Another Step Forward For Kapolei II Elementary


Talking Story…Sen. Mike Gabbard

Aloha Friends,

For all you folks procrastinating on doing your taxes … a nonprofit, Free File Alliance, is partnering with the IRS to offer free e-file tax preparation services.

Taxpayers who earned $58,000 or less in adjusted gross income in 2013 are eligible and can visit to prepare and file their federal tax return.

Please let me know if I can ever help you or your family in any way. I can be reached at 586-6830 or by email at

Draft Environmental Assessment Completed for Kapolei II Elementary

Good news! The draft environmental assessment for Kapolei II Elementary School has been completed. This brings us another step closer to seeing this long-awaited school become a reality in Fall 2015.

The school will be located at the intersection of Fort Barrette Road and Kunehi Street, across from Kapolei High School next to the Mehana subdivision.

It will feature a 21st Century Learning Environment with an expected enrollment of 750 students.

There will be 100,000 square feet of indoor space and 122,000 square feet of outdoor physical education space. The total construction cost will be $38.3 million.

Industrial Hemp Could be Great Agricultural Crop

I introduced SB2175 this session to legalize the production of industrial hemp. (Just so you know, hemp doesn’t contain significant THC, so it can’t get people high by smoking it.)

Hemp is an incredible agricultural crop that’s used in food, soap, car materials, insulation and construction materials. The problem is that right now the U.S. is importing all these products, when we could easily grow it here. Ten states around the country have passed similar legislation.

My bill was amended by the Agriculture and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs committees to be a two-year hemp research project at UH.

I recommend the documentary, Bringing it Home, if you’re interested in learning about the history of hemp in our country. Fascinating!

Visit to David Wong’s Natural Farm Inspiring

I visited David Wong’s 200-acre natural farm and piggery in Waianae Valley Feb. 18 with my wife Carol and daughter, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Seventy-five acres of this farm will soon host a 15 mW solar array to be built by NextEra. When completed by 2016, it will be one of the largest solar farms in the state.

What makes David’s farm so special is that he has incorporated Master Han-Kyu Cho’s Korean natural farming methods, which don’t require the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers, and use 40 percent less water than conventional farming.

Some of the crops he’s currently growing are dry-land taro, ginger, moringa, and bananas.

It’s very exciting to see this innovative agricultural system taking root in our islands. And I’m also stoked that he’s helping us meet both our renewable-energy and food-security goals by combining the farm with the solar project.

This is a truly a winwin and what sustainability is really all about!

“Listen-Story” Meeting

My next “Listen Story” meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. March 29 at the Kapolei Starbucks (next to the Chevron Station).