Kupuna Power Celebrates Seniors

Kupuna Power Flyer 2014As the “silver tsunami” approaches, it has become even more urgent to empower seniors through education, awareness and exercise. Senator Brickwood Galuteria is hosting the second Kupuna Power Day at the Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda. It’s a fun-filled event bringing together more than 30 organizations providing vital information for the health, safety and well- being for Hawaii’ s Kupuna. The public, especially Kupuna, are invited to enjoy a program jam packed with entertainment and information on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 9 – 11:30 a.m.

The event celebrates Kupuna and seek to empower them with important information relating to everyday life. However, it’s not all serious business on Kupuna Power Day.  The fun-filled event features notable local entertainers taking the stage and seniors will be asked to lace up their sneakers and take part in healthy exercise, including Silver Sneakers Stretch. Entertainment will be provided by Danny Kaleikini, Marlene Sai and Tony Silva. The events are free to attend.

“This day is all about empowering the Kupuna with education, entertainment and exercise,” said Senator Brickwood Galuteria, organizer of the event.  “Our population is aging and we need to continue to provide our Kupuna with support so that they can live self-sufficiently. The silver tsunami is coming and we want to prepare all our residents for when that time comes.”

Here is the schedule of events:

9:00 a.m.          Welcome Kupuna Power – Sen. Brickwood Galuteria
PULE  -  Kahu David Kaupu
Flag Procession  -  McKinley High School Color Guard
Pledge of Allegiance – Wesley Lum, Dir., Exec. Office on Aging
Star Spangled Banner  -  Danny Kaleikini
Hawai’i Pono’i  -  Marlene Sai
Kupuna Power Day Proclamation – Gov. Neil Abercrombie

9:15 a.m.          What is Kupuna Power?  Knowing Your Resources:   Sen. B. Galuteria

9:20 a.m.          Silver Sneakers Stretch:  Merita Compton, Dir. Kokua Kalihi Valley Kupuna Program

9:25 a.m.          Medicaid/Medicare update:  Pamela Cunningham

9:35 a.m.          Danny Kaleikini .. entertainment w/Kit Ebersbach & Steve Jones

9:45 a.m.          Avoiding Identity Theft:  Scott Spallina – Deputy Prosecuting Atty

9:55 a.m.          Silver Sneakers Stretch:    Merita Compton

10:00 a.m.          Marlene Sai .. entertainment w/Kit Ebersbach & Steve Jones

10:10 a.m.          Long Term Insurance:    Pamela Cunningham

10:20 a.m.          SPECIAL GUEST:  DaBruddha’s/Tony Silva – “How you know if you one kupuna…age is just one numbah!”

10:30 a.m.          Silver Sneakers Stretch:  Merita Compton

10:35 a.m.          Kupuna Power Recap … Knowing Your Resources:  Sen. B. Galuteria

10:45 a.m.          “Hawaii Aloha” … sing & visit w/all vendors

11:30 a.m.           PAU!!

Vendors represented at the event are as follows:

  •  AARP
  • Aloha Care
  •  Alu Like Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna Project
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Attention Plus Home Health Care
  • Blue Jay Wireless
  • Catholic Charities Hawaii
  • City & County of Honolulu – Department of Transportation
  • DCCA -  Insurance
  • DCCA – Consumer
  • DCCA – Securities
  • DHS – Ho’opono For The Blind
  • DHS – Senior Companion Program
  • DHS Foster Grandparent Program
  • Elderly Affairs
  • Emeritus Club
  • Hawaiian Memorial Park & Mortuary
  • Hawaiian Tel
  • HECO
  • HGEA
  • Honolulu Community College Emeritus Club
  • HSTA
  • Ke Ola Mamo Kupuna Program
  • Kokua Kahili Valley
  • Lanakila Meals On Wheels
  • Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center
  • Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
  •  Office of the Prosecuting Attorney – Elder Abuse
  • ‘Olelo
  • Palolo Chinese Home
  • Premier Benefit Consultants
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
  • Sage Plus
  • Scott Gardner
  • Senior Medical Patrol
  • Territorial Savings Bank
  • Waikiki Health Center
  • Walgreens


Senate Special Investigative Committee on the Hawaii State Hospital Meets Again

The Senate Special Investigative Committee on the Hawaii State Hospital yesterday continued questioning top administrators in a hearing held at the Capitol. During the hearing, concerns were raised about nepotism and if there was a possibility of overtime pay being awarded unfairly. The Hawaii Legislature subpoenaed a top administrator, Bill Elliott, to inquire specifically whether clerks at the hospital were unfairly giving more overtime to one employee over another.

The investigation will be ongoing as senators look in depth at the Hawaii State Hospital as a whole. Further investigation and questioning will resume on April 30th.

Bill Elliott, acting administrator of the state’s only public mental hospital prepares to testify before the Senate Special Investigative Committee.

Celebrate Kupuna Power Day at the Hawaii State Capitol

Save the Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014


It’s never too late to start planning for the future. The public is invited to attend Kupuna Power Day on Wednesday, April 16 from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda at the Hawaii State Capitol.

Kupuna Power Day is for and about seniors and empowers them through education, entertainment and exercise. More than 30 organizations will have display tables set up to give information to Hawaii’s Kupuna on health, safety and well-being. The program includes live entertainment, guest speakers and Silver Sneakers Stretch.

Attending Kupuna Power Day will help those who are planning for long-term care by providing essential information and resources. This event is an opportunity for the public to talk with representatives of various service providers, start planning for one’s financial future, take charge of one’s health, and learn about Medicare and Medicaid options.

Save the Date: April 4, Art at the Capitol

The 6th Annual Art at the Capitol will be held next week on First Friday, April 4, 2014.  On this night, the Hawaii State Capitol turns into an art museum as senators, representatives, the governor and lieutenant governor invite you to tour the public artwork in their offices. This is an opportunity for the public to view more than 500 pieces of artwork held in the collection of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ Art in Public Spaces Program. Fifty-three offices will be participating this year. This year’s Art at the Capitol features the “Sun” and “Moon” chandeliers by Otto Piene in the House and Senate chambers that symbolically illuminate the legislative process. In addition to viewing art, the event will have music and other performances. Art at the Capitol is active on social media. “Like” the Facebook Page, “Join” the Facebook Event, Follow on Instagram, and Subscribe to the YouTube Channel to watch “What’s on Your Wall?” teaser videos. Use #HICapitolArt to tagging on social media.

Senate Committee on Ways and Means Passes Fiscally Responsible State Supplemental Budget Bill Following Changes in Economic Outlook

Following lower tax revenue projections, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means today passed a fiscally responsible HB1700 HD1 SD1, the supplemental appropriations act of 2014, which includes less spending while continuing to support education, health, human services, the environment and public safety. The bill adjusts appropriations for the operating and capital improvement budgets of the Executive Branch for Fiscal Biennium 2013-2015.

Compared to the Governor Neil Abercrombie’s budget proposal, for FY2013-2014, the Senate’s version of the bill reduces all funds by $46.1 million, inclusive of a general fund reduction of $45.8 million. For FY2014-2015, the bill reduces all funds by $167.9 million, inclusive of a general fund reduction of $158.7 million.

“As we did last year, the Senate displayed fiscal restraint. Given weak revenue projections, we made smart policy decisions by taking a conservative and responsible approach to the supplemental budget,” said Sen. David Ige, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

On March 11, 2014, the Council on Revenues reduced its projected general fund tax revenue growth, from 3.3 percent to zero percent in FY2013-2014 and 7.4 percent to 5.5 percent in FY2014-2015. Combining this with the Department of Budget and Finance’s estimated reduction of general fund non-tax revenue growth, it’s projected that there will be a cumulative total of $491.8 million less in general funds over the current fiscal biennium.

The bill does not include funding for certain administration requests that are intended to be funded under other appropriation measures, including joint majority package bills. Sen. Ige said that these reductions should not be counted as actual “savings.” The reductions include $33.5 million for the UHPA salaries, $1.0 million for the Hawaii Invasive Species Council, and $4.9 million for Kupuna Care and other senior citizen programs.

“We wanted to take prompt action to ensure that there would be enough time in conference and continue discussions with our counterparts in the House,” added Ige.


The following are major general fund appropriations included in the Senate version of the bill:

Department of Education

    • $15.0 million for the weighted student formula;
    • $2.0 million for the Strive HI school performance improvement system;
    • $2.0 million for student athletics.

Office of Early Learning

    • $5.7 million for early learning pilot projects, including the pre-kindergarten and family child interactive learning projects.

Department of Human Services

    • $3.0 million for Preschool Open Doors;
    • $1.5 million for Housing First; and
    • $5.5 million (plus $2.9 million in federal funds) to adjust to the monthly foster families board rates.

Department of Health

    • $3.2 million for home and community based services waiver for the developmentally disabled; and
    • $1.2 million for early intervention services contracts for infants and toddlers.

Hawaii Health Systems Corporation

    • $4.5 million to replace lost federal funds.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

    • $1.5 million for the Conservation and Resource Enforcement Unit.
    • $2.5 million (plus $1.0 million in special funds) for the watershed program;
    • $100,000 (plus $3.9 million in special funds) for the bid to host the International Union for Conservation Congress in 2016; and

Department of Public Safety

    • $2.0 million in program costs, which may be used at the discretion of the Department for such programs as the justice reinvestment initiative;
    • $786,718 for mental health care positions; and
    • $519,860 for suicide/hospital watch positions.

University of Hawaii

    • $5 million and 89 positions for the University of Hawaii, West Oahu;
    • Adding $47 Million and $9.2 Million in revolving fund for various programs for UH Manoa;
    • $9.3 Million in special funds for various programs for the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine;
    • $2.0 Million for various programs at UH Hilo; and
    • Adding 50 positions for community colleges

The following are Capital Improvement Project (CIP) highlights:

Department of Education: $638 million

University of Hawaii: $625 million for College of Pharmacy, restore health and safety funding, provide repair and maintenance funding

Department of Transportation

    • Reduced funding in all areas for new project, plus additional appropriations to existing projects
    • Revenue bonds reduced by $430 million from executive request
    • Federal funds reduced by $220 million from executive request


Senator Malama Solomon Applauds Richard Ha’s Leadership in Agriculture

Submits testimony in strong support of the Hawaii Island farmer’s Board of Agriculture appointment

In written testimony to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Malama Solomon (District 9 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, and Kona) expressed strong support for the appointment of Richard Ha to the state Board of Agriculture.

“The challenges that face the agricultural business in Hawai‘i are daunting,” Solomon said in written testimony. “This is why we need Richard Ha’s leadership. His community involvement has given him in-depth knowledge of how the government, public, and private sectors cooperation is necessary so we can decrease our dependency on imported food and increase our local food production.”

Solomon also called to the committee’s attention the unfortunate, unwarranted and unfair scrutiny Ha received over the past week due to a targeted campaign to stop his reappointment.

“These falsehoods have targeted Mr. Ha’s pro-active positions and his strong avocation for the furtherance of geothermal energy development on the Island of Hawai‘i,” she wrote. She pointed out that geothermal energy development would reduce the electricity costs substantially and that it is key to accelerate local food production within the State.

Solomon called Ha an outstanding farmer and praised his holistic approach to agriculture.

Today, the Senate Committee on Agriculture unanimously approved Ha’s appointment with many of the senators praising his leadership in agriculture and willingness to serve amidst unjustified public assaults on his integrity. During discussion before decision making, one lawmaker said that the state is fortunate to have a man of his caliber in this position.

Richard Ha’s nomination will now go to the floor for a full vote by members of the Hawai‘i State Senate.

solomon pdf (Copy)


State Legislature Awards Medal of Honor to Fallen Heroes

The Hawaii State Legislature honored our state’s fallen soldiers by bestowing upon them the Hawaii Medal of Honor in a special ceremony yesterday.

Program of the 2014 Hawaii Medal of Honor Ceremony

The Medal of Honor is Hawaii’s expression of gratitude to those who gave their lives courageously protecting our nation. Four servicemen, US Army Sergeant Tofiga J. Tautolo, US Air Force Captain Reid K. Nishizuka, US Army Sergeant Drew M. Scobie, and US Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Ballo were awarded the Medal of Honor this year for their ultimate sacrifice.

Lawmakers, family members, friends and guests gather in the House Chambers of the Hawaii State Capitol to honor Hawaii Medal of Honor recipients

The Hawaii Medal of Honor was created in 2005 under Act 21 to awarded to individuals with Hawaii ties who were killed in action while serving in dangerous, volatile and unstable areas of the world, and to express Hawaii’s appreciation and gratitude to the loved ones of family members who sacrificed their lives in defense of our nation and its freedoms. Recipients of the award include members of the armed forces, the Reserves and the Hawaii National Guard.

Kahu Kordell Kekoa offers a Hawaiian blessing at the start of the ceremony

Major General Darryll Wong, Adjutant General for the State of Hawaii, gives remarks honoring the fallen heroes

The Hickam Air Force Base Honor Guard gives a 3-Volley Salute at the conclusion of the ceremony

On behalf of all of Hawaii, we thank and honor the Medal of Honor recipients and we offer our deepest condolences to their family and friends. With a heavy heart, we celebrate their lives and shall not forget the sacrifice that our fallen heroes gave in service to our nation.

Education Week at the Capitol Continues

Senators Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of University of Hawaii Community Colleges Education

Senators were spotted today in the Capitol rotunda and lanai participating in the Education Week’s University of Hawaii Community College Day in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

The events of the day opened with remarks from Sen. Jill Tokuda, chair of the Education Committee, UH Interim President David Lassner and community college chancellors.

Senator Tokuda gives opening remarks on Community College Day during Education Week

Guests at the opening ceremony of Community College Day at the State Capitol

Throughout the day, hands-on displays and demonstrations were put on by community college students showcasing robotics, solar cars, welding, art, food and fashion among others.

Senator Ige gets his blood pressure checked by students

Students from Honolulu Community College put on a fashion show

Senator Kidani tests a motorcycle simulator from Leeward Community College

Windward Community College students sketch portraits

UH Interim President David Lassner and community college chancellor were also honored in a special presentation on the senate floor.

Senators with the University of Hawaii’s interim president and chancellors

This day is one of many this week that highlights the importance and value of education in Hawaii and brings awareness to the quality education Hawaii community colleges offer.

Senators Recognize Maui School Teacher Anthony Kamaka‘eu Williams

 Pa‘ia Elementary School Teacher wins Maui District Teacher of the Year

The Hawai‘i State Senate recognized Anthony Kamaka‘eu Williams in a special presentation on the chamber’s floor for being named the 2014 Maui School District Teacher of the Year. Williams is a fourth grade Hawaiian language immersion teacher at Pa‘ia Elementary School. Williams was one of seven District Teacher of the Year recipients and will receive a monetary award from the Polynesian Cultural Center and gifts of instructional software from SMART Technologies for this honor.

“I commend Kumu Kamaka‘eu for this great honor. His passion for the Hawaiian language and teaching students is inspirational to all educators,” said Senator J. Kalani English, who represents Hana, east and upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe. “Just 30 years ago, the Hawaiian language was close to becoming extinct. The Hawaiian language lives on thanks to committed teachers such as Kumu Kamaka‘eu who have dedicated their lives to the Hawaiian Immersion Program.”

“Congratulations to Kumu Kamaka‘eu,” said Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran, who represents Wailuku, Waihe‘e, and Kahului. “In addition to classroom education in Hawaii, Kumu Kamaka‘eu leads extracurricular activities in order to provide a Hawaiian language environment to students outside of the school day. It is truly encouraging to see educators so invested in our keiki.”

“This is a well-deserved accolade for Kumu Kamaka‘eu. He is an extraordinary educator who was also voted Maui Hawaiian Immersion Teacher of the Year in 2012,” said Senator Roz Baker, who represents South and West Maui. “Kumu Kamaka‘eu plays an important role in keeping the Hawaiian language alive as well as maintaining the rigors of the Common Core standards. I admire his dedication to students and the community.”


Education Week Kicks Off at the State Capitol

Today is the start of Education Week at the Hawaii State Legislature. The week-long event will feature displays, presentations, demonstrations, and rallies in support of education initiatives that highlight the success of our schools and our students.

Sponsored by the Senate and House Education Committees chairs, Senator Jill Tokuda and Representative Roy Takumi, the celebration will include programs and events that encourages our students and the public to visit the State Capitol, engage with policymakers and actively participate in the legislative process.

The event kicked off today with an Early Learning Rally featuring a concert by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band.

Senator Tokuda dancing to music by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band

Participants at the Early Learning Rally

The Senate then honored recipients of the 2014 Teacher of the Year Awards during a special presentation on the chamber’s floor.

Senators of the 27th Legislature with 2014 Teacher of the Year Award recipients

All week long, events will be held to raise awareness for education issues and to showcase Hawaii’s educational talent.  The public is invited to attend all Education Week events. The following is a schedule of events planned for remainder of this year’s Education Week:


University of Hawaii Community College Day
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol Rotunda

Legislator Interviews
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 224

Windward Community College Art Displays
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 225

Senate Floor Presentation:
50th Anniversary of the University of Hawaii Community Colleges
Time: 11:30 a.m
Place: Senate Chamber


Coffee Hour with Legislators
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 224 and 225

Healthy Schools Day
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: State Capitol Rotunda

Early Learning Advisory Board
Time: 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 224 and 225

Senate Floor Presentations:
2014 Principals of the Year, We the People Competition student winners
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place: Senate Chambers


Creating New Best Practices for Public Education in Hawaii
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 225

R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture and Health) Performances
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Relay Race at 10:00 a.m.)
Place: State Capitol Rotunda

Senate and House Floor Presentations:
2014 Milken Educator Awards, Presidential Awards in Teaching, and Librarian Awards
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place: Senate Chambers


Friends of the Hawaii State Library System Book Sale
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Place: State Capitol, Room 225

Military Appreciation in the Schools — Demonstrations, Performances and Displays
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Place: Capitol Rotunda

Floor Presentation:
Waipahu High School, LifeSmarts winners, Roosevelt High School Carnegie Hall Performance Series
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place: Senate Chambers

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