VOLCANO, Hawaii: Yesterday, we brought you these contentious scenes at a community meeting in Pahala … where residents and developers are at odds over the proposed Aina Koa Pono biofuel project.
The company has an agreement with HELCO to lease 13,000 acres between Pahala and Naalehu, in order to produce a biodiesel from locally grown feedstock.
The project will use giant microwave reactors to process the biomass… a technology that has some residents skeptical.
A few weeks before Monday’s meeting, we caught up with State Senator of the Ka’u district during a stop in Volcano Village.
In this video, Gil Kahele shares his thoughts on the project that will be located in his district.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kahele has a number of community meetings scheduled. Coming right up will be two stops in Puna…
On September 21st at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility, the second of five “Talk Story” events… times from 5:30 to 7:30PM.
Then on September 22nd, an “Infrastructure and Transportation Town Hall Meeting” will be held at the Kea’au Elementary School Cafeteria, again hosted by Senator Kahele, also held at 5:30-7:30PM.
Glen Okimoto, State Director of the Department of Transportation will be attending and participating in the forum.
Kahele says the meetings are a chance to talk about issues important to the community, which he will tackle in the next legislative session. Here is the media release announcing the upcoming meetings:
Hawai’i Islands District 2 State Senator Gil Kahele announced a series of community events he will be hosting later this month in the Puna District.
On Sept 21st at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility, the second of five “Talk Story with Senator Gil Kahele ” forums planned in Senatorial District 2 will be held from 5:30 to 7:30PM. This community forum will allow Senator Kahele to hear concerns of his constituents in the Puna district and help him prepare and craft legislation to introduce in the upcoming 27th State Legislature scheduled to open in January. He will also provide a recap of the 26th Legislature and conclude with a question and answer session with those in attendance. Some topics that will also be discussed will be the State’s progress on the improvements to State Highway 130, the Puna-Makai Alternate Route, HB-1626 Fuel Tax Bill, and current CIP projects with Puna’s public schools. Other Puna district legislators are also scheduled to attend and participate.
On Sept 22nd at the Kea’au Elementary School Cafeteria, Senator Kahele will be hosting and moderating a “Infrastructure and Transportation Town Hall Meeting” that will be held from 5:30-7:30PM. Mr. Glen Okimoto, State Director of the Department of Transportation as well as other top level State DOT officials and Hawai’i County Department of Public Work’s officials will be attending and participating in the forum. Top items that will be discussed and progress reports given will be on State Highway 130, Hilo Harbor Expansion, Hilo Airport Cargo Facility and the Puna-Makai Alternate Route.
Members of the community can email the Senator with issues and questions for the forums. He will make every effort to address those questions and report on the findings of those issues at the forums.