Kauai Launches First Traditional Voyaging Canoe

Namahoe, Kauai’s first traditional voyaging canoe, made her inaugural launch into the waters of Nawiliwili Bay at high noon yesterday.  The historic birth of the canoe is the culmination of more than 20 years of work by Kauai’s voyaging group Na Kalai Waa o Kauai under the leadership of John Kruse, Dennis Chun and the late Dr. Patrick Aiu.  The Kauai community joined by voyagers and supporters from though out Hawaii and the Pacific celebrated Namahoe’s launch with festivities held today at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club.

namahoe-frontWith the birth of Namahoe, which means Gemini, the guiding constellation from Oahu to Kauai, there are now eight traditional voyaging canoes in Hawaii.  According to Kruse, Namahoe may be the first voyaging canoe launched from Kauai in close to 600 years.  At 72-feet long, the canoe is also the largest in the Hawaiian islands.

“Namahoe already holds so much mana from the many hands in the community that helped to build her over the last 20 years,” said Chun.  “The community on Kauai needs to have its own voyaging canoe to help perpetuate the culture and values of our ancestors and to provide educational opportunities for our young people.”

namahoe“I commend John, Dennis and the late Dr. Aiu for their vision and years of extraordinary dedication to building a voyaging canoe for Kauai and its people,” said Nainoa Thompson, president, Polynesian Voyaging Society.  “To see there are now eight voyaging canoes in Hawaiian waters since Hokulea was born 41 years ago shows that the people of Hawaii share a desire to protect our past and our most cherished values,” he said.

All former crewmembers of Hokulea, Kruse, Chun and Aiu were first inspired to build a canoe for Kauai back in 1995, after the construction of Makalii on Hawaii Island.

HIDOE Names 2016 Employee, Manager and Team of the Year

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) named its 2016 Employee, Manager and Team of the Year award winners, recognizing employees for their special and continued contributions to education and the students of Hawaii.

“Every one of our winners and nominees have shown exceptional dedication to our students and schools,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, HIDOE Superintendent.  “Their hard work is reflected in our students’ achievements and have improved the overall education experience for our children, parents, teachers and staff.”

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian.

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Honowai Elementary’s Lowell Kalani Spencer was named HIDOE’s 2016 Employee of the Year for his meticulous work as head custodian.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

Mr. Spencer supervises a custodial staff and, under eight years of his supervision, the campus has bloomed with native Hawaiian plants in well-manicured gardens.  His direction helped to provide seamless maintenance of school buildings and the campus grounds during a recent staffing shortage.  His pride in the campus is evident in all of his work and that of his staff.

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year.

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Ewa Makai Middle’s Francis Santa Monica, Cafeteria Manager, was named HIDOE’s 2016 Manager of the Year.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

Mr. Santa Monica embraces the school’s vision to “Empower, Explore and Excel” and transformed the traditional role of a cafeteria manager to become a vital partner with the school’s booster club to provide food service for special events and activities.  His caring support ensures that students and teachers who are busy with lunchtime activities always have meals available.  Teachers describe him as the “heart of the school” and students see him as a role model, setting a great example to follow.

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year.

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The Windward District Office Autism Team was named HIDOE’s 2016 Team of the Year. Photo Credit: Department of Education

The team addresses the wide range of Autism Spectrum Disorders to serve students from pre-K through high school and provides training and support to families to help improve their lives.  The team provides training to teachers that incorporate virtual walkthroughs to provide realism and illustrate best practices in action.  Parents have commented that the training they received has helped them to better understand and cope with their autistic children.

The team is comprised of 23 members: Aletha Sutton, Brendan Ahern, Jennifer Bishop, Kali Carvalho, Bianca Chang, Heather Chapman, Verna Choy, Kari Crisler, Cynthia Hopkins, Rochelle Kekauoha, Danielle Mizuta, Carey Motohiro, Jon Motohiro, Meg Murphy, Roxanne Rokero, Melanie Sakai, Jakriz Villahermosa-Madsen, Dayna Williams, Tomoko Yokooji, Diane MacDonald, Ashley Tani, Aida Mercades and Travis MacDonald, along with 45 highly-trained Autism Educational Assistants.

Spencer, Santa Monica, and the Windward District Office Autism Team will represent HIDOE in the upcoming annual Governor’s Awards for Distinguished State Service ceremony.

Today’s event also recognized the outstanding efforts of the following HIDOE employees and teams:

Sustained Superior Performance Award

  • Edgar Yoshida, Baldwin High School, Maui District

Team Excellence Award of Merit

  • Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex Area Induction & Mentoring Team: Sue Bevacqua and Christine Braga
  • Kapolei Elementary School Office Team: Karie Gomban, Wanda Goo, Denise Lee, Alyson Manuel, Muriel Takano and Leslie Veazie
  • Olomana School Comprehensive Student Support System Team: Bob Christensen, Sheri Dennis, Tulifau Esene, Wilisoni Fatafehi, Mike Silva and Kelly Taniguchi

Click here for photos from the awards ceremony.

Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Exceptionally High

Kīlauea’s summit lava lake rose to within about 5 m (16 ft) of the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater yesterday morning, before dropping back down slightly with the onset of spattering.

hvo-911This view, taken from the east edge of Halemaʻumaʻu, shows spattering at the south corner of the lava lake.

Zoomed in view of the spattering at the south edge of the lava lake.

hvo-911aNote the black high-lava mark from this morning on the wall just behind the spattering.

Summit inflation switched to deflation late yesterday afternoon. Deflation continued overnight and stopped this morning. The summit lava lake level, generally tracking the deflation, dropped to about 20 m (66 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater by this morning. It is likely that the summit will begin to inflate, and the lava lake will begin to rise again, sometime today. Webcam views of the lava lake can be found at the following webpage: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cams/region_kism.php.

hvo-911c

Click to enlarge and see time and date picture was taken.