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Youths Recognized For ‘Distinguished’ Achievements

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Sen. Michelle Kidani

Waipahu’s Distinguished Young Women

Congratulations to the three young women from Waipahu who were finalists in this year’s Distinguished Young Woman scholarship program!

As I watched the talent and interview performances at the finals at Sacred Hearts Academy earlier this month, I was so proud to realize that more than a third of the 11 finalists came from our Waipahu and Mililani neighborhoods. Dolly Ann Ricapor and Charlyn Manuyag are seniors at Waipahu High School, and Nicole Fernan-dez calls Waipahu home while attending Radford High School. Each participant excelled in academic achievements and has been an involved member of her community.

From the Capitol

The legislative session began two weeks ago, and serious deliberations on dozens of bills are well under way. Recent media reports about a budget surplus are tempered by the reality that we have many unmet future obligations for which we must provide. Doing that now will mean an even more solid footing for the years ahead. So, in effect, this is a case where a surplus is not really a surplus; it simply gives us some breathing room.

Among the bills I have introduced are:

• SB 2610 requiring installation of at least one automated external defibrillator (AED) on every public school campus;

• SB 2616 allowing police to “boot” vehicles when the driver is cited for lack of proof of insurance;

• SB 2325 prohibiting passengers from riding in the back of pickup trucks on freeways with some other restrictions on passengers in pickup truck beds;

• SB 2324 establishing an electric vehicle user fee to provide funds for state and county roadway maintenance that would otherwise be collected from fuel taxes.

One of the bills I introduced this year has achieved a rare distinction. If passed, SB 2446 would name the new public high school to be built in Kihei, Maui, Patsy Takemoto Mink High School. The bill was signed at introduction by all 25 members of the Senate — and a check of legislative records shows that hasn’t happened for at least the last 10 years, possibly longer than that.

Here on Oahu, we have memorialized the late Congresswoman Mink by naming our Central Oahu Regional Park for her, and of course we remember that she maintained a residence in Waipahu for many years. My Senate colleagues and I all agree that a named major state facility on Rep. Mink’s home island of Maui would be most appropriate.

Kung Hee Fat Choy!

In just a few days we will welcome the Year of the Horse in the Asian Zodiac calendar. According to tradition, those born under this sign are leaders — strong, energetic, intelligent and outgoing — all positive characteristics. The year 2014 will, according to the zodiac, be a year of compassion and optimism — a year in which we should be atten tive to the needs of those who cannot fight for themselves, while always expecting that good fortune soon will be on the way. That’s a good attitude with which to approach our legislative priorities over the next few months.

Happy New Year!

State Sen. Michelle Kidani represents Senate District 18 – Village Park, Royal Kunia, Waikele, Waipio Gentry and Mililani Town. Her State Capitol office is in Room 228, telephone 586-7100, email: SenKidani@Capitol.Hawaii .gov.

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