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New CD “Fresh Produce” By HHS Jazz Band

For nearly 40 years, Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band has delivered great music to eager audiences across Hawai‘i Island and state. Now, the Grammy-winning school’s musical legacy, under the direction of Gary Washburn, will release its sixteenth CD, “Fresh Produce.”

The CD is an annual fundraising project to support the Band’s travel and other costs. Fresh Produce” emphasizes the locally grown talent of Honoka‘a High School, and includes a wide variety of music ranging from the 1930’s to the present.

Featuring the vocals of Kaylynn Iona, Kacy Sanchez and Kaleb Yamasaki, the new album also showcases instrumental soloists, Zhanalyn Cacho, Dwayne Murakane, Kamaehu Duldalao, Terri Connors and Jeanne Altura. Musical selections range in tempo, stye and genre from Count Basie to Lester Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Etta James, The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies and many more.

Innovative, energetic and talented, the Jazz Band has set a standard for the performance of jazz music on Hawai‘i Island since it originated in 1978. In addition to its annual Oahu concert tour celebrating National Jazz Appreciation Month, the band has performed for four national conventions, National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” and the Big Island Jazz Festival, featured on CNN’s “Jazz Alley.” Early next year, a select ensemble, Dragon Jazz, will go on a multi-island tour with renown blues artist Johnny Nichols.

In 2008, Honoka‘a High School was recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for outstanding music education; in 2011, they received a Grammy Signature Schools Award in 2011. That same year, Washburn was named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction, and he has been recognized as a Living Treasure of Hawai‘i by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i.

The CD is available at all performances as well as through the school (775-8800) or by emailing
Gary_Washburn@notes.k12.hi.us. The band will be performing at the Peace Day Festival in
Honoka‘a on Sept. 23, Pumpkin Patch in Waimea October 14, October Fest in Waimea October 21 and
the Queen’s Shops November 18.

Man Achieves Goal to Visit ALL 59 National Parks

When Dave Parker entered Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Tuesday night, he accomplished his lifelong dream to visit the 59 iconic national parks in the U.S.

Chief Ranger John Broward shakes hands with Dave Parker of McLean, VA who completed his quest to visit all 59 National Parks on Wednesday. (All photos NPS Photos by Janice Wei)

“To see Kīlauea erupt is indescribable and it’s just spectacular to see,” Parker said. “It’s the reason we came here,” he said.

On Wednesday, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park surprised Parker with a “59ers” Certificate of Achievement, signed by National Park Service Acting Director, Mike Reynolds. The certificate was presented by Acting Superintendent and Chief Ranger John Broward, who congratulated Parker in front of visitors and staff at the Kīlauea Visitor Center.

Dave Parker poses for a photo in front of an interpretive display in the Kīlauea Visitor Center of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

“It’s uplifting that Mr. Parker made it a priority to see all 59 of the iconic national parks,” Broward said. “Park visitors help steward our public lands, and by appreciating them, they protect them. And Dave Parker, you couldn’t have a better last name,” he said.

Parker’s love for national parks blossomed at the tender age of 14, when his parents took him to his first parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. His family camped, rode horses, hiked the trails and watched Yellowstone’s famous geyser, Old Faithful, erupt. Now 77, Parker, his wife Carol, and friends Red and Sheri Cavaney, will spend a few nights at Volcano House and explore the eruptions of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. They enjoyed a ranger talk about the volcanic origins of the Hawaiian Islands, and a guided tour with the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (FHVNP).

Left to right: Elizabeth Fien, Executive Director of the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; Dave Parker “59er”; , Margot Griffith, Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association; and Hawaii Volcanoes’ Acting Superintendent and Chief Ranger John Broward smile for a photo in the Kīlauea Visitor Center.

The park’s non-profit supporting partners, the FHVNP and the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, presented the Parkers and friends with commemorative items including ball caps, T shirts, pins, a gift certificate for The Rim restaurant, and other mementos and educational items to help them enjoy and discover the park.

“There are many ways to support your parks,” Parker said. “All parks have organizations that support them that you can donate to. You can volunteer and give back with your time. It’s an important investment to make for the survival of public lands and our future generations,” he said.
The auspicious visit was Parker’s fifth time to Hawai‘i, and his first to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. During his early career working for the Dept. of Commerce in Wash., D.C., he helped promote travel to the U.S., and had close ties to the Hawai‘i visitor industry. He and his wife live in McLean, VA.

Left to right: Sheri Cavaney, Dave Parker, Carol Parker and Red Cavaney, smile for photos in the Kīlauea Visitor Center on Wednesday. Dave is wearing an NPS Centennial T-shirt listing all 59 national parks.

The National Park Service has more than 20,000 National Park Service employees who care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Buckets for Books Charity Basketball Tournament

On October 7 & 8 from 9am-3pm come out to the new Ka’u gym and support Volcano athletics as Friends of Volcano Schools of Arts and Science (FVSAS) is hosting their first ever 3 on 3 Charity Basketball tournament fundraiser.

Sign up your own 3 person squad or come out and support your local students and parents as they play basketball against the big Islands best. Open to all ages. Also, test your skills in a 3 point shootout contest for an amazing cash prize. All tournament fees are fully tax deductible.

For more information or to volunteer please contact Will Holland at gotwill@gmail.com or 808-626-5130.

Governor Ige Announces Hawai‘i Among 14 States and Puerto Rico to be on Track to Meet Paris Climate Targets

Gov. David Ige attended Climate Week NYC 2017 this week, where he joined fellow state governors to meet with national and international government and business leaders for discussions on climate change and efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Hawai‘i is among 14 states and Puerto Rico who are members of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan coalition that was formed in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

On Wednesday, the alliance released its 2017 Annual Report: Alliance States Take the Lead which finds:

  • The alliance states are collectively on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 24 to 29 percent — below 2005 levels — over the next eight years (by 2025).
  • Between 2005 and 2015, alliance states reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent, compared to a 10 percent reduction by the rest of the country.
  • Between 2005 and 2015 – the combined economic output of alliance states grew by 14 percent (the rest of the country grew by 12 percent). On a per capita basis, economic output in alliance states expanded twice as fast as the rest of the country.

“I’m encouraged by our meetings with leaders here at Climate Week. Collaboration is a critical part of how we move forward as a state, a nation, and as global leaders in addressing climate issues affecting our island state and communities around the world. The U.S. Climate Alliance report shows that alliance states are setting clear targets for greenhouse gas reductions and increasing clean energy. This is mobilizing the market to innovate and create new, well-paying green jobs,” said Gov. Ige.

In addition to minimizing emissions that cause climate change, alliance states are also focusing on investing in vulnerability assessments, and planning new innovative technologies, infrastructure and nature-based solutions that can help people adapt to climate change and its impacts.

During Climate Week, Gov. Ige spoke at the opening ceremony and participated in international discussions on a sustainable ocean economy and Hawaiʻi’s 100 percent renewable energy goal. The governor also took part in discussions on how businesses are implementing their own policies on renewable energy and investing in states that are taking steps to adapt to climate change. Gov. Ige also had the opportunity to meet with the governors of Washington and California to discuss enhancing cooperation to address climate change issues.

Online Bachelor of Social Work Option Extends Education Opportunities Statewide

A new Distance Education (DE) Option for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree delivered by the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa will launch in Fall 2018, providing increased accessibility for students statewide to pursue the degree.

Developed by the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work in partnership with Outreach College, the online degree is designed for eligible students who have completed the General Education Core Requirements and BSW prerequisites.

Courses are offered in a five-week, asynchronous format that allows for flexibility and busy schedules. Students take the online courses sequentially as a cohort, and practice real world skills under the supervision of social work professionals in community agencies.

Students and community members are invited to attend informational sessions regarding the BSW-DE Option:

• Maui. UH Maui College, 9/20/17, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Transfer and College Fair, Ka Lama Building. Also, 2 to 3 p.m.: Outreach College on Maui hosted session in HITS (for Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Hāna and Lahaina).

• Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaiʻi Community College Manono Campus (Hilo), 10/03/17, noon to 1 p.m., Building 379A, Room 6B. Hawai‘i Community College – Palamanui (Kona)10/03/17, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Koali 101.

• Kauaʻi. Kaua‘i Community College, 10/06/17, noon to 1 p.m., Learning Resource Center, LRC-124B.

For more information, contact the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at (808) 956-9470 or by email sent to sswde@hawaii.edu.

For more information, visit: www.hawaii.edu/sswork/

2016-17 Strive HI Performance System Results

The Hawaii State Department of Education shared its 2016-17 Strive HI Performance System results this evening during the Board of Education community meeting. The school accountability system focuses on state and schools’ progress on Strategic Plan Student Success Objectives and provides educators and communities with information to take action for student learning.

“The results are encouraging and show our focus moving in the right direction with college and career readiness measures remaining steady, including some growth in Science,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “As we move forward, we will be very specific and purposeful in our approach to address the achievement gap and chronic absenteeism. We will take what we have learned about effective student-centered practices since 2005 and raise our implementation work to another level.”

While statewide overall results in English Language Arts, Math and Science have shown growth over the past three years; the results have been mixed compared to 2016:

  • Science – up 4 percentage points from 2016
    (2015: 41%; 2016: 42%; 2017: 46%)
  • Mathematics – no change from 2016
    (2015: 41%; 2016: 42%; 2017: 42%)
  • English Language Arts/Literacy – down 1 percentage point from 2016
    (2015: 48%; 2016: 51%; 2017: 50%)

While overall state results were stable, the following schools showed the most growth in English Language Arts and Math over the past three years (scroll to the bottom of the release for an extended list of top performing schools):

  • English Language Arts/Literacy – Three-year average gains in percentage of students meeting/exceeding standards:
    • Kauai High – up 17 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 25%; 2016: 59%; 2017: 59%)
    • Kapaa High – up 17 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 33%; 2016: 58%; 2017: 66%)
    • Kahuku High & Intermediate – up 15 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 20%; 2016: 54%; 2017: 50%)
    • Kaiser High: up 14 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 51%; 2016: 74%; 2017: 79%)
    • Pauoa Elementary – up 11 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 56%; 2016: 78%; 2017: 77%)
  • Math – Three-year average gains in percentage of students meeting/exceeding standards:
    • Pauoa Elementary – up 17 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 47%; 2016: 72%; 2017: 81%)
    • Kohala High – up 16 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 15%; 2016: 22%; 2017: 47%)
    • Kapolei Elementary – up 13 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 30%; 2016: 52%; 2017: 56%)
    • Kealakehe High – up 13 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 19%; 2016: 39%; 2017: 44%)
    • Haleiwa Elementary – up 11 percentage points from 2015
      (2015: 49%; 2016: 49%; 2017: 71%)

Strive HI was launched in school year 2012-13 as the state’s locally designed performance system that was a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. The accountability system includes multiple measures of school performance including proficiency in Science, Math and Language Arts/Literacy; chronic absenteeism; school climate; graduation rates; and achievement gaps. The system was modified earlier this year to address the federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the revised DOE/BOE Strategic Plan. The law replaces both NCLB and the state’s waiver. ESSA requires full implementation including the provisions related to school accountability this school year.

English Language Arts and Math scores are derived from the Smarter Balanced Assessment, and Science scores are from the Hawaii State Assessment in Science.

Click here to view the 2016-17 State Snapshot of Strive HI indicators. For more information about the Strive HI performance system, click here.

Below are lists of top performers across indicators in the Strive HI System. Results for schools with small student populations are suppressed to protect student privacy.

 

​Highest Achieving Schools in Meeting English Language Arts/Literacy Standards
Statewide: 50%
Lanikai El 88%
Kaelepulu El 84%
Mililani Ike El 82%
Momilani El 81%
de Silva El 80%
Mililani Uka El 79%
Hickam El 79%
Kaiser High 79%
Koko Head El 78%
Pauoa El 77%
Manoa El 77%
Aina Haina El 77%
Roosevelt High 77%
Waikiki El 76%
Noelani El 75%
Highest Achieving Schools in Meeting Math Standards

Statewide: 42%

Lanikai El 89%
Momilani El 87%
Pauoa El 81%
Noelani El 79%
Waikiki El 79%
Mililani Ike El 78%
Maemae El 76%
Wilson El 76%
Kaelepulu El 75%
Aliiolani El 75%
Mililani Mauka El 75%
Mililani Uka El 75%
Palisades El 74%
Laie El 73%
Pearl Ridge El 73%
Highest Achieving Schools in Meeting Science Standards

Statewide: 46%

Lanikai El 98%
Maunawili El 96%
Haleiwa El 96%
Kaelepulu El 92%
Mililani Ike El 92%
Manoa El 91%
Maemae El 91%
Kamalii El 91%
Pearl City El 91%
Waikiki El 90%
Mililani Mauka El 89%
Hickam El 88%
Aikahi El 88%
Waiau El 88%
Koko Head El 87%

 

​Highest Achieving Schools in English Language Arts/Literacy Growth (3-Year Average Gains)
Kauai High +17 percentage points
Kapaa High +17 percentage points
Kahuku High & Intermediate +15 percentage points
Kaiser High +14 percentage points
Pauoa El +11 percentage points
Kaewai El +11 percentage points
SEEQS +10 percentage points
Waialua High & Intermediate +9 percentage points
Waiakea High +9 percentage points
Makawao El +9 percentage points
Kapolei El +9 percentage points
Kalihi Uka El +8 percentage points
Kalaheo High +8 percentage points
Aliamanu Middle +8 percentage points
Na Wai Ola +7 percentage points
Kealakehe High +7 percentage points
​Highest Achieving Schools in Math Growth (3-Year Average Gains)
Pauoa El +17 percentage points
Kohala High +16 percentage points
Kapolei El +13 percentage points
Kealakehe High +13 percentage points
Haleiwa El +11 percentage points
Aliiolani El +11 percentage points
Kauai High +11 percentage points
Kaewai El +11 percentage points
Waiau El +9 percentage points
Kekaulike High +9 percentage points
Palolo El +9 percentage points
Waiahole El +8 percentage points
Kalihi Uka El +8 percentage points
Wheeler Middle +8 percentage points
Highest Achieving Elementary Schools in Reducing Chronic Absenteeism
Maunaloa El -21 percentage points
Mountain View El -6 percentage points
Keonepoko El -6 percentage points
Na Wai Ola -6 percentage points
Lincoln El -5 percentage points
Naalehu El -5 percentage points
Maunawili El -5 percentage points
Sunset Beach El -5 percentage points
Kamalii El -5 percentage points
Kamehameha III El -5 percentage points
Likelike El -4 percentage points
Konawaena El -4 percentage points
Waimalu El -4 percentage points
Waiahole El -4 percentage points
Royal El -4 percentage points
​Kalihi Waena El ​-4 percentage points
​Kaunakakai El ​-4 percentage points
Highest Achieving Middle Schools in Reducing Chronic Absenteeism
Ilima Intermediate -5 percentage points
Wahiawa Middle -4 percentage points
Waiakea Intermediate -4 percentage points
Kapaa Middle -4 percentage points
Lahaina Intermediate -3 percentage points
Stevenson Middle -3 percentage points
Aliamanu Middle -3 percentage points
Iao Intermediate -3 percentage points
Highlands Intermediate -3 percentage points
Washington Middle -2 percentage points
Waimea Canyon Middle -1 percentage point
Waipahu Intermediate -1 percentage point
Kalakaua Middle -1 percentage point
Ka Umeke Kaeo -1 percentage point
Moanalua Middle -1 percentage point
 
Highest Achieving High Schools in Reducing Chronic Absenteeism
Niihau O Kekaha -12 percentage points
KANAKA -8 percentage points
Kanu o ka Aina -7 percentage points
Laupahoehoe Community PCS -4 percentage points
Lahainaluna High -4 percentage points
Kekaulike High -4 percentage points
Kailua High -3 percentage points
Molokai High -3 percentage points
Anuenue -3 percentage points
Thompson Academy -3 percentage points
Kauai High -3 percentage points
Waialua High & Intermediate -2 percentage points
Mililani High -2 percentage points
Moanalua High -2 percentage points
Highest Achieving Schools in Graduation Rate (Four-Year Rate)
University Laboratory 100%
Thompson Academy 97%
Anuenue 97%
Moanalua High 95%
Ehunuikaimalino 95%
Mililani High 94%
Radford High 94%
Kauai High 90%
Kalani High 90%
Kapaa High 90%
​Highest Achieving Schools in College-Going Rate
16-month enrollment rate
University Laboratory 86%
Kalani High 81%
Roosevelt High 75%
Kaiser High 74%
Mililani High 72%
McKinley High 67%
Kalaheo High 66%
Moanalua High 64%
Radford High 61%
Pearl City High 60%
Waimea High 58%
​Hawaii Academy ​58%
​Kapaa High ​57%
​Kauai High ​57%
Molokai High 56%

Construction Work Starts at Kealakehe Recycling & Transfer Station October 2

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management announces that work to remediate the area used for scrap metal processing at the Kealakehe Recycling and Transfer Station will start on or about October 2, 2017.

The project was awarded to contractor Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd, and is anticipated to be completed by August 1, 2018.

The transfer station, greenwaste, white goods, scrap metal, reuse center, HI5 redemption, and mulch pickup are not affected and will remain open.  The site for e-waste collection will temporarily move to the same site as the Household Hazardous Waste collection.

The Department of Environmental Management apologizes for any inconvenience the project activities may cause.

For more information, please contact Gregory Goodale, Solid Waste Division Chief at 961-8515.

73 Hawaii Companies Represented at the 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show

Seventy-three companies represented Hawaii at the 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS).

This year marks the sixth consecutive year that the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) organized a Hawaii Pavilion at TIGS, which was held September 6-8, 2017, at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight).

This year, the Hawaii pavilion filled 32 booths, and featured a café section. Last year’s gift show resulted in $11 million in export sales by Hawaii’s participating vendors. This year’s exhibitors are expected to top $13 million in export sales.

“The Tokyo International Gift Show is huge and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase small and medium-sized businesses from Hawaii to the rest of the world,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria.  “Each exhibitor walks away with new exposure to the international market and a global perspective on how to do business outside of Hawaii.”

“The Hawaii Pavilion grows each year in size and number of local companies exhibiting,” said Dennis T. Ling, administrator for DBEDT’s Business Development and Support Division.  “The Hawaii brand is established and recognized for quality and authenticity, which is reflected in the dramatic increase in our sales in the Japan market.”

As a result of dollar amount of exports achieved at TIGS, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced this week an award of $400,000 to continue the Hawaii State Trade Export Program.  Under the tag “Buy Hawaii, Give Aloha”, this program provides training, grants and tradeshows for companies looking to start exporting or increase their exports.

Angie Higa, owner of Sky Dreams LLC explained: “The Tokyo International Gift Fair is an important show that I look forward to each year.  As a designer and having the opportunity to expand my collection to Japan, where they love Hawaii and Hawaii-made products, is absolutely amazing.”

Keoki Tavares, owner of Aloha Elixir said: “This was a great experience. The Tokyo International Gift Show has really opened the door for us to make important business connections in Japan. Our products were well-received and it was exciting to participate for the first time this year.”
Erin Kanno Uehara, owner of Choco lea noted: “Our mission is ‘bringing peace to our world one chocolate at a time’ – so this is the perfect opportunity for us to fulfill that mission and spread our love and aloha from Hawaii.”

TIGS is the largest international trade show in Japan, drawing 200,000 buyers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers to meet exhibitors at more than 4,500 booths spread out over Tokyo Big Sight exhibition area.

29th Annual Christmas with the Chefs

Sugarplums will dance in your head Saturday, Dec. 2 at the festive Christmas with the Chefs. The annual holiday gala returns to the seaside grounds of Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel from 5:30-8 p.m.

Over 20 members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Kona Kohala Chefs Association will delight attendees with plates of expertly prepared savory cuisine and delectable holiday treats—all accompanied by handcrafted ales, choice wines and 100 percent Kona coffee.

The Bill Noble Trio jazzes up the evening for dancing under the stars fronting historic Kamakahonu Bay. A silent auction will tempt would-be Santas with an array of holiday gift ideas while supporting local businesses.

In its 29th year, the annual fundraiser benefits local culinary students attending Hawai‘i Community College—Palamanui and members of the Kona Kohala Chefs wanting to further their education.

Tickets are $90 presale, $95 at the door and available online at www.konakohalachefs.org. Tickets are available at Westside Wines, Kona Coffee & Tea, The Spoon Shop and Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Tables of 10 are $1200—which includes reserved seating, table-side service and select bottles of wine—and can be purchased online.

The host hotel is offering a special event room rate starting at $159. Phone 808-331-6330 and ask for the “Christmas with the Chefs” room rate.

American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association: ACF is the largest, professional, non-profit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts; www.konakohalachefs.org.

Hawaii Senate Holds Special Session to Confirm Judiciary Appointments

A Special Session of the Hawai‘i State Senate is scheduled for September 25 – 26, 2017 to consider two judicial appointments for the Circuit Court of the Third Circuit – Hawai‘i Island.

On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, the Senate received two letters of appointment from Governor Ige naming current District Family Court Judge of the Third Circuit, Henry T. Nakamoto, to the Third Circuit Court (Hilo) and attorney Robert D. S. Kim to the Third Circuit Court (Kona). Both appointees were chosen by Governor Ige from a list of candidates selected by the Judicial Selection Committee.

Pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of the Hawai‘i State Constitution, the Senate has 30 days from the date of the appointment to advise and consent on the two appointees. Therefore, the Senate will convene a two-day Special Session at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 25, 2017 to consider both appointments.

‘I‘iwi Receives Protection Under the Endangered Species Act

Once one of the most common forest birds in the Hawaiian Islands, the ‘i‘iwi, also known as the scarlet honeycreeper, will be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that listing was warranted based on a review of the best information available for the ‘i‘iwi, gained through exhaustive research, public comments and independent scientific peer reviews.

In the past, ‘i‘iwi could be found from the coastal lowlands where they foraged for food to the high mountain forests where they nested. Today, ninety percent of the ‘i‘iwi population is confined to a narrow band of forest on East Maui and the windward slopes of the island of Hawaii, between 4,265 and 6,234 feet (1,300 and 1,900 meters) in elevation. The birds are virtually gone from the islands of Lanai, Oahu, Molokai and west Maui, while the population on Kauai is in steep decline.

“In recent years, the ‘i‘iwi population has been in sharp decline, due to threats from habitat loss, invasive species and avian diseases, particularly avian malaria,” said Mary Abrams, project leader for the Service’s Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office. “These threats have affected all forest birds, not just the ‘i‘iwi. Conservation that benefits the ‘i‘iwi will undoubtedly benefit other Hawaiian forest birds.”

Avian malaria, carried by invasive mosquitos, is the primary driver in the decline in of the ‘i‘iwi population, and has already caused the decimation of dozens of other Hawaiian forest birds. The disease kills approximately ninety-five percent of infected ‘i‘iwi. Mosquitos, which are not native to the Hawaiian Islands, breed and thrive at lower and warmer elevations where they infect birds like the ‘i’iwi with avian malaria and pox.

“‘I‘iwi have virtually disappeared from any habitat where mosquitoes are found,” said Abrams. “This has caused their range to shrink dramatically – they are almost entirely limited to higher elevation ‘ohi‘a forests for their habitat, dietary, and nesting needs.

Higher and cooler elevation ‘ohi‘a forests, where mosquitoes do not thrive, remain the only habitat for the ‘i‘iwi, but even those areas are under threat. As temperatures rise, mosquitoes, and the avian diseases they carry, are able to survive at higher elevations and spread upwards into the mountains, further constricting the ‘i‘iwi’s range.

‘I‘iwi are dependent for their survival on forests of native ‘ohi‘a. On the island of Hawaii, home to 90 percent of the remaining ‘i‘iwi population, those ‘ohi‘a forests have been under attack from rapid ‘ohi‘a death, an invasive tree pathogen.

“Working with the state, our conservation partners and the public will be crucial as we work to recover the ‘i‘iwi, said Abrams. “The Service is committed to building on our record of collaborative conservation to protect Hawaii’s native species.”

The Service’s final listing rule will be published in the Federal Register on Sept 20, 2017, and will become effective on Sept 20, 2017. Next steps include development of a recovery plan, which will be bolstered by input from other federal and state agencies, other conservation partners and the public.

More information, including the final listing, can be found at http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/.

Nine Awarded Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship

Papa Ola Lōkahi is pleased to announce that nine scholars in diverse medical and allied health training programs have been awarded the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship.

Click to enlarge

“The students in this 2017-2018 cohort are stellar scholars and committed to serving the needs of our medically underserved communities,” asserted Keaulana Holt, director of the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), which is administered by Papa Ola Lōkahi. “I’m proud of each one.”

Three awardees are studying to be physicians, one a dentist, one a masters level social worker, and one public health worker. Three are in nursing programs at three different local schools at three different levels.

Six are in school in Hawai’i; and three are in accredited programs on the continental United States.

NHHSP scholars may attend any accredited program at any college or university in the United States. Eventually, they’re called home to Hawai’i to fulfill their service obligation.

The objective of the NHHSP is to address access to health care by developing a Hawaiian health work force committed to serving the unique needs of Hawaiian communities. Once licensure is complete, these scholars will work full-time in medically under-served areas in Hawai’i for two (minimum) to four (maximum) years, relative to the length of scholarship support.

Since 1991, more than 275 awards have been made in 20 different primary and behavioral health care disciplines. More than 200 have already been placed into the workforce on six islands impacting the well-being of the communities they serve. Of those who have fulfilled their service obligations, nearly 90% have continued to serve medically underserved areas and populations in Hawai’i.

More significantly, NHHSP scholars have risen to positions of leadership, impacting change in health perspectives, policy, promising practices, and emerging technologies among their patients, colleagues and the communities they serve. They are the role models for other Kānaka Maoli who aspire to be of service in a healing profession.

Visit www.nhhsp.org for more information about the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 35-Year-Old Woman Last Seen in Kalapana

Hawaiʻi Island police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a 35-year-old missing woman.

Parker Godwin

Parker Godwin was last seen in the Kalapana area on (August 6).

She is described as Caucasian, 5-feet-10-inches, 145 pounds, brown shoulder length hair, blue eyes and a “Led Zeppelin” tattoo on her lower back.

She primarily resides in the Hilo district.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call Officer Robert Keffer at (808) 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Catch a Wave to the Surf-a-Book Festival

The Hawaii State Public Library System and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) of Hawaii are happy to launch the Surf-a-Book Festival, in celebration of children’s literature in Hawaii!  Catch a wave and join us at the Hawaii State Library on Saturday, September 23, 2017, 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Surf-a-Book Festival is an opportunity for keiki and their families to meet and listen to local authors and illustrators share their stories. Participating local authors and illustrators include: Joy Au, Chris Caravalho, Kristen Carlson, Ellie Crowe, David Estes, Leslie Hayashi, Dani Hickman, Lavonne Leong, Christin Lozano, Alina Niemi, Elizabeth Oh, Jessica Orfe, and Tammy Yee.

The event will also include activity centers throughout the library to inspire our young readers, authors, and artists, book signings, a book exhibit and panel discussions for children’s book writers and illustrators.  Local authors and illustrators will also share their creative process with aspiring new authors. First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige will be the welcoming speaker.

“We are excited to work with SCBWI to offer a great free Saturday event for keiki and their families to celebrate reading by meeting wonderful authors and artist illustrators. We hope the experience will inspire future dreamers, authors, and artists,” said State Librarian Stacey Aldrich.

For more information, link to https://www.librarieshawaii.org/2017/08/31/surf-a-book-festival-saturday-september-23rd/ or call the Hawaii State Library – Edna Allyn Room for Children at 586-3510.

Hawaii Attorney General Seeks Documents From Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

Hawaii has joined a bipartisan coalition of states seeking documents and information today from manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids. This is part of a multistate investigation into the nationwide opioid epidemic. This information will let state attorneys general evaluate whether manufacturers and distributors engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids. 41 state attorneys general are participating in the multistate investigations.

In Hawaii and across the country, opioids – both prescribed and illicit – are a main driver of drug overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015 including 169 in Hawaii. Opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.

Attorney General Chin said, “Under Governor David Ige’s leadership, my office and the state health department are determined to educate the public here and enforce laws to prevent the spread of opioid abuse in Hawaii.”

The attorneys general served investigative subpoenas for documents and information – also known as Civil Investigative Demands – on Endo, Janssen, Teva/Cephalon, Allergan, and their related entities, as well as a supplemental Civil Investigative Demand on Purdue Pharma. The attorneys general also sent information demand letters to opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson requesting documents about their opioid distribution business.

U.S. EPA Awards $100,000 Innovative Technology Contract to Hawaii Small Business

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $100,000 to Oceanit Laboratories, Inc., located in Honolulu, to develop a nontoxic coating for use in water pipeline repair. The company is one of 15 small businesses nationwide receiving a total of $1.6 million to develop technologies that will help protect human health and the environment.

“EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program is awarding funding to these small businesses because they have demonstrated the potential to create technologies that will improve our environment and our economy,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These technologies are focused on creating cutting-edge products that can help solve today’s complex environmental problems and enhance economic growth.”

Oceanit Laboratories received the funding to develop a corrosion-resistant, nontoxic coating to protect the interior of aging pipelines. The application process for the coating will allow heavily corroded pipes to be retrofitted and refurbished in place.

“Utilizing Oceanit’s family of EverPel repellent coatings, which can be applied in-situ via in-line pigging to previously worn and in-service pipelines, we are addressing the need for rapid, cost-efficient refurbishment of water transport pipelines without the need for full excavation and replacement,” said Matthew Nakatsuka, Senior Materials Engineer for Oceanit. “We look forward to applying and adapting research and technologies from the energy and defense sectors to addressing this pressing domestic concern, and are excited to work with the EPA in developing new ways to promote public health and infrastructure safety.”

EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding boosts local economies by creating jobs and promoting collaborations among small businesses through product testing and research. The funding also supports technologies aimed at creating cleaner manufacturing materials and better infrastructure in communities.

Companies compete for SBIR Phase I awards of up to $100,000 by submitting research that addresses key environmental issues. After receiving a Phase I award, companies are eligible to compete for Phase II awards of $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology.

EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR Program established by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982.

For more information on EPA’s SBIR Phase I recipients, visit https://go.usa.gov/xRHhV.

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program at www.epa.gov/sbir.

Learn more about the SBIR Program across the federal government at www.sbir.gov/

International Task Force Focuses on Protecting West Coast From Oil Spills

Western states and provinces on the Pacific Ocean will gather this year in Honolulu to discuss how best to protect the West Coast from oil spills.

Annual Meeting will take place at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

The Hawaii Department of Health is hosting this year’s Annual Meeting of the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force, comprised of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. The Task Force provides a forum where members can work together to implement regional initiatives to help protect 56,600 miles of coastline stretching from Alaska to California, including the Hawaiian Islands.

The meeting is taking place on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Coral Ballroom at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The event is open to the public and attendance is free of charge. To register, go to: https://2017taskforceannualmeeting.eventbrite.com.

At this year’s event, the six Task Force jurisdictions will provide updates on their spillresponse programs, projects and initiatives. Guest presentations and panel discussions will highlight pollution prevention measures in the cruise ship industry, issue involving the clean-up of heavy oils, and the challenges with managing data during a spill.

The Task Force was authorized by a Memorandum of Cooperation in 1989 by Governors of Alaska, Oregon, Washington and California, and the Premier of British Columbia following the Exxon Valdez and Nastucca oil spills. These events highlight the common concerns regarding oil spill risks shared by West Coast states and provinces, and the need for cooperation across shared borders.

The Task Force is committed to improving, preventing, preparing for and responding to oil spills. It collects and shares data on spills, coordinates spill prevention projects, and promotes regulatory safeguards.

The Task Force members include: 

  • Thomas M. Cullen Jr., Administrator, Office of Spill Prevention and Response, California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
  • Keith Kawaoka, Deputy Director of Environmental Health, Hawaii Department of Health 
  • Larry Hartig, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation 
  • Dale Jensen, Spills Program Manager, Washington Department of Ecology
  • Richard Whitman, Director, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 
  • Mark Zacharias, Deputy Minister, British Columbia Ministry of the Environment

For more information visit: http://oilspilltaskforce.org/task-force-events/annual-meeting/

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s October 2017 Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public throughout 2017. In addition, the community is invited to lend a hand to save native rainforest through the park’s Stewardship at the Summit volunteer program.
ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but entrance fees apply.

Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Stewardship at the Summit. Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply. Visit the park website for additional planning details: https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm.
When: October 7, 13, 21, and 27 at 9 a.m.
Where: Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m. on any of the above dates.

Lomi. Lomi is the traditional massage practice of the Hawaiian people.

Lomi massage demonstrated in the park. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

There are many different styles of lomi used throughout Hawai‘i, and most are used as a way to heal body and mind. Lomi practitioner Annie Erbe will demonstrate this popular healing art. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Footprints in the Ash. Hawaiians once traversed Kīlauea on foot to travel between Puna and Ka‘ū, and during the 18th century, explosions from the volcano rained volcanic ash down on the people, preserving their footprints in the sands of “Keonehelelei.”

Footprints fossilized in volcanic ash in the Ka‘ū Desert will be the subject of October’s After Dark in the Park. NPS Photo.

Park Ranger Jay Robinson discusses new interpretive displays in the Ka‘ū Desert and explains what we know today about the impact of these explosive eruptions on native society. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium

Mark Yamanaka in Concert. Join local recording artist Mark Yamanaka for a free concert.

Mark has been awarded multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards since the debut of his first album, Lei Puakenikeni. His next album, Lei Maile, has also received critical acclaim. Mark’s crisp, clear falsetto and rich baritone voice will mesmerize you. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., Oct. 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day. Families are invited for a day of fun, culture and discovery at the Kahuku Unit! Learn about the hidden powers that plants have to keep us healthy through the teachings of Aunty Ka‘ohu Monfort, a practitioner of lā‘au lapa‘au (Hawaiian herbal medicine).

Aunty Ka‘ohu Monfort demonstrates lā‘au lapa‘au at the 2017 Cultural Festival. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Collect seeds from native plants and help park rangers bring new life to Kahuku. Kids 17 and under and their families must sign up by October 13 to participate by calling 808-985-6019. Bring water, lunch and snacks, sunscreen, hat, long pants, shoes and reusable water bottle. Kahuku is located between the 70 and 71 mile markers on Highway 11.
When: Sat., Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Registration required by Oct. 13).
Where: Kahuku Unit

Lau Hala. Join park staff and learn one of the great traditional arts of Hawaii, ulana lau hala. Hawaiians have used the hala (pandanus) tree to create many useful and beautiful items for centuries. Learn to weave lau hala and take home your own piece of lau hala art. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Informational Briefing on Hawaii’s Planned Response to Potential Regional Military Threats

In light of recent concerns regarding North Korean nuclear and missile tests, Senator Clarence Nishihara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs will be holding an Informational Briefing on contingencies and planned responses to potential regional military threats to the State on Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the State Capitol Auditorium.

Representatives from the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency will be providing a presentation on preparation and planning efforts being conducted between the counties and other Federal and State agencies and departments.
To view the hearing notice: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2017/hearingnotices/HEARING_PSM_09-21-17_INFO_.HTM

Pahoa High Alumna Awarded Audrey S. Furukawa (ASF) Study Abroad Scholarship

Chrisovolandou Gronowski, a senior psychology major and chemistry minor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, has been awarded the Audrey S. Furukawa (ASF) Study Abroad Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for the fall 2017 semester.
Gronowski, a Pahoa High and Intermediate School alumna who carries a cumulative 3.96 grade point average, is currently attending Anglo-American University in the Czech Republic.

The ASF Study Abroad Scholarship was created to provide a UH Hilo student with the opportunity to study abroad and begin their global education journey. The recipient must have at least a 3.2 GPA with preference given to Hawaiʻi high school graduates.

To help support future students from Hawaiʻi to study abroad, or to learn more about the study abroad program, call UH Hilo’s Center for Global Education and Exchange at 932-7489 or visit www.hilo.hawaii.edu/studyabroad/.