Sen. Solomon Announces Release of $1 Million for Kohala Hospital Repairs

Sen. Malama Solomon today announced the release of $1,000,000 in capital improvement funds for repairs and updates to Kohala Hospital. She issued the following statement:

“Mahalo to Governor Abercrombie for releasing the funding for much-needed repairs and improvements to Kohala Hospital,” said Senator Malama Solomon (District 4, Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona). “The hospital has served the small community for almost 100 years, and with these funds we can bring Kohala into the future and keep up with changes in healthcare.”

Kohala Hospital is a 28-bed Critical Access Hospital (CAH) with 24 hour emergency services. It has serving the North Kohala community since 1917.

Statement from Senate President Donna Mercado Kim on the Passing of Former Hawaii Island Lawmaker Robert “Bob” Herkes

Senate President Donna Mercado Kim today issued the following remarks on the passing of former lawmaker Robert “Bob” Herkes, who passed this week at 83:

“I am saddened to learRep Herkes Christmas 2011n of the passing of former lawmaker Robert “Bob” Herkes and my thoughts and prayers are with Jo-Anna and their family. Our state lost a revered man who dedicated his life to public service, and we were lucky to have him serve as a state senator, state representative and Hawaii County Council member. Even after leaving the Legislature, Bob never stopped contributing to the well-being of our state. The Senate in April confirmed him as a member of the Hawaii Tourism Authority Board and he was scheduled to attend his first meeting just a few days ago. Until the end, he was committed to improving the lives of Hawaii’s people.

“Bob cared deeply about his home and its people. He fought tirelessly to strengthen our communities and create a better life for all. Many will remember him for effectively passing legislation helping homeowners during the mortgage foreclosure crisis, and spearheading efforts to address the impacts of VOG on health and safety, agriculture, the economy and tourism. Because of his work, Hawaii Island received a mobile medical van that acts as a roving clinic in under-served areas.

“He was a respected lawmaker, sharp businessman and compassionate mentor and friend. We will miss him dearly.

“On behalf of the Hawaii State Senate, we offer our deepest condolences to his wife Jo-Anna, sons Bob, Ken and Dough, and all family and friends at this difficult time.”

Mililani High School Valedictorian Receives Scholarship From National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures

A Mililani High School graduate is one of just eleven students from across the U.S. selected to receive a college scholarship award from the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures (NHCSL).

Isis Usborne, a valedictorian from the MHS Class of 2014, will use the $3,000 grant to help with tuition and expenses as she enrolls at UH Manoa for the fall semester. The John S. Martinez Closing the Achievement Gap Scholarship was created in memory of the late Connecticut State Representative and former NHCSL President John S. Martinez to recognize the values most important to him – leadership, innovation, compassion and public service.

Applications for the award are accepted from high school seniors of Hispanic ethnicity who attend schools in legislative districts represented by state lawmakers who are also of Hispanic descent. Mililani High School is located in Senate District 18, represented by Senator Michelle Kidani who is of Puerto Rican descent. The school also serves students and families in the adjacent District 22, represented by Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, also of Puerto Rican descent. Both Senators are active members of the National Hispanic Caucus.

“Mililani is a diverse community where we celebrate and share each other’s heritage,” Senator Kidani said. “I encourage Hispanic students in my district to apply for this prestigious award each year, and we are so pleased to congratulate Isis for her outstanding accomplishments that easily qualified her for the Martinez scholarship.”

Isis has displayed admirable leadership, academic excellence and a passionate commitment to community. She was a Valedictorian in her graduating class with a 4.089 GPA – achieved while successfully completing six Advanced Placement classes. She received multiple honors for her academic work, including awards at district and state science and engineering fairs, and as a member of the Mililani High School We the People constitutional studies team that travelled to Washington, D.C. for national competitive events.

In her community, Isis has been a legislative intern and participated in numerous service activities – including tutoring and mentoring fellow students, campus beautification programs and events to promote health and environmental awareness. “Students like Isis who are high achievers always have a terrific support team behind them,” Senator Kidani added. “We are grateful to her dedicated teachers and mentors at Mililani High School and to her family and friends who have been with her through the last four years.”

Hawaii Island Receives $300,000 for Wastewater and Highway Improvements

Senator Malama Solomon (District 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) released the following statement on the administration’s release of nearly $300,000 for wastewater and highway capital improvement projects on Hawaii Island:

• $47,000 for transportation improvements to Queen Kaahumanu Highway at the intersection of Kawaihae Road
• $250,000 for design and construction at Waimea Baseyard Wastewater Systems

“These projects are important to the people of Hawaii Island and I’m glad the governor released the funding for these much-needed improvements.

“Although there has been delays in work at Kawaihae Road and Queen Kaahumanu Highway intersection for a variety of reasons, I’m looking forward to its completion as changes will help with the flow of trafSen.MalamaSolomon_2013Legislature_Final(Cropped)fic and address safety concerns shared by the community.

“I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I did to ensure money flowed to projects such as the quarter of a million dollars for upgrades to wastewater systems in Waimea. Making these necessary upgrades will help create a more safe and effective sewer complex through the modernization of aging sewage treatment facilities.



House Speaker Joseph M. Souki and Senate President Donna Mercado Kim today announced that Legislative offices will be closed on Friday, August 8, 2014.  All non-essential legislative personnel are being asked to stay at home and off the roads as tropical storms Iselle and Julio bear down on Oahu.

Employees are encouraged to take precautions for their personal safety and follow media reports for up to date information on the pending storms.

The State Capitol will also be closed on Saturday, August 9 as both house chambers will be used by the Office of Elections as its Control and Counting Center Operations.

Normal office hours are expected to resume on Monday, August 11th unless otherwise directed.


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