West Generates Clean Energy

Mike Gabbard

Aloha Friends,

Sorry, there’s no community meeting in April. It’s crunch time at the Legislature. I will host my next “Listen Story” meeting at 9 a.m. May 4 at Kapolei Starbucks. Our session ends May 2, so I’ll give a wrap-up of all the highlights (and low-lights). Here are a few things I’d like to share with you.

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

Teachers Now Have a Contract

Congratulations to Gov.

Abercrombie, the DOE, and HSTA for arriving at a tentative agreement March 24 for a new teachers contract.

This is great news, considering that the teachers have been working under a contract that was imposed by him back in July 2011. The tentative contract was set to be voted on by our 12,000 teachers April 17. (It passed.) The Legislature also will have to appropriate the needed funds in the state budget we pass out by the end of session.

Ewa Beach Emergency Preparedness Committee Doing Great Work for the Community

I met with chairman Don Harlor and co-chairman Rodney Boucher of the Ewa Beach Emergency Preparedness Committee in my office last month. The committee was formed in March 2011 in response to a severe windstorm that knocked down power lines and caused 1,700 Ewa Beach residents to lose power, and the tsunami scare that occurred after the severe earthquake in Japan.

The group is made up of volunteers to prepare for an “All Hazard Event” (i.e., natural disaster or terrorist attack). They currently are planning to work with schools to get students and staff trained in CPR/AED.

To find out more or to get involved, please contact them at 682-0111 or getreadyewabeach@gmail. com. They’re also on Facebook at Get Ready Ewa Beach Emergency.

Kalaeloa Solar Farm Producing Clean Energy in the Westside

I participated in the March 8 blessing for the Kalaeloa Solar Farm. I had the opportunity to present certificates from the state Senate to Bright Plain Renewable Energy (BPRE), the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), Hawaiian Electric Company, Keahole Solar Power and SunPower Corp. for all their efforts in making this project a reality. The Kalaeloa Solar Farm is the second largest solar farm in the state.

It produces clean, renewable energy while preventing pollution and helping to preserve the Native Hawaiian culture. It will provide enough power for roughly 1,000 Oahu homes, while contributing to Hawaii’s renewable portfolio goals. Impressively, the Kalaeloa Solar Farm will prevent nearly 9,500 tons of CO2 emissions per year from polluting the environment. At the same time, it generates a critical revenue stream to sustain DHHL in its effort to support the self-sufficiency of Native Hawaiians, as well as ensure adequate infrastructure and financial support to the occupants.