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Senator Inouye Graduates from the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute

Senator Lorraine R. Inouye (Dist. 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) has completed the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute’s (LEHI) course in energy policy.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye (Marc Chopin, Dean and Professor of Economics, University of Idaho and Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye)

Marc Chopin, Dean and Professor of Economics, University of Idaho and Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye

The institute is a 60-hour energy immersion executive course with the University of Idaho.  The course is designed to increase the knowledge of the energy infrastructure and delivery system to equip legislators with the latest research and data as they make future energy policy decisions.

With the 2016 class, over 200 policymakers have completed the LEHI program. Those who complete the 60-hour executive course receive a certificate from the University of Idaho in Energy Policy Planning.

Sen. Inouye is the first Hawai‘i state Senator to complete the LEHI course.

“It was an intense course, but definitely time well spent learning in-depth about our complex energy system. It’s even clearer to me now how we are all connected in ensuring our energy resources are used efficiently. It is also important that our decisions on energy are well thought out, not only for us today, but for generations to come,” said Sen. Inouye.

“It is critical that citizen legislators get this basic knowledge of how our energy systems operate. I am impressed that Sen. Inouye took over a week of her personal time this year to better equip herself to make energy policy decisions,” said Rep. Jeff Morris of Washington State, Institute Director.

The Pacific North West Economic Region (PNWER) partnered with the University of Idaho and the U.S. Department of Energy to found the Institute in 2009. In 2012, the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) and the federal government of Canada joined the effort to make the program nationwide and also include Canadian legislators.

Kana’iolowalu Petition Signed in Washington

United States Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K Inouye become the first two people to sign a petition affirming the inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people and expressing support for a restoration of Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K Inouye

It’s part of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission’s year long effort, Kana’iolowalu, to bring Hawaiians and Non-Hawaiians together in support of nation building, and to create a base roll of Native Hawaiians to participate in the formation of a sovereign government. Akaka and Inouye were joined by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo and State Senator Brickwood Galuteria, who became the third and fourth people to sign, respectively. This video was taken in Senator Akaka’s Washington, D.C. office.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/sYKw4xFkVGo]

Kana’iolowalu runs through July 19, 2013. Registration and signing of the petition can be done on paper or electronically. For more information please visit http://www.kanaiolowalu.org

Wordless Wednesday – Senator Inouye Receives Congressional Gold Medal

Senator Inouye today accepted the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the 100th Infantry Battalion and the Military Intelligence Service.

Senator Inouye today accepted the Congressional Gold Medal.

County, State and Federal Officials Bless the Latest Section of Saddle Road Completed

Calling it so much more than just infrastructure, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi joined state and federal officials Monday at the blessing of the latest section of the Saddle Road to be completed.

Saddle Road Blessing

Senator Inouye joined Mayor Billy Kenoi and others for a blessing of the recently refurbished section of Saddle Road between mile post 11 and mile post 19

“This is a connector for the families and businesses of Hawaii Island,” said Mayor Kenoi, who spoke at the event which celebrated the completion of the eight-mile stretch between mile-marker 19 and mile-marker 11. “It enhances our quality of life.”

Road and Highway Builders LLC of Sparks, Nev., completed this section on time and on budget. The $32.8 million contract was awarded by the state Department of Transportation in September 2009 with the project starting in November 2009. The contractors likely could have gotten the job done a bit earlier, but ran into a stretch of bad weather a few months ago which delayed the project a few weeks.

“This road gets us where we need to be, and will do it safely,” said Mayor Kenoi, who recognized the commitment of U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye to the Saddle Road project. “From everyone on Hawaii Island, we extend a deep mahalo.”

The Saddle Road project, which began in the mid 1990s, has so far produced 31 miles of highway, which replaces a narrow and winding road created in the 1940s following the attack on Pearl Harbor. According to Sen. Inouye, the road was created not just as a cross-island passage, but to provide access to a prisoner-of-war camp located on “saddle” between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

Pohakuloa

Senator Inouye touring U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa with LtCol Chris Miles.

“I bet you didn’t know that,” said Sen. Inouye, who joined Mayor Kenoi, state Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto, state Sen. Gil Kahele and other dignitaries in untying a ti-leaf lei that stretched across the entire width of the road, which has three lanes in the mm-18 area.

Sen. Inouye said the continuing construction of the Saddle Road fulfills a commitment he made to himself in 1964 when he decided to devote his life to to public service. The longest-serving senator in the United States said his commitments to Hawaii Island were to bring east and west together, create a four-year college in Hilo and to improve the Saddle Road.

“I’ll be around, believe me,” said Sen. Inouye, speaking to the 80 or so people who gathered in the cold and rainy weather, “until this is finished.”

Just as soon as this blessing  was completed, officials moved to the west side of the Saddle Road, where Kirkland Construction is expected to begin civil engineering work on the second-to-last leg of the Saddle Road, from mile 41, sometimes called the “Steps” or “Girl Scout Hill,” to mile 14 of Mamalahoa south of Waikoloa Road.

Kirkland was recently awarded the $33.7 million contract and could be given the notice to proceed in the next few days. The company, which plans to use local construction workers for a majority of the work will have until June 2013 to complete the 9.6 miles of earthwork. A contract to pave that portion of the road will be advertised at a later date.

So far, the Saddle Road project has spent $250 million and employed 2,000 people at one time or another. By the time it is completed, officials estimate that 2,700 people will have worked on this project.

Senator Inouye to Tour Highway and Interpretive Center on the Big Island Wednesday

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye will tour portions of the $32 million Ane Keohokalole Highway and the adjoining cultural interpretive center Wednesday, Aug. 31 starting at 4 p.m. Participants will gather at Kamakaheha Avenue.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye

The $1 million interpretive center focuses on the culture of the ahupua‘a of Keahuolu through a 16th century farm, or kauhale. The center will also be a repository for artifacts found in the area, and offer a resting place for Native Hawaiian remains. The interpretive center in this culturally rich area is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and was designed by Kari Kimura, a Kona native who attended MIT. The center helps perpetuate assets of the Queen Liliuokalani Trust, which is mandated to oversee the welfare of orphaned and destitute children.

Construction of the Ane Keohokalole Highway is on time and on budget as the contractor nears the paving phase of this project. Underground utilities are essentially completed and sidewalks are about halfway completed. The roadway is graded, and paving should start in early December. Paving is expected to last about eight weeks.

Landscaping has started, along with efforts to protect a dryland forest. Biologists are already propagating native Hawaiian plants to replace those taken in the construction.

Hawaii to Receive $13.9 Million in Homeland Security Grants

Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye announced that Hawaii will receive more than $13.9 million in preparedness grants distributed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Fiscal Year 2011.

“As we approach the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we should reflect on the tremendous toll that terrorism and natural disasters can exact, as well as the significant steps our nation has taken to strengthen our homeland defenses. DHS preparedness grants are critical to advancing our nation’s resilience. Although I am disappointed with this year’s reductions in funding, I will continue fighting to ensure that Hawaii receives the funding needed to protect our communities from acts of terrorism and major disasters,” said Senator Akaka, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

“I am very pleased that these much needed funds have been made available to Hawaii. With the APEC conference a few months away our law enforcement officials and first responders should not be worried about how to fund their activities. This money will help our police, fire fighters, and paramedics and keep our community safe,” said Senator Inouye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Hawaii will receive funding from the following grant programs:

State Homeland Security Program – the State will receive $5,137,205 to support its homeland security strategies in planning, equipment, and training activities; Emergency Management Performance Grant Program – the State will receive $3,287,765 to enhance its emergency management capabilities;
Port Security Grant Program – the State will receive $2,763,021 to protect critical port infrastructure in the Honolulu port area; Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program – the State will receive $1,281,976 to enhance regional and community planning for emergency situations; Driver’s License Security Grant Program – the State will receive $829,473 to improve the reliability of State issued personal identification documents; Metropolitan Medical Response System – the City and County of Honolulu will receive $281,693 to enhance local response efforts to mass casualty incidents; Transit Security Grant Program – the City and County of Honolulu will receive $254,000 to enhance security at critical transit infrastructure; and Citizen Corps Program – the State will receive $99,702 to coordinate involvement of community members and organizations in emergency management.

For additional information, visit www.fema.gov/grants.

County to Receive $5 Million Grant for One-Stop Transportation Facility and ADA Compliant Buses

Media Release:

Hawaii and Kauai County will receive $5.925 million to build a transit facility and buy new buses, Senator Daniel K. Inouye announced today.

Hawaii County will receive the bulk of the money, $4 million to construct a one-stop transportation facility in Hilo and $1 million for the purchase of Americans with Disability Act compliant new buses.

Kauai will receive $925,000 to purchase new buses.

The funds are provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“The safe and timely transportation of our residents and visitors is critical to maintaining a healthy economy.  These funds will help people on Kauai and the Big Island get to and from work while reducing traffic congestion and limiting the impact fossil fuels have on the environment, ” said Senator Inouye.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye at the Groundbreaking for National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrNYeV_RaXI&hl=en&fs=1&]

Senatory Inouye on the Hawaii Capitol National Heritage Area

Senator Daniel Inouye introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress to designate the Hawaii Capitol National Heritage Area for the Honolulu/Kapalama Ahupua’a, which covers Kaka’ako, Downtown, Nuuanu and Kapalama. The bill Senate # 359 was co-sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq-JXDMSb_Q&hl=en&fs=1]

Senator Dan Inouye Introduces Legislation to Designate a Heritage Area

Senator Daniel Inouye introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress to designate the Hawaii Capitol National Heritage Area for the Honolulu/Kapalama ahupua’s which covers Kaka’ako, Downtown, Nuuanu, and Kapalama. The Senate Bill 359 was co-sponsored by Senator Daniel Akaka. Representatives Corinne Ching and Cindy Evans gives closing remarks.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvydJXSAyHA&hl=en&fs=1]