Monday, August 31, 2015

Rep. Clift Tsuji Recovering After Successful Procedure for Sebaceous Carcinoma

State Representative Clift Tsuji (Keaukaha, Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea) underwent successful Mohs micrographic surgery this month for skin cancer. The specialized procedure’s published cure rates range up to 99% for previously untreated cancers, and was performed on an outpatient basis at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu in August.

“One becomes more aware of the lack of specialized surgeons on the Big Island when such a delicate procedure is necessary,” said Rep. Tsuji. “I truly believe we have amongst the best of health care providers and facilities. Unfortunately, in such procedures as mine, the surgery must be performed by a surgeon in Honolulu.”

Tsuji added, “I am aware that keeping healthy is very important. But also as a public official, I’m committed to serve our community under various conditions. I will continuously strive to do both.”

The prognosis for the Big Island lawmaker is favorable and he is resuming full activity and work schedule.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ewa Lawmaker Calls on Businesses to Help Cool Schools

Rep. LoPresti signs letters to local businesses seeking donations
State Representative Matthew LoPresti (District 41 - Ewa, Ewa Villages, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe) is starting a community program to tackle the problem of high temperatures in our classrooms. The program, Cool Schools 4 Ewa, encourages local businesses to donate large fans or high capacity portable air conditioning units to schools in the Ewa area.

The ‘Cool Schools 4 Ewa’ program is off to a strong start with an initial donation of 54 large fans, with six provided personally by Representative LoPresti and another 48 from an anonymous contributor. The cooling fans were purchased with a discount provided by City Mill.

In addition to the program, Lowe’s Home Improvement has already donated 35 fans directly to Campbell High School.

Currently, many of the state’s public school classrooms are not equipped with air conditioning or cooling equipment. Temperatures in Honolulu have risen considerably which has resulted in high temperatures in our classrooms. In the Ewa district—one of the hottest regions on Oahu—classroom air temperatures have reached in excess of 100 degrees. Four of the top five schools on the Department of Education air conditioning priority list are in Ewa Beach.

Schools assisted by the program include Ewa Elementary, Ewa Beach Elementary, Holomua Elementary, Kaimiloa Elementary, Ilima Intermediate, and Campbell High School.

“Countless concerns have been expressed by the community regarding the temperature of our classrooms,” said LoPresti. “This is a significant problem that needs to be addressed, and I believe this program will engage our local businesses to step up and support the education of our children. With their help, we can create a comfortable and positive learning environment for our keiki.”

“As an educator and a father of two young children, this issue is near and dear to me. I gladly wanted to donate several units on my own and I hope to see more donations follow,” added Representative LoPresti. “I also want to thank and truly express my gratitude to those who have already contributed to this worthy and much needed cause.”

Since taking office, LoPresti, a member of the House Education Committee, has worked to secure $8 million total in funds for air conditioning in Ewa Schools including Ilima Intermediate School, Ewa Beach Elementary School and Ewa Elementary School. He also successfully petitioned Governor Ige to release $2.3 million in funds for air conditioning upgrades at James Campbell High School.

Businesses or individuals interested in donating can contact the Office of Representative LoPresti at 586-6080 for more information.

LoPresti Praises DOE Plan for Air Conditioned Portables at Campbell High School

State Representative Matthew LoPresti (District 41 - Ewa, Ewa Villages, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe) was pleased to learn today that James Campbell High School will receive eight portables with built in air conditioning amounting to 15 classrooms for their campus to address heat and capacity issues.

“I am pleased that these fully air-conditioned portable classrooms will be coming to Campbell High School towards the end of this year. I have heard constant concerns regarding overcrowding and classroom temperatures of over 100 degrees and this is becoming a serious health risk for students and teachers. This is a big step, but if we don’t do even more soon, we will continue to put the health of students and teachers at risk,” said LoPresti.

Since taking office this year, over the past eight months, LoPresti, a member of the House Education Committee, worked tirelessly to secure $8 million total in funds for air conditioning in Ewa Schools including Ilima Intermediate School, Ewa Beach Elementary School and Ewa Elementary School. He petitioned Governor Ige to release, and he has released, $2.3 million in funds for air conditioning upgrades for James Campbell High School. LoPresti also pushed for $4 million for James Campbell High School to address the capacity crisis there, to design more classroom space, and this money was included in the last budget.

“These 15 new classrooms killed two birds with one stone,” said LoPresti.

The portable classroom structures were originally used during the emergency lava evacuation for Keonepoko Elementary School. When it became clear these portables would not be needed, Representative LoPresti requested (May 6, 2015) that they be sent to James Campbell High School.

“I am pleased at the quick turnaround from my request in May to getting a commitment for these 15 air conditioned classrooms just 3 months after,” said LoPresti