The coming months promise to be exciting and busy for members of the Ko`olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club.  We look forward to all of the good fun, fellowship and work of our club in our projects, programs and activities.

If you are a member and are interested in participating in any of these, please contact our civic club office at 235-8111.  If you are not yet a member, we invite you to join our club, which is open to all who have aloha for our islands, our people and our Hawaiian culture.  Here are some of the happenings:

Next general membership meeting
Our next meeting is open to all – we invite you to bring a friend or family member and join us at the Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center on Ha`iku Road (across from the entrance to Ha`iku Plantations).  Our potluck begins at 6 p.m., followed by our meeting at 6:30 p.m.  For the October meeting, we have invited Herb Lee of the Pacific-American Foundation to brief us on the many projects his organization is pursuing here in Ko`olaupoko.  We will also be hearing from other special guest speakers.

Ha`iku Valley
We are continuing our discussions with OHA and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in the hopes that our non-profit partner, Ko`olau Foundation, can become the curator of this important wahi pana. OHA’s board has still not decided if it will pursue acquisition of the property from the Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands.  The Ko`olau Foundation Board of Directors has approved various procedures and a preliminary budget request as requested by OHA to establish preparedness for assumption of curatorship of the property, should it be transferred (via license) from DHHL to OHA.  They are currently working on completion of a business plan.

He`eia Wetlands/Lo`i Kalo Restoration Project
Representatives of Kako`o `Oiwi, Ko`olaupoko HCC and the Ko`olau Foundation were on hand recently to great visitors from “Ulupono”, which is a potential funder of the lo`i project.  They receive their monies from the philantrophy of E-Bay founder Pierre Omidyar, whose particular interest has been in supporting sustainable agricultural enterprises here in the islands.  It was a good meeting and we are hopeful that their support will be forthcoming.

O`ahu Council, Association of Hawaiian Civic Club – Elections coming!
Because our club will be entitled to have at least 17 delegates to the upcoming convention, we are encouraging our members to participate in the Oct. 2nd general meeting of the O`ahu Council in the Ching Center on the Chaminade campus in Kaimuki.  Anyone who is interested in attending the convention and/or is available to attend the O`ahu Council meeting is urged to contact Mahealani at 226-4195 or via e-mail asap.

Ko`olaupoko Ahupua`a Calendar Project
We have been informed that Hawaiian Electric Charities has awarded a grant to our club to develop a 2011 Ko`olaupoko Ahupua`a Calendar.  Shandry Lopes will serve as project manager, and is already working with a photographer to gather the ahupua`a images we will need for the calendar.  Jill Akana will serve as graphic artist and will lay out the material.

Distinguished Kama`aina Book Project
Mahealani Cypher, Jill Akana and Janine Tully are hard at work gathering material for our publication of the 24 distinguished kama`aina recognized by the Ko`olaupoko HCC for their contributions to the Kane`ohe bay region.  We hope to have the book published and ready for distribution by the time of our annual dinner on Dec. 11th. 

Hawaiian Memorial Park Expansion
The Ko`olaupoko HCC general membership, at its Sept. 7, 2010, general meeting, voted to support the following position regarding proposed expansion of Hawaiian Memorial Cemetery in Kane`ohe: 

“The Ko`olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club includes, among its objects and purposes, ‘to preserve, protect and restore, when possible, our wahi kapu and wahi pana.’ Toward this end, our civic club has offered testimony regarding our concerns abuot the preservation of the heiau complex known as Kawa`ewa`e located in the `ili of Kawa`ewa`e, Kane`ohe.

“Our civic club supports the preservation and protect of Kawa`ewa`e Heiau complex and urges all decision-makers to take into account our mana`o when considering any proposal that may affect this important wahi kapu.  We appreciate the efforts of the property owner to address our earlier concerns by the removal of their proposal to extend Lipalu Street, and the creation of a cultural preserve for the heiau area.

“In the matter of proposed expansion of Hawaiian Memorial Park Cemetery, our club does not oppose expanding the capacity of the cemeter.  Our members, and others in our community, are deeply concerned that, as our population ages, the need for adequate cemetery space will grow.

“But we are also concerned for the people who live in the community around the property that would be affected by any land use changes.  We strongly urge that any improvements or land development changes proposed by the cemetery company not adversely affect the health and safety of this community.”

Proposed new Sewer Force Main between Kane`ohe and Mokapu:
Our civic club is closely monitoring the City’s plans to install a new sewer main to connect wastewater systems in Kane`ohe with the Mokapu Sewage Treatmetn Facility.  Two alternatives proposed by the City’s consultants include a force main under Kane`ohe bay, from Waikalualoko to Mokapu; or a tunnel through what they call “Oneawa Hills”.

A representative of our club, Mahealani Cypher, has raised concerned about both alternatives.  She said the City was unable to guarantee that there would be no leaks from the pipeline if it was installed under the bay; nor could they assure no adverse impacts on existing structures located on the ridge dividing Kane`ohe and Kailua.  She has asked that the City revisit the possibility of using the Mokapu Saddle Road alignment for the force main, which has the least environmental impact on the ocean or land resources.  Their consultant has assured us that they will re-evaluate their earlier cost estimates and impact assessments for this route.

Proposed Transfer of New Military Aircraft Units to Marine Corps Base Hawai`i
The Navy has begun community meetings regarding a proposed plan to relocate new aircraft units to the Marine Base at Mokapu. This would involve the assignment of about 1200 military personnel and civilian employees, and 1100 family members to the base. 

Members of the civic club have raised concerns about the potential adverse impacts of this proposal – including the continuing lack of affordable rentals in the Kane`ohe bay region.  When new military personnel are assigned to Mokapu, they tend to find rentals in the nearby communities and – with their housing allowances – have been able to compete successfully to obtain rentals (at higher prices), making it harder for local families to find rentals in this area. 

The civic club has asked that the Navy prepare a socio-economic and cultural impact study before any new transfer of military units to the base and, if adverse effects are indicated, that mitigation plans be developed and implemented in advance of any new personnel being assigned to the base.

Posted Sept. 17, 2010:

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