Nearly 1 year after flood, Aina Haina library reopens

From The Honolulu Star Advertiser by Tyne Phillips April 10, 2019

Almost a year after damage from record rainfall and flooding forced its closure, Aina Haina Public Library reopened Tuesday.

The flooding was caused by thunderstorms from April 13 to 16 that triggered landslides and road closures on Kauai and East Oahu, and prompted President Donald Trump to issue a major disaster declaration.

At the Aina Haina library, the deluge caused major water damage from front to back and soaked the flooring in muddy water, according to Mallory Fujitani, special assistant to the state librarian of the Hawaii State Public Library System.

“I thought, ‘There’s no way that library is going to be open tomorrow,’” Cathy Gold, board member of Friends of Aina Haina Library, recalled. “It was unbelievable. … We didn’t expect it to be closed for so long.”

A nanny for an Aina Haina family said she would bring her client’s 2-year-old to the library at least twice a week and was disappointed when it had to be closed for repairs.

A mother who brought her 1-year-old to the library for the first time at the reopening said she wanted to come every day.

“It’s really spacious and kid-friendly,” Sheena Sumi­moto said of the newly renovated space.

Improvements included new flooring, furniture, repainting of the interior and exterior, and updated bathrooms.

The update cost about $650,000. About $350,000 was allocated for flood repairs, and $300,000 was from an existing contract to redo the bathrooms.

After the work was completed, over 80 volunteers from Aina Haina Prepared and Friends of Aina Haina Library spent over 270 hours unpacking and restocking 1,700 boxes of items, Fujitani said. Among those volunteers was Tommy Waters, a candidate for the District 4 seat in the Honolulu City Council.

The library reopened at 1 p.m. with a blessing from the Rev. Christoper Bridges of Episcopal Church of the Holy Nativity. Celebrations continued into the evening with live performances by ukulele virtuosos Jake Shimabukuro and Taimane Gardner.

The library will be the third to launch an ukulele-­lending program hosted by the Music for Life Foundation. When it launches within the next few months, the public will be able to borrow ukulele as they would books, and take ukulele lessons at the library. Nanakuli Public Library and Waimanalo Public Library already have ukulele-lending programs.

Last year’s flooding around Aina Haina was partly due to the overflowing of Wailupe Stream, which had been blocked by debris build up. The blockage caused the water to build up and overrun its banks instead of flowing freely.

Waters expressed concern about current flood mitigation efforts in the area.

“They built a couple dams within the stream, and that’s troubling to me because I thought the problem was that the water couldn’t free-flow down to the ocean because of all of the debris,” Waters said. “Just from a common-sense point of view, it doesn’t make sense.”

He said he’s reached out to city officials but has yet to hear back.


Votes growing in Trevor Ozawa-­Tommy Waters rematch for Honolulu City Council seat

Read more

Campaign Corner: Waters Has Right Temperament For Council

from Civil Beat by Nicole West April 8, 2019

That’s important because there is a lot at stake in the special election for District 4.

Mahalo to Civil Beat for publishing commentary on the contentious race between Tommy Waters and Trevor Ozawa.

NOTE: pick the correct link

Recently, Republican Charles Djou laid out his reasons for supporting Trevor Ozawa as did a former staff member of former GOP State Sen. Sam Slom.

Djou’s bottom line is that voters should choose Trevor to stop Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who beat Djou two years ago in the mayor’s race.

I say enough of the political back stabbing in this race. My vote in this race boils down to temperament and character. And I’m voting for Tommy Waters.

That came into sharp focus when I learned that Ozawa is taking shots at the Waters family.

Here’s the press statements regarding this:

In a March 27 statement Ozawa said: “My campaign has not complained about Mr. Waters continued false statements made in his flyers, such as his false claim that he is ‘from District 4’ when he in fact is from Kailua, or when he portrays his ‘in laws’ as his current in laws which they are not.”

City Council District IV seat. Tommy Waters celebrate in Honolulu, Hawaii. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo by Ronen Zilberman
Tommy Waters on election night, Nov. 6.

Ronen Zilberman/Civil Beat
Waters responded the same day with this statement: “As for the repeated personal attacks against me and my family, I just don’t think our community stands for it. To take shots at my kids’ grandparents — that’s just off limits with how I was raised. We are both Native Hawaiian, our ancestors have been in this community for generations. I have made no secret of the fact that my family moved to Kahala when I was in high school at Kamehameha — so yes, I moved into the district in the 1970s but I’m not sure the implication here—is my opponent saying only those born in a neighborhood can serve that neighborhood? I love this community and will continue to fight for it given an opportunity.”

In my book, stooping this low by going after family is unbecoming of a city leader. But it’s in line with the juvenile behavior Ozawa has demonstrated throughout this campaign.

On the residency issue, Waters is nearly 20 years older than Ozawa. Waters lived in Kahala when he attended Kamehameha School, so do the math. He was living in District 4 before Trevor Ozawa was born.

Checking Their Records
Waters did later move to Kailua and served that district in the Legislature for six years before leaving to raise his young children.

One of Waters’ votes while in the Legislature representing Windward Oahu should figure more prominently in the constant discussion of a who’s pro and anti-rail in this race. Waters’ record speaks for itself. On May 3, 2005 he voted against increasing the general excise tax to fund rail. The measure passed the 2005 Legislature and all Oahu residents, including those of us in District 4, have been paying that rail GET ever since.

Waters also said no to the key funding mechanism that brought us rail, while Ozawa on the other hand has a pro rail voting record while serving on the City Council. That includes a yes vote for GET increases in 2017.

Ozawa’s record includes a proviso he inserted (Bill 22, CD2, FD1) adding $44 million to HART’s budget using city revenues. This would mean using our property taxes. When Ozawa’s council colleagues objected, the proviso was removed.

The point is Ozawa tried to use property taxes to pay for rail. Now he claims Waters will do the same, which is not only wrong but hypocritical.

My vote in this race boils down to temperament and character.

Ozawa also falsely asserts Waters will support Mayor Caldwell’s proposed trash pickup fee. I have seen Waters say on numerous occasions that he will not support a separate garbage fee tax. And I take him at his word for that along with his call for a forensic investigation into rail.

Ozawa is hoping that we, the District 4 community members, will take his false claims at face value. My trust is in Waters, in his reputation, in his aloha and especially in his character.

There is a lot at stake this election on issues impacting our district. Crime remains a concern. Just this week a woman at a Kahala gas station had to fend off an armed gunman who was trying to steal her purse in broad daylight while she pumped gas.

The other district issues include homelessness, the proliferation of illegal vacation rentals, monster homes, traffic and the cost of living.

These problems have gone on too long and have worsened in the last four years under Trevor Ozawa’s watch. We need change and we need it now. I’m voting for Tommy Waters!

Live Interview Hawaii News Now Sunrise

Special election face-off for City Council seat nears its final days

It’s the final week of campaigning for candidates Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters as they prepare for a City Council special election.

View video here.

Letter: Waters better choice for City Council

Honolulu Star-Advertiser by Cynthia A. Josserand April 8, 2019

I do not always agree with the opinions expressed by David Shapiro and Lee Cataluna, but what I have in common with them is their stated opinion that Trevor Ozawa has shown poor judgment (“Wild attacks on high court could backfire on Trevor Ozawa,” Star-Advertiser, Volcanic Ash, Feb. 3; “Judging judges is a poor way to play,” Star-Advertiser, Lee Cataluna, Feb. 1).

I would go further and argue that he does not have the needed temperament to be on the Honolulu City Council.

I have been a constituent of Ozawa’s. We have never met, nor do I know Tommy Waters personally. However, in my phone calls and emails with Ozawa and his office, I have found him to be rude, dismissive and arrogant. It tells a lot about a man in how he treats mere constituents such as myself. The members of the Hawaii Supreme Court fared no better.

Blaming others when things do not go our way is not what we need in our leaders. I hope that the Star-Advertiser will reconsider and endorse Waters in the re-election. We need mature, thoughtful people to address the pressing issues of the city, not people who yell “unfair” when they don’t get their way.

Why These Former Ozawa Supporters Switched To Waters

Temperament matters in who represents voters at City Hall, as do positivity, humility and fair play.

Letter: Time for new leadership on the City Council

from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 3/29/19

As a supporter of Tommy Waters, I was deeply troubled by the sequence of events on general election night.

Waters was ahead all night and then lost by 22 votes in the final printout. I’m glad Waters and others successfully contested the election results.

Trevor Ozawa complained that Waters was not able to accept defeat, and also said some of the Supreme Court justices should have recused themselves from invalidating the election results. Why does Ozawa hold judges to a different standard than himself?

In his four years on the Council, Ozawa voted on issues without recusal after disclosing he had a conflict. Those conflicts include accepting donations from parties coming before his budget committee. He raised and spent more than half a million dollars in his 2018 re-election bid, the most ever spent by a Council candidate. It’s time for new leadership on the City Council.

Daryl Nekoba

Hawaii Kai

Source Article

Denby Fawcett: This Trevor Ozawa Campaign Call Is Actually A Blast From The Past

By Denby Fawcett, Civil Beat 3/29/19

The voice on the phone is Mayor Kirk Caldwell. But it’s been lifted from a recording he made last year and now being used to falsely imply he’s currently stumping for Tommy Waters.

Read more

KHON - Tommy Waters Asking for Your Vote in Special Election

HONOLULU (KHON2) - On Monday, voters from Waikiki to Hawaii Kai will start to receive ballots for a special election for Honolulu City Council District 4.

The race is between incumbent Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters.

Waters joined Wake Up 2day to tell voters why they should vote for him.

Interview with KITV anchor Maleko McDonnell

Tommy sat down with Maleko McDonnell on KITV to set the record straight about his positions with the mayor, property taxes, rail, and homelessness.

Watch the interview here.


Political Mailers: Shamelessly Exploiting The News Media

Political Mailers: Shamelessly Exploiting The News Media

From Civil Beat By Patti Epler March 22, 2019

"Anyone looking at this political mailer from Trevor Ozawa’s City Council campaign might conclude that Civil Beat thinks his opponent, Tommy Waters, is corrupt and just another lapdog for Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Not so.

In fact, the only thing in this ad that comes from Civil Beat is our logo and red “Support Us” button. Even the photo is from somewhere else."

"As Milner puts it: “There’s clueless, there’s out and out incompetence and there’s purposely misleading. In (Ozawa’s) case it’s obvious its purposely misleading.”

Source Article

Volcanic Ash: Wild attacks on high court could backfire on Trevor Ozawa

Ozawa’s hissy fit after the state Supreme Court invalidated his 22-vote general election win against Tommy Waters was unhinged, ill-advised and yet another sign he’s driven by a Trumpian sense of personal grievance. Star-Advertiser 2-3-19

Read more

Lee Cataluna: Judging judges is a poor way to play

"Waters is disarmingly friendly, quick to make a joke, kinetic and loose-limbed. Ozawa is surprisingly prickly, quick to take offense and known for his displays of anger more than personal warmth." Star Advertiser 2-1-19

Read more

The Blue Hawaii Podcast Special Election Edition

Mahalo, Josh Michaels and Ryan Little, for having me on The Blue Hawaii Podcast again! I had a great time discussing our upcoming Special Election for the District IV seat on the Honolulu City Council and appreciate the opportunity. 

Click Here to Listen to the Blue Hawaii Podcast Special Election Edition

#LeadershipWithAloha                                                                                                                                      #HonoluluCityCouncil                                                                                                                                     #TheBlueHawaiiPodcast


INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I: Special Election - Honolulu City Council District 4 | Program

Mahalo to INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I for the opportunity to be on your show and talk about the issues that are important to our community in this upcoming Special Election.

"I would not fund trash pickup.  I don't think that's fair. People are paying a lot of property taxes.  We're going to get $108 million in revenue from increased property values. That's a lot of money.  Why do we have to increase the tax for garbage pickup?" -Tommy Waters on Island Insights, 3-14-19.

Click Here to Watch Our Forum on Insights on PBS HAWAI‘I

#LeadershipWithAloha                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              #HonoluluCityCouncil                                                                                                                                               #PBSHawaii                               #PBS                                                                                                                                                             


Talking Story with Honolulu Civil Beat's Chad Blair - Podcast

Mahalo, Chad Blair of Honolulu Civil Beat, for inviting me to be a guest on your Podcast and the opportunity to discuss  homelessness, our cost of living, and rail. Click Here to Listen to Our Podcast.

#HonoluluCityCouncil                                                                                                                                       #LeadershipWithAloha                                                                                                                                                      #CivilBeat

Momentum Is Building

Mahalo, HNN Rick Daysog, for covering our Special Election Race for District IV.  Momentum is building and as University of Hawaii political science professor Colin Moore opined, “It’s a pretty dramatic lead and it does give a good indication that he (Waters) is going to be very competitive in this race.” HNN 3-14-19.

Click Here to read Rick Daysog's Story

#LeadershipWithAloha                                                                                                                                    #HonoluluCityCouncil                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                #HawaiiNewsNow


Mahalo nui loa to PBS for the opportunity to be a guest on Island Insights, to all of the callers who shared thoughtful questions for us to field, and to all of our viewers from City Council District IV. It was a lively discussion, and I was happy for the opportunity to discuss critical issues for our district like homelessness, monster homes, and fiscal responsibility around rail. If you missed the show, you can CLICK HERE TO WATCH INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I: Honolulu City Council, District 4.

#LeadershipWithAloha                                                                                                                                                  #TommyWaters                                                                                                                                                                #CityCouncil                                                                                                                                                                    #District4                        #PBS                                                                                                                                                                      #PBSHawaii     

Civil Beat Candidate Q&A - General Election

Mahalo to Honolulu Civil Beat for providing the opportunity to all candidates to share their platform and vision on the important issues facing Honolulu City Council District IV.

Click Here to Read My Responses to Civil Beat’s Candidate Questionnaire for the General Election


Like Paddling a Canoe, You Have to Pull Together. Please Vote Tommy Waters on August 11.

Two years ago my 50s crew with Hui Lanakila Canoe Club came in 3rd place in the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (HCRA) State Championship. Same crew went on to place 3rd in the Moloka’i Hoe the same year. This season, I’m sitting out in order to run for the Honolulu City Council from East Oahu. I miss paddling canoe, but there is so much more at stake this election season. High cost of living, lack of affordable housing, homelessness, monster homes, clean usable parks, crime, beach access, traffic, and rail.

If elected, I promise to work hard to make our City the most livable, safest, affordable place in the country. Like paddling a canoe, you have to pull together for a common goal, dig deep and work hard, everyday, while treating people with dignity and respect.

I humbly ask for your support, Aloha (poke) and kokua this Saturday August 11, 2018. Please Vote, Tommy Waters!

Mahalo Nui Loa,



Visit my Facebook:                                                                                      Instagram: @FriendsOfTommyWaters

Campaign 2018

Mahalo to Hawaii News Now and Ashley Nagaoka for interviewing me for your Campaign 2018 segment and allowing me to highlight some of the issues in our community that have gotten worse. And, as a result, pushed me to run again for our CDIV seat.

Click Here to Watch the Hawaii News Now Video - Campaign 2018

#LeadershipWithAloha #TommyWaters                                                                                                                                                         #CityCouncil                                                                                                                                                                #District4                                                                                                                                                                                                                 #HawaiiNewsNow



Do you have concerns regarding a City issue but haven't voiced them? Your vote is your voice. You have the power to generate change by sharing your thoughts and opinions with your elected officials. If you have a question/concern or would like to learn more about our campaign, please explore our site, get in touch and weigh in.

Mahalo for your consideration and I humbly ask for your support in the coming election.

ThinkTech Hawaii - Tommy Waters Candidate for Honolulu City Council District 4 (Community Matters)

Mahalo to host Marsha Joyner and ThinkTech Hawaii for the opportunity to be a guest on your show.  Walking door to door, our residents have expressed concerns about various issues in their neighborhoods: homelessness, affordable housing, monster homes, crime, and a number of other important issues where they have seen no resolution.  Their opinions seem to be taken for granted and it's time their voices are heard. 

City Council District IV needs a legislator that will be accountable, transparent, accessible and will keep open lines of communication and not only listen to the needs of the community but work hard to address concerns. Your opinion matters and I would be honored to be your representative in the City Council.  I humbly ask for your support and vote on August 11.

ThinkTech Hawaii Video - Tommy Waters Candidate for Honolulu City Council District 4 (Community Matters)

'Ōlelo Candidate in Focus - Tommy Waters

Mahalo to 'Ōlelo for giving me the opportunity to spread our message of Leadership with Aloha.

We touched on a number of issues that are important to our community but know there are many more. As the Primary Election is fast approaching, please continue to share your thoughts and concerns. Open and active lines of communication ensure we work TOGETHER IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF OUR COMMUNITY and I humbly ask for your vote.

'Ōlelo Television: Candidates in Focus - Tommy Waters



Civil Beat Candidate Q&A

Mahalo Civil Beat for giving me the opportunity to discuss issues important to our residents.

From keiki to kupuna, it is our responsibility to take care of the present while planning for the future. Mahalo for sharing this article on our platforms and priorities. You deserve Leadership with Aloha. Be heard. Vote!

Honolulu Civil Beat: Candidate Q and A