Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Word With Ward – Rep. Ward Addresses Drones – May 2017

May 18, 2017

Representative Gene Ward (H District 17Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley) addresses Drones with Ted Ralston, Director of Unmanned Aerial Systems- the Hawaii component of Pan Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC), which is a unique blending of environmental and testing capabilities for UAS in Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Mississippi, and Kansas – the Extreme Climate states, in the eye of the FAA.

Ted Ralston and Rep. WardContact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov

Bring The Honolulu Rail Project Back To Planet Earth

May 9, 2017

No, Mayor Caldwell, raising taxes is not the only way to address the spiraling costs of the biggest public works project in Hawaii history.

headshot dec 2011By Cynthia Thielen  – Community Voice 

This legislative session, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell lobbied hard for extending the general excise tax another decade to fund rail, already the most expensive public works project in state history.

Had the Legislature buckled to that pressure, we would have converted a disappointment into a disaster. After burning through a generous $1 billion contingency fund, the mayor offered no honest accounting for past mistakes, no serious pledge to reduce expenses and no reasonable concessions to economic reality.

Instead, he pinched the “too-big-to-fail” argument from Wall Street bankers and demanded yet another bailout from Hawaii taxpayers.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell inside the rail project’s first train car.

Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Last year, the Federal Transit Administration urged the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to consider “a smaller project of independent utility” within current budget constraints. It conditioned federal funds on cost containment, interim terminus or deferral of certain stations, or new investment. With characteristic obstinacy, Caldwell pursued only the last option by only a single means: raising taxes.

I support bringing the city center segment from Middle Street to Ala Moana down to street level. This sensible alternative would save about $4 billion and four years of construction, while sparing Honolulu’s waterfront from permanent visual blight. By running the trains sooner, we can also use passenger fares to defray some expenses.

Building a street-level portion would imaginatively and prudently combine the measures requested by the federal government. The city has always reserved this as a contingency option should cost overruns doom the original plan for elevated rail. We have now reached that juncture.

Tax increases in any form will only subsidize Caldwell’s reckless hubris and aggressive incompetence.

Saving taxpayer money is not simply a matter of expediency, but of fairness and principle. Extending the general excise surcharge shifts the burden to our poorest residents, who will pay more for groceries and other necessities. Increasing the hotel and accommodation taxes hobbles our state’s primary economic engine. Raising property taxes further inflates housing costs, while devastating seniors and middle-class families, whose homes are often their most significant investment.

Worst of all, tax increases in any form will only subsidize Caldwell’s reckless hubris and aggressive incompetence. No one has supervised this boondoggle longer than he has. Before running for mayor, Caldwell served as the city managing director from 2008 to 2010, the self-proclaimed “primary point person” for rail. On his watch, bloated red tape, numerous design changes and haphazard contract modifications drove costs skyward.

By January 2010, the FTA had already publicly questioned whether Honolulu could afford a $5 billion rail project. Following that report, Gov. Linda Lingle, an early supporter of elevated rail, warned that the city should revise its financing and construction plans to anticipate a federal funding shortfall.

“I don’t know another project except this one that has made no adjustment from a pre-recession to a post-recession proposal,” Lingle said at the time. But rather than return to the drawing board, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Caldwell pressed heedlessly forward.

When launching his mayoral campaign two years later, Caldwell again dismissed legitimate concerns about cost and funding.

“The current $5.2 billion budget includes a very large contingency and adequate reserves for short-term financing,” he blithely claimed. “Reports that it will cost $7 billion or more are only scare tactics unsupported by anyone except tea party-style rail critics.”

Today, HART’s own cost estimates for the project stand at $10 billion. We can only expect this figure to increase. Construction has not even reached the halfway mark, and the costliest segment through the dense downtown corridor still lies ahead. On current trajectory, rail will probably wind up costing $13-15 billion.

Mile for mile, that’s roughly the cost of the Channel Tunnel connecting England and France (adjusting for inflation). But the “Chunnel” was among the most complicated engineering feats of the last century — 20 miles undersea — and running high-speed trains that could load cars onboard. Moreover, at Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s insistence, private shareholders funded the whole project.

By contrast, under the best case scenario, we will receive a slightly fancier version of the Pearlridge monorail at ruinous cost to ordinary taxpayers. Nor does this include the price for continuous maintenance and repair. Because HART acquired substandard material at premium rates, we have already seen cracked guideways and broken shims before the first train has left its station. Unless we correct course now, these problems will only accumulate and compound.

Enough is enough. Honolulu deserves responsibility, accountability and fairness. Let’s bring this project back down to Earth.

Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Columns generally run about 800 words (yes, they can be shorter or longer) and we need a photo of the author and a bio. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to news@civilbeat.com.

About the Author

Rep. Cynthia Thielen is a member of House committees on Judiciary; Energy and Environmental Protection; Water and Land; and Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs. She is also a member of the Women’s, Keiki, and Kupuna caucuses.

Civil Beat Link to article

Rep. Tupola Addresses Health; Vaccines; Pharmacists; Training

May 3, 2017

Representative Andria Tupola (H District 43 Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili) addresses Health; Vaccines; Pharmacists; Training SB514 SD1 HD1 CD1  The bill Authorizes pharmacists to administer the human papillomavirus, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), meningococcal, or influenza vaccine to persons between eleven and seventeen years of age. Specifies requirements pharmacists must meet prior to administering the human papillomavirus, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), meningococcal, or influenza vaccine. (CD1)

On May 02, 2017, the bill passed Final Reading as amended in CD 1 with none voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) Cachola, Har, Kong, McDermott, Oshiro, Tupola voting no (6) and none excused (0).

Contact: reptupola@capitol.hawaii.gov   Excerpt from Capitol TV

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhkdB_4M7Ic

Reps. Tupola and Ward Address Drug Paraphernalia; Possession; Delivery; Civil Violations

May 3, 2017

Representative Andria Tupola (H District 43 Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili) and Representative Gene Ward (H District 17Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley)  addressDrug Paraphernalia; Possession; Delivery; Civil Violations HB1501 HD2 SD1 CD1 The bill reclassifies drug paraphernalia possession and delivery offenses from felonies to violations subject to a fine of no more than $500. (HB1501 CD1)

On May 02, 2017, the bill passed Final Reading as amended in CD 1 with Representative(s) Aquino, Cullen, Say, Yamane voting aye with reservations; Representative(s) Choy, Har, Kong, Matsumoto, McDermott, Ohno, Oshiro, Tupola, Ward voting no (9) and none excused (0).

Contact: reptupola@capitol.hawaii.gov   Excerpt from Capitol TV

Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov   Excerpt from Capitol TV

 

 

 

Rep. Gene Ward Questions Roll Call Vote on Rail

May 3, 2017

Reps. Ward, Thielen and Tupola Address Rail Floor Amendments

Representative Gene Ward (H District 17Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley), Representative Cynthia Thielen (H District 50 Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) and Representative Andria Tupola (H District 43 Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili) address floor amendments on rail in relationship to SB1183 SD2 HD2 CD1

Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov – repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov and reptupola@capitol.hawaii.gov

Excerpt from Capitol TV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGPc2hBMZYI&feature=youtu.be

Reps. Thielen and Tokioka Address Rail Floor Amendments

Representative Cynthia Thielen (H District 50 Kailua, Kaneohe Bay) and Representative James Tokioka (H District 15 Wailua Homesteads, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Old Koloa Town, Omao) address floor amendments on rail in relationship to SB1183 SD2 HD2 CD1.  Representative Gene Ward (H District 17Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley) asks the question “How can we have a voice vote on a billion dollar proration?”

Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov – repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov and reptokioka@capitol.hawaii.gov

Excerpt from Capitol TV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HXQ0UPA_AY&t=35s

Rep. Gene Ward Questions Roll Call Vote on Rail

Representative Gene Ward (H District 17Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley) asks the question “How can we have a voice vote on a billion dollar proration?”

Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov

Excerpt from Capitol TV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wwpdZdIflg&feature=youtu.be

 

The Mike Buck Show with guest Rep. Tupola April 24, 2017 -Audio Only

April 27, 2017

Mike Buck discusses the issues at the Hawaii State Legislature with his guest Representative Andria Tupola, Minority Leader, (R – H District 43 Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili).

Topics included: monitoring drivers under the influence; teachers’ raises of 14%; the cost of education and living in Hawaii; the Federal request of 13 billion for the rail project.  A constituent called about,  HB 13896, which authorizes the Department of Health, working in consultation with the Department of Human Services, to allow two private-pay individuals to be cared for in the same community care foster family home after consideration of specified relevant factors.  The Conference committee recommended that the measure be passed with amendment. Other issues included; Check and balances, Handi-Vans and the Military build-up in Hawaii.

Contact: reptupola@capitol.hawaii.gov

 

COACH DAVID SHOJI and Rep Tupola # 2In April we recognized a legendary coach on the House Floor. Coach Shoji’s impact goes far beyond countable awards, championships, and wins. His influence has reached many generations of volleyball players. Coach Shoji, we wish you well in your retirement. May you and your wife continue to be blessed in all that you do. Mahalo.

 

The Mike Buck Show with guest Rep. Tupola April 17, 2017 -Audio Only

April 26, 2017

Mike Buck discusses the issues at the Hawaii State Legislature with his guest Representative Andria Tupola, Minority Leader, (R – H District 43 Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili).

Topics include traffic tickets, conference committees, check and balances, language of a bill, things on the books that are but are not enforced, DOT, harbors and airports.

Contact: reptupola@capitol.hawaii.gov

I had the privilege of honoring Uncle Richard Landford and presenting him with a certificate. If you know Uncle Richard you know this guy has a heart for our community. You know his dedication and commitment to improving our coast. Thank you, Uncle Richard B. Landford Jr.!

richard and Rep.

Representative Andria Tupola and Richard Landford.

Westside Townhall Meeting

April 20, 2017

411 2017 Session

Invocation by Rep. Andria P.L. Tupola and Mr. Gensen Rabacal

April 14, 2017

Representative Andria Tupola (H District 43 Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili) -the Invocation on April 13, 2017 in the Hawaii House Chamber Floor by Representative Andria P.L. Tupola and Mr. Gensen Rabacal

Excerpt from Capitol TV

Contact: reptupola@capitol.hawaii.gov

A Word With Word with Host Rep. Ward on Homelessness

April 14, 2017

Mike Goodman and Rep. WardRepresentative Gene Ward (H District 17Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley) discusses homeless problems and solutions with Mike Goodman Director Hawaii Kai Advisory Council Homeless Task Force.

Website: http://www.HawaiiKaiHomelessTaskForce.org

The Homeless Task Force is Part of the Hawaii Kai Advisory Council
Created and Directed by Representative Gene Ward

Contact: repward@capitol.hawaii.gov

Click to watch the show  or go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVCR1YMrWrY&feature=youtu.be