pandemic lingers on,” says a press release from the association announcing the virtual meeting. “So, a ‘mixed plate’ is a perfect description of this week’s Waimea Community Association virtual town meeting menu.”

The virtual meeting is scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3. As usual, the meeting will be streamed on WCA’s Facebook page. Everyone is welcome to log on. The meeting also will be saved to Facebook and YouTube for on-demand viewing thereafter.

“The agenda will include a very diverse sampling of news, challenges and opportunities,” the press release says.


Included in this Thursday’s meeting will be:

  • A COVID-19 update about what the community and island is experiencing and availability of walk-in testing, home test kits, vaccinations, boosters, hospital capacities, quarantine and isolation guidelines, group gathering rules, etc.
  • A legislative update by Sen. Lorraine Inouye about several hot topics under consideration during the 2022 state legislative session, including the Senate’s push to increase the state’s minimum wage from the current $10.10 per hour to $18 per hour by 2026.
  • Updates by Hawai’i County Council members Heather Kimball and Tim Richards about county business, including an update on continuing issues with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • A quick glimpse of the good things happening at Kahilu Theatre and with Kahilu.TV by executive director Sara Nealy. Kahilu Theatre Foundation is WCA’s spotlighted nonprofit for February. Community members are encouraged to consider supporting the theater with a financial contribution this month.
  • An invitation to become a volunteer mentor for students in grades 6-8 at Waimea Middle School. The school’s new mentoring coordinator Ilene Grossman will explain how the program is restarting with strict COVID safety guidelines in place, how mentoring works and why it’s a win-win for students and mentors.
  • News regarding AARP’s free tax preparation service, which is provided annually in partnership with the IRS for kupuna and low-income individuals and families. The pandemic changed how this program operates to ensure everyone’s safety, so procedures will be reviewed.

Wrapping up the meeting will be a briefing about the county securing a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

Heavily focused on helping expand Hawai’i Island agriculture and food production and reducing food imports, the grant is enabling the county to develop an agricultural cluster of businesses, ranchers, farmers and other food producers and services to refine a plan that becomes an application for a much larger grant in the range of $25 million to $75 million throughout a five-year period.


Executive director of the Hāmākua Institute Dennis Flemming, who is part of the county-organized collaboration that applied for the grant, will explain what’s envisioned, including serious data collection to drive decision-making as well as to engage partners from throughout the island’s ag industry.

‍Also on the agenda is an update by Waimea Community Policing representatives.

As always, questions are welcome, preferably in advance. Email questions to [email protected]. Questions can also be typed into the chat during the meeting and will be addressed as time permits.


For more info, email WCA President James Hustace at [email protected] or click here.

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