Senators to Honor Hokule‘a Crew Members Ahead of Worldwide Voyage

Sen. Gilbert Kahele Introduces Resolution Urging the Governor to Proclaim 2014 Year of the Worldwide Voyage

As the Legislature navigates its way through the 27th Legislative Session making important policy decisions on issues that affect Hawai‘i’s people, it takes inspiration from the crew members of the Hokule‘a and their dedication to shared values of and responsibility for caring for the land and its people while honoring Hawai‘i’s heritage and culture.

With great admiration, Hawai‘i senators on Monday, March 10 at 11:30 a.m. in the Senate Chambers will recognize and honor the crew of the Hokule‘a in a special floor presentation as they prepare for the second leg of their worldwide voyage, aptly referred to as “Malama Honua,” or “Care for the Earth.” The voyage will be done almost entirely using traditional Polynesian navigation methods, known as wayfinding. This is the first voyage of its kind and involves using ancestral knowledge of star patterns, ocean movement, marine life, weather patterns and other signs of nature. As crew members will say, the Hokule‘a represents Hawai‘i’s culture, heritage and connection to ancestors.

“The Hokule‘a’s international travels will soon begin and it’s important to the Senate that each crew member knows that the state and its lawmakers support their mission and stands unwavering behind their efforts,” said Sen. Gilbert Kahele (District 1 Hilo), who spearheaded the upcoming presentation ceremony. “A floating classroom, the Hokule‘a will carry our diverse and accepting culture throughout the Pacific building relationships and raising awareness about the importance of ocean protection.”

“As a lawmaker, I look forward to what they will bring back regarding recommendations for charting a new course or more so how we as a state shall adjust our sails toward sustainable practices for food, energy and the environment that they’ve picked up from other places and cultures,” said Kahele. “Their mana‘o would be an added value to helping legislators in future policy decisions.”

Kahele has also introduced two resolutions supporting the efforts of the Hokule‘a. One resolution urges Gov. Neil Abercrombie to proclaim 2014 as the Year of the Worldwide Voyage while the other urges the state and state entities to support the Hokule‘a and their crew as they journey around the world.

Last May, the Hokule‘a began the first of 22 legs planned for the voyage around the world right here in Hawai‘i. The next leg begins in May and will take them to Tahiti, from there, and over the next four years, they will travel to 26 countries and stop at 85 international ports – sailing more than 47,000 miles. The crew consists of 260 individuals from 16 countries including navigators, students, educators, scientists, documenters, medic, cultural leaders and global ambassadors.

“Our experiences and shared knowledge are really the things that define our lives,” Kahele said. “We all can learn from each other, and the voyages of the Hokule‘a reminds us of this. We’re all in this together so we need to care for each other, work together. During our own journey, while we finish out the second half of the legislative session, we intend to keep the spirit of Hokule‘a in our hearts.”

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Senator Kahele Welcomes a Granddaughter

Senator Gilbert Kahele welcomed a granddaughter yesterday. ‘Iolana Malaea Kahele was born at home in Hilo at 6:55pm on February 12, 2014. Congratulations to Senator Kahele!

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Hawaii State Senators Go Red For Women

Hawaii State senators wore red today in support of National Wear Red Day, a movement to raise awareness for the battle against heart disease in women.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women and is more prevalent in women than men. Now in its 10th year, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign has saved lives by raising awareness of this serious issue.


From Left: Hawaii State Senators Kahele, Nishihara, Tokuda, Thielen, Solomon, Kim, Baker, Keith-Agaran, Shimabukuro, Chun Oakland

Senator Rosalyn Baker made the following announcement today on the Senate floor today.

“I just wanted to call to everyone’s attention: Some of us have red on for a reason. This is Go Red for Women Day, an acknowledgement that heart disease is one of the number one causes of deaths of women, and heart attacks manifest themselves very differently in women than they do in men. So, I would encourage all of the women here to know what the warning signs are and to watch out for your diet, and for all of our male colleagues who have women in their lives in whatever forms – sisters, daughters, moms, spouses – that you encourage them to know the warning signs and take care of their diet. Your health is a great concern to all of us, and happy Go Red for Women Day, and aloha.”

Senate Water and Land Chair to Visit the Islands of Maui and Lana‘i

MAUI –Senate Water and Land Chair Malama Solomon will conduct site visits on the islands of Maui and Lana‘i from Wednesday, September 18 to Friday, September 20, 2013. Invited by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), the Senator will receive updates on various programs, projects, and concerns. Senator Gilbert Kahele, chair of the Tourism Committee, will also be joining the group.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
• Koa forest watershed project
• Iao Valley State Monument
• Lipoa Point

Thursday, September 19, 2013
• New DOCARE enforcement boat Ha’ena State Park
• Lahaina Harbor
• Manele Bay Small Boat Harbor
• Lana‘i Island watershed

Friday, September 20, 2013
• Lana‘i Island Baseyard

I applaud the Department of Land and Natural Resources for organizing these informative site visits and look forward to learning more about their work on the islands of Maui and Lana‘i,” said Senator Malama Solomon. “Through working collaboratively with the department we will be able to better define and address the needs of all of our islands.”

These visits are part of a number of statewide site visits the Senator and DLNR are conducting this interim.

Senate Ways and Means Committee Visits Hawai‘i Island

Senators visit the Pohoiki Swim Area and Boat Ramp. (L-R: Sen. Laura Thielen, Sen. Michelle Kidani, Sen. J. Kalani English, Sen. Donna Mercado-Kim, Sen. David Ige, Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, and Sen. Russell Ruderman.)

Earlier this week, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Hawai‘i Island Senators, and the Senate President conducted site visits across Hawai‘i Island. Led by Ways and Means Chair David Ige, Ways and Means Committee members, Hawaii Island Senators Malama Solomon, Josh Green, Gil Kahele, and Russell Ruderman, and Senate President Donna Mercado Kim toured and were updated on various programs, projects, and concerns.

While on Hawai‘i Island, Senators visited the Kona Airport, Judiciary Courthouse, Kona Community Hospital, UH Hawai‘i Community College Palamanui Site, Waimea Middle School, Puna Community Medical Center, Pahoa Public Library, Pohoiki Swim Area and Boat Ramp, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy Research Labs, UH Hilo Student Housing, Old Hilo Memorial Hospital, and Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy Modules. They also held a community informational meeting at the Waimea Middle School cafeteria.

The Hawai‘i Island visit is part of a number of statewide site visits the Senate Ways and Means Committee will conduct this interim.

Senators tour the Kona Community Hospital.

Senators hold a community informational meeting at Waimea Middle School.

(Photos Courtesy: The Senate Ways and Means Committee.)

Hawai‘i Island’s International Flight Training Center Prepares for Take-Off

(International Flight Training Center & Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Bills Become Law)

(Senator Gilbert Kahele joins his House colleagues and Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui for the enactment of Senate Bill 1221 and House Bill 417.)

Honolulu- Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui signed into law today a measure foundational to the future implementation of an international flight training center on the Island of Hawai‘i.

Senate Bill 1221 appropriates $100,000 to hire a program coordinator and a technical support staff member for an international flight training center and associated aeronautical training programs at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College.

Hawai’i Island and in particular Hilo has everything you need to support a world class aviation university program,” said Senator Gilbert Kahele, who represents District 1 (Hilo) and was one of the bill’s primary introducers.  “Today’s investment by the State creates the initial foundation for a program that will create additional opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for our local youth and students in the Asia-Pacific region. I commend the Abercrombie administration for their support and commitment to this important investment in Hawai’i's future.”

The Lieutenant Governor also enacted a measure to address the State’s primary care physician shortage.

House Bill 417, relating to the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation, appropriates $1,800,000 for the interdisciplinary Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program at Hilo Medical Center.

The measure provides an innovative approach to resolving the severe shortage of healthcare providers that the State continues to face,” said Kahele. “The success of this statewide training program, administered by Hilo Medical Center, will help the State to meet the needs of our rural area residents by generating interdisciplinary teams capable of caring for four times as many patients as independent practicing physicians and eliminate our need to train or attract unattainably high numbers of physicians.”

 

Hawaii State Senate Announces Transformation in Committee Lineup

Honolulu–The Hawaii State Senate today unveiled changes to its committee lineup and chairmanships. Two committees have been added, splitting the current Committee on Tourism and Hawaiians Affairs (THA) into two separate subject matter committees. The new committees are Tourism (TSM) and Hawaiian Affairs (HWN).

Senator Gilbert Kahele will chair TSM with Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran serving as vice-chair. Senator Maile Shimabukuro will chair HWN with Senator Clayton Hee serving as vice-chair.

In the beginning of the session we acted quickly to organize and kept changes to a minimum so that we could focus our attentions on the issues and prepare for the 2013 session,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. “Now that session is over, we are afforded the capacity to listen to feedback and evaluate ourselves. In doing so, we have been able to make some positive changes.  These new assignments maximize the skills and interests of each of our members, while providing us with greater opportunity to focus on the individual subject areas.”

Currently, Senator Brickwood Galuteria has served as both the Majority Leader and Chair of THA. The new committee assignments will allow the newly appointed chairs to take on greater leadership roles while providing Galuteria with more flexibility to serve in his continued capacity as Majority Leader.

I am pleased with this new leadership lineup for the committees,” said Majority Leader Brickwood Galuteria. “Understanding the role of a chair makes my Senate Majority Leadership assignment more effective. I look forward to working with both Chairs Kahele and Shimabukuro in their new capacities and most importantly to continuing to work with my Senate colleagues to advance the priorities of the Senate Majority.”

Additionally, the Senate announced changes to the vice-chairmanships of the Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) and Water and Land (WTL). Under the new changes Senator Brian Taniguchi will serve as vice-chair of CPN and Galuteria as vice-chair of WTL.

 

The change in committee assignments will take effect July 1, 2013.

Governor Release $134.7 Million for Hawai‘i Island Schools

Honolulu- Governor Neil Abercrombie yesterday announced the release of $134.7 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) for Hawai‘i Island schools. The Governor’s CIP package included allocation of funds for priority projects identified by members of the State Legislature.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, who represents Senate District 1, encompassing Hilo, issued this statement in response to the Governor’s release of funds:

I would like to thank the Governor for releasing the funding for these much needed projects,” said Kahele. “It is important that we invest in repairing and maintaining our public school facilities so that we can continue to provide safe learning environments for our island keiki.”

$500,000 towards additional construction for all-weather track and field facilities at Waiakea High School and $350,000 for the design and construction of ADA accessible playground equipment at Waiakeawaena Elementary School are among the projects identified in the Governor’s CIP package.

Kahele, who lobbied hard at the State Legislature to obtain funding for these two projects, said that they are essential to the safety and co-curricular development of the students.

These two projects will not only provide a safe place for students to train, practice and play, but also encourages them to excel in and outside of the classroom,” Kahele explained. “I appreciate the Governor for funding the Waiakea High School’s all-weather track and field facilities and Waiakeawaena Elementary School’s playground equipment. Our students will be able to enjoy using these facilities for years to come.”

Additional construction for all-weather track and field facilities at Waiakea High School will be shared with Hilo High School. Both schools are currently using county facilities to host track and field events. Funding for this phase of the project will involve the replacement of grass turf with all-weather surfacing and drainage enhancements.

Design and construction at Waiakeawaena Elementary School will provide safe and accessible playground equipment to meet ADA accessibility guidelines.

District Needs Fulfilled By Legislative Teamwork

Honolulu- Through working together, Senators Malama Solomon and Gilbert Kahele, along with Representative Mark Nakashima are improving the quality of life in their districts. Together, the legislators secured $292.6 M in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for the Hawai‘i Island districts, ensuring that many of their district goals were met. The project funds were allocated in the CIP portion of the State budget, House Bill (HB) 200. These appropriations represent new jobs and job training, education and healthcare, roads, airports and harbor improvements, and vital “safety net” services for our keiki, kupuna and less fortunate. This bill is currently awaiting Governor Abercrombie’s signature.

“A special thanks to everyone who called, emailed or sent testimony supporting these important projects. You made a difference!” said Senator Malama Solomon (District 4, Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona).  “We also made progress on addressing the financial crisis our State faces by passing a bill that protects our all-important AA bond rating. This is how we finance major infrastructures to get results that benefit our community.”

“The projects funded by the budget will help move the Island of Hawai‘i forward by creating jobs, enhancing our public infrastructure and facilities, and investing in education,” said Senator Gilbert Kahele (District 1, Hilo). “Through projects at our schools like Waiakea Elementary and Waiakea High, we invest in our children’s educational development and provide a safe environment in which they can achieve success. “

“I am particularly pleased that funds have been allocated for a new rescue and fire fighting facility at Hilo International Airport, as well as runway improvements. In addition, we are addressing the critical shortage of primary care providers by establishing the training program,” said Representative Nakashima (District 1- Hamakua, Hilo). “By working collaboratively with my colleagues in both the House and Senate we will continue to secure funds to drive our economy and improve our quality of life.”

Senators Solomon and Kahele and Representative Nakashima, will hold a community meeting on Thursday, June 6, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, UCB 127.  Legislators will be giving residents a post 2013 Legislative Session update, including a discussion on CIPs.

Here are highlights of the CIP funding secured for the Hawai‘i Island districts:

 

AGRICULTURE

$2 Million             WAIMEA IRRIGATION SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS

$4.4 Million         LOWER HAMAKUA DITCH WATERSHED PROJECT

AIRPORTS

$43.4 Million       HILO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, NEW AIR RESCUE AND FIRE FIGHTING FACILITY,  RUNWAY 3-21 RECONSTRUCTION, SECURITY ACCESS CONTROL

$113.5 Million    KONA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SECURITY ACCESS CONTROL, TERMINAL EXPANSION, INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS BUILDING

$3 Million             ELLISON S. ONIZUKA SPACE MUSEUM; IMPROVEMENTS

DBEDT

$12.017 Million  NELHA SEAWATER SYSTEM UPGRADES, ROAD AND NEW INTERSECTION CONNECTIONS

DEFENSE

$5.9 Million         YOUTH CHALLENGE ACADEMY (YCA) UPGRADE & IMPROVEMENTS

$300,000              WEST HAWAI‘I VETERANS CENTER; PLANS & DESIGN

EDUCATION

$1 Million             HONOKAA HIGH SCHOOL; ATHLETIC FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS

$5 Million             WAIMEA MIDDLE SCHOOL; 9-CLASSROOM SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY

BUILDING

$300,000              KEALAKEHE HIGH SCHOOL; ALL-WEATHER AND SYNTHETIC TRACK

$1.5 million         WAIAKEA ELEMENATARY SCHOOL; PLAY COURT

$450, 000             WAIAKEA HIGH SCHOOL; NEW BATTING CAGE

HARBORS

$1 Million             HILO HARBOR MODIFICATIONS

HEALTH

$1 Million             HAWAI‘I ISLAND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION; CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW ADULT DAY CARE FACILITY

$4 Million             KONA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL; RENOVATIONS AND UPGRADES

$1 Million             KOHALA COMMUNITY HOPITAL; RENOVATIONS AND UPGRADES

$1.8 Million         HB417: PRIMARY CARE TRAINING PROGRAM AT HILO MEDICAL CENTER

HUMAN SERVICES

$643,000              THE SALVATION ARMY FAMILY INTERVENTION SERVICES

JUDICIARY

$9 Million             KONA JUDICIARY COMPLEX

LABOR

$1.2 Million         HAWAI‘I COUNTY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL; EMERGENCY REPAIRS AND HANDICAPPED ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS

$1.5 Million         KAHILU THEATRE FOUNDATION; IMPROVEMENT OF EXISTING FACILITIES

$30,000                 BRANTLEY CENTER, INC.; RENOVATIONS OF EXISTING FACILITIES IN HONOKA’A

LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

$6.5 Million         PUUANAHULU SHOOTING RANGE FACILITY

ROADS

$7.5 Million         AKONI PULE HIGHWAY, REALIGNMENT AND WIDENING

$4 Million             HAWAI‘I BELT ROAD ROCKFALL PROTECTION & DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENTS AT PAPAALOA

$27.7 Million       QUEEN KAAHUMANU HIGHWAY WIDENING

$15.7 Million       SADDLE ROAD EXTENSION TO KAAHUMANU HWY & MAINTENANCE BASEYARD

$1 Million             IMPROVEMENTS TO INTERSECTION AND SIDEWALK OF MAMANE STREET, HONOKAA

$6.25 Million       PUAINAKO ST. WIDENING/REALIGNMENT, KANOELEHUA AVENUE TO KOMOHANA STREET

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

$2.4 Million         UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I PALAMANUI CAMPUS, PHASE I

$2 Million             UHH OFFICE OF MAUNA KEA MANAGEMENT; IMPROVEMENTS AND RENOVATION

$600,000              NORTH HAWAI‘I EDUCATION AND RESEARCH CENTER; RENOVATIONS

COUNTIES

$5 Million             WAIMEA DISTRICT/REGIONAL PARK; PHASE 1, FOR A ONE-TO-ONE MATCH OF COUNTY FUNDS OF $2.5 MILLION

Art at the Capitol 2013: What’s on Your Wall, Senator Gilbert Kahele?

In this episode of “What’s on Your Wall?,” Senator Gilbert Kahele (District 1- Hilo) showcases two of his favorite artworks displayed in his office, photographs by Boone Morrison. Senator Kahele, a friend of Morrison, shares a bit of advice from him, “If you want to capture something for now and forever, do something in black and white.” The public will be able to view these pieces and other art work on April 5, 2013 at the 5th Annual Art at the Capitol from 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Click here to view video.

You can view more installments of “What’s on your wall?” online at: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArtatTheCapitolHI?feature=watch.

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