State VEX Championships Scheduled Jan. 13-14, 2018

The Hawaiian Electric Companies Hawaii State VEX Championships are scheduled Jan. 13-14, 2018 at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus gymnasium with more than 140 elementary, middle and high school teams from around the state competing for 25 qualification slots at the VEX World Championships in St. Louis, Kentucky this April. The state VEX Championships are free to the public.

Na Paniolo, a robotics team from Kohala High, took home the Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship, photo credit: Art Kimura

On Saturday, opening ceremonies for the VEX EDR (middle and high school teams) will begin at 8:45 a.m. with qualification matches starting at 9 a.m. through 12:45 p.m. Elimination matches will start at 1:45 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Of the total 47 teams competing, only five will advance to the VEX Worlds.

Competing schools in the VEX EDR include Highlands Intermediate, Hilo High, Island Pacific Academy (Kapolei), Kaiser, Kalani, Kamehameha Schools, Kapolei Middle, Keaau High, Kealakehe High, King Kekaulike, Konawaena High, Kohala High, Lokelani Intermediate, Maryknoll High, Maui High, Mililani High, Mid-Pacific Institute, Moanalua High, Molokai High, Pearl City High, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Joseph, Saint Louis, Stevenson Middle, Waiakea Intermediate, Waialua High & Intermediate and Waipahu High. Circuit Breakers, Island Robotics and 808 Robotics Homeschool also will compete.

On Sunday, opening ceremonies for the VEX IQ championships will begin at 8:30 a.m. with concurrent qualification matches starting at 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on separate fields for elementary and middle school teams. Afternoon matches begin at 1 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 3:45 p.m. The VEX IQ elementary championships will advance 11 of 46 teams to the VEX Worlds while the VEX IQ middle school championships will advance 9 of 45 teams.

Competing elementary schools are: Aliamanu, August Ahrens, Ewa Beach, Hawaii Technology Academy, Holualoa, Huaikalani School for Girls, Kaunakakai, Keaau, Konawaena, Kualapuu, Lihikai, Manana, Manoa, Maryknoll, Mililani, Moanalua, Nuuanu, Pearl City Highlands, Pomaikai, Princess Nahienaena, Pukalani, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Joseph and Waimalu. Mechaneers Robotics Club, BSA Aloha Council Troop 32, Manoa RoBlocks, Moanalua Pack 9 Cub Scout and Pack 33 Manoa-Kapiolani District Aloha Council also are entered.

Competing middle schools are: Akaula, Hanalani Schools, Hawaii Technology Academy, Hilo Intermediate, Ilima Intermediate, Island Pacific Academy, Kamehameha, Kapolei, Keaau, Konawaena, Lokelani Intermediate, Maryknoll, Mid-Pacific Institute, Mililani, Molokai, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Louis, St. John Vianney, Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, Waiakea Intermediate and Waialua. Cornerstone Engineering Robotics, Girl Scouts Troop 254, KalamaBotics (Makawao) and Phoenixbots (Mililani) also are registered.

‘Nippon Maru’ Returns to Hilo

The Big Island of Hawai‘i Gannenmono Committee celebrated the 150th anniversary of Japanese immigrants in Hawai‘i with the return of the Japanese training sailing ship, Nippon Maru in Hilo on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

Nippon Maru at Hilo Harbor.

The port of call marks the beginning of year-long events commemorating 150 years of Japanese immigrants to the State of Hawai‘i.

Nippon Maru.

The ship is operated by the National Institute for Sea Training out of Tokyo.

Hālau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua.

Hālau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua greeted the cadets with hula.

Hālau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua.

Rose Bautista from Hawai‘i County Mayor Kim’s office presented the crew with a commemoration that said:

County of Hawai‘i awards this Certificate of Commemoration to welcome the visit of the Nippon Maru to the Port of Hilo.  We are delighted that the masters, cadets, and crew of this magnificent four-masted training ship, nicknamed the “Swan of the Pacific Ocean,”  have honored us with your presence. We wish you a safe and enjoyable voyage.

Awarded this 6th of January, 2018.

Harry Kim, Mayor County of Hawai‘i.

Rose Bautista gives the mayor’s commendation to the captain of the ship.

The Gannenmono, or “first year men,” arrived in Hawai‘i from Yokohama in 1868.

They numbered approximately 150 people from Japan of diverse backgrounds such as urban dwellers, artists, cooks and displaced samurai.

These immigrants were the first of what would become wave after wave of Issei, the first generation. Working mainly as laborers or in the sugar cane fields, by 1924, so many Japanese had come to the islands that they constituted over 40% of the population.

Honorary Consul General of Japan Hilo Arthur K. Taniguchi presents a floral arrangement to the ships captain.

The crew of the ship will be doing a beach cleanup tomorrow along Hilo Bay beginning at 10 a.m. and the public is welcome to come out and assist.

Cadets return to the ship.

The ship will remain in Hilo until Tuesday, Jan. 9, when it will sail out of the Bay with the cadets on board manning the ships masts. The last time the ship was in Hilo was in 2005.