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Agenda for weekend legislative visit


Drawing on a perspective that Hawaii Island is a place that inspires “big thinking” and has demonstrated leadership in creating innovative public-private partnerships to address big issues, Sen. Malama Solomon is coordinating a informational site visit for state lawmakers Saturday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27.

Leadership of several key Senate and House committees and several of the governor’s cabinet members will look at projects that are connected to high quality, clean-green job creation, and also food and energy self sufficiency.

Agenda for weekend tour

Saturday, Feb. 26

6:30 a.m. Arrive at Keahole International Airport, Kona

7:30-9:30 a.m. Tour Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant w/farm community, operated by the Kamuela Farmers Cooperative which consists of 60 members. Approximately 7,000,000 lbs. of produce is processes annually. The facility also provides storage and limited processing services. RE: Food safety compliance, retrofitting w/ alternative energy to diversity income and net metering to lower processing costs.

9:30-11 a.m. Drive to Hale Pohaku – regular cars/vans can do this high up the mountain.

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch and briefing on the Hawaiian view of Mauna Kea, mandatory safety protocols, TMT overview, status of other telescopes. All must sign waiver before going on to the top of the mountain.

12:30-1 p.m. Drive to the top of Mauna Kea (4-wheel vehicles)

1-2 p.m. Tour of Gemini telescope.

2-2:30 p.m. Drive back to Hale Pohaku

2:30-4:15 p.m. Drive to PGV geothermal power plant in Puna

4:15-4:45 p.m. Briefing by Hawaii Island Puna Geothermal Venture Work Group (PGV) – Wally Ishibashi, co-chairs of the newly formed Geothermal Working Group, & Richard Ha, co-chairs of the newly formed Geothermal Working Group

6-7 p.m. Partnership of KIAA, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce (HICC), Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) and Hawaii Island Board of Realtors (HIBR) at Encore Restaurant.

End of Evening – Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Sunday, Feb. 27

8-9 a.m. Big Island Advocates Breakfast at Encore Restaurant

9:15-10:15 a.m. Green Point Nursery – In Hilo, they grow premium anthuriums, orchids and other tropical plants on the slopes of a volcano. The nurseries actually sit atop ancient black volcanic cinders, which are the growing medium, the life force that nurtures their plants and flowers. For four generations now their family have lived here on the Big Island of Hawaii. Phong Teng Neo, Grower.

10:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) (Hilo) Dennis Gonsalves, Center Director of the U.S. PBARC

Noon-1 p.m. Hu Honua,LLC Bioenergy Facility in Pepe‘ekeo with Lunch. The purpose of the Hu Honua Bioenergy Facility is to use 100 percent biomass to power a 24-megawatt (MW) renewable energy facility and to help Hawaii Island, Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) and the state reach their renewable energy initiative goals. Once the facility begins operation, it has the ability to power about 18,000 homes with renewable energy.

1:15 -2:15 p.m. Hamakua Springs Country Farm – Been in the banana business for 30 years, and now three generations of family are researching, developing, growing and selling not only bananas, but also the best-tasting varieties of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and watercress we can find. Richard Ha, president of Hamakua Springs.

2:45 p.m. Drop off at Hilo International Airport –


Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz-Senate District 22 (Chair of WLH)

Dane Wicker (Staff for Dela Cruz)

Sen. Malama Solomon-Senate District 1 (Vice-Chair of WLH)

Spencer Yim (Staff for Solomon)

Sen. Pohai Ryan-Senate District 25 (Member of WLH)

Debra Shiraishi-Pratt (Staff for Ryan)

Sen. Clarence Nishihara-Senate District 18 (Chair of AGL)

Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland-Senate District 13 (Member of WLH & AGL)

Sen. Gilbert Kahele-Senate District 2 (Vice Chair AGL)

Sen. Glenn Wakai-Senate District 15 (Member of AGL)

Rep. Jerry Chang-House District 2

Rep. Clift Tsuji – House District 3 (Chair of AGR)

Rep. Nakashima – House District 1

Rep. Hanohano – House District 4

Guy Kaulukukui, 1st Deputy Director of Department of Land and Natural Resources

Susan Kodani, District Director & Senior Advisor to U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono

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