NHCH-Queen’s merger, electric vehicles and smart grids to top Waimea Town Meeting agenda this Thursday

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A progress report on North Hawaii Community Hospital since joining The Queen’s Health Systems in January, and a briefing on the merits, benefits and challenges of electric vehicles and smart electrical grids for Hawaii Island will top Waimea Community Association’s monthly town meeting agenda at 5:15 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7, in Waimea School cafeteria.

Ken Graham, acting president of NHCH, and Marilynn Hata, acting vice president for Finance and Operations, will present the update that will include investments to date and plans for the next 12 months, including equipment and facility projects as well as medical and service development programs.

Shifting the focus from healthcare to energy, Big Island Electric Vehicle Association founder Douglas Teeple, and Doug March with ChargeBliss, Inc., will speak.

Teeple is the owner of LEAF electric vehicle in Waimea. He will explain the work of the EV Association, which includes an active group of more than 120 EV members. The organization’s goals include improving the infrastructure supporting electric vehicles on Hawaii Island, to promote local jobs and make concrete positive steps towards energy sustainability.

Charge Bliss, Inc., is a smart grid energy management company and March will explain the basics of how energy management in the form of smart grids can not only be sustainable for Hawaii, but also be a boon for businesses in that they can dramatically lower utility bills. He will also discuss the island’s recently opened first Direct Current Fast Charger Station at The Shops at Mauna Lani. This new fast charger station can charge electric cars to 80 percent battery capacity in 30 minutes. Also, he will discuss how properly deployed smart grids are key to the build out of electric vehicle infrastructure in Hawaii.

Food pantry donations are suggested. Attendees are urged to either bring non-perishable food items or contribute via cash or check. Checks may be payable directly to the food pantry, so the donation is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. To support the local Food Pantry, in addition to cash and checks (receipts available), extra produce such as citrus, greens and avocados are welcome. If residents are unable to attend the WCA Town Meeting, donations to the food pantry may be delivered to Annunciation Church office during business hours.

For information, call WCA President Sherman Warner at 885-1725 or visit www.WaimeaTown.org.