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Legislative Milestones and Community Resilience Highlight District Progress

For Puna and Ka’u, the past year was unlike any other! First we survived Hurricane Iselle, which was followed within weeks by the Lava Threat. We were fortunate in both events, as there were no lives lost or major injuries as a result of the hurricane, and Pele has spared our community from the major impacts that for a time we feared. In both cases we saw the strength of our community as we came together to help neighbors and find solutions.
Perhaps the most important single bill that passed with benefit to Puna is the Insurance Bill, SB 589 Relating to property insurance, This bill requires most homeowner’s insurance policies to be renewed and new policies to be issued during emergency declarations. This will allow home sales and property values to return to normal following a period when such policies were being denied.

We also established a Farm-to-School coordinator in the Department of Agriculture, a medical marijuana dispensary system, a commitment by DOA to begin a farmer hemp project, and a commitment by Department of Health to greatly expand the cottage food program, and insurance coverage for autism.
Other milestones include funding for albizia control; funding to fight the coffee berry borer and macadamia felted coccid; tax credits for those forced to convert cesspools to septic systems; a new alternate road in Puna; expanding the student laptop program to Pahoa and Mountain View schools; and restoration of Keonopoko for students to return to home schools.

I am especially happy to report that planning has begun for a Puna regional library! This will be a major investment in our community and provide a much-needed resource for education, workshops and gatherings. Input is desired for possible locations for the new library. I was honored to be selected Legislator of the Year from the Hawaii Friends of the Library, for my advocacy for libraries.

During the year we said “Aloha” to Uncle Robert Keliihoomalu, a true icon of our community. His legacy of aloha in action and his tremendous positive influence will outlive us all.
Mahalo for your support throughout the year and for the valuable input you’ve provided to help guide my actions in the Senate on behalf of Puna and Ka’u.

Check out the latest Legislative update at the link below:

RUDERMAN_SUMMERUPDATE_2015

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Russell Testifying at the County Council on on “Roundup Ban” Bill 71

On Tuesday, I testified before the Hawaii County Council Committee on Environmental Management in favor of a bill (Bill 71) that would ban certain pesticides from being sprayed on government grounds. The Council Committee postponed their discussion and vote on the bill until their next meeting.

Courtesy of Big Island Video News

https://youtu.be/w578R5l3YVU

Russell's Speaker Series

Russell’s Speaker Dinner Series

Senator Ruderman Speaker Series - Gary Hooser

Download and Share PDF | JPG

The Friends of Russell Ruderman present…
Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser will discuss
Take Back Our Government:
the Why, the How and the Hope

Friday July 31st 5-8:30pm
Akebono Theatre in Pahoa,

A fundraiser for Senator Russell Ruderman

Bookings Essential:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sen-russell-rudermans-speaker-dinner-series-tickets-17573116665

Special Musical Guest:
Kalapana Awa Band

For Details Call Barb: 808-339-4344

$10 an Hour! Ruderman collects SBA award, announces new minimum wage

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Earlier this year, Russell Ruderman, founder and owner of the Island Naturals chain of health food stores, visited the White House, where he was honored as State of Hawaii Small Business Administration Business Person of the Year.

Ruderman joined winners from all 50 states at the awards ceremony hosted by Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the SBA.

Ruderman, who also is a state senator, opened his first Island Naturals Market in Hilo in 1998. That store was followed by other Big Island outlets in Pahoa and Kailua-Kona.

Island Naturals now employs more than 200 people at its three locations.

Ruderman said he believes treating his employees well is good business. Earlier this month, he announced that Island Naturals established a $10 per hour minimum wage for all employees. While most of his staff already were paid above $10 per hour, some entry-level employees got an unexpected raise in their paycheck this month as the company adopted the higher wage.

“While $10 an hour is not a true living wage in Hawaii, this is a step in the right direction, as raising our minimum also results in higher wages for midlevel staff,” he said.

“Doing so approaches a living wage for more and more workers. We are happy to share our success with our staff, and we all work together to make our company successful.”

http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/ruderman-collects-sba-award-announces-new-minimum-wage

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Governor Ige has released funding for the following Capitol Improvement Projects (CIP) for Senate District 2…

KEONEPOKO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, HAWAII
PLANS, DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT FOR THE TRANSITION FROM KEAAU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO KEONEPOKO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
FY2016 – $1,000,000

MOUNTAIN VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, HAWAII
CONSTRUCTION FOR DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENTS AND RAISED COVERED WALKWAY.
FY2016 – $230,000

SENATE DISTRICT 2 SCHOOLS LAPTOP COMPUTERS AND INFRASTRUCTURE, HAWAII
PLANS, CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT FOR LAPTOP COMPUTERS AND INSTALLATION OF NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURE (HORIZONTAL CABLING) IN SENATE DISTRICT 2 SCHOOLS, ESPECIALLY PAHOA HIGH AND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL (PHIS) AND MOUNTAIN VIEW PUBLIC SCHOOLS, TO ENABLE LAPTOP COMPUTER USE. WIFI SIGNALS TO CLASSROOMS AS WELL AS LAPTOP COMPUTERS FOR STUDENTS’ DAILY USE.
FY2016 – $2,300,000

FRIENDS OF THE VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES, HAWAII
PLANS, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF A CERTIFIED COMMERCIAL KITCHEN. THIS PROJECT QUALIFIES AS A GRANT, PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 42F, HRS.
FY2016 – $285,000

WAIAKEA UKA COMMUNITY CENTER, HAWAII
PLANS, LAND ACQUISITION AND DESIGN FOR A COMMUNITY CENTER IN WAIAKEA UKA.
FY2016 – $600,000

FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR SMALL COMMERCIAL AIRPORT, HAWAII
PLANS FOR FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR FEASIBILITY AND COST OF CONSTRUCTING SMALL COMMERCIAL AIRPORT IN SOUTH PUNA.
FY2016 – $50,000

KEAAU-PAHOA ROAD IMPROVEMENTS, KEAAU TO PAHOA, HAWAII
LAND ACQUISITION AND DESIGN FOR WIDENING THE TWO LANE HIGHWAY TO FOUR LANES OR ALTERNATE ALIGNMENTS IN THIS CORRIDOR. THIS PROJECT IS DEEMED NECESSARY TO QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL AID FINANCING AND/OR REIMBURSEMENT.
FY2016 – $360,000
FY 2017 – $1,600,000

KEAAU-PAHOA ROAD IMPROVEMENTS, KEAAU TO PAHOA, HAWAII
LAND ACQUISITION AND DESIGN FOR WIDENING THE TWO LANE HIGHWAY TO FOUR LANES OR ALTERNATE ALIGNMENTS IN THIS CORRIDOR. THIS PROJECT IS DEEMED NECESSARY TO QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL AID FINANCING AND/OR REIMBURSEMENT.
FY 2016 – $90,000
FY 2017 – $400,00
HIGHWAY 130, HAWAII
CONSTRUCTION FOR THE REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE OF FEEDER ROADS AND ALTERNATE ROUTES FOR HIGHWAY 130.
FY 2016 – $15,000,000

HLH Koa Tree

SOME GREAT UPCOMING EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES ON BIG ISLAND

Summer agriculture courses at Hawai‘i Community College
May 21–June 6, 2015
Thursdays 6–8 p.m. at Hawai‘i Community College, 200 West Kawili St, Hilo
and Saturdays 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at UH Hilo farm in Pana‘ewa

Brush up on your horticultural skills or learn some new techniques in agriculture by taking Hawai‘i Community College’s non-credit agriculture classes this summer. Learn about sustainable farming practices, pest and disease control, nursery management, gardening, landscaping, irrigation function and repair, and how to start a farm business. The class is a combination of lecture and on-farm practice in plant propagation, composting, hydroponics, soils, and soil amendments.

Workshop classes are $59. To learn more about Sustainable Production Practices and other agriculture classes being offered and to register, visit:

http://blog.hawaii.edu/…/summer-agriculture-classes-on-tap…/

Paid Summer Sustainable Agriculture Internships (Ages 15–19)
Sponsored by The Kohala Center and Kamehameha Schools’ ‘Āina Ulu Program
1st Session: June 8–19
2nd Session: July 13–24
8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Friday

The Kohala Center Demonstration Farm, Honokaʻa

Hey high school students and recent grads! This summer get paid to learn how to grow your own food, take field trips to Hawai‘i Island farms and ranches, and experience traditional Hawaiian land management in our two-week Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program! Visit and work on local farms, harvest and make your own ‘ono grinds, tour an ahupua‘a from mauka to makai, take home plants to start your own garden, explore careers in sustainable agriculture, and meet students from other schools. Visit koha.la/farminterns for more information and to apply, or call The Kohala Center at 808-887-6411.

Hawai‘i Island Meat Cooperative Producer Meeting

Presented by Big Island Resource Conservation & Development, Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center, and The Kohala Center

Sunday, June 14 • 5–6 p.m.

Pāhala Community Center, 96-1149 Kamani St, Pāhala

Family ranchers on Hawai‘i Island will be able to access an additional slaughter option through a new mobile slaughter unit for cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs beginning in 2016. A partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture has moved this project from concept to reality, as the mobile unit is on order. Please attend this producer meeting to learn more about using the unit and becoming a member of the cooperative.

http://hawaiiislandmeat.com/docs/MeatProducerFlyer.pdf

Pig to Plate: Animal Husbandry Workshop
Co-sponsored by Kahua Paʻa Mua and The Kohala Center

Saturday and Sunday, June 18–19
Palili ʻO Kohala Natural Farming Learning Lab, Hoʻea Rd, Hāwī

Hog Home Slaughter: June 18, 3–6 p.m.
Imu: Cooking the Hawaiian Way: June 19, 2–7 p.m.

Two days of workshops providing step-by-step instructions for efficiently processing a humanely raised, naturally farmed, homegrown hog to feed your family. Learn how to prepare a traditional imu (underground oven) and cook a hog from start to finish. The workshops will also delve into natural farming techniques, animal husbandry basics, and feeding requirements. Taught by David B. Fuertes, who holds a B.S. in animal science from the University of Hawai‘i and has nine years of experience teaching animal husbandry for the Ka Hana No‘eau mentoring program at Honoka‘a & Kohala High Schools.

Registration is free but advance registration is required at pig-plate.eventbrite.com.

»View the flyer here: http://kohalacenter.org/…/reso…/rcbds/Pig_To_Plate_flyer.pdf

“Meet Your Farmer” Farm to Charter School Mixer
Hosted by The Kohala Center and the Arts & Sciences Center
Tuesday, June 30 • 3–4:30 p.m.
Hawaiʻi Academy Arts and Science Public Charter School
15-1397 Homestead Rd, Pāhoa (map)
The farm to school movement is gaining momentum in Hawai‘i. Island farmers and distributors are invited to a mini trade show to meet public charter school reps who are leading the charge to create a local supply chain to feed our keiki fresh, nutritious, locally grown food—your food!

Register by June 25. Registration is free but space is limited. Reserve your spot online at koha.la/f2smixer or call The Kohala Center at 808-887-6411.
»View the flyer here: http://kohalacenter.org/…/…/TradeShowCharterSchool_Flyer.pdf

Senator Russell Ruderman

SBA State of Hawaii Small Business Person of the Year

Senator Russell RudermanSenator Russell E. Ruderman was named the State of Hawaii Small Business Person of the Year, 2015 by the US Small Business Administration Hawaii District Office. Along with awardees in 8 other categories, Senator Ruderman was honored by colleagues on the Senate and House floor.

The award was given to Senator Ruderman as President and Founder of Island Naturals, a group of natural and organic food stores on the Big Island known for its commitment to quality and creativity. Established in 1997, Island Naturals now employs 150 people at three locations in Kona, Hilo, and Pahoa.

The U.S. Small Business Administration was founded in 1953, largely as a response to the pressures of the Great Depression and World War II. It has since delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.

The Hawaii District Office, under the leadership of District Director Jane A. Sawyer, oversees the delivery of SBA’s programs throughout the State of Hawaii, the Territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Senator Russell Ruderman extends an invitation for you to join him…

Senator Russell Ruderman extends a warm invitation to you to join him for his first ever fundraiser in Honolulu at the Mandalay Restaurant.

Donations: If you are unable to attend but would like to show your support with a donation please use the Donate button.

Suggested donation $50 – $100





Come support and meet the man who represents all of the district of Puna and the town of Pahala in Ka’u at the Hawaiian State Legislature.

Enjoy delicious Cantonese cuisine and the elegant atmosphere of the Mandalay.

Bishop Square parking across the street from The Mandalay after 5:00 pm and Alii Place public / private park.

Please RSVP

Feel free to forward this invitation to friends that you would like to invite or that you know would like to support Senator Ruderman to continue to work for the good of all of Hawaii.