• Breaking News

  • Hawaii Island Energy Coop
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • RSS Mayor Kenoi’s Blog

  • Say When

    November 2015
    S M T W T F S
    « Oct    
  • When

  • RSS World Wide Ed

  • RSS Pulpconnection

72 Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever – Some Schools Will Be Treated this Weekend

The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak.  As of 10:30 today the Department of Health has reported 72 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island.  These cases include 62 residents and 10 visitors.


Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted or spread by infected mosquitoes and not directly from person to person.  Dengue Fever is not endemic or common to Hawaii. It was likely introduced by a person who contracted the virus in another area of the world and became infectious while in Hawaii.

Because dengue fever is only transmitted by mosquitoes, the Department of Health is spraying and treating areas with high mosquito presence and confirmed cases.  The Department of Health may be conducting spraying at various locations in the Kona, Hilo, and Puna areas today.  In addition, the Department of Health with support from the County of Hawaii and the Department of Education will be conducting preventive spraying or treating of areas around the following school campuses this weekend:

  • Konawaena High, Middle and Elementary Schools
  • Honaunau School
  • Hookena School
  • Hilo High School
  • Hilo Intermediate School
  • Waiakea Intermediate and Elementary Schools

Again, these school campuses are being treated as a preventative measure and based on proximity to confirmed cases in the area.  There are no cases directly related to any of the school facilities or campuses.

Although spraying and treatment of areas is ongoing, the most effective method to reduce the spread and possible elimination of Dengue is to minimize or prevent the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellant and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.

In addition, persons feeling ill and having a fever should remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.

For additional information on Dengue Fever and preventing the spread of Dengue Fever, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001., Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.

1,000 Desks Donated to South African Schools on Behalf of the Worldwide Voyage

Hokulea crewmembers and a delegation of Hawaii students, teachers and families visited St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School near Cape Town, South Africa to present 50 Tutudesks featuring artwork inspired by the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. An additional 1,000 desks will be delivered to township schools in the Durban, South Africa area in early 2016. The donation of desks will support the campaign’s goal to provide 20 million desks to 20 million children by 2020.


“These Tutudesks will help students have space at home to do their homework. Even in the   classroom, it’s going to help teachers do individual work with each child,” said Vuyiswa Lebenya, principal of St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School.

Following the presentation, Ke Ka o Makalii – a group comprised of teachers and students from Kamehameha Schools and Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School – offered hula and mele celebrating the past voyages of Hokulea. Students from St. Mary’s then followed with their own local songs and dances before inviting the Hawaii delegation to participate.


“When I saw them dancing together, that is what global peace looks like. It’s finding that rhythm that’s down deep inside that allows us to be completely the same, to be respectful and caring of everyone,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Hokulea crewmembers and the Hawaii delegation are in South Africa this week as part of Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.


The Desmond Tutu Tutudesk Campaign provides portable school desks to children in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 95 million school children do not have the benefit of a classroom desk. This shortage affects the development of literacy and overall academic performance.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for New Waimea District Park

A groundbreaking and traditional Hawaiian blessing for a new 24-acre Waimea District Park were held Monday, November 16, during a public ceremony attended by Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi, County Councilmembers, State lawmakers, and Parker Ranch Inc. executives.

Kahu Kealoha Sugiyama performs the blessing ceremony for a new Waimea District Park on Monday, November 16. Image provided by: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

Kahu Kealoha Sugiyama performs the blessing ceremony for a new Waimea District Park on Monday, November 16.
Image provided by: Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation

The project’s first phase, complete with three covered play courts, lighted ball field and keiki playground, will be opened in December 2016, well ahead of the original 2020 estimate, Mayor Kenoi said while standing in front of the green pastures to be developed into active recreation.

“It’s going to be a pu‘uhonua (place of peace and safety) in beautiful Waimea,” he said.

Parker Ranch donated the land for the park site located near its former headquarters and reached via Ala ‘Ōhi‘a Road.

“This is truly an exciting day for Waimea and the Big Island,” Dutch Kuyper, Parker Ranch president and CEO, said, noting athletic fields are where children can learn good sportsmanship and humility, even in defeat.

Contractor Nan Inc. has been hired to build the project’s first phase, which also will feature accessible walkways, more than 150 paved parking spaces, landscaping, and infrastructure.

Mayor Kenoi thanked the Waimea community, including the Waimea District Park Builders, for not giving up on the dream of a new park. He also thanked State leaders for helping obtain partial funding for the park development, the County Council for approving the balance of the necessary funding, and the Department of Parks and Recreation for managing the project.

Kamehameha 6th Grader Earns National American Miss Hawaii Title – Heads to Mainland for National Pageant

Kamehameha 6th Grader Jordanna Takaki, daughter of Kori Takaki and Derek Kalai, has earned the prestigious title of 2015 National American Miss Hawaii through her successfully scored events in the local pageant.

11-year-old Jordanna Takaki

11-year-old Jordanna Takaki

She will be attending the National Pageant to be held at Disneyland during Thanksgiving week, representing Hawaii, where she will have the opportunity to win her share of over $500,000 in cash and prizes.

Jordanna is on the “Principals List – Honor Roll” at Kamehameha School Hawaii Campus and is active in the Drama Club while also dancing Tahitian for Merahi Productions. She enjoys swimming and was recently involved in the Hilo Palace Theater production of Mary Poppins.
Jordanna at Life Care Center
Jordanna volunteers at the Life Care Center of Hilo where she enjoys singing and dancing for the patients.

The pageant will be held on November 28th at Disneyland.

EPA Awards $80,000 to Educate Hawaiian Students on Local Watersheds

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded an environmental education grant of $80,000 to the Pacific American Foundation located in Kaneohe, Hawaii.

pacific american foundation

The goal of the program, Wisdom of the Watershed, is to improve environmental science education by increasing the interest of Hawaii’s youth in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines through culturally-relevant curriculum and meaningful outdoor watershed educational experiences.

The program will help sixth through twelfth grade students explore and compare three different watersheds in Hawaii with different land management practices. Students will take field trips partnered with research scientists and will measure water quality in the watersheds using scientific instrumentation. The microbial and sediment environments will also be sampled. Students will analyze the collected data and engage in service learning projects to improve environmental quality throughout the watersheds.

“Hawaii’s watersheds are unique,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The Pacific American Foundation will teach the next generation of scientists to protect and manage these critical natural resources.”

“The Pacific American Foundation’s program, Wisdom of the Watershed, provides environmental educational by engaging students, in current, ongoing environmental research through partnerships with University researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and public and private sector businesses, thus providing relevance in STEM learning and a profound understanding of both the scientific and engineering processes,” said Derek Esibill, Program Director of the Wisdom of the Watershed Program. “Concurrently, the program engages teachers by tailoring their curriculum to enable students to participate in ridge to reef expeditions. These expeditions use cultural, place-based research projects to create meaningful outdoor experiences, increasing the interest of Hawai`i’s youth to pursue pathways in STEM careers.”

EPA’s Environmental Education Local Grants Program supports environmental education projects that increase the public’s awareness and provide them with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional Office received over 80 applications this year, and the Pacific American Foundation project is one of seven projects in the Pacific Southwest Region that will receive an environmental education grant.

For more information on Environmental Education Grants, please visit: www2.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants

For more information on the Pacific American Foundation, please visit: www.pacificamerican.foundation

Hawaiian Electric Companies Propose New Time-of-Use Rates to Help Public Schools

The Hawaiian Electric Companies have proposed to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission new, lower day-time electric rates for the Hawaii Department of Education that could help public schools manage their electricity costs as they add more air conditioning and cooling equipment, while also using renewable energy that is available during day-time hours.

Helco new Logo 2

“At the Hawaiian Electric Companies, we know the challenges in providing a comfortable learning environment for our students and teachers,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service. “There’s been a big push for air conditioning and fans in our public schools so we wanted to find a way to assist in controlling their energy costs as they add this equipment.

“Our goal in proposing these rates is to give the Department of Education the opportunity to expand air conditioning in classrooms across the state with a tool to manage the increase in electricity use that could really hit a school’s utility budget,” he said.

“These schools are supported by our tax dollars,” said Alberts, “Giving schools greater control over their electric bills will allow more money to pay for education and other priorities.”

Hawaiian Electric estimates that the Department of Education would have saved about 9 percent on electric bills for the twelve months ended June 2015 had the proposed rates been in effect. These savings could help offset the increase in costs as more air-conditioning and cooling equipment is added.

“The department has been working on a number of ways to effectively cool schools,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The time-of-use rate proposed by Hawaiian Electric would enable us to move forward on air conditioning projects while managing energy costs as well as foster responsible energy usage.”

Each of the 240 public schools in the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ service territories (Hawaii Island, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Oahu) will have the option to take advantage of the new rates. Actual savings will depend on how much each school is able to change its use to fit the time-of-use rate periods. Participating schools would pay:

  • The lowest rate – about 25 percent less than the recent average effective energy charge –from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (super off-peak hours).
  • A rate that is the same as the existing energy charge rate from midnight to 8 a.m. (off-peak hours).
  • A rate that is higher — above the existing energy charge rate — from 4 p.m. to midnight (on-peak hours).

Proposed rates also support renewable energy

These rates are also designed to encourage more electricity use during the hours of the day when renewable energy – particularly solar – is adding more low cost electricity to the grid. In addition, by designing time-of-use rates to better match demand with energy supply, the utilities may also reduce the need for additional system resources, including utility generation, during evening peak hours.

The new rates provide educational as well as operational opportunities for students and teachers as well as administrators to see each participating school’s energy use. With the additional grid intelligence from the Hawaiian Electric Companies Smart Power for Schools’ program, electricity use trends with the proposed DOE time-of-use rates can be monitored, managed and evaluated by both the DOE and Hawaiian Electric Companies to refine the rate schedules in the future.

The proposed new rates are called “Schedule DOE-J, Commercial Time-of-Use Service” and “DOE-P, Large Power Time-of-Use Service.” Most schools would fall under the DOE-J rate.

Hawaiian Electric is asking the PUC to allow these rates to go into effect by January 5, 2016 and stay in effect for ten years, through four to five of the Department of Education’s two-year budget cycles to ensure proper evaluation of the stated objectives.

Other time-of-use rate programs to come

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are also developing time-of-use rate proposals that other customers will be able to take advantage of to help manage their energy costs and support renewable energy. Those proposals will be submitted to the PUC this month.

UH Hilo Participating in Million Student March #MillionStudentMarch

The United Hawaii Student Union (UHSU), a registered independent student organization (RISO) at UH Hilo is happy to be an organizer of the national movement #MillionStudentMarch this Thursday at UH Hilo.
Student March
The event will start at 10am at the Mookini Library and will go on until 4pm. Anybody in support of student rights is invited.
Hawai’i Senator Russell Rudderman will be speaking at 12pm along with Hawai’i County Corporation Council Attorney Steven Strauss along with other speakers. A UH Hilo campus march will begin at 12:30pm. Please wear red.
The national demands consist of 3 items:
  1. Tuition-free public colleges and universities
  2. Cancellation of all student debt
  3.  $15/hr campus-wide minimum wage for college workers

Please bring local food for the all day potluck.  Facebook event here Official website www.studentmarch.org

For more information contact UHSU at Uhstudentunion@gmail.com

New Tool – Vog Measurement and Prediction Project

A paper published this month by University of Hawaiʻi and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory researchers in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society details the development and utility of a computer model for the dispersion of volcanic smog or “vog,” which forms when volcanic sulfur dioxide gas interacts with water and coverts it to acid sulfate aerosol particles in the atmosphere.

Vog poses a serious threat to the health of Hawaiʻi’s people as well as being harmful to the state’s ecosystems and agriculture. Even at the low concentrations, which can be found far from the volcano, vog can provoke asthma attacks in those with prior respiratory conditions. It also damages vegetation and crops downwind from the volcano.


Click to check out the project

News tools for predicting vog

Scientists from the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), under the leadership of Professor of Meteorology Steve Businger, and in collaboration with researchers at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, developed a computer model for predicting the dispersion of vog. The vog model uses measurements of the amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted by Kīlauea, along with predictions of the prevailing winds, to forecast the movement of vog around the state.

The team of scientists developed an ultraviolet spectrometer array to provide near-real-time volcanic gas emission rate measurements; developed and deployed SO2 and meteorological sensors to record the extent of Kīlauea’s gas plume (for model verification); and developed web-based tools to share observations and model forecasts, providing useful information for safety officials and the public and raising awareness of the potential hazards of volcanic emissions to respiratory health, agriculture and general aviation.

“Comparisons between the model output and vog observations show what users of the vog model forecasts have already guessed—that online model data and maps depicting the future location and dispersion of the vog plume over time are sufficiently accurate to provide very useful guidance, especially to those who suffer allergies or respiratory conditions that make them sensitive to vog,” said Businger.

A statewide concern

Kīlauea volcano, the most active volcano on earth, is situated in the populous State of Hawaiʻi. The current eruption has been ongoing since 1983, while a new summit eruption began in 2008.

The most significant effect of this new eruption has been a dramatic increase in the amount of volcanic gas that is emitted into Hawaiʻi’s atmosphere. While the effects of lava eruption are limited to the southeastern sector of the Big Island, the volcanic gas emitted by Kīlauea is in no way constrained; it is free to spread across the entire state.

“Higher gas fluxes from Kīlauea appear to be the new norm. For the State of Hawaiʻi to understand the effects of vog and then come up with strategies to efficiently mitigate its effects, accurate forecasts of how vog moves around the state are vital,” said Businger.

The American Recovery Act award that originally funded the development of the vog model program has long since expired. Funding for a PhD candidate, Andre Pattantyus, to help keep the online vog products available has been provided by SOEST and the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research.

Because Pattantyus, the lead vog modeler, is set to graduate this winter, the vog program is at a crossroads. Businger is working with stakeholders that include federal, state, commercial and private interests to jointly fund an ongoing vog and dispersion modeling capability for the residents of Hawaiʻi.

Public support of the vog modeling program is critical for the program to continue providing vog plume predictions in future.

UHSU Commentary – Hawaii Community College Student Wants Answers on Student Funding

United Hawai’i Student Union (UHSU) member Asia Olsen sent the following email to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at Hawaii Community College Jason Cifra.

Asia Olsen

Asia Olsen Facebook picture

He is required by state law to respond within 10 business days. UHSU will keep you posted on his response.

See you at the #MillionStudentMarch this Thursday 10-4pm Library Lanai.
Facebook event here

Aloha Jason Cifra,

Per the Freedom of Information Act and the Sunshine Law I would like to request answers and / or corresponding documentation to the following:

Currently what are the names all of the individual Chartered Student Organizations (CSOs) of HawCC?

Please provide me with all of the individual CSOs of HawCC’s constitutions, charters and/ or bylaws.

Please provide me with all of the budgets for the past five years of all of HawCC’s CSOs.

How much money was collected in student fees this fiscal year?

Please provide the amount of student fees collected over the individual past 5 fiscal years.

What paid positions are paid for out of HawCC’s CSOs budgets?

Please provide the names of the individuals whose positions are funded by HawCC student fees.

Please provide the job descriptions of all positions paid for by HawCC student fees.

Please provide the names of the individuals and their job descriptions of all positions paid for by HawCC student fees over the past 5 fiscal years.

Please provide the names and job descriptions of all employees in the student affairs department at HawCC.

Please provide me with any and all documentation, guidelines, rules, policies and/or regulations of pertaining to the allocation of student fees.

Does the Student Life Center receive funding from student fees?

Please provide the current fiscal year budget for the Student Life Center.

Please provide the budgets and receipts of the Student Life Center over the past 5 fiscal years.

Who is currently in charge of the Student Life Center?

Who is the designated representative by the board of regents at HawCC who may withdraw funds on behalf of Chartered Student Organizations in reference to: §304A-2257 University of Hawaii student activities revolving fund?

Mahalo for your cooperation,

Asia Olsen
Hawaii Community College student
United Hawaii Student Union member

Operation Compassion Collects Over 70 Kits for Abused Children and Victims of Domestic Violence

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council’s CEO, Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita and her daughter, Deannah Che Preston worked for two months on project, Operation Compassion to help collect therapeutic kits for abused children and victims of domestic violence.

This mother and daughter team with the help of the Big Island Substance Abuse Council successfully collected over 70 completed kits. Each backpack included a blanket, stuffed animal, hygiene kits, coloring books, notebooks, pencils, crayons, and a storybook.

This mother and daughter team with the help of the Big Island Substance Abuse Council successfully collected over 70 completed kits. Each backpack included a blanket, stuffed animal, hygiene kits, coloring books, notebooks, pencils, crayons, and a storybook.

High School senior, Deannah Che wanted to make a difference in children’s lives.  “It really saddens me when children have to experience abuse, especially alone.”  Her purpose was to show them that they are not alone and that people care.  Together, they have seen the outpouring of support.  “We are so fortunate to live in a community that everyone pulls together to inspire change and we are humbled and grateful for all the support” says, Dr. Hannah.

Due to this support, BISAC will continue this as an annual campaign to benefit the Children’s Justice Center a program which provides support to abused children and victims of domestic violence.

Since 1964, the Big Island Substance Abuse Council has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives.  “These kits will continue our mission and hopefully make a difference in our community” says, Dr. Hannah.    If you want to donate please contact 969-9994 ext. 827.

Dengue Fever Information Update – Public Meetings Begin Tonight

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Monday November 9th at 10:30AM.

The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak.  As of 12:00 noon Friday the Department of Health has reported 23 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island.  These cases include 15 residents and 8 visitors and across multiple areas of the island.  An update of the number of cases will be made later today.


Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted or spread by infected mosquitoes and is not transmitted directly from person to person.  Dengue Fever is not endemic or common to Hawaii and the source or origin of this outbreak is likely due to an introduction of the virus by a person who may have contracted the virus while in another area of the world and who became infectious while in Hawaii.

Because the only mode or method of transmission is through mosquito bites there are actions being taken to reduce the risks and include the spraying or treating of areas of high mosquito presence that are also areas of possible contact with infected people. This includes areas around residents of confirmed cases.

Although spraying or treating of areas is ongoing, the most effective method of reducing the spread and possibly eliminating Dengue is to minimize or prevent the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito.  Wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, use of mosquito repellant and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.  In addition, persons feeling ill and having a fever should remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.

Public Information Meetings will be held at the following locations:

  • Tonight Monday November 9th at the Yano Hall in Kona
  • Tomorrow Tuesday November 10th at the Naalehu Community Center
  • Thursday November 12th at the Konawaena High Cafeteria
  • Friday November 13th at the Hohokaa High Cafeteria
  • Monday November 16th at the Hilo High Cafeteria
  • Tuesday November 17th at the Keaau High Cafeteria

All meetings will begin at 6:00 PM each evening and the community is encouraged to attend.

For additional information on Dengue Fever and preventing the spread of Dengue Fever, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-4000, extension 68362.

Lily Kahumoku Speaks Out About Coach June Jones Allegations

In 2008 there was a rumor floating around that Coach June Jones had impregnated UH Volleyball player Lily Kahumoku.

Lily and her family

Lily and her family

The rumor floated around long enough that I finally asked readers on my website on whether they believed it was true or not and amazingly 75.1% of the folks that replied… believed the rumor to be true.

Lily Poll

A few years after Lily graduated from the University of Hawaii, I received the following email from her:


Hello Damon,

My name is Lily, it used to be Kahumoku, but now it’s Olteanu. I’ve seen your site. I commend you for your passion and the work that you’re doing. I also have blog and I know how much work it is to maintain.

The reason I’m writing to you is, I would like you to remove your survey about regarding June Jones impregnating me. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will, the rumors and lies spread about this affair are ridiculous. It never happened, but  do to the timing of my sabbatical, June Jones accident and Dr Joel Fischer, I understand how the creation of this false narrative came to life. And it’s tragic, that people truly believe it happened.

I never let these rumors get to me, because I knew it was bullshit. Unfortunately, due to rather recent events in my life, I’ve become a bit more fragile and sensitive to this topic, specifically because I am reproductively challenged and am still mourning the loss of my children, my suns, Keali’ikauila Cristian and Kahekili Alexandru Olteanu. They passed away on December 9, 2010, in Tours, France. The law France prohibited their incubation and neonatal assistance and they both died shortly after the birth. 

Well, I didn’t about this survey until recently when my husband googled my name and saw it. He was very disturbed. It simply isn’t fair that my family has suffers over something like this. I know life’s not fair, and that you’re work is to provide news and information to the people of Hawaii. However, I think you’re a reasonable person and I would like to ask you, as a courtesy, to please remove the article/survey regarding this nonsense.

I made a tribute site for my children at: www.lilyolteanu.com, there is a section called Mommy’s journal, you can go to the archives to see all of my entries. It’s not perfect, it’s full of errors and it’s sloppy places. But it’s real, it’s from my heart and has been my savior.

Anyway, I hope this message finds you well.

Mahalo for your cooperation and time.

Lily Olteanu

Now with June Jones applying for his former position with the University of Hawaii after Norm Chow has been released… I felt it was time to clear the air with this alleged rumor and Lily does too as she sent this to me yesterday after I asked her if I could post her side of the story:


Hello Damon,

I really appreciate your message and for that I have no problem with you sharing my email. For years, these rumors have hurt my family and loved ones. On countless occasions I thought about “clearing the air” on my own forum in one of my blogs. But I never did, it’s a Catch 22. If I say it never happened, which it didn’t (I don’t even know Coach Jones personally), there will be crazies out there who will still think whatever they want.

When I sent you the email I was a emotional wreck. In the last four years, I lost two more little boys, twins again, Kainoa and Kekoa, they lived for 6 and 10 days before passing away due to complications with their prematurity. I also had a life-threatening ectopic scar pregnancy in which I did two rounds of chemotherapy in Romania and England, because it was too dangerous to remove the fetus.

However, after this hellacious journey to and through motherhood I am proud to say my son Lucian is almost one year-old. The journey to get him almost got the most of me, but he was/is definitely worth it. HAPPY ENDINGS DO EXIST. Mahalo again for the notice. Here are a few pictures.

Lily and babyAloha,


Commentary – UH Hilo Student Reporters Threatened by UH Hilo Security

On Friday, October 30, 2015 at 5:10pm UH Hilo Campus Security told student reporters that they had to leave a public University of Hawaii at Hilo Student Association (UHHSA) meeting or the security guard would have to, “call HPD (Hawaii Police Department).” Campus Security said that because UHHSA requested the reporters to stop recording, and then deemed the recording a ‘disruption’ there were grounds to call the police. See video here

Click to view recording

Click to view recording

UHHSA President Lazareth Sye told the reporters, “if you wish to record that you do so not here.” He then stated, “I’m going to identify it as a disruption since the people who are involved at the meeting are not able to focus on what they are trying to do which is represent the student body.”

The reporters work for UHSUnews, the news outlet of the Registered Independent Student Organization (RISO) The Student Union, at UH Hilo.

UHHSA members maintained the student association has a right to limit access to public meetings and prevent recordings from occurring. UHHSA displayed signs at the meeting informing attendees that student IDs were required to enter the meeting and recording devices were forbidden.

UHSUnews reporters provided documentation to UHHSA and UH Hilo Security informing them of the university policies and laws protecting free press, and allowing recording public meetings.  See pictures here

At the 10/5/15 UHHSA meeting UH Hilo Dean of Students Dr. Kelly Oaks advised UHHSA that nothing could be done to prevent recording public meetings. Oaks told UHHSA, “Hawai’i is a one party consent state as it relates to recordings and that one party and the one party can be the party who is recording if this is an open and public meeting I would say its not something that we can prevent.” To which President Sye said, “ok, so  members, seeing that we are being recorded and to act as such, with that being said,:

In the following 10/23/15 and 10/30/15 meetings President Lazareth Sye claimed the recording was a disruption and closed the public meeting.

Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano was the only UH Official in the 10/30/15 meeting. She was also present when Dean Oaks informed UHHSA that nothing could be done to prevent recording of public meetings. Kusano is one of the defendants named on a lawsuit the University of Hawaii recently settled regarding free speech on campus. As a result of this lawsuit naming Kusano the university was forced to pay $50K see settlement here and was required to update its policy on free expression. See UH Hilo Free Expression Policy here

UHHSA has an annual budget of  approximately $170K and represents 4,000 UH Hilo students.  The UHHSA Constitution states, “All meetings shall be open and publicized.” See constitution here

UHSUnews reporters now say there have been student conduct code complaints filed against them.

Students have complained that UHHSA has been excessively influenced by UH Hilo Campus Center employees. UH Hilo student and Student Union President Ryu Kakazu said, “What you have are university administrators in positions of authority using their influence to promote their interests over the interests of students. It has gone on for far too long.”

A complaint has been filed with UH Hilo Security. UHSUnews student reporters say they will continue to attend UHHSA meetings and exercise their right to record as afforded by UH policy and laws. The next UHHSA meeting will be on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 8pm in CC306 at UH Hilo. see press release file here

Contact: Student Union Member Shawna Wolff swolff@hawaii.edu or call 494-8784

Zonta Service Project Presents $10K to Neighborhood Place of Puna

The Zonta Club of Hilo organized a Halloween party—“Halloween Madness”—for more than 125 individuals at the Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP) on October 24.

Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, presents $10,000 Weinbeg Foundation grant award to Paul Norman of Neighborhood Place of Puna.  Photo by Jenna Roussy

Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, presents $10,000 Weinbeg Foundation grant award to Paul Norman of Neighborhood Place of Puna. Photo by Jenna Roussy

“Halloween Madness” was done as part of The Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Foundation’s Weinberg Friends Program, which gave the Zonta Club’s chosen non-profit $10,000 upon completion of a sweat equity project. The Halloween-themed event was the Zonta Club of Hilo’s 2015 project.

Hilo Zontians kicked off the event with direct work activities including installing curtain rods and curtains to help cut glare in NPP’s multipurpose room, and creating 20 holiday readiness cleaning buckets as well as 200+ personal hygiene kits for families in need.

Following the work session, 25 client families with four to six children ranging in age from months to 12-years-old, were invited to make healthy snacks including a vegetable witch’s broom and Oreo cookie spider; visit the craft station and create monster magnets, decorate trick-or-treat bags or fold origami; and select an outfit from the costume closet. Target Hilo donated $400 worth of Halloween costumes to help fill the closet.

“It was the Zonta Club of Hilo’s absolute pleasure to support the good work Neighborhood Place of Puna does to empower area families with knowledge and resources,” said Julie Tulang, organizer for event. “Hilo Zontians and volunteers found it very rewarding to be able to interact with the families in the spook-tacular spirit of Halloween.”

After the morning’s work and Halloween activity sessions, Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, presented a $10,000 grant award to NPP Executive Director, Paul Norman, to support Neighborhood Place of Puna’s “Kamalama Parenting Project,” a parenting curriculum to help area families raise healthy children in a safe, stable home environment.

Queens and princesses from Lehua Hawaii Productions (LHP) were on-hand to volunteer at “Halloween Madness.” Prior to the event, LHP in partnership with Zonta Hilo, hosted a costume and personal care items drive to secure donations.

For the last 17 years, the Zonta Club of Hilo has taken part in The Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Foundation’s Weinberg Friends Program.

Free Youth Soccer Clinic in Hilo

Boys and girls age 6 to 14 years old are invited to a free soccer clinic that will be held 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 4, at Dr. Frances F.C. Wong Stadium in Hilo.

Hawai‘i’s Chevy dealers, in partnership with the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation, is sponsoring the Chevy Youth Soccer Instructional Clinic. The free clinic is open to the first 200 keiki who register. Soccer fundamentals such as dribbling, passing and shooting skills will be taught at the clinic.

Hawaii ClinicEach child must RSVP online at soccer.youthsportsclinics.com. Select the “Hawai‘i” market and enter the password “kickit” to complete the free registration process. A signed waiver form, available from the same website, also is required. Waiver forms will be offered at the event.

Concessions will not be available, so family members are encouraged to bring their own refreshments. All participants will receive a clinic T-shirt and a post-clinic snack.

For more information about the Chevy Youth Soccer Instructional Clinic, please contact CYS Coordinator Beth Heyer at 770-407-8565 or bheyer@gmdealerprograms.com.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Concert of Peace Next Tuesday at UH Hilo

At 7:30 PM on Tuesday evening, October 27, 2015, the Hilo Community Chorus joins with composer Joseph Martin and his “Peace in the Pacific” Vocal Tapestry Tour Choir, and the UH Hilo Kapili Choir to present “Concert of Peace” at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center, 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, HI 96720.

Concert of Peace

The first half of the concert will be presented by Joseph Martin and his wife Susan Martin, with special guest Nancy Price.  The second half of the concert will be performed by the Vocal Tapestry Tour Choir, Hilo Community Chorus, and UH Hilo Kapili Choir.


UKIRT Observatory on Mauna Kea to be Decommissioned

The University of Hawaiʻi has identified the third observatory to be decommissioned and removed from the summit of Maunakea, advancing the implementation of the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan. The third observatory is the UKIRT Observatory, formerly known as the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope.


The decommissioning of three observatories is part of Governor David Ige’s plan announced in May to enhance the stewardship of Maunakea. Since then, the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory has ceased operations and begun the decommissioning planning process, and UH Hilo has initiated the decommissioning process for its Hoku Kea telescope. Detailed planning for the removal of the UKIRT observatory and restoration of the site will begin some time after the decommissioning processes for the Caltech and Hoku Kea observatories and will be completed in accordance with the governor’s plan. No new observatories will be built on the three sites.

The general decommissioning process for observatories is outlined in the Office of Mauna Kea Management’s Comprehensive Management Plan to ensure that the decommissioning is handled properly and in a culturally and environmentally respectful manner. The process starts with the development of a site decommissioning plan that must include an environmental due diligence review, deconstruction and removal plan, site restoration plan and remedial action plan if necessary.

The UKIRT Observatory began operations in 1979 and was built and operated by science agencies of the United Kingdom. Ownership recently was transferred to UH, and the observatory is currently operated as a research partnership with UH, the University of Arizona and the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Advanced Technology Center. It remains highly productive, with current work areas including orbital debris studies, observation and cataloging of Near-Earth objects and world-leading astronomical survey projects. UH is confident that UKIRT’s scientific program will continue to be at the highest level during the remaining life of the observatory.

Commentary – UH Hilo’s Secret Student Government

University of Hawaii Hilo Student Association (UHHSA) seems to be getting more and more secretive these days.

Last night, for the first time, they posted these signs in front of the meeting:

UHHSA2Only students and faculty with a UH ID were permitted to enter. A student was denied access because he didn’t have his ID. What is going on over there?


From the UHHSA Constitution:

The UH Hilo Student Association Senate has a responsibility and obligation to provide open government. All meetings shall be open and publicized. Communication shall be accomplished by the publication of the UHHSA Constitution and By-Laws, budget, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, and schedule of UHHSA and committee meetings in a timely manner for the purpose of informing and encouraging student participation in student government.

UHHSA Constitution lead
Why are they not following their own constitution? What’s the big secret?


University of Hawaii Student Union

New High-Speed Private Fiber Link to Link Hawaii Film, Television & Creative Media Industry with Hollywood

With brand new private fiber technology, competitive tax incentives, state-of-the-art studios, postproduction facilities and a development fund…it’s time to rethink Hawai’i’s Film, Television & Creative Media Industry.

A new Hawai’i-based digital technology is connecting the filmscape of paradise with a secure, high-speed Private Fiber back to the heart of Hollywood and more than 400 studios across three continents.

History was just made for Hawaii-in-Hollywood as GVS Connect (http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com), together with Hawai`i's Creative Industry DBEDT Officials, State Film Office and technology experts presented a dynamic, "LIVE" multimedia demonstration that connected Honua Studios in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii, with more than 100 Hollywood influencers who gathered at Jack L. Warner's personal Screening Room #5 at Warner Brothers Studios in California.

History was just made for Hawaii-in-Hollywood as GVS Connect (http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com), together with Hawai`i’s Creative Industry DBEDT Officials, State Film Office and technology experts presented a dynamic, “LIVE” multimedia demonstration that connected Honua Studios in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii, with more than 100 Hollywood influencers who gathered at Jack L. Warner’s personal Screening Room #5 at Warner Brothers Studios in California.

This new, high-speed, private fiber technology by GVS Connect is a game-changer for Hawai’i’s creative industry. This advanced connectivity, along with Hawaii’s post and VFX incentives, will enable filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration, as well as transfer and simultaneously edit burstable gigabytes of raw, high-definition dailies to producers and studios around the world. This private fiber technology is the industry’s leader in content sharing with a commitment to security, cost efficiency and smart-device capability.

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, representatives from the Hawai’i State Film Office, Creative Industries; GVS Connect; tech advisors and industry influencers gathered at Warner Bros. Studio to present “Hollywood – Hawai`i Film & Media Connect,” a live, point-to-point demonstration, of real-time, high-speed data transfer between Kailua-Kona (on the Island of Hawai`i at Honua Studios) and Los Angeles.  Hawai’i’s Film, Television & Creative Media industry is now well positioned to support state-of-the-art global production, as well as export creative content developed in Hawai`i.

 This never-before-seen interactive demonstration was made possible by a NEW private fiber technology that is now available in the islands which allows burstable gigabytes of HD data to be shared in real-time with global producing entities (more than 400 studios across three continents). This new, advanced technology is a GAME-CHANGER for Hawaii's creative industries allowing filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration.  This breakthrough invites the world to rethink Hawaii's vast multimedia and broadband entrepreneurial potential and capability.

This never-before-seen interactive demonstration was made possible by a NEW private fiber technology that is now available in the islands which allows burstable gigabytes of HD data to be shared in real-time with global producing entities (more than 400 studios across three continents). This new, advanced technology is a GAME-CHANGER for Hawaii’s creative industries allowing filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration. This breakthrough invites the world to rethink Hawaii’s vast multimedia and broadband entrepreneurial potential and capability.

“With a strong commitment from government and private investors, Hawai’i is creating a compelling environment for filmmakers and media professionals to capitalize on the state’s growing production, post, and VFX infrastructure,” says David Cunningham, founder of GVS Connect.

Hawai’i’s competitive tax incentives, are considered among the most reliable credit programs in the country:

  • 20-25% film, digital and television rebate
  • No overall spending ceiling
  • Per production credit cap of $15 million – POST, VFX, ANIMATION, GAME DEV included
  • Above-and-below-the-line/resident and non-resident salaries/wage qualification

Hawai`i is now part of a global, collaborative media network. With Hawai’i’s first private fiber technology, a production can maximize its economic potential with global reach to its producing entities. In addition, Hawai`i has an award-winning accelerator program, called the GVS Transmedia Accelerator (http://www.gvsaccelerator.com), which fast-tracks and funds development for content creation in Hawai`i, the Creative Lab which is a feeder content development program, and a follow-on development fund available for accelerator content produced in these programs.

With a long-term vision and commitment, the State of Hawai’i has allocated millions to develop a cable-landing infrastructure that will further increase Hawai’i’s global broadband connectivity and capacity.

Island Air Launches College Student Standby Program – University of Hawaii Students Will Benefit From $35 Fares

College life in Hawaiʻi just got a lot more affordable with the launch of Island Air’s new College Student Standby Program.  With this new pilot program the airline is offering students enrolled at University of Hawaiʻi campuses on Oʻahu and Maui the opportunity to stand by for any flight on any day for the wallet-friendly price of just $35* each way.

Island Air

The College Student Standby Program is available to all students currently enrolled at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu and six community institutions (Honolulu Community College, Kapiʻolani Community College, Leeward Community College, Maui College, Lānaʻi Education Center, and Windward Community College) who are traveling between the islands of Oʻahu, Maui and Lānaʻi.

To qualify for the College Student Standby rate, students must present a valid University of Hawaiʻi student ID and their state or federal ID card or passport to a customer service agent at the Island Air ticket counter. There is no maximum number of times a student may participate in the offer.

As the state’s affordable alternative airline, Island Air is constantly building new programs that enhance its value and services.  “We support our student communities and know how important it is to have a reliable, affordable connection to family and friends, especially for holidays,” said Dave Pflieger, CEO of Island Air.  “We are testing this program with the University of Hawaiʻi schools on Oʻahu and Maui for a limited time. The fare is an additional way that Island Air demonstrates its commitment to providing an economical, quality travel experience.”

*$35 is a standby rate, subject to seat availability and can be changed without notice.  Fare includes one (1) federal transportation segment tax and one (1) security fee.  Other taxes, fees, and restrictions may apply.

For more information about Island Air’s College Student Standby rate, visit http://www.islandair.com or call (808) 840-2323.  Let us know how we are doing on Yelp or TripAdvisor or just stay connected by liking Island Air on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/islandairhawaii, or follow @IslandAirHawaii on Twitter and @IslandAir_Hawaii on Instagram.