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Hawaii Invasive Species Council Approves Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

The interagency Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) has approved a budget of $2.55 million for fiscal year 2014 to support statewide programs to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species in Hawaii, as well as management and public outreach efforts.

HISC members receive Governor’s proclamation for Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week in March. From left: DOH Deputy Director Gary Gill, DLNR Chairperson William J. Aila, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, UH CTAHR Dean Maria Gallo, HDOA Chairperson Russell Kokubun, DOT David Rodriguez.

HISC members receive Governor’s proclamation for Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week in March. From left: DOH Deputy Director Gary Gill, DLNR Chairperson William J. Aila, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, UH CTAHR Dean Maria Gallo, HDOA Chairperson Russell Kokubun, DOT David Rodriguez.

The HISC voting members are the directors or designees of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), and the University of Hawaii (UH).

“Interagency collaboration and coordination are key components of this administration’s strategy to address invasive species,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “We are also increasing our capacity to protect Hawaii from the threat of invasive species. I am pleased to see a return of general funding from the state Legislature to the HISC. This funding directly supports on-the-ground, community-based and cost-effective programs across the state.”

The HISC funds a variety of efforts to address statewide invasive species priorities through an annual competitive grants process. In fiscal year 2014, the HISC will provide support to projects including the county-based Invasive Species Committees for early detection and rapid response, the Hawaii Ant Lab for preventing the spread of stinging little fire ant, response plans to protect native ohia from an invasive rust, community outreach and education programs in every county, ballast water and biofouling coordination to prevent aquatic invasive species, and scoping for improved biological control facilities. (For the full list and more details on HISC-funded projects, visit: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/projects/fy14/)

“Our priority has been finding a balance between responding to new threats, such as invasive species arriving with Japanese tsunami marine debris or axis deer on Hawaii Island, while at the same time supporting the maintenance of core detection and response capacity statewide,” said Dr. Josh Atwood, coordinator for the HISC. “This has been a particularly difficult challenge as the HISC does not have a dedicated funding source, and instead has received funds each year at the discretion of the Legislature and the DLNR. The amount of funding currently available from these sources is less than what is needed to adequately support vital programs, and critical positions may be lost.”

The HISC was created in 2003 when the Legislature declared invasive species as “the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people.” The HISC first received funding in fiscal year 2005 with at total of $4 million in general funds and special funds through the Natural Area Reserve Fund. Since fiscal year 2009, the HISC budget dropped to below $2 million without general funds.

“We are dedicated to working across departments and with partners to find solutions as we face increasing challenges posed by invasive species and decreasing support from federal agencies,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We hope to continue to build our state capacity and restore full funding to the HISC. We thank the Legislature for their additional support in general funding this year and plan to work together on this important issue that affects all of us.”

 

HawaiiCon Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention LOGO Contest

The HawaiiCon Board of Directors is looking for a unique logo that will appear on various materials used to promote the HawaiiCon Science Fiction and Fantasy convention to be held annually on Hawaii Island.

HawaiiCon Logo ContestThe ideal entry shall exhibit:

  • A clean and simple design;
  • A theme relevant to at least two of the following elements of HawaiCon: Hawaii, space, navigation, Hawaii, science, Hawaii, exploration, observatories….get the picture?
  • Do NOT include culturally sensitive images of Pele or other deities, menehune or other cultural or historical figures.

DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS

1. Each logo design must include this copy (font of your choice, be creative!):

  • HawaiiCon

2. The logo must be adaptable to multiple uses and sizes and be used online and in print materials including large banners; must be reproducible in solid tones using one color or multiple colors and use only original artwork.

3. The design must be vector based, 3000 x 3000 pixels, tif, jpeg or other compatible.

4. Entries should include:

  • Artist’s Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone number
  • Physical Address
  • Two to three sentences on artist’s design inspiration and process (optional).

RULES

1. All submissions will become the sole property of HawaiiCon at the time of submission and will not be returned. Each entrant understands, and fully agrees that he or she relinquishes any and all present or future rights to his or her design. HawaiiCon will become vested with all the rights and privileges afforded any owner of the property at the time of submission. Such rights are to include, but are not limited to any use, reproduction, reprint, or publication of the entries by HawaiiCon without the written or implied consent of the artist. HawaiiCon has unlimited rights to use the design in any form or application necessary.  By submitting any form of entry for selection, the artist is agreeing to accept and abide by these rules, and the judgment of the logo selection panel. The selected submission will be used on all conference materials.

2. Only entries with a declaration of authorship will be accepted. Please add:

  • The design is my own creation and has been developed in conformity with the contest’s guideline.
  • The contest’s guideline is the following; the design shall not in any way infringe any third party’s right, including but not limited to copyright, logos, trademark, trade names, or other proprietary rights of publicity or privacy.

3. HawaiiCon reserves the right to adapt the winning design, if necessary.

4. The selected logo’s artist will receive two free passes to the 2014 HawaiiCon convention to be held at the Hapuna Prince Resort in Waikoloa, Hawaii, September 12-15th, 2014.  Passes do not include meals or hotel accommodations.

ENTRY SUBMISSION DEADLINE

1. All entries must be received by August 15th, 2013.

2. Entries should be emailed to: HawaiiCon@gmail.com

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Jessica Hall, 808-217-5860, HawaiiCon@gmail.com

Big Island Police Arrest Man After Two Attempted Robberies in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island Police have arrested a man in possession of a car that was used in two attempted robberies in Hilo on Wednesday.

Kris Villasista

Kris Villasista

At about 11:40 a.m., a man armed with what appeared to be a firearm attempted to rob the cashier at a gas station on Kaumana Drive. He left without getting any cash. The cashier was not injured.

Approximately 20 minutes later, the same person attempted to rob an employee at a recycling center off Waiānuenue Avenue but again was unsuccessful. The employee was not injured.

The suspect fled in a white Suzuki Samarai that had previously been reported stolen.

At approximately 3:20 p.m., while conducting checks in the Honomū area, officers located the car at a Honomū residence. Kris Villasista, 37, of Honomū was arresting for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. He was taken to the Hilo Police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

 

Five Arrested in Illegal Gambling Operation in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested two men and three women in connection with an illegal gambling operation in Hilo.

Slots in Hilo
On Friday (July 26), Area I Vice Section officers served a search warrant at Hilo Arcade, which is located at 138 Kinoʻole Street. There they recovered eight gambling devices, including slot machines and computers used for gambling, as well as $1,447 in cash for forfeiture.

Two female employees, 19-year-old Morgan Kamalei Kim of Hilo and 23-year-old Nicole Enos of Hilo, were arrested at the scene on suspicion of promoting gambling, possession gambling devices and possessing gambling records.

The business owners were not present but were identified as 27-year-old Cody Gilbert Yomes of Keaʻau and 25-year-old Anthony Nakoa Areal of Keaʻau. Areal was arrested Monday morning (July 29) and Yomes was arrested Tuesday morning (July 30). Another employee, 19-year-old Ruana Garcia of Hilo was arrested Tuesday afternoon.

All five were released pending further investigation.

Big Island Police Searching for SUV Involved in an Attempted Robbery in Hilo

Hawai’i Island police are searching for a sports-utility vehicle that was involved in an attempted robbery in Hilo at approximately 11:45 a.m. today.

HPDBadgeThe car is a lifted white Suzuki Sidekick with a black soft top, silver rims and wide tires. It has no license plates.

The public is advised not to approach the car but to call police if you see it. The driver may be armed and dangerous.

 

Puna Man Busted at Hilo Airport With Eight Pounds of Marijuana in Carry-On Bag

A Puna man was arrested at Hilo International Airport last week with eight pounds of marijuana in his carry-on bag.

HPDBadge
At 6:30 a.m. Friday, 39-year-old Wendell Figueroa Jr. of Mountain View was arrested on suspicion of first-degree attempted commercial promotion of marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia after police recovered a duffle bag containing four 2-pound bags of marijuana in the terminal, where he was waiting for his flight. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Vice Section continued the investigation.

After consulting with prosecutors, detectives released him at 8:10 a.m. Friday pending further investigation.

 

Shark Bites Woman Off Maui Beach

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) this morning closed the beaches from Polo Beach Park to the Mana Kai Maui Resort in the Kihei-Wailea area due to a shark incident earlier today. Closure is in effect until further notice.

Polo Beach

Polo Beach

DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers were informed of a shark incident between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

The female victim was approximately 30 feet seaward, north of the rocky point at Ulua Beach Park. The victim was taken to the hospital and is currently receiving medical treatment.

DOCARE and Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) staff initiated a beach closure one mile in either direction from the incident  – approximately from Polo Beach Park to the Mana Kai Maui Resort — and posted shark warning signs. DOCARE officers remain in the area to facilitate and maintain the closure.

Pāhoa Aquatic Center Reopening Set for August 26

The Pāhoa Aquatic Center improvement project is nearly complete, and the facility is tentatively scheduled to reopen to the public on Monday, August 26.

Pahoa Pool Opening

The project’s schedule originally estimated completion by the end of July. However, due to the recent discovery of unforeseeable existing conditions and some minor weather delays, the project will require approximately an additional month to complete.

Installation of the pool’s new main pumps necessitated testing all existing metallic pool accessories installed around the pool’s edge to ensure compliance with the Electrical Code’s “equipotential bonding” requirements. This testing revealed that certain items no longer exhibited the continuity necessary to successfully reduce voltage gradients in the pool area. While it is unclear why the items lost their bonding, the condition must be resolved before the pool can be refilled and reopened. Pump installation and testing occurred near the end of the project, which is why the matter was not discovered sooner.

The $1.55 million invested in this project provides for an expanded equipment building, allowing the pool’s new pumps to be placed below the pool’s operating water level. This modification will make it easier to restart the pool’s circulation system in the event of an electrical outage. Work also involved repairing leaks that had caused significant water loss and further aggravated the pool’s circulation system following longer-duration power interruptions.

Other improvements include the installation of roof-mounted solar heating panels to help warm the pool water, a new variable-frequency drive to manage the pump motors more efficiently and reduce energy consumption, and various repairs and safety upgrades to the facility.

While the pool is closed, Department of Parks and Recreation personnel are addressing miscellaneous maintenance needs and repair issues that were not part of the project’s scope.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for this inconvenience, and thanks swimmers, other pool users and the general public for their patience and understanding while this critical work is performed.

New operating hours will take effect once the pool is reopened. Weekday hours will be 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The pool will be opened weekends from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Novice Swim Team registration will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 28, at the Pāhoa Aquatic Center. A water aerobics class starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday, September 4.

For additional pool information, please call Cassandra at 965-2700.

Big Island Police Searching for 21-Year-Old Missing Puna Woman

8/7/13 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 21-year-old Chelsea Wondergem, who was reported missing.

She was found unharmed Tuesday night (August 6) in Hilo.

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 21-year-old Puna woman who was reported missing.

Chelsea Wondergem

Chelsea Wondergem

Chelsea Wondergem is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-2, about 110 pounds with short blond hair and brown eyes. She was last seen May 27 in Hawaiian Beaches.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Carjacking Suspect Rios Apprehended

Hawaiʻi Island police have located Jeremy Todd Rios, who was wanted in connection with a reported carjacking.

Jeremy Todd Rios

Jeremy Todd Rios

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (July 30), Rios walked out of a pasture area onto Mauna Kea Access Road, where a police officer making checks in the area took him into custody.

Rios was arrested and was being taken to the Hilo Police cellblock, where he will be held while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

The Mauna Kea Access Road has been reopened to traffic. The Police Department thanks the public for its patience while the road was closed during the search.

 

National Weather Service Honolulu Making Changes to High Wind Warning and Wind Advisory Criteria

Effective August, 1st 2013, the National Weather Service office in Honolulu will begin issuing High Wind Warning and Wind Advisory products based on updated thresholds.

NOAA Wind ChangesThese thresholds were changed based upon customer feedback and to bring criteria better in line with national standards.

The updated criteria are as follows:

Wind Advisory:

1. Sustained winds of 30-39 mph for an hour or more, and/or gusts of 50 to 57 mph.

2. Summits of Haleakala, Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea: Sustained winds of 45-55 mph for an hour or more, and/or gusts of 55-65 mph.

High Wind Warning:

1. Sustained winds of 40 mph or greater for an hour or more, and/or gusts of 58 mph or higher.

2. Summits of Haleakala, Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea: Sustained winds of 56 mph or greater for an hour or more, and/or gusts of 66 mph or higher.

Wind Advisory products are designed to alert the public to strong and gusty winds that may cause hazardous driving, minor structural damage, and power outages.

High Wind Warning products alert the public to the potential for strong and damaging winds. Winds that reach the warning threshold are capable of doing significant damage to structures, widespread damage to vegetation, and represent a serious hazard.

For questions regarding the updated criteria please contact National Weather Service Honolulu’s Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Mike Cantin, at 808-973-5270.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 13-Year-Old Waikoloa Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 13-year-old Waikoloa girl who was reported missing.

Cristilyn Guerpo

Cristilyn Guerpo

Cristilyn Guerpo was last seen around noon Thursday (July 25) in Honokaʻa.

She is described as 4-foot 11, 115 pounds with brown eyes and black shoulder-length hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Carjacking Suspect Jumps in Bushes Near Mauna Kea Access Road

Hawaiʻi Island police have set up a roadblock at the entrance to Mauna Kea Access Road off the Saddle Road and are limiting access to Mauna Kea Access Road. The road is closed to the public until further notice while police search for a suspect in a carjacking.

Mauna Kea Access Road

Mauna Kea Access Road

The car stolen in the carjacking incident has been located off the Mauna Kea Access Road. The suspect, 31-year-old Todd Rios (corrected age),was seen fleeing into the brush. Police are searching the area with help from a county helicopter crew.

Jeremy Todd Rios

Jeremy Todd Rios

Police caution the public not to pick up hitchhikers on Saddle Road.

Rios is described as 5-foot-7, 170 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and numerous tattoos, including one on his throat/neck area depicting brass knuckles. He may be in possession of a firearm.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Councilwoman Margarette Wille: GMO Meeting Rescheduled, But No Public Testimony Permitted

“The GMO Bill # 79 Council Committee hearing has been rescheduled for August 6th, at 1:30 pm in Hilo at the Council’s Chambers at Aupuni Center.

Councilwoman Margaret Wille

Councilwoman Margaret Wille

At this time council members will discuss and presumably vote on Bill 79, with any amendments.  The public is encouraged to attend but no public testimony will be permitted.

FYI – We had over 700 written testimonies submitted on Bill 79″

Councilwoman Margarette Wille

 

Big Island Police Searching for Jeremy Todd Rios After Carjacking in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a Hilo man wanted in a reported carjacking.

At 7:40 a.m., South Hilo patrol officers responded to reports of a man flashing a firearm from a black Honda sedan while driving on Kinoʻole Street. Responding officers spotted the car in a parking lot on Kinoʻole Street near Kahaopea Street.

Kinoole Parking Lot
The car sped off onto Kinoʻole Street in the Hāmākua direction and turned right on Ohea Street, broadsiding a pickup truck at the intersection of Ohea Street and Kīlauea Avenue. He then exited the black Honda and stole a white Honda from a woman who was stopped in traffic because of the collision. The woman was not injured.

The suspect then drove away in the stolen Honda after striking another vehicle in traffic.

Jeremy Todd Rios

Jeremy Todd Rios

The suspect has been identified as 32-year-old Jeremy Todd Rios of Hilo. He is described as 5-foot-7, 170 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and numerous tattoos, including one on his throat/neck area depicting brass knuckles. He may be in possession of a firearm.

The stolen car is described as a white 2007 Honda Accord, license plate HHN 082, with front-end damage. It was last seen on Saddle Road in the vicinity of Mauna Kea Access Road.

Police ask anyone with information on the whereabouts of Rios or the stolen Honda to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Kanu o ka Aina Launches Online Education – Program Open to Anyone Grades 6-11

Kanu o ka Aina (KANU) New Century Public Charter School is launching a Blended Learning Hui. This expansion of KANU is an addition to traditional, classroom-based education and is available to students in grades 6 to 11. The educational components of the hui are online learning for core subject classes and Hawaiian language coupled with integrated, self-directed, independent, place-based projects.

Kanu o ka Aina

“We are excited to bring this free and flexible additional learning option to the public,” said Allyson Tamura, KANU co-administrator. “Whether a homeschooled student seeking additional support or an enriched program, someone whose learning style fits this educational experience, or a simple desire for online education within KANU’s educational philosophy, our new Blended Learning Hui can be an ideal solution.”

Core subjects offered online through K12/Aventa Learning will include English, Math, Science and Social Studies. Hawaiian language classes will be offered through Niuolahiki from Aha Punana Leo. Independent projects will incorporate Hawaiian culture, history, traditions and practice with 21st century technology.

All students’ paths will be charted by a college preparatory Individualized Learning Plan authored and maintained in a partnership of student, ‘ohana (family) and KANU. Two to three hour long, weekly face-to-face sessions with a KANU instructor/advisor are required and will help students stay on target to complete classes and projects. The schedule, to the maximum allowable degree, is flexible and uses a 12 month calendar. The program is scheduled to begin September 1, 2013 but KANU will be accepting students until October 1 or until all spaces are taken, whichever comes first.

As a free public K-12 school, KANU, which integrates Hawaiian culture, language, traditions, community and the natural environment in a curriculum that is project-based and place-based, is held to the same performance expectations and same assessment testing that all schools throughout the state must follow. The school achieved Annual Yearly Progress Safe Harbor status for the 2012-13 school year and has received six full years of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Applications for KANU Blended Learning Hui can be picked up at the KANU office or downloaded from the Hui’s website at http://bit.ly/kanublendedlearning

Questions about the program can be addressed to Kamaka Meringolo: kanublendedlearning@kalo.org.

Save $20 and Get Presale Tickets Now for Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Presale tickets are for sale online and at islandwide locations for the island’s mega-agriculture festival, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range. The price is again $40.

Mealani Sign

Sprawling again inside and out of Hilton Waikoloa Village, the 6-8 p.m. event on Friday, Oct. 4 showcases the isle’s grass-fed beef industry and a bounty of locally produced food. In addition to sampling cuisine by 35 restaurants, meet the folks that are growing our food and browse among agriculture-themed displays.

Mealani Line-up

Admission at the door is $60 for the 18th annual event.

Tickets can be purchased at 13 Big Isle locations: Blue Kalo, Café Pesto, Hilo Bay Café and Kuhio Grille in Hilo; JJ’s Country Market in Honokaa; Island Naturals and Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona, Gio’s Gelato in Kainaliu; Parker Ranch Store and Kamuela Liquors in Waimea; Kohala Burger and Taco in Kawaihae and Kohala Essence Shop at Hilton Waikoloa Village.

“Also available are $10 tickets for the fun Cooking Grass Fed Beef 101 class by Chef Hubert Des Marais of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i,” says Talaite Petrowki, ticket chairperson. “Get them at Kuhio Grill, JJ’s Country Market and Kohala Essence Shop.” The demo, which includes sampling, is at 3 p.m.

Students learning about nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef.

Students learning about nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef.

Online ticket links for both Taste and Cooking 101 can be found at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Several new Taste chefs will be joining over 30 others who concoct delectable dishes using grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar—plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey and spices. Culinary adventure seekers can enjoy all the cuts of grass-fed beef—everything from tongue to tail—prepared expertly by chefs. Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

Mountain Oysters

New statewide chefs include Korie Nazara of Mahina Café, Ronnie Nasuti of Tiki’s Grill & Bar and Chef Mark Noguchi of Pili Hawaii. A full list of participating restaurants can be found on the website previously listed. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

Local food producers and ag organizations wishing to participate with a booth should contact Deanna Young at 808-747-7200 or tohrbooths@gmail.com by August 18.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.

Hawai’i residents can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $229 per room on Oct. 4 that includes two tickets for Taste. For details, and to book a stay under an exclusive Taste of the Hawaiian Range room package (code TSH), visit http://bit.ly/14wUunL or call 1-800-HILTONS.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Jeri Moniz at 808-960-8411 no later than Sept. 4.

2012 Kamehameha Schools - Beef (Steamship Round)

2012 Kamehameha Schools – Beef (Steamship Round)

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit http://www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com.

 

 

Hawaii State Department of Education Cleared from High-Risk Status in Race to the Top Grant

DOE Release

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) this morning received notification from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) that its Race to the Top (RTTT) grant is no longer considered “high-risk” and is in good standing.

“This is great news that validates the good work that’s been done by the teachers, educational leaders and our community partners,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The transformation of our public schools is in full swing. We are staying the course in our mission to ensure all students graduate from our public schools prepared for college and careers.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie today informing him of the USDOE’s acknowledgement of the major progress that Hawaii has and continues to make.

“The commitment made by the Hawaii State Department of Education to get to where it is today speaks for itself and I congratulate all of those involved for a job well done,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “It is clear that transformation in our education system is taking place at all levels from the Board of Education meeting room to the classroom.”

In August 2010, the USDOE awarded Hawaii with a four-year $75 million RTTT grant. Hawaii was placed on high-risk status in December 2011. The DOE spent two years making significant progress, which later led to the removal of high-risk status in two of its Assurance Areas, including B (Standards and Assessments) and C (Data Systems). Until today, the high-risk status remained in Assurance Areas A (System Alignment and Performance Monitoring), D (Great Teachers, Great Leaders), and E (Turning Around Persistently Low-Achieving Schools).

In February 2013, the DOE received recognition for a number of major accomplishments and was also praised for implementing important reforms, including programs to support educator effectiveness. Today’s announcement of total removal of high-risk allows Hawaii to continue its RTTT reform efforts through September 2014 when the grant officially ends.

Key improvement areas in the DOE’s transformation efforts include:
· Aligned state, complex area and school planning and monitoring. This allows for a cohesive system at all levels focused on shared goals for students. From the strategic plan to the school’s academic plans and evaluations of educators, administrators and teachers are tracking students to ensure all graduate college and career ready.
· Worked with union partners to formalize new evaluation systems for teachers and principals.
· Improved communication both internally and externally. Earlier this month, the DOE launched its new website and is in the process of establishing an intranet service for staff that allows for increased exchange of information. The DOE also provided clarity of roles, responsibilities, and vision both within our system and in the community.
The 2013-14 school year begins Aug. 5. The DOE remains firm in its strategic goals in setting targets for multiple progress indicators that show progress towards student achievement.

For more information about Race to the Top, please visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

 

Big Island Police Searching for White 2007 Honda – Occupant May Be Armed and Dangerous

HPDBadge

Police are looking for a white 2007 Honda 4-door sedan, license HHN 082. Last seen on Saddle Road.

Occupant may be armed and dangerous. If seen, do not approach. Instead, please call 911

Coast Guard Re-Opens Ports on the Big Island – TP Shortage Not in Danger

The Coast Guard is urging Hawaiian Island mariners and residents to heed safety warnings during Tropical Storm Flossie.

I actually wasted money by buying 7-11 Toilet Paper!

I actually wasted money by buying 7-11 Toilet Paper!

Coast Guard Captain of the Port closed the port of Kahului, Maui, to all traffic at midnight, Sunday and have re-opened the ports of Hilo and Kawaihae on the Big Island at 1 p.m., Monday.

Captain Shannon Gilreath, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, has set Heavy Weather Condition II for these ports and is urging local mariners to review their heavy weather plans and to remain vigilant to forecasts for Tropical Storm Flossie.

“While we have not set conditions for the other ports, you should still exercise caution and prudence in conducting your operations,” said Gilreath. “Know your capabilities and your constraints and adhere to them so that we can all continue to operation safely.”

Tropical systems acquire a name when they reach tropical storm strength with sustained winds reaching 39 mph. They become hurricanes when winds reach 74 mph and become major hurricanes when winds increase to 111 mph. According to the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Flossie could have sustained 60 mph winds.

As storms approach, the Coast Guard urges mariners to remember these guidelines:

  • Stay informed: Mariners should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through newspapers, the internet and local television and radio stations. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF channel 16. Small craft advisories and warnings are also broadcast on VHF channel 16.
  • Evacuate as necessary: Mariners are urged to heed evacuation orders. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to assist mariners in danger during a storm.
  • Secure your boats and boating equipment: Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Trailerable boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those mariners who leave their boats in the water are reminded to secure life rings, life jackets and tenders.
  • Be cautious of hazardous materials: If you have hazardous materials on or near the water, you are responsible for any spills that may occur. Take the necessary precautions to secure these materials prior to any foul weather.
  • Stay clear of beaches: Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by storms. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe.