And They Wonder Why We Get Mad!

 

Once again the Westside gets the shaft from the powers that be.

I read with disdain about $16 million for UH Hilo to construct a student recreation center that includes an outdoor swimming pool, fitness and aerobic center. ŌThe need for recreational facilities scores high in student surveysĶ, the story said. Duh!  I guess they donÕt realize we have a campus, if you can call it that, in Kona.  Our entire Kealakekua, Hawaii Community College campus would fit inside the dining room of MauiÕs Community College and darn near in HiloÕs Community College dining area. This is not an exaggeration. 

 

Construction is scheduled to begin next year on the recreation center as well as another $20, million building which will be science and technology classrooms. A new center with 200 dorm rooms and a shopping an entertainment facility is also planned. All this while our Westside culinary students can barely read the numbers on the worn out measuring cups because Hilo wonÕt fork over a few bucks to this side. Maybe itÕs ok since our students still beat Hilo in the culinary competitions.

 

Should we talk about roads too? Try walking on the makai side of the road between Konawaena School Road and Kealakekua. The 14 inches of sidewalk with no guardrails and a 30-foot fall into thorny shrubs or coffee plants awaits those who are not sure footed. Hilo roads have guardrails and 20 feet of flat grassland. You would think at least some of the Eastside politicians would have a little concern for Westside students. To keep the Hilo citizens employed they keep building curbs where no one walks. We cant even get sidewalks.

 

How many buses do they get to choose from in Hilo? Ok, so they are free. I would rather pay a reasonable fare and have a choice of schedules than have it free and only 2 or 3 buses to choose from each day. Then again, they canÕt find drivers who can pass the drug tests.  

 

ItÕs not only Hilo that treats us this way. The USDA decided to have a listening session for farmers in Hawaii. They want to hear our input for the 2007 Farm Bill presented to congress. ItÕs great they would even bother to come to Hawaii and have the session in Kona – too bad they scheduled it smack dab in the middle of the Kona Coffee Festival Grand Parade. Do they really want to hear from coffee farmers? Too bad they didnÕt bother to check the schedule and find out more about HawaiiÕs oldest and largest agricultural festival.

 

Mayor Kim, everybody likes you but you have to strive to make things more equitable! We are tired of getting the short end and mad as hell. We are not going to take it much longer.

 

It is way past time for the inequity between East and West sides of the island to stop. We canÕt blame Hilo for getting what they can now. I canÕt imagine it will be much longer before the population shift is complete and a Westside mayor moves government here – where it belongs. Or the state legislature is brave enough to finally make the island into two counties.

 

Hawaii seems to be the Third World part of the U.S. with the Big Island being the Third World Part of Hawaii and Kona being the Third World Part of the Big Island. As you know, it flows downhill which, I guess is why we get some of HiloÕs trash.

 

We, on the Westside really ought to load our pickups with all the garbage, bring it back to Hilo and dump it on Aupuni street! DonÕt worry Hilo, it does not smell as bad as what goes on inside the county council chambers. 

 

11-2005