Puna Lawmakers to Hold Town Hall Meeting

Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and Sen. Russell Ruderman (Puna, Ka‘u) will host a community Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the Pahoa Community Center on Hawaii Island to talk about and provide a wrap up of the 2016 legislative session.

Medical MarijuanaAt the Town Hall Meeting they will also discuss the future of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in the islands.

Residents are encouraged to attend to ask questions, voice their opinions and present suggestions to address community concerns.

WHO:  Representative Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and Senator Russell Ruderman (Puna, Ka‘u)

WHAT:  Town Hall Meeting to discuss the 2016 legislative session and the future of medical marijuana dispensaries

WHEN: Thursday, June 9, 2016,  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Road

Public Invited to Community Town Hall Meeting With Sen. Russell Ruderman

The public is invited to join Senator Russell Ruderman as he hosts a Community Talk Story Session in Kea‘au to discuss state legislation, community priorities, and how the public can participate in the legislative process with a look towards the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session.

Ruderman Town Hall Meeting

The talk story will be held at the Kea‘au Community Center on Thursday, December 12th at 6pm.  Please join your senator for a lively session to provide your feedback in this democratic process.

For more information, please call Senator Ruderman’s office in Honolulu at (808) 586-6890 or toll free at 974-4000 (then enter 66890) or by email: senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov.

This event is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

Sen. Ruderman Presents Hawaii Invasive Species Council MVP Award to Hawaii Cattleman’s Association

On Monday, March 4th, 2013, the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council held their awards ceremony at the Hawai‘i State Capitol Auditorium. Senator Russell Ruderman presented the Hawai‘i County MVP Award to Dr. Tim Richards of the Hawai‘i Cattleman’s Association.

Sen. Ruderman presenting Tim Richards of the Hawai'i Cattleman's Association with the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council, Hawaii County MVP 2013 Award for their tireless efforts in eradicating fireweed from the Hawai'i.

Sen. Ruderman presenting Tim Richards of the Hawai’i Cattleman’s Association with the Hawai’i Invasive Species Council, Hawaii County MVP 2013 Award for their tireless efforts in eradicating fireweed from the Hawai’i.

The Hawai‘i Cattlemen’s Council has been a critical partner in the development and release of a moth from Madagascar (Secusio extensa) as a biocontrol agent to control invasive fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis). Fireweed is very toxic to livestock and and its rapid spread across the Big Island and Maui across Hawai‘i Island and Maui, outcompeting other plants. Over a decade of study by the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture went into ensuring that the moth from Madagascar would feed only on fireweed and not on other plants in Hawai‘i.

The Hawai‘i Cattlemen’s Council helped the bio-control through the federal approval process to be released as a bio-control agent earlier this year. Now that the moth is being released, the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture and the Hawai‘i Cattlemen’s Council anticipate that the moth will slow the spread of fireweed, limiting its environmental and economic impacts.

Sen. Russell Ruderman said, “I would like to congratulate Dr. Tim Richards and the Hawai‘i Cattleman’s Association on their MVP award from the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council. As anyone on the Big Island knows, we have been inundated by many invasive species over the years.

Fireweed Plant

Fireweed Plant

Fireweed, the red mangrove, and the coqui frog represent three of the most potentially devastating invaders we have seen in recent memory. The work of the Cattleman’s Association in the containment of fireweed has been monumental in forwarding the process of finding an acceptable biocontrol agent thatr will not negatively impact our ecosystem.”

Honorable mentions were Malama O Puna and Tim Tunison for their work on red mangrove eradication and control of the coqui frog, respectively.

Lead by Rene Siracusa, Mālama O Puna is a grassroots environmental non-profit based in Lower Puna. The organization’s invasive species programs are coordinated by Dr. Ann Kobsa, who has overseen a number of challenging projects. Mālama O Puna began working to remove red mangrove from Wai ‘Opae in 2005, which lead to federal funding for the organization to explore removal from four other sites with the goal of island-wide eradication. Mālama O Puna has also tackled miconia, clidemia, pickleweed, and other difficult species. It is due to the tireless efforts of Rene, Ann, and the staff and volunteers with Mālama O Puna, that Hawai‘i Island is well on its way to being mangrove-free and its native ecosystems are more secure.

Retired from his position at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Tim Tunison still continues to be involved in restoration of forests and control of invasive species. Tim has organized a coqui control program based in Volcano called The Coquistadors and has created a manual for the mechanical and chemical control of invasive plants on Kilauea. Tim has made a substantially positive impact on the Volcano community and the surrounding environment of Kilauea.

Sen. Ruderman added, “I would also like to extend my congratulations and heartfelt thank you to Malama o Puna, and Tim Tunison . They have both contributed significantly to the saving of our native species and economy from irreparable harm. Their efforts have made meaningful impacts in protecting our fragile ecosystems and native species while minimizing the negative environmental and economical impacts to our island and state.”