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    March 2018
    S M T W T F S
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Buddy Perry Soccer Fields Adds New Addition

Shipman Park in Kea‘au is known for people of all ages using the fields to play soccer.  Last year the fields at the park were named the “Buddy Perry Soccer Fields” in honor of the late Justin Masayoshi “Buddy” Perry, after members of the Nā Hoa O Puna Soccer Team petitioned the county to name the fields after Coach Buddy.

On Saturday, March 3, 2018, while the Nā Hoa O Puna U14 soccer team was playing a game, county workers installed a new monument underneath the original sign.

The sign reads:


“Coach Buddy” was a strict and loving soccer coach born on O‘ahu and raised on Maui.  He moved to Hilo to attend UH-Hilo in 1997.  When his first son was old enough to participate in sports, Coach Buddy became a volunteer coach for Puna AYSO.

Living in Puna there were not many options for competitive sports. So years later he Founded Nā Hoa O Puna Soccer Club.

Coach Buddy was diagnosed with ALS (AKA Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2009 but continued on with his tireless devotion to Nā Hoa O Puna Soccer Club.  His love and passion for the sport and the children made him stronger even though his health was deteriorating.

On Decemeber 13, 2015, he passed away peacefully at his home in Puna Leaving the youth of Puna with so much to be thankful for and many life lessons learned.

He was hard on his players knowing it would help them to better individuals on and off the field. As Coach Buddy would say, “Always play hard and never forget where you come from.”

Hawai‘i House Passes 131 Bills to Senate

Hawai’i State Legislature file photo.

The Hawai‘i House of Representatives passed 131 bills on third reading on Friday, March 2, 2018, moving them to the Senate for their consideration. The bills include housing, homelessness, education, health, the environment, public safety, governmental affairs, the environment and other important issues.

Here are some of the highlights:

Homelessness and Housing

HB2281 Establishes within the Department of Human Services an Ohana Zones program to provide housing to homeless individuals and families based on principles similar to Housing First and appropriates unspecified funds for the program.

HB2753 Establishes the Ohana Zone Pilot Program. Defines the intent of the pilot program, and sets preliminary milestones that shall be met by the Department of Human Services, Homeless Programs Office in establishing the pilot program.

HB2472 Specifies that certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code related to at-risk rules and deductions and to passive activity loss do not apply with respect to claims for the state low-income housing tax credit.

HB2703 (1) Allocates a portion of the conveyance tax revenues to the rental assistance revolving fund to be used to subsidize rents for persons who meet certain income requirements; (2) Increases the income tax credit for low-income household renters to an unspecified amount; and (3) Makes the state earned income tax credit refundable and changes the amount of the credit to an unspecified percentage of the federal earned income tax credit.

HB2744 Appropriates funds to provide additional rent supplement subsidies.

HB2745 Expands the rental assistance program by increasing the minimum percentage of affordable units a rental housing project is required to maintain for eligible tenants from 20% to 30%. Appropriates funds to support new rental assistance program contracts.

HB1727 Requires employers to provide a minimum amount of paid sick leave to employees to be used to care for themselves or a family member who is ill or needs medical care, or due to a public health emergency. Gives employers flexibility to offer paid sick leave to minimum wage and other employees or to pay minimum wage employees a salary that is more than the minimum wage.


HB1720 Allows for a state income tax deduction for teacher supplies purchased for use in the classroom and for professional development courses; provided that the teacher obtains a written certification from the Department of Education.


HB1911 Requires home care agencies to be licensed or certified. Authorizes the Department of Health to inspect home care agencies. Requires the Department of Health to establish a home care aid registry. Authorizes the Department of Health to establish procedures for the receipt, investigation, and resolution of complaints against home care agencies. Authorizes the Department of Health to enter a care facility when investigating a facility or home. Allows the Department of Health to establish a forum where state-licensed care facilities may post job vacancies. Imposes criminal penalty for the intentional operation of a community-based foster family home, adult foster family home, adult day care center, or home care agency without a license. Requires the Department of Health to establish a working group to discuss and provide feedback for the implementation of the job vacancy forum.

HB2611 Appropriates moneys for Department of Health to fund substance abuse treatment programs relating to persons with multiple chronic conditions, a centralized referral system, case management programs, and a peer mentoring or coaching program.

HB2208 Requires association health plan policies to comply with the laws of this State regardless of the association’s domicile. Enables certain voluntary associations, including employer associations that issue association health plans, to qualify for authorization to transact insurance in the State.

HB2128 Requires that health insurance policies include coverage for clinical victim support services for victims of sexual violence and abuse who suffer from mental disorders.

HB2729 Amends the reciprocity program and adds a visiting patient certifying fee. Extends expiration of a written certification to three years for chronic conditions. Permits retesting of a failed batch of medical cannabis or products. Permits dispensary licensees to distribute devices that provide safe pulmonary administration. Increases the maximum allowable tetrahydro cannibinol limit for multi-pack cannabis products and single containers of oil.

Public Safety

HB1614 Automatically imposes a restraining order upon parties filing for annulment, divorce, or separation to preserve the financial assets of the parties and their dependents and maintain the current island of residence and school of enrollment of a minor child of the parties.

HB2131 Creates a Hawaii Sexual Assault Response and Training Program to address the manner in which sexual assault evidence collection kits are processed and tracked, and to ensure that victims of sexual assault are informed of their rights under the law.

HB2200 Allows an employer to seek a temporary restraining order and injunction against further harassment of an employee or invitee who may be harassed at the employer’s premises or worksite, provided that the provisions do not apply to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations or any of its employees with investigatory duties and responsibilities.

HB2169 Appropriates moneys for youth suicide early intervention, prevention, and education initiatives in Maui county.


HB1656 Increases the amount of the fine that may be assessed against a noncandidate committee making only independent expenditures for campaign spending violations. Allows the Campaign Spending Commission to order that a fine assessed against a noncandidate committee, or any portion thereof, be paid from the personal funds of officers of the noncandidate committee.

HB2541 Enacts voting by mail uniformly across all counties for all elections commencing in 2020, and allows any election to be conducted by mail prior to the 2020 primary election.

HB1799 Allows only nonprofit corporations to be recipients of grants in aid appropriated by the Legislature under Chapter 42F, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The Environment

HB 2728 Establishes a Clean Transportation Initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of fossil fuels in all public ground transportation by 2035.

Click here for a list of all bills passed by the House of Representative so far this session.

Researchers Create First Map Showing Impact on Hawai‘i Reefs

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa announces that the first comprehensive map documenting the relative impact of human activities and natural events in slowing reef recovery after extreme coral bleaching caused by rising water temperatures in Hawai‘i, has been produced by an interdisciplinary group of researchers with University of Hawai‘i ties.

Composite showing healthy coral, left, and degraded croal; photo by Keoki Stender, Marine Life Photo

The study, a large, multi-institution collaboration between Stanford University, UH, Stockholm Resilience Center, NOAA, and others, synthesized 10 years of datasets from university and government sources across many factors for the first time to get a big-picture perspective on reef health and regional impacts. It provides a foundation for further research and informs policies to protect coral reefs.

The researchers from the collaborative Ocean Tipping Points project reviewed the data to gauge how a broad suite of factors, such as sedimentation, development and fishing, influence coral reef health across the main Hawaiian Islands.

The study appears in PLOS One and reveals variations in what was inhibiting reef recovery across the islands. On the densely populated island of O‘ahu, for example, the dominant stressors were human activities, such as fishing and loss of natural habitat to coastal development. Sedimentation and nutrient runoff were dominant forces on less populated islands.

“When we jumped into the water in West Hawai‘i, over half of the coral reef was dead,” said the paper’s lead author, Lisa Wedding, a research associate at Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions and graduate of UH Mānoa’s geography PhD program. “These are some of Hawaiʻi’s most vibrant coral reefs, so we were heartbroken—and determined to better understand how reef ecosystems could be more resilient in the future.”

“This area of research has been a long-term need for coral reef conservation and management,” said co-author Joey Lecky, a NOAA GIS analyst who analyzed human drivers of change in the main Hawaiian Islands as part of his graduate work at UH Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. “These findings will allow us to take a big step forward in understanding how corals are impacted by both human activities and environmental stressors, in a place with incredible value.”

The research team’s findings highlight the importance of tailoring strategies based on location to effectively address local impacts. “These layers are being actively used in the ongoing state effort to meet Gov. David Ige’s 30×30 goal—protecting 30% of the nearshore by 2030—announced at the World Conservation Conference here in 2016,” noted Kirsten Oleson, Lecky’s advisor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management and a contributing author.

Data created by this mapping study are available for free at the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS), where scientists, managers and members of the public can explore and further analyze what drives variation on coral reefs. Users can download data layers in various formats and explore all layers in an interactive map viewer.

“We live in a changing world, and changing oceans are a big part of that,” said Ocean Tipping Points lead investigator Carrie Kappel of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. “Studies like this one provide crucial insights into how we can act locally to improve the resilience of reefs to global changes. This is an approach that can be replicated for reefs elsewhere.”

Read the paper here.

Paper co-authors include Oleson lab member Kim Falinski, a marine science advisor to The Nature Conservancy in Honolulu; Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology affiliate Kimberly Selkoe; and former biology faculty member Alan Friedlander. Other UH PhD graduates contributing to the study include Jamison Gove (oceanography), Mary Donovan and Kaylyn McCoy (zoology) and Jack Kittinger (geography).

Participating scientists represent Stanford, UH, NOAA, the University of California Santa Barbara, Bangor University, National Geographic Society, Conservation International, Arizona State University, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Curtin University and California Polytechnic State University. The research was supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and NOAA Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Officers Learn Basic Sign Language

The Department of Public Safety (PSD) Sheriffs Division and Corrections Division, took part in a program to learn American Sign Language for Police and Corrections Officers, a course offered by All Hands on Deck.

All Hands on Deck. Courtesy photo.

This program helps to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the deaf and hard of hearing community. During this progressive course sheriff deputies, adult corrections officers (ACOs) and other PSD staff learned the basic skills needed to communicate with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing until a Legal Certified Sign Language Interpreter arrives.

During the classes, deputies, ACOs and other staff learned how to sign basic words and phrases, such as: yes, no, are you deaf, do you understand, I called an interpreter, police, help is coming and calm down. They also learned the hand gestures for license, registration, insurance and speeding, to name a few.

All Hands on Deck. Courtesy photo.

“This class was taught by deaf trainers and for some Deputies and ACOs, it was the first time interacting with the deaf community,” said Acting Training and Staff Development Administrator Marte Martinez. “The deputies, ACOs and staff acquired new skills that will benefit their community.”

All Hands on Deck worked with Department officials to explain the necessity of getting auxiliary aids/services into their facilities, as well as learning how to communicate with inmates and detainees who are deaf or hard of hearing.

TajaRay Ferland is the owner and training instructor of All Hands on Deck. Her program has taught sessions to law enforcement agencies nationwide.

“All Hands on Deck thanks the students for their enthusiastic participation and the Department of Public Safety for its progressiveness and diligence in its effort in continuing to advance technology and education for the Hawaiian community,” said Ferland.