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Free Home Ownership Seminar

Becoming a homeowner is one of the most important steps in a person’s life, and there’s a lot of prep work to do before checking out housing listings. To help prospective buyers become happy homeowners, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is hosting “ABC’s of Home Ownership” — a free educational seminar that will be held on Wednesday, February 22, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m at HCFCU’s Kaloko Facility in the John Y. Iwane Credit Union Center Training Room (73-5611 Olowalu Street, Kailua-Kona, HI).  To register for this free seminar or for additional information, contact the HCFCU Call Center at 930-7700 or marketing@hicommfcu.com.  Seating is limited.

73-5611 Olowalu Street, Kailua-Kona, HI

Presented by Reina Miyamoto, Program Director of the Hawaii Home Ownership Center, attendees will receive important information that will help them understand home ownership requirements, as well as inform them of potential obstacles to purchasing a home, such as:

  • Having too much debt (student loans, credit card, etc.)
  • Not having enough money for a down payment
  • Not knowing where to find accurate and reliable information

The Hawaii Home Ownership Center, a non-profit organization, provides information and services needed to become a homeowner, including home buyer education, one-on-one coaching, and more.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its over 40,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala.  In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services; youth programs and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events.  Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents. For more information visit www.hicommfcu.com.

Parker School Dedicates Athletic Field

On Tuesday, January 31 Parker School’s athletic field was named “The Goodfellow Brothers Inc. Athletic Field” in a school-wide dedication ceremony.  This special ceremony honored the fourth generation, family-owned construction company Goodfellow Brothers Inc. for their continued commitment to Parker School and the Hawai’i Island community.

Parker School administration, board members, along with Chad Goodfellow and Ed Brown both of Goodfellow Brothers Inc. unveil Parker School’s newly dedicated athletic field.

All 340 kindergarten through grade 12 students, along with current and former board members, attended the dedication ceremony held next to the school’s athletic field.  Originally constructed in 2011, Parker’s athletic field was named in honor of Goodfellow Brothers Inc. for its generous support of athletics at Parker School, including a newly resurfaced basketball court completed last year.

Lower school students showed their gratitude by presenting Chad Goodfellow, president, and Ed Brown, vice president of operations–Hawaii of Goodfellow Brothers Inc. with an oversized, handmade thank you card.  Upper school students presented each with a taro plant and Parker Bulls Soccer Club players gifted a signed soccer ball.

“Parker School is grateful to Ed Brown, Steve and Chad Goodfellow and Goodfellow Brothers Inc. for its support of our athletic programs over the past several years.  Goodfellow Brothers Inc. isn’t just a company that focuses on making money, but making a community.  This athletic field is a testament to that generosity,” says Carl Sturges, Parker School headmaster.

Parker’s athletic field is also home to the Parker Bulls Soccer Club, a player development program for youth soccer players open to the Waimea community.

Gabbard-Backed Bill to Expedite Veterans Claims Process Passes House

Legislation cosponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) to streamline the veterans claims process unanimously passed the House today. The bipartisan WINGMAN Act (H.R.512), which would allow congressional offices to directly access information on behalf of a constituent without having to go through a middle-man at the VA bureaucracy, now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

In a speech on the House floor, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said:

“One of the things I appreciate most about the job that I have to represent Hawaiʻi’s Second District is to be able to respond to and provide assistance to the hundreds of veterans from across my state that contact our office every single year. They call to ask for help with things like compensation and pension issues, healthcare, mileage reimbursement—especially for our veterans who live on the neighboring islands where they don’t have a VA clinic on island—education, home loan benefits, and more. This is a responsibility as a Member of Congress and as a fellow veteran that I take very seriously.

“Right now, if a veteran contacts my office for assistance, we are required to go directly through the Congressional Liaison at the VA. We act as veterans advocates to try to get answers for them on things that they haven’t been able to get answers on and things they haven’t heard back on.

“Too often, we’re faced with bureaucratic layers within the VA and a slow turnaround that leaves congressional staff, like mine and my colleagues’, jumping through hoops to access basic but critical information on behalf of our veterans and their families. At times, we have waited for months to get answers from the VA on behalf of a Hawaiʻi veteran for something that should be a quick turnaround, like a status update.

“This is unacceptable, and it’s why I’m proud to cosponsor the WINGMAN Act, legislation introduced by my friend and colleague Ted Yoho of Florida, which allows us to cut through the red tape and ensure that our certified caseworkers within our offices can provide quicker, more efficient and effective service to our veterans. It would help streamline the veterans claims process by allowing congressional offices, on behalf of our veteran constituents, to directly access the status of pending claims, rating decisions, statement of the case, and more.

“I urge my colleagues to support this common sense legislation, so that all of us working here in the people’s house can better serve our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our communities and our country.”

Background: The WINGMAN Act would streamline the veterans claims process between congressional offices and their constituents by eliminating the requirement to use the VA as a middle-man. Under WINGMAN, certified constituent advocates would be able to directly access the status of pending claims, medical records, rating decisions, statement of the case, supplementary statement of the case, notice of disagreement, and Form-9 files within a reasonable amount of time, without having to go through a middle-man at the VA.

Each year, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s office helps hundreds of veterans get assistance from the VA and other federal agencies. Constituent advocates are located in every county, and hold regular “office hours” to help constituents, including veterans, with federal agency casework. For a list of upcoming office hours, click here. For information on how the congresswoman and staff can assist constituents, click here.

Hawaiian Airline Pilots to Hold Ratification Vote

Hawaiian Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have reached a Tentative Agreement on a 63-month contract amendment covering the airline’s 665 pilots, the company announced today. ALPA will hold a ratification vote scheduled to take place between March 6 and 24. If ratified, the amendment becomes effective April 1 and remains in effect until July 1, 2022.

“I am pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement that offers our pilots a significant increase in compensation,” said Jon Snook, Hawaiian’s chief operating officer and the company’s lead negotiator.

The company reached new accords in 2016 with three labor unions representing more than 2,200 employees. It is currently in negotiations with the Association of Flight Attendants, whose contract became amendable in January.

UH Hilo Adds Thai University to List of Collaborators

The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will expand collaborative academic and research projects in Thailand with a new exchange program agreement, made effective February 8.


Khon Kaen University (KKU) in northeastern Thailand has become the fifth Thai university to sign memorandums of agreements (MOUs) with DKICP. Other Thai schools of pharmacy with similar exchange agreements include Chulalongkorn University (2011), Rangsit University (2013), Silpakorn University (2014), and Siam University (2014).

The formal arrangement between the faculty of KKU’s pharmaceutical sciences and DKICP states that the two universities will jointly develop activities based on their academic and educational needs. Collaborations may include the exchange or research materials, support for distance learning courses, organization of joint research programs and the exchange of students, faculty and staff.

“Multiple student and faculty exchanges and visiting lecturers help us broaden our reputation for global pharmacy education and helps our students gain international, inter-professional perspectives both culturally and educationally,” DKICP Dean Carolyn Ma said. “Mutual benefits include research collaboration projects, practice and innovation collaborations, and faculty and preceptor development programs.”

Ma met with officials from KKU late last spring when she was a keynote speaker at the 2016 U.S.-Thai Consortium for Pharmacy Education in Thailand. She was able to tour multiple cities there with Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit when they met with faculty, staff, and students from colleges of pharmacy from Thailand and the U.S.

“When DKICP became a member of the US-Thai Consortium in 2014, we committed to active involvement with colleges of pharmacy in order to give and receive the most out of our interactions,” Wongwiwatthananukit said. “It allows us not only to collaborate with our Thai partners but also to increase association with top U.S. schools, such as the University of Minnesota, University of Texas and Purdue University. The momentum we generate is a good direction for our students and faculty as well as for the visibility of UH Hilo.”

DKICP and KKU also are integrated by educational agreements with the Tsuzuki Education Group. In attending the 60th celebration in Fukushima, Japan last fall, Ma met again with KKU administrators to solidify their interest in proceeding with collaborations between the two universities.

“One great aspect about all these international ties is that we can share intellectual and professional ideas in true academic format. It helps us offer a broader global experience for everyone,” Ma said.