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HDOT Fire Chiefs receive Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Fire Chief Martinez Jacobs, Airport Fire Chief Glen Mitchell and Assistant Chiefs John Kennedy and Raymond Vegas (Ret) received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s (ESGR) Patriot Award during a ceremony on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. which took place at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The award was presented by Robert Lee, MG (Ret), ESGR Hawaii State Chair.

From left to right: CMSgt Desmond Yogi, Assistant Chief Raymond Vegas (Ret), Airport Fire Chief Glen Mitchell, Airports Fire Chief Martinez Jacobs, Lt.Col Reid Matsuda, Assistant Chief John Kennedy, and Robert Lee, MG (Ret)

The Patriot Award is given to individuals who support citizen warriors through various measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. The Patriot Award is part of a series of ESGR’s Employer Awards that recognize employers who support their Guard and Reserve employees. This support increases retention rates in the Armed Forces which strengthens our national security.

More information on ESGR’s Employer Awards can be found by clicking here.

Founder of Nepal’s First Hongwanji Buddhist Temple Hosting Three Big Island Presentations

Reverend Sonam Wangdi Bhutia, a Tibetan Monk, is the founder of Nepal’s first Hongwanji Buddhist temple, and has helped create a thriving new Buddhist community in Kathmandu. Rev. Bhutia will talk about his dramatic personal journey in three Hawai‘i Island locations on July 15 and 16, as part of the Buddhist Study Center’s 40-year-old summer education series.

Reverend Sonam Wangdi Bhutia

Presentations are free, and take place as follows: Saturday, July 15 at Kona Hongwanji at 12:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 16 at Pa‘auilo Hongwanji at 10 a.m.  and Puna Hongwanji at 2 p.m. Talks will be followed by time for questions and answers, and informal reception to meet Rev. Bhutia.

Raised in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition from age three, and advancing into its highest ranks, Bhutia took a different path at age 28, when he encountered the Pure Land tradition of Jodo Shinshu. Pure Land, a simplified school of Buddhist thought, began in India in the 2nd Century, and was refined by Shinran Shonin in the 12th Century, as Jodo Shinshu. The practice of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism focuses on faith, trust and a personal relationship with Amitabha Buddha, with the chanting of his name as an expression of gratitude.

Rev. Bhutia will also speak about how the story of the Buddha is resonating today with young adults in Nepal, the birthplace of Shakyamuni (Siddhartha Gautama Buddha).

The presentations are hosted by the Four Temples Association (Honoka‘a, Kamuela, Kohala and Pa‘auilo Hongwanji Buddhist Temples, www.honokaahongwanjibuddhisttemple.org), in partnership with the Buddhist Churches of America – Center for Buddhist Education, in association with Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii – Buddhist Studies Center, Midwest Buddhist Temple (Chicago), New York Buddhist Church, and American Buddhist Study Center.

For more information, and to RSVP, please contact Mayette Drake, phone and text 808-937-2901, email  ad31088@yahoo.com.

National Accreditation Board Approves Eight-Year Tenure for UH Hilo College of Pharmacy

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) has graduated to the next step in national recognition by attaining full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) for a full eight years for the first time.
ACPE is the national accreditation body that evaluates all colleges of pharmacy in the nation. They sent the results after the June 21-24 Executive Board Meeting in Chicago to Chancellor Donald Straney and DKICP Dean Carolyn Ma.

“This is affirmation of the significance of maintaining excellence in all ways at UH Hilo,” said Chancellor Straney. “As DKICP passes the 10-year anniversary as the only College of Pharmacy in the Pacific Region, we can celebrate with all stakeholders, both at the University level and in the community, to recognize their hard work that has gotten us this far.”

DKICP was found to be “compliant” or “compliant with monitoring” in all 25 standards set by ACPE with no “partial” or “noncompliant” findings. In a prior ACPE evaluation in 2015, DKICP was granted full accreditation for two years with the provision that it was “contingent on continuous progress” and monitored by ACPE.

This year’s positive assessment was determined by a combination of a site visit as well as from a 110-page self-study compiled by faculty, staff, students, preceptors, administrators and community members from the Dean’s Advisory Council.

The ACPE survey team, representing faculty and administration from several notable pharmacy schools, practitioners in the field, and the ACPE accreditation staff, conducted the on-site evaluation in Hilo and Honolulu during the week of March 7-9.

According to their report, particular attention was made to the progress and changes that have occurred since the last focused on-site evaluation in fall 2014. It cited the appointment of a new dean as well as new chairs for each of the College’s departments.

The report to the Board noted that while research is still regarded critical activity for faculty, the College has revisited its mission and vision so that “evaluative expectations have been revised to more realistic levels.”

Other changes noted in the report include progress on construction for the College’s permanent building.

“As we all recall, accreditation was at risk previously when we couldn’t prove support for a permanent building,” Dean Ma said. “This time when the survey team visited, they could see concrete evidence that building has begun, and that we have a clear future. We are forever appreciative to the many members of our College, the community and the legislature who rallied behind us.”

Citing “good support” from the University, the report showed encouragement by future developments in interprofessional education, which includes working with members from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work and public health.

The accreditation term granted for the Doctor of Pharmacy program extends until June 30, 2025.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Seeks Witnesses to Tuesday Campground Fire

Fire officials at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are seeking witnesses to a fire Tuesday afternoon that burned about ¼ acre of native koa and ‘ōhi‘a forest  behind a cabin at Nāmakanipaio Campground.

Smoke obscures the koa and ‘ōhi‘a forest at Nāmakanipaio Campground on Tuesday afternoon. NPS Photo/Luke Kittle

The fire started behind Cabin 3 shortly before 3 p.m., and was human-caused. A female and several children told firefighters they saw how it started, but left the scene before anyone could get her name and contact information.

The fire was quickly doused with water by County of Hawai‘i Engine 19, Volcano volunteer company 19, and National Park Service resources. No structures were burned, although flames came close to Cabin 3. No closures or evacuations were required.

The fire, which started behind Cabin 3 at Nāmakanipaio Campground, nearly reached the A-frame cabin. The campground and cabins are located within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and are managed by Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC. NPS Photo.

An investigation is underway. Witnesses and anyone with information about the fire are encouraged to call Park Dispatch at 808-985-6170. Callers may remain anonymous.

“With a hot and dry summer upon us, we’re definitely at an increased risk for fire in the park, and across the island,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Fire Management Officer Greg Funderburk. “It’s important to remember that while parts of the island might be getting rainfall, other areas are very dry and quite susceptible to fire,” he said.

67th JCCIH Installation Draws Leaders from Across the State and Japan

Continuing the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) mission to promote values-based business and interconnection, JCCIH welcomed State and Japanese leaders of government and commerce at its 67th installation at the end of June.

Audrey N. Takamine of Takamine Construction, Inc., was inducted as the 2017-18 president of the JCCIH, becoming the fourth woman to lead the organization.

Audrey Takamine, new president of Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, right, presenting Russell Arikawa, immediate past president, with mahalo plaque.

“When Craig and I founded Takamine Construction,” she said, “we set our philosophy as ‘building long-term relationships,’ and that’s a major goal I have for the Chamber. These friendships across the state and with Japanese business leaders foster that goal.”

Lt. Governor Shan S. Tsutsui, a Maui native, gave the keynote remarks, calling on businesses to “acknowledge the rich history of the community and the State and remain grateful for the contributions and sacrifices of generations past.”

From Japan, dignitaries and delegates from sister city Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry (HHCCI) joined the celebration. Tsutsui noted that he was encouraged by the relationship between Higashi-Hiroshima and Hilo business communities “in exploring unique business opportunities while gaining a better understanding of one another.”

Also in attendance was Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (CoCH) which represents statewide business interests. JCCIH works with CoCH to promote mutually beneficial programs and legislation.

The group from HHCCI included the chamber Chair Kazuyuki Kihara, Executive Councilor Katsuhiko Muneto, Councillor Takashi Shohara and his wife Yuko Shohara, Councilor Masao Ninomiya and his wife Ruriko Ninomiya, Councilor Atsushi Isobe and Managing Director Kazunari Ohara.

Besides Takamine, the other 2017-18 JCCIH Executive Officers include:

  • First Vice President: Stephen N. Ueda, Suisan Company, Ltd.
  • Second Vice President: Donn S. Mende, HFS Federal Credit Union
  • Treasurer: Joseph F. Skruch
  • Immediate-Past President: Russell M. Arikawa, Ginoza Realty, Inc.

The installation drew a record crowd of more than 250, requiring a change of venue.

“We are very grateful that the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel opened its doors to accommodate our Installation, said Takamine.  “I look forward to working with our new officers. I also welcome the many new members that JCCIH has attracted over the past year. We intend to continue that growth.” JCCIH now has more than 300 members from businesses and professions.

Takamine is a 2002 graduate of the University of Hawaii-Hilo College of Business and of Waiakea High School.

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii fosters economic sustainability as well as perpetuating the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawaii. Its mission is to promote the wellbeing of our community through business and personal relationships that embody the values of Kahiau & Okage Sama De. In Hawaiian, Kahiau means giving without expecting anything in return. Okage Sama De is a Japanese proverb, which means I am what I am because of you.

The Chamber sponsors the popular annual Taste of Hilo, set this year for Sunday, October 22. The Chamber hosts business and cultural events and information sessions throughout the year and works with other business organizations as a watchdog over state and county legislation.

For information about JCCIH programs and membership, visit www.jccih.org

Old Airport Park in Kona to be Closed August 9 and 10 for Clean-up

The Department of Parks and Recreation will be closing the Old Airport Park in Kona from 7:00 am on Wednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10, 2017, to facilitate community clean-up efforts.Anyone camping at or using the park is being asked to leave prior to and during the park closure and clean up. Under Hawai‘i County Code (Section 15-39), camping in the park will not be allowed after the park clean up.

“Social service agencies, County Office of Housing and Community Development, Parks and Recreation personnel, and Hawai‘i Police Department are actively making site visits, and notifying people camping at the park about transitional/emergency shelters around the island,” said Charmaine Kamaka, Director of Parks and Recreation.

Various County departments, community groups, organizations and individuals are assisting with the clean-up event, and Parks and Recreation is seeking volunteers to help with clean-up efforts.

If you would like to volunteer or for more information please contact Charmaine Kamaka at 961-8561 or Charmaine.Kamaka@hawaiicounty.gov.

UH Study: Underwater Plate Size Spiders Breathes Through Its Legs

Sea spiders, a bizarre and ancient group of marine arthropods in the class Pycnogonida, breathe in a way not previously known to science, according to a study involving University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher Amy Moran and Zoology PhD student Caitlin Shishido.

A dinner-plate-sized Antarctic sea spider. Photo by C. Shishido

The study, published in the July 10 issue of Current Biology, was performed at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, while Moran and her team were there in the fall of 2016. Sea spiders in Antarctica can reach the size of dinner plates, part of a phenomenon known as “polar gigantism.” Most animals extract oxygen from the environment using specialized structures like gills and lungs, and distribute oxygen through their bodies using hearts and blood vessels. Sea spiders, distant marine relatives of land spiders, have no specialized structures to take up oxygen and their hearts are weak. Moran and her colleagues showed that sea spiders get oxygen through the surface of their legs and move it around their bodies while digesting their food with peristaltic contractions of the gut, which extends out to the end of all of the animal’s 8 to 12 legs.

UH Mānoa researcher Amy Moran dives with sea spiders in Antarctica. Photo by R. Robbins

“We are really excited about these results because they show that sea spiders solve one of life’s biggest challenges—getting oxygen into the body and taking it where it needs to go—in a way that is new to science,” said Moran. “The next thing we would love to know is if this is unique to sea spiders, or if other animals also move oxygen with their guts and we just never knew about it.”

Jon Harrison, a professor of biology at Arizona State University not involved in the project, says “This study beautifully demonstrates that sea spiders use their legs like gills and their guts like hearts, illustrating the important role of basic research in revealing very fundamental attributes of animal function.”

This work was funded by grants from the Division of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation.