Maui Election

VIDEO: Leona Bak Nomura, Makawao Council, Candidate Profile, Decision 2010

August 30, 2010, 9:28 AM HST
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Leona Bak Nomura, 2010 Makawao Council candidate profile, Transcript: 

Introduction:  My name is Leona Bak Nomura.  I was born in Paia, I grew up in Haliimaile, I went to school in Makawao, I live in Haiku, I have a store in Kuau, and I volunteer at Paia School.  This are the areas that I would represent.  I live in this area; I was born in this area; I was raised in this area…I volunteer in this area; and I work in this area.  I have 22 grand kids.  I have been married for 43 years.  I have a great-grandchild.  And my wish is to preserve our family lifestyle, our island and our people.  My 

Click image to view VIDEO of our interview with Makawao Council candidate Leona Bak Nomura.

issues will be–there’s so much of them–I love the beaches, so that would be one of my main things–beach access.  I worry about our little towns–keeping them little towns.  I was in a traffic jam in Makawao, so we need something there.  By Kamehameha Schools, and King Kekaulike, my God, what a mess.  As for Haiku we have a lot of problems–the water, the transient vacation rentals–these are the issues that I would put my all into.  

Paia Bypass:  What’s more important—traffic relief or parking in Paia Town?  Is there a way to meet the needs of both motorists and merchants?  Answer: It has to work together.  We need the parking and we need the bypass.  I was against the bypass in the beginning, but I understand, because we’re not going to call it the bypass.  It’s going to be the alternate route.  So what we have to do is plan it so that this alternate route, where Paia town becomes the main road, and the alternate route is–I don’t want it to be like Kihei.  Because I went to Kihei the other day and the road goes right into–you’re rushed into the Piilani Highway.  And I was wondering, where was South Maui Road.   We need Paia to be more, like when you’re driving and it’s comfortable, and it’s just the way to go.  As for parking, everybody jay-walks in that town, so the town needs to be changed to where the parking is more friendly.  Because I get upset with the jay-walkers.  So if we could make it where you would just walk freely.  Actually, I think Wailuku town is nice.  They may not like it, but their little town is comfortable and friendly. 

Budget:  Given the tough economic climate, would you support further cuts to non-profit programs?  What are your priorities for continued funding? Answer:  You know, the budget is always the budget, and it will always be the budget.  Unless we learn to change our lifestyle to adapt to what is happening, it will never get fixed if we are all trying to be like it was a few years ago when we were all high-makamaka.  We need to totally adjust our lives, and then it will be possible to have a budget.  I know at home, if I don’t have a budget, I have to go (based on) what I have–and that’s how we need to do it.  Do with what we have.  Everybody, when they think budget, they think, oh wow, what can I get.  That’s not what a budget is.  A budget is saving and figuring what you can do without.  My friend just became where she needed the MEO handicapped bus.  It’s sad because we don’t think of things unless we have a personal relationship with it.  So in anything that is needed, even if I don’t have a personal relationship, I believe we help the poor–we have to–we have to help our people.  And as for the seniors, you know, I don’t want to get old… and not have a social life.  So this bus system, it helps them maintain a social life. I would support that.  


Public Safety:  There seems to have been a higher incidence in recent news of shootings on Maui.  What are your thoughts on ways to improve public safety on Maui? Answer:  You know what’s sad is, nobody wants to be neighbors anymore.  We have to have community unity.  We have to want to do something for our neighbors.  And we have to want to know our neighbors.  I’m finding that nobody really wants to be neighbors anymore.  We have a store in Ku’au, and we know everyone that’s there.  And sometimes, they don’t know eachother.  So when they come in the store, we introduce them to each other.  This way, we all know who belongs in the neighborhood, and who doesn’t.  We have to get to know our policemen too.  I know all of our policemen in Paia and Haiku because they come by and they let themselves be known.  They introduce themselves, and we introduce them to the community.  You know what I figured out: Drugs is usually the problem to everything that’s happening here–that’s usually when guns get involved.  But how do you help this person, or who do you ask to help them?  I don’t know why people don’t turn in people who sell drugs.  


Closing thoughts:  I forgot one thing about the water.  You know how D.A.R.E. teaches kids about drugs?  We need to teach these kids about saving water.  We need to teach the community.  I had grandchildren visiting and they were running the water.  Turns out thier dad is from Iraq, so I told their dad, “Your kids waste water.”  And he said, “I’m going to go home and teach them.”   So you see, we need to all teach each other how to save water and stop running the water.  One day I realized–I turned the faucet on, and nobody told me to turn this faucet off.  I could have left that water on for months until the next bill came when it was $400.  Somebody needs to pay attention that the water is being wasted.  You can reach me at, or you can send money to (with no strings attached) to Friends of Leona Bak Nomura, 777 Hana Highway 96779.  Thank you.

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