Teens, Community Dedicate Kapolei Park Mural

By State Sen. Mike Gabbard

Congratulations to Kapolei High School valedictorians: Sharon Cabjuan, Caitlin Cavarocchi, Madison Healy, Tyler Kushima, Gabryn Kam, Kristen Kuakini and Aisha Tierra. Also, congrats to American Renaissance Academy vale-dictorian Laurent Drui, and Island Pacific Academy valedictorian Kianna Bill-man and their Navigator Award (best all-around student) winner Ciera Fleming. I wish all the 2012 high school graduates the best! Here are a few things I’d like to share with you.

State Sen. Mike Gabbard

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State Sen. Mike Gabbard

Contraflow Zipper Lane

Good news … There is a recent update from the state Department of Transportation on the status of the P.M. Contraflow Zipper Lane project, which had been delayed because of a bid-protest issue. The total cost of this project, which started in May, is approximately $82.1 million.

Phase I will involve the deck repairs of the Pearl City and Waimalu viaducts. Phase II will be the zipper lane construction (from Radford Drive to the H1/H2 split). The project will take roughly 20 months.

A Work of “Aloha”

It was a moving experience to attend the dedication of the Mural at Pu’u o Kapolei April 28 at Kapolei Regional Park. I had the opportunity to present an honorary certificate from the state Senate to Kapolei High School principal Elden Esmeralda and his team for making this project happen. The mural is part of the Malama Kapolei Project, a partnership between the ‘Ahahui Siwila Hawai’i O Kapolei (Hawaii Civic Club of Kapolei) and the Honolulu Police Department District 8 Community Policing Team. Despite efforts by the civic club to keep the park’s military bunkers clean, the area was a continual target for graffiti.

Their solution was to enlist Kapolei High to create a community mural on the bunker walls that reflects the history of Kapolei. The mural represents images that reflect the cultural heritage of the indigenous people of Hawaii and Pu’u o Kapolei, which was an important region during ancient times. It was a natural crossing path for travelers.

The mural was painted by Kapolei High School students and art teachers Haley Kailiehu and Martha Richards, assisted by area residents and artists, as well as graduate students and staff from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa College of Education.

Inspiration for the mural came from longtime Makakilo resident and Hawaiian cultural expert, Uncle Shad Kane. Uncle Shad, along with police officers Debbie PohinaMaioho and Jodi Taitaiau, gave lectures about the history of Kapolei. It is truly a work of “aloha” that will be appreciated by Kapolei residents for many years to come.

“Listen Story” Meeting

My next “Listen Story” meetings will be held from 9 to 10 a.m Saturday (June 16) at the Kapolei Starbucks (next to the Chevron station) and from 9 to 10 a.m. July 21 the Kamokila Community Park Meeting Room in Honokai Hale.

Contact state Sen. Mike Gabbard at 586-6830 or sengabbard@capitol.hawaii. gov.