Name on ballot:
State House – District 47
USDA Farm Service Agency, State Committee
Previous job history:
Co-owner, operator, Akahi Services, Inc., 1996-2017; Owner, Oahu Landscaping, 1989-1995. Contractor. Certified Arborist. Instructor, Penn State, early ’80’s.
Previous elected office, if any:
Neighborhood Board #27, North Shore
Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.
40+ years’ resident in my district, elected to Neighborhood Board, serve on its Agriculture Committee. I know environmental protection, business & employment, and agriculture issues. Started and grew small business from backyard-style to a statewide company of up to 180 employees. Decades of leadership: worship leader, Holy Cross, Malaekahana; Trustee & officer at Waialua Community Association; lead docent for historical walking tours, North Shore Chamber of Commerce; 30-years Director, 6-years as President, Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii (LICH); University degree and instructor in logic, philosophy & humanities; member, National & Hawaii Association of Parliamentarians. As LICH President our water-conservation program helped initiate a Hawaii State Water Conservation plan; established all-volunteer, on-going statewide training and certification; implemented extensive native-plant use in landscapes, and program to control invasive species’ spread. Long-active on local committees seeking to regulate vacation rentals and improve traffic jams. Was adult & youth referee trainer for AYSO. Married 46 years, 1 son, a Kahuku High grad and Eagle Scout, Kahuku Stake troop. I know our district and love our State and our nation.
What will be your top priority if elected?
Legislative initiatives for action on long-stalled problems: Hawaiian homelands, improve management of state lands, homelessness, housing costs, traffic and highway problems, drug-abuse and crime, police and justice reform.
As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more can be done to protect residents’ health?
Protect high-mortality-rate age & health-status cohorts. Screen, test, and track travelers. Direct major efforts to improve protections for disproportionate-risk in social/cultural groups living in close-quarters. Better protocols’ and oversight for retail, school, & office worker protection, with regular testing, daily symptoms-screening, the distancing & appropriate masking, and add proper filters on air conditioning systems. Public health education & outdoor-enhanced activity protocols to improve Vitamin-D and other immune-system factors that aid in resilience to infection.
What more can be done to help residents who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Return to normal economic activity in a deliberate but urgent manner.
Should public worker furloughs, pay cuts or downsizing be used to help the state deal with lower tax revenues and higher expenses during the pandemic? Why or why not?
In an emergency no public decision can be ruled out. Workforce reductions should not be the first choice. But our kuleana as the whole people’s representatives is weighty. A balanced State budget means also balance in proportion to the economy and it’s actual productive output. No private business will take on risk by borrowing heavily to merely sustain current operations when, unavoidably, revenues decline. Heavy State unfunded-benefits burden should not be made worse by extensive debt financing of operations costs. All Hawaii’s citizens bear burdens when there’s an emergency economic stand-down.
Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy has suffered greatly due to the pandemic. If elected, what would you propose to support and diversify the state’s economy?
1. Examine and change laws and practices that make Hawaii the 49th worst state to start a business. 2. Implement Kuhio’s vision! Follow HI Constitution Article XI, Section 9 mandate to put State land to use “for farm and home ownership to the widest extent consistent with law,” focusing on DHHL land swaps, land grants, urban housing, and public-transparent commercial uses funding homeland housing. 3. Encourage food-security agriculture: clean up State land management and lease practices to enable capital-investment in farming; invest in water-distribution, ag products handling & marketing ‘hubs,’ and consumer education for crops most suitable here. Tropical starches (breadfruit, banana, sweet potato), animal husbandry facilities (slaughterhouses, feed-crops, lower shipping costs), and suitable aquaculture facilities could expand food security and local economy. 4. Change building codes to enable use of Hawaii-grown timber, bamboo & hemp or other fiber-board in construction. 5. Re-orient schools to tech, science, computers, medical, skilled trades, and other practical preparatory programs for a beginning worker cohort better prepared for economically productive activity. 6. Support film industry. 7. Support live-fire range and other training grounds to keep military deployed here. Improved business climate lets private initiatives flourish – don’t micromanage who wins/loses in the economy.
Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.
Civilian oversight with more power, and with better community representation. Improve and adapt non-lethal use of force technique and training. Transparency for adjudicated bad actors consistent with employee protections. Lighten field officers’ reports work-load with technology and civilian assistants. Improve community-awareness and interaction in police and judicial practices. Implement numerous local district-magistrate courts for prompt and less formal attention to protective orders, traffic offenses, public disorder, trespass, various misdemeanors, and landlord-tenant disputes. Heed police and public safety concerns in pre-trail detainee policy. Expand prisons with outdoor agricultural settings for healthier, more sustainable detainee activities.
Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?
Support, but only with well adapted access and protected areas for spiritual and cultural practices. Traditional Hawaii was keenly interested in astronomy and, when newcomers arrived, any and all new technology. We need the high-tech cohort, the economic diversity, jobs, and beneficial opportunities, especially, for Hawaii island. Our Hawaiian renaissance, if UH and OHA implement better management, can accommodate another telescope in the existing group.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
My hobbies are studying history, politics, Hawaiian and local culture and history, and enjoying family and friends.
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