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29 2. Mr. Scott Malis, representing himself, provided testimony on agenda items 1&2. <br />30 Item 1: Mr. Malis stated that while farming is a concern, it cannot be addressed until we first <br />31 address reestablishing access to farmlands. He also stated that he believed farmers should be <br />32 allowed to return to their land and begin farming again. "Being covered by lava does not mean <br />33 the land is useless, all of the farmland we have was once covered by lava." <br />34 Item 2: Mr. Malis stated that he would like to see the roads that make up 4 -corners reopened. <br />35 He believes that reopening these roads would draw more tourism to the area, which would <br />36 then in turn bring more money back into the communities of Puna. Mr. Malis stated that it was <br />37 his understanding that FEMA would pay for 75% of the road reconstruction and the State of <br />38 Hawai'i would pay for the other 25%, we (the County) just need to request it. <br />39 3. Ms. Hannah Hedrick, representing the Upper Puna Emergency Response and Preparedness <br />40 Team, provided testimony on agenda item 2. Ms. Hedrick requested that an update on general <br />41 emergency response and connectivity issues be added to the March Action Committee meeting <br />42 agenda. Ms. Hedrick also shared that she is currently updating the Upper Puna Connectivity <br />43 and Emergency Response Plan as well as working on a proposal for inter -subdivision <br />44 connectivity and development of a linear park at the Fern Forest, Eden Rock connectivity point. <br />45 4. Ms. Eileen O'Hara, representing herself, provided testimony on agenda item 2. Ms. O'Hara <br />46 stated that the critical action needed in recovery is the reopening of roads. She emphasized the <br />47 need for more than one way in and out of Leilani Estates and the need to reopen Highway 132. <br />48 Ms. O'Hara also stated that Senator Russell Ruderman would be submitting a bill requesting <br />49 $15,000,000 to reopen Highway 132. <br />50 5. Mr. Kepa Kaeo provided testimony on agenda item 2. Mr. Kaeo stated there are many cultural <br />51 sites that Native Hawaiians need access to. Due to the eruption event they do not currently <br />52 have access. He asked whether any recovery funds had been distributed to the Department of <br />53 Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL). If yes, how could one access those funds. Mr. Kaeo stated that <br />54 they currently know of approximately 40-50 displaced Native Hawaiians who are in need of <br />55 homes. He is hoping that recovery funds could be used to provide housing for these individuals. <br />56 6. Ms. Smiley Burrows, representing Kapoho Crater, provided testimony on agenda item 2. Ms. <br />57 Burrows emphasized the importance of reopening the inundated roads in lower Puna including <br />58 Highway 132, Highway 137, and Pohoiki Road connecting to Highway 132. Ms. Burrows had <br />59 started a community petition to get Highway 132, Highway 137, and Pohoiki road reopened. <br />60 7. Mr. Kumalani Kekipi, provided testimony on agenda item 2. Mr. Kekipi shared a proposal <br />61 developed by the "Pahoa Community Cultural Revive Project". The proposal calls for the <br />62 creation of a cultural community gathering center at the former site of Luquin's Mexican <br />63 Restaurant and the Akebono Theater and would help stimulate the local economy and promote <br />64 Hawaiian culture. He also shared that a stage had been built at the site and that they were <br />65 eager to move forward as a community gathering place. <br />66 8. Ms. Braja Tarletz, representing Gaia Yoga Gardens and Pu'a'a Community and Roads <br />67 Association, provided testimony on agenda item 2. She stated that she and other residents in <br />68 her area needed Railroad Avenue to be reopened. Ms. Tarletz shared that the closing of <br />www.hiplanningdept.com puna(&,hawaiicounty.,-ov Page 2 <br />