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Waikele Warning Siren On Emergency Repair List

Sharing Notes ..Sen. Michelle Kidani

Preparing for emergencies

A resident of Waikele contacted City Councilman Ron Menor a few weeks ago to report that it was difficult to hear the civil defense warning sirens during the tests on the first working day of the month.

There currently is no siren in Waikele proper; area residents rely on the siren from nearby Crestview, which is across Kamehameha Highway.

The state Civil Defense explains that this is common for inland communities such as Waikele and Crestview that are both outside the tsunami zone. Although residents might not hear a warning siren, there should be plenty of time to react to warnings that come via other means — cell phone alerts, Emergency Alert System broadcasts through radio and TV, social media alerts, and friends and family calling each other.

Nevertheless, in response to the Waikele concern, I contacted Adj. Gen. Daryll Wong, who heads the department that administers State Civil Defense. I was pleased with the prompt — and positive — response I received.

They noted that the nearby siren in Crestview had “a major malfunction and is not repairable,” and thus was not in service on the July 1 test day. As a result of my inquiry, Civil Defense conducted a review of their modernization and replacement schedule, and

I am pleased to report the following: * The malfunctioning Crestview siren has now moved up to the “emergency repair” list and will be replaced no later than Jan. 1, 2015 — within the next five months. * Civil Defense also noted that a new, dedicated siren for Waikele is scheduled to be installed at the community park in 2016.

The location of sirens close to or within residential neighborhoods is important for the safety and security for our communities.

I will continue to monitor this matter to make sure the installation of the new siren in Waikele remains on track.

WCA’s new home

Congratulations to Waikele Community Association on relocating to a new office on Pakela Street. I was pleased to be invited to the grand opening, and the congratulatory certificate from the state Senate commended the staff for its work to keep things running smoothly.

The WCA staff serves the needs of the neighborhood’s 8,000 residents. I have always enjoyed this community’s clean streets, its vibrant program of activities at Waikele Elementary School, and, of course, those signature “lollipop” landscaped ficus trees along Kamehameha Highway that are maintained by the WCA.

Your right to vote

This Saturday, Aug. 9, is primary election day. I hope that you take seriously your right to vote and that you have either already voted by absentee ballot or at an early voting walk-in site, or that you will make sure to cast your ballot on Saturday.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If you miss this opportunity to vote in the primary election, make sure you are registered to vote in the November general election.

Registration deadline for the general is Oct. 6. and forms are available in state offices and public libraries.

State Sen. Michelle Kidani represents District 18 Village Park, Waikele and Royal Kunia, Mililani Town and a portion of Waipio Gentry. Call her at the State Capitol, room 228, 586-7100 or email her at senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov.

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