Showing posts with label Rep. Marilyn Lee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rep. Marilyn Lee. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rep. Marilyn Lee Interviews Suzanne Jones on Honolulu Recycling

On the upcoming episode of "Kukui Connection" Rep Marilyn Lee (District 38 - Mililani, Mililani Mauka) talks to Suzanne Jones (left), Branch Chief of the Recycling program within the Department of Environmental Services at the City and County of Honolulu.  Jones is considered one of the city's experts on protecting the environment through waste management and recycling.  She has served in her position since 1989.

When Jones was first hired to start the recycling program at the City, H-Power was just coming online. Prior to H-Power, almost everything was dumped into the landfill at Waimanalo Gulch on the Waianae Coast.  Today, Oahu generates more than 1.2 million tons of solid waste every year.  Had it not been for the foresight of City leaders to embark upon H-Power technology, our waste management system would be sorely inadequate. We divert more than 70% of the waste from the landfill to H-Power.  Being an island, that figure is good, but the goal is to get it down to almost zero if possible.

That said, Honolulu is considered one of the most green cities for its size given our recycling efforts.

Jones explains:

*The relationship between the City and State on recycling efforts
*Curbside recycling
*How those who don't have curbside recycling can still recycle - i.e. businesses, condos
*How recycling has reduced litter
*How schools and non-profits can fundraise through the HI-5 (bottle recycling) program
*What things are we not recycling that can be considered for the future
*How to determine what kind of plastics can be recycled - the difference between #1 and #2
*Website is
*City is about to launch a phone APP
*Convenience is the key to more recycling participation
*What happens to the green waste

Don't miss this fact-filled show on Honolulu's recycling program and why we're one of the Top 3 green cities in the country.

The show airs on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. on Olelo, Channel 54.  It repeats on Sunday, September 23rd and Sunday, September 30th, at 4 p.m., same channel.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hawaii Health Connector Executive Director Coral Andrews on the next Kukui Connection

On the next episode of Kukui Connection, Rep. Marilyn Lee talks with Coral Andrews (left), executive director of the Hawaii Health Connector, a state-based health insurance exchange. Andrews will discuss the Hawaii Health Connector and what it will do for healthcare in Hawaii, the timeline of establishing the Connector before the Jan. 1, 2012 launch date, and how you can get more information throughout its development.

In July 2011, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law a measure outlining the establishment of a health insurance exchange, which is mandated by the federal government’s Affordable Care Act.  A health insurance exchange is an electronic marketplace where uninsured people can compare and purchase health insurance and receive federal subsidies for the cost. Andrews likens it to the buying of airline tickets on travel aggregator websites such as 

Hawaii was the first state to declare its intent on developing a health insurance exchange, and most recently, has  issued a request for proposals for construction of the online marketplace.  

Learn more about Coral Andrews and the Hawaii Health Connector by watching the Kukui Connection on the following air dates on Oceanic 'Olelo Channel 54: 

Friday, August 17, 2012 – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 19, 2012 – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 26, 2012 – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 2, 2012 – 4:00 p.m.

You can also learn more now by visiting

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Majority Leader Pono Chong on the next "Kukui Connection"

Traditionally, at the end of the legislative session, Rep. Marilyn Lee interviews the House Majority Leader for an overview of the session.  This year is no exception, and Rep. Lee talks to Majority Leader Pono Chong, at left, on the next episode of "Kukui Connection".  The show airs on Friday, June 1st at 8:30 p.m. on Olelo Channel 54. It repeats on Sundays, June 3rd and June 10th at 4:00 p.m. on the same channel.

This is Rep. Chong's first year as Majority Leader, but he has served in the House for the past 8 years.  He represents District 49 - Maunawili, Olomana, Enchanted Lake, Kaneohe.

Some may not be aware that Rep. Chong started his legislative career as a staff member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.  He worked with that office for two years and has been able to draw from that experience in his past membership on the House Finance Committee and now as Majority Leader.

The representatives talk about the highlights of HB2012, the State Budget bill, and some of the key areas which lawmakers were able to restore now that the economy is recovering, albeit slowly.  Rep. Chong provides insight into some of the bills passed this year that will help economic growth.  They also touch upon the latest Council on Revenues projections, what the Council does, and how the projection will impact the budget process in the future.

The 2012 legislature passed some extremely important measures relating to health and upholding the safety net for Hawaii's poorest communities, including bills that address the closure of Hawaii Medical Center.

The show closes with some thoughts about the future and what needs to be addressed to provide a continued quality of life for Hawaii residents.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kukui Connection: Adrianna Ramelli

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In observance of this designation, Rep. Lee welcomes Adrianna Ramelli, Executive Director of the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii, on the next episode of Kukui Connection.

In the episode, Ms. Ramelli provides some background on the treatment center, gives a rundown of the services they offer, and talks about what constitutes sex abuse. Started in 1976, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Hawaii offers 24/7 crisis care, medical services, counseling, legal support, a 24-hour hotline, and provides a host of prevention tools and information on their website.

Rep. Lee and Ms. Ramelli end the episode on a lighter note, discussing Adrianna's unique background and interesting personal story.

The episode can be seen on Olelo Channel 54 on the following dates and times:

Friday, May 4 at 8:30pm
Sunday, May 6 at 4:00pm
Sunday, May 13 at 4:00pm

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kukui Connection: Kata Issari

On this week's episode of Kukui Connection, Rep. Marilyn Lee welcomes Kata Issari, Hawaii Regional Director of the Joyful Heart Foundation.

The Foundation was created by Mariska Hargitay, of the television show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in 2004. Joyful Heart's mission is to heal, educate, and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse and shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.

Rather than only address the trauma itself, Joyful Heart places its focus on holistic healing and the overall wellness of survivors. This progressive approach continues to services designed to help staff cope with the stress and trauma that comes with dealing with such sensitive issues on a daily basis.

Ms. Issari notes that Joyful Heart works with other organizations in dealing with the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. Collaborating with other entities, rather than working independently, results in the highest level of service for clients.

To learn more about the Joyful Heart Foundation, please visit

The episode can be seen on Olelo Channel 54 on the following dates and times:

Friday, April 20 at 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 22 at 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 at 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

WLC Easter Basket Drive

This afternoon, the Women's Legislative Caucus held its annual Easter Basket drive at the Capitol. Headed by Rep. Marilyn Lee, the program has been running for more than a decade. This year, the WLC teamed up with the Institute for Human Services to collect "Welcome Home Baskets" to benefit homeless shelter clients.

More than 100 colorful baskets were donated by individuals from throughout the community. The baskets contained basic household items including dishes, pots & pans, utensils, and toiletries.

Reps. Della Au Bellati, Corinne Ching, Heather Giugni, Chris Lee, Silvia Luke, Dee Morikawa, Barbara Marumoto, Mark "the Easter Bunny" Takai, Cynthia Thielen, and Sen. Rosalyn Baker were instrumental to the success of the drive.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kukui Connection: Hermina Morita

On the next episode of Kukui Connection, Rep. Marilyn Lee welcomes back her former colleague in the House and current Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Chair, Hermina Morita. Along with Rep. Lee, Chair Morita was a part of the freshman class of 1996 and served in the House for 15 years. In the episode, she explains what the PUC is as well as her role as Chair.

Established in 1913, the PUC is responsible for regulating public service companies in the state and establishing rates, tariffs, charges, and fees. Chair Morita explains the close relationship between the PUC and the Legislature, where the Legislature sets policies in place, which are then implemented by the PUC.

The rising prices for water, electricity, and gas have drawn a considerable amount of attention to the PUC in recent years. Chair Morita tells us about PUC's expanding renewable energy portfolio, including the rapidly evolving potential of geothermal.

The episode will air Friday, April 6 at 8:30 pm on Olelo Channel 54 and be rebroadcast Sunday, April 8 and Sunday, April 15 at 4:00 pm.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kukui Connection: Heather Giugni

On the next episode of Kukui Connection, Rep. Marilyn Lee welcomes newly appointed Rep. Heather Giuni.

Rep. Giugni's path to the Legislature has been unconventional to say the least and she brings a breadth of experience that enhances and enriches the House. Born in Hawai'i, Heather and her family moved to Washington DC in the 1960s in order for her father to work for Senator Inouye. Rep. Giugni reflects on growing up in our nation's capital in the 1960s as well as her exposure to Hawaiian legends including Patsy Mink and Spark Matsunaga.

After earning her degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, Heather returned to Hawai'i and began a career in media. In 1986, Rep. Giugni started her own production company, Juniroa Productions, which she still owns and operates today.

Reps. Lee and Giugni discuss the merits of Speaker Say's policy of placing freshman lawmakers on the Finance Committee. Rep. Giugni also identifies her top legislative priority for the session: appropriating funding for the Aiea Library.

Rep. Giugni with Speaker Say shortly after being sworn in to office on February 21st

The episode will air on Olelo Channel 54 on the following dates:

                                                            Friday, March 16 at 8:30pm
                                                            Sunday, March 18 at 4:00pm
                                                            Sunday, March 25 at 4:00pm
                                                            Sunday, April 1 at 4:00pm

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Women's Legislative Caucus Easter Basket Drive

Each year the Women's Legislative Caucus donates Easter Baskets of essential items for clients of the Institute for Human Services. Last year’s theme, “Welcome Home Easter Baskets," which helped individuals start off on the right foot when moving from being homeless to having a permanent home, was so successful that IHS wants to continue the theme for this year's Easter Basket drive.

With your help the WLC collected and donated more than 150 Easter Baskets to The Institute for Human Services last year. We appreciate your continued support of this worthy cause.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Women's Caucus Unveils its 2012 Legislative Package

Last Thursday afternoon, the Women's Legislative Caucus was joined by constituents, community organizers, military representatives, and a special guest to announce its legislative package for the session. This year's legislation is dedicated to women veterans and a disabled female veteran, Chelsea Ann K. E. Fernandez, attended the press conference, where she was recognized for her service. 

Chelsea Ann K. E. Fernandez 

Supporting women veterans begins with ensuring women can serve our nation proudly, in an environment free from discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault, but it does not stop there. Female veterans need help transitioning into the civilian workforce when they return home, medical coverage for service-related injuries, and to be made aware of what benefits are available. 

In addition to championing female veterans, this year's package proposes legislation dealing with issues that affect all women in Hawai'i. While we may be ahead of the rest of the nation when it comes to women's rights, we are certainly not where we need to be. Women represent 34% of our legislature, which is well above the national average of 23%, but still falls woefully short of reflecting the fact that half of our population is female.

Rep. Marilyn Lee served as the master of ceremonies, with Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Linda Ichiyama, and Rep. Cynthia Thielen sharing personal stories and explaining the proposed legislation. The comprehensive legislative package, which includes bills ranging from funding for cervical and breast cancer screenings to prohibiting medical personnel from performing a pelvic examination on an anesthetized or unconscious patient (yes, it's currently allowed), can be viewed in its entirety at the Capitol website

As progressive as the state may be when it comes to women's rights, the war is far from over. The Women's Caucus press conference allowed us to look at how far we have come, yet still make us aware of how much work is left to be done in the name of equality for all of the people of Hawai'i, regardless of gender. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Greater Heights

Rep. Marilyn Lee and Jim Crisafulli on the Kukui Connection set

He is a familiar face at the State Capitol, usually jolly, and always passionate about his favorite subject: space. Jim Crisafulli is the director of the Office of Aerospace Development, and he is Rep. Marilyn Lee's guest on the next episode of "Kukui Connection".

Jim is also the executive director of the Pacific International Space Alliance, or PISA, but this one is "leaning in the right direction," says Jim.

The show airs on Sunday, December 18th, 4:00 p.m. on Olelo Channel 54. It repeats, same time/same station, on Christmas Day, Dec. 25th and New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2012.

Jim started his star trek with Hawaii state government by joining the Office of Space Industry in the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism in 1988. At that time, the focus was primarily starting a potential space port on the southern point of the Big Island. That office was closed in 1995. Jim then served as DBEDT's Science and Technology Director until the legislature created the Office of Aerospace Industry in 2007.

In his current position, Jim leads Hawaii's efforts to develop an aerospace industry in Hawaii; NASA has recognized the state as having great potential for future aerospace endeavors. NASA and Hawaii signed an agreement for space collaboration in 2010 to work on areas related to aerospace.

The first collaboration has been a project related to small satellite research in the islands. They also recently completed an international conference on the Big Island which focused on the future development of an lunar research park.

An annex to the agreement was recently signed to develop terrestrial analog facilities on the Big Island, leveraging the island's lunar-like and mars-like terrain, in order to develop and prepare for future missions into space.

Exactly, why is Hawaii a great place for aerospace development?

*We have certain terrains that are very similar to the moon and Mars. In fact, we have the most similar terrain to the moon than anyplace else in the world, and this terrain can be used to simulate conditions.
*Being near the equator, we are an advantageous site from which to launch payloads into equatorial orbit.

Here are some related links that will help give you a big picture of Hawaii's space-related activity.

HCR123 Recognizing Aerospace as a strategic and timely growth industry. The resolution outlines the history and future potential of aerospace in Hawaii.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Andrea Anderson, Planned Parenthood

Rep. Marilyn Lee (left) and Andrea Anderson, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Hawaii

Andrea Anderson believes she has been groomed for her career for much of her life. She comes from a midwest family of Danish descent, one that has always been open to learning and education about sexuality and body issues. Andrea is the next guest on The Kukui Connection, a weekly conversation show hosted by Rep. Marilyn Lee.

The show airs this Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 4 p.m. on Olelo Channel 54. It repeats at the same time of December 4th and 11th.

Some of the points of interest include:

*The history of Planned Parenthood, which has been in existence for over 90 years nationally, and 45 years in Hawaii

*Learn about Planned Parenthood offices in Hawaii - Honolulu, Kahului and Kona. They will be expanding to Kauai in 2012

*Legislative advocacy

*Hear about the PPHI team, comprised of 40 staff on three islands and the services and educational programs they provide to thousands across the state

*Diverse funding stream

*The "We Believe" campaign

*Social media sites: Website. Facebook page. Twitter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who can? You can. Next on Kukui Connection

Who can? You can. That's this year's theme for October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Rep. Marilyn Lee talks with Nanci Kreidman, Chief Executive Officer of the the Domestic Violence Action Center, and Veroniki Geronimo, Executive Director of the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The program airs on Sunday, October 30th at 4 p.m. Olelo Ch. 54. It repeats on November 6th and 13th.

Both agree that the state of domestic violence in Hawaii is "abysmal" with little investment into prevention efforts. There is an increase in demand for domestic violence services at the same time that funding for the agencies is going down. States across the nation are facing similar challenges.

the theme, Who can? You can, is meant to draw attention to the fact that the domestic violence is not a private issue, but a public one, and that the community needs to get involved and support those who need assistance.

Learn more about the five-year Domestic Violence Plan. It sets up a grassroots effort on all the islands through individual task forces.

Learn more about the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence on their website.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Liz Chun to appear on Kukui Connection - Focus on Early Childhood Education

Elisabeth "Liz" Chun, Executive Director of Good Beginnings Alliance, will appear next Sunday on Kukui Connection, the weekly talk show hosted by Rep. Marilyn Lee. The show airs at 4 p.m., Sunday, September 25th on Olelo Ch. 54. (Repeats on 10/9 and 10/23)

Liz Chun has been with Good Beginnings Alliance for 14 years, but her connection to and experience in early childhood education goes back many years before that. Her education and training is in education, she worked at Headstart, ran a private business for 13 years on consulting with families on how to work with young children, joined the Governor's Office of Children and Youth in 1993, worked at the Department of Human Services in 1996, and then began with Good Beginnings Alliance in 1997.

Good Beginnings is what is called an "intermediary organization". They don't do direct service, but bring community concerns to others who do policy making. Their role is to encourage good policy for young children (0-8), and to help increase resources for this age group. They look at the full spectrum of safety and health, and how well children are ready to succeed in school. This includes prevention of child abuse.

Hawaii has good access to health care for young children, although there are still gap groups. Hawaii does poorly, however, in dental health.

Liz talks about how the poor economy has resulted in great cutbacks which have impacted children's care dramatically. They are working to provide continued support for children through other resources, including starting the children's advocacy project "Be My Voice".

Liz is encouraged that Governor Abercrombie has appointed Terry Lock to be the Early Childhood coordinator, and hopes this may lead to the development of an Early Childhood Education office.

Strategies include community mobilization, social media, and having people speak up and "be a voice."

There are 80,000 children under 5 years in Hawaii, and they can't speak for themselves. These organizations strive to be their voice.

The Good Beginnings website is here.

The Be My Voice campaign website is here.

In 2008, Liz Chun testified on Early Education in Washington DC before the House Committee on Education and Labor. Congresswoman Mazie Hirono introduced her in this video:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Council Chair Ernie Martin on Kukui Connection

Honolulu Council Chair Ernie Martin

Next up on the Kukui Connection, Rep. Marilyn Lee talks with Honolulu Council Chair Ernie Martin. The show airs on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 4 p.m. on Channel 54. It repeats on 10/2 and 10/16 at the same time/channel.

Councilmember Martin represents District 2 - Mililani Mauka, Wahiawa, North Shore to Heeia. It's the largest council district on Oahu. Martin was first elected in 2010 after spending 20 years in the city administration. He talks about the differences between being in the executive branch vs. being an elected official, the biggest difference being a greater presence in and working directly with the community.

He talks about his family. His father served in the military at Schofield. He was the middle child in a family with 9 kids. He is married with 3 kids of his own and 2 dogs.

Council Chair Martin also covers working more closely with the state and legislature in order to leverage resources, and the 2 big issues facing his district, Agriculture and Development.

This is a show you won't want to miss.

Civil Beat's story on "Ernie Martin's Rapid Rise to Power" can be read here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kukui Connection: OMPO Director Brian Gibson

On the next installment of "Kukui Connection," Representative Marilyn Lee sits down with Brian Gibson, the new director of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization. Rep. Lee is the chair of the organization's Policy Committee. Gibson comes from North Dakota and has 9 years of experience in transportation planning. He has been at OMPO for 15 months. 

You can watch the episode on the following Sundays at 4 p.m. on Olelo Channel 54: August 28, September 4, and September 11

On the show, they discuss the roles of the three committees of OMPO, which are the Citizen Advisory Committee, Technical Advisory Committee, and Policy Committee.

Gibson also shares what he believes to be his biggest challenge in transportation planning on Oahu, and suggests that we may be seeing more planning organizations on the neighbor islands if the 2010 census shows a larger population growth. Maui and Hilo were very close to the threshold in the 2000 census, he said.

The Federal Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1973 requires the formation of a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for any urbanized area with a population greater than 50,000. This mandate was based on the need to ensure that existing and future expenditures for transportation projects and programs were based on a comprehensive, cooperative, and continuing (3-C) planning process. Federal funding for transportation projects and programs are channeled through this planning process.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

News Release on Rep. Lee's Election as WLN President

WLN Board Officer Press Release 2011-2012

Rep. Marilyn Lee - New President of NCSL Women's Legislative Network

Congratulations to Rep. Marilyn Lee (right), elected to serve as the new President of the National Conference of State Legislatures Women's Legislative Network. Above she stands with Rep. Rosie Berger, Wyoming, past president of the Women's Legislative Network and incoming chair of CSG-WEST.

Learn more about the Women's Legislative Network here.

Here is Rep. Lee's travel report to the NCSL annual meeting:

Representative Lee's NCSL-Legislative Summit Travel Report