The Hawaii State Senate honored members of the Tuskegee Airmen during today’s floor session

The Tuskegee Airmen are members of the 332d Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group that flew missions from Sicily to Normandy during World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen are also the only African American pilots who served in combat.Hawaii residents Romaine Goldsborough and Philip Baham, along with Alexander Jefferson of Michigan, were presented a Certificate of Recognition from the Senate. Romaine Goldsborough was represented by his wife at the presentation.

Neighborhood Board issue Regarding Ordy Pond

 Read my comments below:

Aloha All,

For your information. See Navy’s response below to the questions posed by the Kapolei Neighborhood Board in regards to Ordy Pond in Kalaeloa.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tesha H. Malama
Kalaeloa Director of Planning and Development
Hawaii Community Development Authority
461 Cooke Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
phone: (808) 692-7245 fax: (808) 692-7240
email address: tesha@hcdaweb.org

Aloha Jayson,
Agnes Tauyan asked that I provide answers to the questions you forwarded from the Neighborhood Board concerning Ordy Pond. Questions with answers provided below my signature block. Please let me know if you need more. Answer to Question #5 includes the attachment provided (PHH RAB affidavit...).

Mahalo

Tom

Tom Clements
Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
Outreach Manager
473-0662

1. Why was the mangrove surrounding the pond removed? Was that necessary?
The mangroves along the pond edge have been removed to help look for potential explosive items in and around the edge of the pond. This Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) cleanup effort required that all such items which could be hidden in the roots of the mangroves be removed so that the property could be ultimately considered for transfer to the State. The removal of the overgrown mangroves, which is an invasive species and choking the pond, will also have the added benefit of clearing it, creating a more natural habitat for native wildlife like Hawaiian stilts to take up residence.

2. Why wasn't the least intrusive access route utilized, instead of bulldozing a wide dirt/coral swath along the fence line, 1/8th of a mile away from the pond?
The area chosen for the road and access to Ordy Pond was dirt/property already previously disturbed by earlier activity on the property. The area was completely overgrown and needed severe grubbing in order to maneuver equipment to the pond and to the selected storage/burn detonation area on site. This path was selected because it was previously disturbed land and surveyed by a contracted professional archaeologist, a cultural monitor, and State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD). The archaeologist and cultural monitor were present during clearing of the access road, and no cultural resources were encountered. This area was included in the Section 106 compliance request with SHPD and Native Hawaiian Organizations, and identified as a non sensitive, non archeological area of the project site. All consulting parties concurred with the Section 106 request.

3. HCDA has "ownership?" Who gave the "OK" to do destructive work? What exactly was their mission? Was it accomplished? What did they find?
Ordy Pond belongs to the Navy and is part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) site installation list. The BRAC program's objective is to release/transfer property to a new owner. In order to transfer this previously used Navy property, the Navy has to be sure that it is safe to transfer. Work is ongoing. The survey will identify any concerns and means to address these concerns will be evaluated. Once the project is completed, the transfer will incorporate the survey results to ensure that the property can be transferred safely to the Hawaii Community Development Authority (the local reuse authority in Hawaii for BRAC properties).

4. How is it that the UH was never advised of a "dangerous" situation, when they conducted decades of sediment studies in the pond?
The Navy conducted an initial Assessment Study of the site in 1981. It was followed by an Environmental Baseline Survey in 1994, a Remedial Investigation in 1994, and an Ordnance Survey in 1994. During the field work, sediment, soil, water and groundwater samples were collected. In addition only a limited amount of ordnance related material was found. Based on these findings, it was determined that the limited ordnance at the site was cleared during the survey. The University of Hawaii sampled Ordy Pond in 1998. At that time the Navy believed that the pond was cleared. The pond parcel is currently planned for transfer as part of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). To ensure the parcel can be transferred safely, the Navy reviewed the 1994 ordnance survey. The 1994 ordnance survey did not describe the methods used to detect the munitions and any of the quality assurance and quality control methods used. It decided to conduct another survey using the most current technology and quality assurance and quality control practices. This is the Site Inspection that is currently underway.

5. What happened to community notification, concerning project goals & timelines?
The Navy conducts regular meetings for cleanup efforts throughout Oahu. The Ordy Pond project was presented to the Pearl Harbor-Hickam Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) on Nov. 8, 2012. The meeting was open to the public and announced in the local newspaper (copy of announcement attached). Members of the RAB and attendees of previous RABs received direct notification of the meeting and a listing of the projects that were to be presented.

6. Will there be a re-vegetation of the pond that was used for migrating birds and indigenous (sic) dragonflies?
During the coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, we proposed that we would remove the mangrove to conduct the field work. We had noted in our letter with USFW that this clearing would improve the habitat. USFW concurred. There are no plans to re-vegetate the area. BRAC Environmental Restoration funds are being used to conduct this investigation. These funds are to be used for investigation/remediation, these funds cannot be used for capital improvement/beautification projects.

7. Did SHPD give their opinion concerning active bulldozing and grading, around the pond?
Navy has coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). It also consulted with the Oahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs Committee on the Preservation of Historic Sites and Cultural Properties, and the Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation. All areas for the project were reviewed, surveyed, and cleared by SHPD, Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Oahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs.

 

Aloha,
 
Senator Maile Shimabukuro
Dist. 21, Wai’anae Coast/Kalaeloa
415 S. Beretania St., Rm. 222
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-7797 facsimile

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Article on Soda Fee

State soda fee fails to pop

Senators on the Ways and Means Committee table a charge on sugary drinks

By Derrick DePledge

Isle soda drinkers will not have to worry about paying a penalty this year to get their jolt of sugar.

State senators have chosen not to advance a soda fee of 1 cent per ounce that would have brought in about $37 million a year to counter obesity. The Abercrombie administration had hoped that the soda fee, as with higher taxes on tobacco, would discourage consumption.

“We decided that we won’t be moving forward with the soda fee this year. Of course, it’s always in play for next year,” said Sen. David Ige (D, Pearl Harbor-Pearl City-Aiea), chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “In just talking with the members, we didn’t believe that it would be prudent for us to implement that fee this year.”

The soda fee had moved through the Senate Health Committee and the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee but was not taken up by the Senate Ways and Means Committee in time to meet today’s internal procedural deadline to have bills ready to cross between chambers next week. A bill for a soda fee in the House was not advanced.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie had personally lobbied senators on the legislation, which his administration had described as a priority this session. All of the money collected from the soda fee would have been directed at state programs to combat obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes. Two years ago lawmakers rejected Abercrombie’s proposal for a soda tax by which some of the revenue would have gone into the state’s general fund.

“We’re disappointed, certainly,” said Lola Irvin of the state Department of Health. “From the Department of Health’s perspective, this was a recommended policy for public health to address creating a healthier food environment and is part of a comprehensive effort we need to address the issue of obesity and diabetes and other chronic diseases.”

The beverage industry opposed the soda fee as unfairly targeting sugar-sweetened drinks when factors such as diet and a lack of exercise also contribute to obesity. Many retailers also warned about the economic impact of a soda fee on business.

“We are pleased to hear that our state senators have used logic and common sense rather than an emotional argument to deal with the important issue of obesity,” No Hawaii Beverage Tax, a coalition of business interests, said in a statement. “It is a complex problem that must be met with a strategic, long-term, multi-faceted approach, including good diet habits and exercise, rather than with a one-beam laser gun approach called a beverage tax.

“This tax would have hurt our economy in numerous ways, including many small businesses and individual consumers. We are grateful that the Senate recognizes we must all share in the responsibility for solving obesity, rather than targeting a single product.”

Link to article:

http://www.staradvertiser.com/s?action=login&f=y&id=194140511

Ask Your Senator! March 18-22

 Education Week Presents: Ask Your Senator

LOGO_05_15_2011_educationweeklogo

Education Week at the State Capitol is right around the corner! This year marks the 10th anniversary of Education week, which will be held from March 18 to March 22. Organized by the Hawaii State Senate Committee on Education, this interactive week-long celebration honors the achievements and innovative efforts of our local schools, educators and various programs throughout the state from early childhood to the university level. Hawaii State Senators are once again taking the event to the classroom with the “Ask Your Senator” project, to find out what our future leaders want to know about their State. This is the second year of the “Ask Your Senator” project.

The concept behind the “Ask Your Senator” project is simple. We want to know what classrooms and students from across the State are thinking, by asking them to ask us, their Senators, a question. After the questions are collected, Senators will take the time to answer select questions through online videos, which will be shared with the students as well as with the wider community.

This project provides opportunity for students to lead the discussion, through student driven and student oriented questions. Students may take part of the “Ask Your Senator” project as a group (school or classroom) or as an individual student. The various ways you can participate are listed below. Questions will be collected between March 4th and March 13th. Once questions are selected, Senators will answer questions through videos which will be published online and sent back to the schools, classrooms, and individual students.

If you need help coming up with questions to ask, example questions could include topics in the areas such as: the legislative processes, issues or problems in your community, or general questions about the role of the legislature.

Ways to participate in “Ask Your Senator”

Email- Send your question (s) or video link to scomm@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Twitter– Use the hashtag #HIAskYourSen

Facebook– There are several ways you can send a message on Facebook:

  • Share your message to the Hawaii Senate Majority Facebook page under the note Section, Ask Your Senator?
  • Share your message with your Senator on their Facebook page.

YouTube/ Online Video– Email your YouTube/ Online video link to scomm@capitol.hawaii.gov.

 

For more information go to: http://www.hawaiisenatemajority.com/2013/02/ask-your-senator/.

K9 Kokua Benefit at Chez 3/16/13

You can expect to be around a room full of dog-lovers who like to have a good time! Doorprizes, ono grinds and great music!

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HGEA 2013 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

HGEA 2013 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Click on the link below to view the HI Government Employees Association’s (HGEA)
2013 legislative priorities, and information about how to get involved:
 

Photo caption: HGEA executive director Randy Perreira, HGEA staff & Nanakuli resident Erika Liashenko, Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, and HGEA employees from the Waianae Coast.

HGEA executive director Randy Perreira, HGEA staff & Nanakuli resident Erika Liashenko,
Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, and HGEA employees from the Waianae Coast.