HONOLULU – Senate Vice President Donna Mercado Kim (Sen. District 14) has been selected as the President of the Senate and will preside during the 27th Hawaii State Legislature, which will convene on January 16, 2013. Senator Ronald D. Kouchi (Sen. District 8) will serve as Senate Vice President. Senator David Ige (Sen. District 16) will continue as Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, with Senator Michelle Kidani (Sen. District 18) serving as his Vice Chair.
The Senate acted quickly to organize after Maui State Senator Shan Tsutsui (Sen. District 5) took the oath of office as Lieutenant Governor yesterday. The Senate line up remains mostly intact to allow members continuity in their committee work as the Senate has been preparing for the upcoming session.
“We are solidified in dealing with the pressing issues facing our State. The Senate continues to be organized in a cooperative and focused manner. I’m humbled to receive the confidence and support of my colleagues” said Senate President Kim.
“We reached an agreement quickly so that we can continue to focus our attention on the issues and begin preparations for the 2013 session,” said Senate Vice President Kouchi.
A complete listing of Senate Leadership and Committee Chairmanships is as follows:
|President||Donna Mercado Kim|
|Vice President||Ronald D. Kouchi|
|Majority Leader||Brickwood Galuteria|
|Assistant Majority Leader||Michelle Kidani|
|Ways and Means, Chair||David Ige|
|Ways and Means, Vice Chair||Michelle Kidani|
|Majority Floor Leader||Will Espero|
|Majority Policy Leader||Les Ihara, Jr.|
|Majority Whip||Gil Kahele|
|Majority Whip||Jill Tokuda|
|Judiciary and Labor, Chair||Clayton Hee|
|Commerce and Consumer Protection, Chair||Roz Baker|
|Agriculture, Chair||Clarence Nishihara|
|Technology and The Arts, Chair||Glenn Wakai|
|Economic Development, Government Operations, and Housing, Chair
|Donovan Dela Cruz|
|Energy and Environment, Chair||Mike Gabbard|
|Education, Chair||Jill Tokuda|
|Tourism and Hawaiian Affairs, Chair||Brickwood Galuteria|
|Health, Chair||Josh Green, M.D.|
|Higher Education, Chair||Brian Taniguchi|
|Human Services, Chair||Suzanne Chun Oakland|
|Public Safety and Military Affairs, Chair||Will Espero|
|Transportation & International Affairs, Chair||J. Kalani English|
|Water and Land, Chair||Malama Solomon|
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i– The County of Maui Department of Transportation has announced that beginning Tuesday, January 1, 2013, the Maui Bus will provide daily service in Kula.
The Kula Villager route #39 will start at 7:00 a.m. on Pukalani Street, at the bus stop near the Hannibal Tavares Community Center entrance and will go as far as Rice Park. The Kula Villager will loop in and out of portions of Lower Kula Road and serve seventeen bus stops along the route. The route will provide daily hourly service beginning at 7:00 a.m., with the last bus departing at 8:00 p.m.
“Our Maui Bus continues to be one of the fastest growing public transportation systems in the nation,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “The Maui Bus is a great alternative mode of transportation for our residents and this new route is part of our further commitment towards a more robust public transit system for Maui County.”
Department of Transportation Director Jo Anne Johnson Winer pointed out that, “this is a new route, and therefore subject to schedule changes, modifying stops and other adjustments as ridership dictates.”
“We may need to expand service as demand increase,” she said. “In the meantime, we are pleased to launch the Kula Villager route.”
The Kula Villager will connect with the Upcountry Islander at Pukalani Street at select times during the day. Maui Bus fares are $2.00 per boarding or $4.00 for a daily pass. Monthly passes are also available.
The Kula Villager bus schedule and map will be posted on the County website at www.mauicounty.gov/bus.
For more information, please contact the Maui County Department of Transportation at 270-7511.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a HIGH SURF ADVISORY for NORTH & WEST FACING SHORES of MOLOKAI & MAUI, in effect until 6:00 p.m. tonight.
The High Surf Warning has been cancelled.
A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.
EFFECTS: The current northwest swell peaked overnight. It is below warning criteria and is expected to continue to decline today. A larger northwest swell will build Saturday and Saturday night. Surf will be 12 to 16 feet for north facing shores and 8 to 12 feet for west facing shores.
Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves
A high tide of approximately 1.4 feet is expected between 1:53 p.m. and 3:11 p.m. this afternoon. The next high tide of approximately 2.9 feet is expected between 3:33 a.m. and 4:51 a.m. this afternoon.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: BEACH GOERS ARE URGED TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER AND WELL AWAY FROM THE SHORE BREAK DUE TO THE HAZARDOUS WAVE ACTION AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS.
INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates. NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie Thursday announced that former state Senate President Shan S. Tsutsui has accepted the position of Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, effective immediately under the order of succession. The office was vacated Wednesday by the appointment of former Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to the U.S. Senate.
“Shan’s acceptance reflects this administration’s commitment to represent all the people of Hawaii as a statewide community, not one that is Oahu-centric,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “As demonstrated during his time in the Legislature and most recently as Senate President, Shan is extremely effective in bringing various parties together to benefit all the people of Hawaii.”
“The decision to leave the state Senate was not a choice I made lightly, but I am eager to make a meaningful contribution to the future of Hawaii as Lt. Governor,” Tsutsui said. “There is much work to be done in the Senate, but I have full confidence in my colleagues at the Legislature. I look forward to working with them this session in my new role.”
Plans are underway to establish an additional Office of the Lt. Governor on Maui, expanding the office’s reach and accessibility to all island communities. The Office of the Lt. Governor will continue to conduct business in the State Capitol in Honolulu.
“In the past, Neighbor Island elected officials might have thought they had to move to Honolulu in order to serve,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In my view, this may no longer be necessary, especially as technology brings us closer together and the state’s IT transformation plan affords greater opportunities to conduct state business from all islands.”
Tsutsui served as the 12th Senate President of Hawaii. He is the first Senate President from Maui as well as the youngest. Elected to the Senate in 2002 to represent Hawaii’s 4th senatorial district, his previous leadership positions included the Vice Chair of Ways and Means and Majority Caucus Leader.
Tsutsui graduated from Maui High School in 1989 and earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Hawaii in 1994. He and his wife, Lyndelle Lee Tsutsui, reside on Maui with their three daughters, Mikayla, Kaylee and Kenna.
Traffic came to an abrupy halt Thursday as Aiur One landed on the Honoapi’ilani Highway after rescung a hiker in distress.
At noon, Thursday, Maui Fire and rescue crews were alerted that a woman became faint during a hike over the Pali Trail. MFD Engine 1 and Rescue 10 were dispatched to a stranded hiker approximately one mile up on the Lahaina side of the Pali Trail.
Engine-1 makes contact with the caller and decides that Air- 1 is the best option to rescue the hiker. Air-1 arrives, drops off a rescuer with the victim and lands at the landing zone to rig the rescue basket. The hiker is then airlifted by Air-1 to the landing zone and handed over to Medic 4. She had no injuries, but was dehydrated and lethargic.
The 65 year-old woman from Lahaina had started her hike in Maalaea and made it to the 1 mile marker before feeling faint.
An early morning brushfire came near homes in Haiku today. Maui Fire Departtment units from Pa’ia, Makawao and Kahului responded to the initial report at 3:29 a.m. for rep[orts of a brush fire off of N. Holokai Rd.
The fire, which had flames as high as 40 feet, was threatening homes in the area, consuming approximately 1.5 acres before being brought under control. Fire Fighters worked quickly to protect the homes and stop the fire’s advance. By 4 a.m. the fire had been contained and crews were mopping up hot spots.
Fire was extinguished at 4:43 a.m No property was damaged by the fire, no injuries were reported, and the cause is still under investigation.
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