On a recent neighbor island site visit reps toured Haleakala observatory at 10,000 ft., explored several taro farms and donned hard hats to see first-hand how sucrose and molasses are produced.
The purpose of the trip was to expose members of the House committees on Agriculture, Economic Development and Business Concerns, and Tourism and Culture to ways in which organizations and businesses on the neighbor islands are making waves in agriculture, tourism and economic development.
(Above: Reps are all smiles with some healthy-looking taro at a taro farm/poi factory on Kauai. Pictured are Reps. Barbara Marumoto, Ryan Yamane, Faye Hanohano, Kyle Yamashita, Corinne Ching, Clift Tsuji, Tom Brower and Speaker Calvin Say.)
On Maui, the reps visited Maui Community College and learned about how the school has tailored its curriculum to meet the needs of the community. They also heard from King Kekaulike students engaged in Project EAST about the many exciting aspects of the program, which integrates cutting-edge technology like computer-assisted drafting, geographic information systems, global positioning systems, and computer graphic applications such as soft image, into the educational curriculum. Last session, the legislature appropriated money to maintain Project EAST in existing schools and expand it to more schools across the state.
Below: (left) Reps bundle up for a tour of the observatory at Haleakala. (right) Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S), Hawaii's largest sugar plantation, opens its doors for a processing plant tour.