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CAPITOL IDOL A SMASHING SUCCESS

Honolulu - April 17, 2012 - The Capitol Idol 2012 talent show at the State Capitol on April 16, 2012, raised $1391 for the Hawai‘i Foodbank. Members of the state Senate and House squared off in the hopes of winning the perpetual individual and team trophies. Senator Mike Gabbard organized the fundraiser, while local comedian Augie T volunteered as emcee.

The House of Representatives came away with the team trophy, and Representative Marcus Oshiro performed a number in drag to the tune "I Will Survive" to win the individual prize.

Gabbard said, "We got our okoles kicked by the House, but we’ll be back next year. I mean how can you compete with a House Finance Chair who slinks, bumps and grinds around the stage like a woman of ill repute belting out “I Will Survive”? Seriously, this was a great way to let off a little steam as we approach the busiest part of the session and raise money for a very worthy cause. We hope to make this an annual event to showcase legislators' hidden talents."

The five Senate acts were Senators Mike Gabbard, Brickwood Galuteria, Josh Green, Pohai Ryan and Malama Solomon. House contenders were Representatives Tom Brower, Cindy Evans, Ken Ito, John Mizuno and Marcus Oshiro.

LEGISLATORS FACE OFF IN FOODBANK FUNDRAISER, PUBLIC INVITED

Senator Mike Gabbard is organizing and hosting “Capitol Idol 2012” aka “Senate vs. House Talent Smack-down!”, a showcase of Legislators’ hidden talents, at 5pm on Monday, April 16 at the State Capitol Auditorium with Augie T as a guest host.

Five Senate acts and five House acts will display their talents in dancing, singing, slam poetry, juggling and more in individual and team competitions to benefit the Hawaii Foodbank. Senate contenders are Senators Mike Gabbard, Brickwood Galuteria, Josh Green, Pohai Ryan and Malama Solomon. House contenders are Representatives Tom Brower, Cindy Evans, (to be named), John Mizuno and Marcus Oshiro. The winners will earn a perpetual trophy. Admission is free. State employees may purchase scrips to vote for their favorite acts. There is no limit on the amount of scrips that one can purchase to vote.

After the competition, there will be an open mic segment of the program for legislators, staff or anyone else to perform while voting and counting occurs. This promises to be an epic showdown that you won’t want to miss! See who earns bragging rights and who slinks away in defeat!

Senator Mike Gabbard Introduces Bill to Reserve Domain Names for Hawai‘i

HONOLULU – January 31, 2012 – Senator Mike Gabbard (West Oahu) has introduced Senate Bill 2985 to direct the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), in cooperation with the state chief information officer, to apply with the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the generic top-level domain names (gTLD) “.hawaii”, “.hi” and “.aloha”.

“It’s very important for us to apply for these top-level domain names to prevent someone from misappropriating them and possibly tarnishing the name, acronym and nickname of our state,” Senator Gabbard said.

ICANN has jurisdiction over gTLDs, such as “.com”, “.gov” and “.org”. ICANN is drastically expanding the realm of gTLDs. The application period began on January 12, 2012, and ends on April 12, 2012. The application fee is $185,000 per gTLD. In addition, state Chief Information Officer Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia has informed Senator Gabbard's office that the ongoing costs would be $165,000 annually per gTLD.

Because the application period ends on April 12, 2012, this would require an emergency appropriation from the 2011-2012 budget. DBEDT would then develop licensing procedures for approved vendors to use those gTLDs after paying a licensing fee to the state.

Senator Gabbard continued: “This could be a much-needed revenue generating measure allowing us to license the appropriate use of those top-level domain names and also help with marketing the state both on the mainland and internationally. In the near future, we could end up seeing domain names like ‘weddings.hawaii’, ‘hotels.hi’ or ‘honeymoons.aloha’.”

The text of SB 2985 can be found at this link: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/bills/SB2985_.htm. For more information, contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830.

Legislative Informational Briefings on Climate Change and Invasive Species

HONOLULU – January 9, 2012 – The Senate Committee on Energy and Environment and the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection will be holding joint informational briefings on invasive species and on climate change. On Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 10 a.m. in the State Capitol’s room 325, the committees will be updated on invasive species threatening our environment and resources by various agencies that deal with combating invasive species. Participants will include: Coordinating Group on Alien Pet Species, Watershed Partnerships, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee, Maui Invasive Species Committee, Moloka‘i Invasive Species Committee, O‘ahu Invasive Species Committee, state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources, state Department of Agriculture Plant Pest Control, state Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Branch and the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council. “It is vital to our ecosystem that we receive the most updated information on invasive species so that we can better understand how we can prevent invasive species from entering Hawai‘i and to combat those that get through in order to bring them under control,” said Senate Committee on Energy and Environment Chair Mike Gabbard. On Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 1 p.m. in the State Capitol’s room 325, the committees will be briefed on climate change and its impact on Hawai‘i. The following departments have been invited to provide information: UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, UH Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy, NOAA Climate Services Division and State Office of Planning. “Climate change affects our environment, our native species, our infrastructure and our very way of life. It’s crucial for us to learn the scope and ramifications of climate change in the foreseeable future so that we can plan to reduce and mitigate the resulting impacts,” said Senate Committee on Energy and Environment Chair Mike Gabbard. No public testimony will be accepted at both informational briefings. For more information, contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830.

Senator Gabbard Holds Tennis Clinic for Hawai'i Foodbank

HONOLULU – April 1, 2011 – Senator Mike Gabbard (West Oahu) is holding a beginning tennis clinic to raise money for the Hawai'i Foodbank tomorrow, Saturday, April from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. The tennis clinic will take place at the Governor's tennis court at Washington Place, which is very rarely open to the public. Gabbard said, "Mahalo to the Gov and the First Lady for making the tennis court available for such a worthy cause. I thought this would be a creative way to teach people the great game of tennis and also raise money to help feed needy families. Those signing up won't get into Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, but will learn the mechanics to enjoy this wonderful sport for a lifetime. I'm hopeful we can make this an annual event." Senator Gabbard played collegiate tennis at California State University at Sonoma and was the former head tennis pro at Kuilima Resort (now Turtle Bay Resort) in the 1970s. He also coached/played tennis throughout the South Pacific during the 1970s and 1980s. The tennis clinic is limited to 20 people and is open to people of all ages. The registration deadline is 2pm today. For any last minute registrations, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830. The minimum donation is $100 and all proceeds will benefit the Hawai'i Foodbank. If you’re interested in covering this story, please contact Senator Gabbard’s office so we can let the Washington Place Security Office know. Senator Gabbard’s Statement on Civil Union Signing

Senator Mike Gabbard (West Oahu) made the following statement to the media today on Governor Abercrombie’s signing of SB 232 (civil unions bill) into law :

HONOLULU – February 23, 2011 – "It's a sad day for the people of Hawai’i. Politicians have shown that they just don’t care about the views and values of the majority of Hawaii’s residents.

Civil unions is same sex marriage with a different name. Even Tim Earhart, one of the civil unions advocates, president of Dignity USA/Honolulu said the other day, “No doubt about it, it’s the equivalence of marriage.”

The people of Hawai'i made it clear that they're against civil unions and same-sex marriage and the politicians have basically said 'To hell with you.'"

GABBARDS ELECTED TO OFFICE IN HAWAI'I

November 8, 2010

HONOLULU - American Samoa native, Mike Gabbard, was re-elected as a Hawai’i State Senator with 74% of the vote on November 2nd. Senator Gabbard was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and represents District #19, which is comprised of the West Oahu communities of Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale and portions of Waipahu and Ko Olina.

Senator Gabbard will continue serving as the Chair of the Senate’s Energy and Environment Committee and Vice Chair of Transportation and International Affairs--posts he’s held since November 2008.

Gabbard said, "I’m humbled to have this opportunity to continue serving the people of West Oahu and the rest of the state. We’ve been able to accomplish a lot working together over the last 4 years, but there’s still much more work to be done in our growing community.”

Senator Gabbard previously served as a Honolulu City Councilman (Ewa, Kapolei, Waianae Coast) from 2003 to 2005. He was born to Benjamin Harrison Gabbard and Agnes Yandall Gabbard of Leloaloa and lived in American Samoa from 1971-1983. During this time, Gabbard taught at Faga’itua and Samoana High School, and served at American Samoa Community College as a guidance counselor, Assistant Dean of Instruction and Dean of Adult and Community Education.

His daughter, Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo, also a native of American Samoa was elected as a Honolulu City Councilwoman for District 6, which encompasses the areas of Honolulu from Kalihi to Makiki..

Councilwoman-elect Gabbard Tamayo said, “My parents taught me the importance of service-that serving others and making a positive impact on people's lives is the most rewarding thing you can do with your life. I took this to heart, and have tried to live my life centered around this service attitude. It’s an honor to have this opportunity to get in there and make a positive difference for the people of Honolulu.”

In 2002 at the age of 21, Gabbard Tamayo became the youngest legislator ever elected in Hawaii's history when she won her election as State Representative. Since that time, she has risen to the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Hawai'i Army National Guard, earning top awards and accolades in training and in combat while serving on two Middle East deployments (2004-2006 and 2008-2009). Additionally, she worked as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka in Washington D.C., where she assisted him with issues relating to veterans affairs, energy and natural resources, and homeland security.

For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830.

MAJORITY OF STATE SENATORS SEND PRO-RAIL LETTER TO GOVERNOR

March 11, 2010

Honolulu – A majority of State Senators signed a letter that was delivered to Governor Linda Lingle today urging her to review and accept the final Environmental Impact Statement for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project in a timely manner once the document is released by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

The letter was spearheaded by Senator Mike Gabbard (District 19 – West Oahu) and stated, "Considering the many years of study and public input, it doesn't make sense to delay this project from moving forward. Our opinion is seconded by the FTA and the U.S. Department of Transportation, neither of which sees anything at this point to preclude us from making rail transit a reality. The longer we delay Oahu's economic recovery, the longer we leave our working families unemployed and struggling during the prolonged recession."

The letter was signed by the following 13 Senators: Mike Gabbard, Will Espero, Clarence Nishihara, Michelle Kidani, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Gary Hooser, Brickwood Galuteria, Roz Baker, David Ige, Jill Tokuda, Bobby Bunda, Norman Sakamoto, and Shan Tsutsui.
A similar letter signed by 39 members of the state House of Representatives was presented to Governor Lingle on February 10, 2010.

Read the Pro-Rail Letter to Linda Lingle

For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830.

Hawaiian Electric’s Solar Moratorium

February 24, 2010

Statement by Senator Mike Gabbard
Chair, Committee on Energy and Environment

Prohibiting Hawai'i’s homeowners and businesses from installing solar energy systems on the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, Lana‘i, and Moloka‘i is not in the public interest. In fact, it is directly at odds with the interests of the families and small business owners that my colleagues and I represent.

Today’s solar and other types of renewable energy systems being installed directly on homes and businesses are a glimpse into a future that is not far off. These efforts by thousands of individuals committing to a clean energy future are a crucial part of the solution to Hawai'i’s energy problems and should not be discouraged by our utilities.

Hawai'i’s energy security situation is dire – we are incredibly vulnerable to oil price spikes and supply disruptions that are charged to utility customers, who must simply pay their bill no matter how high it rises. Furthermore, as an island chain, we are exposed to sea level rise and other consequences of global warming that threaten the way of life that we are so fortunate to enjoy. If Hawai'i – which has so much to lose - cannot move decisively to address its own impact on climate change we cannot credibly expect others to do the same.

Meanwhile, in these challenging economic times when Hawai'i needs jobs more than ever, the solar industry is creating green jobs for working families. It is one of the few industries that have survived the economic downturn relatively unscathed. There is no doubt that Hawaiian Electric’s proposal will put solar contractors out of business and this is simply unacceptable in the current environment.

On a more personal level, my district has world-class solar potential and at the same time folks are paying as much as $600 per month for electricity for their homes. I'm concerned that Oahu could possibly be next in line for this PV ban, and I’m not willing to stand by and watch Hawaiian Electric remove the one off-ramp that these families have to reduce their electricity bills.

As Chair of the Senate's Energy and Environment Committee, it's clear to me that our efforts to convert Hawai'i to renewable energy cannot succeed if we allow the utilities to have veto power over which plans and projects get selected. The Hawaiian Electric companies must begin living up to their responsibilities as public utilities and stop acting in opposition to the interests of the citizens of our state.

For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830.

 
SENATOR GABBARD DEMANDS GOVERNOR ADDRESS
H1N1 VACCINE SHORTAGE

December 13, 2009

HONOLULU – Hawai‘i State Senator Mike Gabbard (West Oahu) demanded today that Governor Linda Lingle and the Department of Health (DOH) take swift action to get more H1N1 vaccine into the hands of doctors for high-risk patients.

Gabbard said, "We're in the middle of a pandemic and people who need the vaccine to protect themselves and their families can't even get it. Basically, what we've got right now are bureaucrats standing between patients and their physicians. We’ve already had 11 deaths in Hawai’i. People's lives are at stake here, so we have to stop fooling around."

Gabbard’s first main point was that he has been contacted by constituents, doctors, and others in the medical community who are very frustrated with the DOH's current vaccine distribution system which has been plagued by problems. Doctors have complained that they've had little to no input in how the vaccine is being distributed, that there’s been a lack of transparency in the distribution process, and that a disproportionate amount of vaccine has gone to pharmacies.

Gabbard continued, "Secondly, why can’t we get more vaccine to Hawai’i now? We’ve received two thirds of our original allocation. Where’s the other third? Also, Director of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden, says about 85 million doses of swine flu vaccine are now available. In addition, Fourteen states have so much H1N1 vaccine right now that they no longer have to reserve it for priority groups, but are instead making it available to anyone that wants it. My questions are why haven't we gotten our fair share and why isn't the Governor fighting for us?”

Gabbard concluded, “Now that the shortage of vaccine on the mainland has eased, the Governor and her team at DOH should be demanding that the CDC direct it to us. There’s absolutely no excuse for pregnant women, chronically ill patients, and young children to go another day without having the protection of being vaccinated. Given that our flu season will most likely peak after the Christmas holidays, it’s critical that we act quickly. No excuses. Everyone is saying how unpredictable this virus is. The Governor and DOH bureaucrats should be aggressive advocates for the people. To summarize: 1) Stop standing between patients and their doctors and 2) Get more vaccine from the mainland now.”

For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830.

 
SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT TO CONDUCT BRIEFING
ON ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL CONTROVERSY

September 29, 2009


Council has lost three members, deferred further work
because of lack of support.



HONOLULU - Hawai‘i State Senator Mike Gabbard (West Oahu), chair of the Senate’s Committee on Energy and the Environment, will convene an information briefing to gather information on the operations of the state’s Environmental Council, which has lost three members to resignation since April, and recently announced that it would defer further work until it receives adequate support from the State Department of Health.

The briefing will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 1:00 p.m., in State Capitol Room 016.

“The Environmental Council serves important statutory functions,” said Senator Gabbard. “I think we have a responsibility to find out how we have reached the point that a lack of support from the administration has caused council members to quit, and forced the council to defer all further action.”

By statute, the Environmental Council is attached to the State Department of Health for administrative purposes.

In April 2009, former Environmental Council chair Robert King resigned from the council, expressing his frustration over the lack of support offered by the Lingle administration. In May 2009, council members David Bylund and Wade Lord also resigned, citing similar reasons.

In August 2009, Gail Grabowsky, chair of the Environmental Council, informed Laurence Lau, Deputy Director of the State Department of Health, that all further meetings of the council and its standing committees would be postponed until “the conditions to conduct a successful Council meeting have been met.” In particular, Grabowsky’s letter cited inadequate meeting rooms, non-functioning video conferencing equipment (which had been intended to eliminate the cost of flying council members to meetings), insufficient staff support, and “extremely slow” appointments to fill vacancies on the council.

On September 8, 2009, Senator Gabbard sent a letter to Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Department of Health, expressing his concern over the challenges facing the Environmental Council. “I stand in complete support of the Environmental Council, its charge, and the services it provides to our community,” Gabbard said in the letter, “and share a commitment to seeing that it has the resources it requires to fulfill its mission.” He has not received a response from the Department of Health.

“My intention in sending that letter was to find out of how we reached this point,” Gabbard said. “We all know that the state is facing funding challenges, so how do we solve the problem? Where are the collaborative solutions that will let the Environmental Council achieve its very important objectives, at a price the state can afford to pay? The administration didn’t respond, so now it is time for us to go out and ask questions. And we will keep asking until we get answers.”

Those expected to testify at the briefing include Gail Grabowsky, chair of the Environmental Council, as well as representatives of the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law, Life of the Land, the Office of Environmental Quality Control, and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. One or more of the council members who have resigned may also appear.


For more information online: VIEW BREIFING

For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830.

 
State Not Taking Action to Prevent Further Spread of H1N1 Virus

May 14, 2009


HONOLULU - Senator Mike Gabbard (District 19, Makakilo, Kapolei, Waipahu) stated today that the refusal of the state administration to close down a local public school for a week/ten days to prevent the further spread of the swine flu virus among students and their families and the state’s continuing refusal to take more proactive aggressive screening measures at entry points to Hawai’i, make it clear that there is no serious attempt being made to contain the spread of this virus throughout the community.

Gabbard said, “The decision by the state not to temporarily close Anuenue School is shortsighted and the height of irresponsibility. However, it is consistent with their failure to do the most basic precautionary screening at the airports.”

Two recent studies show that timely temporary closures of schools can significantly decrease the spread of flu transmission:
“A 2007 study(http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article6228039.ece) led by Marc Lipsitch, of the Harvard School of Public Health, compared the progress of the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic in American cities that adopted different public health policies. Cities such as St Louis, which rapidly closed schools and banned many public gatherings, experienced a relatively flat pandemic, with deaths peaking at 31 per 100,000 people. Philadelphia, which waited three weeks before imposing controls, suffered peak deaths of 257 per 100,000. The overall death rate for Philadelphia was 719 per 100,000, more than double the rate of 347 per 100,000 for the same period in St Louis.” (Times Online, May 6, 2009)

“A 2008 study(http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v452/n7188/abs/nature06732.html), led by Simon Cauchemez and Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College, London, used data on how school holidays influence seasonal flu transmission in France to simulate the effect of school closures in a pandemic. It found that they could significantly slow the spread of the virus, reducing the numbers falling ill at the pandemic’s peak by as much as 45 per cent. A school closure policy could also prevent up to one in seven cases.” (Times Online, May 6, 2009)

“In addition,” Gabbard said, “whatever faith the people of Hawai'i have had in the Department of Health has been further undermined by them not counting tourists swine flu cases or officially listing them.”

Gabbard commented that taken as a whole, the state's policy of inaction in regards to protecting the people of Hawai'i borders on criminal negligence.

For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830.

 

Swine Flu Virus

April 30, 2009

HONOLULU - The purpose of this news release is to inform the media that Australia has now joined Japan, Hong Kong, and other island states in the implementation of aggressive measures at their airports and seaports to prevent the introduction of swine flu. These are the exact same measures that Senator Mike Gabbard (District 19, Makakilo, Kapolei, Waipahu) has asked our state leaders to begin implementing here in Hawaii.

Gabbard said, "There is no reason in the world why Hawaii cannot or should not implement the aggressive screening policies of these other island states. We should not be foolishly imitating the policies of the US mainland, which, unlike Hawaii, has thousands of miles of porous borders. This is a war and every theater of war requires a different strategy. Hawaii is a completely different theater of war than the US mainland."

Senator Gabbard is again urging that the following policies being implemented in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong, also be immediately implemented here in Hawaii:

  1. Taking the temperature of incoming passengers.
  2. Passengers coming from Mexico need to be more carefully screened.
  3. Right now, passengers fill out agricultural/customs forms when they arrive. Why not make an announcement on each flight, and have them fill out an additional questionnaire detailing whether they have any symptoms and where they have travelled in the last week?
  4. Distribute an info sheet to airline passengers and hotel guests with a hotline number to call if they develop symptoms in the next 10 days.

Gabbard continued, "Japan, Australia, and Hong Kong have proven that these measures are very effective and can be done in a very efficient manner and cost-effective way. The people of Hawaii deserve to know why our leaders are not implementing the same kind of aggressive policies as other island states/nations. "

For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's Office at 586-6830.

 

SEN. GABBARD CALLS ON GOVERNOR TO DO MORE TO PREVENT SWINE FLU FROM REACHING HAWAII

April 28, 2009


HONOLULU - Senator Mike Gabbard (District 19, Makakilo, Kapolei, Waipahu) called a press conference today to express concerns about the Governor’s handling of the swine flu virus entering Hawai’i.

Gabbard said, "I'm calling on the people of Hawai'i to join me in demanding that the Governor and her Administration do everything that they can and should be doing to protect the people of Hawai'i from the swine flu virus. Based on what I've seen, they've handed over that responsibility to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has not even seen fit to formulate and institute a policy for Hawaii that is different from the mainland."

Gabbard commented that at a press conference yesterday, the state administration admitted they were only taking passive action at the state’s airports and that the swine flu virus will inevitably enter Hawai’i. "I was surprised to hear the Governor parroting words from the CDC and telling people to be concerned but not alarmed. What's her point, that we care but we're not going to do anything about it?"

“The state administration is basically sitting on its hands until after it’s too late,” Gabbard said. “Hawai’i is extremely fortunate that we’re isolated from the rest of the country and the world. The only way this virus can come to Hawai’i is by air and water. So we should be having a full court press to prevent that from happening. A few measures that the administration could be implementing immediately are:

  1. Taking the temperature of incoming passengers using quick, non-invasive procedures.
  2. Passengers coming from Mexico need to be more carefully screened.
  3. Right now, passengers fill out agricultural/customs forms when they arrive. Why not make an announcement on each flight, and have them fill out an additional health declaration questionnaire detailing whether they have any symptoms and where they have travelled in the last week.
  4. Distribute an info sheet to airline passengers and hotel guests with a hotline number to call if they develop symptoms in the next 10 days.

Gabbard said: “Hawai’i is in a unique situation. We’re not in the same position as other states. It’s a sign of laziness and irresponsibility not to have our own policies based on our unique situation Other island states such as Japan and Hong Kong are responding aggressively at their points of entry, why can’t we? We're a group of isolated islands and we can prevent it from coming here if our state leaders simply have the commitment and determination to do so."

Gabbard concluded, “An ounce of prevention is going to be worth many, many tons of the cure. We can and must do more.”


Please contact me if I can help you. My phone is 586-6830 and e-mail is sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov. Mahalo for the privilege of serving you!

 

SENATORS GABBARD & BAKER TO CONVENE INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING ON ISLAND-WIDE POWER OUTAGE

January 4, 2009


HONOLULU -- State Senator Mike Gabbard (West Oahu), chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment, today announced that his committee, in conjunction with the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection chaired by Senator Roz Baker (West Maui), will convene an informational briefing on January 14, 2009 at 2:00pm in Conference Room 229 at the State Capitol.

The purpose of the briefing is to investigate the causes of the power outage on December 26 that left the entire island of Oahu without power. The briefing will also focus on the reasons for the delay in restoring the power and possible solutions. In addition, the status of electrical systems on the neighbor islands will be explored.

Gabbard said, “I want to make it clear that this is not about pointing fingers and playing the blame game. The business community and residents deserve some answers. These outages do far more than simply leave our residents sitting at home in the dark. They have serious negative effects on businesses and our economy which is having a tough enough time as it is. I’ve been getting calls from small businesses that lost tens of thousands of dollars in damaged merchandise, in addition to lost business because they couldn’t stay open without electricity. We also need to find out what steps need to be taken to develop a more stable and reliable electrical grid.”

Baker said, “Reliable electric power is important for our residents and businesses. Through this briefing, we want to ascertain from a regulatory and policy perspective what needs to be put in place to ensure redundancy to improve current reliability as we move forward to new energy platforms.”

The briefing’s main presentation will be by officials of Hawaiian Electric Industries. Other briefings may be provided by the State Public Utilities Commission and the State Division of Consumer Advocacy. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation. The public is welcome to ask questions pertaining to island-wide power outages and preparedness.

For more details on the informational briefing, please call Senator Gabbard’s office at 586-6830.

 
 
EXTENTION OF BARBERS POINT POST OFFICE HOURS FOR
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS

December 5, 2008


HONOLULU – Senator Mike Gabbard announced today that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has agreed to extend the hours at Barbers Point (Kalaeloa) Post Office during the 2008 Christmas Holidays. From December 8th to 19th, post office hours will be 9:00am – 2:30pm, Monday – Saturday.

"Mahalo to Greg Wolny, Manager for Post Office Operations-Honolulu District, for responding to my request. I'd gotten tons of phone calls from area residents, so it's great news that the post office will be open for extended hours each day leading up to Christmas", said Gabbard. "This will help reduce long lines and make it much easier for Kalaeloa and Kapolei residents to send packages to their loved ones.

Gabbard had launched a petition drive, garnering over 1,000 signatures, in early 2007 after USPS made their November 6, 2006 decision to scale back weekday hours at Barbers Point Post Office from 9am – 4:00pm to 9:00 – 1:00pm. Barbers Point (Kalaeloa) Post Office hours were extended for the Christmas Holidays in 2007 and once again this year.

If you would like more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830.

 
SEN. GABBARD GIVES KEYNOTE SPEECH AT AM. SAMOA CONFERENCE

July 21, 2008

HONOLULU— Senator Mike Gabbard just returned from the 25th Annual Pacific Educational Conference (PEC) in Pago Pago, American Samoa where he delivered the keynote speech during the opening festivities on July 14th.

Gabbard said, "As a life-long educator and native of American Samoa, it was a great honor to come back and speak at the 25th anniversary of the PEC. My speech focused on Kapolei High School's Career Academies and the Malama Learning Center. Both of these exciting Kapolei-based programs can be tweaked and replicated to help improve education all over the Pacific Islands."

PEC, the largest educational conference in the Western Pacific, brought together close to 1,000 participants during the July 14–17 event. Past hosts for the PEC include Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, Pohnpei, Palau, Marshall Islands, Chuuk, and Rota. The PEC was co-sponsored by the American Samoa Department of Education, American Samoa Community College, and the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. The theme for this year's PEC was The Pacific Child: A Legacy of Community, Culture, and Art.

Senator Gabbard was born in Leloaloa, American Samoa in 1948 and lived in American Samoa from 1971-1983. During this time, he taught at Faga’itua and Samoana High School, and served at American Samoa Community College as a guidance counselor, Assistant Dean of Instruction, and Dean of Adult and Community Education.

Upon returning to Hawaii, Senator Gabbard commented, "You know, every election year, we hear politicians talk about improving our schools. But it’s time, we start walking the talk and do what needs to be done to help our children be, who and what they want to be. If American education is in crisis, as many people think, then it’s time for us to get serious about making improvements. If we want our children of the Pacific to grow up knowing who they are, and be well-rounded citizens who actively contribute to their communities, why not start with paying teachers a decent wage, so they don’t have to get two part time jobs to make ends meet."

Senator Gabbard represents District 19, which includes Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, and portions of Waipahu and Ko 'Olina. For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830.

At the conclusion of the 25th Annual Pacific Educational Conference, Senator Mike Gabbard was presented with a commemorative plaque from (L to R) Dr. Thomas Barlow, the President and CEO of the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, and Dr. Claire Poumele, the Director of the American Samoa Department of Education.
GOVERNOR SIGNS SEN. GABBARD'S BILL TO STEM "ICE" FLOW

June 18, 2008


HONOLULU— Senator Mike Gabbard applauds Governor Linda Lingle's decision to sign a bill he introduced to reduce the prevalence of "ice" in Hawaii communities.

Gabbard said, "This new law will close a loophole in our current legal system and allow law enforcement to better track those criminals who go store to store 'smurfing' – buying products with pseudoephedrine with the intention of making 'ice'."

SB 2373, now Act 184, requires pharmacies and retailers to maintain an electronic logbook for sales of products containing pseudoephedrine and send it to the Department of Public Safety every 30 days. All pharmacies and retailers will have until January 1, 2010 to comply with the law.

Gabbard continued, "Back in March of this year, DEA officers busted 'ice' dealers in my district, Royal Kunia, with 50 pounds of 'ice' with a street value of over $1 million. This is one of the largest drug busts in Hawaii history. And with busts like this, it's obvious we need to have the proper tools in place to prevent an increase in 'ice' labs."

In 2006, Hawaii passed a law to allow people to buy no more than 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine at one time and only 9 grams per month. However, there was nothing in the law to prevent people from going store to store to buy the products.

Act 184 creates a class C felony penalty for any person who is guilty of knowingly purchasing, possessing, or receiving more than 9 grams of pseudoephedrine without a valid prescription within a 30-day period. It also establishes a misdemeanor and the immediate license suspension for any retailer who intentionally or knowingly fails to transmit information on the electronic log.

Forty states have passed laws regulating pseudoephedrine sales. Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia have passed laws similar to Act 184.

For more information on SB 2373 (Act 184), please contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830.

SENATOR GABBARD'S BILL TO RID OUR BEACHES OF ATVs ON TO GOVERNOR'S DESK

May 1, 2008


HONOLULU– A bill to give the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) greater enforcement powers to protect Hawaii's public lands and beaches has passed both chambers of the State Legislature and now heads to the Governor's desk for her signature.

Senator Mike Gabbard authored and introduced SB 1891 last year after receiving complaints from people statewide and reading media reports about the problem of ATVs and other vehicles driving on our beaches. These vehicles have created a public safety hazard, cause destruction to our natural ecosystem, and can potentially desecrate sacred burial grounds.

"This bill is about giving DLNR officers the tools they need to better protect people and the environment from ATV and 4 X 4 owners who choose to be reckless and use our beaches for sport," said Gabbard. "Our beaches are beautiful places where families go to rest and relax. They shouldn't have to be constantly looking over their shoulders and worrying about being mowed down by an ATV."

SB 1891 would establish criminal penalties (petty misdemeanor) for violations on public lands. The bill would allow DLNR Enforcement officers to issue criminal citations, arrest violators, and confiscate vehicles. Fines would be $500 for the 1st offense, $1,000 for the 2nd offense, and $2,000 for the 3rd or any additional offenses. This bill would also allow DLNR to address other violations on public lands, such as setting unpermitted fires and illegal dumping.

The Governor has until July 8th to either sign the bill into law, allow the bill to become law without her signature, or to veto.

Senator Gabbard represents District 19, which includes Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, and portions of Waipahu and Ko 'Olina. For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830.

STATE SENATE BREAKS RECORD IN DONATIONS TO HAWAII FOODBANK

April 30, 2008


HONOLULU– The Hawaii Foodbank was presented with $11,922 and well over 5,000 pounds of food at an event held at the State Capitol today by Senator Mike Gabbard, his colleagues and Senate staffers.

Gabbard said, “We started with the modest goal of raising $5,000 and bringing in 1,500 pounds of food. We were totally blown away by the excitement and outpouring of aloha shown for this very worthy cause.”

The Hawaii State Senate has been active in raising money and collecting food for the Hawaii Foodbank's Annual Food Drive every year since it all began in 1990. This year was record-breaking for both food and monetary donations. The Senate had a friendly competition among the different offices and various incentives along the way to earn points for helping in this year's food drive. The Senate Minority Research office finished first with 15,175 points, Senator Ron Menor’s office placed 2nd with 10,510 points and Senator David Ige’s office came in 3rd with 9,260 points.

Gabbard continued, “I know that the donations to the Hawaii Foodbank this year have been less than what is needed, so I’m hopeful that our efforts help to bridge the gap. Mahalo to everyone who participated in making our fundraising efforts an outstanding success.”

As part of the incentive to motivate the other Senate offices, Senator Gabbard offered prizes to the winners: 2 tickets on board the Star of Honolulu whale watching and luncheon cruise ship, a gift basket of assorted goodies from the Gabbard ohana, and a private gourmet lunch prepared by Senator Gabbard and his wife, Carol.

Senator Gabbard represents District 19, which includes Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, and portions of Waipahu and Ko 'Olina. Please contact his office at 586-6830 for more information.

COMMUNITY GROUP PRESENTS GE LABELING, FARM NOTIFICATION PETITION TO SEN. GABBARD

February 24, 2008


HONOLULU– Members of a newly formed ad-hoc community group, Hawaii Citizens for Food Choice presented Senator Mike Gabbard with over 4,000 signatures gathered through a statewide petition at a news conference at the State Capitol today.

The petition urges state lawmakers to pass important legislation (SB 3232) which would require all genetically engineered (GE) whole foods sold in Hawaii to be labeled and (SB3233), which would compel biotech companies to identify the location of test plots and production of GE crops.

Gabbard said, "The main thing about this issue is that we live in a democracy where people have the right to know what we put in our bodies. National statistics show that up to 94% of people want GE foods labeled. Even Senators Obama and Clinton have weighed in favoring the labeling of GE foods. And here locally, a recent study done by UH shows that 85% of Hawaii residents think it’s important that GE fruit be labeled.”

“The second bill,” Gabbard said, “is meant to give people more information on what's happening on our lands. It’s actually a “good neighbor” bill because those who are growing GE crops would be required to report their location to the Department of Agriculture (DOA), who would post this information on their website, thus making it readily available to the public.”

Hawaii Citizens for Food Choice was started less than a month ago by Kailua resident, Penelope Perez. Ms. Perez said, "I read an article in the paper about these bills and was motivated to get involved. I'm a single mom and don't have a lot of time on my hands, but I feel strongly that I've got the right to know what I'm eating and what I’m feeding my son. Frankly, I couldn't believe how easy it was to get this many signatures.”

Gabbard thanked the group for getting involved in the process. He said, “The results of these petitions make it even clearer that the people of Hawaii want to be able to choose whether they eat GE foods or not. Labeling is the only way to provide that option. Both of these bills are really about democracy and letting the public know that our elected officials are listening to them.
We’re hopeful and confident that the voices of Hawaii’s people will be heard."

SB 3232 and SB 3233 have been referred to the Senate Agriculture/Hawaiian Affairs and Senate Energy/Environment committees. Both bills must be passed out of the committees by Thursday, February 28th.

Senator Gabbard represents District 19, which includes Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, and portions of Waipahu and Ko 'Olina. For more information about this legislation, contact his office at 586-6830.

New Entertainment and Sports Office Introduced by Sen. Gabbard

February 06, 2008


HONOLULU – A proposal to create a new state agency that would promote the entertainment and sports industries of Hawaii has been introduced by Senator Mike Gabbard (Dist. 19- Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Portions of Waipahu and Ko 'Olina).

"With the success of the UH football program and the Lost TV show, it's critical that we take advantage of this opportunity," Gabbard said. "Over 325 states and cities in the U.S. have had success in creating authorities and commissions. We should be positioning ourselves as a center for these important industries in the Pacific region and Asia."

SB 2362 would establish an Entertainment and Sports Authority with the goal of marketing, promoting, developing, and coordinating entertainment and sports-related activities and events in the state.

The Authority would be housed in the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism and have a policy-making board similar in structure to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Funding for the agency would come from the Transient Accommodation Tax, legislative appropriations, gifts and grants, and interests and revenues generated by the Authority.

Gabbard envisions the Entertainment and Sports Authority acting as a clearinghouse to bring together all of Hawaii's entertainment and sports-related businesses, clubs, trade associations, and government agencies to maximize their potential growth and development.

"The Authority would help these industries establish their own voice in promoting our state to the rest of the world," Gabbard continued. "Given that the U.S. sports industry alone is worth over $200 billion, the potential is enormous."

SB 2362 will be heard by the Senate Economic Development and Taxation/Tourism and Government Operations committees on Thursday, February 7th at 1:15pm in Conference Room 229 at the State Capitol. The bill can be accessed by visiting the State Capitol website at this link: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2008/bills/SB2362_.htm.

For more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830.

GE Labeling, Farm Notification Bills Introduced by Senator Gabbard

January 25, 2008


HONOLULU – Food labeling and farm notification bills related to genetically engineered (GE) crops, also known as genetically modified organisms – GMOs, have been introduced in the Hawaii State Legislature by Senator Mike Gabbard (Dist. 19- Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Portions of Waipahu and Ko 'Olina.)

Senate Bill 3232 would require labeling for all GE whole foods sold in Hawaii (fruits and vegetables in their raw or natural state). Senate Bill 3233 would require companies to reveal the location of test plots and production of GE crops.

“These bills are about consumer choice,” says Gabbard. “People have a right to know what food they put in their bodies and what is happening on our lands, and they should be informed.”

Gabbard said his bills reflect the wishes of almost all Hawaii residents. A local study published last year by a professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo showed that 85% of the people surveyed felt it was important that genetically modified fruits be labeled. Gabbard says this finding confirms polls conducted on the mainland, which concluded that an overwhelming majority of people favor the labeling of GE foods.

"The bottom line is that people have the right to choose whether they eat a GE papaya or not,” he explains. “And, they have the right to know whether a company is testing GE crops nearby.”

Knowing the location of GE test fields is of particular concern to organic and conventional farmers worried about the potential for GE contamination of their crops. Their concern is understandable, says Gabbard. “With over 4,000 permits having been issued to conduct GE testing in the state, Hawaii is one of the primary biotech research and development centers on the planet.”

For more information about this legislation, contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830.

 
Gabbard Announces Extended hours for Barbers Point Post Office during the Christmas Holidays

November 9, 2007


HONOLULU – Senator Mike Gabbard announced today that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has agreed to extend the hours at Barbers Point Post Office during the Christmas Holidays. From December 1 to 24, post office hours will be 9:00am – 3:45pm, Monday – Friday, and 9am – 12pm on Saturdays.

"It's great news to hear that USPS listened to the community and added hours to their operations", said Gabbard. "During the Christmas Season, the Barbers Point and Kapolei post offices are jam packed with people trying to mail gifts to their loved ones. These extra hours at Barbers Point will be a welcome relief."

Gabbard had launched a petition drive in early 2007 after USPS made their November 6, 2006 decision to scale back weekday hours at Barbers Point Post Office from 9am – 4:00pm to 9:00 – 12:00pm.

Gabbard continued, "I got many calls and emails from concerned Kapolei and Kalaeloa residents who were upset with the decision. We were able to get over 1,000 residents to sign our petition in support of extending the hours and this definitely helped our cause."

In addition to the extended Christmas hours, Post Office Operations Manager, Mr. Greg Wolny, wrote in a November 5, 2007 letter to Senator Gabbard that "effective Saturday, November 10th residents can bring their 'Late Notice' slips to Barbers Point Station rather than drive to Kapolei to pick up their mail." This second change will also be big improvement for area residents and will be permanent.

If you would like more information, please contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830

 
Gabbard Announces Kaleiopuu Elementary School to participate in Operation Caring Classroom National School Initiative.

November 2, 2007


HONOLULU – Senator Mike Gabbard announced today that Kaleiopuu Elementary School in Village Park has been selected as the only school in the state participating in the 2nd Annual Operation Caring Classroom national school initiative.

Operation Caring Classroom is sponsored by the Armed Forces Foundation and has the goal of remembering and supporting military children during a week long celebration from November 5th to 9th, leading up to Veteran's Day. This year the program was launched by U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, and will involve one school from every state in the country.

"It's great to see the students at Kaleiopuu Elementary supporting their peers who have parents in the military", said Gabbard. "Keiki who have parents deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other places around the world have added responsibilities and stress. Operation Caring Classroom is a nice example of the aloha spirit in action."

Each participating school, like Kaleiopuu Elementary, has received a school kit with patriotic items, such as flags, magnets, bookmarks, and activity books for the students. Teachers will engage their classes in writing letters to a military child, coloring patriotic pictures, creating a patriotic display case, and building a strength chain.

If you would like more information about the program, please contact Senator Gabbard's office at 586-6830 or Principal Carolyn Alexander at 675-0266.

 
Gabbard Switches Parties To Better Serve Constituents

August 30, 2007

HONOLULU - Republican State Senator Mike Gabbard, (Waikele to Ko Olina) announced his decision today to join the Democratic Party at the party’s new headquarters in Ward Warehouse.

“I made this decision after a great deal of thought and soul searching,” said Gabbard, “and after many, many discussions with my daughter Tulsi, a former state representative and a card-carrying Democrat who works for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka. It was also talking story with Senator Akaka, Congressman Abercrombie, and other Democrats in leadership, as well as my constituents—Democrat, Republican, and Independents—that helped me make this decision. In the past few months, I’ve come to know and respect Senator Akaka and I’ve been greatly influenced by the aloha and welcoming attitude that he and others have extended to me.”

Gabbard said, “While working together with my colleagues and constituents, we’ve been able to accomplish many things. However, my experience at the legislature has convinced me that to be even more effective, it would be best if I were a member of the majority Democratic Party.”

“Some people have told me that my move could damage me politically,” Gabbard commented. “But I can’t make my decision based on politics. I have to make my decisions based on my conscience, on how I can best serve the people of Hawaii. I’m not a very partisan person, that’s actually why I have a lot of supporters. I’ve been an independent-minded Republican who always follows the dictates of my conscience, not the party line. And I will be just as independent as a Democrat.”

Here are a couple common questions I've received regarding my switch and the answers:

Q: How can you be a social conservative on issues like same-sex marriage and be a Democrat?

A: I'm perfectly in line with the majority of Democrats on this issue. During the same-sex marriage debate, 70% of Hawaii voters agreed with me and voted to protect traditional marriage. The vast majority of those people were Democrats. And on the grassroots level, I have tons of Democrats thanking me for my role in protecting traditional marriage, much more than Republicans.

Q: How can you switch to the Democratic Party when you don't agree 100% with the Party's Platform?

A: If everybody who didn't believe in the Party Platform left the Democratic Party, the Party would consist of a couple thousand people at most.

 
Senator Mike Gabbard will begin offering free beginning junior tennis clinics in September at the Kalaeloa tennis courts.

August 16, 2007


Senator Mike Gabbard (Waikele to Ko Olina) will begin offering free beginning junior tennis clinics in September at the Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) tennis courts.

Gabbard said, “Back in the 1970s I was the head tennis pro at the Kuilima Hyatt (now Turtle Bay Resort), and I also coached hundreds of juniors when we lived in American Samoa. My wife Carol and I play almost every day, and I’ve been noticing more and more juniors coming out and banging the ball around. So I figured why not offer some free lessons, so they can learn the game properly.”

The free beginning tennis clinics are open to kids ages 7-12 and will be held on three Saturdays from 4:30 to 6 pm on September 15, 22, and 29th at the Kalaeloa tennis courts at Saratoga and Franklin Avenues. The 3-lesson clinic will include the serve, groundstrokes, volleys and scoring. Registration is limited, first come/first serve, so call Senator Gabbard at 682-0676 or email him at mike@MikeGabbard.com. Kids need to bring a tennis racket.

 

Gabbard And Har Co-Host Talk Story

February 22, 2007


Senator Mike Gabbard and Representative Sharon Har will co-host a community talk-story at the Kapolei High School cafeteria on Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 9:00am.
Gabbard said, "I'm happy that both Representative Har and I can hold these meetings together. Both of us know the most important thing is helping people and not whether we're Republicans or Democrats. This is what's best for the community."
Har said, "

Shortly after being elected, Senator Gabbard and Representative Har agreed to hold a series of talk stories to coordinate their work in the communities they both represent. Senator Gabbard represents Senate District #19, which stretches from Waikele to Ko Olina and Representative Har serves Representative District #40 -Kapolei, Makakilo, and Royal Kunia.

 

Gabbard Honors Christian Mahuna For His Bravery

February 22, 2007


H ONOLULU - Senator Mike Gabbard presented Christian Mahuna with an honorary certificate from the Hawaii State Senate on February 21, 2007. Christian is a 6th grade student at Kapolei Middle School and lives in Kalaeloa. He was joined at the Capitol by his mother, Ellena Young, and family friend Marcus Miles.

On Friday, February 2, 2007, Christian was waiting for his school bus at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Lexington Street when a reckless driver struck Christian, severely breaking both his legs with compound fractures .

Gabbard said, "Christian and his family have been through a terrible ordeal because of this hit and run driver. It 's my hope that the perpetrator will be brought to justice, that Christian will make a full recovery, and he and his family will regain their emotional well-being and peace of mind."

According to Crime Stoppers and the Honolulu Police Department, there have been no leads in this unsolved case. The driver of the vehicle that hit Christian faces two possible charges: vehicle negligent injury in the 2nd degree – a misdemeanor which caries up to a year in jail and failure to render aid – a class C felony which carries up to 5 years in jail.

If you have any information on this case, please contact Crime Stoppers at 955-8300.

 

Gabbard Honors Rudy Gabrillo Winner Of George S.B. Walters Shipyard Service Award

Febuary 21, 2007

HONOLULU - Senator Mike Gabbard presented Rudy Gabrillo with an honorary certificate on behalf of the Hawaii State Senate during a ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Senator Gabbard recognized Mr. Gabrillo for receiving the first civilian George S.B. Walters Shipyard Service Award at the 46th Annual Navy League Sea Services Awards luncheon on December 8, 2006 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

Gabbard said, "It was a privilege to acknowledge the hardwork and dedication of one of Makakilo's finest. Rudy deserves all the accolades that he's received."

The award is given to one outstanding civilian at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard who is characterized by industriousness, enthusiasm and team spirit. Rudy is a Rigger Supervisor and general foreman at the shipyard. His duties include repairing ships underwater and training sailors.

Senator Gabbard was joined at the ceremony by Captain Frank Camelio, Commander - Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Captain James Stone, Deputy Commander - Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Mr. Bob McDermott, Executive Director - Honolulu Navy League, CWO-3 Eric MacDonald, and Mr. Kerry Gershaneck, Congressional & Public Affairs Officer - Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

 

Gabbard Honors Kapolei Middle School Speech Contest Winners

February 7, 2007


HONOLULU - Senator Mike Gabbard honored Ms. Joy Lynch and former Kapolei Middle School students Flora Cross, Rebecca Manahan, and Tafia Taimalelagi on the floor of the State Senate on February 5th, 2007.

Gabbard said, "It was a pleasure to honor Ms Lynch, Flora, Rebecca, and Tafia at the Capitol. Ms. Lynch should be commended for all her efforts and dedication in helping these students find success. I'm sure the students have made their families proud and have bright futures ahead of them."

Ms. Joy Lynch, an 8th grade Language Arts teacher at Kapolei Middle School, was honored for her leadership role in the development of the USS Arizona Memorial Scholarship Speech Contest. Ms. Lynch had been moved to action by a visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial and the peace memorial in Hiroshima, Japan. She wanted Hawaii students to have the opportunity to speak at the Pearl Harbor memorial, so that she could one day pass on to future generations the historical significance of the events of December 7, 1941.

The first USS Arizona Memorial Scholarship Speech Contest speech contest was held on June 16, 2006. Flora Cross who is now a 9th grade student at Kamehameha Schools, won first place. Ninth grade Kapolei High School students Rebecca Manahan and Tafia Taimalelagi won second and third place respectively. As part of their award for winning the speech contest, each student received a $1,000 scholarship and the opportunity to present their speeches at the 65th Pearl Harbor Anniversary Symposium. On December 2nd and 5th, 2006, Flora, Rebecca, and Tafia became the first students in the nation to speak at a USS Arizona Memorial Museum Association event.

 

Senator Mike Gabbard Introduces Bill To Keep ATVs Off Our Beaches

January 28, 2007


Senator Mike Gabbard has introduced SB 1891, which will allow the Department of Natural Resources' (DLNR) Enforcement Division to solve the problem of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and other vehicles driving on our beaches and creating safety and environmental hazards. The legislation will restore criminal penalties to Chapter 171, relating to public lands..Read Release

 

Gabbard Takes The Oath Of Office At Hawaii State Senate

January 23, 2007


HONOLULU - American Samoa native, Mike Gabbard, took the oath of office as a Hawaii State Senator on Wednesday, January 17, 2007. Gabbard represents District #19, which is comprised of the West Oahu communities of Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Makakilo, Kapolei, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale and portions of Waipahu and Ko Olina.

It is a tradition at the Hawaii State Legislature that after elected officials are sworn in, the Senators and Representatives open the doors of their offices and receive members of the public with refreshments.

Gabbard said, "It was wonderful to share this experience with my family, friends, and so many supporters. Some even flew in from the Neighbor Islands. I'm humbled to have this opportunity to serve the people of Hawaii as a State Senator. I look forward to doing my best to make life better for all of Hawaii's residents."

Gabbard previously served as a Honolulu City Councilman (Ewa, Kapolei, Waianae Coast) from 2003 to 2005. He was born to Benjamin Harrison Gabbard and Agnes Yandall Gabbard of Leloaloa and lived in American Samoa from 1971-1983. During this time, Gabbard taught at Faga’itua and Samoana High School, and served at American Samoa Community College as a guidance counselor, Assistant Dean of Instruction and Dean of Adult and Community Education. His daughter, former Hawaii State Representative Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo is currently at Officer Candidate School for the Hawaii National Guard in Fort Hood, Alabama and is on leave from her position as a legislative aide in Washington D.C. to U.S. Senator Dan Akaka.

  Mike Gabbard - State Senate | P.O. Box 75480 Kapolei, Hawaii 96707
Home Phone: (808) 682-0676 | E-mail: mike@mikegabbard.com
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