Kauai marks progress in caring for people, resources

Posted on Apr 27, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Mayor Kawakami and the Iges at Līhuʻe Airport blessing

Mayor Kawakami and the Iges at Līhuʻe Airport blessing

A March 22 trip by Governor and Mrs. Ige to Kaua‘i showed ways the island is leading by example on many fronts — from clean energy and destination management to airport modernization and homelessness services. The visit underscored the importance of county and state governments working together to help local residents. “I think Kaua‘i is the model of destination management for the state,” the governor told the Garden Island newspaper. “We’ve learned a lot together about managing visitor numbers in areas like Ha‘ena State Park — changing the visitor industry and focusing on regenerative tourism. It’s not just about getting more and more visitors; it’s about educating them about our unique culture.” Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami helped host the visit to report on progress made.

A visit to the Pua Loke apartments.

A visit to the Pua Loke apartments.

The governor also talked with officials from KIUC, the island’s electricity cooperative. KIUC is rapidly closing in on reaching a 70 percent renewable energy goal by 2030 — a full decade ahead of the Hawai‘i statewide goal. Since purchasing Kaua‘i Electric in 2002, KIUC has embarked on perhaps the most ambitious shift to renewable energy sources anywhere in the American electric utility industry, said company officials. Mrs. Ige also praised the mayor and the KIUC Foundation for their support of her ‘Ohana Readers program to improve literacy among keiki on the island.

During the visit, the governor also stressed investing in reliable infrastructure to support economic growth. This includes the $8.5 million for the newly expanded Līhuʻe Airport ticket lobby and other improvements and millions for Kūhiō Highway and Wailuā River Bridge repair. He also praised Pua Loke, which serves families at risk for homelessness with transitional housing and affordable rentals.

Read more in the May Capitol Connection newsletter.

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