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    December 2017
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DOE & Partners Aim to Promote Oral Health

The Hawai‘i Dental Association (HDA) and the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) are renewing their commitment to educating kids about the importance of dental hygiene. The agencies have continued their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to promote oral health by teaching students proper dental hygiene techniques and providing information about access to free dental health services.

HDA will conduct informational presentations in HIDOE first and second grade classes on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island through December 2017 and again from January through February 2018, which is National Children’s Dental Health Month.

“Our goal with establishing healthcare partnerships, like this one with the Hawai‘i Dental Association, is to provide access to health services for our students so they can show up to school healthy, engaged and ready to learn,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Mahalo to everyone involved in this partnership—from the dentists to our teachers—it is an important step to ensuring our students are getting proper oral healthcare.”

These efforts are also part of a national initiative from the American Dental Association to bring preventative education and dental services to underserved children, which includes 92,000 economically disadvantaged public school students in Hawai‘i.

“During the first year of this partnership, we had 10 dentists educate more than 700 students,” added Hawai‘i Public Policy Advocate President Melissa Pavlicek. “We look forward to continuing the success of this partnership and expanding outreach even further this year. We encourage schools and teachers that are interested to contact Danny Cup Choy at (808) 447-1840.”

This partnership highlights the work that has been done by the department to ensure that all students come to school healthy and ready to learn.

Other healthcare partners include the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, which launched the “Hawai‘i Keiki” program with the department in 2014 and has increased school-based health services.

Two Females Rescued from Honokane Nui Valley

The Hawai‘i Fire Department rescued two females from Honokane Nui Valley on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2017.

Five hikers were in the valley when two female hikers were separated and stranded by rising waters in the valley.

Three hikers, one female and two males, continued to Pololu Lookout and initiated a 911 emergency call at 1:23 a.m.

Fire company 15 responded to reporting parties location at 1:50 a.m.

It was determined the stranded hikers were safe and advised to remain in place until help arrived.

Hawai‘i Fire Department Chopper One responded at first light and was able to locate and safely extract the two stranded hikers to the landing zone established at Pololu Lookout.

Neither party was injured or required emergency medical service treatment.

Hawai‘i: ‘Sanctuary Funding Cuts Illegal’

Attorney General Doug Chin has joined a friend-of-the-court brief, filed by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine and signed by attorneys general from nine other states, in a California challenge to the Trump Administration’s efforts to cut off federal public safety grants to so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions.

The brief was filed Nov. 29, 2017, in California v. Sessions in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program funds important public safety initiatives in states and cities around the country. DOJ has threatened to withhold these grants from 38 jurisdictions in an attempt to pressure them to enforce federal immigration law. The multistate brief argues that these threats unlawfully interfere with local jurisdictions’ prerogative “to enact and implement policies that promote public safety, prevent crime, and facilitate positive and productive interactions between local law enforcement and all of their residents, regardless of immigration status.”

Attorney General Chin said, “Federal grants to our state and local law enforcement partners have always been—until now—free of politics. We will not sit by while this administration jeopardizes public safety by trying to score political points through its attacks on immigrants.”

In the state’s most recent annual Uniform Crime Report released on Aug. 31, 2017, the overall 2016 crime rate in Hawai‘i was 3,206 offenses per 100,000 population, the lowest on record since statewide record collection began in 1975.

The amicus brief argues that state and local law enforcement agencies are in the best position to assess how to conduct police work in their communities. No matter what a state or local jurisdiction decides—whether to communicate or cooperate with federal immigration officials or not—it should be the state or local jurisdiction that determines those policies. They are the ones that know their communities’ needs and how best to address them.

Attorney General Racine led the brief’s drafting. In addition to Attorney General Chin, the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Washington state signed on to the brief.

Residents Quack Over New Tour Operation

Big Island Duck Boat. PC: http://bigislandduck.com/

Big Island Duck Adventures, which had been operating tours out of the west side of the island, has been spotted taking tourists on the streets of Hilo and operating in Hilo Bay.

Community members voiced their concerns over the new tour operation working out of Hilo Bay at a meeting held at the Pu‘ueo Community Center in Hilo on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, at 1 p.m.

The meeting was hosted by the Kuikahi Mediation Center and Julie Mitchell facilitated the discussion. The main purpose of the meeting was to share information with and receive input from the community.

About a dozen attendees showed up to voice their concerns.

Ocean users in general who did not support the idea of the “Duck Boat” were the majority of those who attended.

Some of the issues and concerns that were discussed were the Saturday canoe races, pollution, routes, permits, the tour narration and problems that residents could foresee happening.

Hilo Resident Cory Harden stated, “I don’t want duck boats at Bayfront, in the Wailoa River or pond, or near any of our beaches. These are meant to be peaceful places with no noisy motors or large vessels—just people like paddlers, kayakers, paddle boarders, fishers and swimmers, there to relax and refresh their spirits.”

In 2010, a duck boat tour operation on O‘ahu was suspended for a time after boat exploded.

In 2015, four students were killed and dozens injured in Seattle in a duck boat accident.