Support for school
I am a life-long, third-generation Hilo resident, alumnus of E.B. de Silva Elementary, Hilo Intermediate and Hilo High schools. I have a deep love and respect for Hilo, and I’m hopeful that its inevitable growth will be positive.
I support the development of leased state land in Kaumana by Connections Public Charter School for a new campus. The site is ideal for the school’s “green” facility plans, and its agriculture and conservation focus. It makes even more sense with the possibility of proposed residential development in the area.
Why not another site closer to the school’s current population? Connections is a charter school, a school of choice. There is no “district.” Families choose a charter school based on curriculum and other preferences. About half of Connections’ current enrollment happen to be Puna residents. The other half are residents of Hilo and Waiakea. All have CHOSEN to attend Connections rather than their district school, for as many reasons as there are families.
Some of the opposing testimony at the Windward Planning Commission permit request hearing on Nov. 9 was disturbing. Many comments were unrelated to land use. Some were just not true, or misinformed. It sounded like a “Not in my back yard” viewpoint. Commissioners heard from very few of the 100-plus supporters who attended, because time ran out.
Those opponents don’t necessarily represent the opinions of the entire Kaumana community, nor the windward side of the Big Island.
I expect that the commission will be accountable to the entire county it serves and objective in its decision: Consider APPROPRIATE land use, regardless of personal preference.
Heather Forbes McDaniel
Make it safer
I am a Hawaii Community College student from Alaska, and I live off campus in a house off of Haihai Street.
Why is it that there are no sidewalks to and from the campus? The sidewalks surrounding the campus are narrow, cracked or nonexistent. In many areas, there is only a small sliver of an area adjacent to the road to walk on.
It is dangerous for pedestrians to walk to and from the campus. It is even scarier to ride a bike on the streets that have barely room for two lines. There is a desperate need for more street lights and bike lines.
If Hilo wants to truly be a “college town” and attract more students to attend the college or University of Hawaii at Hilo, there needs to be more of a commitment to safety and access surrounding the campuses.