Foreign Journalists Converge in Hawaiʻi

An organization of 28 public and private schools, colleges and universities dedicated to increasing the enrollment of international students in Hawaiʻi along with the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and the Study Hawaiʻi Educational Consortium, announces a press and media tour of six journalists from Asia, Europe and South AmericaThe tour will take place during the week of Nov. 12 to 18, during International Education Week.

Journalists from Ei! Magazine by Belta of Brazil; EL Gazette and PIE News of the UK; Ryugaku Journal and Mainichi Newspapers of Japan; and Studying Abroad Online China will participate in the mission.

In honor of International Education Week, Gov. David Ige will sign a proclamation to recognize the contributions of foreign students to Hawaiʻi’s economy and culture.

The signing will take place on Nov.14, in the Ceremonial Room, Governor’s Office, Hawai‘i State Capitol.

According to DBEDT’s 2017 Hawaiʻi International Education Survey, Hawaiʻi hosted 10,800 students from 27 institutions during the 2016-17 academic year, down from 12,200 students from 31 institutions during the 2015-16 academic year.

The total direct economic financial impact of international students for the State of Hawaiʻi was an estimated $225.3 million in 2016-17, down from $302 million in 2015-16.

This amount includes tuition and fees plus living expenses. In addition to the direct impact, other economic benefits of international students in Hawaiʻi for the 2016-17 period included:

  • $484 million added to the state’s total economic output, including direct, indirect, and induced effects
  • $32 million in state taxes generated from the total economic output
  • $192 million in household earnings attributed to foreign students
  • 5,093 jobs supported by foreign students’ spending
  • $24,139 overall average annual per student spending

The journalists’ mission is designed, in part, to counter the downward trend in international students studying in Hawaiʻi, by showcasing Hawaiʻi’s educational assets and unique features under the overall theme—“Hawaiʻi, the Best Classroom in the World!”

The group will visit various sites including Kapiolani Community College’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Iolani School for presentations by Study Hawaiʻi member institutions, Coconut Island Marine Research facility, MidPacific Institute, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Hawaiʻi Pacific University, UH Maui College, the Institute for Astronomy at Haleakalā, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Hawaiʻi Prep Academy and Hawaiʻi Community College.

“Hawaiʻi’s educational institutions host a diverse group of students from all over the globe,” said DBEDT Director Luis Salaveria. “While Japan remains the top country of origin for Hawaiʻi’s international students, students from Korea and China show tremendous potential for growth.”

DBEDT recently established the Study Hawaiʻi Ambassador Program, which is estimated to host to more than 25,000 students for school excursions and other education-related travel from Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea.  As a result, the students become well aware of the various educational offerings and institutions available in Hawaiʻi.

“Students who participate in the program receive an official certificate recognizing them as Study Hawaiʻi Ambassadors,” said Dennis Ling, administrator of DBEDT’s Business Development and Support Division. “This approach spreads the word on Hawaiʻi with authentic peer-to-peer, often viral, multiple channel distribution of information about Hawaiʻi as a premiere study destination.”

More information about Study Hawaiʻi may be found at www.studyhawaii.org.

The “Economic Impact of International Students in Hawaiʻi – 2017 Update” may be downloaded here.

Kailua-Kona to Receive New Sheriff

There will soon be a new sheriff in Kailua-Kona town.

Hawai‘i Public Safety Department officials, family members and friends gathered in Waipio, O‘ahu, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, to witness the graduation of the Law Enforcement Recruit Class 17-01 for Deputy Sheriffs at the Hawai‘i Okinawa Center.

Twenty new deputies were added to the Sheriff Division and will be assigned to positions across the state. One will be assigned to Kona on Hawai‘i Island and the remaining 19 will be assigned to O‘ahu.

Hawai‘i Public Safety Department Photo

The new deputies were presented with graduation certificates, followed by the recitation of the Oath of Office and the badge presentation. A family member was picked to pin the badge on the new deputy sheriff.

“After six long months of developing the skills necessary to prepare for a career as a State Law Enforcement Officer, 20 new deputy sheriffs stand ready,” said Sheriff Training Lt. Lane Martin. “Ready to serve and protect our Kupuna, our Keiki, our Ohana, across all of Hawai‘i Nei. I am honored to stand alongside these men and women and be a part of that.”

The recruits were trained in nearly 1,000 hours of academic instruction in laws and procedures, constant testing, training in physical fitness, and police tactics.

Student awards for Top Gun, Physical Fitness, Leadership and Academic Average were also handed out to the recruits who ranked at the top of their class in those areas.

The Sheriff Division carries out law enforcement services statewide. Its mission is to promote public safety by: protecting all persons and property within premises under the control of the Judiciary and all state facilities, providing process services and execution of court documents, handling detained persons and providing secure transportation for persons in custody.

It also provides law enforcement services at the Honolulu International Airport.

Massive Fishing Net Bundle Removed from Hilo Bay

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Photo courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Photo courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Photo courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Photo courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.

Local groups completed an effort that began in late February to remove more than 1,500 pounds of marine debris from Hilo Bay on Nov. 4.

The effort began following a report received by the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund (HWF) from faculty at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s (UHH) Marine Science Department that a massive fishing net bundle had lodged itself into the Hilo breakwall. HWF worked together with biologists from the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) – Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and UHH to attempt a removal of the bundle in late March, but only managed to free a small portion of the tangled net.

Six months later, mother nature took charge when high surf broke the net bundle free of the breakwall. On the morning of Oct. 14, a dive team from the UHH Marine Option Program’s Sea Surveying, Training and Response Squad (SeaSTARS) spotted the loose net floating in Hilo Bay with assistance from members of the Kamehameha Canoe Club. A team of four MOP divers led by UHH MOP staff coordinator Matthew Connelly used a 17-foot vessel to tow the net from the end of Hilo breakwall towards Bayfront. Within 100 yards of the shoreline, the vessel anchored and three UHH students—Julia Stewart, Rosie Lee and Keelee Martin—swam the debris to shore using safety lines.

With the help of several canoe club members including Troy Parker-Bailey with the Puna Canoe Club, MOP co-coordinator Jen Sims, and two large 4WD vehicles, the team successfully hauled the massive bundle from shore to the Bayfront parking lot.

HWF staff and volunteers used a winch and pickup truck to retrieve the last remains of the net bundle on Saturday, Nov. 4, completing a nearly nine-month recovery effort. The net was hauled to the County of Hawai‘i’s Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station where it will be stored until January 2018 when HWF arranges a 40-foot container full of nets to be shipped to O‘ahu for processing in the NOAA Nets-to-Energy Partnership with support from Matson Navigation and Schnitzer Steel.

Matt Connelly, UHH MOP Staff Coordinator and Marine Science Academic Support Specialist expressed his gratitude for the collective effort: “I want to thank the awesome Marine Option Program/Marine Science students that were really the driving force behind the whole operation; the Marine Science Department for having the resources available to do this for the ocean and the community; the canoe club members who helped out even though they were in the middle of a gathering, and for sharing their food with us when the work was pau; and HWF and DLNR for coordinating to get it hauled away and put to good use.”

“Getting this net out took time and patience,” said Stacey Breining, HWF education coordinator. “It was a true community effort. We (HWF) rely on the relationships we create with our communities to make our coastal ecosystems less dangerous for native wildlife. We are happy this net is out of the ocean, out of our landfill and awaiting transport to H-Power so it can be combusted in the Nets-to-Energy Partnership and bring electric power to O‘ahu.”

HWF is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to conserve native wildlife. Since it started, staff and volunteers have removed a total of 264 tons of marine debris from the shores of Hawai’i Island, Maui, Midway and the French Frigate Shoals. In 2017 alone, HWF and volunteers have removed 68,750 pounds of marine debris from Hawai’i Island and Maui through 60 community cleanup events.

For more information on these conservation efforts, or to learn about volunteer opportunities with HWF, email kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, call the Hawai‘i Island marine debris hotline at (808) 769-7629, or visit www.wildhawaii.org.