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THE HAWAII PROMISE – Nearly 1,000 Students Awarded Hawai’i Promise Scholarships

Almost 1,000 students from the University of Hawaiʻi’s seven community colleges have been awarded Hawaiʻi Promise scholarships for the 2017 fall semester. This represents about 4 percent of the 23,000 students currently enrolled at UH Community Colleges.

Windward Community College

The scholarships are designed to remove all cost barriers to attending UH Community Colleges, which have already been recognized among the most affordable two-year public institutions in the nation. An estimated $1.4 million in Hawaiʻi Promise scholarships has been awarded, and the average scholarship per student is $1,416.

Hawaiʻi Promise provides aid for any financial needs not met by other forms of financial aid, such as federal grants and benefits and scholarships from UH or other sources. Its goal is to provide free in-state tuition for qualified UH Community College students and covers tuition, fees, books, supplies and transportation.

The governor and the legislature recognized the importance of this program and the need for those last dollars to make it possible for qualified students to go to college.
—John Morton

UH Vice President John Morton credits Gov. David Ige and the state legislature, which appropriated $1.8 million during the 2017 session for each year of the fiscal biennium 2018 and 2019 through the state budget bill.

“The governor and the legislature recognized the importance of this program and the need for those last dollars to make it possible for qualified students to go to college,” said Morton. “We thank them for their support and their vision.”

“Programs such as Hawaiʻi Promise remove cost barriers for anyone who wants to attend college, clearing the path for community college students to complete their education,” Ige said. “Higher education is the key to higher paying jobs and a better quality of life.”

Morton also noted that the UH Board of Regents first supported and approved the proposal for the Hawaiʻi Promise scholarship program in 2016. It was part of Gov. Ige’s executive package, and both houses introduced Hawaiʻi Promise bills in 2017.

How Hawaiʻi Promise works

There are a number of steps for students to qualify for a Hawaiʻi Promise scholarship. First, a student must apply for federal financial aid, by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The federal government calculates the Expected Family Contribution, or what the student’s family can afford to pay. Twenty-five per cent of the expected family contribution is applied to direct costs of attending college—tuition, fees, books supplies and local transportation. The balance of the family contribution is applied to room board and personal expenses.

If eligible, a student may then be awarded Pell grant and Supplemental Education Opportunity grant money. A student may also be awarded various UH and UH Foundation scholarships and/or scholarships from other sources.

If all these grants and award reviews are completed and the student still has unmet need for direct costs, such as tuition, fees and books, the student receives a Hawaiʻi Promise scholarship to cover any unmet direct costs.

National recognition

Hawaiʻi Promise has already caught the eye of the College Promise Campaign, a nonpartisan, nonprofit higher-education initiative to build widespread support for funding the first two years of a community college education. The campaign is chaired by Jill Biden and former Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer.

“The College Promise Campaign is delighted that Hawaiʻi has joined the rapidly growing list of states and communities expanding opportunity for students to complete an undergraduate degree or technical certificate without bearing the burden of unmanageable college debt,” said Martha Kanter, executive director of the College Promise Campaign. “The Hawaiʻi Promise extends educational opportunity to students of any age, including many who never imagined they could afford to go to college.”

Spring semester 2018

UH Community Colleges are encouraging even more students to enroll and apply for the Hawaiʻi Promise scholarships for the spring semester.

“Even though we are already among the most affordable two-year public higher education institutions in the nation, we want to make sure we meet the needs of every Hawaiʻi citizen who has a desire to better their life through higher education,” said Morton.

To apply for a Hawaiʻi Promise scholarship, contact the UH System Financial Office at (808) 956-8753 or uhsfao@hawaii.edu.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Condemns Justice Department’s Politically Motivated Search Warrant

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today warned that, in violation of First Amendment privacy protections afforded under the Constitution, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested a search warrant for IP addresses and personal information stored on the server of a private company who helped organize protests during President Trump’s inauguration. The search warrant, filed by the federal government in the D.C. Superior Court, is trying to force DreamHost to provide the DOJ with the user information for anyone who visited their site in an effort to identify anyone involved in Inauguration Day protests.

Tulsi and my son when he won an art competition at the state capitol.

“The Justice Department’s politically motivated probe to collect personal information on its own citizens exercising their legal right to express dissenting political views is nothing short of a constitutional violation and is wholly un-American. It reeks of actions that Presidents Nixon and Johnson took against Americans protesting the war in Vietnam. Our country was founded on the rule of law which protects our right to free speech and prohibits the government from violating our personal privacy with baseless warrants. These fundamental rights and protections separate our democracy from dictators around the world who seek to silence and intimidate their political opponents to maintain power. The Justice Department’s witch hunt serves as a reminder that we must take a stand to defend our constitutional rights and ensure our government is not allowed to violate our constitutional rights and civil liberties,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has long advocated for reforms that address our government’s responsibility to protect civil liberties. She is a founding member of the Fourth Amendment Caucus and has been a champion for strengthening privacy and civil liberties protections in the digital age. She has introduced legislation to strengthen the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) and cosponsored legislation like the Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act and Email Privacy Act to modernize electronic privacy laws.

Partial Lane Closure in Hakalau Extended to Sept. 1

Hawaii Electric Light Company announces that the partial lane closure of Highway 19 between the 16 and 17-mile markers in Hakalau has been extended to September 1.To improve system reliability, crews have been upgrading transmission and distribution facilities and equipment in the area. As the work was being done, crews found additional poles that must be replaced due to deterioration which will require more time to complete the project.

One lane will be closed to traffic from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Motorists are advised to expect delays of up to 20 minutes and encouraged to use alternate routes via Old Mamalahoa Highway, if possible.
Hawaii Electric Light regrets any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding. For questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Hawaii Rep. Beth Fukumoto Responds to Hate Letter, White Nationalism and Issues a Warning to the GOP

After receiving a letter from a self-proclaimed Trump supporter attacking her Japanese ancestry and her support for “illegals, black thugs, Muslims and bombs, and gays,” Rep. Beth Fukumoto released the following statement. Fukumoto, who left the Republican Party earlier this year after being removed from leadership over her participation in the Hawaii Women’s March, has spoken extensively on her experiences of racism and race politics in the GOP.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto

“This letter isn’t the first to come across my desk, but it’s so painfully relevant to everything that has unfolded in America these last few days that I believed it needed to be addressed. This individual and their list of everything they hate was inspired by President Trump and his statements.

“I worked to fight racist rhetoric when I was a member of the Republican Party, and I left when I realized I couldn’t win that fight from within. The white nationalist undercurrent of the Presidential campaign stretched far beyond Donald Trump. His success is the result of white nationalism left unchecked within the GOP for years.

“Today, every elected official in the GOP needs to make a choice. Be vocal, public and specific in your opposition to prejudice everywhere – especially in the Oval Office. Or, be complicit and continue to work peacefully with a party that has gained electoral wins by building coalitions of mistrust and hate.”

Search Enters Second Day for 5 Missing Army Aviators Off Oahu

Responders enter day two in the continuing the search for five missing Army aviators from a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Thursday.

Searching are:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) and crew from Honolulu
  • UH-60 Black Hawk from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • CH-47 Chinook helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield
  • Shore patrols and a helicopter crew from Honolulu Fire Department
  • Crews from Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services
  • Crew from the Hawaii Department of Land of Natural Resources
  • Shore patrols from the Army

En route:

  • Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) and crew are replacing the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364) and will head to the scene from Base Honolulu.

The search area has expanded to as much as 50 miles offshore due to the swift and dynamic currents in the area. Fixed-wing aviation assets are searching the leading edge while helicopters and vessels are concentrating efforts 15 – 20 miles offshore. Additional assets are being considered and may join the search throughout the day.

The Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205), a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Honolulu is shown coordinating search efforts with a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, for five crewmembers aboard a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter off Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 17, 2017. Two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting night training Aug. 15, between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications were lost with one of the helicopters. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

None of the aviators have been located yet. Debris continues to be spotted and recovered in the area off Ka’ena Point by responders. Personnel at the joint forward incident command post at Hale’iwa Boat Harbor continue to coordinate search and rescue efforts.

A safety zone extending out in a five nautical mile (5.75 statue mile) radius from the point 21-27.919N 158-21.547W, geographically located roughly two miles northwest of Ka’ena Point, was established by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Wednesday. No vessels or persons are authorized to enter this zone without prior approval from the Captain of the Port. A broadcast notice to mariners has been issued. Ka’ena State Park trails are currently closed at this time.

Debris from the crash should be considered hazardous material and should only be recovered by recovery teams with the proper training and personal protective equipment. The debris poses potential risk and could cause serious bodily harm due to sharp edges. Those who see or encounter debris consistent with this type of aircraft along the north and west side of Oahu are asked to report it to responders by calling the 25th Combat Infantry Brigade Staff Duty Officer at 808-656-1080.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Command Center in Honolulu received a call at 10:08 p.m. Tuesday from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communications with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of response assets.

The two Black Hawk aircrews were reportedly conducting training between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield at the time communications were lost.

Weather on scene is currently 17 mph winds with 4 foot seas and isolated showers.