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Student Meals Feature Another Local Food Source

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) continues to try and use local agriculture in student meals through its ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program, which kicked off last year with locally grown beef. This month, HIDOE and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office have partnered up with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and various local farms across the state to serve fresh bananas at all public schools.

Fresh bananas will be served in a Banana Pie or a Banana Crumble (pictured above) at every public school cafeteria in January.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

“We’re highlighting locally grown bananas by serving either a fresh Banana Pie or Banana Crumble one day in January at every school cafeteria,” said administrator for School Food Services Branch Albert Scales. “By introducing a produce that is locally grown in Hawai‘i to our students each month, we hope to expand their palates and allow them to try new foods that they might not have been exposed to at home.”

Scales said serving the bananas in a dessert would make it more appealing for students. “Instead of serving raw bananas that students can peel and eat, we wanted to be creative,” he said. “Part of introducing new foods to children is making it fun for them. If the new food looks interesting, they’re more inclined to try it.”

While HIDOE is changing the way food is purchased, prepared and delivered, the ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program is also a great opportunity for Hawaii’s agriculture community.

“This new program that was developed under the Farm to School Initiative continues to cultivate the partnership with our schools, farmers and ranchers,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “It also connects students with the farming community, allowing them to experience the taste and freshness of what Hawai‘i has to offer.”

Approximately 34,000 lbs. of bananas are being provided by several local farms, including Sugarland Growers Inc. and ‘Ohana Banana Farms, to name a few.

“We’re excited to be working with the Department of Education on incorporating more fresh, local produce for Hawaii’s public school students,” said owner of Sugarland Growers Larry Jefts.

Jefts said purchasing local foods from our food safety certified farms on each island also helps to support and strengthen Hawai‘i’s economy.

“Buying local creates important economic opportunities and supports our community’s growth and sustainability,” said Jefts. “The money that is spent on locally grown foods is reinvested with other local businesses and services across the state. There are numerous benefits as a result of this coming full circle.”

The Farm to School Initiative started in 2015, and was led by Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui. The program was created to increase locally grown food in student meals through a partnership with Lt. Gov. Tsutsui, HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center. Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which also incorporates school gardens, nutrition, health and food education, test kitchens, meal programs and menu planning at Hawai‘i’s public schools.

Gov. Ige: False Alert ‘Will Never Happen Again’

Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige issued a message to residents and visitors of Hawai‘i on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 1:07 p.m., the day after an erroneous message was sent by the state’s emergency management agency, warning of an incoming ballistic missile.

“On Saturday, Hawai‘i’s residents and visitors experienced an unfortunate situation that has never happened before and will never happen again—a false alert issued by the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency that a ballistic missile was on its way to the Hawaiian Islands.

“On behalf of the State of Hawai‘i, I deeply apologize for this false alert that created stress, anxiety and fear of a crisis in our residents and guests.

“I can personally assure each and every resident and visitor that steps have already been taken by the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency to ensure that a situation of this type never happens again.

“The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency is committed to protecting the people of Hawai‘i, and over the past year it has been taking responsible measures to prepare for the highly unlikely event of a missile attack. As a state government, we must learn from this unfortunate error and continue to prepare for any safety threat to Hawai‘i’s residents and visitors—whether it is a man-made threat or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tsunami.

“In the next few days, I will continue meeting with our emergency preparedness team and personally talking with families, individuals and leaders from around our state to ensure we reach every household. We must also do what we can to demand peace and a de-escalation of tensions with North Korea.

“Again, on behalf of the State of Hawai‘i, I apologize for yesterday’s events and any hardship and inconvenience this created for you, your family and loved ones.”

During a press conference on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 13, 2018, Hawaiʻi Gov. David Ige said he is “angry and disappointed” following a false alarm notification issued by the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), warning the public of an incoming ballistic missile.

HI-EMA confirmed that there was no ballistic missile and that there were no computer hacks to its system. The message was sent out due to human error, according to authorities.

HI-EMA Administrator Vern Miyagi said he “deeply apologizes” for the incident, adding that he accepts responsibility because it was “his team” that was involved.

HI-EMA officials said they have already taken measures to ensure that an incident such as the one that occurred this morning does not happen again. HI-EMA has also started a review of cancellation procedures to inform the public immediately if a cancellation is warranted.

“We understand that false alarms such as this can erode public confidence in our emergency notification systems,” HI-EMA officials said. “We understand the serious nature of the warning alert systems and the need to get this right 100% of the time.”

“I know first-hand how today’s false alarm affected all of us here in Hawaiʻi, and I am sorry for the pain and confusion it caused,” said Gov. Ige. “I, too, am extremely upset about this and am doing everything I can do to immediately improve our emergency management systems, procedures and staffing,”

On the recommendations of Miyagi, the governor has suspended all future drills until HI-EMA has completed a full analysis of the event.

HI-EMA has already instituted a two-person activation/verification rule for tests as well as actual missile launch notifications.

An automatic cancellation command that that can be triggered within seconds of an error has been put in place.

This is the process that HI-EMA is currently reviewing:

Expanding notification processes for Hawaiʻi’s Congressional delegations, county mayors and key staff.

A formal preliminary report of findings and corrective actions will be issued next week.

According to HI-EMA officials, in the case of an actual event, it would take 20 minutes from launch to impact for a missile from North Korea to reach Hawaiʻi.

Authorities would spend the first five minutes characterizing the launch to determine the missile’s path. Once it is determined that is incoming to Hawaiʻi, the warning point person has the authority to press the button to initiate public notification.

If an actual threat exists and the public notification has been issued, residents and visitors of Hawai‘i would have an estimated 11 to 13 minutes to get inside, stay inside and stay informed.

The federal government’s Ready.org website offers guidelines on what to do before, during and after a nuclear blast.

RELATED LINKS

NO INCOMING BALLISTIC MISSILE: FALSE ALARM
Gov. Ige Statement on False Alarm
Hawai‘i Reacts to Ballistic Missile False Alarm
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority on Ballistic Missile False Alarm
Hawai‘i Emergency Management Attributes False Alarm to Human Error

Former President Clinton Visits Big Island

Former President Bill Clinton is currently enjoying time on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

Sen.Kai Kahele, President Bill Clinton and Sen. Brickwood Galuteria. PC: Sen. Kahele.

Clinton was the 42nd president to serve our country, serving from 1993 to 2001. 

Hawai‘i State Sens. Kai Kahele and Brickwood Galuteira got to meet with him on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, for about 45 minutes.

“We talked about Hawai‘i and how much it has to offer the world and how America could use a little bit of aloha right now,” said Sen. Kahele.

Besides talking with the former president, the Senators gave him a portrait of the famed Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a.

The former president will be on the Big Island until Monday, Jan. 15.

Gov. Ige Statement on Today’s False Alarm

Hawai‘i Gov. Ige released the following statement after meetings and debriefings with leaders at the Department of Defense and Hawai‘i Emergency Management after today’s false alarm to an incoming ballistic missile:

Today is a day most of us will never forget. A terrifying day when our worst nightmares appeared to become a reality. A day where we frantically grabbed what we could, tried to figure out how and where to shelter and protect ourselves and our ‘ohana, said our “I love yous,” and prayed for peace.

I know firsthand how today’s false notification affected all of us here in Hawai‘i, and I am sorry for the pain and confusion it caused. I, too, am extremely upset about this and am doing everything I can to immediately improve our emergency management systems, procedures and staffing.

I have spent the morning with Gen. Logan, Hi-EMA Administrator Vern Miayagi and their teams and have directed that they make immediate changes. We are doing everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again.

I encourage all of us to take stock, determine what we all can do better to be prepared in the future – as a state, county and in our own households. We must also do what we can to demand peace and a de-escalation with North Korea, so that warnings and sirens can become a thing of the past.

Governor David Ige

NO INCOMING BALLISTIC MISSILE: FALSE ALARM

VIDEO: Damon Tucker interviews Mayor Harry Kim.

UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, 11:13 a.m.

Maui County Emergency Management Agency Officer Herman Andaya told Big Island Now just before 11 a.m. today that the incident occurred during a shift change at the State of Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency in Honolulu.

It is the State of Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency that sounds these alerts, Andaya said.

There are three shift changes throughout day at HEMA, operating 24/7, he said.

“They have procedures in place,” Andaya said. “They go through a drill of what to do at every shift change.”

“It is our understanding that at the 8 a.m. shift change, someone ‘hit the wrong button’—erroneously sounding the alert,” he said.

“The false alarm is still under investigation by the State of Hawaii,” Andaya said. “Although it was a false alarm, we should take this opportunity to prepare ourselves for such emergencies. Our residents should remember that if this was an actual ballistic missile attack, the public is advised to get inside, stay inside and stay informed.”

The public should also be reminded that prior to an emergency, make a plan, create an emergency kit and stay informed (see “EMERGENCY KIT RECOMMENDATIONS” below).

A guidance summary of what to do in the event of an actual attack can be found online.

UPDATE: 10:43 a.m.

The following is a statement by Sen. J. Kalani English, Senate Majority Leader, on today’s false ballistic threat alarm:

“The events surrounding this morning’s false alarm regarding a “ballistic missile threat to Hawaiʻi” is both unfortunate and very unacceptable. The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (Civil Defense) and the United States Pacific Command Center have confirmed that there is no threat to our islands.

“I am outraged that a mistake of this magnitude occurred. The initial alert was sent out via Civil Defense at 8:15am HST and it took the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency over 38 minutes to clarify that the “alarm” was inadvertent and indeed a mistake. The panic and pandemonium that many in Hawaiʻi experienced was unwarranted and completely unnecessary.

“I will be working with my colleagues in the Legislature to investigate into this matter and to provide the proper oversight to ensure that our state emergency alert system is properly functioning. We need to ensure that this never happens again and I am committed to doing so.”

UPDATE: 9:28 a.m.

Gov. David Ige is meeting this morning with top officials of the State Department of Defense and the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency to determine what caused this morning’s false alarm and to prevent it from happening again.

“While I am thankful this morning’s alert was a false alarm, the public must have confidence in our emergency alert system. I am working to get to the bottom of this so we can prevent an error of this type in the future,” said Gov. Ige.

House of Representatives Speaker Scott K. Saiki released the following statement after the false missile alarm:

“This system we have been told to rely upon failed and failed miserably today. I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences. Measures must be taken to avoid further incidents that caused wholesale alarm and chaos today.

“Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations. Apparently, the wrong button was pushed and it took over 30 minutes for a correction to be announced. Parents and children panicked during those 30 minutes.

“The Hawai‘i House of Representatives will immediately investigate what happened and there be consequences. This cannot happen again.”

News sources have simply reported that “the wrong button was pushed.”

ORIGINAL POST: Saturday, Jan. 13, 8:10 a.m.

The alert sent out at 8:07 a.m. is an official false alarm, according to Hawai‘i County Civil Defense.

According to a police officer interviewed by Big Island Now Reporter Damon Tucker in front of Hawai‘i County Civil Defense headquarters, the alarm was sent in error. It was supposed to be a scheduled test.

At 8:36 a.m., the COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I Civil Defense issued this information: “Please disregard message of nuclear attack. There is NO THREAT of Missile Launch at this time.”

The alert said, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawai‘i. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

A disaster alert was sent out at 8:07 a.m. About 30 minutes later, officials released information about the false alarm.

In the meantime, there was no additional information available on radio or TV, and none was provided to the media by official outlets.

No warning sirens were sounded throughout the state.

It has been reported that an incoming missile from North Korea could reach Hawai‘i in 15 to 20 minutes. The state has no nuclear shelters.
As tensions between the US and North Korea continue to escalate, Hawai‘i has resumed the monthly tests at 11:45 a.m. on the first business day of every month to inform its residents of an impending nuclear attack.
The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency said that the monthly tests are intended to update the population on what the agency is doing to “prepare our state for a nuclear threat.”

However, authorities say the possibility of a North Korean nuclear strike is unlikely.

In response to BigIslandNow.com’s disaster alert post, Facebook post and video post, Big Islanders expressed their concerns along with gratitude for the information—especially the false alarm notice:
The frightening part… we believed it, because our leadership has been so incredibly poor.
The concern here is that citizens will now be conditioned to respond ineffectively in the event of a true emergency. Major fail.
Sounds like some emergency official types need to be sent packing.
If Trump pushes the big red button on this mishap, there’s no turning back. We want PEACE.
No the statement they MEANT to issue was, “We cannot apologize enough for the costly mistake of issuing a false nuclear missile alarm to the citizens of Hawaii. We are looking into this matter and will ensure it will not repeat in the future.” You don’t just tell people to DISREGARD after all that mayhem. An apology is due IMMEDIATELY!
I called my sis right away crying scared. I still cannot breathe have a knot on my entire body. This is totally unacceptable. They need to take this seriously.
I hope they will track ER visits for cardiac events this week. Spoken from a 9/11 mental health provider, cortisol levels for the entire state just sky-rocketed. There will certainly be medical fallout that should be documented.
I am extremely surprised how sporadic coverage was on the local radio and tv during the alert! In such circumstances, black out all programmed shows and set alert message(s) on repeat or switch to local news reporter!
Sounds like a scare tactic. Someone’s head should roll.
Wow that’s a big mistake!
Appreciate you reporting the news as I couldn’t find it anywhere and no other messages came over our phone.
Radio stations need a live body to make intercede recorded programming.
 It shows how many people are not prepared.
Someone needs to be fired!
FALSE ALARM=HEART ATTACK
Prayers.
Thank God!

If this was an actual warning, not a false alarm, Hawai‘i residents and visitors should immediately seek shelter. Again, the state has no nuclear fallout shelters.

EMERGENCY KIT RECOMMENDATIONS

  • 14 days of food, water and medications:
  • One gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation.
  • Nonperishable food.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Battery-powered or solar-powered radio with extra batteries.
  • Important documents in a sealed plastic bag:
  • Identification.
  • Debit and credit card information.
  • Banking information.
  • All insurance information.
  • Healthcare directives.
  • Copy of property title/deeds.
  • Copy of prescriptions and dosages.
  • Phone list of family and important numbers.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Plastic bag and ties for personal sanitation.
  • Matches, blankets and tarps.
  • First-aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Personal hygiene items:
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Soap and shampoo.
  • Antibacterial hand wipes.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Deodorant.
  • Eyecare (if needed).
  • Moisturizing lotion.
  • Extra cash in small bills.

Contact your emergency management/county civil defense agency to report siren operation issues:

Hawai‘i County: (808) 935-0031
Maui County: (808) 270-7285
City and County of Honolulu: (808) 723-8960
Kaua‘i County: (808) 241-1800

RELATED LINK
Hawai‘i Completes First Attack Warning Test Since Cold War

Man Identified in Hawaiian Beaches Suicide

The Hawai‘i Island Police Department reports that an autopsy was held today on the man who shot himself, ending the standoff with police in Hawaiian Beaches earlier this week.

The standoff the Hawaiʻi Island Police Department had been investigating involving a lone, barricaded man in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision in lower Puna came to an end with the subject taking his own life just before 1 p.m., today, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. PC: Anna Pelayo

Hawai‘i Island police have identified the man as 51-year-old Keith K. Cummings of Pāhoa. The pathologist was able to confirm that he died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death has been determined to be suicide.

Tuesday morning, Jan. 9, 2018 at about 12:20 a.m., patrol officers responded to a report of gunshots fired at a residence on Kamanu Street in Hawaiian Beaches. Upon their arrival, officers were confronted by a male with a firearm seated within a vehicle parked in the driveway of a residence. Several more shots were fired upon the officers’ arrival, though it is unclear if any shots were directed at the officers. The occupant of the residence was able to leave home safely and is physically unharmed.

The department’s Special Response Team responded to the scene and crisis negotiators established communication with the suspect who remained in his vehicle.

Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Former State Rep. Kawakami

Gov. David Ige has ordered that the flags of the United States and State of Hawai‘i shall be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies, as well as the Hawai‘i National Guard, as a mark of respect for the late former Hawai‘i State Rep. Bertha Kawakami, on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.

“Rep. Kawakami positively influenced the lives of many of Hawai‘i’s youth while serving at the Hawai‘i State Department of Education for more than 30 years,” said Gov. David Ige. “I first knew her as an educator on O‘ahu. Throughout her lifetime, she was committed to working for Hawai‘i, and making our state a better place to live. To Bertha’s family, may you find peace in knowing that her memory will live on in the hearts of those whose lives she touched.”

Flags will be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, Jan. 13, the day of Kawakami’s memorial service.

Hilo Attorneys Recognized for Assisting 1,000 People in 2017

Attorneys were recognized during the Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 for providing free legal information to more than 1,000 people on Hawai‘i Island who sought assistance at the Hilo Courthouse Self-Help Center in 2017. This is the most the Hilo Self-Help Center has ever served in a single year.

Forty-seven attorneys were recognized during the Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards. Courtesy photo.

The Hilo Self-Help Center was established in July 2012 as part of the Hawai‘i State Judiciary’s commitment to increasing access to justice in the courts. Since opening, more than 4,900 people have been assisted by volunteer attorneys providing legal information on civil matters, such as temporary restraining orders and divorce. These services have been provided at almost no cost to the state.

“I am grateful to the attorneys who volunteer at our Self-Help Centers, assisting individuals who are representing themselves in court,” said Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “The dedication and commitment of these attorneys has been essential to advancing our goal of ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice in our civil courts.”

Volunteers were recognized for their service by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Third Circuit Chief Judge Greg Nakamura, Chief Court Administrator Lester Oshiro, and Deputy Chief Court Administrators Cheryl Salmo and Dawn West.

The individual attorneys who were honored are: Francis Alcain, Lincoln Ashida, Chris Bridges, Michael Garbarino, Kenneth Goodenow, Jo Anne Goya, Belinda Hall, Doug Halsted, Paul Hamano, Jill Hasegawa, Ray Hasegawa, Charles Heaukulani, William Heflin, Mahilani Hiatt, Ted Hong, Austin Hsu, Michael Kagami, Haaheo Kahoohalahala, Edith Kawai, Jo Kim, Nelson Kinoshita, Al Konishi, Peter Kubota, Breann Larios, Bruce Larson, Justin Lee, Dwayne Lerma, Shaunda Liu, Jacky Mena, Jeff Ng, Jennifer Ng, Michelle Oishi, Danny Patel, Melody Parker, Christopher Rothfus, Jill Razov, Joy San Buenaventura, Chris Schlueter, Steven Strauss, Andrew Son, Albert Thompson, Sylvia Wan, Molly Ward, Jennifer Wharton, Zachary Wingert, Jay Yoshimoto and Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter.

Also acknowledged was AmeriCorps Advocate Katie Kamelamela, who, through the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i, organizes the Self-Help Center at the Hilo Courthouse each week.

“I am pleased by the support the Hawai‘i County Bar Association and our local attorneys have given to this effort,” said Managing Attorney of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s Hilo Office Laura Knudsen. “Every week, Hawai‘i Island residents use the Hilo Self-Help Center to gain information and receive procedural support in navigating the court system so that they may represent themselves in their legal affairs. With the donation of their time and expertise, today’s honorees are helping to make access to justice a reality for our Hawai‘i Island community.”

The Chief Justice and Knudsen also thanked the Hawai‘i County Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i, and the Access to Justice Commission for their support of the Judiciary’s efforts to bring self-help services to Hawai‘i residents statewide.

Attorneys who would like to become involved with the Hilo or Kona Self-Help Centers are invited to contact the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i about the next volunteer attorney training. Information is available online.

For more information on the Self-Help Centers, visit the Hawai‘i State Judiciary website and click on the “Self-Help” tab near the top of the page.

Mayor’s Office Asks Spectrum Not to Change PEG Channels

Public access station Nā Leo TV, on channel 55, has been providing information to the Big Island community for over 24 years.

Spectrum (formerly, Oceanic Time Warner Cable) is considering changing and moving the Public, Educational and Government (PEG) programming station channel numbers throughout the State of Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim and Managing Director Wil Okabe wrote a letter to  Western Division of Charter Communications Senior Director of Government Affairs Laurence “Buzz” Shott, on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, saying that the move “is not in the best interest of the citizens of the County of Hawai‘i.”

Re: Opposing Proposed PEG Station Channel Number Changes

It has been brought to our attention that Spectrum in considering changing and moving the Public, Educational and Government (PEG) programming station channel numbers throughout the State. This move is not in the best interest of the citizens of the County of Hawai‘i.

Nā Leo TV, the PEG station that services Hawai‘i Island, has done a great job for the past 24 years. Under new management over the past 3 years. Nā Leo ushered in an emphasis on branding that ensured community access television continues to be an important element in local programming. Their programming is an integral part to civic awareness within our island community.

The Hawai‘i County Council broadcasts for local government, the State Legislature broadcasts for State government, relevant and hyper-local content for general programming, and a new “Civil Defense” channel to help in times of local disaster are just a few examples of why moving the channel numbers would be detrimental to our communities.

We respectfully request that Spectrum not move any of the PEG access channel numbers for the Island of Hawai‘i (Nā Leo TV) and suggest that you also don’t move any numbers fo the other islands (‘Ōlelo, Akakū, and Hō‘ike).

Should you need any further insights or have any questions regarding our support of keeping Channels 53, 54 and 55 reserved for local community access on Hawaii Island, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Wil Okabe, Managing Director and Mayor Harry Kim

New Graduation Requirements for KSBE Students

Parents of students at Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate (KSBE) students received an email from Vice President of Education Dr. Holoua Stender, notifying them of new graduation requirements that would begin with the class of 2022.

A new set of unified high school graduation requirements for all three campuses was recently approved by the Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees. These new requirements will enable Kamehameha Schools students across the three campuses to have access to comparable and consistent educational experiences, founded on the achievement of the E Ola. Learner Outcomes which will assist each student to grow toward realizing his/her full potential as good and industrious global citizens and servant leaders.

“I am sincerely grateful to nā Poʻo Kumu (principals) and nā Poʻo Kula (headmasters) from Hawai‘i, Kapālama and Maui for their incredible work in creating our first-ever set of Kamehameha Schools graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2022,” said Education Vice President Dr. Holoua Stender.

The new graduation requirements will begin with next year’s incoming freshmen class (2022). Students in the classes of 2021, 2020 and 2019 will continue to follow the requirements set forth prior to the new tri-campus graduation requirements.

The new requirements are categorized into three areas:

  • Nā Papa ‘Ikoi (core courses)
  • Nā Papa Mauli (electives)
  • Nā Mauli Hiwa (non-credit courses).

*Language requirement includes two years of Hawaiian language (Hawaiian 1 and Hawaiian 2). Students who pass a tri-campus proficiency test for Hawaiian 1 may earn placement in Hawaiian 2. Students who pass a tri-campus proficiency test for Hawaiian 2 may earn placement in Hawaiian 3. Students who attain proficiency in Hawaiian 2 via assessment, or by completing the Hawaiian 2 course, may choose to enroll in Hawaiian, or another language (e.g., Japanese, Spanish, etc.) and complete at least two years of their selected language to fulfill the language requirement.

As a part of Nā Papa ‘Ikoi and Nā Papa Mauli, students will earn 26 core and elective credits. In addition, all students will be required to take two years of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language).

Stender stated:

“This emphasis on ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi conveys Kamehameha’s commitment to cultivating a strong Hawaiian identity, which we believe provides a competitive advantage for our haumāna and graduates.

For the Nā Mauli Hiwa requirement, students will participate in school-based activities which foster character development, cultural identity, college and career readiness, safety, health and well-being, and servant leadership. A notable component in this new educational experience is a culminating senior capstone project demonstrating how E Ola! Learner Outcomes become embodied in student-centered, personalized projects which enable haumāna to become local and global leaders, who are culturally engaged and play significant roles in creating strong ʻohana and communities throughout ka pae ʻāina o Hawai`i and beyond.

The approved requirements align Kamehameha to other independent schools, while also acknowledging emerging trends in college acceptance requirements. As haumāna explore their options for college and career, they will be confident knowing that Kamehameha Schools has prepared them with rigorous and relevant courses of study. Haumāna wil be equipped with skills, knowledge and values through our Hawaiian culture-based program of study which will prepare them with a unique growth mindset for learning and leadership in the complex global society of today.

Our kumu, administrators and operations staff continue to put their hearts and souls into creating wonderful and enriching educational experiences for your keiki. As always, I am grateful for their dedication to our haumāna and to all of you, for fulfilling the sacred mission that Ke Ali‘i Pauahi set forth for us 130 years ago.

Our campus staff will continue to discuss and review these new graduation requirements among their colleagues, department heads, and campus leaders, and will work diligently to prepare our haumāna as we take this important step forward.

More information will be forthcoming about the Hawaiian language proficiency assessment for incoming freshmen and their senior capstone project. This information will be sent out by your student’s campus. The new requirements and frequently asked questions are available online if you would like to see more. If you have other questions about the new requirements, please call your son’s/daughter’s counselor or the high school principal’s office.”

Almost Half in Hawai‘i Unable to Pay for Basic Necessities

The Aloha United Way, with the help of sponsors, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Bank of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Kamehameha Schools, released its United Way Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Report – Hawai‘i, during a press conference at the state Capitol on O‘ahu. The press conference was attended by top business executives and state Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler.

The ALICE report press conference was attended by top business executives and state Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler. Courtesy photo.

ALICE represents hardworking people that interact with others every day, the report disclosed. They are the people of our community who are child care providers, wait staff, cashiers, teaching assistants and others that work one, two or even three jobs yet still remain only one crisis away from being at greater risk of chronic health issues or loss of housing.

ALICE have income above the federal poverty level, but not enough to afford basic necessities including housing, child care, food, transportation and health care.

In Hawai‘i, there are 165,013 ALICE households (37% of total households) while another 47,066 households, (11% of total households), live below the federal poverty level. In total, 48% of Hawai‘i households are ALICE and below.

Everyone was ALICE, is ALICE, or knows ALICE. ALICE is a vital part of our community. When ALICE struggles we are all impacted, the report said. The consequences to the community are increased healthcare and infrastructure costs, increased employee absenteeism, higher insurance premiums, reduced economic productivity and much more.

“ALICE individuals and families constitute over one-third of Hawai’i’s population, and it is essential to the well-being of our state that we recognize their presence, acknowledge their struggles, and offer support and services that will help,” said Aloha United Way President and CEO Cindy Adams. “The report allows us to identify their challenges and, through cross-sector coalition-building, work toward solutions that are effective, sustainable and long-lasting.”

This report is a call to action to inform statewide policy, philanthropy and allocation of resources.

For more information and to view of a copy of the full report, visit Aloha United Way.

Sayonara & Mahalo, ‘Nippon Maru’

The Big Island of Hawai‘i Gannenmono Committee bid aloha to the Japanese training sailing ship Nippon Maru this morning, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at Hilo Harbor.

“Nippon Maru” in Hilo Bay.

On Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, the cadets conducted a beach cleanup and also helped tend to some damaged gravestones at Alae Cemetery.

Cadets clean a grave at Alae Cemetery.

The captain and chief officers of the Japanese training vessel Nippon Maru visited the mayor’s office on Monday, Jan. 8.

(L–R) “Nippon Maru” First Officer Atsushi Osaka, Chief Engineer Naoaki Adachi and Captain Shinjiro Abe. Courtesy photo.

Big Island residents lined the shores of Coconut Island and Hilo Bay on Tuesday, Jan. 9, to catch a glimpse of the four-masted sailing ship leaving the island.

The Nippon Maru was built by Sumitomo Heavy Industries in Uraga, Kanagawa, and was launched on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1984, with its commissioning occurring on Sunday, Sept. 16, 1984.

Cadets man the masts of the “Nippon Maru.”

The last time the ship visited Hilo was in 2005.

Registration Open for 2018 Court Interpreter Orientation Workshops

The Hawaii State Judiciary is seeking individuals who speak English and another language, as well as certified sign language interpreters to become court interpreters. Register today for one of the workshops. This is a mandatory requirement to become a Judiciary court interpreter.

The two-day workshops will be held:

  • Oahu: Feb. 24-25 or March 24-25 at the Supreme Court Building in downtown Honolulu
  • Kauai: Feb. 13-14 at the Kauai Courthouse in Lihue
  • Maui: Feb. 28-March 1 at the Maui Driver Education Office in the Main Street Promenade Building
  • Hawaii Island (Kona): March 6-7 at the Kona Driver Education Office in the Kealakekua Business Plaza
  • Hawaii Island (Hilo): March 15-16 at the Hilo Courthouse

The deadline to register is January 31. Registration forms are available on the Judiciary’s website and from the Office on Equality and Access to the Courts at 808-539-4860.

The workshop registration fee is only $50, thanks to support from the State Office of Language Access. (The workshop would have cost $150.)

In addition to successfully completing the workshop, persons seeking to become a court interpreter must pass a written English proficiency exam, court interpreter ethics exam, and criminal background check.

Court interpreters are independent contractors and not Judiciary employees. They assist the courts in providing access to justice to court customers with limited English proficiency. Depending on their performance on written and oral exams, court interpreters are paid $25 to $55 per hour with a two-hour minimum.

For more information, contact the Office on Equality and Access to the Courts at 808-539-4860.

$3 Million in Improvements Slated for Honoka‘a High & Intermediate

Hawai`i State Senator Lorraine Inouye. Senate Communications photo.

Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige released $3 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School.

Allocated has been $1.5 million to provide covered walkways that will connect various buildings at Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School. This project will also improve cross-campus mobility while improving sidewalk ADA ramps and access. Another $1.5 million will finance the design and construction of new restroom facilities at the school’s auditorium.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye (District 4: Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) championed to secure the funds which was approved in the 2016 and 2017 Legislative Sessions.

“Honoka‘a High and Intermediate is a school that carries a substantial responsibility in educating a huge number of students, so I’m thrilled that my colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor recognized the needs of the campus,” said Sen. Inouye. “I’m proud and happy students and staff at the school will soon have a healthier and safer environment to learn.”

Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School was founded in 1889 and is located in the center of Honoka‘a Town on the Hāmākua Coast of the Island of Hawai‘i. The Honoka‘a complex is unique in that it is the only high school in the state that is fed by a kindergarten to eighth grade public conversion charter school (Waimea Middle), a kindergarten to sixth grade elementary school (Honoka‘a Elementary) and a kindergarten to ninth grade elementary and intermediate school (Pa‘auilo Elementary & Intermediate), serving students from as far as Kawaihae through ‘Ō‘ōkala, about a 40 mile reach.

Japan Cadets Clean Hilo Beach and Damaged Graves

On Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, members of the Japanese Community Association and other Japanese organizations welcomed the return of the Japanese training sailing ship, Nippon Maru, to the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

“Nippon Maru” at Hilo Harbor.

The cadets on the ship spent Sunday, Jan. 7, conducting a beach cleanup at Hilo Bay.

Cadets from “Nippon Maru” clean Hilo Bayfront.

The cleanup was arranged by the Big Island of Hawai‘i Gannenmono Committee, which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Japanese immigrants in Hawai‘i throughout the year of 2018.

Cadet from “Nippon Maru” clean Hilo Bayfront.

A few of the cadets also spent some time cleaning up some graves that were recently damaged at Alae Cemetery.

Cadets from “Nippon Maru” assist with a grave cleaning.

The damaged plots are located in “Section B” near the front of the cemetery.

Alae Cemetery is located at 1033 Hawai‘i Belt Road.

Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation staff are attempting to contact the families of the damaged/disturbed plots to notify them of the incident.

For more information, contact the county Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 961-8311.

The department is asking families with plots in the area of the incident to visit the cemetery and contact them if they notice damage to their plot.

 

U.S. Navy Aircraft Joins Search and Rescue Efforts for Missing Mariners in East China Sea

The U.S. Navy sent a P-8A aircraft attached to the ‘Fighting Tigers’ of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 to assist in an international search and rescue (SAR) effort in the East China Sea, Jan. 7, following a collision between two commercial vessels.

In this file photo, a P-8A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 takes off from Kadena Air Base, Japan, in November. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Jerome Johnson)

After arriving on scene, the aircraft searched an area of approximately 3,600 square nautical miles before returning to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. None of the mariners were located.

Chinese-flagged cargo ship, CF Crystal, and Iranian-flagged MV Sanchi collided, Jan. 6. International search efforts are ongoing for MV Sanchi’s 32 missing crew members.

Seventh Fleet, which celebrates its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.

Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50­70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th Fleet.

State VEX Championships Scheduled Jan. 13-14, 2018

The Hawaiian Electric Companies Hawaii State VEX Championships are scheduled Jan. 13-14, 2018 at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus gymnasium with more than 140 elementary, middle and high school teams from around the state competing for 25 qualification slots at the VEX World Championships in St. Louis, Kentucky this April. The state VEX Championships are free to the public.

Na Paniolo, a robotics team from Kohala High, took home the Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship, photo credit: Art Kimura

On Saturday, opening ceremonies for the VEX EDR (middle and high school teams) will begin at 8:45 a.m. with qualification matches starting at 9 a.m. through 12:45 p.m. Elimination matches will start at 1:45 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Of the total 47 teams competing, only five will advance to the VEX Worlds.

Competing schools in the VEX EDR include Highlands Intermediate, Hilo High, Island Pacific Academy (Kapolei), Kaiser, Kalani, Kamehameha Schools, Kapolei Middle, Keaau High, Kealakehe High, King Kekaulike, Konawaena High, Kohala High, Lokelani Intermediate, Maryknoll High, Maui High, Mililani High, Mid-Pacific Institute, Moanalua High, Molokai High, Pearl City High, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Joseph, Saint Louis, Stevenson Middle, Waiakea Intermediate, Waialua High & Intermediate and Waipahu High. Circuit Breakers, Island Robotics and 808 Robotics Homeschool also will compete.

On Sunday, opening ceremonies for the VEX IQ championships will begin at 8:30 a.m. with concurrent qualification matches starting at 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on separate fields for elementary and middle school teams. Afternoon matches begin at 1 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 3:45 p.m. The VEX IQ elementary championships will advance 11 of 46 teams to the VEX Worlds while the VEX IQ middle school championships will advance 9 of 45 teams.

Competing elementary schools are: Aliamanu, August Ahrens, Ewa Beach, Hawaii Technology Academy, Holualoa, Huaikalani School for Girls, Kaunakakai, Keaau, Konawaena, Kualapuu, Lihikai, Manana, Manoa, Maryknoll, Mililani, Moanalua, Nuuanu, Pearl City Highlands, Pomaikai, Princess Nahienaena, Pukalani, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Joseph and Waimalu. Mechaneers Robotics Club, BSA Aloha Council Troop 32, Manoa RoBlocks, Moanalua Pack 9 Cub Scout and Pack 33 Manoa-Kapiolani District Aloha Council also are entered.

Competing middle schools are: Akaula, Hanalani Schools, Hawaii Technology Academy, Hilo Intermediate, Ilima Intermediate, Island Pacific Academy, Kamehameha, Kapolei, Keaau, Konawaena, Lokelani Intermediate, Maryknoll, Mid-Pacific Institute, Mililani, Molokai, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Louis, St. John Vianney, Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, Waiakea Intermediate and Waialua. Cornerstone Engineering Robotics, Girl Scouts Troop 254, KalamaBotics (Makawao) and Phoenixbots (Mililani) also are registered.

‘Nippon Maru’ Returns to Hilo

The Big Island of Hawai‘i Gannenmono Committee celebrated the 150th anniversary of Japanese immigrants in Hawai‘i with the return of the Japanese training sailing ship, Nippon Maru in Hilo on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

Nippon Maru at Hilo Harbor.

The port of call marks the beginning of year-long events commemorating 150 years of Japanese immigrants to the State of Hawai‘i.

Nippon Maru.

The ship is operated by the National Institute for Sea Training out of Tokyo.

Hālau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua.

Hālau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua greeted the cadets with hula.

Hālau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua.

Rose Bautista from Hawai‘i County Mayor Kim’s office presented the crew with a commemoration that said:

County of Hawai‘i awards this Certificate of Commemoration to welcome the visit of the Nippon Maru to the Port of Hilo.  We are delighted that the masters, cadets, and crew of this magnificent four-masted training ship, nicknamed the “Swan of the Pacific Ocean,”  have honored us with your presence. We wish you a safe and enjoyable voyage.

Awarded this 6th of January, 2018.

Harry Kim, Mayor County of Hawai‘i.

Rose Bautista gives the mayor’s commendation to the captain of the ship.

The Gannenmono, or “first year men,” arrived in Hawai‘i from Yokohama in 1868.

They numbered approximately 150 people from Japan of diverse backgrounds such as urban dwellers, artists, cooks and displaced samurai.

These immigrants were the first of what would become wave after wave of Issei, the first generation. Working mainly as laborers or in the sugar cane fields, by 1924, so many Japanese had come to the islands that they constituted over 40% of the population.

Honorary Consul General of Japan Hilo Arthur K. Taniguchi presents a floral arrangement to the ships captain.

The crew of the ship will be doing a beach cleanup tomorrow along Hilo Bay beginning at 10 a.m. and the public is welcome to come out and assist.

Cadets return to the ship.

The ship will remain in Hilo until Tuesday, Jan. 9, when it will sail out of the Bay with the cadets on board manning the ships masts. The last time the ship was in Hilo was in 2005.

Hawai‘i Mumps Outbreak: 770 Confirmed Cases

The total number of confirmed mumps cases in Hawai‘i as of Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, stands at 770, with 108 on Hawai‘i Island, 610 on O‘ahu, 49 on Kaua‘i and three on Maui.

The ongoing mumps outbreak is by far the worst in several decades for Hawai‘i, which typically has fewer than 10 cases a year.

State Epidemiologist and Chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division Dr. Sarah Park noted that in previous years, mumps cases were imported, but recently outbreak cases have been acquired locally. What began in March 2017 as two clusters of cases involving nine individuals on O‘ahu, increased to 500, with confirmed cases in all counties by late October 2017.

Commonly considered a disease that affects only young children, mumps, is affecting primarily adults and adolescents in Hawai‘i. Adults between the ages of 20 and early 40s, and adolescents 10 years old and above make up the majority of Hawai‘i’s recent mumps cases, according to the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH).

However, the DOH offers practical ways to avoid getting the disease.

“We strongly recommend getting an outbreak dose of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, especially for those who live, work or socialize regularly in crowded settings,” said Dr. Park. “It’s also important to stay home when sick and even consider methods of social distancing, which includes avoiding crowded settings and gatherings, and not hugging or kissing when greeting others.”

“Based on the cases that we have been able to track, the common denomination has been exposure to some type of gathering, whether school, work, church, family gathering or other social event,” she said.

Hawai‘i is not the only state that has experienced a mumps epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from Sunday, Jan. 1, through Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, 48 states and the District of Columbia, reported mumps infections. In addition to Hawai‘i, Washington, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and New York each reported more than 300 cases in 2017.

The MMR vaccine prevents most cases of mumps and complications caused by the disease. Individuals who have been appropriately vaccinated with a routine two-dose series can still get mumps, especially if they have prolonged, close contact with someone who has the disease, but those who are vaccinated and get the mumps will likely have less severe illness than unvaccinated individuals.

“If it were not for our highly vaccinated population, we would expect to see many more cases in individuals exposed to the mumps virus, more severe illness in those who have been sick, and more complications from the disease,” Dr. Park said.

The most common symptoms of mumps include swollen glands in front of ears or jaw on one or both sides, fever, muscle aches, headache, loss of appetite, and tiredness. Persons with symptoms of mumps should contact their healthcare provider for testing.

Complications from mumps include orchitis (swelling of the testicles), oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries), meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord), encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and temporary or permanent hearing loss. In rare cases, death may also occur.

The MMR vaccine is available at local pharmacies. To locate a vaccinating pharmacy nearest you, go online or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Additional information about mumps can be found on the DOH website.

Rep. Gabbard Denounces AG Sessions’ Escalation of Failed War on Drugs

Big IslandNow stock photo.

Following an announcement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding the Obama-era, non-interference policy and targeting states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana use, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i-02) denounced his decision on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, and called on Congress to pass H.R.1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which removes marijuana from the federal controlled substances list.

Congresswoman Gabbard said:

“Attorney General Sessions’ reversal of the current non-interference policy that essentially allowed states to implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference, tramples on states’ rights and is a dangerous escalation of the failed so-called War on Drugs. This overreach by the federal government undermines state governments like Hawaii’s that have legalized medical marijuana and threatens the livelihoods and rights of the people of Hawai‘i and those of the 29 states and Washington DC who have legalized some form of marijuana.

“This decision reinforces our outdated and destructive policies on marijuana that turn everyday Americans into criminals, tear families apart, and waste billions of taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people for nonviolent marijuana charges. Taxpayer dollars would be better spent tackling the many problems that plague the American people including combating the opioid epidemic, ensuring affordable housing, repairing aging infrastructure, and investing in education, healthcare, veterans’ care, and more.

“By continuing to pour billions of dollars down the drain with our archaic marijuana policies, we stifle our economy, society, and criminal justice system and leave the people of Hawai‘i and millions more devastated – all for a substance that is far less dangerous and harmful than alcohol. Our laws should accurately reflect scientific consensus – not misplaced stigma and outdated myths about marijuana.

“I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would decriminalize marijuana by removing it from the federal controlled substances list, treating it the same as alcohol and tobacco. Our bipartisan legislation will end this unnecessary and costly debate once and for all by federally decriminalizing marijuana and kick-starting long overdue, common sense criminal justice reform.”

Congresswoman Gabbard is the lead Democratic co-sponsor of H.R.1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list, as part of her commitment to common sense criminal justice reform.