Hawaii TSA Worker/Department of Human Services Worker Busted for “Double Dipping”

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that Ms. Roselani Wise was sentenced last month after pleading no contest to theft in the second degree for receiving unearned compensation from the State of Hawaii, Department of Human Services (DHS) from 2008 through 2012. During that four year period, Wise was employed as an Investigator for DHS. An investigation revealed, however, that while Wise was supposed to be working at her job at DHS, she was simultaneously working for – and being paid by – the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the Lihue Airport.

Roselani Wise

Attorney General Doug Chin said, “Public employees can hold outside employment as long as it is not legally prohibited. In this case, however, Ms. Wise claimed to be working for DHS during the same exact time she was actually working for TSA. That is theft of state money and that is why she was prosecuted.”

Due in part to her lack of prior criminal history, Wise was granted a deferred acceptance of no contest plea by Judge Randal Valenciano on July 21, 2016. The terms of Wise’s sentencing include five (5) years of probation, restitution to the State of Hawaii in the amount of nine-thousand seven-hundred-one dollars and thirty-two cents ($9,701.32), and 200 hours of community service. Wise is also required to pay eight-hundred ninety-five dollars ($895) to the Crime Victim Compensation Commission.

Theft in the second degree, a violation of section 708-831, Hawaii Revised Statutes is a class C felony.

North Hawaii Community Hospital Celebrates 20 Years Delivering Babies and Receives Certificate of Approval

North Hawaii Community Hospital is celebrating 20 years of service to the community by inviting everyone born at the hospital since its opening in 1996 to a birthday celebration on Friday, August 26 at 3 pm.

North Hawaii Community Hospital FrontAttendees will be treated to birthday cake and party favors, and are asked to bring their baby photo to display.

The hospital will also be celebrating Baby Friendly Day.  North Hawaii Community Hospital was designated a Baby Friendly hospital by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund for offering an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies, and is one of only three in the state with this special designation.

And

North Hawaii Community Hospital Women’s Health CenteringPregnancy® program recently received their certificate of approval from the Centering Healthcare Institute.  After a thorough site visit and program review, Centering officials determined that North Hawaii Community Hospital’s program has demonstrated fidelity to the Centering model and is on track for sustainability.

Centering officials, who visited from Massachusetts, noted that Women’s Health is implementing the Centering model while integrating important cultural practices and traditions, making it unique and very special to the participants. “The staff and participants have created a sacred space that forges strong bonds and a sense of pride. This is a model site and should be encouraged to share their experiences,” said Centering officials.

Officials also noted the program’s excellent outcomes and patient satisfaction, good average group size, strong administrative support, and an effective and engaged steering committee.

CenteringPregnancy offers a group approach to prenatal care, combining three essential elements of care- health assessment, education, and support.  Approximately 10 to 12 expectant moms meet for 10 two-hour sessions starting in the first trimester of pregnancy.  Moms-to-be share stories and learn from one another and talk about health issues.  Each two-hour session is led by a Women’s Health certified nurse midwife and childbirth facilitator.  In the past year, CenteringPregnancy participants reported 100% satisfaction and exceeded goals for low birth weight and premature births.

For questions about the CenteringPregnancy program, contact Women’s Health at North Hawaii Community Hospital at 885-9606.

Big Island Police Searching for 16-Year-Old Volcano Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Volcano girl who was reported missing.

Casey Baker-Fien

Casey Baker-Fien

Casey Baker-Fien was last seen in Volcano on August 4.

She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-3, 140 pounds with blue eyes and dark brown shoulder-length hair.

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

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

USS Port Royal and USS Hopper to Deploy Tomorrow

Guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73), with an embarked detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37), and guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) will depart their homeport of Pearl Harbor for an independent deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of operation, Aug. 25.

USS Port Royal (CG 73)  U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Johnnie R. Robbins.  (RELEASED)

USS Port Royal (CG 73) U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Johnnie R. Robbins. (RELEASED)

“The warriors aboard USS Port Royal and USS Hopper have been working together diligently to prepare for this deployment to the 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet AOR,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37)

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37)

While deployed, Port Royal and Hopper will transit through the western Pacific to enter the 5th Fleet area of operation supporting maritime security operations and theater cooperation efforts.

USS Hopper (DDG 70)  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

USS Hopper (DDG 70) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

“Port Royal and Hopper crews are trained and ready to execute higher headquarters tasking. We join their friends and families in wishing them a safe and successful deployment,” said Fuller.

Port Royal and Hopper help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and humanitarian/disaster response as well as supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

Sustaining Healthy Forested Watersheds For Hawaii’s Communities

As global climate change progresses, what will happen to Hawai‘i’s aquifers and the ecosystem services which healthy forest watersheds provide? Will we be able to meet our future fresh water needs for drinking and agriculture?

Watershed fence

A report just issued by the Hawai‘i Environmental Funders Group, “He Lono Moku: The State of the Environment,” says “Hawai‘i consumes water at almost double the national average, with residents and non-agricultural businesses using an average 144 gallons of water per day, or 4,320 gallons per month, due in part to the impact of 7 million tourists a year.” The report was issued in advance of the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress meeting in Honolulu, Sept. 1-10, and highlights the need to protect and more efficiently use our fresh water supply.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) manages a little more than one million acres of public land.  Approximately 900,000 acres fall within a Watershed Partnership boundary.

One way that DOFAW seeks to protect priority watersheds is by supporting Watershed Partnerships. These are voluntary alliances between public and private landowners who recognize that cooperating across landscapes and landowner boundaries is the most cost-effective way to maximize watershed protection.  Watershed Partnerships play an important role in protecting and preventing the loss of more native forest by: combating the main threats of ungulates (hooved animals such as goats, deer, sheep, pigs, cattle); controlling invasive species; and outplanting native forest species.

These management actions also benefit our coastal and coral reef areas by reducing erosion and sedimentation effects in streams and during heavy rains.

Watershed Partnerships help secure grant funding and in-kind services matching state dollars to achieve broad scale conservation goals. DLNR is currently going through its annual process of awarding $2.5 million in state funding to Watershed Partnerships and other groups engaged in watershed protection and management.

To formally recognize the state’s dedication to watershed protection, the Hawai‘i Association of Watershed Partnerships* (HAWP) was established in 2003 to build public and private support for watershed protection.  Division of Forestry and Wildlife Watershed Partnerships planner Katie Ersbak says, “Over the last 25 years they’ve grown to encompass 10 active partnerships across the state, covering about 2.2 million acres; roughly half the land in the entire state. These are areas that are the most critical for water recharge. They also have the highest percentage of biodiversity, unique flora and fauna, and rare and endangered plants.”

The Watershed Partnerships involve over 74 public and private landowners and partners. The benefits of collaborative management practiced under Watershed Partnerships are many:

  1. Cooperative management actions address large landscapes and threats affecting multiple habitats and species;
  2. Leverage available funding for maximum benefits and allow the pooling of resources as well as expertise to reduce redundancy efforts;
  3. Allow operational infrastructure to fill gaps and work on both public and private land
  4. Develop long-term relationships with communities and hire locally to help train the next generation of conservation leaders.

DLNR & YOU-Sustaining Healthy Forested Watersheds for Hawaii's Communities from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Genki Sushi Updates Customers On Status of Reopening of Restaurants

Genki Sushi today issued an update on the status of its efforts to reopen its restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. Since being notified by the Department of Health (DOH) of its decision to temporarily close 10 Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and one on Kauai on Aug. 15, the company has been working cooperatively with the department to take the required steps to comply with health standards and resume business.

Genki Sushi

“While our goal is to reopen our restaurants as soon as possible, Genki Sushi’s top priority is the health and safety of our customers, employees and the community,” said Mary Hansen, chief administrative officer, Genki Sushi USA. “Since the Department of Health announced the source of the illness was a food product that was received from a distributor, we have been working closely with state health officials to take the necessary actions to ensure all of our restaurants meet or exceed DOH guidelines and requirements.”

In addition to discarding produce, open packages of food, and single-serve equipment and utensils, as well as thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the restaurants according to DOH standards, the company has been focused on ensuring all of its employees in the impacted restaurants are screened and vaccinated.

The testing and vaccination results of the 358 employees will be compiled and provided to the DOH for their review and certification. The company hopes to have all of the employee screenings and vaccinations completed as soon as possible subject to the logistics of screening such a large number of employees at once.

“We appreciate our customers’ understanding and support as we continue to focus on preparing our restaurants to reopen so that customers can have confidence in the safety and quality of the food we serve,” said Hansen.

Armed Services YMCA Receives $12,000 Grant From Hawaiian Electric Companies

Armed Services YMCA has received a generous $12,000 grant from the Hawaiian Electric Companies in support of the Early Learning Readiness (ELR) program.  The ELR program serves toddlers and preschoolers providing the educational structure for these young children to acquire the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional skills necessary for future learning, and to prevent these military dependent children from falling behind academically in elementary school and beyond.

Landon Romero joins other children in thanking Hawaiian Electric and Ron Cox for their generous grant of $12,000 in support of the Early Learning Readiness Program.

Landon Romero joins other children in thanking Hawaiian Electric and Ron Cox for their generous grant of $12,000 in support of the Early Learning Readiness Program.

“The ELR program equips caregivers with resources that enable them to be their child’s first teacher and is specifically designed to serve young military families who are new to parenting and far from home, family and support. Many of these families have recently been stationed in Hawaii , and this program provides a high quality early learning environment, while providing parents with the support network to manage the stresses associated with military life,” said Laurie Moore, Armed Services YMCA Executive Director.

Participation in the ELR program ensures that children develop the skills necessary to successfully transition to one of Hawaii’s preschools or kindergarten programs, not only knowing their letters and numbers, but with competency in social skills. Through the ELR program, caregivers learn to teach their own children as they participate alongside them.

The financial investment provided by Hawaiian Electric Companies will be used to purchase developmentally appropriate furnishings and curriculum, which will enhance teaching by further providing ELR instructors with research-based strategies and curriculum resources.  “We are so thankful for the investment that the Hawaiian Electric Companies has provided. This will enable ASYMCA of Honolulu to continue providing outstanding early childhood programs for the families of our young men and women who serve our country,” added Moore.

“We are deeply appreciative of the men and women of the armed services for their valor and service to Hawaii and the nation, and to their families who sacrifice so much,” said Ron Cox, Hawaiian  Electric vice president – power supply. “It is gratifying to hear that our donation will help enhance the preschool learning environment at ASYMCA sites so young military families stationed in Hawaii can raise their children with confidence while they serve their country.”

Armed Services YMCA of Honolulu focuses programs and services in the areas of education and child care; financial support and assistance; and services that reduce military members and families’ feelings of isolation and loneliness.  As a private non-profit organization serving Hawaiʻi’s military community since 1917, ASYMCA has touched more military lives than any other organization in Hawaii. Please contact the Armed Services YMCA for more information at (808) 473-3398 or visit the website at www.asymcahi.org.

22 New Cases of Hepatitis A Reported in Hawaii

hepatitis header

As of August 24, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 22 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 58 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Eleven (11) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and three visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A
228

Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/16/16.

Places of Interest

An employee of the following food service business(es) has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This list does not indicate these businesses are sources of this outbreak; at this time, no infections have been linked to exposure to these businesses. The likelihood that patrons of these businesses will become infected is very low. However, persons who have consumed food or drink products from these businesses during the identified dates of service should contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

Business Island Location Dates of Service
Chili’s Oahu Kapolei (590 Farrington Highway) July 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, and 27, 2016
Hawaiian Airlines Flight list (click here) July 1-26, 2016
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Oahu Honolulu (801 Kaheka Street) July 21-23, 26-30, and August 2-6, 9-11, 2016
Sushi Shiono Hawaii Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21, 2016
Taco Bell Oahu Waipio (94-790 Ukee Street) June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11, 2016
Tamashiro Market Oahu Kalihi (802 N. King Street) July 2, 4, 6–8, 11–13, 15–19, and 23, 2016
Papa John’s Waipahu Oahu Waipahu (94-1021 Waipahu Street) July 23-24, and Aug. 2, 2016
New Lin Fong bakery Oahu Chinatown (1132 Maunakea Street) July 20, 22-23, 25, 27, 29-30, and Aug. 1, 3, and 5-6, 2016

Unable to view the table? Try another web browser (e.g. Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer).

Hepatitis A — Information and Resources

Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder Offered

The College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is offering Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with Dr. Stephanie Dodge.

UH Hilo MonikerClasses will be held on Tuesdays from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., September 20 – October 18, at UH Hilo’s Sciences and Technology Building (STB) 225. Cost is $75.

The series is open to anyone who would like to learn more about ASD, including parents, caregivers, educators and practitioners. It will provide an overview of diagnosis, prevalence and etiology of ASD, as well as an introduction to interventions. Also included is information about behavioral assessments and programs, assistive technology and advocacy for services.

Dodge received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UH Manoa. She specializes in helping young children who have problems with attention, focus, following instructions, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and disobedience. She also specializes in autism treatment and is trained to administer two gold-standard evaluation tools.

For more information and to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/ccecs/.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 70-Year-Old Honoka’a Woman

UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 70-year-old Eileen Takako Windrath of Honokaʻa, who had been reported missing.

She returned home safely Wednesday morning (August 24).

Continue reading

New Case of Hepatitis A Identified in Hawaiian Airlines Flight Attendant

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is continuing its investigation of an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak on the island of Oahu, and today confirmed a new case in a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant.

scallopsThe flight attendant served inflight food and beverages to passengers on the following flights:

  • July 31, 2016 – Flight HA22 from Honolulu, HI (HNL) to Seattle, WA (SEA)
  • August 1, 2016 – Flight HA21 from Seattle, WA (SEA) to Honolulu, HI (HNL) August 10, 2016
  • Flight HA18 from Honolulu, HI (HNL) to Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
  • August 12, 2016 – Flight HA17 from Las Vegas, NV (LAS) to Honolulu, HI (HNL)

The public is being alerted only as a precaution; the risk of transmission is extremely low and Hawaiian Airlines is not the source of the ongoing outbreak. DOH has identified imported frozen scallops as the likely source and embargoed the product statewide on August 15, 2016.

Subsequent laboratory testing by the Food and Drug Administration has confirmed the presence of hepatitis A in the scallops.

“This case is a reminder that hepatitis A symptoms can appear up to 50 days after exposure,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.  “This is why we expect to continue to see cases in coming weeks, and why we need to remain vigilant to prevent further transmission, even though the product has been pulled off the market.”

As of August 17, 2016, DOH has confirmed a total of 206 cases of hepatitis A as part of this outbreak investigation.

Updated case counts and information are provided each Wednesday along with a complete list of food service establishments who have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis A infection at the following link: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.

Vaccination provides the best protection from hepatitis A, so any individuals who may have been exposed to the disease are recommended to contact their healthcare providers about receiving a vaccine or immune globulin (IG). This may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure.

A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies can be found at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf , or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

Hawaiian Airlines customers may go to www.hawaiianairlines.com/hepatitisA for detailed information on the affected flights and other support available.

EPA Closes Pflueger Stormwater Case After Successful Restoration of Kauai Property

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the successful conclusion of its case against James Pflueger for construction activities that damaged his former property and the beach and coral reefs at Pila’a on Kauai. The consent decree settling the Clean Water Act violations was closed after Pflueger stabilized and restored the slopes and streams.

Pflueger Stormwater Case“Thanks to the work completed under this settlement, this once-degraded land has a healthy population of native trees and shrubs and restored stream channels,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “With continued care by the new owners, these restoration efforts can be sustained for the future.”

EPA initiated its case after Pflueger conducted extensive grading and construction at the 378-acre coastal site without obtaining necessary Clean Water Act permits. Those activities included excavating a hillside to expose a 40-foot vertical road cut, grading a coastal plateau, creating new access roads to the coast, and dumping dirt and rock into three perennial streams. As a result, massive discharges of sediment-laden stormwater flowed to the ocean at Pila’a Bay in November 2001.

The settlement required Pflueger to build a wall to stabilize the road cut adjacent to the shoreline, remove dam material in streams, install erosion controls on roadways and trails, terrace slopes to slow runoff, use native plants to control erosion, and control invasive plants and animals on the property. He was also required to reconstruct natural rock-lined stream beds and reestablish native plants along the banks.

The 2006 stormwater settlement was the largest for federal Clean Water Act violations at a single site, by a single landowner, in the United States. Pflueger paid $2 million in penalties to the State of Hawaii and the United States, and was expected to spend approximately $5.3 million to conduct the required restoration efforts.

The State of Hawaii was a co-plaintiff in EPA’s case against Pflueger, and the settlement was joined by the Limu Coalition and Kilauea neighborhood organizations, which had also filed a lawsuit against Pflueger.

EPA and local community organizations involved in the settlement conducted oversight inspections throughout a ten-year restoration effort that was slowed by funding obstacles and the necessity of adapting the restoration projects to changing field conditions.