County hosting meeting for teen drug center

LIHU‘E —The need for a drug treatment center for teens on Kaua‘i seems to be the consensus among those who attended two meetings earlier this year. The only problem is where the center will be.

“Look at them, they’re stressed,” said an island resident on Thursday, pointing out to other protesters while holding sign at the intersection of Ehiku Street and Kuhio Highway in Lihu‘e. “They’re not against having the drug treatment center, they’re just wondering how come it’s so close to where they live.”

County officials said some of these concerns — regarding the proposed siting of an adolescent treatment center in Lihu‘e — will be addressed during a meeting Tuesday at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center from 6 to 8 p.m., a county press release states.

Concerned residents said they will continue their informational sign waving from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, the day before the meeting.

A panel of experts on treatment and enforcement will be answering questions and addressing concerns from residents in the Isenberg and Fuji Camp subdivisions, where most concerns arose during the last meeting hosted by the county.

Panelists include Ed Gomes, the Pacific regional coordinator of the Hawai‘i Meth Center, Dr. Blossom Fonoimoana, clinical director of the Bobby Benson Treatment Center, Dr. Gerald McKenna, medical director of the McKenna Recovery Center, Madeleine Hiraga Nuccio, branch chief of the Kaua‘i Family Guidance Center, and Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry.

Picketers at the Thursday roadside rally claim they never got any clear answer from the county on some of their individual concerns about having the drug treatment center being proposed on Grove Farm land in the proximity of the two Lihu‘e subdivisions.

As they maintained their vigil, passing motorists punctuated the silence with honks of support.

Flyers for the upcoming meeting which is open to the public were distributed and the Anti-Drug Office under the Mayor’s Office walked house to house to inform the Isenberg community of the upcoming meeting.

The Tuesday meeting is the third in a series of meetings planned to continue the discussion on the adolescent drug treatment center. The series started with the first meeting in February.

Contact the Anti-Drug Office at 241-4925, or email tkoki@kauai.gov to request additional support or auxiliary aid for the meeting.

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