Pahoa Scholars Feast Fundraiser Update – Scholarships Available

This past Saturday, on September 30th, hundreds gathered to support the Pahoa Schools Booster Club and Scholarship Fund on the grounds of Sacred Heart Church. Following this past weekend’s successful event, the organization has announced that $5,000 will be available for the Class of
2018 scholarship awards.

The Pahoa High School Girls’ Volleyball Team joined the Boys of Youth Challenge and dozens of community volunteers in creating and delivering an awesome Vegan Lasagna and Ribeye Steak meal to over 350 hungry supporters.

Our most heart-felt thanks to everyone, including the generous contributions from Island Natural Foods, Malama Market, Tin Shack Bakery, Kalani Honua, Ning’s Thai Cuisine, Stratos Pizzeria, Black Rock Café, Pahoa Auto Parts, Paul’s Repair, Boogie Woogie Pizza, Sustainable Island Products and Bananarama Bakery.

Under the leadership of organizers Mark Hinshaw, Nancy J Kramer CPA, Aaron Ferreira and Aunty Madie Greene, a good time was had by all!

The original Scholarship Endowment was established by the family of former Hawai’i County Council Member Richard G Edwards after his passing. As a former Puna Lion’s Club member, his family chose the Lion’s Club to administer the scholarship over the years.

This past year, responsibility was passed on to Mainstreet-Pahoa Associations’s Pahoa Schools Booster Club, under the financial guidance of Nancy J Kramer CPA. The initial endowment that was transferred to the Booster Club was $21,000 and thanks to the generous contributions this year by Kaleos Bar and Grill of $5,000 and the new Puna Kai Shopping Center of $5000, the current Endowment sits at $31,000. The current 2020 goal is $50,000.

Class of 2018 Scholarships also received significant contributions. Puna Geothermal Ventures provided of $1,000, local businessman Vernon Lindsey and Lava Shack $500. Former Pahoa High School Guidance Counselor Nancy Seifers has stepped up to create the “Aunty Nancy” Scholarship of $1,000.

This year’s work on the selection process, amounts to be awarded, and application tools will begin in November. The intention of the Pahoa Booster Club is to distribute the awards among all three area schools, HAAS, Kua O Ka La and Pahoa High School, to graduating Seniors with B average or better grades, who are choosing to continue their education at a university or community college.

The Class of 2018 specific award amounts and criteria for each award will be announced when the application materials are made available at the end of the year. All three schools are encouraged to participate in the application process.

Anyone wishing to obtain further information on contributing to the Scholarship Fund should contact us at PahoaBoosterClub@gmail.com or call 965-7110.

We are most encouraged at the success of this year’s event and we are already in the planning stages for next year’s Scholars Feast, the last Saturday of September in 2018.

I mua Pahoa!

UH Campuses – Graduation and Recruitment Continue to Improve as Overall Enrollment Declines

Enrollment at the University of Hawaiʻi’s 10 campuses dropped slightly in fall 2017 to 51,674 total students, a decrease of 1,746 students, or 3.3 percent compared to fall 2016.

UH West Oʻahu is up 4.9 percent to 3,082 students, continuing the trend that began in 2012 when the school moved to its Kapolei campus. UH West Oʻahu was recently recognized as the fastest growing public baccalaureate campus in the nation. Windward Community College enrollment remained unchanged, while the other eight campuses experienced varying declines.

The overall decline was no surprise, as UH continues to graduate more students on time while competing for students with a tight local labor market experiencing extraordinarily low unemployment. University leadership remains committed to reversing the enrollment declines through a proactive enrollment management program informed by statewide data and analysis.

“We need to continue our great work increasing timely graduation of students while building greater successes in our recruitment, retention and transfer programs,” said UH President David Lassner. “There are a number of positives in this fall’s data, but it is just a start.”

For the full story, including the fall enrollment numbers, go to UH News at: http://www.hawaii.edu/news/2017/10/03/graduation-recruitment-improves-as-enrollment-declines/

Governor Ige Marks Family Assessment Center’s First Anniversary, Outlines Progress on Homelessness

Gov. David Ige today highlighted the state’s overall progress in addressing homelessness while recognizing the first anniversary of the state’s Family Assessment Center (FAC).

The FAC temporarily houses homeless families while they are being connected to services and long-term housing with the assistance of specialists from Catholic Charities Hawai‘i. More than 90 percent of families who have stayed at the FAC and have left the facility over the past year, have been housed, or 35 families out of 38 families serviced. In addition, the average time from intake to placement is 82 days ­– eight days fewer than the 90-day goal the state previously set.

Gov. Ige also said the FAC reflects the state’s overall gains on homelessness, pointing to a nine percent overall decrease in homelessness between 2016-17 – the first decrease in eight years – and a 19 percent reduction in family homelessness.

“The Family Assessment Center is a game-changer that is making a difference in the lives of unsheltered families and helping to provide the stability they need to improve their lives,” Gov. Ige said.

The success of the FAC illustrates the ʻOhana Nui approach, which includes a focus on the whole family; a priority on children, particularly those between infancy and age 5; and collaboration to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

“The Department of Human Services is proud to work hand-in-hand with the Governor’s Coordinator and Catholic Charities on long-term solutions to end homelessness,” said DHS Director Pankaj Bhanot. “The Family Assessment Center is a testament to the power of generative partnerships and a focus on connecting families to an array of services suited to their needs. We see that when we can work together to meet families where they are, families can thrive and not just survive.”

The FAC, which is operated by Catholic Charities Hawai‘i, is modeled after housing navigation centers in San Francisco.  Its small population – no more than 50 people, or 12-15 households at a time – enables more individualized care. Guests are not required to have identification, which is a key obstacle for many people experiencing homelessness.  Families are quickly transitioned to permanent housing or other appropriate services in 90 days or less. The facility opened on September 26, 2016.

Mālama Park Baseball Field in Pana‘ewa Closed for Repairs

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces Mālama Park baseball field will be closed beginning October 16, 2017 for repairs to the infield.

Parks Maintenance crews will be conducting the repairs and estimate six to eight weeks for all repairs to be complete.

The football field at the park will remain open during this time.

For more information please call Darrell Yamamoto at 961-8740.

Hawaii Department of Health Awarded $3.5 Million to Support Families Through Home Visiting Program

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has been awarded $3,510,137 in federal funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support the state’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. The funds will provide voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy, and to parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.

“Home visiting services help to ensure our keiki and their families have a healthier start,” said Matthew Shim, DOH Family Health Services Division Chief. “This federal funding will allow the state to continue to provide this important service to expecting mothers and families during a critical time in their child’s development.”

The MIECHV Program serves about 850 Hawaii families each year with more than 10,000 home visits conducted statewide annually. Families are screened for eligibility in birthing hospitals, or families may contact MIECHV contracted providers online at www.yourohana.org to determine their eligibility. Services assist mothers through pregnancy and post-delivery, providing support to mothers learning to breastfeed and care for their baby’s health and early development through no-cost home visiting educational supports. Parents receive counseling to acquire knowledge and understanding of child development milestones and positive parenting techniques. Assistance is also offered to help families to set goals for the future, continue their education, and find employment and child care solutions.

During federal fiscal year 2016, 93.9 percent of pregnant women enrolled in the program accessed prenatal care before the end of their second trimester. Prenatal care is essential for ensuring the safe birth of a healthy baby. Pregnant women enrolled in the program also reported breastfeeding their infants for an average of 24.6 weeks or for the first 6 months of life as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of the families enrolled in the program received counseling on the results of the child’s developmental screenings, and parents spent more time in adult education programs to move toward economic self-sufficiency by furthering their education.

“The MIECHV Program helps parents and caregivers connect with services and resources and improve the skills they need to support their families’ well-being and provide the best opportunities for their children,” said HRSA Associate Administrator for Maternal and Child Health Michael Lu, M.D., M.S., M.P.H. “In these voluntary programs, trained nurses, social workers, early childhood educators, or other trained professionals meet regularly with expectant parents or families with young children in their homes, building strong, positive relationships with families who want and need support.”

Administered by HRSA, in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the MIECHV Program gives pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. Funded through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 through FY 2017, the MIECHV Program is also addressing HHS’ clinical priorities such as the opioid crisis, serious mental illness, and childhood obesity. Nationwide, $342 million in funding was awarded to 55 states, territories, and nonprofit organizations.

For more information on HRSA’s Home Visiting Program, visit http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/homevisiting.

For a list of all state and county awardees, visit https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting/fy17-home-visiting-awards.

North Kona Water Restriction Update – Two Wells Fixed… Three Still Down

Both the Department’s Hualālai Deepwell and Palani Deepwell have been repaired and are now operational.

As of this morning, the Emergency Water Restriction, which previously limited water use to only health and safety needs, has been lifted. Please be reminded that the mandatory 25% water restriction is still in effect for the North Kona area since three (3) wells are still undergoing repair. This means everyone must continue to reduce their normal usage by 25 percent (25%).

The Department will continue to make the necessary adjustments to the water system and asks that customers use water as efficiently as possible to meet the 25% reduction in water usage. The Department sincerely appreciates the community’s efforts to restrict their water usage. Due to your help, water service was maintained to all customers throughout this emergency.

For more information visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org, call 961-8060 during normal business hours or email dws@hawaiidws.org. For after hour emergencies call us at 961-8790.

Parker School to Host Color Stampede Fun Run

Parker School invites the community to come get splashed at the 18th Annual George Heneghan Fun Run and Color Stampede on Sunday, October 29, 2017.

The starting line at last year’s Color Stampede and Fun Run at Parker School

At the color stampede, participants are splashed with different colored powder throughout the race which takes place on Parker School’s lower school campus and in the surrounding neighborhood. This event is open to the public and consists of a 1K Keiki Run which starts at 7:30 a.m. for kids ages 11 and under, followed by a 5K Fun Run/Walk at 8:00 a.m.

“We enjoy providing our community with a fun, healthy event in Waimea with the hope that our school’s athletic department can inspire others to stay active,” says Nicole Vedelli, Athletic Director at Parker School. “It is always a fun colorful event and everyone leaves happy and a little healthier too!”

This community event was established in 1999 in memory of Hawaii architect George Heneghan, an accomplished athlete, teacher and Parker cross country and track coach from 1992 to 1998.
All proceeds from the run will go to support Parker School’s athletics program.

The entry fee is $30 for adults and $25 for kids 11 and under. Register by October 16 to be guaranteed a race kit. Race kit includes a t-shirt, glasses, bracelet, color packet and a beaded necklace. Medals will be awarded to first place overall male and female finishers in the 5K run and 1K run, and first place finishers in each age category.

Parker extends special thanks to this year’s generous Heneghan Fun Run sponsors Big Island Running Company, Five Mountain Fitness, Mamane Bakery, and Ironman Triathlon.
For more information or to download a registration form, please visit www.parkerschoolhawaii.org, email nvedelli@parkerschoolhawaii.org, or call 808-885-7933 ext. 7106.