Governor Abercrombie Calls for Public Input on Climate Change

Having recently met with President Obama and other state governors on a variety of issues including climate change, Gov. Neil Abercrombie is asking for ideas from Hawaii residents on how the federal government can better support state and other local efforts in climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

Climate Change and Abercrombie

In November 2013, Gov. Abercrombie was one of 26 members appointed to the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Members have been asked to develop recommendations in the areas of:

  • Disaster Management
  • Built Systems (water, transportation, energy, facilities and coastal infrastructure)
  • Natural Resources and Agriculture
  • Community Development and Health

The public is invited to provide input through an online form at http://governor.hawaii.gov/climate-change-task-force-survey/. Since the Task Force is on an expedited timeline, the first round of input must be received by Monday, March 10.  The form is also accessible from the Governor’s homepage, http://governor.hawaii.gov, by clicking on “Your Input on Climate Change” under “Useful Links.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to share Hawaii’s unique needs, challenges and innovative solutions, while advising federal officials on what kind of support is needed and what would be most effective here in the islands,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Members of the President’s task force from every part of the country agree this is the challenge of our time and we must work together to prepare for and mitigate impacts.”

“Gov. Abercrombie’s appointment to the President’s task force puts our state in a valuable position to share what matters most for Hawaii in building a resilient future,” said State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel. “The recommendations submitted will be considered by the task force for the final presentation to President Obama. Although the focus of the task force is how the federal government can better support our climate change efforts in Hawaii, this is also a chance for us to identify next steps for action that we can take together as a state.”

Resilient Hawaii Forum
Another opportunity to share recommendations and discuss next steps for addressing climate change in Hawaii will be the Governor’s second Resilient Hawaii Forum, a free and open session being held during the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) conference on March 12, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center. As mentioned in his 2014 State of the State Address, the Governor is convening the forums this year to engage stakeholders – Native Hawaiian organizations, natural resource managers, the military, tourism officials, agricultural representatives, researchers and government at all levels – to create a climate change roadmap for Hawaii. For more information on the PRiMO conference, visit http://collaborate.csc.noaa.gov/PRiMO/Pages/index.aspx.

Navigating Change
Read Navigating Change, Hawaii’s Approach to Adaptation, a report presented by Gov. Abercrombie at the first meeting of the President’s Task Force for Climate Preparedness and Resilience in December 2013: http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/navigating-climate-change/.

Big Island Press Club Offering Scholarships

The Big Island Press Club (BIPC) is pleased to announce the availability of scholarships for eligible students pursuing higher education in the field of journalism or a related field.

Big Island Press Club Image

BIPC annually offers: $1,000 Bill Arballo Scholarship, $500 Yukino Fukubori Memorial Scholarship, $500 Jack Markey Memorial Scholarship, $1,500 Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship and the $1,000 Marcia Reynolds Scholarship. Last year, BIPC awarded a total of $4,600 to five Hawaii Island students at the annual scholarship dinner in Hilo.

Awards are determined by the BIPC Scholarship Committee to qualified applicants.

To qualify, applicants must:

  • Have residential ties to the Big Island
  • Express a clear interest in and aptitude for a career in journalism or a related field
  • Be pursuing a degree in journalism or a related field and enrolled full time at an accredited college or university
  • Maintain a strong record of academic achievement.

Application forms and instructions are available at the BIPC website: www.BigIslandPressClub.org <http://www.BigIslandPressClub.org> and will be available from high school counselors at Big Island public and private high schools. The deadline to apply for the 2014 scholarships is April 15; applications must be postmarked by this date.

Hawaii Senate Committee Advances Bills Protecting the Environment

The Hawaii State Senate’s Committee on Ways and Means (WAM) today advanced legislation to protect and preserve the state’s natural resources. The committee passed bills that, if made law, would have immediate and far-reaching effects on beach shorelines, invasive species control, conservation, sustainability, climate change and disaster planning efforts.

Some members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee at Pohoiki on the Big Island.

Some members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee at Pohoiki on the Big Island.

“We must continually work together to maintain our unique island home for the health and pleasure of our families and, also, the stability of our economy through the visitor industry,” said Sen. David Ige, WAM Committee chairman. “These bills passed today touch on many facets of the environment both with immediate actions and long-term planning, and will require more meetings and consensus for success.”

The environment protection measures passed today include:

SB2742 – Establishes the Pacific-Asia Institute for Resilience and Sustainability to provide the structure and opportunity for a new generation of leaders to emerge who possess the ability to address Hawaii and the Pacific-Asia region’s risks from natural and man-made hazards and to develop solutions for sustainable economic growth within the region’s unique physical and cultural diversity.

SB3035 – Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates funds for planning for and construction for the realignment of Kamehameha Highway mauka of Laniakea beach on the North Shore of Oahu.

SB3036 – Appropriates funds to the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program to create a North Shore beach management plan for the North Shore of Oahu stretching from Sunset beach to Waimea Bay.

The Senate WAM Committee last week advanced two joint majority package bills that support efforts to address invasive species and climate change. The measures are:

SB2343 – Appropriates funds to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council for invasive species prevention, control, outreach, research, and planning.

SB2344 – Addresses climate change adaptation by establishing the interagency sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation committee under the Department of Land and Natural Resources to create a sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report that addresses sea level rise impacts statewide to 2050. Tasks the Office of Planning with establishing and implementing strategic climate adaptation plans and policy recommendations using the sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation report as a framework for addressing other statewide climate impacts identified under Act 286, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012. Appropriates funds for staffing and resources.

UH Hilo Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Moving to San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University announced today the appointment of Luoluo Hong as vice president for student affairs. Hong currently serves as vice chancellor for student affairs and associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, a position she has held since 2008. Her previous positions include dean of student affairs for the West Campus of Arizona State University and dean of students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She will begin her tenure at SF State on May 1.

Photo of Luoluo Hong, just appointed vice president for student affairs

Luoluo Hong

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Hong to SF State. Her passion for student success and well-being, her commitment to fostering a collaborative environment and her infectious, enthusiastic love of higher education make her the ideal person to join my leadership team and to serve as the University’s senior student affairs officer,” said President Leslie E. Wong.

“I cannot sufficiently express how honored I am to be joining President Wong’s leadership team and to be serving the students at SF State,” Hong said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me on both a personal and professional level at this point in my life. The vision, mission and forward trajectory for SF State is truly inspiring and exciting, and I cannot wait to get started in my new role.”

Hong will succeed Jo Volkert, who has served as interim vice president for student affairs and enrollment management since fall 2012.  “I am grateful to Dr. Volkert for her leadership in furthering the activities of the division. She represents SF State’s best commitment to student success in so many ways,” Wong said.

As the University’s vice president for student affairs, Hong will manage a budget of approximately $60 million and will lead a team responsible for a broad portfolio of student support services and related programs, which currently includes: student outreach and incoming student programs; residential life; career development; student life; services to students and employees with disabilities; student conduct and ethical development; student health and psychological counseling; student leadership and multicultural  development; student recreation and fitness; admissions, records and enrollment management; financial aid; university police; emergency preparedness; parking and transportation services; and the vice president’s management office.

Hong has a proven record of leadership, demonstrated by various successful initiatives that have leveraged partnerships between academic affairs and student affairs to further student success. At the University of Hawaii, Hong worked with faculty and staff to design and implement a guaranteed academic scheduling system for first-year students. She instituted an intrusive advising program aimed at identifying students in distress and then working to ensure their progress and well-being. She has worked to establish clear articulation pathways so that students from community colleges could achieve bachelor’s degrees. She has also developed and implemented a comprehensive summer bridge program for first-generation Hawaii Island students that included math and writing instruction and improved participants’ retention rates. While at UH Hilo, she also oversaw the completion of three major construction projects: a state-of-the art campus recreation facility, a 300-bed suite-style residence hall and a one-stop student services center.

In addition to her administrative leadership roles, Hong is also an accomplished teacher and scholar. She has developed a record of scholarly activity including numerous publications, particularly in the areas of violence prevention, public health and social justice.

Hong earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Amherst College, a master’s degree in public health from Yale University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and research from Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge.

Hawaiian Telcom Introduces Enhanced Internet Speeds

Fueled by its expanding fiber network, Hawaiian Telcom has introduced Hawaii’s fastest internet, featuring speeds of up to 500 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload.

Hawaii TelcomBeginning 2 March, O’ahu consumers will be able to sign up for broadband speed tiers of 100, 300 and 500 Mbps, with higher speeds available for businesses. Hawaiian Telcom internet packages come with a wireless networking gateway, comprehensive internet security software and access to local 24/7 technical support.

Hawaiian Telcom president and CEO, Eric K. Yeaman said the company has invested USD 125 million in its new fiber network and systems and plans to expand network reach in the future.

Four Rescued From Disabled Boat 12 Miles Off Oahu

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled boat approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled Boston Whaler approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

Four adults are safe after being rescued from a disabled Boston Whaler approximately 12 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay Monday afternoon.

At 3:14 p.m., Coast Guard Sector Honolulu was patched in to a call from the Honolulu Fire Department notifying watchstanders that a 19-foot Boston Whaler suffered an unknown engine casualty and was adrift. An individual aboard the vessel was able to contact the fire department via cell phone.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew was dispatched from Coast Guard Station Honolulu at 3:36 p.m.

The boat crew arrived on scene at 5:15 p.m. and took the vessel in tow. The RB-M crew towed the vessel into Kaneohe Bay where it was met by a Good Samaritan who safely moored the disabled vessel at Hee’ia Kea Pier.

The vessel was boarded and issued a warning for expired flares. The Coast Guard advises all mariners to ensure they have all necessary safety equipment aboard and that it is in working condition. This includes flares, lifejackets and a working VHF radio. Cell phones are often unreliable off-shore and only provide one-on-one communication versus one-to-many with a VHF radio.

Mariners who want to ensure their vessel is safe and compliant with current regulations can request a free safety check by visiting www.vesselsafetycheck.org. For more information on boating safety, visit www.uscgboating.org.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Another Wreck at Our Favorite Intersection