YWCA Honors Sharon Scheele and Audrey Wilson as Remarkable People

The YWCA of Hawaii Island has named local real estate executive Sharon Scheele and culinary specialist Audrey Wilson as its 2014 Remarkable People.

The pair will be honored at the Remarkable Person Luncheon Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku Ola Room. The event will be hosted by Sherry Bracken, Hawaii Public Radio news reporter and LAVA-FM 105.3/KKOA-FM 107.7 program host.

“The YWCA is proud to pay tribute to these remarkable women for their significant achievements,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of YWCA Hawaii Island. “Sharon and Audrey have been trailblazers in their respective fields and in their commitment to helping women, children and the community.”

Sharon Scheele

Sharon Scheele

Scheele has lived in Hilo since 1969. She was born in Oklahoma, raised in El Paso, Texas and lived in Los Angeles, Portland and Honolulu. Since 1972, she’s been involved in real estate; she and husband Al Inoue organized Inoue Hawaii Realty Corporation in 1978 and together, they led a team that converted the Hilo Lagoon Hotel into a residential/commercial condominium known as The Hilo Lagoon Centre. Scheele has long served the Hawaii Island community. She was the first woman president of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, president of the Zonta Club of Hilo, and was instrumental in building the Chamber’s business scholarship funds for the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College. She is current president of the Board of Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island.  She has served on numerous community boards.

Audrey Wilson

Audrey Wilson

Wilson was born and raised in Hilo. She retired as Cold Drink Manager from Coca Cola Bottling Company in Hilo and transformed her lifelong passion for food into a new vocation, including a catering business, AJ and Sons, with her son, Dean. Wilson headlines the weekly Let’s Talk About Food column in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, is a guest contributor to the Food Network Magazine and has published three cookbooks. She is a director of Big Island Wellness Solutions and launched a culinary career starter program at Big Island Substance Abuse Council. She is a culinary arts instructor at Hawaii Community College and for the Junior Chefs program at E.B. DeSilva Elementary School. Wilson was President of Hawaii Island United Way. She is co-owner and baker for AJ’s Volcano Cottage and Studio.

Both women are past presidents of their Rotary Clubs.

There are a limited number of tickets and sponsorship opportunities still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Rachel Amar at the YWCA of Hawaii Island at 935-6067 x121 or email her at ramar@ywcahawaiiisland.org.

Big Island Police Searching for Suspect Involved in Assault Captured on Video Surveillance

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an assault on Monday (March 24) in Hilo and are looking for a suspect who was captured on video surveillance.

Any seen this guy?

Anyone seen this guy?

At about 1:30 a.m. Monday, police responded to an area near the intersection of Kilauea Avenue and Aupuni Street after receiving a report of an assault. Responding officers contacted a 51-year-old Hilo man who reported that an unidentified man punched him while the suspect’s male companion held the victim down.

Officers recovered surveillance video footage. It appears to depict a man wearing a hooded flannel print-type jacket and shirt.
Robber on tape2Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects, described by the victim as local, in their 30’s, 5-foot-6, about 150 pounds with medium builds and tan complexions.

Detectives from the Area I Juvenile Aid Section are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a misdemeanor assault.

Police ask anyone with information on this incident or anyone who may recognize the suspect to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Scott Amaral at 961-2276 or samaral@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 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.

Hawai‘i Community College Announces New Director of UH Center, West Hawai’i

Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai‘i CC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Kenneth “Marty” Fletcher has been hired as the new Director of the University of Hawai‘i Center, West Hawai‘i (UHCWH).

Dr. Marty Fletcher

Dr. Marty Fletcher

The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents approved the hiring of Dr. Fletcher in February, and Hawai‘i CC hosted a Kīpaepae Hoʻokamaʻāina for Dr. Fletcheron Friday, March 14 at the UHCWH location in Kealakekua.

“With the construction of Hawai‘i Community College — Pālamanui underway, Dr. Fletcher joins us at an exciting time for higher education in West Hawai‘i,” said Hawai‘i CC Chancellor Noreen Yamane. “Dr. Fletcher’s talent and experience as an administrator will serve the college well as we continue to grow and provide opportunities for the people of Hawai‘i Island.”

Dr. Fletcher spent much of his youth on O‘ahu and still has family there. Prior to joining UHCWH, he was the Senior Lecturer (Online Education) and Program Director for Open Universities Australia at Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.

“I feel truly blessed to be joining the West Hawai‘i ‘ohana of Hawai‘i Community College and the University of Hawai‘i system,” said Dr. Fletcher. “I’m excited to work with the college and the community to make sure we are delivering the excellent higher education opportunities West Hawai‘i deserves. If I had dreamed of a scenario for my return to Hawai‘i Nei when my wife and I first started contemplating returning home, it couldn’t have been any better.”

Dr. Fletcher’s Background

Dr. Fletcher received his Ph.D. in Education, specializing in Learning Management and Educational Technology from Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, and his Masters in International Management from Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University), Darwin, NT Australia, from which he also acquired a credential in Adult/Vocational Education. Dr. Fletcher has family roots on O‘ahu but so far spent his professional career mostly in Australia.

Dr. Fletcher was most recently the Senior Lecturer (Online Education) and Program Director for Open Universities Australia at Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. His responsibilities included developing and delivering global online degrees, with approximately 10,000 course enrollments per year, while also leading a small campus-based Bachelor’s Degree program of approximately 80 students (low SES, Indigenous and Pacific Island, first-generation college) in the Logan community.

Contracted after college from Hawaiʻi to play professional basketball in Melbourne, Australia, he worked as a manager in operations and marketing in several industries and public enterprise. His supervisory/managerial experience spans responsibilities over facilities and equipment, staff occupational health and safety, production, accounting, marketing/promotions, and strategic planning.

Subsequent to his athletic career, Dr. Fletcher obtained his postgraduate credentials and worked in vocational and academic tiers of higher education in both the United States and Australia as a manager, teacher, academic staff developer, and scholar. His research publications report on his practical experiences working with educators to apply combined management and technology theories with educational and human behavioral sciences.

About UHCWH

The University of Hawai‘i system operates three University Centers, including the UHCWH. Currently located in leased space in Kealakekua, the UHCWH is administered by Hawai‘i Community College.

UHCWH delivers Hawai‘i Community College classes and programs.

UHCWH also offers distance learning programs provided by the system’s four-year institutions. Through these programs students can earn bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, as well as professional certificates.

UHCWH will move to Hawai‘i Community College — Pālamanui after construction is complete.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawcc.hawaii.edu/ucwh/

Big Island Schools Join Forces to Host PBS Hawaii HIKI NŌ News Program

For the first time, students from four schools representing diverse, rural Hawaii Island communities will join forces to host an episode of PBS Hawaii’s student news program, HIKI NŌ:

  • Kau High School in Pahala
  • Kanu O Ka Aina Learning Ohana in Waimea
  • Kua o ka La Public Charter School – Milolii Hipuu Virtual Academy in Milolii
  • Volcano School of Arts & Sciences in Volcano

This will be the first HIKI NŌ appearance for all four schools. The episode is scheduled to premiere Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. on PBS Hawaii.

Hiki No

From March 31 through April 4, HIKI NŌ Executive Producer Robert Pennybacker, Managing Editor Susan Yim and Editor/Assistant Producer Lawrence Pacheco will visit each school to train students and teachers on their responsibilities as “home-base,” or host, schools. Photos from these sessions will be available for publication after the training period.

Among the students’ host duties will be to present notable facts about their communities.

“One of the key goals of HIKI NŌ is to teach students the skills to tell visual stories about their communities, especially remote communities rarely covered by traditional media outlets,” Pennybacker said. “It’s important for the people of Hawaii to get a glimpse of unique communities across the state, and to give students in those communities a voice.”

Other Hawaii Island schools participating in HIKI NŌ:

  • Connections New Century Public Charter School
  • Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science Public Charter School
  • Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Hilo Intermediate School
  • Hilo High School
  • Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Middle School
  • Kamehameha Schools Hawaii High School
  • Keaau High School
  • Kealakehe High School
  • Konawaena High School
  • Waiakea High School
  • Waiakea Intermediate School
  • West Hawaii Explorations Academy

Hilo International Airport Adds New Speed Bumps to Address Speeding Concerns

The state Department of Transportation (HDOT), Airports Division, advises Hilo motorists of new speed bumps that will be installed at the Hilo International Airport fronting the terminal building on Monday, March 24, to address community concerns about speeding in the area.

Airport Speed Bumps

The first speed bump will be installed at the crosswalk on the Terminal Access Road across from the rental car lot. It will be monitored for the several weeks to help motorists and pedestrians adjust to the new changes. The HDOT plans to eventually install speed bumps at all crosswalk locations. Signs will be in place to warn drivers of the alteration.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution while entering the airport terminal area and to be aware of the new modifications.

Hawaiian Electric Company President and CEO to Speak at Next Exceptional Energy Lecture Series at NEHLA

Friends of NELHA (FON) will host the fourth in a series of free lectures regarding energy at the NELHA Gateway Visitor Center on Monday, April 7.

NEHLA

Makai side of the NEHLA plant

Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., President and CEO Dick Rosenblum will be the featured speaker and presenting “Energy Resource Optimization:  What’s Best for  Hawaii?” The Exceptional Energy Lecture Series events start at 5:30 pm and admission is free.

Dick Rosenblum was named president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian  Electric Company, Inc. in 2009. He has 32 years of experience in all facets of the utility business at Southern  California Edison (SCE), one of the largest electric utilities in  California. He retired from SCE in June 2008 as senior vice president of generation and chief nuclear officer responsible for all power generating facilities, including nuclear and related fuel supplies.

During that tenure, Rosenblum helped initiate one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic projects which aimed to install 250 megawatts of solar generating capacity on commercial rooftops in Southern California.

Previously, he served as senior vice president of SCE’s transmission and distribution business unit, responsible for high-voltage bulk transmission and retail  distribution of electricity in their 50,000 square mile service territory of 4.6 million customers.  He has also held the positions of vice president of engineering and technical services responsible for engineering construction, safety oversight, and other engineering support activities; and vice president of SCE’s distribution business unit, including responsibility for customer service.

Originally from New York, he has also been a part-time resident of Hawai‘i Island for more than 20 years.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rosenblum serves on the board of Aloha United Way (Board Chair); Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America; Hawai‘i Business Roundtable and High Technology  Development  Corporation.

The Exceptional Energy Lecture Series consists of five lectures on energy issues. The series is sponsored in part by the Hawaii Energy Resource Center, a component of the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development.

Call FON at 808.329.8073 for more information on the Exceptional Energy Lecture Series.

60 Seniors Selected for Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood Project

Phase 1 of the Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood project will be dedicated on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:00 am.
Mohouli
The sixty-unit senior housing project developed by the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation (HICDC) represents the initial phase of an eventual 15.9-acre senior complex that will include the relocation of the Hilo Adult Day Center and up to an additional 90 senior residential housing units.

A site blessing for the planned Hilo Adult Day Center building follows the dedication.

“The Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation wishes to acknowledge the assistance that we have received for this project from all levels of Federal, State and County governments,” said HICDC Executive Director Keith Kato.  “Their collective willingness to partner with us is allowing 60 local senior families the ability to move into affordable housing near their families.
We are now moving forward to continue the next phase of the development of the Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood project with a new home for the Hilo Adult Day Center to replace their current facility at the old Hilo Memorial Hospital on Rainbow Drive.”

Hilo Friendly Design
The Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood project has been designed with Hilo’s rainy climate in mind.  All of the units have cross ventilation provided by doors and windows on the front and back of the units and covered walkways connecting all units to the rest of the complex, including the community center which has a laundry, mailboxes and a large activity room.  All units are one-bedroom, one-bath, a full kitchen and are approximately 590 square feet in size.

60 Seniors Selected Through Lottery Process
The first 60 tenants have been selected through a lottery process run by the County of Hawaii’s Office of Housing and Community Development who volunteered to be the initial point of contact for all units whether the units will receive rental assistance through the County’s Section 8 program or HUD’s Section 202 program. The Office of Housing and Community Development decided that being the initial point of contact for both programs would be less confusing for the senior applicants.

The $19.5 million senior housing complex is being funded by an $8.3 million capital advance from the HUD Section 202 program and $11.25 million in equity derived from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. The $11.25 million in equity is being provided by American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Island Insurance Company of Hawaii.  Interim construction financing was also provided by the an $8.6 million loan from the State of Hawaii Rental Housing Trust Fund and a $4.0 million loan from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation.

Hilo Adult Day Center Site Blessing
The Hilo Adult Day Center is currently operating in the old Hilo Hospital on Rainbow Drive.  This present structure, built in 1924, is inadequate to serve the future needs for the growing Day Center over the next 60-70 years.

The Hilo Adult Day Center Board of Directors have long sought an alternative location and are glad that the project has picked up momentum.  Plans for the new facility are being drawn, paid for by a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the County of Hawaii.  Additional funding has been secured during the past two legislative sessions in totaling $1.385 million.

Governor Neil Abercrombie recently announced the release of $385,000 which will go toward the design and construction of the requisite infrastructure to support the Hilo Adult Day Center.  The fundraising goal of $7.5 million has been aided by a $500,000 CDBG grant being proposed this year.  It is anticipated that future funding from the State of Hawaii, private trusts and foundations and community contributions will complete the funding for this needed project.

The Mohouli project represents the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation’s seventh senior housing complex on the island.  Citing a clear need for such housing, HICDC is planning to pursue funding to develop additional senior housing units at the Mohouli complex as well as projects in Kona.

The 15.9-acre site fronting Komohana Street was conveyed by the State of Hawaii through Executive Order to the County of Hawaii in 2008 for the purpose of developing a senior housing complex and related uses.  The County of Hawaii in turn leased the site to HICDC in 2009 and HICDC secured the necessary funding commitments in 2011.  Site grading commenced in early 2012 followed by the building construction.  The project was granted its Certificates of Occupancy in December 2013.