Blessing and dedication ceremony opens Newtown neighborhood parking lot

Aug 4, 2012 | PC Community


City officials opened the newly completed Newtown Neighborhood Parking Lot on Saturday after a blessing and dedication ceremony sponsored by the Office of Honolulu City Councilmember Breene Harimoto who represents District 8 (Fort Shafter, Moanalua, Halawa, Aiea, Waimalu, Pearl City, Pearl City Peninsula, Seaview, Crestview and Waipio Gentry).

Councilmember Harimoto, Mayor Peter Carlisle, Department of Parks and Recreation Director Gary Cabato, and Donald Devaney, President of the Newtown Estates Community Association joined together to open the parking lot to the public.

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Donald Devaney, President of the Newtown Estates Community Association (third from left) and Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle (second from right) officially opened the Newtown Neighborhood Parking Lot after untying a ceremomial maile lei at the lot entrance on Saturday, August 4, 2012.

The new parking lot which is located at 98-434 Kaahele Street in Aiea near the entrance to the Newtown Recreation Center, will provide park users a safe and convenient access to their neighborhood park. Before Saturday's opening, park users parked along a very busy and dangerous stretch of roadside on Kaahele Street near the neighborhood park.

The Newtown Neighborhood Parking Lot project was a collaborative effort that brought together the private sector, government, and community, to benefit Newtown residents and visitors to the neighborhood park.

"This is really an exciting project because a whole bunch of different entities came together, the community association, Frank Coluccio Construction Company, the parks and recreation department, all of them got together. Coluccio was kind enough to do this at their own dime and it became absolutely free for the City and County of Honolulu. It does a whole lot for the community because this link here between the two sides of the park has been somewhat dangerous. Having it where you're going to have a parking lot where people are going to be able to come and enjoy this side of the park as well as the recreation center down at the bottom is good stuff."

                                                                                ….Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle

"Its a great day for a blessing. It's all about of everybody working together, that's how we get things done. Partnerships is the only way we get things done. A free parking lot, that's unheard of. I couldn't of done this by myself. It's everybody working together."

                                                    ….Honolulu City Councilmember Breene Harimoto

"If it wasn't for a tremendous partnership of everyone involved, this would have never happened. About two years ago we knew it was going to happen, and at that point it was a matter of when? To get to that point two years ago with Coluccio coming forward, Councilmember Harimoto stepping up, the parks department Gary Cabato and Bill Balfour all coming together after it was kind of in limbo and flux. It is a great day for many people throughout this community because no longer will we be competing with traffic on Kaahele Street."

                                                                       ….State Representative K. Mark Takai

"Today was an opportunity for Newtown and the community to show the public how working together is all unity of effort. Especially on a project like this where it didn't cost the city or the taxpayer money. It did save the construction company Coluccio some money in the fact that he didn't have to pay a fee to access a private road to get to his equipment so he appreciated that. You weigh it all together, you come out with a situation where he said when the sewer project is completed, if you want  a park here, if you want a parking lot here, they would be willing to do it. This is what he did and it's beautiful."

       ….Donald Devaney, President of the Newtown Estates Community Association

"Its all about give and take and we want to be active neighbors. The community put up with us being here during the construction and the parks department helped us out with the staging area, and so we want to do our part to give back and help out with something that the whole community can use."

                   ….Tim Pearia, Frank Coluccio Construction Company Project Manager

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Reverend Bill Stonebraker performed the blessing of the parking lot on Saturday.

                                                      Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

(From left to right) Tim Pearia, Frank Coluccio Construction Company Project Manager, Senator David Ige, Representative K. Mark Takai, Donald Devaney, President of the Newtown Estates Community Association, Honolulu City Councilmember Breene Harimoto, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, Reverend Bill Stonebraker, Representative Heather Giugni, and Department of Parks and Recreation Director Gary Cabato.

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Honolulu City Councilmember Breene Harimoto (left) Representative Heather Giugni (center) and Representative K. Mark Takai (right).

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Representative Takai welcomes Mayor Carlisle as he pilots C&C 1 through the entrance to the Newtown Neighborhood Parking Lot while making history as the first to officially make the crossing.

Mayor Carlisle was asked how it felt to be first?

"My heart was pounding," said Mayor Carlisle. "I was definitely afraid I was going to come right through the tent. But yes, I succeeded in getting C&C 1 through the gate with enthusiasm and at a very reasonable speed I might add."

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Donald Devaney, President of the Newtown Estates Community Association officially pulled through the gates in second place.

                                                       Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Mahalo to Mana Loa-Nimitz Lions Club members Brian Nitta, Dennis Loui, and President Warren Hiromoto for volunteering to set up and break down Saturday's Newtown Neighborhood Parking Lot blessing and dedication ceremony event.