ALOHA AINA RECYCLING PROJECTS

Senator Nishihara assisted Leeward area schools such as Pearl City High School and Waipahu Intermediate Schools in raising funds for their schools through their Aloha Aina recycling efforts.  He helped coordinate and even did the actual curbside pickup of items in a Penske truck within the neighboring areas.  Not only does this benefit the schools monetarily but it keeps waste from entering our landfills and helps to clean up our environment.


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READ ALOUD PROGRAMS

As a former educator, Senator Nishihara believes in the importance of reading and keeping parents involved with their children.  He has been participating as a volunteer reader in the Read Aloud and Read-to-Me programs at various district schools over the past several years since he got into office.  Many of these Read Aloud programs promoting reading and literacy are held during the evenings when parents can participate with their children, thus strengthening and bonding families.


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COFFEE HOURS

Over the past five years, Senator Nishihara has been holding monthly coffee hours on the first Saturday of each month at two locations in Pearl City, and on the second Saturday of the month in Waipahu.  Here is an opportunity for residents to meet with him personally to discuss any issues or concerns that they may have, or just to talk story.   Senator Nishihara also updates the residents on what’s happening at the legislature and activities that he’s been involved with.  You may view these coffee hours on Olelo at varying times.


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LIBRARY BOOKSALES

Serving as President of the Friends of the Waipahu Public Library for the past five years, Senator Nishihara has led the Waipahu Library booksales which are held twice a year.  He solicits manpower from community members and has worked with the Waipahu High School coaches and teachers in getting the students to assist with the setup and breakdown of the booksales.  The Friends group also worked in putting together a cookbook, “Flavors from a Plantation Town,” with all net proceeds going to the library.  To date, they have raised about $7,000 from the cookbook.


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FOOD DISTRIBUTION TO SENIORS

The Waipahu United Church of Christ (WUCC)’s “Hug Me Bears” program distributes food purchased from the Hawaii Food Bank to the senior living complex in Waipahu on a monthly basis.  Senator Nishihara is a member of WUCC and participates with the Hug Me Bears in the food distribution, which helps the seniors to supplement their dietary needs.


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BOOKS FOR THE PHILIPPINES

On a trip to the Philippines in 2006, Senator Nishihara visited some of the schools in the various provinces and observed how scarce and outdated their school textbooks were.  After his return, he began collecting discarded textbooks from our public schools with his contacts in the Dept. of Education.  As a former educator and school administrator, Senator Nishihara knows firsthand the importance of getting a good education.  He has been working with various groups, including the military, in sending the textbooks to the Philippines and other places abroad.  He has received pictures of the greatly-appreciated books neatly displayed on bookshelves and libraries in the Philippines, and they look almost brand new.


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BIKE PATH CLEANUP

With gloves on hand and garbage bags, Senator Nishihara has been participating as a member of the Pearl City Lions Club in the bike path cleanup in back of Blaisdell Park in Pearl City as well as in Waipahu at Pupuole Park.  This joint project with various other community groups, such as the military and Weed and Seed members, helps to keep the environment clean and rid our community of some of the trash buildup.


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RAISING FUNDS FOR FOOD BANK/SERVING FOOD AT IHS

As the Food Bank is finding more and more people in the community turning to them to fill their food pantries, members of the legislature conducted a “fun”raiser for the Hawaii Food Bank.  Senator Nishihara, along with some of his colleagues, volunteered to be targets in a dunking tank to help build the food bank supply to meet community needs.  He also helped to serve meals at the Institute for Human Services with its growing population.


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