School, New Eateries, Gardens And ‘Ohana

Talking Story…Mike Gabbard

Aloha Friends,

Ah yes, it’s August, which means school is back in session.

As a former high school English teacher, I can almost smell those inquisitive minds hard at work in our public and private schools.

Mahalo to everyone who is working hard to make sure it’s a great year for our students and teachers. I was appointed recently to the Senate Education Committee and I will be working with my colleagues, the state Department of Education, Board of Education and the community to improve the education of our keiki this school year.

New Restaurants Coming to Kapolei Commons

And for your dining pleasure, (drum roll, please!), I got word recently that two big-name restaurants will be coming to Kapolei Commons in the near future.

It was announced June 25 that well-known Italian restaurant Olive Garden has a tentative agreement to open a restaurant in a new commercial building at the corner of Kalaeloa Boulevard and Kapolei Parkway with an expected opening in mid-2015.

Ruby Tuesday will be opening by the end of 2013 next to Denny’s in a new building currently under construction.

Tower Garden an Innovative Way to Grow Your Own Food

My wife, Carol, and I joined thousands of other Oahu residents at the 2013 Hawaii Farm Fair at Kualoa Ranch in July. While checking out the different booths on display, I talked story with Wendy Loh, who introduced me to the Tower Garden, a state-of-the-art aeroponic growing system that is perfect for people who live in condos and apartments, or have small yards.

The Tower Garden allows people to grow a variety of local greens, herbs and flowers on rooftops, patios, balconies and terraces – basically anywhere, as long as there’s sun available.

I especially was impressed with the design, given I have my own organic garden at my home in Kalaeloa.

For more information about the Tower Garden, contact Wendy at or 744-8888.

Kinimaka 2013 Family Reunion

Recently, my daughter U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and I presented commendations to the Kinimaka ohana at their 2013 family reunion.

This event brought together more than 400 members of their family from across Hawaii and the Mainland. The celebration took place July 6 at Iolani Palace.

The Kinimaka family goes back 17 generations in Hawaii and is descended from Hawaiian royalty. One accomplished Kinimaka was none other than Brevet Lt. Col. David Leleo Kinimaka, the son of Chief Keaweamahi and Pai Kinimaka (High Chief of Honolulu).

Another well-loved member of the ohana is the High Chiefess Kahikoloa of Maui, is responsible for the historic state seal featuring the warriors Keeimoku and Kamanawa, who were uncles of Kamehameha I. Nani Kinimaka-Davis was one of the event’s main organizers and lives in Makakilo.

“Listen-Story” Meeting

My next “Listen Story” meeting will be held Saturday, Aug. 24, at 9 a.m. at the Ewa Mahiko District Park meeting room (91-1205 Renton Road).

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