• Follow on Facebook

  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • Say When

    January 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Dec    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

UH Announces Finalists for Dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Three finalists have been identified for the position of dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and director for Research and Cooperative Extension. The three finalists are scheduled to participate over a three-day period of visits on the Mānoa campus and the island of Hawaiʻi. The visits include department discussions; meetings with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students and internal and external constituents; and a public presentation.

Nicholas Comerford, William Randle and Alan Sams

Campus and community members, as well as the general public, are encouraged to attend.

Campus visit schedule:

Nicholas Comerford, January 30–February 1

William Randle, February 6–8

Alan Sams, February 13–15

“We were fortunate to have received a strong pool of qualified candidates. I would like to thank the search advisory committee for their outstanding work in identifying these three finalists from the pool, and for their efforts and commitment to the search,” said Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor for Research Michael Bruno. “As always, we encourage UH faculty, staff, students and the public to come out and meet the candidates, and we look forward to receiving their input to assist in hiring the best person for the position.”

For more information about the search process, including a list of the members of the search advisory committee, the campus visit daily schedule and the candidate biographies, see the search website.

Hawaii Child Advocates Announce Legislative Priorities

Hawaii Children’s Action Network (HCAN) released their annual “Children’s Policy Agenda” today.  HCAN was created to help nonprofits, businesses, government, and citizens advocate for policies aimed at improving kids’ lives.

According to the group’s executive director Deborah Zysman, the event is all about collaboration.  “A diverse group of policy experts, non-profits advocates and coalitions have come together to prioritize the next steps we can take to make Hawaii the best place for children. Together, we share a common goal to improve the health, economic security, and education of our children,” said Zysman.

Over fifty organizations participated in the creation of this year’s Agenda.  Issues are categorized by economic security and equality, strengthening families, child safety, health and wellness, and education. All contain policy ideas that will be led by various groups.

Senator Karl Rhoads (D-13) and Rep. Matt Lopresti (D-41), new co-chairmen of the Keiki Caucus, supported HCAN for the launch.  The Keiki Caucus previously was chaired by former Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland until she retired last fall.

“We realize that of course kids are indeed our future,” said Rhoads.  “It’s an honor to chair this Caucus and to help carry the torch of doing what we need to do to make Hawaii a great place for children to grow up,” he said.

According to Lopresti, the future looks bright for the cooperation between citizen groups and lawmakers.  “We rely on citizen groups and issue experts in the same way that advocates rely on lawmakers to keep making progress,” said Lopresti.  “The Children’s Policy Agenda is a great way for us to open up the channels of dialogue and share expectations,” he said.

More information about the Children’s Policy Agenda can be found at www.hawaii-can.org

Film Festival Health Documentary to be Shown at UH Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo hosts a public screening of the documentary film “Ola–Health is Everything” on Thursday, January 26, at 5 p.m. in Wentworth Hall Room 1.
The documentary, which premiered at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival in April 2013, highlights the power of communities to heal themselves, explores how society must rethink what it means to be healthy, and features individuals who bring hope to communities across Hawaiʻi. A Question & Answer discussion with Director Matthew Nagato will follow the screening.

“This film is so important and valuable because it highlights some of the protective factors present in our communities and relevant ways to foster health and healing,” said Dr. Yolisa Duley, East Hawaiʻi Suicide Prevention Task Force Chair and co-chair of UH Hiloʻs Suicide Prevention Committee. “Sadly, suicide is a leading cause of death in our state, and messages of hope such as those portrayed in ‘Ola’ can help people identify ways to reach out and seek support and a pathway to healing.”

The presentation is co-sponsored by the East Hawaiʻi Suicide Prevention Task Force, UH Hilo Student Health & Wellness Programs, and the UH Hilo Nā Kiaʻi O Ke Ola (Guardians of Life) Suicide Prevention Committee.

For more information about the event, email yolisaduley@hawaii.edu or call 932-7848.

Annual Stop Flu at School Vaccination Clinics Start Today

The Hawaii State Department of Health’s (DOH) annual Stop Flu at School program begins today, and will continue in more than 240 public, private, and charter schools statewide through Feb. 28, 2017. This marks the 10th year for the voluntary program, which administers free flu vaccinations to Hawaii students in kindergarten through eighth grade who are enrolled at participating schools.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older. Each year, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths in the United States, and the most recent CDC report showed flu activity beginning to increase in the United States. Influenza A viruses, often associated with more severe illness, especially in young children and people 65 and older, have been the most common circulating strains so far this season.

“Through the Stop Flu at School program, we hope to vaccinate many of our school-age children,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist. “Since flu can cause severe illness in people of all ages, we encourage everyone to talk to their doctor to learn more and get vaccinated. Vaccination is our best defense against the flu.”

For more information about the Stop Flu at School program, go to http://flu.hawaii.gov/sfas.html or call the Aloha United Way’s information and referral line at 2-1-1.  To locate a vaccinating pharmacy in your neighborhood, use the DOH Vaccine Finder at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/where-to-get-your-adult-and-flu-vaccinations/.

The Stop Flu at School program is an innovative partnership between DOH, Department of Education, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and Hawaii Catholic Schools. The program is endorsed by the Hawaii Chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, and is made possible through funding from DOH, CDC and Hawaii Association of Health Plans.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Hosts WWII Tuskegee Airmen

On February 3 and 4, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and the vital role they played during World War II with special presentations by decorated WWII Tuskegee Airman Pilot Colonel Charles McGee to Hawaii’s youth and the public.

On Friday, February 3, 10 – 11 am in the theater, teachers are encouraged to bring their students, in grades 6-12, to a presentation geared towards youth entitled, “In His Own Words,” by Colonel McGee. Colonel McGee fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and holds the record for the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in the United States Air Force history. Colonel McGee began his military service as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Fighter Group. The Tuskegee Airmen were pioneers who fought racial prejudices to fly and fight for their country during WWII. Colonel McGee’s career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force spanned 30 years and 3 wars, where he flew 409 aerial combat missions. During his military career, Colonel McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (twenty-five times).

Admission is free for this youth presentation, and funding for bus transportation to the Museum will be provided for school groups who register in advance. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly advised. To register, contact 808-445-9137 or email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

On Saturday, February 4, Colonel McGee will once again be the featured speaker at a “Hangar Talk” in the theater, 11am to 12 noon. This event is open to the public.

Also present at the Hangar Talk will be WWII Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham. Baham served as a crew chief for the 337th Composite Group at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Baham is a dedicated volunteer at Pacific Aviation Museum, sharing his story with visitors as a greeter in the lobby of Hangar 37. Access to the Hangar Talk is free with Museum admission, free to Museum Members, and free for Navy League members with I.D. For more information, call 808-441-1007. Discounted tickets are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Prior to 1940, African Americans were prohibited from flying for the U.S. military. Even in light of extreme racism, African Americans fought to defend their country, which led to the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of WWII. Their dedication to defending the freedom of all Americans and their acts of heroism paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Tuskegee Airmen completed more than 1,500 missions.

Both events are being held in conjunction with Black History Month.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Field Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in America’s winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history. Contact: 808-441-1000; Marketing@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Hawaii Governor Calls for Reboot of School System

Gov. David Ige today promised to reshape the Department of Education to support dreams and aspirations of each student in remarks he made at the 3rd Annual Hawai‘i School Empowerment Conference at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

The conference was sponsored by the Education Institute of Hawai‘i, a non-profit organization committed to improving public education in Hawai‘i. The annual conference aims to increase awareness and deepening understanding of the effort to improve public education through school empowerment and innovation in learning.

Here is the full text of Gov. Ige’s prepared remarks:

A Clear Path to Achieving Excellence in Hawaiʻi’s Public Schools 

Coding. Robotics. Digital media. International education exchanges. None of these programs were offered when I attended public schools in Pearl City, and it’s impossible to predict what fascinating opportunities await students in coming years.

What I can tell you is this: The success of today’s students in the future workplace and in our communities requires an absolute reboot of the rigid school system built over a century ago. Our school system is simply not relevant to today’s students.

That’s why I asked the members of the Board of Education, those I appointed and those who began serving prior to my taking office, to develop and implement a plan to transition from yesterday’s system to one that truly prepares students to think creatively and to be innovators. I asked board members to design a system that encourages teachers and principals to make meaningful decisions about curriculum and instruction, educational programs, and expenditure of schools funds.

The Board responded to my challenge. They worked with the community to develop a new strategic plan for the department. They courageously determined that transformation requires a fresh mindset, starting at the top. And they initiated a search for a new superintendent. I fully support this decision. We need a change agent who is committed to exploring unconventional options in the quest to prepare our students for the future.

I want students, parents, teachers and other educators to be assured that my goal is to reshape the department so that it supports the dreams and aspirations of each student. I believe those closest to the students understand best how their students should be educated. That is the type of system we are working together to achieve.

The community supports this goal as evidenced by the tremendous participation in last summer’s Education Summit and dozens of follow-up meetings in communities throughout the state. I am proud of the work my volunteer team, parents, teachers, business leaders and community members have done to create a Blueprint for Hawaiʻi’s education system. I asked them to think big, and they did. I can tell you, there is no shortage of innovative thinking in Hawaiʻi.

My passion for education isn’t new, and the solutions I am promoting now aren’t a surprise to anyone who has been recently engaged in the dialogue on education. I campaigned on this issue and education remains my top priority.

We don’t know what the next technological wave will bring. But we do know that Hawaiʻi’s public education system must be set up so teachers are able to exercise their professional judgement and employ tools that enable student success.

Students who design robots in elementary school will build the communities of the future. Students who experience what it’s like to be innovators and entrepreneurs in high school will drive the state’s new economy. Students who travel with their class will collaborate with their peers around the world to solve global challenges. It is our responsibility to provide them with a robust learning experience so they can achieve rewarding and successful lives.

UH Researcher: “Marijuana Compounds Show Promise in Treatment of Cardiac Disease”

A Nevada company is hoping to develop new medicines for heart failure using compounds in marijuana and a novel therapy identified by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researcher.

Dr. Alexander Stokes in his JABSOM laboratory.

Dr. Alexander Stokes, assistant research professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, obtained a U.S. patent for his novel therapy in 2015.  The patent claims the cannabinoid receptor TRPV1 can be regulated therapeutically by plant-based cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids include psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds derived from marijuana, both of which have medicinal properties. They exert their effects inside cells after binding to receptor proteins in the cell membranes, such as TRPV1 and the classical cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.

Pharmaceutical development company GrowBlox Life Sciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GB Sciences Inc., obtained the license for Stokes’ intellectual therapy last December from Makai Biotechnology LLC, a Hawaiʻi-based cardiovascular therapy company founded by Stokes.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030,” said Dr. Stokes. In the U.S, he explained, this equates to one in three deaths, about one every 40 seconds, and costs the country approximately $316.6 billion a year.

Patients urgently need new drugs that can prevent or reverse the stages of cardiac disease and heart failure, according to Dr. Stokes. He further explained that TRPV1 is clearly a major cellular receptor involved in the progression to heart failure, and there is great potential for the new, proprietary mixtures within the GB Life Sciences portfolio to regulate the TRPV1 cannabinoid receptor.

GB Sciences said licensing the TRPV1 patent is a major step in its commitment to discovering new drugs that interact with the non-classical cannabinoid receptors, in addition to binding to the better characterized CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

“Our vision of novel, patentable cannabis-based formulations in the treatment of major diseases is now married with a proven drug target for modulation of adverse outcomes in cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Andrea Small-Howard, Chief Science Officer of GB Sciences.

Cannabinoids in native plant extracts exerted a more significant effect on TRPV1 receptors than purified cannabinoids in published research reports.

“GB Sciences believes its cannabis-plant-based approach may provide additional clinical benefits to patients due to the ‘entourage effect.’ In addition, the side effect profiles of cannabis-based therapies have generally been well tolerated,” said Dr. Small-Howard. The “entourage effect” refers to the theory that some cannabis compounds have greater effects on the human body when combined with other compounds than when given alone.

Said GB Sciences CEO John Poss, “This license is an important step in our company’s march to successful drug discovery.  We are very proud of Dr. Small-Howard and her team, and we expect results from this effort that will enable the company to do well by doing good for literally millions of cardiac patients around the world.”

UH Hilo College of Arts and Sciences’ Fall 2016 Dean’s List

The following students in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Arts and Sciences received Dean’s List recognition for the Fall 2016 semester:

Shannon Abarra, Jozie Acasio, Kendra Adams, Madeleine Adler, Hildhang Adona, Clifford Agcaoili, Reygan Agcaoili, Keinan Agonias, Sherry Agonoy, Princess Agtang, Breanna Aguiar, Rhonda Akano, Leahi Akao, Eric Alabanza, Jeannelle Alejo, Alia Alvarez, Catherina Amantiad, Austin Anderson, Brian Anderson, Keion Anderson,

Kinsley Anderson, Li Ju Anderson, Harrison Andina, Nicole Antonio, Kamalani Aona, Zion Apao, Shannon Apostol, Ralph Aquino, Kathleen Aragon, David Arakawa, Justin Araki-Kwee, Jodi Ariyoshi, Keanu Arke, Kapuanani Arsiga, Nicholas Asuncion, Toshonnie Baker, Sharlene Bala, Kayla Balezentis, Valerie Balken, Kellsie Ballesteros,

Jill Banach, Kaitlin Barcoma, William Barden, Ashley Barhite, Benedick Baris, Ruth Bascar-Sellars, Joshua Bass, Daniel Baumgartner, Natalie Baus, Crystal-lynn Baysa, Anya Benavides, Chase Benbow, Cynthia Benevides, Chakra Best, Jahnu Best, Marjorie Betiong, Daniel Bilafer, Kateleen C. Bio, Victoria Birrenbach,

Kalaiakea Blakemore, Casey Blanchette, Chloe’ Blandino, Chelsea Blaquera, Sierra Bloomer, Hannah Blue, Marcia B. Blyth, Thomas Bolton, Stephen Bond, Jonathan Botticelli, Andre Brouillette, BreAnna Brown, Eleanor Brown, Laurel Brown, Matthew Brown, Rachel Bruck, Kathryn Brunk, Kailah Buchanan, Amberly Buer, Malia Byram, Ridge Cabaccang, Sydney Cabanas, Cheyrub Cabarloc, Riley Cabarloc,

Jerold A. Cabel, Leischene Calingangan, Chriztalee Calpito, Litah Campbell, Amanda Canda, Kirsten Cannoles, Terra Carden, Sheila M. Cariaga, Sheryl L. Cariaga, Tiari Carreira, Nicholas Carrion, Anne Carsey, Briauna Carter, Micah Carter, Kanoeuluwehianu Case, Gisele Cassarotti Prescott, Keenan Castro, Kahana Cazimero, Isabella Cebreros, Roget Chan, Andy Chang, Cheuk W. Chiu, Soo B. Choi,

Pono Christianson, Victor Ciaramitaro, Jessica M. Clark, Lautisha Cleavenger, Heather Coad, Ramzen Coakley, Zoe Coffman, Michael Coombs, Alysha Cosier, Clarence Cottrell, Celeste Cox, Seneca Cox, Rose Criscione, Tifaine Crivello, Trixie A. Croad, Callie Crowder, Kawelina Cruz, Ryan Cruz, Justin Cueva, Kendrick J. Dalmacio,

Uilani Dasalla, Stephanie Dawrs, DaShon Dean, Laura Deaton, Kaylee Decambra, Edwina Degrood, Marissa Dellomo, Audrey Deluca, Carey Demapan, Billi Derleth, Amy DeSa, Maluhia Desha, Leialii Dias, Stephi Dickinson, Savannah Directo, Danielle Dodge, Amelia Dolgin, Lorelei M. Domingo, Princess D. Domingo, Jasmine Donner, Sadie Dossett, Cortney Dougherty, Michael Dowsett, James Drescher,

Jordan Drewer, Jayahmie Drio, Alejandra Duarte, Jennifer Eastin, Caili Ebaniz, Raelyn Eckert, Jamie Economy, Michael Elder Waters, Meghan Elimon, Sara Ellsworth, Kenji Emerson, Remedios Epp, Tiffany Erickson, Chelsey Erickson-Vierra, Brianna Ernst, Duke Escobar, Corey Eshpeter, Raynell Espaniola, Herbert Estes, Rakeem Estrella-Clark, Meridith Farley, Jade Farmer, Sheilla M. Felipe,

Rachel A. Felix, David Finley, Amy Fischer, Rachel Fisher, Catrina Flores, Kirstie A. Flores-Oishi, Lindy Foust, Megan A. Francisco, Jeena Franco, Ella R. Fregeau-Olmstead, Dallas Freitas, Silmai U. Fritz, Esther Frost, Todd Frost, Brittany Fuemmeler, Shaylyn Fujii, Trent Furuta, Dylan Gable, Dillon-Jon Gabriel, Nicholas Galliani, Kelly Gani, April Gaoiran, Princess Gaoiran, Lehua Garcia, Nicole Garcia, Reyna Garcia Lopez, Madison Gates, Stacy M. Gelacio,

Emma-Lei Gerrish, Tuan G. Giang, Cody Gibo, Kawika Glimane, Kahri Golden, Kassidy Gonsalves, Jennifer Gonzales, Maya Goodoni, Rachel Gorenflo, Zachary Gorski, Michael Graue, Siera Green, Raymond Greene, Zechariah Greene, Rachel A. Greer-Smith, Chrisovolandou Gronowski, Rihei Grothmann, Courtney Guirao,

Katelyn Gundvaldson, Basu Guragain, Adrienne Gurbindo, Brittany Hale, Ariel Halemano, Quinn Hamamoto, Maile Hanaoka, Arielle Harnik, Katelyn Harris, Bridge Hartman, Krysten Hayashida, Kylee Hayashida, Jelyn Heaster, Alexander Hedglen, Dakota Helfrich, Jordan Heltz, Hannah Hendershot, Tessa Henderson, John Herman,

Jasmine Higa, Adam Hill, Kristie Hirai, Rachel Holmes, Tiana Honda, Lauren Hong, Alena Hookano, Alyssa Hoshide, Kainoa Howard, Karlie Howe, ZhiLing Huang, Merissa Hull, Francesca Huml, Kimberly Hutchinson, Mi Huynh, Thien Huynh, Joyce A. Ibasan, Hannah Ibbotson, Laura Ibbotson, Andi Igawa, Kadi Igawa,

Marina Ignacio, Alleonore-Destiny Iguin, Austin Inouye, Elise Inouye, Joanne Isabella, Kristen Ishii, Brian Ishola, Debby A. Itchon, Alexa Jacobs, Cyrus Johnasen, Lindsay Johnson, Kailani Jones, Kyle Jones, Mikayla Jones, Kara Jorgensen, Jaune A. Jose, Jamie Josephson, Kiilani Judd, Jessica J. Julian, Kayuri Kadoya, Janis Kaeo,

Polanimakamae Kahakalau, Kelii Kailipaka, Kahoruko Kajiya, Nainoa Kalaukoa, Ellie-Jean Kalawe, Brinell Kaleikini, Brooke Kamahiai, Keiki O Namahiai Kanahele-Santos, Stuart Kaneshiro, Tayler Kaniho, Sumire Kanno, Candace Karvas, Melvalee Kaulia, Germaine Kaululaau-Young, Martha Kawasaki, Hokuto Kawashima,

Kawena Kawelu, Jill Keely, Bianca Keohokapu, Emma Khachikian, Chantelle Kiessner, Brittany Kimball, Isaac Kimura, Mary L. Kimura, Sean Kirkpatrick, Rachel Kishimoto, Joshua Kitagawa, Keely Kitamura, Zena Kiyota, Tiana Klask, Alexandra Kler Lago, Aaron Knell, Kristi Kobashigawa, Sheena Kobayashi, Kamrie Koi, Rochelle Koi, Emilee Kojiro, Hyesun Kong, Krystle Koshiyama, Lisa Kosilla,

Joshua-Martin Kuanoni-Banagan, August Kubo, Kealiiahonui Kuikahi, Morgan Kultala, Keohikai Laikupu, Mia Lamirand, Brittney Lane, Samantha Lathrop, Brandon Lau, Luana Lavatai, Jesse Leavitt, Laurel Ledward, Robert Lee, Shalyn Lewis, Braysen Libed, Lee Linneman, Emerson J. Llaguno, Jessica Loeffler, Devynn Louie, Kristi Lovell, Noelle Lovesy, Rebekah Loving, Brittany Luna, Susanne Lyle,

Aleta Lyman, Natasha Machado, Taylor-Keahi Macomber-Cobile, Kimberly Magsipoc, Meagan Mahiko, Brandon Mahle, Wilson Malone, Natasha Manasas, Vanessa Mancera, Shelby Marhoefer, Danielle Marrufo, Dario Martin, Keelee Martin, Chanade Martins-Keliihoomalu, Mark Marzan, Shae Massie, Seth Master, Jaymie Masuda, Carle-Ann Mata, Moriah Mathson, Abcde Matias, Kasey Matsumoto, Kelley Matsumoto, Aspen Mauch, JoeAnna McDonald,

Danielle McDowell, Shaina McEnroe, Christina McIntosh, Jared McLean, Brannon McQuillan, Luana Mendiola-Smith, Ana Methuselah, Zoey Meyers, William Midgley, Anna B. Mikkelsen, Candice Miner-Ching, Zayin Minia, Jordan Mirels, Risako Mise, Philip Mitchell, Kelsy Miyake-Kamahele, Autumn Miyares-Thompson, Melissa Moats, Corrina Molina, Roseline Moniz, Brendan Moore,

Ariyana Moran, Jasmine Morikami, Lindsey T. Morin, Juliann Morris, Marilyn Motoishi, Shane-Earl Naeole, Amber Nagata, Lorelei Nakagawa, Robynn A. Namnama, Monnisa Nash, Jordan L. Nauka, Christopher Nelson, Cameron Nicholson, Richelle G. Nicolas, Karen Nishimoto, Allen G. Y. Nitura, Aaron O’Connor, Nai‘a Odachi, Amy Odaira, Dianna Oh, Morgan Olson, Ryder Oshiro, Cheynielle Pacheco, Lorelei T. Padasdao, Shandyn Pahia, Matthew Paio, Isaac Pang,

Jessica Pang, Stephanie Pasco, Taylor Patrick, Tyson Pavao, Jordan Pedersen-Fukunaga, Bryson Pedro, Leomanaolamaikalani Peleiholani Blankenfeld, Ulupuamahinamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Graham Pernell, Trevor Perry, Brenden Peterson, Michele Peterson, Mark Petner, Sharon Petrosky, Michelle Phillips, April Pinyerd,

Terri Pinyerd, Sarah Pitman, Debra Potter, Michelle Proue, Theodore Pruyne, Danielle Pulido, Froile Queja, Jasmin M. Quiamas, Natalie Quinajon, Sheri Quon, Crystal Rances, Skye Rances, Duchess Rapoza, Kaydee Rapozo, Evangeline Raza, Jeff M. Regalario, Karl Reid, Venesha Rems, Marleah Renti Cruz, Sharnelle Renti Cruz, Emily Risley, Anne Rivera, Johnvie Rivera, Joshua Robinson, Arlene Roche,

Alicia Rodriguez, Nikola Rodriguez, Janalynn Rollins, Ashley Romero, Jerome Romero, Shyla Ronia, Norie-Anne Rosal Calit, Megan Rose, Nickolas Rosenberg, Hannah Rosenow, Meghin Russell, Tahaanuiiterai Rutkowski, Nina Sabahi, Josiane Saccu, Melanie Sacro, Julie A. Sagabaen, Ruby A. Sales, Ilysia S. Sana, Gabriella Sanchez, Shelbi Santiago, Ryan T. Sasaki, Jacey Savage,

Kristen Savea, Blessing Savusa, Kimberly Schmelz, Dehrich Schmidt-Chya, Jacquelyn Schoenherr, Artem Sergeyev, Elisha Sevareid, Vanessa Shaffer, Ang Sheng, Laura Shepherd, Leah Sheppard, Jeffrey Shikany, Albert Shim, Jaci Shinoda, Keani Shirai, Dominique Shirazi, Jaylen Shiroma, Sheldon Shishido, Keian Shon, Ululani Siangco, Aimee-Joyce Silva, Malia Silva, Lindsay Simmons,

Heather Simon, Solomon Singer, Summer Singer, Hazel F. Sivila, Trevor Slevin, Alexa Smiley, Clara Smith, James Smith, Nicole Smith, Jonathan Snyder, Kiana Soloria, Vincent Soriano, Kalena Spinola, Ashlin Stahlberg, Maria Steadmon, Kyle Steckler, Phillip Steering, Luke Steinbach, Marguerite Stith, Jeremiah Storie, Oliver M. Strachan, Tiffany Stranathan, Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, Jamie Sugai,

Kylee Sullivan, Taliesin Sumner, Tyler Sumner, Tevis Swain, Kaylah M. Swanson, Randolph Tafua, Yaeko Tagami, Ryan Taifane, Marina Takada, Melia Takakusagi, Shania Tamagyongfal, Sophia Tang, Victoria Taomia, Morgan Tate, Taavili Taylor, Temau Teikitekahioho-Wolff, Allicyn Texeira, Gin Tezuka, Travis Thieme, Nicolette Thomas,

Kori Todd, Jodie Tokihiro, Julie Tom, Jeffrey Tomas, Kaycie Tomei, Ashley C. Tomori, Brandon Tomota, Kaye-Karren Topenio, Ryotaro Toshima, Cao-Minh Tran, Hulali Trask, Dominick Trevino, Kasey A. Udan, Lavin Uehara, Mary-Fem Urena, Nicholas Vallatini, Nicolas Vanderzyl, Ja’ie Victorine-Dyment, Aundrea Vidal, Yesenia Villafuerte, Audrey Villanueva, Fred Visaya, Nelson Vo, Lily Voitek,

Ashley Vongsy, Cecile Vulliet, Amirah Waite, Wailana Walker, HeNaniNoOeKaWahineUioIkePono Wandasan, Kenton Wandasan, Vernon Warnock, Sondra Warren, Misa Webber, Tino Wells, Zoe Whitney, Kaira Whittington-Ramirez, Brian Wild, Vanessa Winchester-Sye, Jade Wong, Tiana Wong, Selisa Wright,

Sharmaine Yacavone, Kazuma Yamaguchi, Marilyn Yamamoto, Lia Yamashiro, Yuto Yamauchi, Jia Hao Yao, Phillip Yawata, Shaniah Yogi, Ivana Yoon, Deanna Young, Jenna Yugawa, Justme Yulian, Luana Zablan, Turfa Zaman, Xiaoqing Zheng, Matthew Zizzi, Gregory Zukeran.

Big Island Police Searching for 15-Year-Old Boy Missing Since December

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Kamuela boy who was reported missing.

Jacob Mead

Jacob Mead was last seen December 9 in Waimea. He is described as 5-foot-8, 160 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Waimea Independent Schools Announce 2017-18 Application Deadline

Three independent, private schools in Waimea have announced February 6, 2017 as their common priority deadline for applications for the 2017-18 school year. In an effort to simplify the process for families applying to multiple schools, Waimea Country School (WCS), Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) and Parker School have aligned due dates. Families will also receive notification of admission decisions from the three schools at the same time—February 27 for kindergarten and March 6 for all other grades.

Parker School students Lyle Coffee and Malia Dills (both grade 10)work in a kalo field while participating in the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress on O’ahu in September.

“Many families are unaware that the deadline to apply for the next school year occurs in February,” Emily Pagliaro, Admissions Director at Parker School, said. “We want to get the word out so that those who are interested in an independent school education have as much information as possible about how and when to apply.”

All three schools have a similar admissions process. Generally, they each require an application and fee, school records, teacher references and a student test or assessment. “This can create a big to-do list for parents, especially when applying to multiple schools. Having ample time to prepare is helpful,” Pagliaro said.

Getting to know the educational options on the Big Island is useful in determining the best path for each student. Private schools often offer school tours or open houses so that students and parents can see first-hand what each school’s “personality” is and what their unique offerings are. “In education, one size does not fit all. It is important for each family to find the right environment and program that will best meet the needs of their child, so we encourage families to visit,” said Amy Salling, WCS Head of School.

HPA and Parker School both offer kindergarten through high school programs, and HPA infuses their day student program with boarding students at the high school level. Waimea Country School offers kindergarten through fifth grade, and the multi-age classroom is the cornerstone of their program.

Visiting schools and meeting with representatives of each can also be helpful in understanding what financial assistance may be available. “Sometimes families don’t think they can afford a private school education. There is actually quite a bit of need-based financial aid available, and there are flexible payment plan options. If a family has an interest in our schools, it is definitely worth having the conversation,” said Joshua Clark, director of admission at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

Visit each school’s website for more information: Waimeacountryschool.org, Hpa.edu and Parkerschoolhawaii.org.

Hawaii Wood Guild 31st Annual Exhibition

Hawaii Wood Guild will have the opening and reception for its 31st annual show on January 14th at Isaacs Art Center from 5pm to 7pm.  The show will run through February 24th.  Isaacs Art Center is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Every Saturday several artists will sit at the show to give you an opportunity to ask questions about all the different aspects of woodworking or to meet some of your favorite woodworkers.
This year they have invited 20 Master woodworkers to exhibit in Joinery, Turning, Sculpture and any combination of skills working in the medium of wood. The show will consist of 58 works that will please all that enjoy the many different ways of creativity expressed through wood. 

Everyone will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece in selecting the winner of the people’s choice award. The winner of this award will be announced on the Hawaii Wood Guild Facebook page at the end of the show.

 

For more information, contact the gallery at 885 5884 or email  marcuscastaing@aol.com.

Gyotaku Demonstration at Suisan

Brandon Tengan has a love affair with the ocean as a surfer, fisherman, and fish print artist.

He will demonstrate gyotaku, the art of fish printing, at Suisan Fish Market on Lihiwai Street, Saturday January 14, from 3 to 4 p.m. as part of the Banyan Drive Art Stroll.

An exhibit of Brandon Tengan gyotaku

As stated on his web site, Prior 2 Pupu Productions, “The Japanese Art of Gyotaku…most simply translated as “gyo”—fish, and “taku”—rubbing or impression; a technique developed to accurately record a fisherman’s prized catch, prior to eating it.  Fish are caught, painted with a non-toxic ink, and imprinted on shoji (rice) paper.  When peeled back, the paper is left with an impression yielding the exact size, shape and ultimately – the fisherman’s story.  The prints are then painted, remembered and shared.  Most importantly, the fish is then washed clean and prepared as a meal.”

Tengan was raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii. He said his, “love and passion for the ocean first began with surfing.  However, when the surf got flat, he slowly took up diving and fishing and once he started…he got hooked.  Brandon considers himself blessed and fortunate to have been taught by many skilled fisherman and dive partners, continuing to learn each time he heads out.  Initially taught gyotaku by a family friend, what started as a small backyard hobby is now a fun business endeavor.”

Brandon Tengan and a tako catch

Locally Tengan’s work is carried by Banyan Gallery, located near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Banyan Gallery will feature an exhibit of photographers’ images selected for a calendar of Lili`uokalani GArdens during the Banyan Drive Art Stroll.

The event is free and open to the public, children welcome.

This is the first of a series of events to celebrate the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens, which is bounded by Lihiwai Street and Banyan Drive on the Waiakea peninsula in Hilo.

Blessing HCFCU’s Revitalized Kealakehe High School Student Credit Union

The celebration and blessing of the newly renovated Kealakehe High School Student Credit Union continues the legacy of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union’s founding father’s, which was to provide financial collaboration, education, stability, and a secure path towards financial independence for West Hawaii families.

From left: HCFCU’s president and Chief Executive Officer Tricia Buskirk, KHS School Advisor John Mitchell, Principal Will Murakami and Kahu Brian Boshard officially open the new Student Credit Union on December 8, 2016.

As hundreds of Kealakehe High School students gathered in the school lunchroom, where the student credit union (SCU) was moved to provide greater access to its services, they were treated to a beautiful blessing by Kahu Brian Boshard, performances by the Poly Club Chorus and Band, supportive thoughts from Principal Wil Murakami, and encouragement from school advisor John Mitchell and former student credit union advisor JoAnna Kekuaokalani. Sixteen-year old Rheanne Godot, a Kealakehe junior, and the SCU’s board president, shared her positive experiences behind the SCU teller window.

Interestingly, HCFCU’s president and Chief Executive Officer Tricia Buskirk was a SCU board member herself when she attended Konawaena High School.  “I had so much fun and I believe my financial career was launched when I was a student credit union board member,” she said. “I’m so inspired by these teens who are taking their first steps towards planning for their future.”

The state’s first credit union was HCFCU’s Konawaena branch, established in 1972. In 2005 the Kealakehe High School branch opened, followed by Kohala High School shortly after.

The student credit union offers such services as deposits, withdrawals, and cashing checks. Students that are 15 ½ years or older may also add a debit card to their account.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its over 40,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala.  In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services; youth programs and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events.  Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents. For more information visit www.hicommfcu.com.

Filmmaker to Present Award-Winning Documentary at UH Hilo

Japanese filmmaker and educator Miho Aida presents her award-winning documentary film, “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins: Gwich’in Women Speak,” at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo on Wednesday, January 11 at 5:30 p.m. in University Classroom Building Room 100. The event is free and open to the public.

The Gwich’in is an Athabaskan-speaking First Nations of Canada and an Alaska Native people. The documentary explores the coastal plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that has been eyed for oil and gas development since 1986. In the film, Gwich’in women speak out for their sacred land.

The film was named the top documentary at the 2015 Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival, received the Audience Choice Award at the 2014 Earth Port Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the 2013 American Indian Film Festival. Following the screening, Aida will discuss the film and her new video series, “Standing Rock Women Speak,” along with her efforts to save the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North and South Dakota.

The event is sponsored by the UH Hilo Japanese Studies Program, Gender and Women’s Studies Program, Humanities Division, College of Arts and Sciences, and International Student Services and Intercultural Education Program.

For more information, contact Professor Yoshiko Fukushima at yf83@hawaii.edu or 932-7213. For more information about the film and filmmaker, visit http://mihoaida.com/gwichin.

Hawaii Teachers May Plan Trips and Serve as Chaperones with Private Tour Companies

The Hawaii State Ethics Commission announced it reached an agreement with HSTA regarding teachers serving as chaperones on school-related trips. Under the agreement, teachers may continue to plan trips and serve as chaperones with private tour companies.

This morning the Hawaii State Ethics Commission (Ethics Commission) announced it reached an agreement with the Hawaii State Teachers Association regarding teachers serving as chaperones on school-related trips. Under the agreement, teachers may continue to plan trips and serve as chaperones with private tour companies. However, this is subject to Board of Education policies.

Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi issued the following statement regarding the agreement.

Teachers work hard to create these educational opportunities that go beyond the classroom. For many of our students, these trips are the first time they’ve traveled beyond their communities. We’re pleased about this news and look forward to working with the Board of Education in creating clear guidance for our schools to ensure these trips meet the requirements of the Ethics Commission.

UH Hilo Announces Fall Dean’s Lists

The following students in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Business and Economics received Dean’s List recognition for Fall 2016:

Eva Abraham, Amerfil Grace Acob, Caitlin Aiona, Yesica Avendano-Villanueva, Irine Diane Bautista, Andrew Bayang, Peter Betham, Courtney Ann Brock, Summer Burns, Marson Cabay, Kyan Catton, Claire Cea, Kadey Chambless, Lexi Dalmacio, Lorena Dela Cruz,

Jhoanne Domingo, Cayla Michelle Esposo, Charles Fernandez, Manuel Fernandez, Mackenzie Foley, Kai Anthony Gaitley, Francine Andrei Gallego, Darcy Gaylord, Jordan Hart, Lara Hughes, Janine Iseri, Aisha Izuno, Jordan Kamimura, Nicholas Kaya, Cherilyn Kelii,

Zoe Kimura, Kimberlee Kitano, Jessica Kolish, Kiera Kua-Ramirez, Chelsey Lai, Marissa Lai, Stephanie Letro, Anna Liu, Xiaoting Liu, Samantha Lord, Cheyenne Losalio, Kainoa Lyman, Victoria Magana Ledesma, Nicholas Martin, Seth Master, Emily Masutomi, Dilrae Mechol, Xianbin Meng, Raeann Mukini, Wyatt Nelson, Neon Nishimura, Adora Omodt, Adam Onishi, Jazzle Paraiso,

Uookjin Park, Robert Parks, Jan Paulo Pascual, Nicole Perea, Leannka Rigby, Alicia Rodriguez, Nicole Saito, Annika Schulz, Ang Sheng, Vaclav Slezak, Danielle Stover, Erin Swain, Jubylen Teehee, Jade Thomas, Ryan Torio, Calvin Uemura, Onosa’i Va’a, Maria Vicente, Kinsey Volkart, Travis Winters, Tahiya Zaman, and Yuye Zhao.

The following students from the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have been named to the Dean’s List for the 2016 fall semester:

Class of 2020
Joshua Dillon, Amelia Furlan, Mary Lui, Stacey Nguyen, Felix Rasgo, Robyn Rector, Shaina Saiki, Reid Shimada, Thi Hong Vo, Brandi Chun, Jensine Melody Domingo, Jhoana Paula Gonzales, Jared Toba, Jarin Miyamoto, Tony Moua, Su Hyon Kwon, Courtney Elam, Tracy Lopez, Johnny Tran, Brooke Zarriello, Brent Ocker, Thuy-Mi Tran, Joseph Tanchevski, David Cao, Anna Claire Masuda, Kamala Lizama, Stacie Waiamau, Taumie Richie, Kelsey Trujillo, Andrew Nguyen, Taylor Hori, Logan Abney, Tyler Peterson, Charles Slusher, Wilson Datario

Class of 2019
Tyler Millar, Rachel Randall, Ashley Uehara, Nancy Wong, Carrie Yeung, David Pham, Preston Ho, Kara Paulachak, Gam Phan, Rene-Scott Chavez, Tyler Hirokawa, Kate Malasig, Nicholas Tsoi, Vance Hill, Jennifer Nguyen, Veronica Wong, Deniz Bicakci, Samantha Gonzalez, Kevin Lei, Athena Borhauer, Torrence Ching, Katrina Downey, Veronica Morales Colon, Shannon Trinh, Clement Tran Tang, Leigh Heffner

Class of 2018
Cierra Gauvin, Kerri Nakatsu, Carli Owan, Lauren Skorheim, Quan Truong, Goody Cacal, Sara Evanko, Kelli Goo, Macie Kim, Vicky Nguyen, Lauren Sato, Paolo Vinh Tuan Truong, Tram Le, John James Taman, Ciara Butts, Robby-Sean Cayetano, Karen Christian, Jui-Yu Kao, Andrew Skorheim, Caroline Rhee, XuanLam Le, Joann Phan, Seungyeun Yoo, Ha Tran, Krystle Kiyuna, Niaz Nafisi, Mari Takushi, Candace Woo, Chelsea Aipoalani, Mathew Eng, Niko Pogorevcnik, Katherine Post, Jennifer Fujio, Jonathan Kataoka, Jessica Penaranda, Erik Ferreira, Katrina Kutter, Miyuki Miller, Zebedee Walpert, Phuong Nguyen, Tiffany Alberg, Nicolette Lew, Marina Ortiz, Christopher Nakagawa, Jessica Lee, Tran Pham, Joshua Belcher, Jane Choi, Megan Olaguer, Cindy Khamphaphanh

Ke kukala aku nei ko ke Kulanui o Hawai’i ma Hilo koleke ‘o Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani, i na inoa o na haumana kaha ‘oi no ke kau Ha’ulelau 2016:
(The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani College of Hawaiian Language announces its Dean’s List for the Fall 2016 semester):

Jainine Abraham, Destanie Alayon, Zion Apao, Laura Birse, Christopher Chow, Sophie Dolera, Kameron Ho, Bridgette Ige, Kiana Kamala, Alana Kanahele, Ashley Nakoa-Kawahakui, Alana Paiva, Isaac Pang, Moananuimaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Kainalu Steward, Tema’u Teikitekahioho-Wolff, Vanessa Winchester-Sye,

Joshua Bass, Ramzen Coakley, Angelica Durante, Roberta Gaskin, Ezra Grace, Karise Hallsten, Yukako Iha, Mary Kealaiki, Shoichi Kitaguchi, Hyesun Kong, Ana Methuselah, Risako Mise, Haruka Miura, Lauren Mizuba, Sarah Rafferty, Josiane Saccu, Trevor Slevin, Gin Tezuka, and Ryotaro Toshima

2016 Christmas Baby at Hilo Medical Center

Hilo Medical Center’s first Christmas baby of the year, Hallie-Ray Castro, arrived at 5:48 am weighing 5 pounds and 15 ounces and measuring 19 inches. Her mom, Zashalyn Adrian-Rapoza, says Hallie-Ray came 6 weeks early: “We were wrapping gifts at midnight and I started feeling contractions. By 2:00 am they were nonstop and I was like ‘Seriously…on Christmas!'”

Each of this year’s Christmas babies received a baby bag of supplies and a gift card from the Fraternal Order of the Eagles in Keaau. The Eagles donated the Christmas bags in memory of Karen Snare, former Eagles President, who passed away this year. Each bag was accompanied by a knitted baby blanket donated from a community member and a bear from Kay Jewelers.

Hilo Store Owners Launch Free Education Initiative – Community Outreach Inspired by a Shoplifting Incident

Can compassion prevent crime?

That was a question Breeani Sumera-Lee, manager of Hilo’s Keaukaha Market, found herself struggling with recently after catching a young boy attempting to steal fishing equipment from her family’s general store.

Rather than call the police, Sumera-Lee decided to offer the boy some advice.  But when she suggested the boy apply for a job, he simply answered, “I don’t know how.”  When she suggested he start with resume writing, the boy again explained, “I don’t know how.”

The encounter left Sumera-Lee questioning how different the boy’s life would be if he  possessed skills that would help him make better choices.  Inspired, she set to work organizing a series of free educational classes meant to help uplift the surrounding community.

After three years of preparation including website building and discussions with professionals and community leaders, Sumera-Lee found a class facility and secured teaching commitments from experts in everything from resume writing and interview preparation to financial wellness, self defense, dance, and more.

The inaugural Keaukaha Community Class series will start on January 15 at the Keaukaha Gym, with subsequent classes held on the second weekend of each month throughout the remainder of the year.

Featured presenters for 2017 include former Miss Hawai`i Raeceen Satele, Senator Kai Kahele, 2016 Miss Aloha Hula Ka`iulani Carr, and many others.  Attendance is free and all materials will be provided, along with food and drinks.

To sign up for classes and for more information, visit www.keaukahacommunityclasses. com.  Classes are open to the public.  Self defense class attendees must be at least 18 years of age.

 

Zika Found in Hawaii Years Before Caribbean Outbreak

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) scientists have discovered that severe birth defects related to infection with the Zika virus (ZIKV) occurred much earlier than in 2016, when the connection was first made between the virus and an increased likelihood of microcephaly during outbreaks of ZIKV infection in Brazil and Puerto Rico.

UH scientists published their findings in December in the scientific journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, adding to the potential evidence of a link between ZIKV infection and microcephaly, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development and characterized by an abnormal smallness of the head.

Patient information and blood samples were collected voluntarily from mothers in Honolulu who delivered babies between 2007 and 2013 at the Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children, a Hawaiʻi Pacific Health hospital affiliated with JABSOM. The samples were collected and stored at the UH Biorepository (UHB) after obtaining written informed consent from the mothers.

“As per the information in the UHB, no mothers gave birth to babies with microcephaly in 2007 and 2008,” said Vivek R. Nerurkar, chair of the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology. “However, from 2009 onwards, we identified six mothers who gave birth to babies with microcephaly. Of the six, ZIKV antibodies were detected in three, fifty percent, of the mothers who delivered babies with microcephaly, suggesting presence of positive Zika virus cases and associated microcephaly in the United States as early as 2009.”

Potential changes to women’s health practices

Nerurkar believes the growing evidence of an association between ZIKV infection and the devastating brain damage in infants justifies a new practice in women’s health.

“We need to be more proactive in tracking pregnant women and testing for the ZIKV ahead of time (before birth),” he said. “It may be time for health care professionals to routinely caution newly pregnant mothers (or those planning to become pregnant) about the ZIKV, and offer pre-natal tests to detect for the presence of the virus.”

Ideally, Nerurkar said, families can plan for safe pregnancies by avoiding travel to areas of known ZIKV outbreaks. In 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization have issued travel alerts about locations with confirmed, locally acquired Zika virus infections.

The UH researchers expressed their gratitude for the women who agreed to voluntarily donate blood and placenta samples to build the UH Biorepository archive. “This has been an indispensable resource in our research,” said Nerurkar.

Nerurkar leads a team of scientists at UH working to develop a vaccine for ZIKV infection as well as robust diagnostic assays to rapidly detect ZIKV and other mosquito-borne viral infections. After the award of a Zika emergency response grant this year from the National Institutes of Health, his team members are also working to understand how ZIKV infection in men makes them susceptible to transmit the virus to their sexual partners, even though the men may appear symptom-free.

Hawaii Partnership Aims to Teach Kids Importance of Dental Hygiene

In an effort to provide oral health services for students who need it, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and the Hawaii Dental Association (HDA) are joining forces. The agencies have established a 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.

Click to read memorandum

Dentists will be visiting HIDOE first and second grade classes on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island from Jan. 16-Feb. 28, 2017, which coincides with National Children’s Dental Health Month in February.

“When students do not get the health care they need we find that it affects their performance in school. This partnership is a huge step to provide services to many children who are not getting proper oral healthcare,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “As we work towards closing the achievement gap, we must look at the whole child and that includes their experiences outside of the classroom. We’re grateful to the Hawaii Dental Association for making this opportunity available for students.”

In October, the Hawaii Department of Health released “Hawaii Smiles,” a statewide report that showed a need for oral health improvement for Hawaii’s children. A few of the key findings included:

  • More than 7 out of 10 third graders (71 percent) are affected by tooth decay;
  • About 7 percent of Hawaii third grade children are in need of urgent dental care because of pain or infection;
  • Children from low-income families, as defined as those who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program, have a disproportionate amount of tooth decay (about 31 percent of children eligible for National School Lunch Program have untreated tooth decay compared to 13 percent who are not eligible).

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 include 92,000 economically disadvantaged public school students in Hawaii.

“The goal of this partnership is to educate children from a young age on the importance of proper dental care. We also want to raise awareness about services that provide free dental care so their families can encourage and foster these new habits,” shared Melissa Pavlicek, president, Hawaii Public Policy Advocates who coordinated the MOA on behalf of HDA.

In ensuring that students come to school healthy and ready to learn, Superintendent Matayoshi has made the health and wellbeing of public school students a priority. She has worked on other innovative partnerships and programs that range from proper nutrition to healthcare access. In 2014, HIDOE launched the “Hawaii Keiki” program with the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The program builds school based health services that screen for treatable health conditions; help prevent and control communicable disease and other health problems; and provide emergency care for illness or injury.