Our recent heat wave has brought into full focus the fact that many of our public schools don't have air conditioning. It's critical that we, as legislators, put the needed funding toward the electrical upgrades, air conditioning, and innovative low-cost solutions, like "cool roofs" to solve this problem sooner, rather than later. There's no excuse for our keiki suffering in hot classrooms that make it difficult to learn.
I plan to host an Education Town Hall Meeting in our district by the end of the year. We'll have presentations by education experts and also allow folks to weigh in. I'll be getting the word out to the community in the coming weeks and will definitely include an announcement in my November newsletter.
As always, feel free to contact me at 586-6830 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help you or your family in any way. You can also follow me on Twitter @senmikegabbard, Instagram @sengabbard, or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/senmikegabbard.
Last year, the state and counties came together to launch what is called the Aloha+ Challenge, a shared statewide commitment to 6 interconnected sustainability targets to be achieved by 2030. These include:
The average age of farmers in our state is 60. So we need new blood in this very important profession. The good news is that this fall the new bachelor of applied science in sustainable community food systems was established at UH West O‘ahu (UHWO). I met with Dr. Albie Miles, an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Systems at UHWO, on September 23rd to learn more. He was instrumental in getting this program going. The new concentration incorporates problem-based and hands-on learning to develop food system professionals who value ecological sustainability.
The UHWO Student Organic Garden is one of the cool resources used by the program, which is a living laboratory where students directly apply the theoretical knowledge taught in the classroom. UHWO happens to be the only UH campus that is offering this degree. Here are some of the careers that graduates with this degree program can consider: natural resource management, agriculture and food policy, sustainable inputs and value-added food businesses, social enterprise and non-profit organization management, certified organic agriculture production and research, social work, and K-12 education. I'll be collaborating with Dr. Miles on potential sustainable agriculture legislation in my role as the Chair of the Water, Land, and Agriculture Committee.
Rep. Ryan Yamane, Chair of the House Water and Land Committee and I went on a Kaua‘i site visit with a team from the Department of Land and Natural Resources on September 28th.
The site visit focused on locations that demonstrate watershed forest protection, public hunting opportunities, rare species restoration, timber management, invasive species control, and post-fire restoration. We took a helicopter to view the Alakai Boardwalk Trail, Kula Natural Area Reserve, and the Kokee Post-Fire Restoration area. The information we gathered will be critical as I work on legislation for 2016 in my role as the Chair of the Water, Land, and Agriculture Committee.
It was a little belated, but I finally got the opportunity to surprise 2015 American Renaissance Academy valedictorian with an honorary certificate from the State Senate on September 27th at the Kapolei Costco. Christina is an only child and lives in Wai‘anae with her proud parents, Joe and Lacri. Christina is now studying at Chaminade University, taking classes in biology, anatomy, and chemistry. She plans to pursue a career in radiology and definitely has a bright future ahead of her. I wish Christina the best of luck in all her future endeavors.
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