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Waimea Town Meeting, Lokahi Tree lighting (Dec. 1)

MEDIA RELEASE

Two men from diverse backgrounds – attorney Brian DeLima and retiring South Kohala Police Capt. James Sanborn – top the agenda for Waimea Community Association’s next Town Meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 at Parker School Theatre.

The meeting will begin promptly at 5 p.m. (a half hour earlier than usual), to accommodate a 6:30 p.m. lighting of the giant Norfolk pine tree fronting Parker School’s historic Barbara Hall.

Everyone is invited to both the Town Meeting and 2nd Annual Lokahi Giving Tree Lighting, which will include caroling, storytelling about Waimea Christmases Past and the start of the in-gathering of “absolute necessities” for Hawaii Island families.

WAIMEA TOWN MEETING

The Town Meeting will begin with a briefing by Capt. Sanborn, who is formally retired Nov. 30 – wrapping up 39 years with the Hawaii County Police Department. Sanborn will share a recently-completed 5-year plan that each of the island’s district commanders was required to develop for 2012-2017.

After reviewing the plan’s highlights, he will reflect on his years in the department, where, among other things, he helped develop and imbed Community Policing into the department’s practices and procedures.

“I believe my legacy lies with Community Policing and the relationships built over the years with the communities on the Big Island that have allowed the Department to ‘bridge the gap’ that existed for a number of years,” he said.

Born on Oahu, Sanborn’s family moved to Hawaii Island when he was young and he grew up and has spent most of his life here except when serving with the U.S. Navy Seabees in Vietnam.

He graduated with the 24th Recruit Class and through the years, was assigned to the South Hilo Patrol Division, Traffic Enforcement Unit, Administrative Bureau where he handled Health and Safety Issues and Industrial Accidents.

Later he served on the Kona Patrol, which is where he began developing a training curriculum for Community Policing, and then was transferred to the North Hilo District and later the South Hilo Patrol Departments – where he managed Community Policing.

He was promoted to Captain in 2007 and assigned to the North Kohala District, and six months later, assumed command of the South Kohala District until the current Capt. Richard Miyamoto was promoted and assumed the North Kohala assignment.

“Waimea and South Kohala have been extremely fortunate to have Capt. Sanborn command the district for the past four years – largely because of his dedication to pro-active partnering and problem solving inherent to Community Policing,” said WCA President Sherman Warner.

“We appreciate that he will spend his first night ‘out of uniform’ with us to reflect back and also advise us on what may lie ahead for us and the department,” Warner said.

Next on the agenda will be a “listening session” with Brian DeLima – a format designed to help members of the entirely new Board of Education meet with their respective communities and get feedback on current issues, which vary widely from district to district, said Sen. Malama Solomon, who arranged for DeLima to attend the Waimea Town Meeting.

“While I have worked closely with Mr. DeLima for many years and especially so in recent months to share my constituents’ thoughts, hopes and concerns, there is nothing quite like discussing issues face-to-face with the families, educators, administrators and employers who depend on, live with, or provide public education services every day,” she said.

“Also, Mr. DeLima, as a former County Councilman, brings a wealth of public policy experience to this position, but public education is the largest budget item for our state, and the size of the budget is only dwarfed by the complexity of a system that should be ‘the door of opportunity’ for the next generations.

“Too often, our pubic education system in Hawai’i falls short, so I also hope this meeting will be an opportunity to share ideas about innovative strategies to improve academic and fiscal accountability at all levels,” said Sen. Solomon.

Everyone is welcome to WCA Town Meetings and membership is not required. All who attend WCA monthly Town Meetings are asked to help support local food pantries by bringing a donation – preferably cash, a check, KTA Sav-A-Tapes and/or Foodland Makai My Rewards – or non-perishable food items.

Also, as always, Starbucks Waimea will provide hot coffee for which the association suggests a small donation be made, again to support local food pantries.

2ND ANNUAL WAIMEA TREE LIGHTING

At 6:30 p.m., everyone in the North Hawaii community is invited to the 2nd Annual Lokahi Giving Tree Project lighting ceremony, which will be emceed by Waimea’s own Darde Gamayo from KAPA-FM.

It will include caroling with Ginger Bertelmann, Melissa Samura and Parker School students, music by “Makeshift Heroes” – which includes several members of the Honoka’a Jazz Band, and storytelling about Christmases Past by Leningrad Elarionoff.

The tree lighting formally kicks off this year’s Lokahi Giving Tree Project, which is organized by community volunteers to help perpetuate Richard Smart’s legacy of generosity by being sure everyone in the community is remembered during the holiday season.

The project targets those who are struggling and not served by other agencies – most often, working poor, or grandparents, aunties and uncles raising grandchildren, or individuals or families experiencing dramatic changes in circumstances during already difficult economic times.

During the tree lighting, Rhonda Bell and Nancy Carr Smith will share several stories about some of the challenging circumstances that individuals and families in this community are experiencing, and also explain what kind of kokua is needed – from direct donations of “absolute necessities” to organizing a toy or food drive, to adopting an individual or family, to helping out at the all-day Lokahi In-Gathering on parade day – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at KTA’s Waimea Center, or thereafter at the temporary storefront in Parker Ranch Center next to Village Burgers.

Hot beverages, chili ‘n’ rice and hot dogs will be offered for purchase by students from Kanu o ka Aina public charter school prior to and throughout the tree lighting, caroling and talk-story. Everyone is urged to dress warmly, grab a quick bite to eat and then join the sing-a-long.

Volunteers running this year’s Lokahi Giving Tree Project assure contributors that items gathered on island will remain here on our island to support the Waimea and North Hawaii community.

If you know of someone in need, recommendations are welcome and Lokahi Giving Tree volunteers will meet with the individual or family. The focus of this program is serving those who are not receiving other types of assistance such as food stamps or subsidized housing.

To recommend recipients or apply for assistance, or if you are interested in adopting one or more individuals, contact Gina Lu’uloa (756-3008) or Rhonda Bell (880-1984).

Schools, churches, businesses and clubs interested in lending a hand are asked to contact Rhonda Bell (880-1984) or Nancy Carr Smith (896-2239).

For more information about Waimea Community Association, call President Sherman Warner (885-1725) or visit www.WaimeaTown.org

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