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Sen. Schatz Discusses Pressing Issues at Hilo Town Hall

Posted April 19, 2017, 11:33 AM HST


    Approximately 200 to 300 Big Island residents turned out for a Town Hall with Sen. Brian Schatz at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Gymnasium on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

    Sen. Schatz answered questions about the county’s budget, “the wall,” the environment, internet rights, Russia, North Korea, women’s reproductive rights, Medicaid, Medicare, helicopter noise, LGBTQ rights and Syria.

    A large group of residents from Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono (HICoP) attended the meeting. HICoP representative Daryl Soares asked the senator for his support in resolving what the group described as a severe, ongoing problem—helicopter noise.

    “We are working on it,” explained Sen. Schatz. “We’re waiting on a response from the FAA on what the next few steps might be.”

    Another topic of concern was the 2017 U.S. budget.

    “The president’s budget will not be enacted,” stated Sen. Schatz, going on to explain that it simply cannot get enough votes to pass.

    For example, the budget proposed by President Trump includes “$7 billion for a down payment for a wall that nobody needs,” Sen. Schatz said.


    Although the town hall meeting was scheduled for 1.5 hours, many questions were left unanswered.

    However, Sen. Schatz assured that those with unanswered questions would get an answer via email.

    Sen. Schatz strongly encouraged all citizens to become involved and get their voices heard.

    “When I think of Planned Parenthood, ACA [Affordable Care Act], climate and net neutrality, the strategy is to cultivate a grassroots network across the country that demands that we do the right thing,” said Sen. Schatz.

    He will return to Washington, D.C., on Monday, April 24, 2017.

    Between 200 and 300 Big Island residents joined Sen. Brian Schatz for a Town Hall meeting at UH Hilo on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Hawai‘i Sen. Brian Schatz talks story with constituents at the Hilo Town Hall meeting held at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Sen. Brian Schatz held a Town Hall meeting at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Sen. Brian Schatz held a Town Hall meeting at the University of Hawaii at Hilo on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    East Hawai‘i resident and Hawaii Island Coalition Malama Pono representative Daryl Soares asks Sen. Brian Schatz for his support in resolving the helicopter noise problem on Hawai‘i Island during the Town Hall at UH Hilo on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Photo: Crystal Richard.

    Crystal Richard
    Crystal Richard moved to East Hawai’i in 2005 to attend UH Hilo. While earning her bachelor’s degree in English and a certificate to teach English as a second language, Crystal served as the editor-in-chief of “Hohonu,” UH Hilo’s academic journal, and as assistant editor-in-chief at “KeKalahea,” UH Hilo’s student newspaper. From a young age, Crystal fell in love with the written word and has always dreamed of a career in journalism. She has worked as a Big Island Now freelance reporter since September 2016. She is a wellness and health advocate who enjoys swimming, gardening, reading and spending time with her animals and loved ones.

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    Byron Matthews While simultaneously asking the Federal Government to pay for our new Saddle Road, Schatz is also trying to undermine and attack the President and his plan to reign in government spending. Breathtaking hubris and stupidity.April 19, 2017 12:00pm
    Les Miller Shitz spewing more rhetoric. Still talking about Russia...?April 19, 2017 01:42pm
    Marie Mullins Glad he is against that fake so called president trump.April 19, 2017 06:33pm
    James Kong Can anyone tell me what he has done to improve the living conditions in this State? All I have seen or heard from him is obstructionism.April 19, 2017 08:50pm
    Marie Mullins Yep better Living conditions like less VOG, and less haolesApril 20, 2017 07:55am
    Marie Mullins We're creating a world of dummies. Angry dummies who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation.April 20, 2017 11:27am

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