We Need Help With Housing Crunch

I recently joined the throngs of people scrambling to find a new place to live after discovering my home of five years was sold to a Mainland investor who intends to inflate rent, as “it’s simply a matter of economics.” Those of us who live and work here, however, know it’s so much more than that. It’s a roof over our heads, a place for our families (including four-legged) to feel safe and secure, and ideally a place that is clean and kept upto-date. With population growth and the volume of vacation rentals, as well as second, third and fourth homes climbing, it leaves those of us in the work-force with fewer options. This unfortunately means less competition for landlords and sky-high rent for less-than-ideal abodes. Anyone who has been house-hunting lately is painfully aware of this situation, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Steep prices and stringent housing requirements (applying for a home is now akin to applying for a job at the FBI) are making it even more difficult for people to stay here. How about a project slated for reasonably priced homes only to be purchased by people who actually intend to live there full time? I’ll be one of the first in line …

Anyone who has passed through Anahola lately probably has noticed new construction by Anahola Marketplace. It is for a $54-million solar facility owned by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) on land leased from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. The project will be completed by 2015 and includes a 12-megawatt solar array. Another 12-megawatt array also will be completed in Koloa this summer …

Members of Rotary Club of Hanalei show their award from Rotary International for the club's Adopt A Classroom project. Photo from Rotary Club of Hanalei

Members of Rotary Club of Hanalei show their award from Rotary International for the club’s Adopt A Classroom project. Photo from Rotary Club of Hanalei

In other KIUC news, the co-op’s board of directors recently approved a tentative agreement to purchase power from a new hydroelectric facility to be constructed by Gay & Robinson on Olokele Ditch. The company will build a 6-megawatt plant below its existing 1.3-megawatt plant on the ditch, which was built in 1904. The new system is expected to be working by 2019. The project is slated to divert some 1.4 million gallons of oil per year from the island …

Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay recently won Rotary International’s Significant Achievement Award for developing the Adopt A Classroom program. In order to earn the honor, a community service must address a need, and Adopt A Classroom has done just that. The program has helped public elementary schools acquire iPads, update their reading curriculum, provide technical training for teachers, purchase classroom supplies and embark on field trips. Program creator Ric Cox says Rotarians aren’t “resting on our laurels.” Kilauea Elementary School PTSA and Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay plan to launch as many as 20 after-school clubs Aug. 18. Volunteers and donors are still needed for this new project. Contact Cox at ric14@aol.com for more information …

Hawaii Children’s Theatre presents the musical comedy Avenue Q, to be performed this weekend (July 31, Aug. 1-2) and next (Aug. 7-10) at 7 p.m. in Puhi Theatrical Warehouse. The show is a story of a college graduate who moves into a New York City apartment on Avenue Q to find his purpose in life (not recommended for children under age 15 because of language and content). To purchase tickets, visit hawaiichildrenstheatre.com or call 246-8985 …

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