Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cultural Gems

Submitted by the Office of Rep. Tom Brower:

During the interim, Rep. Brower has been keeping busy with site visits to learn about our cultural gems across the island, which he often views from the perspective of Tourism Chair.

A. APEC Sites

Today, he joined the House International Affairs committee to visit the Honolulu International Airport, East-West Center and the Hawaii Convention Center and assess their "APEC readiness.

Of particular importance were the airport upgrades with moving walkways, healthier food and beverage concessions, and 1800-stall parking structure, part of the $2.3 billion modernization program approved in 2006 to improve passenger service and increase security and operational efficiencies.

(From Left): SMG General Manager Joe Davis with Reps. Evans, Brower, Awana and McKelvey. The Hawai‘i Convention Center has received its 13th consecutive Prime Site Award from Facilities & Destinations magazine.

B. Legacy Lands

This interim, Rep. Brower has joined Senate Vice-Chair of Hawaiian Affairs, Pohai Ryan, to visit Fong Plantation (Kaneohe), Sunset Ranch, Turtle Bay, and Hawaii Agricultural Research Station (Waipahu).

The Dept. of Land and Natural Resources "Legacy Land Conservation Program" (LLCP) provides grants to local organizations and agencies seeking to purchase and protect lands having these unique and rare valuable resources.

The 700-acre Fong Plantation, which is filled with tropical fruit, palms, ferns, and fragrant flowers, originally belonged to King Lunalilo. Former Senator Hiram L. Fong, who purchased it in 1950, is well-known for being the first Asian American presidential candidate (1964).

(From Left): Reps. Hashem and Brower, Hiram Fong Jr., Sen. Ryan and guest at the Plantation.

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