2013-37 Bates Testimony re SPP 1122
Puna Community Development Plan Action Committee
Communications to AC
2013-37 Bates Testimony re SPP 1122
7/10/2013 9:32:33 AM
7/10/2013 9:32:02 AM
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Communication No. 2013 -37 <br />.Aloha Kakou! My name is LJ Bates and I have the joy of being the Executive Director <br />of Kalani H the State of Hawaii's largest retreat center. We steward 120 acres of <br />beautiful `aina in Puna, hosting guests and volunteers from around the world, and we <br />bring millions of dollars to the County of Hawaii and the District of Puna. As a social <br />enterprise, we have become Puna's largest nonprofit organization, delivering over a <br />quarter million dollars of services directly to our community, including 50 nature, <br />culture and wellness classes each week, free or by donation, art shows, major festivals <br />and events, many in partnership with the County, serving thousands of Hawaii Island <br />residents. <br />I say all this, not to boast about Kalani's success, but to draw comparison to our <br />partners and neighbors at SPACE. We have faced similar challenges and struggles as <br />an evolving nonprofit organization transitioning through various stages of <br />development. We know well the challenges that SPACE presently faces, and wish to be <br />a voice in the community which helps SPACE get the support and appreciation they <br />need so they may continue their valuable contributions to our underserved d <br />Although we have achieved so much after almost four decades of work, like SPACE, <br />we are frustrated by the challenges surrounding the anonymity of occasional neighbor <br />complaints and the monumental effort to make two very distinct communities <br />happy. By this, I refer to our "internal" community of guests, staff &volunteers as <br />well as our "external" community of neighbors. This is a challenge that often goes <br />unnoticed and is a balancing act that truly requires the skills learned at the HICCUP <br />Circus! <br />Like SPACE, Kalani is eager to address neighbor concerns. The fact of the matter is <br />that we cannot even begin to solve problems unless we are made aware of them. My <br />Team meets on a weekly basis to bring up and address any community concerns and <br />makes every effort to accommodate the concerns that we hear about. However, there <br />is an inherent flaw in our County's system of logging complaints. As the accused, we <br />are given no details on the time, date,, event, or person making the claim. (Airplane at <br />Point example). <br />As a result, we are often saddled with complaints that we never have the ability to <br />l e or refute. This allows anyone to enter a complaint at any time, for any <br />reason, and it simply gets logged and added to the collection, which is then held against <br />the organization. Kalani has taken on the task of addressing this imbalance the best <br />way we know how. A significant logging effort will be offered as our only source of <br />proof that we are truly making every attempt to balance internal /external community <br />
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