Yukimura feted for public service

  • Photo courtesy Anne Walton

    Former mayor and county councilmember JoAnn Yukimura speaks at the 2018 annual Awards & Membership Meeting of the Conservation Council for Hawaii, where she honored for her lifetime commitment to activism and public service.

At the recent 2018 annual awards and membership meeting of the Conservation Council for Hawaii, former Kauai mayor and county councilmember JoAnn Yukimura was honored for her lifetime commitment to activism and public service.

The crowd of about 200 people on Oahu recognized Yukimura for her understanding of the aina and wai. It was noted that at a very early age she made a commitment to focus on protecting Kauai’s agricultural lands and open spaces through wise land-use planning and management.

Among her achievements cited in a press release, Yukimura:

• Successfully worked in opposition to suburbanization of Kilauea’s agricultural lands after the sugar plantation closed;

• Rallied the Niumalu-Nawiliwili tenants to stop the building of condominiums and a floating restaurant on Alekoko (Menehune) Fishpond;

• Fought a proposal to build 1,500 resort units (three, 500-room hotels) in the beloved open space of the area north of Hanamaulu known as Nukolii;

• Worked with citizens of Kilauea and the Trust for Public Lands to secure and protect 140 acres, including Mokolea Point and Crater Hill, that would eventually become part of the expanded Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge;

• Co-founded the Kauai Public Land Trust that later merged with the Hawaii Island Land Trust, and immediately succeeded in protecting oceanfront parcels on the North Shore of Kauai.

She was first elected to office when she was 26 years old, and since spent 41 years in public service. She served as mayor of Kauai, and four terms on the County Council, before leaving her council post due to being termed out.

She started the county’s first recycling and composting projects, at the same time working on securing Kauai’s plastic grocery bag ban. And, she served on the organizing board of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, the first and only electric utility cooperative in the state, which continues to set records for renewables.

  1. harry oyama December 7, 2018 4:47 am Reply

    She was not solely responsible for stopping that Nukolii massive development, it was a grass roots local group called The Nukolii Association. Yukimura was just a member of that association, not its leader.

    1. RG DeSoto December 7, 2018 2:25 pm Reply

      Yes those that remember only half the issue. Although the county at the behest of activist and collectivist like Yukimura shut the project down, voters subsequently overturned that nonsense and elected to reinstate the building permit.
      Get the facts straight,
      RG DeSoto

  2. I saw a Vampire once December 7, 2018 7:34 am Reply

    That was in 1974, Nukoli’i. Many either didn’t want jobs or just didn’t want more tourist. I didn’t know she was involved.

  3. RG DeSoto December 7, 2018 7:57 am Reply

    Yukimura’s so-called accomplishments are a laundry list of why there is so little “affordable” housing. She’s simply an obstructionist to all building.
    RG DeSoto

  4. andy December 7, 2018 8:07 am Reply

    Excellent job, Joann, mahalo for your many years of community service, especially in the areas of conservation noted in the above article. We need more like you! It will be interesting to see what sorts of comments this article generates from the usual trolls who have lots to blah-blah about but little or no public service to back it up.

  5. ruthann jones December 7, 2018 8:43 am Reply

    don’t forget she suggested solving toxic smoke pollution problem by ‘baking cookies’ for the offending neighbors! So insulting.

  6. Oingo boingo December 7, 2018 10:50 am Reply

    Good job and thank you for your service JoAnne..

  7. She Served Special Interests December 7, 2018 10:59 am Reply

    Yukimura served special interests and families that profited an the expense of burdening the people and families who weren’t apart of the good ol boys and gals club.

    Her brother and the Kawakami family made millions with the Big Box band and the people of Kauai have suffered higher grocery prices from higher costs and limited competition.

    The AG land development was created by the Kaneshiro family and they made $$$$$ off of that but the oath holders didn’t see any conflict of interest when he proposed the bill. Will boy Kaneshiro do the same? You better bet on that because good ol boys and gals get their palms greased for a reason.

    Sad state of affairs when you published a feel good story but leave out all the wrong someone has done oh yes there’s more and people who survived Hurricane Iniki remember.

    Nice lady but the secret agendas can’t be denied.

    Good Luck Kauai in fixing her mess but at least her family and friends made their millions.

    Great Job Yukimmura! All the rest of you bend over and take it!

  8. Kelsey Maddox December 7, 2018 7:08 pm Reply

    My sincere congratulations to Joann for being recognized for her contributions and achievements for the good of Kauai. As a former resident of Kilauea I know that her leadership was instrumental in saving Crater Hill and the overdevelopment of the area. She deserves our praise and enormous mahalo for her gifts.

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