Rep. Pouha asks the Superintendent of the DOE about plans for Kahuku

January 8, 2016

Representative Feki Pouha is concerned about the facilities at Kahuku High & Intermediate School. He asked Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent of Education and Dann Carlson of Facilities and Support services for the Department of Education, “what are the plans for Kahuku?”

  1. Kahuku High School Facilities Improvement;
  2. Weighted Student Formula for smaller public schools; and
  3. Hawaiian Indigenous Foods in Public School meals:

Ward Jan 7 PouhaContact:  Except from Capitol TV – Informational Briefing, Committee on Way and Means and Committee on Finance, January 07, 2015



Rep. Pouha asks AG about “Lessons Learned” from Turtle Bay

January 7, 2016

Representative Feki Pouha thanks Attorney General Doug Chin and asks about “lessons learned” from the Turtle Bay Resort Conservation Easement Agreement during budget briefings in the joint Ways and Means and Finance committee hearing on January 5, 2016.

The Turtle Bay Resort Conservation Easement Agreement provides perpetual public access to four miles of coastline and eight miles of trails that Turtle Bay Resort is solely responsible for in terms of maintenance, security and liability. It resolved long-time development disputes involving the State, City, and community, and protects in perpetuity 4% of Oahu’s coastline.


Rep Pouha Jan 6 Ways and MeanContact:

A Word with Ward Host Rep. Ward – Shield Law Dec 2015

December 15, 2015

Representative Gene Ward addresses the Shield Law with Dr. Gerald Kato, UH Associate Professor, Journalism and Jeffrey S. Portnoy, Partner,  Cades Schutte LLP

Portnoy Gato and WardContact:

McDermott’s Message Marijuana Dispensaries – Guest Rep. Oshiro

December 2, 2015



Representatives Bob McDermott and Marcus Oshiro discuss things you need to know about medical Marijuana dispensaries



A Word with Ward Host Rep. Ward Guest Rep. Oshiro – Medical Marijuana

November 6, 2015

Representatives Gene Ward and Marcus R. Oshiro discuss a report by Rep. Oshiro titled – “10 things you need to know about Medical Marijuana dispensaries HB 321 CD 1”
DOH Process Notice: December 11, 2015 – By January 4, 2016, the DOH shall provide selection process and criteria based on “merit”.
Reps Oshiro and Ward Olelo 2015

Contact: or

Legislators on the Move – Host Cynthia Thielen with Henry Curtis Nov 2015

November 4, 2015

Legislators on the Move – Host Cynthia Thielen with guest Henry Curtis Nov 2015

 Ililani Media –  Henry Curtis media blogger/journalist & Life of the Land Executive Director / Vice President.

Henry and thielen # 2Contact:

McDermott’s Message Campbell High School Oct 2015

October 28, 2015

Representative Bob McDermott discusses Campbell High School air-conditioning and educating the youth with Michael Wooten who as a teacher at Campbell has lectured students in his non air conditioned classroom.

Mcdermott and Michael Wooten # 2 Campbell Oct 2015Contact:

State lawmaker urges city to put up “No Jumping” signs at Spitting Caves

October 27, 2015

Spitting cave Gene WardClick to see video

Three deaths in less than two years at “Spitting Caves” in East Oahu has one lawmaker calling for the popular cliff-diving spot to be off-limits.

On Saturday, a 21 year man from Washington State drowned in the area, which is not manned by lifeguards.

“We have no knowledge if he jumped,” said Ocean Safety Lt. Charles Olivera. “His friend says he didn’t.”

Olivera says Ocean Safety and the Honolulu Fire Department responded to Saturday’s rescue, and warned of the dangers at the popular Portlock ocean attraction.

“You go down at the rocks there, and there’s a ledge,” said Lt. Olivera. “When the waves come in, and you’re not ready for it, the waves will knock you off the ledge.”

Several memorials do dot the rocks at Spitting Caves.

“It’s inexcusable the way government has handled this very very dangerous and very very beautiful place,” said Representative Gene Ward.

Representative Ward, who represents Hawaii Kai and Kalama Valley, says he wants the city to start fining anyone caught cliff-jumping.

“This was a preventable drowning,” said Rep. Ward. “It was a wasted life. I’m sorry, I feel very strongly about this. For the last 10 months I’ve worked with the city and county, parks and rec, even up to the mayor’s office.”

Ward says he’s trying to get the city to put up “No Jumping” signs.

“Now we have to go out to and get some kind of ordinance passed to do it,” said Rep. Ward. “So we wasted a year and wasted a life. No joke. We wasted a life. It should not have happened.”

KHON reached out to Parks and Recreation, Honolulu City Councilman Trevor Ozawa, and the mayor’s office to check if they are working with Ward on the issue.

Parks and Recreation spokesman Jon Hennington, says the department is looking into the matter.

Francis Choe, senior advisor to Councilman Ozawa, says Ward has not reached out to Ozawa, but they are aware of the issue.

KHON has not yet received a response from the mayor’s office.

“You can’t overly manage people’s behavior, but you can encourage them not to stupid things and we don’t do that,” said Rep. Ward

KHON  LogoClick to see video

Legislators on the Move Host Rep. Thielen Guest Harry Ako – Oct 2015

October 9, 2015

Representative Cynthia Thielen and  Harry Ako, Ph.D. attended the  22nd Annual National – Hemp Industries Association Conference on September 27, 28 and 29, 2015, in Lexington, Kentucky.   The video discusses the highlights from the conference.

Harry Ako Rep Thielen Olelo Oct 2015Contact:

Power-generation paradigm must change

October 5, 2015

Star Advertiser Island Voices Sunday, October 04, 2015

by Representative Gene Ward

More than 40 elected officials have called for creating a cooperative instead of a HECO or NextEra — but we should be able to get more than just a shot across the bow to negotiate a better deal with NextEra; we should be calling for a new power-generation model and not just a new ownership model.

First and foremost, ownership models or who owns the utility doesn’t determine electricity rates; costs primarily determine that.

If our priority in Hawaii is to lower rates for consumers, publicly owned or municipal cooperative utilities have shown negligible or little cost savings to rate payers.

Take for example the existing electrical utility cooperative on Kauai. It has been operating for more than 10 years and its rates are still 60 percent higher than on Oahu, or about 55 cents per kilowatt hour, and is likely the most expensive in the nation. Whoever owns the utilities will continue to pay Hawaii’s high cost of production, so assuming that a cooperative will lower rates appears naive at this stage.

Second, forming a cooperative to purchase HECO is not going to be cheap. This fact was conveniently overlooked by legislators promoting a cooperative to buy out HECO rather than NextEra.

Even if the Legislature condemns the utility as being in the “public interest,” it still must be purchased at “fair market value,” which now stands at $4.3 billion. The state or city making such a large purchase alongside the $6 billion rail project just doesn’t seem feasible.

Third, and most important, it is the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and not who owns the utility that is the key to the future of power generation in Hawaii. The PUC controls HECO and heretofore has taken a rather hands-off approach that has not worked to the advantage of ratepayers.

Case in point: the PUC allowed fuel and other costs to be passed through to consumers and it never gave directives or incentives for HECO to contain or reduce costs.

A change in PUC thinking could change all this. We must begin to think long-range to when centralized power grids and distribution lines will be a thing of the past. Think IBM mainframe computers versus PCs, and that’s exactly where we are at a crossroads today, except the PUC is still thinking centralized power “mainframe” rather than phasing in a decentralized “PC.”

The PUC needs to tell HECO or a NextEra they are backup electricity producers, not primary producers, and must go all out to encourage rooftop solar, wind, wave energy and biofuels, etc., or get into these businesses themselves.

In short, consumers must be enfranchised to become producers if rates in Hawaii are ever to plummet.

If this new paradigm is not eventually adopted, we will see more and more people going off the grid, as is already happening, and two of HECO’s biggest customers in the armed forces are signaling they are about to do the same.

It is better that we dismantle the mainframe power-generation model now, and before those who will be left on the grid will have to pay even more than an arm and a leg that they are paying now.

In summary, let’s forget about who owns the utility. The Legislature designs its franchise agreement and the PUC controls it.

This is the formula for lower rates, but it has to be guided by a new way of thinking, not a new type of ownership.


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