Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The Senate will tomorrow hold a special session to take a final vote on the nomination of Deputy Public Defender Karen Nakasone to a 10-year year term as a Oahu Circuit Court Judge. She testified and answered questions from members of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee, who today voted 4-0 to approve her nomination.

Nakasone earned her law degree from Boston University. She has served as a deputy public defender since 1996, and before that as a law clerk to the Hawaii Appeals Court Judge Simeon Acoba Jr.

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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rep Chris Lee: Getting Women Equal Power Where It Counts

The following article from Rep. Chris Lee was published on Civil Beat yesterday

Getting Women Equal Power Where It Counts

Seventy percent of Hawaii’s elected officials are men. Women have been shortchanged in our government, and many issues important to women I know hardly get the attention they deserve. But this is not about why women should be more equally included in Hawaii’s critical decision-making — this is about how to get them there.

We are fortunate to have strong women representing us in Congress, but local politics is overwhelmingly male-dominated. Only 21 percent of elected county officials are women. Thirty-three percent of the State House is female, but women disproportionately hold just two of 10 Democratic leadership positions and chair only four of 20 House committees.

Many are already working to engage more women to vote and participate, which is positive. (Hawaii Women and Politics — A Sore Subject, August 1) However, if the real goal is more equal representation in government, then the solution goes far beyond reaching out to engage women — more women must step forward to run for office.

With limited resources, reaching out to engage anyone in the political process is extremely difficult. Despite our best efforts, political participation has continued to decline among both sexes, and a shrinking focus on civic education, social studies and history in our schools will soon exacerbate the problem.

People often have more pressing concerns than getting involved. While a 2010 survey sponsored by the Patsy T. Mink Political Action Committee found that 36 percent of Hawaii’s single mothers are not registered to vote, state data shows that 67 percent of single parents cannot afford basic food, healthcare, and housing without government assistance. In fact, 72 percent of all women surveyed showed more concern with daily issues than involvement with politics.

Can we really expect to overcome people’s focus on daily survival in these tough times? Even if we could, will engaging more women actually lead to electing more women?

Probably not.

Women are already more politically engaged than men, and more women vote than men in every election. Women under 35 are the most active, and 7 percent more show up to the polls than their male counterparts.

Engaging more women will lead to electing more women only if women predominantly vote for female candidates. While the Patsy T. Mink PAC survey found that 63 percent of women say they would vote for a female candidate over a male candidate — in reality this is not so clear.

In 2010, six men and one woman ran for Lieutenant Governor in Hawaii’s Democratic Primary Election. The only female candidate finished fifth with just 8 percent of the vote, and did little better when controlling for the amount of money each candidate spent. If gender mattered at all, it took a back seat to other things.

Other elections suggest the same conclusion. Of the 95 races for the state legislature in the last two General Elections, four had male vs. female opponents running for open seats with no incumbent. These seats were won by two women and two men, but political party – not gender – was the deciding factor for voters. In these districts the candidate matching the predominant political demographic easily won by large margins. Democrats won Democratic strongholds and a Republican won a Republican stronghold.

In the 31 other legislative races with male-female matchups, the incumbent won every time, regardless of gender. In fact, of all 95 legislative races, only five incumbents lost. Incumbency and basic demographics trump nearly every other factor that determines election outcomes except one — which candidates choose to run in the first place.

Of the 191 candidates who chose to run in these 95 legislative races, 70 percent were men. Most importantly, 22 men, but just four women, ran for the 13 key seats with no incumbent where newcomers have a real chance of winning.

It is not that women have trouble winning elections – it is that there are not enough women running to begin with.

Social, cultural and economic barriers still make it hard for some women to consider running for public office, but women who can run must step forward – it will take their help as elected leaders to ultimately break these barriers down.

Women like Patsy Mink demonstrate that Hawaii can benefit tremendously from female leadership in public office. If we are going to live up to the diversity and equality on which Hawaii prides itself, then women must be more equally included in the critical decisions that shape the future of our state. Engaging more women to vote is not enough — women must run for office in greater numbers.

So, if you are a woman and you care about Hawaii – then why not you?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

State Capitol named energy finalist; reduces energy use for three consecutive months

This article is the first of many more guest blogs from the House Majority Staff Office (HMSO).

by Brandon Masuoka of HMSO

The Hawaii State Capitol recently earned special recognition in an ongoing, national energy savings competition that features more than 200 entrants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the Capitol as an energy-saving finalist in the office category in the 2011 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings, according to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism State Energy Office.

L-R: Brandon Masuoka, Paulette Abe and Merissa Sakuda are the 
building coordinators for the iConserve Energy Initiative Hawaii.

The national competition features 245 buildings across 33 states and the District of Columbia in an energy-saving competition. The building that sheds the most energy waste will be declared the winner in November.

"We've received strong support from EPA's ENERGY STAR program and look forward to even greater success in the remaining months of the competition," said Estrella Seese, Acting Energy Program Administrator for the State Energy Office, in July.

Hawaii's state departments are poised to save millions of dollars with energy conservation this year, and those savings can be used to bring services to the people of Hawaii.

The Capitol recently reduced its energy use for three consecutive months in February, March, and April compared to the same timeframe in 2010, according to the most current state data available.

The Capitol has cut its energy use through a variety of strategies, including mechanical, lighting, and plumbing upgrades, efficient operations, and an occupant behavior change campaign, according to the State Energy Office.
In June, officials with the Hawaii iConserve Energy Initiative -- a conservation program highlighting state employees using personal energy-saving behaviors at work -- celebrated with a Capitol rally that drew hundreds of conservation advocates. Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, House and Senate members, department heads, media reporters, 50 Green Champion energy-conservation volunteers, and clean energy businesses, among others, attended the rally.


L-R: Brandon Masuoka, 4th floor coordinator; Paulette Abe, Overall and Chamber Coordinator; and Merissa Sakuda, 3rd floor coordinator of the Capitol building iConserve Energy Initiative Hawaii.

The iConserve Initiative -- spearheaded by the Department of Accounting and General Services, energy service company partner NORESCO, and the State Energy Office – has encouraged Capitol employees to change their daily routines to cut electricity, such as:

• Turning off unnecessary lights;
• Hibernating or shutting down computers when leaving for long periods;
• Turning off, unplugging, or removing personal energy-guzzling devices; and
• Closing office doors.

Last year, in partnership with DBEDT's Lead by Example energy efficiency program, state departments cut total electric consumption by 2.8 percent from 2009 and saved more than $20 million in energy costs statewide. The challenge is to surpass that $20 million amount this year in an effort to bring more services to the people of Hawaii, according to Gov. Abercrombie.

The state's energy efforts have been documented by several news outlets. Here are the Web links:

Also, here's the list of top contenders and complete midpoint results for all competitors in the 2011 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. For additional information please go to the Hawaii State Capitol Building Facebook Page or

Monday, August 22, 2011

Who is Dr. Cole?

"Who is Dr. Cole and what happened to him?"

Like many others who walked by the makai side of the Hawaii State Capitol today, that's exactly what I was wondering after picking up lunch and seeing a large flower memorial for a Dr. Cole near the pool of brackish water surrounding the building.

Little did I know that the ABC television series, "The River," was filming at the Hawaii State Capitol today.

Ah, that's who Dr. Cole is. 

According to a Honolulu Star Advertiser article:
"The River" stars [Bruce] Greenwood as Dr. Emmet Cole, who travels the world to film a popular nature television show. He goes missing in the Amazon, and his family, friends and crew set out to find him. "The shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered," says a statement released by the studio.
The pilot was shot in Puerto Rico before production was relocated to Hawaii. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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

WLN Board Officer Press Release 2011-2012

Ordnance Reef Hawaii - Part 2

In part 2 of the Ordnance Reef Hawaii shows on Jordan's Journal, Rep. Jo Jordan talks with Dr. Eric DeCarlo, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Robert O'Conner, Fishery Information Specialist.

Dr. DeCarlo and Mr. O'Conner discuss follow up efforts to determine what effects there have been after the initial removal project. This project will surely serve as a model for other areas of the world where munitions have been left by the military.

This episode airs on:

Monday, September 12, 2011 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, September 19, 2011 at 1 p.m.

Rep. Jo Jordan represents District 45 - Waianae, Makaha, Makua.

To learn more about the project and see some stunning photos, you can find and "like" the Ordnance Reef Hawaii Facebook page here.

Below is great footage of collecting munitions from the ocean floor. You can see all the video from the Ordnance Reef Hawaii project on YouTube.

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

Ordnance Reef Hawaii

On the next episode of Jordan's Journal, Rep. Jo Jordan speaks with J.C. King, Assistant for Munitions, Dept. of the Army, and John Coughlin, Director, Engineering and Army Sciences for ARA.

Get a first hand account of the project to retrieve projectiles and other munitions from the ocean floor on the Waianae Coast. This show, which is the first episode of two shows on the subject of ordnance reefs, airs on:

Monday, August 29, 2011 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, September 4, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, September 5, 2011 at 1 p.m.

You can view more video footage on YouTube here. (OrdnanceReefHawaii). Here's a sample:

Rep. Jordan represents District 45 - Waianae, Makaha, Makua. On the next episode, Part 2 on Ordnance Reefs, she'll be talking with Eric DeCarlo and Rob O'Connor.

Rep. Pono Chong on NCSL Exec Committee

NR NCSL Exec RepChong

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ka Pua Project

Rep. Jordan talks with Kaiulani Sodaro (center) and Maile Keliipio-Acoba (right) from the Kamehameha Schools Ka Pua Project

Currently running on Jordan's Journal, the public access television series produced and hosted by Rep. Jo Jordan (District 45 - Waianae, Makaha, Makua) is an episode on Kamehameha Schools, specifically the Ka Pua project.

The Ka Pua project is an outreach program through Kamehameha Schools to provide greater assistance for Native Hawaiian children throughout the state. The coordinators of the project found that the greatest concentration of Native Hawaiian children in need is on the Waianae Coast.

Rep. Jordan interviews Kaiulani Sodaro, Director, Enterprise Planning & Sustainability, and Maile Keliipio-Acoba, Project Manager for Ka Pua.

Together they discuss the three spheres of activity:

1)Partnership with the Department of Education P-20.
2)Race to the Top
3)New delivery model for education

You won't want to miss the final airing of this show on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 7:30 p.m., Olelo channel 54.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rep Mizuno Awarded Citizen Improving America Award

Rep. John Mizuno accepts the Citizen Improving America Award last week at NCSL. The award, below, was presented by the Honey Brown Hope Foundation in San Antonio, Texas, for "exceptional leadership abilities, career achievement and positive impact upon our nation." Rep. Karen Awana and Senator Brickwood Galuteria (back row) are there for support.

Are you ready for a disaster?

Reps Aquino and Cullen Hold Disaster Preparedness Meeting

Rep Jo Jordan - Education Town Hall Meeting

Jordan Education Flyer

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rep Isaac Choy's Manoa Hot Spots

Manoa Hot Spots

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aloha CSG West

Futurist Joel Kotkin is interviewed by David Adkins, Executive Director/CEO of CSG

Chris Watley, Director, CSG Washington DC Office interviewed by HPR's Wayne Yoshioka

CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley delivers Keynote Address on 8/1/11

Candy Crowley and Rep. Marcus Oshiro, CSGWest Chair

Here are the links to news coverage of the CSGWest conference held in Honolulu July 30 to August 2, 2011:

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Hawaii isn't Switzerland

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Lawmakers Gather

KHON2 - Conference draws lawmakers

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Fahrenkamp Award

Hawaii Public Radio - Debt Limit

Hawaii Reporter - Crowley Keynote

Hawaii Reporter - Fiscal Challenges

Civil Beat - Joel Kotkin

Hawaii Reporter - Joel Kotkin

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Special Edition Prevailing Winds

Prevailing Winds Special Edition - Choy

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Charter School Task Force

co-chairs of the Charter School Governance, Accountability and Authority Task Force.

The Task Force holds its second meeting Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. Meeting notice here. Capitol TV will also be there and you can watch it live on Olelo, Channel 53. Here is some general information which can also be found on the Capitol website link:

Task Force members are:

Robert Campbell
Tammi Chun
Don Horner
Megan McCorriston
Robert McKeague
Lisa Okinaga
Steve Sullivan
Ruth Tschumy
Gene Zarro

Establishing legislation: Act 130/SLH2011. Requires charter school budget requests for needs-based facilities funding to include a detailed explanation as to the formula used and the funding request breakdown by school. Allows charter schools to appeal denied reauthorizations to BOE. Requires charter schools and their local school boards to develop internal policies and procedures consistent with ethical standards of conduct. Requires the charter school review panel to conduct a multi-year evaluation of each charter school every six years, instead of every five. Establishes a task force to address issues on charter school governance, accountability, and authority. (CD1)

Task Force Objectives:

1) Develop legislation or administrative rules that clearly and definitively designate the
governance structure and authority between and among key charter school organizations and
the department of education, the board of education, and the office of the governor;
2) Identify how the governance structure connects and relates to the state education agency
and local education agency;
3) Identify oversight and monitoring responsibilities of the charter school review panel, the
charter school administrative office, and the local school boards and develop a process for
enforcement; and
4) Discuss funding-related issues, including but not limited to appropriate funding levels for the
charter school administrative office.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Minnesota's Automated House Chamber

From the land that first brought us scotch tape and Wheaties cereal, Minnesota's House Communications Office has put together a series of videos on YouTube about their history and innovations over the years. The Minnesota House Chamber has had a form of electronic voting since the 1930's. The electric voting boards are the original ones installed in the House and Senate from that time. Amazing!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Illegal Critters

Rep. Clift Tsuji moderated a panel on "Invasive Species" at the recent CSG-WEST conference, and as part of the presentation, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture brought some conviscated, illegal critters for "show and tell."

Leopard Gecko

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon

Ball Python

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Australia's National Broadband Network - Worth the Watch

David Lassner, University of Hawaii's Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, shared this video on Australia's National Broadband Network with attendees at the recent Council of State Governments - WEST conference. His presentation was on what Hawaii has accomplished in the past few years on achieving access to broadband for Hawaii residents and businesses. Lassner served as Chair with Rep. Kyle Yamashita on the Hawaii Broadband Task Force. Yamashita chaired the CSG-WEST session on economic development.

This is a well done, informative and engaging piece on the benefits of broadband and how it will benefit your activities at home:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Liberty Dialysis and Fresenius Medical Care Merger

Liberty Dialysis Holdings Press Release 8 2 11yamane

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fact Sheet on Liberty Dialysis Merger

Fresenius Medical Care-Liberty Dialysis Holdings Merger Fact Sheet

1. Fresenius Medical Care, through its acquisition of Liberty Dialysis Holdings, will provide dialysis care to over 158,000 patients across the United States and continue its position as the largest provider of dialysis services in the nation.

2. The combined total number of clinics will be 2,086 across the United States.

3. In Hawaii the combined number of dialysis facilities will be 24:

Liberty Dialysis Hawaii Clinics:

i. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii –Kona, 78-6831 Ali'I Dr.
ii. Liberty Dialysis- North Hawaii, 67-1123 Mamalahoa Hwy
iii. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii –Hilo, 140 Rainbow Dr.
iv. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- Liliha, 2226 Liliha St.
v. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii – Kahana, 10 Hoohui Rd.
vi. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- Kailua, 25 Kaneohe Bay Dr.
vii. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- Kauai, 3224 Elua St.
viii. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- Leeward, 91-2137 Ft. Weaver Rd.
ix. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- Maui, 105 Maui Lani Pkwy.
x. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- Maui Home, 105 Maui Lani Pkwy.
xi. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii-Molokai, 28 Kamoi St.
xii. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii-Sullivan, 2230 Liliha St.
xiii. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- Waianae, 86-080 Farrington Hwy.
xiv. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- West Kauai, 4643A Waimea Canyon Rd.
xv. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii- Kaimuki, 3625 Harding Ave.
xvi. Liberty Dialysis Hawaii-Waipahu, 94-450 Mokola St.

Fresenius Medical Care Facilities:

i. Fresenius Medical Care- Honolulul Dialysis, 226 North Kuakini St.
ii. Fresenius Medical Care- Aloha Dialysis, 1520 Liliha St.
iii. Fresenius Medical Care-Kapahulu Dialysis, 750 Palani Ave.
iv. Fresenius Medical Care- Windward Dialysis, 45-480 Kaneohe Bay Dr.
v. Fresenius Medical Care- Pearlridge, 98-1005 Moanalua Rd.
vi. Fresenius Medical Care- Ko'olau, 47-388 Hui Iwa St.
vii. Fresenius Medical Care-Kapolei, 555 Farrington Hwy.
viii. Fresenius Medical Care- Wahiawa, 850 Kilani Ave.

4. In Hawaii, Liberty Dialysis is a joint venture with St. Francis and a majority of the nephrologists. Only one shareholder is changing; the rest are staying on. In addition, the local management team will continue. The bottom line is that Liberty Dialysis - Hawaii will continue after the merger with its strong local connections and high quality dialysis care that have served the community for years.

5. The combined total number of patients cared for in Hawaii will be 2900.