Photo: Rep. Faye Hanohano. Credit: Hunter Bishop
Rep. Marilyn Lee ended her series on freshmen representatives with an interview with Big Island Rep. Faye Pua Hanohano. Rep. Hanohano has a hard act to follow. She won the district formally led by Rep. Helene Hale who stepped down at age 88 after serving in county and state politics for 52 years, and who was the only member of African-American descent in the state legislature. Faye Hanohano has her own unique qualifications.
She is the only member of the state legislature whose first language is Hawaiian. She was raised in a Hawaiian family that stayed very close to the native culture. She raises her own dry land taro, makes her own poi, and is bothered by the watery consistency of poi that is sold commercially. In fact, she may even introduce legislation that would address poi consistency.
She was the first female correctional officer at the Kulani correctional facility in East Hawaii. She had planned to become a police officer, but she got the job at Kulani and ended up serving there for 25 years.
She believes her community is open to the idea of expanding geothermal operations by the Puna Geothermal Venture, located on the East Rift Zone of the Kilauea Volcano. Currently, Puna Geothermal provides 30% of the electrical demand on the Big Island.
Rep. Hanohano is also concerned about the amount of depleted uranium left by military operations, particularly Pohakuloa on the Big Island. Even though this is not in her district, she will be looking to address this issue next session.
Other critical issues for District 4 (Puna, Pahoa, Hawaiian Acres, Kalapana) include road access (only one way in and one way out), and the need for a dialysis center in the area as many of the residents in the district are diabetic.
The show will re-air on Sunday, August 19, 4:00 p.m., channel 54.