Waikele Road Improvements To Relieve Traffic Jams
Kidani’s Korner…State Sen. Michelle Kidani
Aloha! We begin our legislative session this week, meeting for 60 working days over the course of the next 15 weeks or so, with adjournment scheduled for May 7.
I am looking forward to my responsibilities as chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Education, since we all recognize the critical importance of supporting our students, teachers and principals as they commit their time and talent to educating our young people. Specific bills will be introduced and assigned to committees in the first few days of the session, and it is clear that one or two areas in public education will receive some attention this session.
First, I believe we must support pre-kindergarten options for the thousands of 4-year-olds who lost their eligibility for kindergarten when the age cutoff eligibility was moved up from Dec. 31 to July 31. A financial aid program was cobbled together last year to assist some families who want an early learning option for their keiki, but funding was insufficient to help everyone who applied. Multiple studies have shown that most students who don’t get a good early start are at an educational disadvantage all the way through their school experiences.
Second, proper governance and oversight for state public charter schools remain a challenge. The recent closing of a charter school in Kalihi has shined light on a variety of financial and management issues that need proper attention.
Finally, I remain committed to my ongoing attempts to allow teachers to claim a state tax credit for spending some of their own money on classroom resources: teaching aids and school supplies that supplement the items that their individual schools can afford. This is a relatively small use of state tax dollars that can make a big impact on improved instruction and do wonders for teacher morale.
Waikele traffic flow improvements coming
Construction is underway to improve traffic on Lumiaina Street. The project will add a dedicated left-turn lane from Lumiaina northbound onto Kamehameha Highway toward Mililani. Traffic signals will be modified to provide a left-turn green arrow for these lanes. The state Department of Transportation says the new dedicated turn lane will help to move more Mililani-bound vehicles through the intersection with each green light cycle and reduce traffic congestion. Motorists are advised to anticipate delays and allow extra time for getting through this area while the construction continues into June. Warning siren update
Folks in Crestview and neighboring Waikele and Waipio are still waiting for State Civil Defense to install a new emergency warning siren to replace the one that has been out of service since July of last year. Even though a replacement siren was moved up on the state’s priority list, Civil Defense says it is waiting for the city parks department to approve a license agreement to authorize the installation. I met earlier this month with new city managing director,Roy Amemiya, and he assured me that the city will address this delay as quickly as possible.
State Sen. Michelle Kidani represents District 18 (Village Park, Royal Kunia and Waikele, most of Waipio Gentry, and Mililani Town). Call her at 586-7100 at the State Capitol, Room 228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.