Monday, November 15, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nakashima Returned to the House

I am humbled by the honor that the voters have given me in confirming my reelection to the State House of Representatives.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Democratic TEAM

I am very PROUD to be a member of the Democratic TEAM!

Grand Rally Tomorrow Night!

Hope to see everyone at the Democratic Party Grand Rally!

SHOPO Endorsement Ad

Mahalo to SHOPO for their Support

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Young Democrats Pau Hana Event

Rep Chris Lee, Me, US Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Rep Marcus Oshiro and Rep Pono Chong.
Photo courtesy of Deron Kamisato.
The Young Democrats of Hawaii held a "Professionals Pau Hana" event at Ocean's night club at Restaurant Row.  The event was well attended by Honolulu's young professionals and included appearances by U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka, and Congresswoman Mazie Hirono.  Among State House members in attendance were myself, Rep Chris Lee, Rep Marcus Oshiro, Rep Pono Chong and Rep. K. Mark Takai.
Posing for a photo with Jena from Senator Tsutsui's Office.
Photo courtesy of Deron Kamisato.

Professors Offer Endorsement

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Unite HERE!

In endorsing my candidacy, Unite HERE! noted "Your support for Local 5 and for Hawaii's working families is vital to the future of Hawaii.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hawaii Teamsters Local 996

I'm pleased to have received the support of my friends at the Hawaii Teamsters!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Build-PAC Hawaii

I am pleased to have received the support of the leaders of Hawaii's construction industry.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii

I am pleased to have received the endorsement of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii.

College of Pharmacy "White Coat Ceremony"

Pharmacy student engage with visitors to the recent College of Pharmacy
health fair that was held at the school's temporary facility on the upper campus.

Speaking at the College of Pharmacy’s annual White Coat Ceremony — a traditional rite of passage for students in the health profession — UHH Chancellor Donald O. Straney announced plans for a new rural health center.

The Center for Rural Health Science will be located within the UHH College of Pharmacy and will be directed by Dr. Karen Pellegrin.  The center would act as a focal point to help improve life in the rural communities of Hawaii through new and better models of health care.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ag Country Roots Desserts

Honoka'a Ag Country Roots

Honoka'a Ag Country Roots Event

From left - Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, Sen. Dwight Takamine, Gubernatorial Candidate Neil Abercrombie, LG Candidate Brian Schatz, US Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Rep Mark Nakashima, Rep Cindy  Evans.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye brought his newly inherited security entourage and several other Democratic leaders to Honoka'a School Cafeteria to join North Hawaii residents in celebrating the community’s “Ag Country Roots.”

The event was paid for and authorized by the Democratic Party of Hawaii and spotlighted many of the hard-working food producers of the region and included samplings of grilled grass-finished beef and a new sausage of Kahua mutton, Hamakua mushrooms and farm fresh Waimea Greens, offerings from Hamakua Springs Farms, other foods grown or produced in Hamakua, Waimea and Kohala.

Informational exhibits also featured in-school programs to grow the next generation of farmers and introduce the benefits of fresh, locally grown foods from farms and ranches in the region as well as back-yard gardens.

Senator Inouye was recognized for directing federal programs to the area following the close of Hamakua Sugar in 1994.  Many of the displays featured various agricultural entities that have grown to help fill the void in agriculture left by the departure of the sugar industry from the Big Island.  It was also an opportunity for the Senator to affirm his support for the Democratic ticket of Abercrombie and Schatz.

Former Mealani Extension agent Milton Yamasaki was also recognized for his part in promoting agriculture in North Hawaii with development of green tea, blueberries, and grass finished beef.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Walk a Mile in HER Shoes

County Prosecutor Jay Kimura definitely out "blings" Rep. Clift Tsuji and my more modest foot wear.
The YWCA of Hawaii recently held their 2nd Annual "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event which is a fundraiser for domestic violence programs and prevention.  Unlike last year's event where participants had a leisurely stroll to the Mooheau Park Bandstand, this year the route took us from the YWCA down to Kamehameha Avenue, up Ponahawai Street, and back to the YWCA, a "real" grueling one mile in heels.

I think I nearly twisted my ankle 6 times along the route this year.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

National Association of Social Workers

Quotes on the BOE Issue from HTH

For 1st District state Rep. Mark M. Nakashima, who also introduced the bill, his support was for allowing the electorate to make up its own mind.

“Personally, I would like to see redistricting of the BOE, so it would become much more accountable to the voters,” he said.

“In the end, my colleagues decided we would put this constitutional amendment to the voters to consider instead.”

Nakashima said he feels schools need more local input, and the pro- posal before voters lessens that input in an attempt to increase accountability.

“This issue gained trac- tion because of furlough days focusing attention on public education, with the argument that school fur- lough days would never have happened if things were different,” he said.

“Just because there’s accountability doesn’t mean good decisions are made,” he said. “People tend to for- get that the governor pro-posed the furlough days. She actually proposed three furlough days a month, not two.

“(The amendment) might create more accountability, but if accountability is all we’re looking for, why wouldn’t we just go with an appointed superintendent?” he asked. “I think we need public input into the school system.”

Nakashima said he believes that the Legislature approved the appointed- BOE plan due to the intense pressure it was receiving from the public last year over the furlough days.

“The incident with Save our Schools folks, and the incident with the arrests in the governor’s office con- tributed,” he said. “It created a momentum for change. Some believe any change is better than what we have. At this point, I’m willing to let the voters come to a decision on it.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Democratic Unity

Neil Abercombie and Mufi Hanneman stand for pictures at the Democratic Unity event held at the UPW Headquarters in Hilo.  Mufi pledged his support for Neil and Neil told the crowd that he would work to earn the support and trust of Mufi supporters.

Potomac League Visits Hamakua

Tour members visit Hamakua Springs Farms and are treated to a table filled with Big Island produce.
The Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) recently hosted two visitors from the Potomac League as part of their "Zero Waste" initiative.  In brief, the goal is to identify an algae in Hawaii that will be able to consume agricultural waste.  This will allow what would otherwise be a burden on farmers to be turned into an additional profit stream that would supplement farm income.  A secondary benefit from this process will be harvesting the algae and using it to develop bio-fuels and possibly a feed.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Honoka'a Peace Festival

The Honoka'a Peace Festival was held at the County Park in Honoka'a on Sunday, September 19, 2010.  The festival caps a nearly year-long planning process by the Honoka'a Peace Festival Committee.  The Committee diligently met on a weekly basis at the Honoka'a Hongwanji, which was the primary sponsor of the festival.

This was the fourth year that the festival was held in Honoka'a and featured peace themed movies, speakers and displays.  Stores and business also were decorated with doves and "peace" mobiles in celebration of the festivities.

Peace Festival Chair Miles Okamura was also awarded the 2010 "Distinguished Peacemaker of the Year" at a special presentation at the Peace Day Banquet on Oahu.

The Festival is tied to the United Nations Day of Peace which is held annually on September 21st and was successfully lobbied at the State Legislature by the Hongwanji's Young Buddhist Association.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mooheau Park Primary Election Rally

Democratic candidates seated at the Mooheau Park Bandstand applaud fellow candidates as Democrats call for party unity following the primary election.
Candidates are seated at the Mooheau Park Band Stand for the Democratic Party Primary Election Rally in Hilo.  Most notable were speeches by Mufi Hanneman and Neil Abercrombie that called for party unity regardless of what happened at tomorrow's election.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bamboo Festival

A packed audience listens to Bobby Grimes -- a resident of Paauilo Mauka -- talked about bamboo construction and joinery techniques, safe harvesting practices, and dealing with large timber bamboos. The talk was part of the 11th Annual Bamboo Festival held at Papaikou Hongwanji today.
The Hawaii Bamboo Society hosted the festival that featured exhibits, demonstrations, sale of numerous bamboo varieties, concessions and a silent auction. The group is the Hawaii Chapter of the American Bamboo Society which seeks to provide a source of information on the identification, propagation, utilization, culture and appreciation of bamboos.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Honoka'a School Wall Almost Pau

The retaining wall located at the makai-Hilo corner of the Honoka'a High School Campus is finally complete.  Damaged during the 2006 earthquake, the wall which existed for years surname to the earth's rumbling that caused much damage in North Hawaii.
In the picture above, workers construct a cement wall with a faux stone finish.  When painted, most people will not be able to tell that the wall is made entirely of concrete with no "real" stones.

15th Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

The 15th annual "Taste of the Hawaiian Range" was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Friday. The event, a fundraiser for the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources was founded by Milton Yamasaki and the staff of the Mealani Research Station in Waimea. According to the event website, over the past 15 years -- Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range continues to share the importance of creating a Big Island livestockproduction system that is economically, ecologically and socially sustainable. It markets local products by hooking up producers with users, such as chefs ad consumers. The Taste also enables producers to get instant product feedback and network with other industry members.

(Top) Chef Mavro, Mark and Waimea Middle School Librarian Helene McTavish. (Middle)Mamane Bakery priorietor Eli and Emma Pessah and their daughter. (Bottom) Display of Hamakua Mushrooms.

Honoka'a HIgh School Wall Rebuilt

The large stone wall marking the Makai-Hilo boundary of the Honoka'a High School Campus has been unstable since the October, 2006 earthquake that caused much damage in North Hawaii. A portion of the wall running mauka-makai gave away during the quake and has remained unrepaired for the past four years. Finishing touches were made to the concrete wall by adding the appearance of a rock wall finish made of concrete which marks completion of that phase of the project that began several months ago.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mark Receives SHOPO Endorsement

I am pleased to accept the endorsement of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO). I am pleased to be recognized by the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to make sure that our families and communities are safe and secure. On a daily basis, these officers are performing important work not just solving cases and preventing crime, but working to maintain our communities. They are our neighbors, friends, volunteers, and family.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sayre Foundation Dinner Honors Fire Fighters who answer Above and Beyond the Call

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation is dedicated to providing essential life-saving equipment and training needed by Hawaii Fire Department here on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Foundation was started then years ago by Dr. Frank Sayre and Laura Mallery-Sayre when they lost their son Danny in a hiking accident and experienced first-hand the heroism and perilous nature of the work that the Hawaii Fire Department experiences on a regular basis. At the time, the Fire Department did not have rappelling ropes long enough to reach the bottom of the valley, so Hawaii Fire Department personnel took their helicopter down into Polulu Valley at great personal risk. Pictured above are members of the Hawaii County Fire Department who were involved in an ocean rescue and a incident off Kohala Mountain Road who were the 2010 Award Recipients.

Friday, September 3, 2010

NHERC Construction Nearing Completion

Phase 2-B of the North Hawaii Education and Research Center is nearly complete and occupancy for the new wing is expected by November 1, 2010. The project which enclosed the bottom floor of Phase 2 and included the addition of a new parking lot and photovoltaic panels on the Phase 1 roof adds new program space for the anticipated heritage center and the Hamakua ADRC (Adult and Disabled Resource Center). Low bids on the project made possible the addition of a pavilion that will be erected on the Makai-Waipio side of the property and will provide an additional resource for use at the facility.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mark Facilitates Meetings

Thursday was a busy day with meetings regarding the North-Hilo Hamakua Coop, Hamakua Ditch, and the Hamakua Elder Care Project were all held via video conference at the North Hawaii Education and Research Center. The presence of NHERC in our community provides another excellent resource for our community to meet face to face -- via video conferencing -- with people on the island, in the state, or around the world without the need for extensive travel time. In the case of these meetings, it also allowed for the participation by staff and state officials without the need to incur expensive airfares and the loss of productivity by avoiding the need for inter-island travel.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

DU Discussed at PTA

The Commander of the Pokahuloa Training Area hosted a meeting to update Big Island Officials and the community regarding the current depleted uranium (DU) situation in the training area. In the 60's, DU spotting rounds were utilized in training activities held in Pohakuloa as part of the Army's Davy Crockett weapons system.
The portable field launch system was intended as a nuclear device for use against enemy infantry personnel during the height of the Cold War. Fortunately, this weapon was never used, however DU spotting rounds, used to simulate the weight and characteristics of the nuclear projectile were used in Pohakuloa and on the Scholfield Barracks Base on Oahu.
The army claims that there is minimal acceptable risk at Pohakuloa, assuming that the area containing the DU spotting rounds remains undisturbed.
When asked about the possibility that the DU could find it's way into the ground water, a civilian army official admitted that it could happen in "a billion years." I am concerned that there is a possibility that the DU could eventually find it's way into the ground water and believe that this would warrant it's removal.

Gubernatorial Forum Held in Hilo

Gubernatorial candidates Neil Abercombie and Mufi Hanneman answer panel questions on a range of topics facing Big Island Businesses at a forum hosted by a number of Hawaii Island Business organizations at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center. Questions touched upon the economy, job creation, taxes and the doctor shortage. The forum was moderated by Linda Coble and panelist included Jerry Burris, Todd Belt and Wayne Yoshioka.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lions Stamp Out Graffiti

The Hamakua Lions recently participated in a Graffiti stamp out at Honoka'a County Park. The Park had been the victim of a terrorist who obviously had too much time on their hands this past summer and marked up the restroom facilities at the park.

The initial plan was to work on the upper park area, however that plan had to be changed as weather prohibited the painting of the upper facilities. The project was chaired by Lions Oswaldo Cabel and Lala Epenesa who recruited volunteers, gathered paint and equipment and even organized a fellowship lunch.