Video above shows a portion of the July 2, 2014 U.S. Senate candidate forum held at Sangha Hall in Hilo, Hawaii. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is challenging incumbent Senator Brian Schatz for the position.
Video by Tim Bryan, Forum Moderated by Sherry Bracken
HILO, Hawaii – The two U.S. Senate candidates seemed to differ a bit in their philosophies towards Pohakuloa Training Area.
(Hanabusa) introduced some legislation with Republicans in the House that essentially proposed to expand the use at PTA pretty significantly. It’s an increase in federal jurisdiction on a magnitude that we really hadn’t contemplated. It’s got some hunters legitimately concerned. It’s got some environmental folks legitimately concerned. It’s got some Native Hawaiians legitimately concerned. And here’s the issue. In her legislation, it calls for C-17s to be landing at PTA which would require a massive expansion on the runway. Tens of millions of dollars at the least. It would also allow for what they call bilateral and multilateral training exercises. Those would be war games with other military from throughout the Asia-Pacific region – and correct me if I’m wrong – but I think that is exactly what is proposed.
In Colleen’s legislation – and look, I think it’s great that Colleen talked to Randy Forbes on the Armed Services Committee, I think it’s great that she talked to two other folks in the Pentagon, I think it’s great that she talked to defense ministers from throughout the Asia-Pacific region – but I think she should have started here. I think she should start with Big Island residents and ask whether we want a massive increase in federal jurisdiction on the Big Island.”Sen. Brian Schatz – July 2, 2014
Hanabusa said her legislation was only to study the feasibility of an expansion.
That is not my intent to say ‘hey you know you gonna accept this’. That’s not it. But also understand the one of the things that ability to raise this question does is it gives the people in the community the right to look at that underlying lease, just like with Makua. The Makua underlying lease we could look at with what I proposed in the Hawaii State Senate called the
Makua Reserve Commission, which gave the community input as to how and what could be cleaned up. How and what will be used.
The same thing you will see with Pohakuloa. That lease is old, they haven’t touched it. If we start to look at this, we start the discussion, it will give the community a major opportunity to give input into how should Pohakuloa play, if it should play at all.”Rep. Colleen Hanabusa – July 2, 2014
In a follow up question, the ongoing Saddle Road (Daniel K. Inouye Highway) improvement project was discussed.
SPECIAL VIDEO SECTION: Schatz vs. Hanabusa (July 2, 2014)
2. Social Security
4. Kona Airport Customs
5. Fish & Wildlife Designations
6. Lending Restrictions
7. Native Hawaiian Education
8. Jones Act
9. Healthcare and Medicare
10. Pohakuloa Training Area, Saddle Road
11. Hawaii’s High Energy Rates
The event was sponsored by the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii, Hawaii Island REALTORS®, Hawaii Island Contractors’ Association, Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association and the Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce. It was open to the community free of charge.