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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Commemorates Day of Valor, Honors Filipino Veterans

This morning at the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Kauaʻi Mayor Bernard Carvalho delivered remarks to honor Filipino and Filipino-American veterans in commemoration of the 75th Ara Ng Kagitingan—The Day of Valor.  In her remarks, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed Major with the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard, shared the following:

“In 1942, over 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American soldiers were surrendered to the Japanese in what we now know as the Fall of Bataan. Despite the unimaginable hardship that they endured, these brave men fought relentlessly against their enemies without any outside support from either the Philippines or the United States. In total, around 21,000 soldiers lost their lives. The legacy and sacrifice of these heroes must never be forgotten. Nor can we forget the high cost of war and the lasting effects that inevitably define those who are touched by its reaches. Today, as we commemorate the Day of Valor, we honor all of our courageous warriors, as well as their families who have made tremendous sacrifices, and we give thanks for the great and lasting partnerships that were paved—truly—by these heroes.”

Today’s commemoration ceremony also celebrated the passage of landmark legislation, the Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, which was introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Mazie Hirono to honor Filipino Veterans of World War II, as well as the launch of the Filipino-American Veterans Parole Program.

Transcript of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s remarks:

Aloha. Mabuhay. It’s wonderful to be back home here in Hawaii from Washington and to be able to spend this special morning with all of you.

As a veteran and someone who has spent a lot of time in the Philippines, and with many friends from there, I feel very much at home and amongst family here today. I appreciate you welcoming all of us to join you in recognizing this important Day of Valor and sharing why it is so important to reflect on this historical event, especially in this most special place and amongst courageous heroes of past and present.

In 1942, over 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American soldiers were surrendered to the Japanese in what we now know as the Fall of Bataan. Despite the unimaginable hardship that they endured, these brave men fought relentlessly against their enemies without any outside support from either the Philippines or the United States.

In total, around 21,000 soldiers lost their lives. The legacy and sacrifice of these heroes must never be forgotten. Nor can we forget the high cost of war and the lasting effects that inevitably define those who are touched by its reaches.

For decades, legislation has been introduced in the United States Congress to honor our Filipino Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal and, as you’ve heard, we were finally successful at obtaining this long overdue recognition—thanks in large part to the support and leadership of so many of you here today. Last Session, I was very proud, along with Senator Hirono, to reintroduce and finally pass this legislation, honoring our Filipino Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal Act, and see President Obama signed it into law in December, just before he left office.

It was a special thing to be able to share the stories and experiences of some of the Filipino veterans here today and their families with other members of Congress as we were seeking support to pass this legislation. In the House, where we have more than 435 members of Congress, we were able to get more than 300 of them to support and sponsor the legislation. It was wonderful to be able to talk with them on the House Floor, to share some of these stories with them, and to educate them about the storied history of these brave heroes who fought alongside our American soldiers—they deserve nothing but the highest honor.

So now, on behalf of the United States Congress, we can officially honor the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who served our country during World War II. These loyal and courageous soldiers served, suffered, and sacrificed—many paying that ultimate price—alongside their American counterparts throughout the war.

Though less than 18,000 of our Filipino WWII veterans are still alive today, some of whom are among us, this recognition is an important testament to each and every one of our veterans who earned and deserve their place amongst our greatest generation.

Today, as we commemorate the Day of Valor, we honor all of our courageous warriors, as well as their families who have made tremendous sacrifices, and we give thanks for the great and lasting partnerships that were paved—truly—by these heroes.

Annually, as we gather to honor this important Day of Valor, we recognize that it helps current and future generations to understand a little better the hardships and the values for which the ultimate sacrifice is made. And it inspires us to live our lives in a way that honors the values that they sacrificed for.

Here in Hawaii, we are a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, and faiths, bound by a common thread of the aloha spirit.  The principles that guide us as we live aloha teach us to sincerely respect one another and come together with care, compassion, and love. So, let us remember these remarkable individuals and the driving forces of freedom, righteousness, and the desire for lasting peace that sustained their fighting souls. Thank you very much. Aloha.

The Reason Right Hand Turn Lane Was Removed From Kilauea Street

Some time in the last few weeks, the County of Hawaii Department of Public Works decided to remove the right hand turn lane at the south end of Kilauea Street where folks use to be able to turn on to Haihai Street.

A few folks have sent me emails asking me to inquire about things and finally I put it out there the other night that I would be inquiring about this change in traffic pattern.

Former Kona Blogger Aaron Stene saw what I posted and was able to inquire with the County of Hawaii Department of Public Works as to why this change happened and he sent me the conversation between two folks in the county who knew what happened and WHY it happened.

Some time ago we got a request from then Councilman, Dennis Onishi.  The request was for a convex mirror for the Kilauea Ave/Haihai St. intersection because people had a hard time seeing turning out onto Kilauea Ave from Haihai St.

After investigating the intersection we concluded that a mirror would be ineffective at improving sight distance, particularly at the higher speeds that cars commonly drive in this area.  The problem we identified was that cars in the right turn lane restricted line of sight.  We proposed to Dennis the idea of terminating the right turn lane and merging traffic into one lane.  Our thinking was that not having the right turn lane would allow turning vehicles to have better visibility of oncoming traffic and turning vehicles would actually be able to pull out a little more to make turns.  Dennis supported our plan so we proceeded to make the change.

The one concern that I have is that driver habits in this area hamper the flow of traffic at this intersection.  Although the yield is for Hilo bound traffic, cars still tend to yield on the Puna bound side.  When this occurs, the Puna bound backup increases because the lane now consists of both right turning vehicles and through vehicles.

Our treatment is not the perfect solution, but the positive impacts of the change should be appreciated by those making turns from Haihai St, as opposed to those on Kilauea Ave.  I heard there are plans to widen the “4 Mile” bridge in a few years.  I think converting the bridge to a two-lane bridge will greatly improve traffic flow in this area.  Speeds will probably go up, but the congestion will be reduced significantly.  The other improvement that may not be possible due to lack of space is a left turn lane on Kilauea Ave for the Haihai St intersection.  Another cause for congestion is people making left turns.

Aaron Takaba

 

Beekeepers – Honey Bee Colony Infected with American Foulbrood (AFB) in Volcano

To all beekeeping friends in Hawaii & all those interested in bees. I
just received notice from Big Island Beekeepers Assn. that American
Foulbrood has been identified in Volcano. Because of the serious implications of this disease & it`s longevityin an area, I ask that you share this info.
Carey Yost, Researcher
The following is the letter from Hawaii Dept Of Agriculture:

Dear Big Island Beekeeper,

We recently discovered a honey bee colony infected with American Foulbrood (AFB) in Volcano, Hawaii.

AFB is a bacterial disease that creates spores that can be viable for 50-80 years and is easily spread from colony to colony by robbing bees, tainted tools or equipment. It is characterized in the field by a very foul smell and a spotty brood pattern with sunken and perforated cappings. Typically the brood developing in the cells are brown and putrid. The classic field test for AFB is to insert a small stick into the infected brood cells and if the larvae inside can pull out in a rope 2 cm, it is typically AFB positive.

AFB is an extremely infectious and deadly disease that plagues honey bees. Historically, AFB wiped out much of Hawaii’s honeybee population in the 1930’s, and since the spores will always be present, the best strategy for prevention is early detection. The Hawaii Apiary Program has no regulatory authority in this situation though we do recommend best management practices established for AFB, which are to burn the infected colonies and equipment, then follow up with sterilizing hive tools and washing bee suits in bleach. Control and mitigation of this disease was the original reason that apiary inspection programs were created in the early 1900’s, nationwide.

Abandoned hives or exposed empty equipment in your area could also be a source of disease. When a colony is weakened by AFB, other bees will visit to rob and bring the disease home to their colonies. For this reason, we recommend that everyone take this time to learn what it looks like and to educate themselves about AFB and check for any problems in their hives ASAP.

The Apiary Program staff is available to answer questions – if you have suspicions of this disease, we are happy to look at pictures through e-mail, or inspect your hives hive-side free of charge. We can also help you submit disease samples for analysis if need be. The best way to reach us is by email at noelani.waters@hawaii.gov.

If you know of other beekeepers near you that would like to receive disease advisories like this one, please direct them to us so that they can join our statewide beekeeper registry. This free, voluntary, and confidential registry is the best way to stay connected, and inform you of disease concerns in your area, among other services.

We would like to thank you for your support of the Hawaii Apiary Program, and we hope to continue providing valuable support to you.

Mahalo nui loa, BEE well, Hawaii Apiary Program, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, 16 E. Lanikaula St. Hilo, HI 9672, www.hdoa.hawaii.gov/bees