Department of Health Conducts TB Testing at Lihikai Elementary School

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is notifying the parents of students and staff members of Lihikai Elementary School on Maui of possible exposure to tuberculosis (TB) at the school. An informational session for affected families and employees will be held next week. Precautionary TB testing will be offered to roughly 80 individuals who may have had exposure.

“The risk of catching TB from someone at school is very low,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacNeill, chief of the DOH Tuberculosis Branch. “TB is not as contagious as many other illnesses such as colds or the flu. Testing may help us find others with early, noncontagious TB and gives us the opportunity to prevent TB for those who might have been exposed. The school screening is an extra measure of safety, and everyone who may have been exposed is being notified.”

DOH conducted an extensive investigation and evaluation of potential contacts and possible exposure immediately after being notified of the active TB case at the end of October. Information on the individual and their case is confidential and protected by law. DOH will be testing only those persons with regular close contact to the patient, and all student families and school employees are receiving a letter describing the situation and whether testing is recommended.

Informational meetings will be held in the cafeteria at Lihikai Elementary School to give families and employees the opportunity to ask questions and discuss their concerns. Meetings will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m. for school employees, and at 6 p.m. for families and the general public. TB screening at the school is scheduled to begin on Monday, Nov. 27.

TB is a disease that is commonly seen in the lungs and can be spread from person-to- person through the air with close, continuous contact. When a person with active TB disease in the lung or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings, tiny drops containing M. tuberculosis may be spread into the air. If another person inhales these drops, there is a chance that they may become infected with TB. Two forms of TB exist, both of which are treatable and curable:

  1. Latent TB infection – when a person has TB bacteria in their body but the body’s immune system is protecting them and they are not sick. Someone with latent TB infection cannot spread the infection to other people.
  2. Active TB disease – when a person becomes sick with TB because their immune system can no longer protect them from active TB infection. Someone with active TB disease may be able to spread the infection to other people.

For more information on tuberculosis or TB testing, please call the DOH Hawaii Tuberculosis Control Program at 832-5731 or visit http://health.hawaii.gov/tb/.

The Tuberculosis Control Program works to reduce the incidence of TB in the state by providing effective prevention, detection, treatment, and educational services. The program offers diagnosis and treatment of TB; ensures that all cases and suspected cases of TB are identified and appropriate therapy is provided; and provides preventive therapy for patients at high risk of developing TB disease including contacts of active cases, persons who are HIV positive, and those with evidence of untreated TB. Through its clinics located in four counties, the program conducts direct TB services including chest X-ray, sputum smear and culture for mycobacteria, tuberculin skin testing, treatment with anti-tuberculosis therapy, and directly observed therapy.

Kohala HS Takes Robotics Competition Sportsmanship Award

Na Paniolo robotics team from Kohala High School in Kapaʻau. PC: Art Kimura.

Na Paniolo, a robotics team from Kohala High School in Kapaʻau on the Big Island, took home the VEX VRC Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championships for demonstrating courtesy and enthusiasm at the event.

The team also was a runner-up in the VRC competition.

Seventy-nine teams from Hawaiʻi, California and China participated in the weekend tournament sponsored by the Hawaiian Electric Companies and Okinawa Enetech with the support of the Engineers’ Council – University of Hawaiʻi and Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium.

Robotics teams from Sacred Hearts Academy and Pearl City High School on O‘ahu won their respective competition Excellence Awards, qualifying both to participate in the 2018 VEX World Championships to be held next April in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX Championships, and is
presented to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high quality VEX robotics
program.

In the VEX IQ Championships, comprised of student teams in grades three to eight, the all-girl Sacred
Hearts Academy team 2437A entered the finals with their sister team, 2437B, as the top-seeded
alliance.

Ultimately, team 2437A took home the Robot Skills Champion Award and won the Excellence Award.

According to organizers, team 2437A’s skills score has them ranked fourth in the world after the tournament.

In the VEX VRC Championship, comprised of middle and high school students, Pearl City High
School’s team, 4142A, earned the Design Award for their organized and professional approach
to the design process, project and time management, and team organization, which are all
program elements that helped them win the Excellence Award.

This is the second consecutive year that Pearl City High School qualified for the VEX Worlds through their win at the Pan Pacific VEX.

Other top awards were handed to the Kailua-based Huakailani School for Girls and an independent team (Phoenixbots) from Mililani, which together earned the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX IQ Teamwork Champion Award for their two-team alliance.

A three-team alliance of Molokaʻi High School, Waialua High & Intermediate School and the
Rolling Robots from Rolling Hills Estates, California, was named the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX VRC
Tournament Champions.

Full results of the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship can be found online.

Big Island Robotics Team Wins Sportsmanship Award at 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Championships

Na Paniolo, a robotics team from Kohala High, took home the Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship.

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

Robotics teams from Sacred Hearts Academy and Pearl City High School won their respective competition “Excellence Awards” at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championships, qualifying both to participate in the 2018 VEX World Championships to be held next April in Louisville, Kentucky. Seventy-nine teams from Hawaii, California and China participated in the weekend tournament sponsored by the Hawaiian Electric Companies and Okinawa Enetech with the support of the Engineers’ Council – University of Hawaii and Hawaii Space Grant Consortium.

The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX Championships, and is presented to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high quality VEX robotics program.

In the VEX IQ Championships comprised of student teams in grades 3-8, the all-girl Sacred Hearts Academy team 2437A entered the finals with their sister team 2437B as the top seeded alliance. Ultimately, team 2437A took home the “Robot Skills Champion Award” and won the “Excellence Award.” According to organizers, team 2437A’s skills score has them ranked fourth in the world after the tournament.

In the VEX VRC Championship comprised of middle and high school students, Pearl City High School’s team 4142A earned the “Design Award” for their organized and professional approach to the design process, project and time management, and team organization, which are all program elements that helped them win the “Excellence Award.” This is the second consecutive year that Pearl City High School qualified for the VEX Worlds through their win at the Pan Pacific VEX.

Other top awards were handed to the Kailua-based Huakailani School for Girls and an independent team (Phoenixbots) from Mililani, which together earned the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX IQ Teamwork Champion Award for their two-team alliance.

A three-team alliance of Molokai High School, Waialua High & Intermediate School and the Rolling Robots from Rolling Hills Estates, California was named the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX VRC Tournament Champions.

Full results of the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship can be found at www.robotevents.com.

UH Hilo Announces New Director of Security

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo announced the appointment of a new director of campus security. Effective Nov. 6, 2017, Richard Murray will take over the position.

Murray brings to UH Hilo more than 16 years of experience in college security administration in Hawaiʻi. He is currently the safety and security manager at Honolulu Community College, where he is responsible for all safety, security and emergency preparedness programs in addition to supervising and providing in-service training for campus security officers and contracted security guards.

He held the same title and responsibilities at Windward Community College from January 2011 until he assumed the HCC post in July 2016, and previously served as associate director of security and safety at Hawaiʻi Pacific University beginning in October 2001.

UH Hilo Security is responsible for providing 24-7, year-round security for the campus, including routine patrol duties, parking and traffic enforcement, conducting investigations, responding to emergencies and alarms, communicating emergency notifications, as well as securing rooms and buildings.

Gabbard’s Clean Energy Act Gains Momentum in Congress

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Courtesy photo.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act) is gaining traction in Congress with eleven new House cosponsors since it was first introduced in September.

The act is based on Hawai‘i’s legislative mandate aiming for 100% clean energy and would put the U.S. on track to completely replace fossil fuels with clean energy sources by 2035.

The OFF Act builds on a growing number of state initiatives designed to address climate change head-on by focusing on clean energy alternatives.

“It’s long overdue for Congress to take action to address the threat of climate change to our people and our planet,” said Rep. Gabbard. “We must end our addiction to fossil fuels and transition America toward a clean, sustainable energy economy and prioritize our future. I urge my fellow lawmakers to join us in supporting the OFF Act to put our country on the path to a 100% clean energy economy.”

“Americans deserve a Congress that will step up and act to solve climate change,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said. “We simply cannot afford to continue using taxpayer dollars to prop up the coal and oil industries. It is long past time to transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy. Scientific experts across the world are in clear agreement that climate change is happening and we are quickly running out of time to do something. This bill would take the strong action needed to aggressively combat climate change and lay the groundwork for the 100 percent clean energy economy our country needs.”

“As recent monster storms and raging wildfires clearly demonstrate, our climate crisis is acute,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “Science shows that to keep a decent chance of avoiding deeper climate chaos, we must move off fossil fuels aggressively, and the transition needs to be complete by 2035. The OFF Act is the strongest, most comprehensive climate and energy legislation we’ve got, and we’re mobilizing across the country to make it the law of the land.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s OFF Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, H.R. 3671 is currently supported by environmental advocates and co-sponsors including Reps. Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Luis Gutierrez (IL-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton, (DC-AL), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), and James McGovern (MA-02).

Adult and Keiki Printmaking Workshops

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) offers adult and keiki printmaking workshops on Saturday, November 18 on the Manono Campus, Building 389.

The “Manono” Building is considered to be located at Hawaii Community College.

Art for Keiki: Encaustic Monotype Printing is for ages 6-11, and will be held from 8:30 am-10 am. Cost is $45 and includes all required supplies.

Art for Everyone: Encaustic Monotype Printing is for ages 12 and up, and will be held from 10:30 am-12:30 pm. Cost is $55 and includes all required supplies.

Encaustic monotype printing is a fun and simple way to produce quick, colorful works of art with bees wax, damar crystals, and ground pigments. Participants will take home multiple prints and will mount a single piece on a wood panel as a completed work of art ready for display.

Instructor Kevin Diminyatz received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Mills College and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Printmaking and a minor in Art History from Sonoma State University.  He is currently a lecturer in the Art Departments at UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College.

For more information and to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/ccecs/.

Workshop on Emotional Intelligence Offered by CCECS

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) offers a mindfulness-based workshop entitled “Emotional Intelligence: The Key to Personal and Professional Success” on Saturday, November 18, from 1 – 5:30 p.m. in the UH Hilo Old Gym. Cost is $35.

Bernie Schreck, a longtime instructor of meditation and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), will teach participants simple mindfulness practices and how to use them to develop their capacity to observe feelings and actions, take responsibility for them, and cultivate empathy. No experience is necessary.

For more information and to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/ccecs/.

27 Schools Receive Incentives for Well-Rounded Education

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education is working with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health to meet the needs of children and provide a well-rounded education for all public school students.

This year, DOH is providing a competitive award up to $5,000 per school to 27 schools statewide that completed an application and showed a demonstrated commitment to the whole child and well-rounded education, as described by the HIDOE wellness guidelines, which establish standards for foods and beverages on campus, health and physical education, and overall wellness.

Click to view Hawaii State Department of Education Wellness Guidelines

Applications for the financial incentive had to be completed collectively by the school’s wellness committee in order to broaden and strengthen support for achievement of the guidelines.

Schools will be able to use the DOH awards on school wellness-related programs, including community outreach and education campaigns for students, families and staff.

The funds may also be used to purchase equipment or technology to support health education or physical education.

“Our students’ well-being and health play major roles in their readiness to learn,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Teaching about wellness and encouraging healthy habits at an early age allow our students to develop these important life skills and continue using them even after high school.”

Research has shown that policies like the wellness guidelines contribute to academic achievement as well as overall student health and wellness. Supporting whole-child and well-rounded education aligns with the DOH’s student health goals and the HIDOE Strategic Plan.

“Whole-child education means that each and every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Part of providing a well-rounded education includes health and physical education classes, as well as educational activities about nutrition and healthy eating.”

The HIDOE wellness guidelines were updated in March 2017 for the first time in 10 years, to meet requirements of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and in response to stakeholder feedback. The new guidelines take effect in all public K-12 public schools during the school year.

HIDOE and DOH have been working together since 2007 to encourage schools to meet the HIDOE wellness guidelines.

School scores on the Safety and Wellness Survey, which measures schools’ implementation of the wellness guidelines, have gone up consistently each year since 2010. Last year, the average score was 85%. DOH will provide “Excellence in Wellness” banners to 110 schools who achieved 90% or more of the guidelines during last school year to commemorate their accomplishment.

“We commend our state’s public schools for their efforts towards implementation of the wellness guidelines,” said Dr. Pressler. “More schools will proudly display wellness banners this year than ever before, meaning that principals and administrators clearly understand that providing a healthy environment fosters academic achievement as well as lifelong healthy habits.”

To view the SAWS results, click here.

For more information on the current HIDOE wellness guidelines, click here.

6-Year-Old Wins Jamba Juice for a Year

Kolten Wong and 6-year-old Matyx Camero.

A 6-year-old boy from Hilo won Jamba Juice drinks for a year at the Hilo homecoming for Major League Baseball player Kolten Wong on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Jamba Juice, located at the Prince Kuhio Shopping Plaza in Hilo, hosted the meet-and-greet for the star, a Hilo native, from 7:30 to 9 a.m., where fans got chances to take pictures, get autographs and talk with Wong.

At the event, Jamba Juice gave out free drinks and coupons to patrons, as well as offering one lucky customer a chance to win Jamba Juice for a year.

The winner of Jamba Juice for a year, was 6-year-old Matyx Camero of Hilo.

Wong graduated from Kamehameha High School on Hawai‘i Island, and also attended and played ball for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Rainbow Warriors. He has been playing Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2013.

This past season Kolten batted .285 his highest batting average in the big leagues.

Hawai‘i Island High School Students Attend Construction & Career Day

Big Island high school students had the opportunity to get firsthand experience working with heavy equipment that is used in construction of road projects on the Island of Hawaiʻi at the annual Hawaiʻi Construction and Career Day held at the Hilo Civic Center on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.

The nonprofit event was intended to provide high school students an insight into career opportunities available in the multi-faceted construction industry.

The event offered high school students exposure in two areas: Heavy Equipment, in which students were able to operate heavy construction equipment, and the Educational Exhibits and Trades area, which consisted of displays from construction companies, engineering firms, government agencies, educational institutions and trade associations.

The students were able to learn about career opportunities and participate in interactive displays that involved the students in fun and challenging games.

Hawaiʻi Construction and Career Days mission is to “provide Hawaiʻi’s youth with an insight into career opportunities available in the multi-faceted construction industry.”

This event was sponsored in part by the HDOT, trade and labor organizations, private construction companies, corporate sponsors and many more.

UH Hilo Ranks No. 2 for Top College/University in Hawai‘i

In a recent study published by WalletHub, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was ranked the top college and university in Hawai‘i followed by the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Chaminade University of Honolulu.

To help college-bound seniors choose the best schools within their states, WalletHub’s analysts compared nearly 1,000 higher-education institutions in the U.S. based on 26 key measures grouped into seven categories, such as Student Selectivity, Cost & Financing and Career Outcomes. The data set ranges from student-faculty ratio to graduation rate to post-attendance median salary.

The following is a closer look at some of the top schools and how each performed in certain metrics (1=best):

University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo

  • 1st – Admission Rate
  • 1st – Net Cost
  • 2nd – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 3rd – On-Campus Crime
  • 3rd – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 3rd – Graduation Rate
  • 3rd – Post-Attendance Median Salary

University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa

  • 2nd – Admission Rate
  • 3rd – Net Cost
  • 2nd – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 2nd – On-Campus Crime
  • 1st – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 2nd – Graduation Rate
  • 1st – Post-Attendance Median Salary

Chaminade University of Honolulu

  • 3rd – Admission Rate
  • 2nd – Net Cost
  • 1st – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 1st – On-Campus Crime
  • 2nd – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 1st – Graduation Rate
  • 2nd – Post-Attendance Median Salary

Related Links
Best Colleges & Universities Overall
Best Colleges
Best Universities

Stop Flu at School Vaccination Clinics Start Today

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s annual Stop Flu at School program begins today, Nov. 1, and will continue in more than 167 public schools statewide through Dec. 21, 2017.

The voluntary program administers free flu shots to Hawai‘i students in kindergarten through eighth grade who are enrolled at participating schools. (See below for participating Hawai‘i county schools and dates).

The DOH says approximately 35,000 students are expected to be vaccinated during the seven-week program.

“Vaccination is our best defense against the flu,” 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.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older. The CDC says that each year, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths in the United States.

In addition to vaccination for everyone six months of age and older, DOH recommends other flu prevention strategies, which include staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands frequently.

For those unable to be vaccinated through the Stop Flu at School program, flu vaccine is available through healthcare provider offices, clinics, and pharmacies. For a list of vaccinating pharmacies statewide, visit the DOH Vaccine Locator.

Click here for more information about the Stop Flu at School program or call the Aloha United Way’s information and referral line at 2-1-1.

November

Nov. 1-7, 2017

Kau Learning Academy – 11/1
Naalehu Elementary & Intermediate – 11/1
West Hawaii Explorations PCS – 11/1
DeSilva Elementary – 11/2
Kaumana Elementary – 11/2
Konawaena Elementary – 11/2
Hilo Intermediate – 11/3
Holualoa Elementary – 11/3
Hilo Union Elementary – 11/7
Ke Kula o Ehunuikaimalino – 11/7

Nov. 8-14, 2017

Honaunau Elementary – 11/8
Ke Kula Nawahiokalaniopuu Iki Lab PCS – 11/8
Keaau Elementary – 11/9
Kohala Elementary – 11/9
Kohala Middle – 11/9
Ka Umeke Kaeo PCS – 11/13
Waiakea Elementary – 11/13
Kalanianaole Elementary & Intermediate – 11/14
Kealakehe Elementary – 11/14

Nov. 15-21, 2017

Innovations PCS – 11/15
Mountain View Elementary – 11/15
Kahakai Elementary – 11/16
Pahoa Elementary – 11/16
Pahoa High & Intermediate – 11/16
Honokaa High & Intermediate – 11/17
Keaau Middle – 11/17
Paauilo Elementary & Intermediate – 11/17
Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School – 11/20
Volcano School of Arts & Sciences PCS – 11/21
Waikoloa Elementary & Middle – 11/21
Waters of Life NCPCS – 11/21

Nov. 22-30, 2017

Waiakeawaena Elementary – 11/22
Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary – 11/27
Connections NCPCS – 11/28
Honokaa Elementary – 11/28
Waimea Elementary – 11/28
Haaheo Elementary – 11/29
Kanu o ka Aina NCPCS – 11/30
Kau High & Pahala Elementary – 11/30

December

Dec. 1-19, 2017

Waimea Middle PCCS – 12/1
Keonepoko Elementary – 12/6
Kealakehe Intermediate – 12/7
Ke Ana Laahana PCS – 12/8
Keaukaha Elementary – 12/8
Hookena Elementary – 12/19

Former Charter School Principal Charged with Theft

Attorney General Doug Chin announced that Laara Allbrett was charged yesterday by way of felony information with four counts of Theft in the Second Degree, a class C felony punishable by up to five years jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Allbrett, 64, is the former principal of the Halau Lokahi public charter school, a Native Hawaiian-focused charter school whose recurring financial difficulties led to the revocation of its charter by the State Public Charter School Commission on March 30, 2015.

The felony information alleges that Allbrett committed theft by deception during her tenure as the principal of Halau Lokahi. A felony information is merely an allegation of criminal wrongdoing against Allbrett, and she is presumed innocent until found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt by a judge or jury.

A copy of the charging document is attached.

Click to read full document

Hawaiʻi Island Sixth Graders Make History

More than 500 Hawaiʻi Island sixth graders made history during the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s free STEM program, the Barnstorming Tour, last week.

Barnstorming Tour photos of a session at Waiakea Intermediate School. PC Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

For two-weeks the Barnstorming Team traveled across Hawaiʻi island teaching sixth-graders from Hilo, Pāhoa and Pāhala the science behind aviation.

“Barnstorming” refers to a style of stunt piloting that was performed in the 1920s to showcase pilots’ skills and the sturdiness of the planes they flew.

The Barnstorming Tour was developed in 2008 by museum staff with educators and science advisors from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Since its inception, the program has reached over 26,000 sixth graders in their classrooms on Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi and now Hawaiʻi Island.

The 90-minute curriculum uses hands-on activities that incorporate all elements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to help students understand the scientific principles of flight, as well as introduce them to aviation and aeronautic engineering as a viable career.

“It was an amazing education experience for the students and I cannot say enough good things about this program,” said Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts & Science Teacher Charlotte Romo. “As a teacher, I appreciate the level of organization and team work, it was perfectly orchestrated!”

“Students in this area never get opportunities like this,” said Pāhoa Elementary Teacher Channa Uyetake. “You guys (Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor) coming here is an educational experience we would have never dreamed of.”

The Barnstorming Team conducted 90-minute sessions at Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts & Science; Pāhoa Intermediate; Ka’u High & Pāhala Elementary; Ernest Bowen DeSilva; and Waiakea Intermediate, recipient of two separate visits.

Gayle Kamei, STEM Coordinator at Waiakea Intermediate said, “The fun and excitement of taking controls of a flight simulator and experiencing the miracle of flight by controlling a wing in a wind tunnel just doesn’t happen too often in a child’s life. Our sixth graders are actually learning the Laws of Physics first hand. What a unique learning experience for them.”

Costs incurred to bring the Barnstorming Tour and equipment to Hawaiʻi Island was underwritten by a $5,000 grant from Boeing.

Schools interested in having the Museum bring the free Barnstorming Tour to their classrooms should contact nick.kann@pacificaviationmuseum.org or call 808-441-1001.

Hawaii Awarded $2.25 Million for Youth Disability Workforce Development

Hawaii Youth At Work! Program Expands to Year Around

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) was awarded $2.25 million in federal funds to help prepare youth with disabilities to enter the workforce or post-secondary education. The funding enables Hawaii Youth At Work! summer participants to obtain paid work experience during the year, coupled with employment preparation activities.

“The summer program is a resounding success for the youth and it is usually their first paid job,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama. “We are proud to help expand these opportunities for youth with disabilities to contribute their skills and talents to Hawaii’s workforce.”

The program is a collaboration between the Department of Human Services (DHS) and DLIR. DHS’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division, and Social Services Division counselors and staff work with DLIR workforce staff to place participants in temporary jobs with the State and Counties.

“Despite their ability to occupy a variety of jobs, people with disabilities only account for 20 percent of the workforce, have more than double the unemployment rate compared to the general population and continue to face barriers finding work,” stated DHS Director Pankaj Bhanot. “We’re thrilled to expand this program so these young people have greater opportunity to engage in the workforce and prepare for meaningful employment.”

In 2016, the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provided 153 youth with disabilities paid work experience in State and County offices on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii. Youth were paid $10.00 an hour and worked up to twenty hours per week during the summer months. SYEP 2017 expanded referrals to include youth participants from the DHS’s Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division and Social Services Division in addition to VR. 125 participants were placed in State and City offices on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii.

The funding will strengthen collaborations with businesses and workforce partners to increase the number of youth with disabilities entering career pathways and accessing workforce services. The grant provides funding for services in the Counites of Hawaii and Maui as well as on Oahu. In addition to DHS, key partners include the University of Hawaii Center on Disability Studies, Department of Education, and American Job Centers.

DLIR previously received $2,923,674 in 2011 and $2,500,000 in 2015 in Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) funds to improve education, training, and employment outcomes of youth and adults with disabilities. DEI funds help refine and expand workforce strategies proven to be successful, and enhance inclusive service delivery through the public workforce system. Improvements include: increasing the accessibility of American Job Centers (AJC); training front-line AJC and partner staff; and increasing partnerships with businesses that are critical for assisting youth and adults with disabilities in securing meaningful employment.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  TDD/TTY Dial 711 then ask for (808) 586-8866

Hawaii State Department of Health Leads Oral Health Screening Initiative for Every Head Start and Early Head Start Student

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with the Hawaii Children’s Action Network, Head Start Collaboration Office, and Hawaii Head Start and Early Head Start programs, is conducting a statewide oral health screening project, beginning this fall. The project, which focuses on Hawaii keiki who are most at risk for cavities, builds upon the foundation set by the DOH’s Hawaii Smiles statewide third-grade screening project two years ago. The current project will look at younger children and include an oral health screening for every child enrolled in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs.The first screening is scheduled at the Parents and Children Together (PACT) headquarters at The Towers at Kuhio Park on Tuesday, Oct. 17, beginning at 10 am. Altogether, more than 2,970 children at more than 100 Head Start and Early Head Start sites statewide will have a dental screening in this school year. The health department will use this data on the oral health of these young children to inform the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and develop policies and programs to improve the oral health of children across Hawaii.

The Hawaii Smiles statewide screening team is composed of dentists and dental hygienists from the public and private sectors who will evaluate the extent of cavities in these children, provide oral health educational materials for parents and teachers, and offer recommendations for follow-up dental care.

“This project will allow us to better understand the patterns that surround dental decay in families and communities in our state,” said Dr. Gavin Uchida, DOH dental director. “On a community level, we know we must all do much more to improve the oral health of the residents of our state, and this information is foundational in helping us create the smartest, most effective plans for positive change.”

Previously, DOH issued the 2015/2016 Hawaii Smiles report, which validated that Hawaii’s third grade children have the highest prevalence of tooth decay in the nation. The baseline results were based on data collected from more than 3,000 third grade students in 67 public elementary schools during the 2014-2015 school year.

The findings from the Hawaii Smiles report were disappointing, but not surprising:

  • 71 percent of third graders in Hawaii have tooth decay, which is higher than the national average of 52 percent;
  • 22 percent of third graders have untreated tooth decay, indicating they are not receiving dental care;
  • About 7 percent of third graders are in need of urgent dental care because of pain or infection; and
  • There are significant oral health disparities by income as well as by race/ethnicity among third grade students in Hawaii.

“We are grateful that the HDS Foundation is being proactive and funding early solutions to Hawaii’s oral health problems,” said Deborah Zysman, executive director of the Hawaii Children’s Action Network. “These problems are often preventable when addressed in early childhood through screening, public education and outreach, and public policy. We are excited for the opportunity to make a difference in the health of Hawaii children.”

As part of the outreach efforts, parents and teachers will receive oral health educational materials and classroom supplies to reinforce the importance of good oral health to children.

The Hawaii Smiles report recommended community-based prevention programs that focus on oral health promotion and prevention services in early childhood programs to reach children at a younger age. The Early Head Start and Head Start programs were identified because of their extensive reach to children from birth to five years old.

“While this project is organized by the Department of Health, it actually is a growing coalition of local and national community partners who are taking action,” said Dr. Uchida. “We’re seeing the result of partnerships that start with caring individuals and small community groups, and extends to local businesses and associations, and even to national leadership at the CDC. A lot of people are now coming together to address the oral health problems we’re seeing in Hawaii, and this current project is just the beginning of good things to come.“

“We’re pleased to be able to continue our support for the Hawaii Smiles project,” said

Mark Yamakawa, president and CEO of Hawaii Dental Service (HDS). “Prevention is the key to good oral health especially for our young children, and we appreciate the collaborative effort to tackle this important issue in our state.”

The CDC awarded the DOH a $1.1 million grant to rebuild its oral health program, a portion of which is being used for these oral health screenings for 1,450 children at 50 Head Start and Early Head Start sites throughout the state.

The HDS Foundation gave a $45,000 grant to the Hawaii Children’s Action Network, which is helping to coordinate the logistics of this project, to expand the outreach efforts to an additional 59 sites and to conduct dental screenings for an additional 1,520 infants, toddlers and preschoolers for a total of more than 2,970 children.

Children will be referred to their dentist for follow-up care.  If they do not have a dentist, the DOH and the Head Start and Early Head Start programs will refer families to Community Case Management Corp., which assists Medicaid beneficiaries with finding dentists for treatment.

Progress Update on School Bus Driver Shortages on Maui and Kauai

Two consolidated bus routes on Maui were reinstated and more anticipated in coming weeks. Photo DOE

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) reports that progress is being made by school bus contractors to address the current shortage of Commercial Driver Licensed (CDL) drivers on Maui and Kauai qualified to operate school buses. Here are the latest updates:

  • Two previously consolidated bus routes on Maui have been restored to normal service times at Maui High School and Maui Waena Intermediate School.
    • Route GR14A makes a single morning and afternoon run from the Hale Kihei Housing and Makai Heights Subdivisions in Kihei to and from Maui High School.
    • Route GR18 A/B makes two morning and afternoon runs to and from Maui Waena Intermediate School. The first serves the Kahului area east of Puunene Avenue from Puukani Street to Kaahumanu Avenue, and north of West Kauai Street to Kaahumanu Avenue. The second run serves the Sands Hills, Puuone Tract, Kanaloa Houselots Subdivision and Paukukalo areas.
  • Kauai’s shortage of qualified school bus drivers continues to remain at seven. School bus routes have been consolidated to adjust to the staffing shortages and all schools are still being serviced. Driver candidates are currently in the licensing process and routes will be restored as they enter service.
  • Interested CDL drivers should contact the Student Transportation Services Branch at (808) 586-0170. Interested drivers without a CDL are also being sought. The CDL training and testing process is open and takes approximately three weeks to complete.

For school bus route questions or concerns, please call the Get On Board Hotline at (808) 586-0161 on Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Internet Service Down at Big Island Public Libraries

The Hawaii State Public Library System reports that the internet is down at all public libraries on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Library locations on the Big Island.

Equipment and technical staff are being flown in for repairs.  It is not known at this time when the internet will be back up and running.

UPDATE: “Earlier today, the high speed fiber network that provides internet connectivity to all Hawaii State Public Library System staff and public computers on Hawaii Island went down. Limited internet connectivity has been temporarily restored to some Hawaii Island branch staff. Internet connectivity for all public access computers remains down island-wide until further notice.  Equipment and technical staff are being flown to Hawaii Island for repairs.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our Hawaii Island library patrons and thank them for their patience.”

Pacific Aviation Museum Providing Free STEM Program to Hawaii Island Schools

The FREE STEM outreach education program, allowing students to explore science through flight, will be presented to 6th graders in Hilo, Pahoa and Pahala.

More than 500 sixth graders on Hawaii Island will learn about the science behind aviation when members of Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s Barnstorming Program travel to Hawaii Island for the first time, October 16-27, 2017. The term “barnstorming” refers to a style of stunt piloting that was performed in the 1920’s to showcase pilots’ skills and the sturdiness of the planes they flew.

Barnstorming photos of a previous session at Benjamin Parker Elementary School on Oahu. Photo credit: Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Pacific Aviation Museum’s Barnstorming Program was developed in 2008 by staff at the Museum in collaboration with educators and science advisors from University of Hawaii at Manoa, and since its inception, has reached over 26,000 sixth graders in their classrooms on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. The 90-minute curriculum is aligned to the Hawaii State Content Standards for Grade 6, and uses:

  • Table-top experiments where students are introduced to the two most important concepts in the science of aviation – Newton’s Third Law of Motion and Bernoulli’s Principle;
  • A portable wind tunnel that allows students to manipulate an airfoil inside a working wind tunnel via remote control. Students see the effects that airflow have on a wing, and how different velocities of the airstream can change a wing’s reaction to their controller inputs. Students discover how scientists and engineers use wind tunnels to design and test objects people use daily, from aircraft and cars, to homes; and
  • A P-40 flight simulator that serves as the culmination of the Barnstorming experience, where after learning the basic concepts through table-top experiments and the wind tunnel, students take the controls of a flying machine. The flight simulator allows students to operate the control surfaces (rudder, elevators and ailerons) that they learned about in the initial presentation, and decide what stick or pedal inputs they will need to obtain their desired movements. Student aviators fly the P-40 through several scenarios, including takeoff, landing, basic control familiarization, as well as pursuit and dogfight maneuvers.

Costs incurred to bring the program and equipment to Hawaii Island is being underwritten by a $5,000 grant from Boeing.

“Aviation plays such an important role in our everyday lives, from an economic and social point of view, to protecting our nation from harm,” said Shauna Tonkin, Director of Education, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. “Our Barnstorming Program is designed to incorporate all elements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through interesting and hands-on activities that not only help students understand the scientific principles of flight, but also introduces aviation and aeronautical engineering as a viable career. We hope to continue taking this program on the road to students throughout Hawaii. Our ability to do this is based on the generous support we receive from businesses and foundations, such as Boeing.”

Beginning October 16, Pacific Aviation Museum will bring its Barnstorming program to the following schools:

October 16: Ernest Bowen DeSilva Elementary, Hilo
October 17-19: Waiakea Intermediate, Hilo
October 20: Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science, Pahoa
October 23: Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary, Pahala
October 24: Pahoa Intermediate, Pahoa
October 25-27: Waiakea Intermediate, Hilo

On the evening of October 23, Pacific Aviation Museum will also host a free community outreach event at Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary School called Discover Your Future in Aviation (DYFA). Mirrored after the Museum’s annual DYFA on Oahu, the event is designed as an interactive fair that provides youth with information and resources related to the aviation and aerospace industries.

With a special emphasis on young women and underserved populations, DYFA’s goal is to generate interest and present STEM career opportunities by having exhibitors in the field of aerospace and aviation at the event, coupled with interactive STEM-related activities. The event will also feature keynote speaker Z. Nagin Cox, a NASA Mars Rover engineer who has held leadership and system engineering positions on interplanetary robotic missions including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Kepler exoplanet hunter, InSight, and the Mars Curiosity Rover. In 2015, Asteroid 14061 was named after her by its discoverers.

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.

Hawaii Electric Light’s Energy Fair on Oct. 21

Hawaii Electric Light invites the community to its energy fair on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Keauhou Shopping Center.

The free, family-friendly event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature educational displays, demonstrations, and interactive activities on electrical safety, energy conservation, electric vehicles and fast charger stations, renewable energy, and our plan to reach a 100% renewable energy future.

Fun activities will include games as well as building and racing a model solar boat made with recycled products. Enjoy live, local entertainment by Kahakai Elementary School, The Humble Project, Kealakehe High School Dance Team, Mauka Soul, and Solid Roots Band.

For more information on the energy fair, visit www.hawaiielectriclight.com/energyfair or call 327-0543.