August-September 1994 Home   Newsletters

October 1994

November 1994

President's Message: LWV to Go to Beijing Conference (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Political Ads Found to Lack Substance
Volunteers Needed for October Vote Count (Arlene Ellis)
Leaguer Authors Book about Peace
Planning and Zoning Committee Faces Post Election Challenges (Astrid Monson)
Environment Committee to Work with Other Groups
League Involved in Convention Center Planning
Human Resources Committee: LWV on Violence Prevention (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
1994-95 Membership Directory Changes

League Involved in Convention Center Planning

Artist's sketch of the Nordic/PCL Convention Center design

The first phase of building the new convention center at the old Aloha Motors site has been completed with the selection of the Nordic/ PCL team to construct the project. The League has been actively involved in providing comments and questions as the design/ build selection process has progressed during the last nine months. In March we identified key environmental and design issues to be considered in the environmental assessment (EA). In June we reviewed the EA and provided comments that focused on our three main concerns: the building envelope, parking, and traffic.

Four teams submitted projects that were exhibited for public review at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. This was followed by formal presentations to the Convention Center Authority and their Technical and Design Review Committees and a summary public presentation at Kaimuki High School. Because this last presentation was the only one that allowed for questions from the public, Senator Carol Fukunaga and Representative Les Ihara arranged for taping and taped-delay broadcasts by Olelo of all of these sessions and an additional live television broadcast of proposal presentations, a panel of questioners, and public call-in. The League was represented on the four-person panel by Jackie Parnell. On Sept 1, the Convention Center Authority supported the unanimous recommendations of both the Technical and Design Review Committees by selecting Team D, Nordic/PCL.

The Convention Center Authority is to be congratulated on the process they developed. It resulted in four quality projects and provided for an unprecedented amount of public input. But this is only the first step. The League intends to remain actively involved.

It should be noted that many people still have doubts whether a convention center is even needed, and even more feel that the Aloha Motors site, bounded as it is by Kalakaua Avenue, Kapiolani Boulevard, and Atkinson Street, is an inappropriate location. Whatever one thinks, we are going to have a convention center and it is going to be located on this parcel. Thus, it is in our interest that it be the best convention center possible. The primary concerns that have been expressed are the visual appearance of the project; the amount of open space provided; effects on the Ala Wai promenade; effects on local residents (especially those on Kahakai Street); and, most important, the impacts on traffic (and parking) in an area already heavily congested.

As part of her interest in supporting continuing community involvement in the construction and operation of the convention center, Senator Fukunaga has organized an independent, non-profit citizens group, tentatively named the Convention Center Community Network. It is composed of community members, including neighborhood board members, and other interested persons. Its long-range goal is to develop a broad-based community organization that can work in partnership with elected officials to secure funding from the Legislature and/or the City for traffic and other improvements related to the convention center. The group will focus on ensuring that the builder adequately addresses off-site impacts and developing political support for funding the other improvements needed in Waikiki, including dredging and cleaning up the Ala Wai Canal.

Jackie Parnell represents LWV in this group. If you would like to participate, please call Senator Fukunaga at 586-6680 for details about meeting dates and places.

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