Hawaii District Teachers of the Year Announced – One Will Be Named 2014 State Teacher of the Year

DOE ReleaseWho: Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Education Officials, and seven District Teachers of the Year, one of whom will be named 2014 State Teacher of the Year:

  • Teresa Cramer (Central Oahu District, Hale Kula Elementary)
  • Dayna Hironaka (Windward Oahu District, Kahaluu Elementary)
  • Matthew Lawrence (Honolulu District, Waikiki Elementary)
  • Elizabeth Timbal (Hawaii District, Keaau High)
  • Terra Wight (Leeward Oahu District, Nanakuli High and Intermediate)
  • Anthony Williams (Maui District, Paia Elementary)
  • Justin Yamagata (Kauai District, Waimea Canyon Middle)

When: Friday, Oct. 25, 3 p.m.

Where: Washington Place

More: The Polynesian Cultural Center, the State Teacher of the Year program’s corporate sponsor for 28 years, will provide monetary awards to each District Teacher of the Year and conduct a colorful performance featuring music and dance. SMART Technologies will present each District Teacher of the Year with gifts of instructional software, and other classroom technology to the State Teacher of the Year. The Hawaii Automobile Dealers’ Association will award the State Teacher of the Year with a free one-year lease on a new car.


Three More Victims File Child Sex Abuse and Cover-Up Lawsuits – Former Bishop and Two known Predators Named

Survivors to Bishop: Stand with victims! Victims pass out postcards to neighbors, citizens – Group urges people to “pledge to stop donating” and “talk to family about abuse”.

What: Holding pictures of themselves at the age they were abused, victims of child sex abuse and their supporters will:

  • Announce three new child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuits against the Diocese of Honolulu, including a new lawsuit against a former bishop.

They will also:

  • Pass out “pledge postcards” in the neighborhood where some of the abuse occurred and outside of the Diocese headquarters.

The postcards will ask Honolulu Bishop Clarence Silva to stand with victims and remove accused offenders from ministry. Senders can tell the bishop that they choose to stop donating; they will reach out to other victims; and/or they will turn evidence over to the law enforcement.

When/Where: Wednesday, Oct 23

  • 10 am – In the neighborhood surrounding Damien Memorial School, 1401 Houghtailing St., Honolulu. (Please call 949-322-7434 for exact location)
  • 12:30 pm – in the plaza outside of the Honolulu Diocese headquarters, 1184 Bishop Street, Honolulu


Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women who were sexually abused in religious and institutional settings, including a California woman who is the group’s volunteer Western Regional Director.


On Tuesday, three Hawaii men filed child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuits against the Diocese of Honolulu. Three priests, including a three-time accused former bishop, have been named as predators.

Damien Memorial High School

Damien Memorial High School

Two of the victims were abused at Damien Memorial School in Honolulu. One of the victims charges he was abused by notorious offender Fr. Gerald Funcheon. Funcheon made headlines in March when attorneys for victims released Funcheon’s sworn video deposition, where the priest admitted to molesting children at Damien Memorial School from 1983-1985

Fr. Gerald Funcheon

Fr. Gerald Funcheon

The other victim from Damien alleges he was abused by Fr. Larry Spellen in 1976. Spellen was removed from ministry in Salt Lake CIty in 1993, when then-Salt Lake Bishop Wiegand heard about accusations against Spellen from the 1980s and believed that they had merit. Bishop Wiegand referred the case to child and protective services. Spellen died in 2003.

The third victim charges that he was sexually abused by former Honolulu Bishop Joseph Ferrario while Ferrario was a priest at St. Anthony’s in Kailua. At least three victims have come forward to say that Ferrario abused them while the priest worked at St. Anthony’s or at Damien, where he was a teacher for a short time. 

Members of SNAP will be passing out pledge postcards in the hopes of empowering Hawaii’s citizens to tell current Bishop Clarence Silva that they “Stand with Victims.” The group fears the Catholics and the general population may feel that they are powerless to help victims and are unable to help stop the cover-up of child sexual abuse. The card, which people can keep, pass around, or mail back to the bishop, gives people tangible options to help victims and stop the cover-up of abuse.

SNAP also hopes that the cards will encourage people to reach out to other victims who still may be suffering in shame and silence. Many victims who were sexually abused in Hawaii only have until April 2014 to take advantage of a landmark law that allows victims to expose their predators and use the courts for justice, no matter when the abuse occurred.

Copies of the lawsuit and the postcards will be available at the event.

The victims are represented by attorneys Mike Reck, (714) 742-6593, mreck@andersonadvocates.com; and Mark Gallagher, (808) 779-5012, mgallagher@hawaiiantel.net.


Kamehameha Schools to Transition Royal Hawaiian Center to a Ground Lease

Kamehameha Schools announced today its intent to offer for sale the buildings at Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikīkī while retaining ownership of the underlying lands. This decision is part of the Trust’s proactive strategy to optimize the growth and perpetuity of the endowment that supports Kamehameha Schools’ educational mission.

Royal Hawaiian Center
“The transition of the Royal Hawaiian Center from a fully owned Kamehameha Schools property to one where Kamehameha Schools retains our lands but sells its improvements greatly strengthens and diversifies our perpetual endowment. This is aligned with our 2000-2015 Strategic Plan, which calls for active stewardship of our lands while optimizing the value and use of current financial and nonfinancial resources in support of our educational mission,” explained CEO Dee Jay Mailer. “With this decision, we are able to keep and care for our lands while using the funds from its improvements to benefit our children’s futures in perpetuity.“

Over the past 10 years, Kamehameha Schools has spent more than $2.6 billion on education in Hawai’i. Educational programs, collaborations and other activities supported by Kamehameha Schools serve more than 47,000 learners and families each year. In addition to operating private schools, Kamehameha serves as the largest private funder of public education in Hawaii.

“A successful sale of these improvements would reduce risk to our Endowment through greater diversification. It would create better balance in our overall portfolio,” said Elizabeth Hokada, Kamehameha Schools’ Vice President for Endowment. “The thriving business at Royal Hawaiian Center should continue as usual under a Kamehameha Schools ground lease, similar to the successful ground lease Kamehameha has with the neighboring Royal Hawaiian Hotel.”

Royal Hawaiian Center, the premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Waikīkī, is located on a 6.3 acre parcel along a three-block stretch of famed Kalākaua Avenue. The Center comprises just over 322,000 square feet of leasable area with more than 110 shops and restaurants. A unique 30,000 square foot cultural venue, The Royal Grove, is reminiscent of Waikīkī’s historic Helumoa coconut grove. The Center was built in 1979 and underwent a renovation in 2005.

“Should this transition take place, it will in no way diminish our commitment to the stewardship of Helumoa, an ancestral home of our beloved founder, Bernice Pauahi Bishop,” CEO Mailer said. “Helumoa is a special place for us – a wahi pana that we cherish. This ‘āina sustained our ancestors as a place of peace, friendship, relaxation and healing. Today and for generations to come, under Kamehameha’s care, Helumoa will remain that place of peace and aloha for our people, as it provides the gifts of educational funding and rich cultural experiences that fulfill the vision of our benefactor.”

Mailer emphasized that Kamehameha Schools will still own and steward the lands of Helumoa. And as Kamehameha Schools considers potential buyers for the buildings of the Royal Hawaiian Center, the organization will seek those who understand and value the historic and cultural importance of this place. Their commitment to the vision for Helumoa will be an important factor in the decision-making process.


3rd Annual Christmas in the Country Arts and Crafts Fair

The 3rd Annual Christmas in the Country Arts and Crafts Fair is happening on Monday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day) from 10am-4pm. It’s held at Hilo Coffee Mill located between the 12 & 13 Mile Markers on Hwy 11.

Christmas at the MillAll net proceeds benefit the Carousel of Aloha project of Paradise Ponies, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization.

There will be a visit from Santa, hay rides, lots of activities for whole family, musical entertainment and great ‘made in Hawaii’ hand crafted gift giving ideas. For more information, or for interested vendors, call Hilo Coffee Mill at 808-968-1333 or email hcmcoffee@msn.com