This is the fourth time Brian Jordan has sought the State House District 4 seat. But its the first time running as a Democrat.
“I was a Democrat before, I grew up in an AFL-CIO home, said Jordan, a Maryland native. What led him to the Republican Party in Hawaii was Linda Lingle. But Jordan grew disenchanted with her and ultimately switched parties.
Jordan “would like to see the education system teaching skills that kids can actually use,” like the skills taught in Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science Public Charter School, HAAS, STEM program. “If you look at HAAS, they have laser cutters, engravers, band saws, chop saws.” Jordan teaches shop safety to the students in the HAAS STEM program.
“The difference between a charter school and a regular high school, when you go to a regular high school, you hear foul language, and there really isn’t an emphasis on discipline…” Jordan noted.
Jordan believes there should be more vocational training in the schools.
“I think we send kids to college to support an academic system. But not every kid should go to college. In Europe, they cull them at 16, they split them in vocational or academic…”
“Right now, Faye is advocating reopening the prison,” Jordan says, referring to the current representative, Faye Hanohano. “If they’re educated, they’re not going to probably end up in prison. That’s sort of a self-fulfilling prophesy. ‘Well, we’re going to fail, so let’s build more prisons’…”
Jordan is a proponent of vocational training, but he is also an advocate for more “moral integrity” in all the schools, in the DOE, and in government as a whole, he says.
Medical marijuana, what is Jordan’s position?
“The Coalition of Christians asked for people to go to Ainaloa Longhouse, and I guess nobody wants to touch hot topics, all different denominations, LDS, Catholics, and Baptists, I was the only one who showed up,” Jordan said, noting the Christians asked him about marijuana.
“I said medical marijuana from age 27, it should not be an issue, because the brain is not fully formed. And studies show, like Sanja Gupta (CNN doctor) just realized it… What you need to explain is, all things in moderation won’t kill you. If you take a toke on Friday night with a beer, you’re not going to go crazy. But if you smoke chronically from 16 to 26, and this is not me, this is the National Institute of Mental Health, you increase your chances of paranoid ideations, whether it be schizophrenia or withdrawn personality. What I used to tell my students is, it is like playing Russian Roulette with a three-chambered gun. If you’re going to get up in the morning and smoke a joint and then an hour later smoke a joint… your brain is going to be altered. It’s going to wired a little differently.”
As for other Puna-related concerns, Jordan looks to the traffic problem.
“Since 2002, I’ve been asking for lights for old Government Road,” Jordan said.
He recalled when a state DOT bureaucrat came to Pahoa a dozen years ago, he spoke candidly about the numbers of crashes and fatalities on Highway 130 and the need to fix the intersection at Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130.
“My idea was to get three lights and put them at three different intersections to calm the traffic,” Jordan said, noting Kahakai, Ainaloa or Maku’u and Orchidland specifically.
If elected, Jordan would pursue temporary lights for those intersections, first to determine if they work before pursuing a permanent solution for these problem intersections.
Mental health, how should we address that in our community?
“Where do these people end up?” Jordan notes, “They’re homeless. And if we have a community where they have a place to stay, then we can send out a crew of doctors to them.” He envisions 573 square foot off-grid units as an answer for individuals or a small family, which could own this structure for $300 per month.
He recalls the mobile dental clinic in Pahoa. “I’m talking about a mobile psychiatric clinic. The housing is not the answer, the housing is an additional thing. A 573-square-foot unit could handle two people, and at least they could have a place to lock themselves in and be safe.”
Jordan believes that Puna should totally embrace recycling and develop an industry from that. He offers pyrolysis as an example.
“What this does, imagine a pressure cooker, and instead of heating it from the bottom, which you could do, you put a box around it and you have the box locked up, and you heat it to about 275 degrees celsius, depending on what you put into it… tires are the best, because tires are made of oil, carbon black, and steel or nylon thread… After it’s heated up, because it is rubber, it melts down, it liquifies and it starts to vaporize, and after it passes the pressure cooker, imagine a snow cone connected to the bottom… anything that is charcoally, a natural convection occurs as a result of the heat, the carbon will be released. The next step that will come out will be an oil and the next step after that will be a gas. It is a closed system; it doesn’t pollute.”
He believes this will result in job creation and change the perception of trash, to be considered resources.
He notes with eucalyptus, you can make methanol. “You do it the same way, pyrolysis,” he said.
“Hemp I think is a great thing, it’ll create agriculture jobs. It will create clothing. And hemp is not necessarily conducive to pot.”
“I love the aina, I love the people. I don’t like the fact that the DOE has this cookie cutter stamp of everybody’s got to fit this mold. And the ones who don’t are lost. And you cannot have people lost. You need everything in the garden,” Jordan said.
Tiffany Edwards Hunt is the editor and publisher of Big Island Chronicle.