Statement from Senator J. Kalani Enlgish on the Launch of the Aloha+ Challenge

Sen. J. Kalani English today issued the following statement on the launch of the “Aloha+ Challenge: A Culture of Sustainability — He Nohona ‘Ae‘oia” with a dedication signing by the governor, four county mayors and leaders from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Senator English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, was the primary introducer of SCR 69, a resolution supporting the Aloha+ Challenge.

“The Aloha+ Challenge will help keep us on the path to a sustainable future through coordinated efforts and strategic investments. It’s a commitment by government and our partners to hit our goal marks for clean energy, local food production, natural resource management, waste reduction, smart sustainable communities and green jobs and education.”

The Aloha+ Challenge sets six targets to be reached by 2030. They include:

  1. Clean Energy:  70 percent clean energy, including 40 percent from renewables and 30 percent from efficiency;
  2. Local Food:  At least double the local food production with a goal of 20-30 percent of food consumed being grown locally;
  3. Natural Resource Management:  Reverse the trend of natural resource loss mauka to makai by increasing watershed protection, community-based marine management, invasive species prevention and control, and restoration of native species;
  4. Waste Reduction:  Reduce the solid waste stream prior to disposal by 50 percent, through source reduction, recycling, and bioconversion;
  5. Smart Sustainable Communities:  Increase livability and resilience in the built environment through planning and implementation at the state and county levels;
  6. Green Workforce:  Increase local green jobs and education to implement these targets; and

For more information on SCR 69, visit: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2014/bills/SCR69_SD1_.htm

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Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! Here in Hawai‘i, we are lucky to live in a place with diverse ecology and unique environments. As such, we must actively strive to be stewards of our ‘aina and protect our islands for the future.

Celebrating Earth Day at the State Capitol, students from Farrington High School, Waialua High and Intermediate School, Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, Leilehua High School, Hawai‘i Pacific University, Hongwanji Mission School, ‘Iolani School, and Le Jardin Academy rallied to support a clean energy future  and an end to Hawai‘i’s dependency on fossil fuels.


Students sign waive for clean energy along Beretania Avenue in front of the State Capitol


Students display their homemade rallying signs supporting clean energy


Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment, addresses students at the rally


Senator Roz Baker encourages students to support clean and renewable energy

In addition to rallying for clean energy, students also participated in the legislative process. They visited Senate and House galleries to see legislators at work during the legislative floor session, and urged lawmakers to support clean energy policies under current consideration.


Students fill the Senate visitors’ gallery during the Senate floor session

The event was organized by the Blue Planet Foundation, a local nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for Hawai‘i residents by supporting a clean energy future.

Women’s Legislative Caucus Donates Easter Baskets to Help Families in Need


Senator Baker with the Easter Bunny and donated baskets for the Institute for Human Services 

The Women’s Legislative Caucus today donated more than 100 Easter baskets full of essential household items to the Institute for Human Services (IHS) to help families in need.

Baskets filled with laundry soap, utensils, dishes, toiletries, towels, and school supplies will benefit clients who get help and support in transitioning out of homelessness. The items in the baskets will be a nice welcome for the families and individuals who are just starting off in a permanent home.

“The Caucus has been doing these drives for about 10 years now,” said Senator Roz Baker (D – South and West Maui). “Community support really helps nonprofits like IHS. We’re so grateful to everyone who took the time to make these beautiful baskets and share aloha with those in need.”

The Women’s Legislative Caucus is a bipartisan organization which consists of the women Senators and women members of the House of Representatives.  The Caucus works closely with women’s organizations and concerned individuals across the State, as well as with the Governor, state agencies and other legislators to advocate for programs and services that benefit women.

For information on how you can organize a food, toiletry, clothing or other drive for IHS, email drives@ihs-hawaii.org.

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Senate’s Capitol Idol Raises Over $1,700 for the Hawaii Foodbank

The Capitol Idol II: The Return of Capitol Idol, a government talent show, raised over $1,700 for the Hawaii Foodbank. In 2012, the event raised $1,400.

Members of the executive branch and legislature didn’t hold anything back to win the coveted individual and team perpetual trophies. However, Blake Oshiro, Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Neil Abercrombie, and his backup dancers outshone everyone with “Last Dance.”

Sen. Mike Gabbard organized the fundraiser and comedian Champ Kaneshiro volunteered as emcee.

“We all had a lot of fun for a good cause as we approach a hectic time during the legislative session,” said Gabbard. “We surpassed what we brought in last year and it’s all thanks to our guests and the performers.”

Performers included:

Team Executive Branch: Linda Rosen, Director of the Dept. of Health; Keali‘i Lopez, Director of the Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Maria Zielinksi, Deputy Director of the Dept. of Accounting and General Services; Audrey Hidano, Deputy Director of the Department of Transportation; Keone Kali, Chief Information Officer; Joshua Wisch, Deputy Director of the Dept. of Taxation; Jesse Souki, Deputy Director of the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources; and Blake Oshiro, Deputy Chief of Staff

Team House: Reps. Lauren Cheap Matsumoto and Ken Ito

Team Senate: Sen. Russell Ruderman, backed by Sens. Rosalyn Baker, Will Espero, Mike Gabbard, Michelle Kidani and Suzanne Chun-Oakland;  Sen. Mike Gabbard; Sen. Malama Solomon with back-up singers Sen. Brickwood Galuteria and senate staff; and Da Kolohe Bruddahs, consisting of Sens. Mike Gabbard, Brickwood Galuteria and Russell Ruderman.

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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

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State Leaders Take the Stage for Capitol Idol II

Everyone’s got talent, right? We’ll see about that at Capitol Idol II: The Return of Capitol Idol, a government talent show fundraiser for the Hawai‘i Foodbank, featuring a handful of brave government leaders from the executive and legislative branches.  Members of the Senate, House and executive branch will sing, dance, and showcase other talents to win the applause of audience members on Monday, April 14 from 5-7 p.m. in the Capitol Auditorium. Admission is FREE. The event is hosted by Senator Mike Gabbard, with Champ Kaneshiro, of The Champ Show on OC16, emceeing.

The first Capitol Idol was held in 2012, with Rep. Marcus Oshiro (aka “Madame Moshiro”) stealing the show. People are still talking about the lady in the red dress today. However, the word lingering about Capitol hallways is that the Senate will definitely be rocking the House this year.  Individual and Senate/House perpetual trophies are at stake, but more importantly, bragging rights go to the winners for a year.

“We hope to see lots of smiling faces in the audience this year,” said Gabbard. “We want to surpass what we raised last year and encourage everyone to dig deep and support this very worthy cause. You won’t be disappointed in the show.”


Senator Gabbard plays the guitar for Capitol Idol 2012

Competing from the executive branch are Linda Rosen, Director of the Dept. of Health; Keali‘i Lopez, Director of the Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Maria Zielinksi, Deputy Director of the Dept. of Accounting and General Services; Audrey Hidano, Deputy Director of the Department of Transportation; Keone Kali, Chief Information Officer; Joshua Wisch, Deputy Director of the Dept. of Taxation; Jesse Souki, Deputy Director of the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources; and Blake Oshiro, Deputy Chief of Staff.

In the House’s corner, Reps. Lauren Cheap Matsumoto and Ken Ito will take the stage on behalf of their 51 members.

Representing the Senate are Sens. Russell Ruderman, Mike Gabbard and Malama Solomon. In addition, a group called Da Kolohe Bruddahs, given their name, will surely rouse laughter in the auditorium. The group wishes to remain anonymous, so the only way to find out who they are is to attend.

Senator Solomon dancing at Capitol Idol 2012

Although this is a FREE event, it is also a fundraiser to raise money for the Hawaii Food Bank. Therefore, state employees are encouraged to donate $1 for a scrip worth one vote. Per the State Ethics Commission, only state employees can purchase scrips.

Votes (scrips) from the audience will determine the winner. Scrips can be picked up in Gabbard’s office, Capitol Room 201, until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 14. After 5 p.m., scrips can be picked up in Capitol Room 016 until 15 minutes after the end of the show. There is no limit on the number of scrips that a state employee can purchase. And people can vote for their favorites as much as they wish.

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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.

Art at the Capitol 2014 Concludes

Last Friday was the 6th annual Art at the Capitol, where lawmakers welcomed the public to tour their offices to view the publicly held artwork there.

This year’s theme was Illuminating the Legislative Process for the featured complementary chandeliers hanging in the Senate and House chambers at the Hawaii State Capitol.

The “Sun” and “Moon” by kinetic artist, Otto Piene, hang in the House and Senate chambers of the Hawaii State Legislature at the State Capitol

The kinetic light sculptures were commissioned by the State of Hawaii and installed in the koa-lined chambers of the House and Senate in 1971. The House Sun is a gold-plated sphere with 132 smaller golden orbs while the Senate Moon is a silver ball of 630 chambered nautilus shells. The featured artist, Otto Piene was unable to attend the event, but was interviewed speaking about the two complementary sculptures.

Art at the Capitol began in 2008 as Senator Brian Taniguchi’s initiative to welcome the public to view the variety of state-owned artwork displayed not just in the open areas of the State Capitol, but the legislative offices as well.  More than 900 pieces of artwork in the collection of the Hawaii State Foundation on Arts and Culture’s Art in Public Places Program are displayed at the State Capitol.

Two string quartets in the Hawaii Youth Symphony Orchestra played music for guests as they enjoyed the artwork in various legislators’ offices.

Many of the artwork in the Art in Public Places collection are done by artists local to the area. Some were on hand to talk about the works displayed in various offices.


Senator Ige with artist Steve Martin, who created the stoneware vessel displayed in his office.

Some senators provided additional entertainment and refreshment for guests.


Senator Gabbard shows off his Jean Charlot painting and offers his wife’s homemade toffee treats to constituents and guests.


Senator Jill Tokuda entertains guests with music from a harpist and flutist in her office for Art at the Capitol

Many legislators personally welcomed visitors to their offices.


Senator Espero greets guests to his office


Senator Kidani describes painting above her workstation a calming window


Senator Nishihara poses with guests in his office

Senators’ staff were also on hand to discuss the artwork in the offices.


Senate President Donna Mercado Kim’s staff members rest under a wall of photographs.

Many people brought their families to the First Friday because appreciation of art has no age limits.


Guests in show off their 2014 Art at the Capitol packet in Senator Green’s office.


Senator Kahele and Senate Sergeant of Arms, Ben Villaflor taking a break to listen to the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra quartet

The evening was a fun and successful one and we hope that you will join us next year at Art at the Capitol.

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.

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.

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