WAIPI’O VALLEY – The Waipio Valley Access Road is closed due to dengue fever concerns and has nothing to do with the recent announcement that Bishop Museum plans to sell its land holdings in the valley, the Hamakua district’s councilmember said Saturday.
Hawaii County Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter spoke to Big Island Video News about the planned land sale during a community cleanup-up at the former Rice property at the Waipio Lookout, held three days after the access road was shut down to visitors. The coincidental timing of the dengue fever / land sale news items led to speculation on social media that the road closure might be related in some way to the Bishop Museum’s announcement.
Poindexter said that she, council chair Dru Kanuha, and State Rep. Mark Nakashima flew to Oahu to meet with Blair Collis, President and CEO of Bishop Museum. Poindexter delivered a letter to Collis on behalf of the Waipio Stakeholders Alliance, a united group of organizations sharing deep ties to the valley. The letter expressed the hope that the Stakeholders can remain as stewards of their land leases as the Museum’s parcels transition to new ownership.