Seven Hawaii Schools to Offer Free Meals to All Students

This school year, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will implement a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot program this school year at seven public schools, which will allow all students at those schools to receive free meal service.

Free Lunch

The program, called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), allows a school district, a group of schools or a single school to serve free meals to everyone even if they do not qualify for the free or reduced lunch reimbursement.

The CEP program has been adopted by jurisdictions around the country. “One major factor in the future of the program is the high cost of a meal in Hawaii compared with the much lower rates around the country,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We’re grateful for this opportunity to participate in this pilot to benefit families in need.”

The schools participating in the pilot program are:

To qualify for CEP, a district, grouping or school must have a minimum of 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced meals through the National School Lunch Program.

Currently HIDOE pays an average of $5.50 a meal (including food costs, labor, utilities, etc.). The USDA reimburses the state $3.85 for students who qualify for a free meal and $0.40 for those paying for a meal. HIDOE charges $2.50 for elementary school lunch for a total of $2.90 in recouped cost for the state.​

Under the program, all students in a CEP school would qualify for the higher $3.85 reimbursement. While the seven pilot schools will no longer be collecting meal monies and ensuring accounts have sufficient funds, families will be required to provide information for data collection.

“The schools were chosen so that the Department can analyze how families and students in a single island community such as Molokai, respond to the program while also giving officials the chance to study the impact of individual schools in separate and distinct districts on Oahu and Hawaii Island,” Office of School Facilities and Support Services Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson said.

For more information about CEP visit:


This Weekend – BISAC Summer Jam 2015

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council is inviting the public to come out to celebrate the fun-filled days of summer at its Summer Jam 2015 on Saturday July 25, 2015 at Waiākea High School from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

This year’s entertainment line up features New Zealand pop sensation Pieter T and Hawaiʻi’s own Nesian N.I.N.E.

Pieter T

Pieter T

Pieter T has been steadily climbing up the New Zealand radio charts since his days with the musical group, Boyband. In 2009 Pieter T debuted as a solo artist with the single “Cold Nights” followed by the singles, “Stay With Me”, “Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Something Else”, which peaked at number six on the NZ Radio Charts. His latest release is the single “Business” featuring PNC and Dei Hamo off his debut album “Life”.

Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era)

Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era)

Island Reggae Music group Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era) hit the charts in 2009 with their Hōkū-nominated album “Press Play,” and has been going strong ever since, appearing with BoyZ II Men, Klymaxx, El Debarge and others.

Other featured artists in the line up include, 2014 Brown Bags to Stardom winners One Rhythm 808, Beyond Paradise, and Kolea.

“It’s really very exciting to once again have so many talented artists coming to play at the Summer Jam,” said BISAC CEO Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.

This year’s event will also feature a National Qualifier Strongman Competition, ‘ono food and keiki crafts and activities including the Zoo Choo, Bouncy Houses, Human Hamster Ball, Laser Tag, Bungee Run and a Sticky Wall. Keiki ride wristbands purchased online are 50% off. Entry is a $2 suggested donation.

All funds raised above the cost of producing the event go towards BISAC’s adult and school-based Poʻokela Vocational program, Mom and Babies program, and Keiki School Based Services.

For more information about BISAC’s Summer Jam go to


Department of Education Updates Income Qualifications for Free and Reduced Lunch

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is announcing its policy update for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs for the 2015-16 school year. Copies of the policy are available at public schools. Children from households with income at or below the following levels are eligible for free or reduced-price meals: 

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out one application and return it to the school where the child is enrolled or complete an online application via Applications for the current school year (2015-16) are now being accepted. The application information will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials.

For DOE officials to determine eligibility, households receiving SNAP or TANF must list the child’s name, date of birth, grade, school code and their SNAP or TANF case number and the signature and name of an adult household member. Households not receiving SNAP or TANF must list: 1) the names of everyone in the household; 2) the amount of income received by each person, how often the income is received and the source of the income; 3) the name and social security number of either parent/guardian who is the primary wage earner or the adult household member who signs the form or the word “none” if neither adult household member has a social security number; and 4) the signature of an adult household member.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. View our program page here​.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, the DOE will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the reviewing official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request for a hearing on the decision in writing to:

Glenna Owens, SFA Director, 1106 Koko Head Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone Number: (808) 733-8414 or toll-free 1-800-441-4845.

In certain cases foster children are also eligible for school meal benefits. If a household has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for them, the household should contact the school for more information.

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Still Has Openings – Late Registration Fee Waived

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation still has openings for its 3rd Annual Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp and has waived the late registration fee for the camp set for July 21-24 in Hilo.

Can you find my son in a previous camp picture?

Can you find my son in a previous camp picture?

Parents may still take advantage of the discounted early entry fee of $60 per child. All participants will receive a camp shirt and group picture.

Registration forms are available at the Department’s Recreation Office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lu‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo and online at Completed forms should be submitted at the Recreation Office or the Department’s main office at Suite 6 within Aupuni Center. Please make checks payable to the County Director of Finance and include the note “Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp.”

Open to boys and girls 9 to 17 years old, the Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp is named in honor of the legendary former University of Hawai‘i at Hilo basketball coach who helped guide the Vulcans-Hawai‘i Basketball School for 37 years. It will be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts.

UH-Hilo women’s basketball coach David Kaneshiro will share his basketball expertise by serving as lead clinician for the four-day camp. Assisting Kaneshiro will be Daphne Honma, Honoka‘a High School girls basketball coach and a former Division II coach of the year. Additional basketball coaches have volunteered to serve as camp clinicians.

Campers will receive personalized instruction as they practice agility, ball-handling and other basketball drills each morning before breaking for lunch. Players will return to showcase their skills by competing in games expected to last until about 3:30 p.m. each day.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or

Bikes Stolen From UH Hilo Dormitory

Three bikes were reported stolen over two days at the University of Hawaii Hilo student dorm Hale Ikena.

Bike TheftsTo report a crime anonymously at University of Hawaii Hilo click here.

17-Year-Old Hilo Girl Goes Missing… Again

Editors Note – This is the second time this person has gone missing.  Click here for first time:

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing.

Makaala  Pea

Makaala Pea

Makaala Pea was last seen in Hilo on April 7. She is described as 5-foot-6, 130 pounds with brown eyes and black shoulder-length hair.

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

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

UH Hilo Wins National Health Occupations Students of America Competition

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo turned in a championship performance at the 2015 HOSA National Leadership Conference held recently in Anaheim, California.

UH Hilo MonikerUH Hilo sent two Public Service Announcement (PSA) teams to the conference who were tasked with developing a 30-second PSA on Concussion: Prevention and Recognition followed by a four-minute oral presentation that provides a synopsis of the PSA, explains the creative process of the project, and how it may affect the target audience.

Team B: Chapter President Lark Jason Canico, Shane Naeole, and Taumata Tue Vaea (serving as an alternate from UH Manoa) took 1st place. Team A: Ridge Cabaccang, Kelly Gani, and Sheldon Cabudol earned Top 10 honors.

“I’m overwhelmed with joy and still in denial that we captured Gold facing such tough competition that included fellow UH Hilo members and other Texas Technical Institutes,” Canico said. “To finish first after coming in second last year makes it extra special.”

This year’s conference was the largest ever with over 8,550 members in attendance. Hawai’i brought a total of 223 members, ranked second in the nation for most medals won in every competitive event, and won the Most Enthusiastic state award.

“A trip to Anaheim usually includes a visit to Disneyland,” said faculty advisor Dr. Cecilia Mukai. “But I was more than happy to trade that visit for the chance to see both our teams finish in the Top Ten, with one capturing Gold.”

Established in 1976 as Health Occupations Students of America, HOSA-Future Health Professionals is now an international organization with the addition of Puerto Rico, Italy, Canada and Mexico, who competed at this year’s leadership conference. The organization totals more than 175,000 members and 2.4 million alumni.

HOSA was established in Hawai’i in 2005 and has grown to more than 1,300 members. UH Hilo’s membership is open to all majors/grade levels and Hawai’i Community College students.

For more information, email

New Law Helps Children Born With Facial Abnormalities

The measure signed into law today by Governor Ige dramatically impacts the lives of several dozen Hawaii families that include children born with cleft palates or other facial abnormalities.

Anya Maga with Governor Ige and Reps. Gregg Takayama (bill introducer), Della Au Belatti, and Henry Aquino.

Anya Maga with Governor Ige and Reps. Gregg Takayama (bill introducer), Della Au Belatti, and Henry Aquino.

In Hawaii, approximately one in every 500 babies is born with what is called an “orofacial anomaly.”  For example, between 2007 and 2012, 61 babies were born with a cleft lip or palate and 83 were born with other craniofacial defects at the Kapiolani Medical Center.

Rep. Della Au Belatti, House Health Committee Chair, said it’s crucial to correct these defects, not just for visual appearance, but because this condition affects basic functions such as eating, chewing, speech and breathing.  The complicated treatment to correct these kinds of birth defects usually requires multiple surgeries ranging from about $5,700 to $20,000 or more.

House Bill 174, introduced by Rep. Gregg Takayama (D-Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades), requires health insurers to cover such orthodontic treatment, as do 16 other states.

“For families whose children have a cleft lip and palate, the range of medical, dental and other services can exceed $100,000 from birth until late adolescence,” testified Eileen Matsumoto, a registered nurse for more than 35 years.

The cost of reconstructive surgery is covered by medical insurance but not the full cost of the medically necessary orthodontic procedures required to prepare for these surgeries, which usually amount to more than $10,000 over a child’s lifetime.

These treatment costs are already fully covered by Med-QUEST for poor families but not by private health insurers for Hawaii’s working families.

The State Legislative Auditor reports the cost to all policyholders would be minimal – probably increasing premiums by two cents to four cents per member per month, based on the experiences of California and Massachusetts.

The measure has been called “Anya’s Law” after one of its active supporters, 6-year-old Anya Maga, who testified for the measure along with her parents, who are residents of East Honolulu.

UH Hilo College of Business and Economics Announces Dean’s List

The following students in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo were named to the Dean’s List for spring 2015:
UH Hilo Moniker
Melialani Agcaoili, Caitlin Aiona, Rachel Anderson, Scott Ashida, Stacy Aurway, Austin Awana, Heather Bartlett, Andrew Bayang, Julianna Blair, Debra Cannoles, Lorri Cardoza, Shanda Carvalho, Kadey Chambless, Elaine Chugen, Monique Clevenger, Lorena De La Cruz, Jhoanne Domingo, Taylor Escalona, Gabriel Fry,

Hannah Furumo, Amelia Golwitzer, Dakotah Graham, Sarah Hamakawa, Jiyoung Han, Yan Ying Huang, Alexandra Huizar, Aisha Izuno, Donald Jobe, Aysia Kaaumoana, Juvette Kahawaii, Reese Kato, Cherilyn Kelii, Junhyeok Kim, Kyli Kim, Hitomi Kitade, Breanna Leonard, Anna Liu, Erik Anton Lund, Alex Lyon, Dana Macchia,

Victoria Magana Ledesma, Midori Matsuo, Xianbin Meng, Levi Moniz, Dairon Munoz, Marvin Louis Nagtalon, Alexandria Nakao-Eligado, Lolyn Neth, Claire-Ann Niibu-Akau, Bianca Novotna, Brandon Okimoto, Kin Oshiro, Geraldine Padilla, Tehani-Jenae Palolo, Maria Rosa Paredes Pacheco, Matthew Payne, Serena Perrells,

Koa Peterson, Chantee Poepoe-Vigil, Rachel Roorda, Ken Stallman, Phillip Steering, Hyelim Sun, Keefe Techitong, Ryan Torio, Hokuloa Waahila, Selina Williams, and Aaron Zackoski.

UH Hilo Announces College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List Recipients

The following students in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo were named to the Dean’s List for spring 2015:
UH Hilo Moniker
Charlemagne Adams, Sebastian Afaga Jr., Clifford Agcaoili, Sherry Agonoy, Breanna Aguiar, Ka‘alalani Ahu, Karen Akiba, Jessica Akiona, Roy Alameida, Daryl Albano, Melanie Alcain, Alia Alvarez, Erica Amundson, Abraham Andl, Brandi Antonio, David Arakawa, Justin Araki-Kwee, Jerome Arellano, Lynn Asam, Leslie Asato,

Scott Ashida, Eliza Aul, Kaitlin Barcoma, Christine Barefoot, Sydney Barney, Reagan Barnhart, Ruth Bascar-Sellars, Cynthia Benevides, Sarah Benner, Lars Bergstrom, Jahnu Best, Julianna Blair, Henry Blake, Kalaiakea Blakemore, Francis Blas III, Casey Bolger, Thomas Bolton III, Lori Bothwell, Brittany Boyd, Ashley Boyle, Courtney Ann Brock, Chanelle Brooks, BreAnna Brown, Kavan Brown, Leena Brown,

Rachel Bruck, Carol Bucauto, Kailah Buchanan, Mallory Byron, Sydney Cabanas, Jerold Alexis Cabel, Nicole Calsbeek, Joseph Camara, Vada Cambio, Richard Camp, Jennifer Campbell Jackson, Kirsten Cannoles, Cristin Cantan, Michelle Caringer, Imelda Auxiliadora Da Conceicao Carlos, Sean Carlos, Tiari Carreira, Julie Carter, Micah Carter, Kanoeuluwehianu Case, Lily Cash, Christina Cauley, Allison Chai, Lisa Chanley, Mary Margaret Rose Cheung-fuk,

Cynthia Chin, Theodore Chism, Yoonjin Cho, Yoo Ree Choi, Adam Chong, Christina Chow, Dawn Christopher, Haylee Chung, Victor Ciaramitaro, Leilani Clark, Kobie Clarke, Rachel Clay, Heather Coad, Zoe Coffman, Jessica Colbaugh, Jordan Concannon, Eric Cook, Shawna Cooper, Renee Corpuz, Sharlene Corpuz, Cletus Correia,

Alysha Cosier, Tanya Craig, Tifaine Crivello, Trixie Alice Croad, Angel Cruz, Jolynn Cuison, Brittany D’Amico, Nicholas D’Amico, Pearl Dasalla, Anthony Daub, Angelo Davis, Axel Defngin, Le’Shell Dela Cruz, Randy Dellinger, Shaylin Domingcil, Lorelei Marie Domingo, Princess Dianne Domingo, Ryan Domingo, Jamison Domingsil, Bailey Donahue, Jason Donaldson, Pedro Dos Santos, Jane Dossett,

Sadie Dossett, Cortney Dougherty, Katrina Downey, Laura Dowsett, James Drescher, Jayahmie Drio, Alejandra Duarte, Brandi Dugo, Nalu East, Caili Ebaniz, Jacqueline Economy, Jamie Economy, Cara Edwards, Michael Elimon, Mary Emmons, Tiffany Epping, Tiffany Erickson, Chelsey Erickson-Vierra, Karlee Eugenio, John Evans, Sarah Evans, Christina Evert, Emily Fernandes, Sharrylei Fernandez,

Doug Fitzpatrick, Ariana Flores, Sandra Fogg, Amber Fontes, Amanda Ford, Amber Forrestal, Michael Frailey, Deborah Fried, Morgan Friend, Silmai Uchellaz Fritz, Brittany Fuemmeler, Kaitlyn Fujii, Shaylyn Fujii, Kendra Fujioka, Ashley Fukuchi, Nicole Fukunaga, Ryder Furukado, Angelina Gallegos, Kelly Gani, Dayna Lynn Ganigan, Jeremy Ganir, Desha Ann Gapusan, Nicole Garcia,

Tiffany Garcia, Jessica-Ann Garett, Wilfred Gee, Zachary Geisterfer, Carola Geitner, David Gentry, Emma-Lei Gerrish, Hattie Gerrish, Tuan Giai Giang, Hanna Giegerich, Carson Gilliam, Kassidy Gonsalves, Acacia Goo, Samantha Gordon, Rachel Gorenflo, Beverly Ann Gorospe, Kylie Grogg, Chrisovolandou Gronowski, Riana Grothmann, Heidi Guan, Alexander Guerrero, Courtney Guirao,

Ashen Gutierrez, Daniel Gutierrez, Justin Guzman, Sarah Haas, Brittany Hale, Ivana Hall, Brenna Halverson, Brandon Hamamoto, Caitlin Hamerlinck, Jamaica Hancock, Michelle Hanson, Trent Hanzawa, Asia Lynne Harman, Arielle Harnik, Molly Harris, Shane Harrison, Rose Hart, Bridge Hartman, Krysten Hayashida, Jelyn Heaster, Sarah Heckman, Alexander Hedglen, Jordan Heltz, Zachary Heltz, John Herman, Maria Hernandez, Andrea Hess, Amanda Hicks,

Brad Higa, Shannon Higgins, Tyler Hirokawa, Marianne Hodapp, Martin Hodapp, Tobi Hoff, Eric Holub, Blake Honda, Tiana Honda, Ashley Horvath, Alyssa Hoshide, Bryan Houston, Asia Howe, Samantha Howell, Katherine Hu, Kaleb Huddy, Adrian Huff, Thomas Hughes, Quang Tan Huynh, Laura Ibbotson, Kai Igarashi,

Andi Igawa, Kadi Igawa, Ted Ikari, BeeJay Ines, Kana Inoue, Kevyn-Bren Inouye, Carrie Ip, Joanne Isabella, Grayson Ishihara, Kallen Ishii, Akari Ito, Renee Iwata, Aimehio Iyeke, Jessica Jacobs, Denise Janelle, Rebecca Jardin, Joshua Jasper, Leeah Bethseida Javier, Kaitlyn Johnson, ShoaAxum Johnson, Casey Jones, Danielle Jones, Kyle Jones, Mark Jones, Mikayla Jones, Serena Joseph,

Jamie Josephson, Ku‘ulei Kaaekuahiwi, Keaolani Kaaialii, Jarin Kadooka, ‘I‘inimaikalani Kahakalau, Shaylyn Kahawai, Kelii Kailipaka, Kaimipono Kajiyama, Kayla-Ann Kalauli, Ellie-Jean Kalawe, Bree Kalima, Steven Kalua, Thomas Kaminski, Eunyoung Kang, Ida Karlsen, Byron Karr, Sandra Kastner-Oi, Lilinoe Kauahikaua, Chermaine Kaululaau-Pakele, Angela Kauwe,

Hokuto Kawashima, Tori Kaya, Jill Keely, Kehau Kekuawela, Mahealani Kelii, Bianca Keohokapu, Lauren Kepaa, Ada Kettner, Duk Kim, Satsuki Tamaki Kim, Sun Min Kim, Yu Hyeoi Kim, Mary Louise Kimura, Marci Kindle, Rachel Kishimoto, Scott Kita, Joshua Kitagawa, Gail Klevens, Christopher Kluzak, Lori Knight, William Kobus, Evelina Kocharov, Kamrie Koi, Keiji Kojima, Amber Koker,

Felicia Kolb, Hyesun Kong, Danielle Kooyman, Christopher Kopp, Kaili Kosaka, Kathleen Kosaka, Dragoljub Krakovic, Kristofer Krekow, Nolan Kua, Johann Kuipers, Luke Kupcha, Yoshiko Kurikawa, John Kuroda, Bonnie Shuk Ping Kwok, Desmond Ka Kin Lai, Keohikai Laikupu, Violet Lane, Caterina LaRocca, Anjulie Larson,

Glaucia Larson, Samantha Lathrop, Angela Laureta, Valerie Lazickas, Aviee-Ann Lee, Da Hai Lee, Robert Lee Jr., Jon-Pierre Leone, Dolorlyn Letawegiyalo, QiXin Li, Cynthia Lilleston, Lee Linneman, Hannah Lipman, Eileen Liu, Kieran-Tiaye Long, Kawehi Lopez, Joyce Lovell, Kristi Lovell, Michael Lovell, Noelle Lovesy, Alyssa Loving,

Mandy Lui, Chari-Ann Luis-Calvo, Blaine Luiz, Brittany Luna, Alayna Machacek, William Mackenzie, Kate Malasig, Ashley Maldonado, Wilson Malone, Natasha Manasas, Alison Mansfield, Alexandra Marin, Genesis Marks, Sequoia Marks, Jonathan Marsh, Amanda Martin, Dario Martin, Keelee Martin, Samantha Martin, Kelly Martin-Young, Chantelle Mashreghy, Anna Claire Masuda, Amber Masulit,

Martin David Hamre Mathisen, Moriah Mathson, Rosella Mathson, Kelley Matsumoto, Kanna McCann, James McElvaney, Annie McGee, Meghan McGrath, Brannon McQuillan, Kanoe McTavish, Sonya Medlang, Justin Meikle, Matthew Merritt, Anna Meyer, McKayla Meyer, Zoey Meyers, William Midgley, Adele LaVette Mier, Anna Baker Mikkelson, Bryce Miles-Leighton, Anna Miller, Hi‘inae Miller,

Maikai Miller, Orissa Lila Alexandrina Miller, Mikhaila Millikan, Adam Mills, Amberlyn Milum, Zayin Minia, Amanda Minney, Bryson Miyose, Melissa Mizuguchi, Melissa Moats, Norman Mogote, Sharyse Molina, Ariel Moniz, Andrea Monks, Christopher Monnier, Austin Moore Sr., Leah Moore, Ariyana Moran, Konrad Mossman, Darcy Mulligan, Gulnara Nadeau, Shane-Earl Naeole, Saki Nagamine,

Kenneth Nagata, Jenny Nagatori, Camie Nakagawa, Lorelei Nakagawa, Richard Nakamura, Tiffany Nakamura, Alexandria Nakao-Eligado, Alison Nakata, Sheena Nakata, Robynn Ailynn Namnama, Kirstie Naone, Allyssa Nau, Brandon Neal, Christopher Nelson, Kara Nelson, Keith Nerida, Christina Nguyen, Sarah Nichols,

Jaysen Niedermeyer, Scott Nielsen, Anela Nishimoto, Karen Nishimoto, Lindsey Nishimura, Keenan Nishioka, Allen Gail Yvette Nitura, Mary Nixon, Sachika Nojiri, Christina Numazu, Ellaine Mae Obero, Eloisa Obero, Derrick Bukka O’Brien, Candyce Ogino, Zechary Okamoto, Morgan Olson, Nicole Ortiz, David Ostwald, Sarah Ann Ota, Jamie Ouye, Wesley Owens, Priscilla Sharleen Anyango Oyas,

Cheynielle Pacheco, John Darrel Padapat, Sierra Pagel, Basanta Raj Pahari, Keirsa Pakani-Tsukiyama, Fagalima Paleafei, Bronson Palupe, Isaac Pang, Jannah Pante, Pauleen Pante, Joshua Parep, Kirsty Parker, Madison Pate, Kara Paulachak, Casey Pearring, Kristin Pedersen, Jordan Pedersen-Fukunaga, Elizabeth Pennock, Graham Pernell, Sharon Petrosky, Kori Petsch, Nancy Phan, Chad Phillips,

Douglas Phillips, Amber Pinard, Terri Pinyerd, Hye-Jin Piper, Robert Piper, Kyle Pittman, Wakea Po, Deborah Postma, Arwen Potochney, Debra Potter, Froile Queja, Gretchen Quinn, Johanson Quist, Laurel Rain, Akemi Rair, Randel Rambo, Jovelyn Ramelb, David John Ramones, Micah Rhobelyn Ramos, Katrina Ramsey, Crystal Rances,

Skye Rances, Duchess Rapoza, Robyn Rector, Stacey Reed, Keana Rees, Marjie Ann Retundo, Dineka Ringling, Kanani Rivera, Theresa-Regina Rivera, Ciara Robinson, Adan Rodrigues, Koa Rodrigues, Cole Rogers, Hannah Rojeski, Kainoa Rosa, Makoa Rosa, Robin Rudolph, Ardena Saarinen, Melanie Sacro, Christa Sadler, Julie Anne Sagabaen, Michelle Sahagun, Karl Sakai Jr., Alisha Sako, Maria Samuelson, Arianne San Miguel, Gabriella Sanchez, Ronald Santos,

Teresinha Santos Da Costa, Christian Saragosa, Ngan Sasai, Chelsea Sato, Teri Savaiinaea, Tomoka Sawada, Tomoki Sawada, Janell Schabell, Annie Schaupp, Anthony Schnabel, Emily Schneider, Jordan Scrivner, Romina Ellaine Sembran, Artem Sergeyev, Marleena Sheffield, Alice Louise Sherlock, Justin Shiigi, Sydney Shiigi, Albert Shim, Jaci Shinoda, Keani Shirai, Desiree Shortt, Amber Shouse,

Bennjamin Siemers, Sarah Silva, Tammy Silva, Gloria Simpson, Seupepe Latoa Siaitolo Sinclair, J’aime Sisson, Maysyvelle Sistoza, Cheyenne Sitts, Hazel Faye Sivila, Trent Slaton, Trevor Slevin, Kelli Smith, Samuel Smith, Barbara Smithley, Kiana Soloria, Hyunsuk Song, Carrie Soo Hoo, Ethan Souza, Ryder Souza, Susanne Floe Spinnangr, Kalena Spinola, Ashlin Stahlberg, Ken Stallman, Kristen Stalter, Stephanie Staneart, William Steadman, Angelica Steele,

Dallyce Stinton, Taylor Stokesbary, Caroline Stromick, Grady Sullivan, Paige Sumida, Tyler Sumner, Tanyalee Switzer, Frans Sy, Dillon Tacdol, Dustin Tacdol, Helaman Tafua, Hazel Tagalicud, Tara Takamori, Nicole Talisay, Dylan Tanaka, Shelby Tanaka, Athena Tang, Sophia Tang, Morgan Tate, Reuben Tate, Alana Tavares, Kaitlin Tavares, Temau Teikitekahioho-Wolff, Ashley Terrell, Gin Tezuka,

Ginger Thomas, Nicolette Thomas, Melanie Thomason, Aijah Thompson, Zachary Tman, Olivia Todd, Kaycie Tomei, Taylor Tomita, Charlie Tommy, Ashley Chanel Tomori, Jianxing Tong, Ryotaro Toshima, Kyle Tsubota, Michelle Uchida, Christine Joy Ucol, Brenna Usher, Rachel Van Spronsen, Fey VanCamp, Jasmine Venegas, Robert Villanueva, Joseph Vinarcsik, Fred Visaya Jr., Nelson Vo,

Thomas Vogeler, Michael Voight II, Shayla Waiki, Tianna Waipa, Elizabeth Elaine Wakayama, George Wall III, Emily Wallingford, Laurence Walsh, Lucille Walsh, Kenton Wandasan, Amber Warganich, Vernon Warnock, Sondra Warren, Valerie Kelly Wasser, John Whitworth, Ty Widhalm, Jennifer Williams, Daisy Willis,

Disa Wilson, Henry Wilson Jr., Katherine Wilson, Leah Wilson, Christina Wine, Michelle Winkler, David Wong, Sherina Yacavone, Lisamarie Yagruw, Jessica Yamaguchi, Kazuma Yamaguchi, Moe Yamaguchi, Randall Yamaoka, Jennifer Yamasaki, Nicholas Yamauchi, Eddie Yeichy, Darcy Yogi, Nicole Yoneishi,

Cheyne Yonemori, Soeun Yoon, Marissa Yoshida, Tristan Yoshida, Deanna Young, Tyler Young, Bithiah Yuan, Luana Zablan, Turfa Zaman, Annalisa Zamora, Marikka Zavas, Xiaoqing Zheng, Jessica Zima-Lee, Yeva Zobova, Abcde Zoller, and Anastasia Zosim.

UH Hilo College of Hawaiian Language Announces Dean’s List

Ke kukala aku nei ko ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi ma Hilo, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikolani, i na inoa o na haumana kaha ʻoi no ke kau kupulau 2015.  (The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language announces its Dean’s List for the spring 2015 semester:)

Joshua Bass, Courtney Ann Brock, Eleanor Brown, Leilani Clark, William Crowell, Anayah Doi, Dillon Dominguez, Brandi Dugo, Mahealani Freitas, Philip Gamiao, Alexander Guerrero, Aulani Herrod, Pomaika`i Iaea, Kamaleiku`uipookalani Kalehuawehe-Valentine, Jovi Kaneshiro, Lucas Kinge, Maile Kipapa, Gail Klevens, Hyesun Kong, Sheena Lopes, Khaelee Mae, Alohilani Maiava, Hokulani Mckeague, Melissa Mora, Daisuke Nakano, Zachary Nanbu, Kekaiokalani Naone, Daniel Nathaniel, Isaac Pang, Samantha Reis, Koa Rodrigues, Ronald Santos, Marleena Sheffield, Eliza Silva, Gin Tezuka, Yuka Torama, Brenna Usher, Randall Yamaoka, Kiliona Young, and Abcde Zoller.

UH Hilo Awards Chancellor’s Scholarships to 13 High School Students

Thirteen students from public and private high schools in Hawaiʻi have been awarded the prestigious Chancellor’s Scholarship by the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

UH Hilo Moniker
The award, valued in excess of $26,500, covers four years of tuition for students graduating from a Hawaiʻi high school who earned either a GPA of at least 3.5, a combined 1800 SAT (reading, writing, math) or a composite score of 27 on the ACT while demonstrating leadership and/or community service.

All Chancellor Scholars are required to enroll as full-time students and earn a minimum of 24 credits each academic year. They must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and participate in leadership activities and/or community services with other Chancellor Scholars.

The 2015 Chancellor Scholarship recipients and their respective high schools include:

  • Nicole Antonio (Waiakea High)
  • Harley Broyles (Waimea High)
  • Pomaika`i Cathcart (Kamehameha – Maui)
  • Jasmine Curiel (Hanalani Schools)
  • Jon Ehrenberg (West Hawaii Explorations Academy)
  • Sarah Ferguson (Leilehua High)
  • Trent Furuta (Mililani High)
  • Courtney Ip (Waiakea High)
  • Cody Kojima (Waiakea High)
  • Kaydee Rapozo (Waiakea High)
  • Melia Takakusagi (Waimea High)
  • Brandon Tomota (Waiakea High)
  • Amirah Waite (Roosevelt High)

Big Island Press Club Announces 2015 Scholarship Recipients

The Big Island Press Club honors five students with its annual 2015 scholarship program.BIPC Logo: Pele on a TypewriterThe $4,600, to support students striving toward careers in journalism or communications, was awarded to Kacie LaGuire, Alex Bitter, Cashman Aiu, Britni Schock and Eli Matola. The Big Island Press Club’s annual scholarship awards dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 at Hilo’s Seaside Restaurant and feature award-winning comedian Augie T. as the guest speaker.

This year’s $1,500 dollar Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Kacie LaGuire. A 2015 graduate of Waiakea High School she will attend University of San Francisco in the fall majoring in media studies. LaGuire has been active at Waiakea as a videographer, producing segments on student life for the PBS Hawaii student television program, Hiki No.

The scholarship namesake, Robert Miller, was a Big Island newsman and UPI reporter. LaGuire says of her future: “I am enthusiastic about many aspects of media-mostly camera work and storytelling…I strongly value the importance of journalism and educating the public and I plan to get involved with journalism related to social justice issues.”

The $1,000 dollar Bill Arballo scholarship, given in honor of Bill Arballo a founder of Big island Press Club in 1967, is awarded to Alex Bitter. A 2012 graduate of Waiākea High School, Bitter attends the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as a Regent’s Scholar, majoring in journalism and political science. At UH Mānoa, he served as editor and staff writer for the school newspaper Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi. Bitter has interned at Honolulu Magazine, Hawaii Business Magazine and this summer will work for the Dow Jones News Fund in New York City. “In the long run I hope to work one day as a reporter covering politics or business,” Bitter says of his writing future.

Marcia Reynolds was a former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter, BIPC president and community leader and her memorial $1,000 scholarship is awarded to Cashman Aiu. Cashman was a 2014 graduate of Kamehameha Hawaii Campus and attends New York University. She is a media, culture and communications major. She is the Oceania Editor for NYU’s travel magazine Baedeker and a contributing writer for Fashion Week for the Washington Square News. She is the co-captain of the school’s co-ed volleyball team and is a leader in the NYU Hawaii Club. Aiu says of her career path: “In my media and culture courses at New York University I have found, while indigenous cultural studies is a thriving academic major, native authors are not a common thread amongst the discourse…and as a future broadcast journalist I hope to represent a positive example of Native Hawaiians and minorities in media.”

This year’s $600 Yukino Fukabori Memorial Scholarship, given to honor one of Hawaii Island’s top woman news reporters, is bestowed on Britni Schock. Schock graduated from Canada’s Selkirk Secondary in 2008 and attends University of Hawaii Hilo where she is a communications major. She is a writer for the UHH student newspaper Ke Kalahea. She is also a student member of Big Island Press Club. “After graduation I hope to find a position as a writer somewhere on the Big Island and continue my passion for writing.”
This year’s Jack Markey Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Eli Matola.  Matola is a 2011 graduate of Kapaa High School on Kauai. He attends University of Hawaii Hilo where he is a philosophy and communications major. Next semester at UHH he will be an intern at the Applied Learning Experiences Program where he will be a staff writer. His favorite news site is which often features investigative news in a narrative, documentary format.  Matola says “Ever since I was young, I have always had a very special interest in the news…this passion has followed me as a young adult.”

With poor vision, unable to drive a car, and a senior citizen Jack Markey was a visible streetside Hilo fixture. Hitchhiking around town to sell radio advertising, Markey also recruited new members for BIPC in the process. Since his death in 1990, BIPC has funded a yearly $500 Markey scholarship.

Since 1967 Big Island Press Club has been an organization of professional Hawaii communicators dedicated to skills improvement, open government, networking and education.

Pahoa Student Wins Prestigious Foodland Scholarship

Yesterday, at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki, Foodland Hawaii honored its 2015 recipients of the “Shop for Higher Education Scholarships”.

Big Island Recipients of the Foodbank Shop for Higher Education Scholarships.

Big Island Recipients of the Foodbank Shop for Higher Education Scholarships.

Camry Isabel from Pahoa High School was a recipient earning a scholarship in the amount of $2000. She has been accepted to attend the University of Hawaii-Hilo (UHH) campus where she plans to major in Nursing. Her goal is to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Camry Isabel and Foodland CEO Jenny Wai

Camry Isabel and Foodland CEO Jenai Wall

Since moving to Pahoa High in November, Isabel has been inducted into the National Honor Society and will be graduating from Pahoa with Magna Cum Laude honors. In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA, she also works part-time and takes credits at Hawaii Community College.

Camry is the daughter of Debra and Slade Isabel from Pahoa.

Big Island Principal Awarded $25,000 for Excellence in School Leadership

The Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award from the Island Insurance Foundation is given annually to a public school principal who is visionary, community-minded, and has an entrepreneurial spirit.

Principal Dean Cevallos, center, with (from left): Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi, Principal Stacie Kunihisa, Principal Malaea Wetzel and Tyler Tokioka, Island Insurance Foundation President.

Principal Dean Cevallos, center, with (from left): Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi, Principal Stacie Kunihisa, Principal Malaea Wetzel and Tyler Tokioka, Island Insurance Foundation President.

Keaau High School Principal Dean Cevallos was honored Thursday night as The Island Insurance Foundation’s 11th annual Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award winner at the annual Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation Dinner.

Named for Island Insurance Company Ltd.’s founder, the award includes a gift of $25,000 — a $10,000 personal cash award and $15,000 to go towards a school project of the principal’s choice. The honor is given to a public school principal who is visionary, community-minded, and has an entrepreneurial spirit — qualities of leadership that Tokioka exemplified in his own company and in the business community.

“Principal Cevallos exemplifies the type of leadership that can transform our public schools into model learning institutions,” said Tyler Tokioka, Island Insurance Foundation president.

“By recognizing outstanding principals such as Dean, it is our hope that his accomplishments will inspire others in public education.”

The Island Insurance Foundation also presented a $2,000 cash award to the top two semi-finalists, Principal Malaea Wetzel of Haleiwa Elementary, who won the state-level National Distinguished Principal award last weekend, and Principal Stacie Kunihisa of Kanoelani Elementary. The other principals nominated for their excellent leadership were:

  • Bruce Anderson, Maui High School
  • Frank Fernandes, Kaimuki Middle School
  • Shelley Ferrara, Mauka Lani Elementary School
  • Steve Franz, King Kamehameha III Elementary School
  • Debra Knight, Nanaikapono Elementary School
  • Corey Nakamura, Wilcox Elementary School
  • Deborah Nekomoto, Kapunahala Elementary School
  • Dennis O’Brien, E.B. DeSilva Elementary School
  • James Sunday, Radford High School
  • Sean Wong, Ala Wai Elementary School

Each received $1,000 and a commemorative plaque, which were presented to them at a recognition ceremony on March 28.

Dean Cevallos has been principal of Keaau High School for nearly four years. Cevallos implemented numerous programs to improve performance such as an in-school detention/lockout classroom (which reduced schools suspensions by 50 percent), a 9th grade college-prep class, tutoring programs, a senior school-level counselor to help students in accessing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and scholarships, and parent/student nights to assist in the financial aid and college application processes.

Cevallos plans to use the prize money to upgrade the school’s technology infrastructure.

Construction Resumes On $22.3 Million Pahoa District Park

Fulfilling the County of Hawai‘i’s pledge to expand healthy recreational opportunities for the families of Lower Puna, construction on the $22.3 million Pāhoa District Park has resumed.

Pahoa Park RenderingPark construction was paused in 2014 due to a rapidly advancing lava flow threatening Pāhoa. After the lava flow threat level was downgraded, and after consultation with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, the park project was given the green light to resume.

“Our commitment to the families of Puna remains strong,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “One of our priorities has always been to create more safe places for our kids to stay active and healthy. In collaboration with our Hawai‘i County Council, we are pleased to move forward with this project that will provide access to positive recreation for Hawai‘i Island’s fastest-growing communities.”

When complete, this 29-acre first phase of the Pāhoa District Park will include a covered play court building, two baseball fields, two multipurpose fields, a playground, concession building, comfort station, accessible walkways, and ample parking. These features will complement Pāhoa’s existing recreational facilities that include the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center, Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility, and Pāhoa Skate Park.

The park is also adjacent to the Pāhoa Senior Center, which reverted to its previous use as a fire station during the lava flow threat. That facility is currently being converted back into a senior center, housing senior activities for kūpuna in Lower Puna.

The Puna Community Development Plan, adopted by the Hawai‘i County Council in 2008, identified the need for a district park in Lower Puna. A comprehensive planning process involving the community, the County, and project designers began in 2012 to ensure these new facilities reflect the recreational needs of Puna’s residents.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at (808) 961-8311 or

North Hawaii Students Learn Bike Safety from PATH and NHCH

Over the past three months, staff from North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Trauma Program have partnered with Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH) to provide free bicycle training and safety education to more than 250 fourth grade students at Kohala Elementary School, Honokaa Elementary School, Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Century Public Charter School and Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School.

Path kids

“Partnering with PATH offered an ideal opportunity to provide injury prevention and safety education to North Hawaii students,” says Kimberly Bastien, RN and NHCH Trauma Program Manager. “While PATH taught students proper riding techniques and skills through their Bike Ed program, we provided bicycle safety education and emphasized the importance of wearing a helmet.” Each participating student was properly fitted with a free multi-sport safety helmet, provided by the hospital’s Trauma Team. “Students were thrilled once they learned the brand new helmet was theirs to keep. It made bike education more interesting and fun for them.”

Tina Clothier, Executive Director with PATH added, “We are delighted to partner with North Hawaii Community Hospital’s Trauma Program in our mutual quest to keep North Kohala youth safe while they explore the joys of bike riding. The participants are excited about receiving their own brand new helmets and wear them with pride. Having the NHCH Trauma Program as our partner had raised the bar for our ever popular Bike Ed classes.”

PATH is a non-profit bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization dedicated to safely connecting the people and places on Hawaii Island with pathways and bikeways. PATH’s Bike Ed program is a bicycle skills program offered to all Big Island schools and youth clubs. During this three-day bicycle program, students learn important bicycle and safety skills, including: the fundamentals of traffic and road safety, hand signals, proper bicycle clothing, as well as how to navigate an intersection, to yield and to ride in control with others.

“Today, children are riding bicycles, scooters, skate boards and other ride-on vehicles,” said Bastien. “Wearing a helmet is crucial to injury prevention and results in fewer injuries in our emergency room.   Not only do helmets reduce the risk of bicycle-related head injury by 80 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but Hawaii State law requires kids younger than 16 years of age wear a helmet. We understand many families may not have the means to purchase a helmet; that’s why we’re doing our part to help keep our keiki safe.”

NHCH’s Trauma Team will offer free helmets to children ages 3 to 12 at the 16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest on Saturday, April 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Parker Ranch Center in Waimea. NHCH was designated as a Level III Trauma Center in 2013, which allows the hospital to treat injured patients that would otherwise be diverted to trauma centers located over an hour away. The mission of NHCH’s Trauma Program is to continually improve and optimize the care provided for injured patients through an evolving multidisciplinary performance improvement committee, data collection, injury prevention, community outreach and education. For additional information about the hospital’s Trauma Program, please contact Kimberly Bastien, RN and Trauma Program Manager, at 808-881-4820 or

Hawaii Department of Education Releases Annual Financial Audit

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today released its Annual Financial Audit for the 2014 fiscal year (FY 2014) which shows the Department is doing a better job at keeping its finances in order.

Click to view the report

Click to view the report

The independent report analyzed financial statements of the public school system, including operating, capital improvement and federal funds. The DOE’s FY 2014 audit was submitted last month to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, which operates on behalf of the Office of Management and Budget.

The DOE’s financial audit provides an objective third-party examination of the presentation of the Department’s financial statements for the most recent fiscal year, coordinated by the State of Hawaii’s Office of the Auditor​.​The DOE elects to maintain a separate, independent audit, rather than being incorporated with a single State of Hawaii audit.

“Annual independent audits are crucial to ensure taxpayers’ funds are being monitored and maximized to support teaching and learning in the most efficient way,” said DOE Senior Assistant Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer Amy Kunz. “The findings validate our financial controls and provide guidance for improvement in some areas.”

The 65-page audit report published by Honolulu-based N&K CPA Inc. reviewed the DOE’s $1.494 billion general fund appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. It concluded internal controls examined are appropriately structured to prevent or detect financial misstatements, and found the DOE to be in compliance with requirements of major federal programs.

Auditors noted “opportunities for strengthening internal controls and operating efficiency.” Kunz says the Office of Fiscal Service has already moved to address the recommendations as outlined in the findings, including:

  • ​Adjusted the calculation of vacation and sick leave accrual for a small portion of  teachers to align with the correct fiscal year.
  • Strengthened accounting procedures for new federal grant payments to ensure  accurate reporting.

During the last four years, the DOE has also increased its internal audits to identify areas in need of improved controls. This move aligns with the DOE/Board of Education joint Strategic Plan​, which calls for effective organizational,​​ financial, human, and community resources in support of student success.

University of Hawaii Board of Regents to Hear More TMT Testimony

The University of Hawaii Board of Regents have scheduled another Special Board Meeting on the TMT issues.
tmt meeting

Many folks who wanted to testify at the last meeting on Thursday April 16th, weren’t able to because of the regents flight plans.
TMT HearingThis next meeting will be held on Sunday April 26th, 2015 at the University of Hawaii Hilo Performing Arts Center (PAC) beginning at 11:30 A.M..

Please see the above notice of the hearing for more specifications on how and where to submit testimony in advance or in person.

All Students to Return to Schools Affected by Puna Lava Flow

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today announced students in lower Puna who were reassigned in October 2014 due to the threat of a lava flow will be returning to their original school. Keonepoko Elementary will welcome back students to its campus in Hawaiian Beaches and all public school students in the Kea’au, Ka’u, Pahoa (KKP) complex area will start the 2015-16 school year in their geographically determined schools.

Pahoa High and Intermediate

“We realize that some families whose students were reassigned to another school may not want to return to their geographically determined school,” stated Chad Farias, KKP complex area superintendent. “However, those reassignments were made based on the pending lava flow. Now that the lava has been determined no longer a threat to KKP, students must go back to the school they came from for their education.”

DOE officials added that families may apply for Geographic Exceptions (GE) and follow the guidelines under Chapter 13 should they decide to make a change. KKP schools that experienced a shift in students and staff include: Pahoa Elementary, Pahoa High & Intermediate, Kea’au Elementary, Kea’au Middle, Kea’au High, Keonepoko Elementary, and Mountain View Elementary.

“The Department is currently evaluating staffing needs and determining the appropriate processes to return the maximum number of employees to their pre-lava flow schools,” said Barbara Krieg, the DOE’s assistant superintendent for the Office of Human Resources. “There are a lot of details to be worked out and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our staff during this process.”

Decisions affecting employees will be made in consultation with the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers union. Information will be distributed to employees once details are finalized.