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.


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.


Solomon Supports New Laws Honoring Veterans and their Families

With a family of veterans, including a brother who lost his life during the Vietnam War, Senator Malama Solomon today attended the bill signing of HB2071 and HB1770 by Governor Neil Abercrombie in the ceremonial room to show her support of these bills.









Photo Credit: Office of Senator Malama Solomon

HB2071 designate the last Sunday in September as “Gold Star Family Day,” and HB1170 requires notation of veteran status on state driver’s licenses and identification cards if desired by the applicant. Hawaii will join Illinois, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Guam in celebrating this day of remembrance

“Our military men and women deserve as much support and honor as we can provide,” said Solomon. “Today is a special day for my family and I. Both my father and brother, Randolph Solomon Sr. and Randolph Solomon Jr., are veterans, with my brother giving the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War. We love them very much and are so proud of their service to this great country.”


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)


Statement from Senator Malama Solomon on the Release of $850,000 for State Parks on Hawaii Island

 Senator Malama Solomon, District 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona, today released the following statement on the release of $850,000 capital improvement project funds for the following state recreation areas on Hawaii Island:

1) Hapuna Beach Recreation Area ($500,000)
2) Mauna Kea Recreation Area ($350,000)

“I am happy that the administration has released the funds to improve our state recreation areas on Hawaii Island.

“From picnicking and camping to swimming in our oceans and hiking our mountains, our state parks allow our residents to enjoy nature and Hawaii’s unique environment.

“In order to better serve the community in my district and create a better quality of life for both residents and visitors, we must continually invest in maintaining the beauty of our natural spaces.

“My colleagues and I worked to get this funding in the budget, and I am pleased to see the state’s commitment to maintain our lands, beaches and parks, and look forward to seeing these projects get started.”


Funds Release for Kohala Elementary and Honoka‘a High School

Senator Malama Solomon, District 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona, today commended the release of $7.73 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) supporting student education in Hawaii.

Portions of these funds will go toward work in District 4, including:

  • Kohala Elementary, for American with Disabilities Act (ADA) projects, portion of $7,554,000
  • Kohala Elementary, for a special education portable, $80,000
  • Honoka‘a High School, for science lab upgrades, $100,000 for design work

“Supporting schools in my district is one of my main priorities as a lawmaker,” said Solomon. “The Legislature secured the funds for these very important projects last session and I’m glad to see the monies released so that work can get started. It’s imperative that we continue to provide students, teachers and staff with the resources for a favorable learning environment.”


For more information, please contact:
Senator Malama Solomon
State Capitol, Room 210
Honolulu Hawaii  96813
Phone: (808) 586-7335

Aloha Oe Kenneth Francis Kamuokalani Brown

Kenneth F. Brown

The Senate observed a moment of silence in honor of the life of Kenneth Francis Kamuokalani Brown, who passed away yesterday at the age of 94.

Brown’s accomplishments and contributions to Hawai‘i is prolific. From World War II, statehood, the rise of the Democratic Party, the growth of the tourism industry, the establishment of environmentalism, to the Hawaiian renaissance movement, he witnessed and partook in the events that shaped our state’s rich history.

Brown served two terms as a state senator from 1968 to 1974 and sat as the chair of the Committee on Ecology, Environment and Recreation. His tenure in the State Senate included formulating policies that guided long term economic development while taking into account environmental impact.

“The most important thing Kenny taught me is the meaning of “mana,” and the spirit of a special place known to all of us as our Hawai‘i, that lives in each and every one of us,” said Senator Malama Solomon. “In his memory, may we continue to perpetuate his legacy and his love for our Hawai‘i.”

Senator Malama to Hold a Series of Legislative Community Meetings

Senator Malama Solomon has added an additional date to her lineup of legislative meetings next week. The meeting will be held at West Hawaii Civic Center on Wednesday, February 19.

Solomon will hold a series of legislative community meetings on Hawaii Island for residents of the 4th Senatorial District, which includes N. Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, and N. Kona. The meetings are held for community members to attend and to voice their concerns on issues affecting the district and state and to share their priorities for the legislative session.

The meetings will be held during the legislative session’s mandatory recess. “The original legislative intent of the annual mandatory recess was primarily to enable neighbor island legislators to meet with on island with constituents to discuss priorities and concerns,” said Solomon.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
West Hawaii Civic Center, Building G
74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI

Thursday, February 20, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary & Intermediate School Cafeteria
27-330 Old Mamalahoa Hwy., Papaikou, HI

Friday, February 21, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Laupahoehoe Public Charter School Cafeteria
35-2065 Old Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea

Monday, February 24, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Kohala Senior Center
65-1291A Kawaihae Rd., Kamuela

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
North Hawaii Education and Research Center
45-539 Plumeria St., Honokaa

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Waikoloa Elementary School Cafeteria
68-1730 Hooko St., Waikoloa Village, HI 96738

For more information, please call toll free 974-4000, Ext. 67335 or email

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.”

Senator Malama Solomon Issues Statement on Formal Affiliation between Queen’s Health Systems and North Hawaii Community Hospital

Honolulu- The Queen’s Health Systems (Queen’s) officially entered into an affiliation agreement on Monday with North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH). Queen’s is the corporate parent of The Queen’s Medical Center (QMC).

Under the agreement, NHCH will become a corporate entity under Queen’s, similar to QMC and Moloka‘i General Hospital.

Senator Malama Solomon, who represents District 4 (Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) on the island of Hawai‘i, issued this statement in response to the formal agreement:

I am very pleased to learn that The Queen’s Health Systems has entered into an affiliation with North Hawaii Community Hospital,” said Senator Malama Solomon. “This agreement represents an important step towards creating the solid foundation necessary to meeting the growing healthcare needs of the North Hawai‘i community. I look forward to the continued delivery of high quality healthcare services for all of our residents.”

The affiliation is expected to be effective January 1, 2014.

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