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Saturday, March 30, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs March 30 , 2024

Dr. Kimo Alameda with a Keep  Kaʻū Country sign on March 7, came to  Kaʻū on Thursday to
talk about his candidacy for mayor. Photo from Kimo4mayor.com
 DR. KIMO ALAMEDA CAME TO KAʻŪ on Thursday in his bid for Mayor of Hawai'i Island. In a presentation called Pāhala - Lean on Me, he talked about his style of governance including open and frequent communication with the community, as well as running government more like a business with responsibility to taxpayers. He noted he has never run for public office but has managed county departments and also the largest non-profit health care entity on this island. He described himself as
making fact based decisions and being competent at research.
    He talked about the "almost homeless" to include kupuna whose rent and even hikes in property taxes can lead to departure from their homes. Veterans with. PTSD and women victims of domestic violence often have no place to go. He described foster kids who "age out" as the next homeless. Alameda, who ran the office of Aging in county government and was CEO of the Bay Clinic and is PhD. trained in mental health, said "I have experience to help these people."
    He said the island homelessness "reflects society's shortcomings.: On this island, said Alameda, there is no good mental health system, no good rehabilitation and detox facility." He said he opposes police sweeps of homeless camps without having a place to go. He said clearing people from one place just leads them to go to another place without solving the problem. He noted that there are different types of homeless people, including those with mental health problems, those with drug and alcohol problems and those who simply cannot find a dwelling with the income they have.

Dr. Kimo Alameda in Pāhala on Thursday to talk about his run for mayor. Photo by Julia Neal

   Regarding drugs and alcohol programs, he said the solution is education and reducing demand. He said that with his own children he advises them about the gateway drug of alcohol and described warning signs and several conditions. "You like it" - not so bad, can have some fun. "You want it" - that's the next step, 
so take notice. "You need it" - time to get help.
    Regarding producing more homes on the island, he said there is a need to allow people to build more units on property they already own and said that two additional dwellings could mean one for a farm worker and one for a young couple or a kupuna. It would keep the income from these units in the family.
    One kupuna said he worried that Pāhala would become like Papaikou north of Hilo and said almost all of the old plantation houses there have been sold to people from the outside who have more money, with rocketing prices making it impossible for the next local generation to purchase home for their families.  
    Alameda said he would consider a cap or property tax exemption for kupuna to keep them in their homes.

Dr. Kimo Alameda with his wife and family of seven children.
Photo from kimo4mayor.com
 Regarding appointment of department heads for county government, Alameda said that should he become mayor, he would make sure that the leaders are not only qualified to run county like a business, but also are connected to the community. "I'm not looking for one director to come here fo one four year vacation." He said that in order to find out whether someone loves this place and is committed to this place, ask where the person wants to die. Alameda focused on his background of being born here, having raised seven children here and wanting to die here.

    Former County Councilmember Guy Enriques, of Punalu'u, brought up the issue of the proposal to build 125 accommodations and commercial enterprise at Punalu'u and said that Alameda tepped up to listen to the community's concern about possible overdevelopment of the coast. Alameda said he opposed irresponsible development and questioned the development's alignment with the Ka'u Community Development Plan.
    Amery Silva, a former Miss Kaʻū Coffee and Pāhala resident, said she objected to people moving in and complaining about the lifestyle here and calling the police about noise. "We fish, hunt, raise chickens and dogs."
    Otis Salmo, of Pāhala, brought up the school bus problem, particularly in Ocean View and Alameda said the lack of timely transportation for students was "unacceptable" and that perhaps the county's Hele On free bus system could help more.
    Another concern brought up by a local resident is lighting in the streets. A woman said that streetlights should be brighter. Alameda said the dimming of lights to protect stargazing had gone too far.
    The candidate said that a number of challenges brought up by people who attended the meeting were state and federal issues, like repairs to Hwy 11 and more school buses. He said he would use his "bully pulpit" as mayor to work with government agencies beyond the county.
See more on Alameda and his run for mayor at kimo4mayor.com.

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Sen. Mazie Hirono with the release of the Patsy Mink quarter from the U.S. Mint, honoring
U.S. House of Representatives member who was the first woman of color in Congress and author
of Title IX, which helped to launch gender equity in education and sports. Photo from Hirono

THE PATSY T. MINK QUARTER was released by the U.S. Mint this week, celebrating the life of the first woman of color to serve in Congress. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono made the announcement with University of Hawaii President David Lassner, Hawai'i Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi, and community advocates for gender equity to highlight Mink's legacy as the author of Title IX, and the ongoing importance of gender equity in education.
    "As the first woman of color to serve in Congress, Patsy Mink was a trailblazer who fought to ensure
Patsy Mink quarters are available in rolls
and bags, as well as proof sets.
that generations of girls and women could have every opportunity men have," said Hirono. "Congresswoman Mink's legacy lives on through Title IX, the landmark legislation she authored to outlaw sex-based discrimination in education. As we work to build on the progress she made, I am proud to announce the launch of this quarter honoring Patsy and her legacy, so that people across our state and country can learn more about her life and contributions to the fight for social justice, equality, and civil rights."
    In 2021, Hirono sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging the Mint to include the late Congresswoman Mink in the American Women Quarters Program. She also advocated for a quarter commemorating Edith Kanakaole, which was put into circulation last year.
    Patsy T. Mink quarters are now available for purchase on the U.S. Mint's website. More information is available here.
    Authorized by the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020, the American Women Quarters Program features coins with designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of prominent American women. Contributions come from a wide spectrum of fields including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts. The women honored come from ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds. The Mint will issue five coins with different reverse designs annually over the four-year period from 2022 through 2025.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.