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Haseko has been a good neighbor to the Ewa Beach community

By Tony Becker, Gale Braceros, Lyle Halverson, Kevin Rathbun and Rodolfo Ramos

LAST UPDATED: 2:05 a.m. HST, Nov 21, 2011

Over the years, Haseko's commitment to being a good neighbor has resulted in an active community stewardship program for Ewa Beach that has provided not only millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements, but also investment in area schools and financial support for numerous community organizations.

That is why we were dismayed to read Tim Tucker's recent commentary regarding Haseko and the company's proposed changes to the Hoakalei Resort community ("Hold Haseko accountable for promises ... " Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, Nov. 10). In it, he condemned Haseko for not fulfilling its promises to the Ewa Beach community when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

For example, Haseko has made contributions in excess of $300,000 to Seagull Schools' new Ewa Beach campus, James Campbell High School's Saber Media Program, Ewa Beach Elementary School and Keoneula Elementary School.

The company also provided a $500,000 endowment to establish the Haseko Training Fund to provide grants for pre-employment training and vocational education scholarships for Ewa Beach residents.

Grants have been awarded to the Ewa Weed & Seed program to help run its culinary arts program for James Campbell High School students, the Construction Training Center of the Pacific's Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training Program, and James Campbell High School's Agricultural Learning Center, among others.

In addition, Haseko has contributed $500,000 to the Ewa Beach Community Trust Fund, which awards grants to local groups that provide services for Ewa Beach youth and senior citizens. Grant recipients to date have included Ewa Beach Pony League, Ewa Hui Aloha Senior Citizens Club, Ewalani Hula Maids, Ewa Beach Lions Club and Hawaii Special Olympics.

Haseko has also donated more than 40 acres for community infrastructure and amenities, including land for Seagull Schools' new Ewa Beach campus; Keoneula Elementary School; the Honolulu Fire Department for construction of a new fire station, plus jet skis/sleds and trailers, beachfront land to be donated to the city to expand Oneula Beach Park, and land to be donated to the city for a district park.

All of these efforts have had an incredible, lasting impact in Ewa Beach:

» Most of these programs have provided sustainable ways to bolster local industry and job creation in the Ewa Beach area so that residents can live, work and play on the Ewa Plain.

» Providing support of local nonprofits has engaged youth in the community.

» Sponsorship of various community programs and events and contributions of land for schools, parks and emergency services have provided ongoing education and community building for multiple organizations and the residents of Ewa Beach.

» Upgrades to the city's sewer pump station and pipes and beautification of Papipi Road have benefitted the entire community.

» Through its endowment of the Haseko Training Fund and Ewa Beach Community Fund, residents will be able to continue to enjoy the benefits of the Good Neighbor Program long after the project is complete.

These are the promises made and kept by Haseko, and as members of the Ewa Beach community, all we can say is "Thank you, and keep up the great work."

This was signed by Ewa Beach residents Tony Becker, Lyle Halverson, Kevin Rathbun, Ewa Weed & Seed site coordinator Gale Braceros and Ewa Beach Community Fund advisory board member Rodolfo Ramos.

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