Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language

Since ground breaking on February 12, 2011, the Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language building has definitely begun to take shape.  A building to house the University's expanding Hawaiian Studies program was identified as a need more than a decade prior to the department achieving collegiate status in 1998.  The  College's rapid growth produced UH Hilo's first Master's and Ph.D. recipients as it gained national prominence as a leader in indigenous language and cultural revitalization, added new programs like linguistics and witnessed a surge in enrollment.

The Legislature approved $28 million during the 2010 legislative session for the project and is estimated to be completed this summer.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

North Hawaii Education and Research Center Pavilion

The pavilion has been completed at the North Hawaii Education and Research Center.     The Heritage Center which occupies the first floor of the Phase II and included the addition of a new parking lot and photovoltaic panels came in under budget.  This made it possible for the addition of the pavilion to add to the facilities now available at NHERC.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

West Hawaii Democratic Unity Lunch

Council Dist 9 Candidate Margaret Wille, Mark, Sen Malama Solomon, Rep Cindy Evans, Rep Dist 6 Candidate Micole Lowen, Rep Denny Coffman, Sen Gil Kahale. 

Democratic Party East Hawaii Unity Breakfast

In a time honored tradition, the Democratic Party Candidates gather the morning after the Primary Election to express unity for the party ticket going into the General Election.
Democratic Candidates gather for Unity Picture.
Sen. Malama Solomon and Mark pose for photo with US Senator and Mrs. Daniel K. Inouye
Political Guru George Yokoyama with Democratic Congressional Nominee Tulsi Gabbard and Mark
Mark and Representative Elect-Richard Onishi

Friday, August 10, 2012

Primary Election Grand Rally

Family, friends and supporters gather at Mo'oheau Park for mass sign waving along Kamehemeha Avenue prior to the Democratic Party Primary Election Grand Rally.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ane Keohokalole Highway

In June, the much awaited Ane Keohokalole Highway or the "middle road" opened easing traffic pressures on the busy Queen Kaahumanu Highway and the Mauka Road (Mamalahoa Highway) between Kailua-Kona and Kaloko.  $30.5 million in Federal ARRA or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds were used to pay for the 2.9 mile roadway giving West Hawaii residents another option to skip much of the Kailua-Kona traffic.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Honokaa High School Class of 1981

The Class of 1981 had their 31st year reunion on July 6, 2012 at the Honoka'a High School Farm Building.  Many classmates were MIA due to the short notice that was given to classmates, but the committee hopes to provide a longer notice for the planned 50th Birthday Reunion in 2013.

Mahalos go out to Chairman Sundae Aribal and his planning committee who got the reunion off the ground and check out the pictures on the Class of 1981 Reunion Facebook Page.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Red Cross Introduces App for iPhones and Androids

As part of their lifesaving mission, the Red Cross now has a cool new Red Cross First Aid App for iPhones and Androids. It gives you instant step by step instructions and video on how to respond to the most common first aid emergencies like when someone is bleeding, choking, or unconscious.  It also tells you what to do in a disaster like hurricanes and earthquakes.  Here’s a youtube video to show how it works:

The Red Cross also offers a free National Shelter System App for iPhones that shows the location of all open Red Cross shelters throughout the country.  The app not only maps the location of a shelter, but also shows current capacity and population. To download the app, users can visit the Apple store and search "American Red Cross shelters."  Here’s youtube video to show how it works:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ground Breaking Held for UHH Hilo Dormitories

Ground breaking ceremonies where held for the University of Hawaii at Hilo University Village Phase One Dormitories.   This project located on 33 acres fronting the university's main enterance on Kawili Street will feature 300 student housing units in apartment and suite-style residence halls.

"The new units are the first to be built on campus since 1989, and are being financed by $32 million appropriation of G.O. and revenue bonds approved during the 2011 legislative session," said Representative Mark Nakashima, Vice Chair of the House Higher Education Committee.  "It is our hope that these dormitories will expand the opportunities for students on the Big Island, as well as those from throughout the state, nation and internationally." 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kids State Dinner

Let's Move! the First Lady's initiative to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation is looking for parents or legal guardians of creative kid chefs from all over the country to submit their child's recipe for a healthy and nutritious lunch.   Follow the link below for more details.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Saddle Road Connector Road Planned

The Saddle Road alignment will bring the new terminus about 6 miles south of the current Waikoloa Junction on the Mamalahoa Highway.  The Connector road will continue the Saddle Road from the Mamalahoa Highway to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway.  There are three proposed routes Green, Purple and Red all ending at a new site south of the current Waikoloa Junction. 
Construction on the Saddle Road extension would extend the cross-island link from its current terminus on Mamalahoa Highway to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway with construction beginning as soon as 2017 based on an proposed environmental impact statement notice.  The connector is the last phase of a major overhaul of the Saddle Road that began in the mid-1990s.

The current Saddle Road realignment will move the junction about six miles closer to Kailua-Kona to Mile Marker 14 south of Wailoloa Road.  This is part of a major realignment project that will provide a much shorter, faster and safer route between East and West Hawaii.  Kirkland Construction was awarded a $33.7 million contract and will have until June 2013 to complete the 9.6 miles of earthwork  Construction on the realignment began late last year.

Once completed, this project will have a profound impact on the communities and economy of the Big Island.  Excursions that would have taken the better half of a day will now be completed in a little over and hour which is normal under Big Island standards.
-Rep Mark Nakashima

Monday, June 11, 2012

Evening with Martha Minow

I had the opportunity recently to spend an evening with Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School who spoke on the topic of Education and Equality:  Pursuing Justice in Societies of Difference.

Martha Minow is a celebrated legal scholar in the fields of human rights, social advocacy, and education policy. She has written extensively on the wide-ranging legacy of school desegregation in the civil rights era, and she offers fresh insights on some of the leading education debates of our time, from charter schools and privatization to affirmative action and Hawaiian-only education programs.

Dean Minow spoke on a broad range of topics but one of the things that she shared was the fact that while the Supreme Court did away with quotas based on race, they left open the opportunity to provide assistance based to socio-economic status.  Socio-economic status is a major indicator of for educational success and in many cases, those in the lower socio-economic levels also tend to be minorities.  As such, assistance based on socio-economic status would have the effect of providing assistance to those that need it most while also providing support in general to minority populations.

Dean Minow also spoke briefly on the importance of early childhood education which is an area that the State of Hawaii has been working for the past several years to find a solution.  The current system of Junior Kindergarten for late born students in the public schools is not applied equally across the board, and the Department of Education is ill equipted to provide the necessary support for pre-Kindergarten students.  There is a task force currently in place to identify a state solution for the educational services available to pre-kindergarten students at this critical state of language and social development.

The evening was hosted by Governor Neil Abercrombie and Dr. Nancy Caraway at historic Washington Place.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Members of the House in the Host Committee CSG Aloha Shirts in Honor of efforts of CSG West Chair Marcus Oshiro.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hilo High School Gym a Step Closer to Reality

3D Rendering of the new Hilo High School Gym as seen from Waianuenue Avenue
On April 12th, the "last and final charette" for the Hilo High School gym was held. Representatives from the state, county, American Red Cross, Alumnae, and HHS were in attendance.

The gym will be built in one phase and when completed with seat 1376 in the bleachers when open, and 880 in the closed position.  The gym will be built to meet the requirements of being a shelter as well as meeing ADA requirements.  Various green energy initatives such as solar water heating will also be included in the gym design.

Ground breaking for the gym which has been delayed for over a year is now planned for June, 2012.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Honoka'a High School Jazz Band

Honokaa Jazz Band’s “Big City Tour,” April 19-22, includes shows at the State Capitol and Royal Hawaiian Center, in honor of National Jazz Appreciation Month.

One of the young group’s first free performances will be at the Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda. After opening remarks from Rep. Mark Nakashima and Sen. Malama Solomon, the band will go on at 10 a.m.
On Saturday, April 21, the 30-member band will perform at the Bishop Museum as part of the YMCA Healthy Kids Day. Later that day, they will open the Twilight Jazz at Helumoa Concert in The Royal Grove at the Royal Hawaiian Center at 7 p.m. Joining the line-up will be The Kit Ebersbach Combo and Starr Kalahiki, performing at 8 p.m.

The Honokaa Jazz Band was organized in 1988 by school musical director Gary Washburn. Since then, after almost 25 years of annual repertoire changes to accommodate the “personality” of the band as students graduate, the youth jazz band still remains the pride and joy of Honokaa High.

In 2010, the music program at Honokaa High School was selected by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) as one of 138 schools in the United States with an outstanding music program and commitment to music education.

They are also the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Grammy Signature Schools Enterprise Award. Gary Washburn, the band director, recently received the 2011 Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award from the National Society of High School Scholars.

In 2012, the band performed for the Edison Learning Convention in the Ilikai Hotel in Honolulu and will be featured in the June edition of the “Hana Hou” Magazine.

This year the band shows off a repertoire from a variety of music spanning from the 1940s to present including the music of Paul Simon, Michael Buble, Etta James, Ruth Brown, Brazil 66, Christina Aguilera, Maceo Parker, Aretha Franklin, as well as a special Cuban song “Mis Dos Pequenas.”
“With all of the emphasis on math and science, it is crucial to always remember that it is music and the arts that provide us with inspiration,” Nakashima said.

“Music, drama and the arts provide our students with the opportunity to exercise their creativity, act on their inspiration, and imagine the possibilities,” he added. “Teachers like Mr. Washburn provide students with the venue to explore this realm and to contribute profoundly to our quality of life.”

“I strongly encourage everyone to take time out of their busy schedules and listen to the music produced by these very talented youths,” Solomon said. “Under the direction of their band director Gary Washburn, these students have demonstrated how music education has benefited them to be successful in school and in life.”

An ensemble plays the morning show
Hawaii News Now - KFVE

The band exhibits a broad range.

The band joins Mark for a photo in front of the
Capitol at the Father Damien Statue