Statement from Senator J. Kalani English on the Release of $500,000 for New Lanai Community Health Center

Senator J. Kalani English today released the following statement on the release of $500,000 in capital improvement grant funds for a new Lana’i Community Health Center (LCHC) facility. Sen. English represents District 7, which includes Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, and Kaho‘olawe.

Rendering of the new Lanai Community Health Center

Floor plan of the of the new Lanai Community Health Center

“My colleagues and I worked hard to secure the $500,000 in the state budget to help fund the LCHC project.

“The people of Lana’i deserve a new center in a prime location to provide better access for those who need these types of necessary healthcare and dental services. With its larger design in a central location, more people in this remote area will receive care from top-notch professionals.

“The healthcare providers at LCHC have over the years showed their commitment to the people of Lana‘i. In fact, several of the Center’s doctors were named in Honolulu Magazine’s Best Doctors in Hawaii list. I also applaud the Center’s officials and staff on the work they have done to see this new facility come to fruition.”


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:

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Statement from Senator J. Kalani English on the Signing into Law of SB274, Establishing a Resilience and Sustainability Partnership

Senator  J. Kalani English today released the following statement on the signing into law of SB2742, a bill that establishes the Pacific-Asia Institute for Resilience and Sustainability. Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, Senator English is the primary introducer of the measure and worked with stakeholders and colleagues throughout session to see the bill pass out of the legislature.

The measure creates a revolutionary and innovative public-private partnership to better approach community resilience and improve how the world addresses disruptive changes through necessary collaboration on a global level. It would in essence create a significant and well-trained network of support for the issues facing the Pacific-Asia region. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor will act as the State’s liaison to assist the Institute in carrying out its duties, and the Institute will be eligible for grants and subsidies under chapter 42F.

“A lot of people put so much work into creating the Pacific-Asia Institute for Resilience and Sustainability and I am thrilled that the governor signed it into law today. Right now, here in Hawaii, we have concerns about rising seawater threatening our shoreline, and as lawmakers we are looking ahead at how we will face these challenges and adapt to changes. The foundation of the Institution is based on helping communities become resilient and sustainable through preventive measures: assess vulnerability, identify solutions and provide support.

“An example of the Institute’s work in practice is the collaboration of the State of Hawaii’s Department of Defense (DoD), the Pacific Disaster Center with Hawaiian Electric, U.S. Pacific Command, IBM and Mehta Tech Inc. to study the potential enhancement of the security, reliability and dependability of the electric grid on Oahu, and ways to apply analytics to better predict potential risks such as natural disaster,” he added. “The partners will look at how to improve the overall grid reliability and bridge the gap between efforts to integrate alternative energy solutions and efficiently manage consumption.

“We’ll see more of these types of efforts thanks to the establishment of the Institute.”

For more information on the law, visit:




Completely Stopped Drivers Exempted from Electronic Device Ban

Other Amendments to the Law Go into Effect July 1, 2014

Changes to the cell phone ban passed by the Legislature in 2013, Act 74, which prohibits the use of mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle, takes effect today.

The amendments to the law include exempting drivers who are completely stopped, changing the penalties for violations and making a violation a traffic infraction.

“After the law was passed in 2013, we at the Legislature received a lot of complaints about the vagueness of the law and the severity of requiring violators to go to court,” said Sen. J. Kalani English, a Maui senator and chair of the Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, who introduced the measure. “It was never our intention to require violators to go to court instead of mailing in a fine. We also wanted to be very clear about what a violation was. If someone is on their phone while pulled over and completely stopped with the engine turned off in a safe location out of traffic – that seems like a reasonable and safe use of an electronic device while in a vehicle.”

The fines for the new law have changed to a flat fee of $250 for first and multiple violations and $300 for violations in a school or construction zone.

“Driving while using your cell phone or any other electronic device is just plain dangerous and irresponsible,” added English. “Fines have proven to deter people from breaking the law, but more importantly, we want to keep the people of Hawaii safe. A person’s life is significantly more important than that Facebook post or text message.”

For more information on the law, visit:

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Senator English Participates in Transportation and Infrastructure Summit

Senator J. Kalani English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Intergovernmental Affairs participated in the first Transportation and Infrastructure Summit hosted by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce today.

The summit brings together top transportation leaders in the state to address topics such as air and sea transportation, the physical state of infrastructure in Hawaii, and the Honolulu rail project.

Senator English was a part of a round table discussion on the challenges of planning, paying for and addressing the backlog of infrastructure projects.

The day-long summit was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. For more information about the summit, please visit:


Senator English on the Completion of the Kaunakakai Harbor Ferry Terminal

Senator Jenglish. Kalani English’s remarks on the completion of the Kaunakakai Harbor Ferry Terminal on Moloka‘i:

Today’s dedication of the Kaunakakai Harbor Ferry Terminal stands as vital recognition of the place our harbors continue to play in Hawai‘i’s economy. An active waterfront is a sign of economic activity, and improving our Ferry terminal will preserve our ability to serve our citizens transportation and economic needs.

This project has been a long time coming, due mainly to the hard work and dedication of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the community members here on Moloka‘i. The upgrades made to Kaunakakai Harbor will provide both visitors and residents traveling between Maui and Moloka‘i with a new and improved experience.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, my colleagues and I worked toward the appropriation of state funds for the renovation of the Kaunakakai Harbor Ferry System. We understood how important it is to invest in our harbors, airports, highways and roads.

Enhancements to the ferry facilities include news restrooms and a covered waiting area, making travel more comfortable for passengers, and upgrades to the sewer and fire protection systems to improve the safety of the facility. Operations here will also be more efficient because of the separation created between the cargo barge and the docked ferry.

The facilities here accommodate interisland cargo and fuel barges and commuter ferry service for ever-increasing daily passenger and visitor travel from the Lahaina Small Boat Harbor on Maui.

Because of this, modernizing our harbors is vital to the economic and social well-being of our communities. With the closure of agriculture operations on Moloka‘i, many residents sought employment on Maui. Improving the ferry system and supporting infrastructure was an imminent project. Our state agencies did a great job in quickly identifying and seeking federal funding to undertake this project. It is through collaboration between the different parts of government – including the legislature, executive offices, and federal agencies – that we are able to build a better community for everyone.

Maui Senators Discuss the 2014 Legislative Session in Maui Mana‘o Episode 15

In case you missed its broadcast on ‘Olelo, the latest episode of Maui Mana‘o is now available to view online on our YouTube channel.

In Episode 15 of Maui Mana‘o, Maui senators Roz Baker, J. Kalani English, and Gilbert Keith-Agaran give a wrap-up of the 2014 legislative session by highlighting the measures that passed and the capital improvement project funding awarded to Maui County.

Episode 15 of Maui Mana‘o will also re-broadcast on ‘Olelo Channel 49 on the following dates:

  • May 17, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
  • May 18, 2014 at 9:30 p.m.
  • May 19, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.
  • May 20, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

Statement from Senator J. Kalani English on the Release of $820,000 for Hana Highway

Senator J. Kalani English (District 7- Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe), Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, issued the following statement on the release of $820,000 in funding for improvements to Hana Highway:

“We are fortunate that no one was injured in this weekend’s mudslide on Hana Highway. It is imperative that we start work immediately to prevent these disasters now that the governor has released the funds. My colleagues and I secured funding for rockfall mitigation to prevent disasters such as the mudslide this weekend. Half a million will to go towards removing unstable rock and boulders, installing retaining mesh and anchors, and cutting and vegetating slopes.

“Additionally, the Hana Highway Bridge Preservation Plan will receive $320,000 to determine the disposition of existing bridges along the highway.  As a historic highway, the existing infrastructure is aging and requires maintenance to ensure that the bridges are both safe and maintains the original character of the historic highway.

“These safety enhancements will go a long way in preventing disasters and improving the flow of traffic for our residents who depend on these roads to go to work, school, and spend time with family and friends.”

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Senate Hawaiian Affairs Caucus and OHA Take Issue with “Hula” App

Hawaii Leaders Urge CEO to Cease Use of the Native Hawaiian Word Hula

In defense of the cultural practice and intellectual property of Native Hawaiians, two leading state organizations on Hawaiian affairs are asking the creator of an app that helps people get tested for STDs to stop using and branding the word “Hula.”

The app, which at one point used marketing phrases as “it helps you get lei’d,” connects users to various STD testing facilities and promotes itself as the new platform to have discussions about STD.

The letter, signed by members of the Hawaii State Senate Hawaiian Affairs Caucus and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), is addressed to the chief executive office of, Inc., Ramin Bastani, and identifies two key issues that are of concern:

  • Hula is a sacred Native Hawaiian cultural expression and important cultural property;
  • Naming a commercial product after a Native Hawaiian sacred cultural expression without meaningful consultation is inconsistent with state, international, and the Native Hawaiian people’s policies.

Although recognizing and appreciating the efforts of the company to support STD awareness and prevention, the letter also notes that the use of word “Hula” is hewa (or wrong) because it “represents a highly insensitive, tactless and inappropriate misappropriation of a culturally sacred and cherished practice.”

“It’s unfortunate some think that it’s okay to throw culturally-meaningful expressions around without thinking about the group of people it may affect. Hula is a sacred dance that Native Hawaiians cherish,” said Senator Malama Solomon. “As Hawaiians it is our kuleana (or responsibility) to protect our cultural traditions. We don’t want to see continued disrespectful and inappropriate commodification of our culture.”

According to the letter, hula remains an important medium for the perpetuation and preservation of Native Hawaiian history and culture, and continues to be vital for the mental, physical and spiritual health of individuals as well as the Native Hawaiian Community.

The Hawaii State Constitution recognizes and protects Native Hawaiian traditional and customary rights, including cultural expressions and practices such as hula. The state legislature has also affirmed “that the Native Hawaiian people are recognized as indigenous, traditional knowledge holders and they have collective intellectual property rights. Additionally, the United States supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”), which confers upon indigenous peoples the right to maintain and control traditional knowledge, cultural traditions and intellectual property relating to their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression and manifestations.

Senators who signed the letter include: Senators Malama Solomon, Committee on Water and Land; Brickwood Galuteria, Senate Majority Leader; Clayton Hee, Judiciary Committee; J. Kalani English, Transportation and International Affairs Chair; Maile Shimabukuro, Hawaiian Affairs Committee Chair; Gilbert Kahele, Tourism Committee Chair and Michelle Kidani; Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair.

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To read the full letter, click here:  Hawaiian Affairs Caucus Letter to

Hot Off the Press: The Latest Episode of Maui Manao

The Maui senate delegation consisting of Rosalyn Baker, J. Kalani English and Gilbert Keith-Agaran, talk about issues affecting Maui County in the latest episode of Maui Mana‘o.

Watch the senators answer frequently asked procedural questions detailing the legislative process and discuss some of the bills being negotiated in conference committee.

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