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Funds Released To Build Waipio Ambulance Station

Sharing Notes …Sen. Michelle Kidani

From the Capitol

Good news for Central and West Oahu communities from the Capitol this month: The state has released funds to the city to proceed with the construction of a new emergency medical services facility in Waipio. A total of $3.85 million will be available for the project that will greatly improve medical emergency response time in several of our neighborhoods.

I have been fighting for funds for a new ambulance base station in this location since I first became a senator in 2009. Money was appropriated then, but the previous state and city administrations did not act in a timely manner to allocate the funds. I made sure that the money was re-appropriated this year so that this critically important project could proceed as quickly as possible.

Soon after the governor approved the 2013 budget, I met with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and EMS director Mark Rigg to stress the importance of this new ambulance facility to our Central and West Oahu communities, and to urge him to make sure state funding for this city project is earmarked right away.

The mayor agreed, noting that Kaiser Clinic in Waipio – where ambulances were based – had asked the city to relocate its EMS services. The EMS previously based at Kaiser Clinic in Waipio Gentry moved to 99-135 Koaha Place in Waipahu Oct. 1.

Mayor Caldwell immediately requested release of the funds, and I am pleased to note that what the process was not able to accomplish in three years previously was done this time in just three months!

As it is planned, the new station will serve as an Emergency Operations Center and home base for an EMS command vehicle, with the second floor intended to be a full backup EMS Communication Center. We are grateful to the city and state administrations for their quick action that will help to assure the safety and security of the families in our communities. Mark your calendars

Here’s a reminder to mark your calendars for the annual Taste of Waipahu, which takes place Nov. 2 during the afternoon and evening. The event is underwritten by a number of corporate sponsors, with proceeds to support Waipahu Community Association’s Waipahu Festival Marketplace, along with WCA’s Micro-Enterprise Training and Business Incubator programs.

It’s free and open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to bring canned food donations to help replenish Waipahu Foodbank supplies. Last year’s “Taste” attracted about 5,000 people to its food booths, contests, drawings and live entertainment. I hear there will be a dunking booth and maybe someone you might want to dunk. Hope to see you there!

Waipahu leader recognized Finally, let me acknowledge the passing of one of Waipahu’s “best friends” – former state Sen. Cal Kawamoto. We remember his influential presence as head of Waipahu Community Foundation, and as a strong supporter of Hawaii’s Plantation Village and UH West Oahu.

Cal served in the U.S. Air Force for two decades and was an active member of VFW Post 1572. Our condolences to his wife Carolyn and his family. We will remember with fondness everything Cal did to make Waipahu a better place to live and work.

Contact Sen. Michelle Kidani, D-18 (Mililani, Waikele, Kunia) at her Capitol office, Room 228, telephone 586-7100 or by email: SenKidani@Capitol.Hawaii.gov.