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MidWeek Staff

Remembering Inouye; Federal Funding For Rail

Mike Gabbard

Aloha Friends,

I recently attended the swearing-in ceremony for my daughter, Tulsi Gabbard, who was sworn in as the new U.S. Representative for Congressional District 2, which includes rural Oahu, including Makakilo and the Neighbor Islands. I know she’s going to do a great job by bringing youth and energy to our congressional delegation.

Please contact me at 586-6830 or sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov if I can help you or your family in any way.

Final Farewell to U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye

On Dec. 22, I joined other government leaders and members of the public at the State Capitol Rotunda for the Lying-In-State ceremony to pay our final respects to U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, an American hero who inspired many across the nation with his integrity and compassion. Sen. Inouye also received the rare honor (only the 32nd person in U.S. history) of lying in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Dec. 20. Sen. Inouye passed away Dec. 17 due to respiratory complications at the age of 88.

He was the most senior member of the U.S. Senate and the President ProTempore – third in line to the presidency. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, and was serving his ninth consecutive term when he died.

Our community is reeling from the loss of our beloved senator and our prayers and thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.

Rail Gets Federal Funding Commitment

The U.S. Department of Transportation signed the full-funding agreement for the Honolulu Rapid Transit project during a ceremony Dec. 19 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. This guarantees that Honolulu will receive $1.55 billion in federal dollars to help bring the $5 billion rail project to fruition.

No matter where you stand on rail, it’s a big win that we’ll see this investment in our state. The 20-mile rail line will go from East Kapolei to Ala Moana and is scheduled to be completed by 2019. Presently, construction of the project is on hold until the city can complete a full archeological study, which was ordered by the courts. Congratulations to former Mayor Peter Carlisle and our congressional delegation, especially the late Sen. Inouye, for seeing this through.

UH West Oahu Hold First Graduation at New Campus

I attended the fall 2012 graduation at UH West Oahu Dec. 8. This was the first graduation held at the new Kapolei campus.

In other related UHWO news, the UH Board of Regents approved the sale of 39 acres of land next to the UHWO campus to the Roman Catholic Church for $32 million Nov. 28. The sale of land will allow for the development of a church and private school, and also will include infrastructure development in the area.

Proceeds from the land sale likely will go toward further facilities and operational needs of the campus.

“Listen Story” Meeting

My next meeting will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Kapolei Starbucks (next to the Chevron Station).

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