Sunday, January 31, 2010

Freedom Salute Ceremony

Soldiers, family and friends of the 29th Infantry Brigade participated in the Hawaii National Guard "Freedom Salute Ceremony" at Waiakea High School Gym. The ceremony recognized the commitment and sacrifice of guard members and their families during the deployment to the Middle East in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
I was please to join the official party in expressing my appreciation for their service to our country.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Taro Taskforce Report Presented to Legislators

Hamakua Resident and Taro Task Force member Jim Cain speaks to the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus to share the findings of the statewide task force which visited taro growing areas around the Hawaii and met with taro farmers regarding the needs and concerns of the industry.

Pictured above (from left to right) Rep Wooley, Sen English, Rep Bertram, ME, Rep Hanohano and Jim Cain.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

UHH Student Senate Meet Mark

Senators and officers of the University of Hawaii at Hilo Student Senate met with me to discuss the issues and concerns of the students of UHH. The primary goal of the collective student leadership was to insure the funding for a new Hawaii Language Building on the UH-Hilo Campus.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hawaii Community College Students Lobby for Funds

Students from Hawaii Community College met with me to discuss issues of concern to the student body at HCC. Their top priority is extension of capital improvement funds appropriated by the legislature to Hawaii Community College Manono Campus as well as funds that have been designated for the development of the new West Hawaii Campus at Palamanui. The funds are currently scheduled to lapse in June, 2010 because they have not yet been released by the Governor.

2010 Opening Day

Pomp and Circumstance were not the order of the day as the 2010 Legislature opened today. It was a very subdued mood with most capitol regulars staying away following warnings by house and senate leaders that this would not be business as usual as the legislature went straight to work addressing the many issues and concerns facing the state.

One visitor who did brave the austere mood at the capitol was fellow Honoka'a Alum Shawna Lau Kong who came to visit and wish me well. (She also provided the lovely lei that I am wearing.) Shawna moved to Honolulu a while ago and will be spending this session on the staff of Senator Dwight Takamine.

Ferlow Frydaze Rilly Wurkd fo Meeh

Among the Christmas presents that I received this year was a tee-shirt bring a specific message and a special request that I wear the shirt at the capitol. The message was loud and clear that the school furloughs would have a detrimental impact on the students in our public schools and that eventually we would all pay the price for the want of saving a few dollars.

The Governor, Board of Education, DOE and the HSTA all need to stop the finger pointing and get together on a proposal that they can all agree. That is the only way that the legislature is going to be able to appropriate any money to end this school furlough disaster.

The gift came from Aiea Intermediate Students Chase and Kylie Urasaki. Their dad, Rev. Alan Urasaki is standing next to me in the photo above.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

NHERC Phase 2-B

The North Hawaii Education and Research Center continues to expand as construction begins on Phase 2-B which will enclose the bottom floor of the Phase 2 building, increase parking below the Phase 2 structure and provide for a pavilion building on the Hilo side of the expanding complex.

The ground work pictured above will become part of the parking area once construction is completed in the next few months. Planning for the new phase anticipates the development of a heritage museum that will feature artifacts from the sugar era on the Big Island as well as space for the Hamakua Elder Care Partners.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Finance Committee Researcher becomes Narcissus Princess

The House Finance Committee become employer of Royalty when session Researcher Megan Chun become 2nd Princess at the 61st Narcissus Pageant and Festival held at the historic Hawaii Theatre this past weekend. Pictured with Megan is Chief Researcher Randall Hiyoto and fellow session staff.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hamakua Elder Care Partners

The Hamakua Elder Care Partners have been meeting in Honoka'a for the past several years as they planned for the ability to expand the services available to the senior citizens and other under served residents of the Hamakua area. Recently, a meeting was held in Hilo with representatives from a variety of private non-profit and governmental agencies who are involved in the delivery of these services to the community with the goal of identifying those who would be interested in participating in the creation of a community outreach center in Honoka'a.

Several agencies expressed an interest in participating in this project and we will be following up with these agencies to solidify their commitment to the Hamakua community.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kaiwiki Chapel Celebrates 100 Years

Kaiwiki Chapel officially opened on January 10, 1910, as an outreach chapel for Central Christian Church to serve the communities of Kaiwiki, Ola‘a, Amauulu and Honomu. Located on Kaiwiki Road just outside of Hilo, the Chapel celebrates it's 100 anniversary with a short program featuring words of prayer and a history of the construction by Mildred Yamamoto. This was followed by refreshments and fellowship coordinated by the Kaiwiki Community Association.

Kaikiwi Community Association President Cynthia Inoue has been working with landowners to secure permission to begin rennovating and preserving the 100 year old chapel. To date, these discussions have not been successful.

Monday, January 4, 2010