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College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management Dean’s List, Spring 2017

The following students in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo received Dean’s List recognition for the spring 2017 semester:

Bishop Akao, Tiera Arakawa, Joshua Arizumi, Joshua Boranian, Edward Bufil, Pomaika`i Cathcart, Vincent Chang, Gema Cobian Gutierrez, Lexi Dalmacio, Alexandra Doi, Jesse Felts, Brandon Field, Kawaikapuokalani Genovia, Christian Grostick, Clarissa Guerrero, Johnny Jaime, Erin Kurdelmeyer, Jaylin Millan, Kassie-Lynn Miyataki, Kari Olson, Eissas Ouk, Nathan Pallett, Michael Pamatat, Maria Parker, Wesley Piena, Faamanu Puaina, Jacque Raymond, Connor Rhyno, Kaitlyn Rieber, Romance Romero, Salvatore Satullo, Kuupomaikai Stevens, Mark Tanouye, Emma Tiffan, and Jodie Van Cleave.

Kahilu Theatre Hosts Talk by Nationally Recognized Artist and Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner Bernice Akamine

Kahilu Theatre presents an Artist Talk by nationally recognized artist, Bernice Akamine, on August 19, from 10:30 – 11:30am. Ms. Akamine will give a presentation describing the scope of her art practice, and will discuss how her roots as a Hawaiian cultural practitioner informs her work. The talk is being held in conjunction with her solo exhibition at Kahilu Theatre, and during the presentation Akamine will also discuss her work on display in the galleries. Coffee and light pastry will be on offer.

Bernice Akamine speaking about her installation with to Lulani Arquette , CEO of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) Photo by Mark Ley

“Bernice Akamine is a treasure for our state, both as a contemporary artist and as a cultural practitioner, and we are delighted to bring her work to Waimea,” says Deb Goodwin, Executive Director of Kahilu Theatre. “Her installations, Hinalua‘iko‘a and Kalo, exemplify deeply engaged and profoundly moving art, creativity we aim to showcase at Kahilu Theatre, both on stage and in our galleries. At the opening reception on August 3, Bernice spoke passionately about what inspires and influences her, giving the art richer meaning for those in attendance. Kahilu Theatre is honored to offer an additional opportunity to hear Bernice speak.”

Kahilu Theatre Development Associate David Clark describes the experience of viewing Kalo and hearing Bernice speak about it at the reception. “The large field of mixedmedia taro plants that make up the installation Kalo is beautiful in its own right, but it was so much more significant to learn about it from Bernice. Each newsprint “leaf” contains the printed signatures of residents that signed the1897-98 Ku’e: the AntiAnnexation Petitions, as well as maps of the districts in which those signatories resided. Each paper kalo plant “grows” out of a pohaku, or lava rock, donated by community members from each of the main Hawaiian Islands. This layering of source material makes the installation a living invocation of past generations and serves to remind each viewer (whether resident or visitor) of their kuleana or responsibility to protect the natural environment, the cultural traditions, and the history of this special place.”

Bernice Akamine is a sculptor and installation artist based on Hawai‘i Island. She uses a variety of media to express her ideas, and recurring themes include environmental and cultural issues. She is a recognized cultural practitioner with deep roots in Kapa and waiho‘olu‘u, Hawaiian natural dyes. Her solo exhibition at Kahilu Theatre Galleries, presents two bodies of work in both galleries.

Kalo, is a mixed media installation that consists of 83 taro plants made of stone and leaves. Hinalua‘iko‘a are suspended and free standing beaded sculptures that present an immersive environment inspired by traditional Hawaiian fish traps, sea creatures, talk radio and the Hawaiian Creation Chant, the Kumulipo.

Akamine has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her selected awards include; a 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation; a 2012 Community Scholar Award from the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History; and a 1999 Visiting Artist Award at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.

Kahilu Exhibits, the visual arts exhibition program of the Kahilu Theatre, presents solo and thematic group shows and features local and global works of art from both emerging and established visual artists.
The Akamine exhibition, organized by Sally Lundburg, is on display through September 8. The galleries are free and open to the public Monday thru Friday, from 9am – 1pm, and during all performances and events. For more information, visit http://kahilutheatre.org/Exhibits, email gallery@kahilutheatre.org, or call (808) 885-6868.

For more information about Bernice Akamineʻs work, visit https://www.nativeartsandcultures.org/bernice-akamine or contact the artist at bamakamine@gmail.com.

Statement Regarding School Bus Situation on Maui

“We continue to work diligently day in and day out to recruit and train drivers. Over the last week, we have made significant progress. However, we need to hire 14 more drivers to fully service temporarily suspended and consolidated routes for Baldwin, Lahainaluna and Maui high schools and Iao Intermediate.

We are in daily communication with HIDOE about where we are with driver recruitment and how we can strategically restore routes. Our contracts with HIDOE included changes to multiple pick-up and drop off locations and times, some of which may be different from years past.

Getting students to school, safely, is paramount which is why we invested in a brand new bus fleet for Maui and have an extensive screening and training process for our drivers.

We had hoped to be fully ready on day one of school, but repeated appeals and challenges of our contract award by Robert’s Hawaii, which lost contracts on Maui and Kauai, set our hiring timetable back. That, coupled with the growing national bus driver shortage crisis, means finding high quality drivers hasn’t been easy.

We sincerely apologize to students, families and the community for the inconvenience caused by the temporary disruption in service and appreciate their patience as we work to resolve this situation.”

Louis Gomes, President of Ground Transport Incorporated

Registration Opens for Hawaii LifeSmarts Competition

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Office of the Securities Commissioner announces the start of the 2017-2018 Hawaii LifeSmarts Competition.

LifeSmarts is a free, national educational program that teaches students critical life skills in five key areas: Personal Finance, Consumer Rights & Responsibilities, Health & Safety, the Environment, and Technology through online quizzes and in-person competitions.  Teams must consist of one adult coach/teacher and at least 4 students.

The online portion of the competition will be open from Tuesday, August 1, 2017, to Friday, December 1, 2017 at 7 p.m. HST.  The four highest scoring high school teams will be invited to compete at the state championship competition in Honolulu on February 3, 2018.  The winning team will represent Hawaii at the national LifeSmarts competition, scheduled for April 21-24, 2018 in San Diego, CA.

“We are proud to be a sponsor of Hawaii LifeSmarts and we encourage teams to sign up,” said Securities Commissioner Ty Nohara.

Middle school or “Junior Varsity” (JV) teams with students in grades 6-8 may participate in an online-only competition from August 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018.  Winners of the JV competition will be recognized online.

For more information about the Hawaii LifeSmarts program, please visit www.lifesmartshawaii.com or contact the LifeSmarts State Coordinator, Theresa Kong Kee, at 587-7400 or tkongkee@dcca.hawaii.gov.

The Hawaii LifeSmarts program is locally sponsored by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Office of the Securities Commissioner, in partnership with the Hawaii Credit Union League, and is run by the National Consumers League. Over 1,300 local students have participated in Hawaii LifeSmarts since 2005.  Local businesses interested in becoming a sponsor of the Hawaii LifeSmarts program are welcome to contact the State Coordinator for more information.

Hawaii Anti-Bullying Campaign Marks Its 10th Year

The E Ola Pono campaign celebrated its 10th year, and was created as a cultural response to bullying in the schools. Student groups are encouraged to actively Grow Pono – to foster respect and harmony. Six schools in three divisions received recognition and monetary awards for their campaigns.

The E Ola Pono campaign encourages youth groups to promote peace, pono and respect at their schools and communities through student–led campaigns.  Photo Credit: E Ola Pono

The E Ola Pono campaign, which encourages youth groups to promote peace, pono and respect at their schools and communities through student–led campaigns, celebrated its 10th year with winning projects from across the state. The campaign was created as a cultural response to bullying in the schools. Student groups are encouraged to actively Grow Pono – to foster respect and harmony.

“This campaign is an excellent example of showcasing student voice and leadership,” said Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. “Congratulations to the winning schools and all of the entrants who put a lot of thought and time into these projects that promote positivity within our schools and communities.”

Six schools in three divisions received recognition and monetary awards for their campaigns.

Elementary Division:

First Place: Na Wai Ola P ublic Charter School (PCS), Mountain View, Hawaiʻi Island – Na Wai Ola PCS’ māla (garden) program teaches students how to grow food, medicines and plants with aloha and respect. Shari Frias, the agricultural Science teacher and advisor for their pono campaign, observed that students who have been at their school for a few years have a personal connection and understanding of their māla, the environment and themselves. The older students have developed a strong connection to place. She tells her students that, “every plant in our māla has a place, and kulelana just like you. If we care about ourselves the way we care for our plants we will be pono, and balanced.”

Second Place: Aliʻiolani Elementary School, Honolulu, Oʻahu – The STAR Student Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) program at Aliʻiolani Elementary promoted kindness recognition. Every student at Ali’iolani wrote down a time when they were kind to someone else and the Wall of Kindness was created. Campaign advisor, Tim Hosoda, shared, “In most programs the teachers do the recognizing, but with STAR Student, the students are the ones that get to do that. We noticed that students behave better because the know their peers are always watching them.”

Middle/Intermediate Division:

First Place: Ewa Makai Middle School, Ewa Beach, Oʻahu – Ewa Makai Middle initiated a campaign to foster pono with aloha with an emphasis on morality and ethics.

Ewa Makai Middle initiated a campaign to foster pono with aloha with an emphasis on morality and ethics. Photo Credit: E Ola Pono

Through various activities like Cheer Off and No One Eats Alone Day, the students formed a strong bond. Vanessa Ching, campaign advisor, shared, “The students have embraced the true meaning of pono, which is respect for self and others, and doing what is right even when no one is around. We now realize that it is both an individual and team effort to take action and influence positive behaviors and respectful actions in our community.”

Second Place: Kailua Intermediate, Kailua, Oʻahu – Seventh and eighth grade students at Kailua Intermediate focused on how to mālama the Hamakua Marsh and the native birds in this sanctuary by watching and monitoring the birds, cleaning up trash dumped in the marsh and taking water samples. Campaign advisor Kimberly Tangaro, a science teacher at Kailua intermediate, shared, “As participants we learned how we can make small yet significant changes to help promote the health of the marsh. Our school culture was powerfully and positively impacted by learning about this unique and special place we call home or our community.”

High School Division:

First Place (tie): Farrington High School, Honolulu, Oʻahu – The Friends Program at Farrington High focused on the national “#BETHECHANGE” and “Spread the Word to End the “R” Word” initiatives because they wanted their school, students, and community to understand that they will all rise as one. Evelyn Utai, advisor of the Friends Program, shared, “The students in our Friends Program are educating their friends and classmates on what it means to be a caring individual. We promote that we are #ONEGOV” at Farrington High. It’s an amazing feeling to have my students walk through the halls and feel that they belong in the school.”

First Place (tie): Hāna High & Elementary School, Hāna, Maui – Hāna High’s ninth graders chose the topic of Environmental Sustainability. Students focused on educating the younger generation by passing down the teachings of their kupuna. Campaign advisor Angela Chronis, Hāna’s Social Studies teacher shared, “Both keiki and kupuna were excited to help take part in our campaign. After participating in E Ola Pono, students have a greater understanding and appreciation of the many steps it takes to launch a successful campaign.”

For more information about the E Ola Pono campaign and the 2016-17 winners, click here.

Five Hawaii Schools Selected to Open Pre-K Classrooms in School Year 2018-19

The Executive Office on Early Learning has selected five new schools to open new public pre-kindergarten classrooms in the 2018-19 school year. A child’s early years are critical in establishing a strong foundation for education and research has shown that early childhood education sets the foundation for life-long learning and success.

A child’s early years are critical in establishing a strong foundation for education and research has shown that early childhood education sets the foundation for life-long learning and success. Photo Dept. of Education

A child’s early years are critical in establishing a strong foundation for education and research has shown that early childhood education sets the foundation for life-long learning and success. Investing in high quality early childhood programs have resulted in narrowing achievement gaps, decreasing the need for special education and increasing high school graduation and college attendance rates.

The Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) launched Hawaii’s first publicly funded pre-kindergarten program in the 2014-15 school year. The program provides high-quality early learning experiences for students in the year prior to kindergarten eligibility. As a partnership between the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and EOEL, 21 pre-kindergarten classrooms on 19 HIDOE elementary school campuses statewide constitute Hawaii’s first state-funded pre-kindergarten program. The program, a first step toward developing Hawaii’s early learning system, is beginning its fourth year.

EOEL has selected five schools to open new public pre-kindergarten classrooms in the 2018-19 school year.  Schools were selected based on a competitive application process and include:

“Through this program, we have the opportunity to empower young children who otherwise would not have access to high quality early childhood education,” said Lauren Moriguchi, EOEL Executive Director. “This partnership has the potential to shape lives and change future trajectories. We are fortunate to have received funding for expansion of the program and are excited to open five new pre-k classrooms in the 2018-19 school year.”

Kapalama and Keolu Elementary Schools have been designated as alternates and have been invited to participate in EOEL’s Early Learning Induction Program, which is required for school teams to attend prior to opening a new EOEL Pre-Kindergarten Classroom.

For more information on pre-kindergarten and early learning, please visit http://bit.ly/1P9ewxx.

University of Hawaii Partnership Aims to Improve Tornado Forecasting, Warning Lead-Times

The Jonathan Merage Foundation and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) have expanded their partnership with a new project aiming to improve severe weather forecasting and warning lead-times associated with Front Range thunderstorms over northeastern Colorado.

Colorado storm. Credit: Steven Businger.

Improvements in Colorado’s thunderstorm forecasting rely on innovative data from its Lightning Mapping Array (LMA) network. The network is comprised of 12 stations north of Denver that monitor lightning activity. LMA sensors have revealed distinct tornado signatures 30 minutes prior to the formation of a tornado and are used to predict severe storms that also produce strong straight-line winds and large hail.

The southernmost LMA sensor is currently located 25 miles north of Denver. The new gift will enable the construction and installation of six additional sensor stations around and south of Denver, expanding the LMA network to cover the Denver Metro Area and improve severe weather forecasting for the most densely-populated area of Colorado.

Steven Businger and Jonathan Merage. Credit: Jana Light.

“Not only will this project allow us to provide better information to the Colorado community about incoming and potential severe thunderstorms,” said Professor Steven Businger, chair of the Atmospheric Science Department in SOEST and project lead, “but it will allow scientists to study and refine relationships between lightning information and the tornadic potential of thunderstorms. It will allow us to better predict dangerous storms and improve lead-times for tornado warnings, which has the potential to save lives.”

Two new sensors will be installed this year and four additional sensors will be installed over the next two years.

In addition to the new LMA collaboration, the Jonathan Merage Foundation has funded another year of investigation into long-range lightning data. The project is funding a postdoctoral student in Businger’s lab.

“Last year we developed a tropical storm model that can assimilate lightning data,” said Businger. “This year we aim to improve the way cloud processes are handled in the model and run some case studies, such as Hurricane Patricia and Typhoon Haiyan, through the model. This year will get us closer to our goal of improving our ability to predict the track and intensity of tropical cyclones.”

Both projects are currently under way.

UH Community College Students Prepare to Launch Payload From NASA Flight Facility

University of Hawaiʻi community college students are getting ready to launch their third payload from a NASA facility. The launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is scheduled for a window between 5:30 and 9:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday, August 12.

Nicholas Hermann and Cale Melcher

Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. EDT on the Wallops Ustream site. Launch updates also are available via the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites. Facebook Live coverage begins at 5:15 a.m. EDT.

Smartphone users can download the What’s Up at Wallops app, which contains information on the launch as well as a compass showing the precise direction for launch viewing.

Project Imua is a joint faculty-student enterprise of four UH community college campuses (Honolulu, Kapiʻolani, Kauaʻi and Windward). Its primary mission is to engage undergraduate students in project based STEM research with real-world development of small payloads for space flight. A NASA grant awarded to the Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium has helped to fund the project.

Honolulu CC Project Imua Mentor Will Smith and students Cale Mechler and Nick Hermann are at Wallops in final preparations for Saturday’s launch. Another mentor and other UH community college students traveled to Wallops this past June to conduct preliminary tests on the payload.

For more on the August 12 launch and the participating universities and colleges, see the NASA website.

Maui Lawmaker Calls on Governor to Resolve Bus Crisis

West Maui lawmaker Representative Angus McKelvey today called on Governor David Ige to intervene in the student transportation crisis that has adversely affected West Maui as well as other school districts on Maui and Kauai.

HIDOE is seeking school bus drivers with valid Commercial Drivers Licenses to service routes on Maui and Kauai. For a limited time, school bus contractors are offering hiring bonuses and increased wages. Photo Credit: Department of Education

“The situation is completely unacceptable, especially when you consider all the Lahainaluna High School students that need access to a campus that is not readily serviced by other transportation means including a county bus route,” McKelvey said. “The bus shortage has exasperated an already existing traffic problem as parents are now scrambling to get kids to school by their own means before the workday.”

McKelvey’s concerns are with parents and families who may not be able to afford private transportation and solely rely on the bus system to get their keiki to and from school.

“Parents who don’t have the means to afford last-minute private transportation are going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to get the kids to school,” he said. “And, while the Department of Education’s relaxation of the tardy rules and breakfast times will help somewhat, many of these kids may be forced to miss large segments of school time. This, in turn, could result in inadvertent involvement in the court system for their parents because their children are not being at school for the required amount of time.”

McKelvey believes that “it is unfair to parents in this situation to be faced with potential legal consequences for actions beyond their control especially considering the last minute notification of the bus shortage.

“It is especially troubling that the DOE spokesperson said that there were no reported problems related to the bus issues only illustrates further that the DOE is disconnected from the challenges that we are facing with this issue here on West Maui,” McKelvey said.

The West Maui lawmaker also expressed his concern that the Board of Education allowed the bus contract issue to “spiral out of control” before the beginning of the school year and a shortage of drivers should have been discussed well before the start of school.

“The lack of qualified drivers for certain routes should also have been disclosed during the procurement process,” he said. “Especially when it is a new Oahu based vendor that has never provided any transportation for the schools in Maui before.

“On behalf of all the hard working parents and their keiki of West Maui, I am humbly asking the Governor to step in and have the Board of Education either issue a supplemental contract for the busing services at Lahainaluna High School, and any other areas, or rescind the contract in its entirety for failure to perform.

“With the start of the high school on Wednesday, and other major traffic events coming up, this situation could go from bad to very bad in a short period of time,” McKelvey said. “The bottom line is the vendor should be able to perform as promised, and did not timely notify the DOE. Therefore, the department and the Governor need to use their powers of the executive branch to take whatever actions are necessary to address this bus driver shortage – an issue which never should have occurred of in the first place.

“In an area where the schools are not serviced by county bus routes, an immediate busing option is needed, especially for parents and families who can’t afford to simply call a taxi or grab a rental car to get the kids to school before going to their two or three jobs needed just to make ends meet.”

Free Floral Design Event to Celebrate the Centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens

Hitomi Gilliam, an award winning floral artist, author and educator, will lead a floral design event in Hilo August 19, 20, and 21 to celebrate the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens.

Hitomi Gilliam

Registration is free through the Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association. Request a registration form from Judy Schilling at HFNAJUDY@gmail.com

Hitomi is a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and is one of a very few recipients of AIFD’s Design Influence Award. In 2006, Hitomi was the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s Frances Poetker Award that recognizes outstanding contributions as designer, author, and lecturer in the art and science of American horticulture. In 2008 she won Gold and Best of Show at the invitation only international entry at Singapore Garden Festival .She is the author of seven books including Neotropica: Hawaii Tropical Flower and Plant Guide.

“Flowers enhance every occasion,” said Hitomi on a recent visit to Lili`uokalani Gardens. “This is such a big space with so many different viewpoints. Floral designers will be given a site and do their magic here.”

The theme of the three-day event is “Celebrate with Local Flowers – Joy in Lili`uokalani Gardens.” Sixteen different floral designers or teams will be provided a bamboo structural base plus flowers and foliage in order to create designs that carry out that theme on Saturday afternoon. The exhibition will be open to the public on Sunday with voting for People’s Choice. The installation in the Gardens will come down Monday afternoon.

The program is presented by the Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association and Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens with sponsorship from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Hawaii County Department of Research & Development.

Construction of New Clinical Building at UH Law School is Progressing on Time, on Budget

Supporters, donors, faculty and staff of the UH Law School had a first close-up look this week at the new Clinical Building, which is rising in part of the parking lot next to the William S. Richardson School of Law.

A view of the front of the Clinical Building on the UH Manoa campus.

Reception guests were able to scrutinize the outside of the precast structure that is well over half complete. It is scheduled to be done on time and on budget, and will be ready for use in Spring 2018.

The reception also honored Professor Melody Mackenzie ’76, who will serve as acting dean for the next four months while Dean Avi Soifer is on Professional Growth and Development leave at the New York University School of Law. He returns December 1.

As the crowd toasted the new building and acting dean, UH President David Lassner shared words of praise, calling Richardson “a great law school” that is not only responsive to the community but trains students who go on to have positive impacts far beyond Hawai‘i. “The new Clinical Building will amplify that,” Lassner said.

Acting Dean MacKenzie told the crowd that the law school is a source of inspiration as a multi-cultural community whose primary mission is to advance justice. “Without CJ’s vision, many of us would not have had the opportunity to study law,” said MacKenzie, who was a member of the first graduating class, and who served as a law clerk for Chief Justice Richardson, the school’s namesake.

Acting Dean Melody Mackenzie and Dean Avi Soifer

The late CJ Richardson inspired the 1970s movement to build a law school committed to providing opportunities for Hawai‘i’s people.

Construction of the new Clinical Building was funded by $7.2 million in bond appropriations by the Legislature, partially backed by the school’s own funds. Recent additional philanthropy has contributed over $2 million and will pay for furniture and an advanced flexible wall system — not included in construction costs — as well as state-of-the-art IT equipment and landscaping. Additional fundraising is under way, including the goal of $5 million from a single donor for the opportunity to name the entire Clinical Building.

For more information, visit: https://www.law.hawaii.edu/

Unseen Archival Footage from Eddie Kamae Films to Debut

Historic and previously unseen footage shot by the late musician and filmmaker Eddie Kamae for his “Listen to the Forest” documentary will be available to the public online through the efforts of ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻuloha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi to preserve, digitize, and catalog archival footage from the making of 10 award-winning documentaries by Kamaʻe and his wife, producer Myrna Kamae.

Eddie Kamae interviewing Kupuna Loea Malia Craver

The work is debuting online to commemorate what would have been Kamae’s 90th birthday on Aug. 4, and to celebrate the completion of the “Listen to the Forest” digitization effort. Kamae, recipient of a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, was a noted musician who began producing films to document and preserve authentic Hawaiian culture. When he passed away in January 2017 the Los Angeles Times remarked Kamae was “one of the most influential Hawaiian musicians in the last half-century and a filmmaker who painstakingly documented the culture and history of the islands.”

The complete descriptive catalog of “Listen to the Forest” and short streaming video clips of newly digitized footage can be found at http://uluulu.hawaii.edu starting tomorrow.

“Listen to the Forest” was part of the Hawaiian Legacy documentary series released between 1988 to 2007. The 1991 film is about the biodiversity of Hawaiʻi’s rainforests and the unique relationship of reverence existing between Hawaiʻi’s native people and its native landscape. In total, more than 33 hours from 84 videotapes of raw footage and interviews from the making of “Listen to the Forest” have been digitized and preserved by ʻUluʻulu.

The effort is the result of a March 2016 Preservation and Access Partnership between ʻUluʻulu and the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation to make the documentaries’ archival footage available to the public after it is preserved, cataloged and digitized. The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation was created by Eddie and Myrna Kamae to help perpetuate the cultural heritage of Hawaiʻi through music, film and video, educational programs, community outreach and archival work.

Work continues on preserving and digitizing the entire Hawaiian Legacy Foundation collection of nearly 1,000 videotapes housed at ‘Ulu‘ulu. Researchers registered with ‘Ulu‘ulu may view the full-length footage of interviews, traditional chants, and original songs and dances, upon request.

For more information regarding the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, call (808) 951-7316 or visit https://www.hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org/.

The ʻUluʻulu Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi is Hawaiʻi’s official moving image archive located in the UH West Oʻahu Library. The mission of the ʻUluʻulu Archive is to perpetuate and share the rich moving image heritage of Hawai‘i through the preservation of film and videotape related to the history and culture of Native Hawaiians and the people of Hawai‘i. For more information call (808) 689-2740 or visit uluulu.hawaii.edu.

Video clips available on request.

Hawaii Governor Announces Stepped Up Efforts to Prevent Rat Lungworm Disease and Expanded Role of Joint Task Force

Gov. David Y. Ige, together with the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) and the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) announced today the state’s plans to place a stronger emphasis on the prevention of rat lungworm disease.

This year, the state confirmed a total of 15 cases of the serious parasitic infection, which is the highest number of cases reported in the state over the last decade.

“We are bringing together local experts from relevant fields to increase public awareness, improve our response activities, and explore ways to control and treat the disease,” said Gov. Ige. “They will work together with the Joint Task Force we established last year to step up prevention efforts beyond Hawai‘i Island, where the first cases were reported.”Dr. Kenton Kramer, Associate Professor of the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology with the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine (UH-JABSOM), who is serving as Joint Task Force chair said, “The Joint Task Force to combat rat lungworm disease will reconvene in August. Experts from the medical, scientific, environmental, and public health communities will collaborate to develop guidelines for schools, farms, food establishments, physicians and other groups on best practices to prevent, control, and treat rat lungworm disease.”

The Joint Task Force, established in May 2016, consists of members from UH-JABSOM, Pacific Biosciences Research Center; The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo; HDOA’s Plant Industry and Quality Assurance Divisions; USDA Agriculture Research Service; Kaiser Permanente Hawaii; Hilo Medical Center; Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children; Hawaii County; and the DOH’s State Laboratories Division, District Health Offices of Hawaii Island, Maui, and Kaua‘i, Vector Control Branch, Safe Drinking Water Branch, Disease Outbreak Control Division, and Sanitation Branch.

Because of rising concerns over the recent increase in confirmed cases this year, the 2017 Hawai‘i State Legislature appropriated $1 million ($500,000 over two years) to the DOH to increase public education and improve control and prevention of rat lungworm disease. The funding will make possible a statewide media campaign in partnership with the Hawai‘i Association of Broadcasters to build public awareness of ways to prevent the spread of the parasitic disease.

Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler said, “We appreciate the Legislature’s support in allowing the state to accelerate our efforts on this important initiative. The funds will provide much needed resources for our public health communications efforts as well as strengthen our disease investigation and vector control measures for rat lungworm disease.”

In addition to a statewide public awareness campaign, the DOH will work in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Hawai‘i, HDOA, and other agencies to conduct a targeted rat, slug and snail study to identify disease routes and provide data on disease risks from these vectors. A statewide study of this kind has never been conducted in Hawaii before because of limited resources. Findings from the study will guide vector control activities for rat lungworm prevention.

Funding from the Legislature will also support two temporary full-time staff positions to coordinate prevention efforts between county, state, federal, and private sector partners.

Currently, the DOH’s food safety inspectors and vector control staff are collaborating with HDOA to investigate any reports of produce shipments from any farmer or vendor (local or mainland) with an infestation of slugs or snails. If the shipment is traced to a local farm, inspectors work with the farmer to ensure proper pest reduction measures are implemented.

Rat lungworm disease is caused by a parasitic roundworm called Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The parasite can be passed from the feces of infected rodents to snails, slugs and certain other animals, which become intermediate hosts for the parasite. People can become infected when they consume infected raw or undercooked intermediate hosts (slugs, snails, freshwater prawns, frogs, crayfish, and crabs).

Although the rat lungworm parasite has been found in slugs and snails throughout the state, Hawai‘i Island has experienced the majority of the confirmed cases. Some infected people don’t show any symptoms or have mild symptoms. For others, the symptoms can be much more severe and debilitating, and can include headaches, stiffness of the neck, tingling or pain on the skin or in extremities, low-grade fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Sometimes, a temporary paralysis of the face may occur, as well as light sensitivity. This infection can also cause a rare and serious type of meningitis (eosinophilic meningitis).

To prevent the spread of rat lungworm infection, the public is urged to take these important steps:

  • Always practice safe eating habits by inspecting, thoroughly washing, and properly storing raw produce, especially leafy greens, regardless of where it came from, and/or cooking it properly to kill any parasites. Washing raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly under running water before eating not only prevents rat lungworm, but also rinses off other contaminants.
  • Eliminate snails, slugs and rats — all of which are potential vectors for the disease  — both around residential home gardens and agricultural operations of all scales.
  • Prevent the consumption of snails and slugs by covering all containers, from water catchment tanks to drink and food dishes. Supervise young children while playing outdoors to prevent them from putting a slug or snail in their mouths.

Watch todays video here: https://www.facebook.com/GovernorDavidIge/videos/856480491194011/

For more information on preventing rat lungworm disease, go to the DOH website at www.health.hawaii.gov

Project Vision Celebrates 10 Years with Inaugural Eye Ball

September 2017 marks 10 years of Project Vision Hawaii (PVH) providing free vision and health screenings to underserved and low-income communities across the State of Hawaii.To celebrate, this visionary non-profit is hosting its inaugural Eye Ball fundraiser on Friday, September 22 at Waialae Country Club. The goal is to raise $150,000. The vintage-Hawaii themed gala will feature traditional Hawaiian food, entertainment and an “eyegasmic” silent auction.

For every dollar raised, 91 cents will go toward vision and health care programs and services for people in need. Money raised will help allow Project Vision to work towards its goal to provide 15,000 children with eyeglasses, thousands of seniors with vision screening and public health education and thousands of homeless people with much-needed health and education services.

“We are proud and grateful to be celebrating a decade of vision and public health services throughout the state of Hawaii,” said Annie Valentin, PVH executive director. “Project Vision Hawaii is all about the strength of our partnerships, sponsors, volunteers, board and staff. Eye Ball is our opportunity to share our accomplishments, and most importantly a time to thank everyone helping some of Hawaii’s neediest communities.”

There are a limited sponsorship opportunities available. For more information, contact call (808) 282-2265 or email eyeball@projectvisionhawaii.org

Project Vision operates four mobile screening units across the islands – one to serve Oahu, Molokai and Lanai, and one each on Hawaii Island, Maui and Kauai – in an effort to increase access to health care as well as identify and address eye diseases early on. Project Vision partners with other nonprofits including Vision To Learn, local ophthalmologists and civic groups such as Lions Clubs to conduct screenings.

School Bus Drivers Needed for Maui & Kauai Routes Before Fall Semester Begins On August 7

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is seeking school bus drivers with valid Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) to service routes on Maui and Kauai. A current shortage of school bus drivers may affect Maui and Kauai routes when school begins on Monday, August 7.

HIDOE is seeking school bus drivers with valid Commercial Drivers Licenses to service routes on Maui and Kauai. For a limited time, school bus contractors are offering hiring bonuses and increased wages. Photo Credit: Department of Education

“The Department is working with our bus contractors and transportation partners to minimize any impacts to our students and families when the fall semester begins,” said Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “Some school bus routes are being consolidated and many will operate normally, but we hope to sign up additional drivers before the school year begins.”

For a limited time, school bus contractors are offering hiring bonuses and increased wages. Interested CDL drivers should contact the Student Transportation Services Branch at (808) 586-0170 as soon as possible.

Hawaii Supreme Court Refuses to Reconsider Decision in Substitute and Part-Time Teachers Case

The Hawaii Supreme Court yesterday denied a motion for reconsideration in Kawashima v. State of Hawaii. Last month the Supreme Court ruled in Kawashima that certain substitute teachers and part-time teachers who had worked for the State of Hawaii at relevant times between 2000 and 2012 were not entitled to back wages or interest for alleged underpayments by the State.

That decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court closed more than a decade of litigation and ends the claims raised by the class action plaintiffs. The plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration of that decision, which the Supreme Court has now denied.

The State of Hawaii was represented at all stages of this litigation, including the appeal, by state attorneys from within the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General. The class action plaintiffs were represented by the local law firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing.

A copy of yesterday’s ruling from the Hawaii Supreme Court denying the motion for reconsideration is attached.

About Pahoa’s New Library

Well it looks like Pahoa will be getting a new library!

In a Mayor Kim response letter to State Librarian Stacey A. Aldrich dated July 26th 2017,  Kim stated that the county fully supports a new public library for Pahoa and would allow it at the existing location where the Pahoa Police and Fire Station currently exists on Highway 130 as long as there is a separate access that wouldn’t interfere with emergency response vehicles.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers Through Summer Academy Experience

On July 20, 83 high school students successfully completed a 6-week course at Honolulu and Hawaiʻi Community Colleges. The Summer Engineering Academy is designed to engage high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Students learned the basics of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer programming, including electronics, prototyping and writing code. In addition, they were introduced to college study skills, learned about the college admissions and financial aid process, and gained advanced math and science skills.

Throughout the summer experience, students met with project engineers during a field trip to the HART Waipahu Transit Center, and heard from organizations such as the Oceanit and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Engineering and School of Architecture.

High school students visiting the Honolulu Authority Rapid Transportation Waipahu Transit Center.

“The summer engineering program was designed to help the students choose a career path in an engineering discipline they enjoy. With practical hands on experiences students get a first-hand taste of the type of work involved in various engineering careers,” shares Norman Takeya, assistant professor and coordinator of the Summer Engineering Academy.

New funding and program expansion

This is the fifth year Honolulu CC has offered this program that was initially funded by Hawaiʻi P–20. This year funding came from Representative Mark Nakashima’s Work Force Development Advisory Committee on STEM in partnership with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR). Additional funding came from the Fujio Matsuda Technology fund. This year’s funding allowed the program to be expanded to the Hawaiʻi Island where Hawaiʻi CC duplicated the program.

“We are so pleased to partner with Honolulu Community College in giving high school students a hands-on practical way to gain engineering and computer programming skills,” says DLIR Director, Linda Chu Takayama. “The problem-solving approach used in this project can be applied to any job because it fosters hard work, initiative, and teamwork, which are valued by all employers. This project also helps students define their educational and career goals, which make a smoother transition from school to work.”

Honolulu CC is committed to providing opportunities for students to learn more about STEM career fields. To learn more visit the Honolulu CC STEM website.

Nicholas Comerford to Serve as Dean of UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Nicholas Comerford will start his new role as dean of the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and director for Research and Cooperative Extension effective September 1, 2017.

Nicholas Comerford

Comerford is currently director of North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, where he also is a professor in the Soil and Water Science Department. He oversees 2,300 acres of infrastructure, along with research and extension programs of faculty representing nine campus departments. In his early career, Comerford was employed as a forest soil specialist by the State of Washington, mapping forested soils in the foothills of Mount Rainier and along the Skagit River Valley.

Comerford’s research expertise is in the area of forest soils, with an emphasis in tropical and subtropical regions. His work concentrated on soil-tree root interactions, the measurement and modeling of soil nutrient bioavailability and general aspects of forest soil management. As an active member of the Soil Science Society of America, he was elected president of the society and served in that capacity in 2010. Comerford was a past board member and chair of the related Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies (ACCESS) Corporation.

Comerford earned his PhD in Silviculture and Forest Influences from the State University of New York and Syracuse University, his master’s degree in Forestry from the University of Maine, and his bachelor’s degree in Forestry from the University of Illinois.

Said UH Mānoa Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michael Bruno, “We are very excited about Dr. Comerford joining the leadership team at Mānoa. His impressive and varied accomplishments in the field, his expertise in tropical soils science, and his experience working closely with both faculty and the community via vibrant extension programs all add up to a terrific background for the new dean of CTAHR.”

For more information about the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, see https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/site.

Hawaii Teacher Inducted Into Prestigious Bandworld Legion of Honor

Roosevelt High School’s Director of Music Gregg Abe has been inducted into the prestigious Bandworld Legion of Honor along with six other band directors from across the U.S. this year. He is the fifth band director from Hawaii to receive the award since its inception in 1989.

Gregg Abbe

“Music and the arts are important components of our students’ educational experience, and we are honored to have dedicated band directors like Mr. Abe who instill a passion and appreciation for music,” said Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi. “Congratulations to Mr. Abe and the Roosevelt community on this well-deserved recognition.”

Abe has taught at Roosevelt High for the majority of his 32-year career and directs the school’s marching band, concert band, symphonic band, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble and symphony orchestra. Under his direction, the school’s band has been recognized nationally including being nominated for the Sudler Flag in 2005, an award that internationally recognizes high school bands for excellence.

“The most important factor that has shaped my career is my students. I’m still learning about my profession and I discover so much from them – their successes and mistakes,” said Abe. “I listen to what they have to say and structure my curriculum at times around them in order to bridge the communication gap.”

Additionally, Abe has been awarded the Hawaii Music Awards High School Music Educator of the Year and Time Warner Outstanding Educator. Abe earned his Bachelor of Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has also done extensive studies at Brigham Young University and Vandercook College of Music.

The Bandworld Legion of Honor was established to honor band directors nationwide. Recipients have taught for at least 15 years, have maintained a high quality concert band program, and have contributed significantly to the profession through dedication to bands and band music.