We wish everyone a happy and prosperous year in 2014. Happy days are sure to come if we cherish our communities by embracing all the dreams and beliefs of their different cultures. First and foremost, we must preserve the Hawaiian spirit of aloha, a strong tradition on the leeward coast of Oahu. Giving and sharing is also a key to being Hawaiian. In that respect, we hope to share ideas and news to facilitate mutual understanding of each town’s predominant lifestyles. With this understanding we can appreciate the old ways and beliefs treasured by various ethnic groups on our coastline such as the Hawaiians, Filipinos, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, and Samoans.
The leeward coast has a history of being an agriculture area. The different values held by farmers and office workers are clearly seen when new developments and construction are proposed for the expanding urban center of Kapolei. Usually the decision to preserve agriculture or construct buildings boils down to the question of which one will be more profitable. The city and state have allowed developers and investors to take over valuable farmlands with the excuse that more housing and jobs are needed. Their intentions are valid, but the process should be more cautious with the knowledge that once the rich earth is covered with cement, there is no recourse should there be a need for more food production. We hope that government will slow their plans for further development in the Ewa plain while it updates its plans for local sustenance and preservation. Moreover, it would be wise if the state were to outline a policy for all the Hawaiian Islands in regards to the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in agriculture. Failing to do so, the state will encourage political ploys and emotional decision-making instead of promoting scientific and factual conclusions in government legislation. Farmers need all the legal help they can get to survive in a shrinking market.
Being the fiftieth state in the union, we hope to see a Congress that is more productive and willing to work together for the good of this nation. Of utmost importance is the premise that everyone deserves affordable comprehensive health insurance coverage. The federal government has implemented the Affordable Care Act, a program to increase health benefits to many, and we hope it will iron out the problems that have stalled it. We anticipate government’s help with college students, financially strapped families, retirees, and the perennially ill who need additional funds and medical treatments. Lastly, we hope our small businesses will be given a boost by receiving affordable medical coverage for their employees and for themselves in order to strengthen and encourage the growth of the middle class in our economy.
Surveying the West coast of Oahu, we can add more topics to our list that begs consideration. For example, our highways and roads need to be improved or replaced, but this list is endless. Suffice it to say, we wish you a safe and healthy new year with many occasions to laugh, smile, and just be glad we live in Hawaii. We wish our readers a very good 2014!