Kids at Kahilu – Waimea Theatre Connects Kids With Creativity

Whether it’s dance, drumming, soccer, or gardening that get your kid’s creative juices flowing, Kahilu Theatre has it covered with an array upcoming events and programs for youngsters.

On Saturday April 26th from 10am to 1pm Kahilu is opening its doors for a Family Fun Day in conjunction with the 15th annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest at the Parker Ranch Center Food Court. Kids of all ages are invited to be astounded by The Great Barusky Magician, join drop-in Hip Hop classes, learn the art of Origami, and create a sidewalk chalk masterpiece. Local musical duo “Hamajang” will set the beat with live music. The Herb Kane Hawaiian art exhibit, snack bar and Box Office will also be open to the public.

Next door, at the Parker Ranch Center, more than 30 presenters will offer hands-on activities to develop healthy keiki. The excitement continues outside with a climbing wall, bouncer, and keiki bike rodeo. Admission to the Keiki Fest and Family Fun Day are free.

Kahilu Dance

On Saturday evening, Kahilu Theatre presents Prince Dance Institute’s Season Finale: “Living Colors.” Director Angel Prince has devised a spectacular performance that exhibits the Big Island in all its glory, by showcasing the island’s many microclimates through dance, theatre, original music, time-lapse film and photography. A cast of 60 dancers aged 5 to adult will use trapeze, hip hop, breakdance, acting and contemporary dance to captivate the audience.

In addition to the “Living Colors” Saturday April 26th show at 7pm, there will also be a matinee show on Sunday April 27th at 2pm, along with two school shows on Wednesday April 23rd.  Prince Dance is Kahilu Theatre’s “in residence” dance academy, offering after-school classes as part of Kahilu’s ongoing Education program.  Tickets to the shows are priced at $25, $20, $15 and $10, and can be purchased from the Kahilu website www.kahilutheatre.org or from the Box Office which is now open from 12noon to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday, drop in or call 885-6868.

The Waimea Community is invited to the K(Arts) Grand Finale performance at Kahilu on Wednesday April 30 at 5.30pm.  Waimea Middle school students have participated in classes for 9 weeks, learning hip hop, Tahitian and Kahiko hula and chanting, African drumming, basket weaving and flower making, and backstage production.  K(Arts) instructors have been provided by Kahilu Theatre for the last seven years to create the popular, free after school enrichment program.  The family friendly finale celebration is also free.

Kids inspired to explore the arts themselves still have time to enroll in the 2014 Summer Arts program, happening June 2nd to July 3rd , Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm, for kids ages 6-12. Presented by Lavaroots Performing Arts, this year’s theme is “The Roots of Hip Hop.” Kids will have a chance to explore hip hop culture through drumming, African dance, capoeira, breakdance, soccer and other art forms. Field trips will include Imi Loa Astronomy Center, sailing and biweekly visits to Mala’ai Gardens.  Sign up forms are available online from http://kahilutheatre.org/Education/Youth.

Finally, the Kahilu Theatre hosts the Hawaii Opera Theatre on Sunday May 4 for a Gala Concert, and on Monday May 5 for a special production of The Mikado for schools audiences, at 9.30am.  The theatre Youth Show Coordinator Lisa Shattuck communicates with schools well in advance of the shows to arrange block bookings for the students.  Currently there are almost 400 tickets booked and about 100 tickets left.  Any pre-school or home school families interested in coming to the Mikado show please contact Lisa at youth@kahilutheatre.org.

Pacific Islands Climate Science Center Head to Speak at UH Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo hosts a seminar featuring David Helweg, director of the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (PICSC), on Wednesday, April 23 at noon in Room 118 of the Science and Technology Building. The event is free and open to the public.

David Helweg

David Helweg

Helweg’s talk, entitled Vision and Framework of Science at the Department of Interior: Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, focuses on the Center and its efforts in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. PICSC, hosted by a consortium of the University of Hawaiʻi and the University of Guam, was launched in 2012 as one of eight regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs) set up by the Department of Interior to complement and work with a national network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to address challenges of climate change.

PICSC, in partnership with the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC), works with Federal, State and other entities to deliver scientific research and interpretation to support management of natural and cultural resources. PICSC’s vision is to inform and support sustainability and climate adaptation of human and ecological communities in the Pacific.

For more information, call 933-0759 or email ziegler@hawaii.edu.

UH Hilo Student Awarded Space Internship

A University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo student has been selected for NASA’s prestigious Sally Ride Internship.

Melissa Adams. (Photo courtesy of PISCES)

Melissa Adams. (Photo courtesy of PISCES)

Melissa Adams, a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Geology, was among a select group chosen for the program, which awards only 10 internships during the spring and fall semesters of each school year.

The Sally Ride Internship was established in 2013 to encourage more students from underserved backgrounds to pursue a research interest at one of NASA’s centers nationwide and eventually enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program named after the first American woman in space provides students the opportunity to work side-by-side with practicing scientists and engineers.

Adams, a native Hawaiian, was awarded the internship for joint research she conducted with Jacobs/NASA Scientist Trevor Graff and John Hamilton, logistics and EPO manager for the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES). The trio employed satellite imagery to identify specific geologic properties contained in basaltic lava located on Mauna Kea. For Adams, a former PISCES intern, her selection is a dream come true that took a while to sink in.

“I am so busy with school work that the news about getting the internship did not phase me at first,” Adams explained. “But one evening in the middle of the night, I awoke out of a deep sleep, startled, and said to myself, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be working at NASA this summer.’ I still cannot believe it.”

The 10-week internship begins in May and will reunite her with Graff and fellow NASA Scientist Dr. Richard Morris, who will serve as her mentors at the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. Their research will involve a chemical analysis of the analog samples collected in Hawaiʻi, with the findings used to support various robotic missions to Mars.

Adams will prepare samples, conduct instrumental analysis and assist with data analysis and interpretations using some of the most sophisticated instrumented research techniques, including Visible Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, X-Ray Diffraction, Optical/Digital Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy.

“To think of where I was two years ago and what I have done since then makes me feel so blessed,” Adams said. “I am so grateful for the people that have been instrumental in helping me get this opportunity. To them I say my warmest mahalo nui loa!”

Toyota Hawaii Awards Twelve Local Student Winners in 2014 Dream Car Art Contest

Yesterday, Big Island Toyota awarded Mountain View Elementary School teacher Kerry Ogawa of with a $250 gift card for school supplies for her participation in Toyota’s 2014 Dream Car Art Contest. Mrs. Ogawa received her award at Big Island Toyota in Hilo.

Toyota awarded Mountain View Elementary School teacher Kerry Ogawa of with a $250 gift card.

Kerry Ogawa and Kurt Williams of Big Island Toyota

Toyota Hawaii held statewide award presentations at its dealerships on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island to recognize the local finalists, People’s Choice winners, and winning school teachers in Toyota’s 2014 Dream Car Art Contest. Among the more than 500 entries received, only nine (three from each age category) were selected to participate to move on to the World Contest to represent Hawaii where the Grand Prize winner(s) will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan for the awards ceremony in August 2014.

The celebrity emcees at the Oahu event were Hawaii News Now’s Tannya Joaquin and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu’s Director of Public Relations Mahealani Richardson.

“It gives us great pleasure to submit our finalists’ artwork into the World Contest,” said Glenn Inouye, Senior Vice President representing the Toyota Hawaii dealers. “Family and friends really rallied for their loved ones by encouraging the public to vote for their favorite entries in the People’s Choice Competition on our Facebook page. We received nearly 3,000 votes through Toyota Hawaii’s Facebook page.”

The winner in each category received an iPad Mini® and all other finalists each received $100 cash. All nine finalists’ entries have been submitted into the World Contest where winners will be announced this August.

Category 1 (Under eight years old):
1st Place: Ryan Handa, age 7, Kainalu Elementary School (Kailua)
2nd Place: Jackson Endo, age 7, Aina Haina Elementary School (Honolulu)
3rd Place: Jackson Endo, age 7, Aina Haina Elementary School (Honolulu)

Category 2 (Ages 8-11):
1st Place: Sheena Rae Reyes, age 10, Waimalu Elementary School (Aiea)
2nd Place: Karli Enos, age 11, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)
3rd Place: Emma Thain, age 11, homeschooled (Koloa, Kauai)

Category 3 (Ages 12-15):
1st Place: Emily Stone, age 13, Kamehameha Middle School (Kaneohe)
2nd Place: Teah Laupapa, age 12, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)
3rd Place: Rachelle Marie Lariba, age 13, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)

All finalists of the World Contest will enjoy a celebration in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, where they will meet Toyota Motor Corporation’s top executives.

People’s Choice Winners

From February 17 to March 9, 2014, Toyota Hawaii’s Facebook friends had the opportunity to view all eligible entries and vote for their favorites in each of the three age groups. The Facebook contest received an overwhelming response of nearly 3,000 votes and more than 6,500 unique visitors to the contest page.

The following entrants were awarded $100 cash and were automatically entered for final judging in the local competition for receiving the most votes in each category:

  • Category 1: Jackson Endo, age 7, Aina Haina Elementary School (Honolulu)
  • Category 2: Charlize Adrienne Agag, age 8, Kalihi Waena Elementary School (Honolulu)
  • Category 3: Teah Laupapa, age 12, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)

New this year was a teacher recognition component where one (1) random teacher from each island (Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island) and two (2) from Oahu had the opportunity to each win a $250 gift card for school/art supplies. Winners included:

  • Mrs. Kerry Ogawa of Mt. View Elementary (Big Island)
  • Mrs. Carolyn Bush of Kamali’i Elementary (Maui)
  • Ms. Glenda Salvador of Holomua Elementary (Oahu)
  • Mrs. Darlene Oshiro of Wahiawa Middle School (Oahu)

This year’s judging panel included Department of Education Art in Public Places Artist in Residence Resource Teacher Evan Tottori, Honolulu Museum of Art School Assistant Director Pearlyn Salvador, Hawaii News Now’s Tannya Joaquin, KHON2’s Kanoe Gibson, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu’s Director of Public Relations Mahealani Richardson, and Toyota Hawaii’s Glenn Inouye.

This international art contest was established in 2004 with the goals of creating an opportunity for children to have fun and to understand the importance of having a dream, while at the same time to encourage them to become interested in cars through drawing their “Dream Cars” using their creative imaginations.

Miloli’i Community to Participate in Merrie Monarch Festivals

Pa’a Pono Miloliʻi through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Native Hawaiian Culture Grant is proud to support a group comprised of Miloliʻi and Kohala keiki, kumu and kupuna that are perpetuating the cultural art of Hula through the inter-generational transfer of cultural knowledge.

Miloli'iLed by Kumu Hula Kuwalu Anakalea, a graduate of Kumu Hula Taupori Tangaro and project coordinator Kuakahi Kaupu-Cabuag, Miloliʻi has been requested by Kumu Hula Tangaro to participate in the opening of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival this Sunday at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium. This ceremony is the blessing of all Merrie Monarch Festival events to follow throughout the week. Kumu Tangaro has loosely adopted Miloliʻi and given them the name UNU KOʻA. UNU is the root of the name of all Kumu Tangaroʻs cohorts and KOʻA is the fish aggregation site, prominent in Miloliiʻs rich ʻŌpelu nearshore fishery.

The Milohala group has participated in four hula enrichment camps this past year, three in Miloli’i and one at Ho’oku’ikahi Festival at Pu’ukohola Heiau. Milohala was responsible for greeting Hokule’a on her island-wide community voyage this past year. Miloli’i was Hokulea’s first stop. This performance will be a milestone in Miloliiʻs history. Miloliʻi has never participated in any Merrie Monarch Festival events and has never been deeply connected to a prominent Halau lineage of Hawaiʻi Island.

miloli'i2Pa’a Pono Miloli’i through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has supported Milohala’s recent activities in preparation for this performance. PPM has provided 3 enrichment-training sessions for Milohala MM participants. PPM has provided all costuming for the performance. Milohala has been in accelerated training mode for the past month. Haumana have learned over 20 hula, oli and mo’olelo.

Although Milohala has only a 5-6 minute spot on the stage, it will be a lifetime of memories for many. This jouney for Miloli’i has been as short as one year and Miloli’i has already secured a spot in the opening ceremony of Merrie Monarch. Miloli’i is re-establishing the cultural richness that its kupuna once hoped to bestow upon the generations to follow and Paʻa Pono Miloliʻi is proud to be a part of this significant event for our community.

After Dark in the Park – May Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in May. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

NEW! Artist-in-Residence Program. In conjunction with the non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will launch its first Artist-in-Residence program, continuing the legacy of the famous volcano-inspired artists. The debut artist will be Master of Hawaiian featherwork, Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas. Rick will provide a public exhibit and lecture about his artwork, his inspiration from Hawai‘i’s sacred volcanoes, and the history and culture of Hawai‘i. His work is currently on exhibit at the Volcano House, and will soon be in Honolulu at the Bishop Museum. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 6, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

The 1924

The 1924 eruption of Kilauea. NPS Photo

The 1924 Explosive Eruption of Kīlauea. The May 1924 eruption from Halema‘uma‘u Crater caused community turmoil and one death. Yet of all the known explosive eruptions of Kīlauea before 1924, it was the smallest—the runt of the litter. This small eruption and its magnified impact illustrate the interplay between hazard (what the volcano provides) and risk (the impact of the hazard on us).  On the 90th anniversary of the eruption, HVO geologist Don Swanson and volunteer Ben Gaddis address what happened in 1924, what caused the explosive eruption, and how it stacks up against the much larger eruptions of the past and, probably, the future. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 13, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Tī Leaf Kūpe‘e Demonstration. Teana Kahoohanohano shares her knowledge and love of hula adornments. Learn how tī leaves are used to create stunning wristlets and anklets worn for certain hula dances. Watch as a simple leave is transformed into a work of art before your eyes. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

After Dark in the Park Goes to the Movies. Sam Low presents his classic seafaring film, The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific. Anthropologist and filmmaker Sam Low tells the real story of how a thousand years before Europeans knew the Pacific existed, Polynesian seafarers explored and settled this vast ocean using only natural signs to guide them. It’s one of the most amazing stories of human exploration and settlement, and it’s never been properly told. Shot on location in Huahine, Fiji, Satawai and other locations, the 1983 documentary features traditional Satawalese nagivator Mau Piailug, the sailing vessel Hokule‘a, and her crew. Low will be in attendance to answer questions and sign his new book, Hawaiki Rising – Hokule‘a, Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian Renaissance. Both the book and the DVD will be available for sale through the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association bookstore the evening of the program. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka in Concert. Come enjoy free island music with Hilo’s own Mark Yamanaka, a four-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer and songwriter. Mark will share original songs from his debut CD, Lei Pua Kenikeni. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., May 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ka‘ū ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki of all ages to join park rangers and take a closer look at the park’s Kahuku Unit for a day of activities. Connect the culture, people and the ‘āina (land) through mo‘olelo (stories), GPS, and compass. A free lunch will be provided when you sign up by calling (808) 985-6019. Deadline to register is May 16. Sponsored by the park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Free.
When: Sat., May 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Kahuku Unit, at mile marker 70.5 in Ka‘ū on the mauka side of Highway 11

Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapala Demonstration. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, were utilized to present many unique designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa.  Today, these exceptional designs are being used as patterns on all types of fabric. Join Park Ranger Koa Johnasen as he demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn about this distinctive art form. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Aikido of Hilo to Host Acclaimed Buddhist Scholar John Steven

Aikido of Hilo will be hosting John Stevens Sensei for its annual Osensei Memorial Seminar on the weekend of April 26 and 27.  Stevens is a 7th degree black belt in aikido and a world-renowned master instructor.  He was a noted professor of Buddhist Studies at Tohoku Fukushi University, in Sendai, Japan and has written over 30 books on Aikido, Buddhism and Asian culture.  Stevens will teach aikido classes on both days at the Aikido of Hilo dojo located at 29 Shipman Street in Hilo.

Akido Teacher

The public is invited to a free public lecture on “The Life of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba and the Origins of Aikido” on Saturday at 3:00 pm as well as a Zenga (Zen brush art) class on Sunday at 3:00 pm.  Both events, taught by Stevens, will be at the Aikido of Hilo dojo.  The lecture is free and there is a $20 fee for the Zenga class.

Every year, aikido dojos around the world commemorate the passing of the Aikido Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, Osensei, which took place April 26, 1969.

Developed early in the 20th century, aikido principles were so profound and its martial art techniques so effective that there was tremendous public demand.  In the 1950s, aikido teachings were made public and have spread to become popular worldwide.

“Aikido is an art of peace and reconciliation. It’s important to have teachers like Stevens Sensei reinforce principles that we can all practice in the dojo and our daily lives”, said Aikido of Hilo Chief Instructor Barbara Klein.  For more information about the free public lecture, Zenga or taking aikido classes please call 935-2454.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 15-Year-Old Pepe’ekeo Girl

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

Shaniyah Das-Laro

Shaniyah Das-Laro

Shaniyah Das-Laro was last seen in Pepeʻekeo on Saturday (April 12). She is described as 5-foot-1, 100 pounds with brown eyes and black 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

UH Hilo MOP Students Take Top Awards in Annual Symposium

Four University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Option Program students were recently awarded top honors at the 31st Annual Marine Option Program System Symposium held on April 12 at Kapiolani Community College on O`ahu.
UH Hilo Moniker
The Award for Best Overall Research Paper went to Marine Science senior Amber Forrestral for her project entitled, “Bioimpedance and Condition of Reef Fish Across a Landscape Gradient.”

The Award for Best Internship Project was won by Rebecca Rogers for her project on “Automated, Remote and Near Real-time Sampling and Detection of Harmful Algae using the Environmental Sample Processor.”

Jenae Olson received the Award for Best Poster. Her project, in association with the Division of Aquatic Resources, was on “Determination of the Oxygen Tolerance of Valamugil engeli (Marquesan mullet).”

The PACON International (Hawai’i Chapter) Award for the best project integrating marine science and technology, with a Pacific focus, went to Bradley Young for his project, “Establishment of High Frequency (HF) Radar and Kiosk Interpretation in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.”

Four other UH Hilo students presented their work in the form of oral and poster presentations on research and internship MOP projects that were well received. These students were Christina Crockett, Kevin Bruce, Emily Wallingford, and James Stilley.

The UH Hilo MOP is a hands-on program open to students in any field of study who have an interest in the ocean. It is a certificate granting program that offers courses on marine project development through the Department of Marine Science.

The annual symposium rotates between UH campuses and will be hosted by Windward Community College in April 2015.

For more information, email uhhmop@hawaii.edu or lparr@hawaii.edu.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing Girl for Third Time

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

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones was last seen in Hilo on March 21. She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-7, 130 pounds with green eyes and brown hair.

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

(Edit – This is the third time this girl has gone missing recently)

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Winners for 3rd Annual Hawaii Charter School Awards Announced

Hawaii Public Charter School Network (HPCSN) will honor charter schools and leaders at the 2013-2014 Hawaii Charter Schools Awards, taking place Thursday, May 15, 2014 at the Pomaikai Ballrooms at Dole Cannery from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Hawaii Public Charter Schools NetworkToday, HPCSN announced a list of honorees, including:

  •  HPCSN Legislators of the Year – Senator Jill Tokuda and Representative Ken Ito
  • HCPSN Community Partner of the Year -Karen Street, First Insurance Company of Hawaii
  • Charter School of the Year – Na Wai Ola Waters of Life Public Charter School, Mountain View, Hawaii
  • Most Improved Charter School – Kamaile Academy Public Charter School, Waianae, Oahu
  • Creating New Best Practices – Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Kealakekua, Hawaii and Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniopuu Iki Lab Public Charter School, Keaau, Hawaii

“Our theme is ‘Creating New Best Practices for Public Education in Hawaii,” and it’s only fitting that we’ll recognize charter schools and leaders who are charting paths in new and innovative ways and, in doing so, showing measured success in public charter schools across the state,” said Lynn Finnegan, Executive Director of the Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network.

“Through HPCSN, these schools have an opportunity to share their best practices with fellow schools and help further develop the successes that these unique schools have on the thousands of children they teach each day,” Finnegan added.

Nominations for three additional awards (Charter School Governing Board Member of the Year, Charter School Leader of the Year and Charter School Teacher of the Year) are being accepted by HPCSN through Thursday, April 24, 2014.

The dinner is open to the public and tickets can be purchased by phone at 808-380-6403 or online at 2014hawaiicharterschoolawards.eventbrite.com.

 

Victims Seek Two Investigations – Long Time Hawaii Predator Abused Several Foster Kids

SNAP: “Catholic Charities and state agency should take action”, They gave him “unfettered access to vulnerable boys,” group says.  One key individual won promotions & is now a supervisor at state bureaucracy

A support group for sex abuse victims is urging Catholic Charities and Hawaii state officials and to investigate how a predator was able to foster children.

VICE News today presents Love Serve Surrender. In the documentary, VICE News investigates alleged pedophile Jay Ram, who for decades has managed to foster, adopt, and care for dozens of boys referred by charities and child welfare agencies, despite repeated warning signs that he was a sexual predator.

VICE News presents Love Serve Surrender. In the documentary, VICE News investigates alleged pedophile Jay Ram, who for decades has managed to foster, adopt, and care for dozens of boys referred by charities and child welfare agencies, despite repeated warning signs that he was a sexual predator.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are urging the two organizations to answer questions about how so many boys were placed in the care of Jay Ram. And investigate Roselyn Viernes, who is the head of East Hawaii Child Welfare Services in Hilo, and was the social worker responsible for placing the children in foster homes.

Ram, who is also known as Gary Winnick, is accused of sexually abusing boys that he fostered and adopted in California and Hawaii. He is believed to be the Tampa Florida area. A recent documentary chronicles Ram’s abuse. 

Ram is accused of molesting the boys and exploiting them and forcing them to do hard physical labor. The victims say that Ram threatened them, deprived them of food and refused to let them to engage in regular social activities with their peers out of fear that the boys would report to authorities. Although Ram has been investigated by the police in the past, the victims say that they were threatened with violence and more abuse to keep them quiet. The boys were abused between the ages of 8 and 17 during the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s.

SNAP is writing to the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services and Catholic Charities urging officials to do a complete, independent investigation of all placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator.

“It is time for action. More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints were made known,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP volunteer Western Regional Director.  “Most—if not all—of the boys were molested. How many other children were abused because Catholic Charities and CWS refused to listen to children who were being abused? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.”

The letters from SNAP, sent today by fax and email, are pasted below.

Letter 1:

Patricia McManaman
Director
State of Hawaii Department of Human Services
P.O. Box 339, Honolulu, HI 96809-0339
Fax 808-586-4890
dhs@dhs.hawaii.gov

East Hawaii Child Welfare Services
75 Aupuni Street Hilo, HI 96720
Fax: (808) 933-0693

Dear Ms. McManaman

We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women who have been sexually abused in religious and institutional settings.

We were disturbed and dismayed by the recent news documentary LOVE SERVE SURRENDER (http://youtu.be/v2sFheAc1rQ), which tells the story of Hilo-area rancher Jay Ram, who fostered, adopted, and sexually abused more than two dozen boys on the Big Island.

What is even more upsetting is to learn that high-ranking state social worker Roselyn Viernes has had knowledge of suspicions and complaints against Ram for decades. She is currently working in your East Hawai’i Central offices. According to the news story and corresponding documents, there are records of at least two allegations of abuse against Ram in 1989. Despite this, Viernes continued to place boys in his care. The documents can be viewed here: https://news.vice.com/articles/an-alleged-pedophiles-perfect-scam?trk_source=homepage-feature

It is time for action. State social workers who ignore abuse complaints and put more children as risk must be held accountable. More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints crossed Viernes’ desk. Most—if not all—of the boys were molested. How many other children were abused because Ms. Viernes refused to do the right thing? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.

We ask that you do the following:

–Do a complete investigation of all of Ms. Viernes’ placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator,
–Immediately remove Viernes from her position until the investigation is complete,
–Reach out to all boys placed in Ram’s care and let them know they have criminal and civil rights and that help is available.

Your offices may even house the evidence necessary to help criminally prosecute Jay and help his victims get the accountability they deserve.

Hawaii’s most vulnerable kids deserve far better than being placed in foster homes with sex predators.

Mahalo,

Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, snapdorris@gmail.com

Letter 2:

Jerry Rauckhorst
President & Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities Hawai‘i
Clarence T. C. Ching Campus
1822 Ke‘eaumoku Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
info@catholiccharitieshawaii.org
jrauckhorst@catholiccharitieshawaii.org
(808) 599-8761 Fax

Catholic Charities
Hilo Office
62 Kinoole Street
Hilo, HI 96720
Fax: (808) 961-7059

Dear Mr. Rauckhorst:

We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women who have been sexually abused in religious and institutional settings.

We were disturbed and dismayed by the recent news documentary LOVE SERVE SURRENDER (http://youtu.be/v2sFheAc1rQ), which tells the story of Hilo-area rancher Jay Ram, who fostered and adopted—and then sexually abused—more than two dozen boys on the Big Island.

What is even more upsetting is to learn that Catholic Charities had a role in this abuse. According to the news story and corresponding documents, there are records of at least two allegations of abuse against Ram in 1989. Despite this, Catholic Charities, in partnership with Child Welfare Services, placed boys in Ram’s care and allowed other boys to remain with Ram. The documents can be viewed here: https://news.vice.com/articles/an-alleged-pedophiles-perfect-scam?trk_source=homepage-feature

It is time for action. More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints were made known. Most—if not all—of the boys were molested. How many other children were abused because Catholic Charities and CWS refused to listen to children who were being abused? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.

We ask that you do the following:

–Do a complete investigation of all of Catholic Charities’ placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator,
–Reach out to all boys placed in Ram’s care and let them know they have criminal and civil rights and that help is available.

Your offices may even house the evidence necessary to help criminally prosecute Jay and help his victims get the accountability they deserve.

Hawaii’s most vulnerable kids deserve far better than being placed in foster homes with sex predators.

Mahalo,

 

Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, snapdorris@gmail.com

Department of Education Announces 2014 Graduation Dates

The Hawaii State Department of Education is announcing its 2014 graduation dates for more than 60 schools, including public high schools and charter schools. In all, there will be approximately 11,000 students graduating from public schools this year.

Graduation dates begin in late May with the ceremonies for Pahoa on Hawaii Island on Sunday, May 18.

graduation

Click to view dates

Hawaii, Mexico Students Explore Volcano in Virtual Field Trip

Clad in their fiery red uniforms, Keaau Elementary students stand at the edge of Kilauea Volcano and lead a chant in honor of the goddess Pele as they prepare to hike down the Big Island crater. Across the Pacific Ocean, students from Peterson Schools in Mexico City rise in their classroom, reciting the same Hawaiian words as they watch steam billow from the crater’s vents and listen to the gusty trade winds through a live video feed.

Dr. John Bailey with Keeau Elemantary students at the crater rim.

Dr. John Bailey with Keeau Elemantary students at the crater rim.

Dozens of public school students took part in a virtual field trip on Monday to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the latest example of how the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is using technology to innovate and expand learning opportunities at home and abroad.

Virtual ClassChildren from Nanakuli Elementary’s Immersion program (Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Nanakuli), Hale Kula Elementary and University Laboratory School also experienced the sights and sounds of Kilauea volcano, thanks to Keaau students and staff who wore Google Glass to broadcast their excursion online. The public and more than 50 educators worldwide were able to engage in the field trip, which was in part recorded from the students’-eye view via the “Grab & Go Glassroom” – a wired pack projecting a feed from the students’ Google Glass view into a livestream.

Virtual Class3

The DOE’s own digital curriculum program, known as Access Learning, has allowed eight pilot schools – including Keaau and Nanakuli – to explore exciting lessons that go beyond textbooks and classroom walls by equipping students with laptops and training teachers on the latest educational tools.

In February, for example, University Laboratory students live streamed their field trip to Honolulu Zoo to the laptops of Keaau Elementary students. Children from both schools partnered to produce videos and other projects about birds they saw at the zoo.

On Monday, Keaau students returned the favor by bringing other students along as they kicked off their volcano adventure by meeting with Matt Patrick, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

Hawaii and Mexico students quickly peppered Patrick with questions: “How do you know when volcanoes will erupt?” “What do you have to study to become a volcanologist?,” and “What’s the speed of lava?”

Students virtually joined their Keaau classmates on a bus ride to the volcano, then performed a chant together before watching their descent into the crater.

During a question-and-answer period, a Peterson Schools student remarked the experience “was awesome” because it allowed him to “see the things that we don’t have here in Mexico.”
Virtual Class2
University Laboratory teacher Marybeth Baldwin said students use Google applications to do homework, peer edit and collaborate on projects.  Her class will use the information from the volcano field trip to learn a new storytelling tool, called Tour Builder, which lets students create interactive maps of places around the world.

“They will take their own information, their pictures, links, and any text that they write, to build a map and – just like Google Earth – drop a pin with all the story they want to tell,” Baldwin said.

For more photos of today’s event, visit https://www.facebook.com/HIDepartmentofEducation.

Volcano School Of Arts and Sciences Receives $618,000 for Planning and Design of New Campus

The Office of the Governor has announced the release of $618,000 to the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences for the planning and design of their new campus in Volcano Village, Hawaii.

Volcano School

Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, a public charter school, was created by community members to educate and nurture the individual strengths and interests of each student. VSAS graduates have demonstrated exceptional success in high school and college. The construction of a new campus will ensure that the successful vision of VSAS will continue long into the future.

Senator Russell Ruderman stated, “I am extremely happy with the announcement of the release of Grant in Aid funds for the Volcano School of the Arts’ new campus and I fully support the new models to education that VSAS provides its students. Students deserve quality options in education and they are motivated by the kinds of challenges that charter schools like VSAS can provide. I am thrilled to support these innovators in education that are demonstrating what’s possible, and learning what works, to put our students in the best possible position to succeed.

The project supported by this funding will provide expanded and improved educational opportunities. This award will provide an exceptional learning environment for all keiki at Volcano School of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, this funding will assist in creating jobs for our district. Our office has worked diligently to ensure that this GIA request made its way through the process, and redoubled our efforts with the knowledge that these funds would be lapsing soon. Through the efforts of many people including C. Mike Kido, Legislative Advisor, Office of Governor Abercrombie and Leila Shar, Financial Performance Manager, State Public Charter School Commission, that request has come to fruition.”

“Run to Honor” – “Click It or Ticket” Keiki Fun Run

In recognition of Police Week, the Hawaiʻi Police Department and Crime Stoppers Hawaiʻi will hold a “Run To Honor” 5K Run/2 Mile Walk and “Click It or Ticket” Keiki Fun Run on Saturday, May 17, at Liliʻuokalani Gardens in Hilo.

HPDBadgeThe public is invited to participate to honor the memory of officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to promote crime prevention through the use of Crime Stoppers. This family event includes food, entertainment, informational and activity booths, prizes, a water slide and more.

Entry fee for the 5K Run/2 Mile Walk is $25 dollars and includes a T-shirt. The Keiki Fun Run is free and includes a T-shirt.

Deadline to register is Thursday, May 1. Entries received after the deadline cannot be guaranteed a T-shirt. Late entry fee is $30. Proceeds from this event will go to establish a Crime Stoppers/Police scholarship.

The 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk start at 8:30 a.m. with check-in and early registration from 7-8 a.m.

The Keiki Fun Run for ages 6-14 starts at 9:30 a.m. with check-in and early registration from 7-9:15 a.m.

If participants prefer, they may check in and pickup up a T-shirt and number between May 14 and May 16 from 1-3 p.m. at the Hilo police station at 349 Kapiʻolani Street.

Registration forms are available at police stations island wide and on the Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com.

For more information, you may call Community Policing Lieutenant Darren Horio at 961-2350 or email him at dhorio@co.hawaii.hi.us.

New Stop Added to UH Hilo Bus Service

UH Hilo Moniker

The County Mass Transit Administration has revised its bus service for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College to include an additional stop at the new UH Hilo Bookstore by the University’s main Kawili Street entrance, effective Monday, April 14, 2014.

The Hele-On Bus timetable runs Monday through Saturday and offers services to and from the University and HawCC within Hilo. Visit www.heleonbus.org for schedules, including transportation to Kona, Pahoa, Volcano, Pahoa, Keaukaha and other areas.

Big Island to Launch Global Virtual Studio Transmedia Accelerator

Beginning April 11th, 2014 Global Virtual Studio (GVS), in partnership with the County of Hawaii and the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), and Creative Industries Division (CID) is set to launch the GVS Transmedia Accelerator.

Hawaii entrepreneurs in the creative industries are often forced to take their talents outside of Hawaii to create intellectual property (IP), only for it to be owned by someone else. The traditional Hollywood model is being challenged by the accelerator model, a disruptive concept empowering the creative entrepreneur to own their IP.

This cutting-edge initiative will empower Hawaii’s creative minds to realize and launch original transmedia franchises for commercial audiences with an investment of $50,000 and mentorship to each selected startup franchise.

Accelerator

The founder of the GVS Transmedia Accelerator is Big Island raised and Konawaena High School graduate, David L. Cunningham, a seasoned filmmaker in both independent and studio arenas. Cunningham made one of Hawaii‘s first independent films, “Beyond Paradise,” as well as the World War II drama “To End All Wars,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, filmed on Kaua’i. Cunningham says, “As a studio filmmaker I was constantly trying to find ways to live and work in the Islands. My wife and I wanted to raise our kids in the same environment we were fortunate to have. Dramatic shifts in the entertainment industry have now made it possible for myself and other filmmakers to work from our home state.”

Mayor Billy Kenoi stated, “The Accelerator Program will be the anchor activity of Honua Studios, newly established in Kailua-Kona with support from the Hawaii County Council. We envision this new facility being a creative hub to attract and support entrepreneurs and industry professionals and increase the number of productions here on Hawaii.”

The Accelerator is part of a surge of activity supported by the HI Growth Initiative (led by HSDC President, Karl Fooks) and Chief Officer of CID, Georja Skinner. Programs like Blue Startups, Hawai’i International Film Festival’s (HIFF) Creative Labs and more are designed to create a synergistic environment statewide.

The GVS Transmedia Accelerator will accept six entrepreneurial teams into the intensive program each year and will provide them with the seed capital and world-class mentors to develop their startup franchises into successful businesses. The goal is to see the best up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Hawaii reach their potential right here in the state.

Cunningham and several other active innovators, including Ralph Winter (Producer of “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” movies); Mike Frank (Co-founder of Level 3 Communications) and Grant Curtis (Producer of the “Spider-Man” Trilogy, “Oz: The Great and Powerful”) and others will serve as advisors.

The application period for the Program begins April 11th and the Accelerator is slated to launch its first cycle in June 2014. Qualifying applicants must have a commercially viable startup with at least three revenue-generating media platforms. For more information, contact accel(at)globalvirtualstudio(dot)com or visit http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com.

Stingrays Sting at HI-PAL Click It or Ticket Tournament

Seventy-eight youths from 10 teams participated in the HI-PAL Click It or Ticket 14 and Under Hoops Championships this past weekend, April 4-6, at Waiākea-Uka gym.

In the finals, Austin Ewing scored 13 points and Steven Texeira added 12 as Kona Stingrays ran past Hoop Dreams 53-28 to claim the championship. Keawe Silva led Hoop Dreams with 13 points.

The Kona Stingrays

The Kona Stingrays

Members of the championship team included Ewing, Texeira, Michael Hanohano, Kaanoi Kelekolio Rivers, Seth Mattos, Cherilyn Molina, Preston Morales and Mikayla Tablit.

The Stingrays, behind Ewing’s 12 points, defeated Kamehameha 43-34 to advance to the finals. Joseph Rivera scored 12 for Kamehameha. Hoop Dreams edged Hilo Spartans in double overtime 36-35 to also advance to the finals. Kiaʻi Apele led Hoop Dreams with 14 points and Makana Kanehailua added 11. Camren Statler-Ellamar scored 16 for the Spartans.

“This tournament is one of a series of events to promote seat belt use amongst youth and adults, and all participants and their parents pledge to use their seat belts,” said Community Policing Lieutenant Darren Horio. “Seat belts are the most effective safety feature ever invented for cars and they have helped saved thousands of lives. We ask all youth and adults to please use your seat belts to protect you in the unlikely event of a traffic crash and thank those that continue to use their seat belts.”

For additional information on any Click It or Ticket or HI-PAL event, please call Lieutenant Horio at 961-8121 or Officer Randy Morris at 326-4646 extension 258.

Go Wild for Culture During National Park Week at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, will celebrate National Park Week April 19-27 with a free-admission weekend and special events nationwide.

The theme for this year’s National Park Week invites visitors to Go Wild! for history, nature, culture, wildlife, and fun in America’s national parks. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the timing is perfect for visitors to “Go Wild for Culture” while celebrating Hilo’s 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival, the most revered hula competition in the world.
Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

 Admission to all fee-charging national parks is free from Saturday, April 19 through Sunday, April 20 to kick off National Park Week. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will offer 12 Hawaiian cultural events planned April 23-25; these events are free but admission fees apply. All programs are part the park’s ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” cultural workshops, and are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association:
Wednesday, April 23
 
Kalo Demonstration. Join Edna and Sam Baldado as they share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro plant. See how each plant is identified by its leaf, steam, corm, color, and shape. Discover the hundreds of varieties of kalo in Hawaii, and how kalo was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes, and much more.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Feather Kāhili Workshop. Helene Hayselden will demonstrate the art of making a feather kāhili, a symbol of royalty. Watch or join in and make your kāhili to take home.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Rupert Tripp, Jr. Enjoy the beautiful music and voice of singer, songwriter, and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominee, Rupert Tripp, Jr.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lā‘au Lapa‘au. Ka‘ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native plants. Learn how her passion for plants and the Hawaiian culture are used to heal and nourish. See and touch a variety of medicinal plants, including kuku‘i, ‘ōlena, ha‘uowī, noni, kī, and guava.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Thursday, April 24
Feather Work. Watch Vi Makuakāne demonstrate the intricate art of feather work. Thousands of feathers are sorted, graded, trimmed, and sewn to a base. The result is a beautiful lei hulu, or feather lei.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Kenneth Makuakāne. This multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer will play original songs from his solo albums and compositions.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Kapala. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, are used to create distinct designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa. Join Keiko Mercado as she demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn this Hawaiian art form.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lei Making. Patricia Ka‘ula will demonstrate different styles of lei making: hilo, haku, hili and Ku‘i. Lei is used for everything from blessing crops, adornments for hula dancers, healing and sacred rituals, to show royal status or rank, honor guests, as peace offerings, to celebrating a birth.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
 
Robert Cazimero Book Signing. Robert Cazimero, a highly regarded and respected kumu hula, will sign the latest edition of Men of Hula, which will be available for sale. This 2011 edition by award-winning author Benton Sen chronicles how the hula teacher and Nā Hālau Kamalei shattered the stereotypical image of hula (girls in grass skirts and coconut bras) by revitalizing the masculine aspects of the ancient dance.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Friday, April 25
Kapa Demonstration. Kapa maker Ku‘uleimomi Makuakāne-Salāve‘a shares the art of kapa making. See how the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree is beaten into cloth.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Ulana Lauhala. Members of ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna perpetuate the ancient art of lauhala weaving. Observe this art form and learn to weave your own lauhala star from the leaves of the hala, or pandanus tree.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Lito Arkangel. Listen to music by Lito Arkangel, one of Hawai‘i Island’s most popular entertainers, as he plays his original compositions and Hawaiian favorites.
Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Hanu Iho Demo. Join National Park Service Master Volunteer Ed Shiinoki and Park Ranger Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita and create your own nose flute. Thin-walled Hawaiian bamboo was used to make a three-hole wind instrument called ‘ohe hano ihu or bamboo nose flute. Today, the supply of bamboo is very limited so Asian bamboo is used instead. Andrea and Ed will share the many uses of the bamboo, demonstrate how to make your own ‘ohe hano ihu, and teach you how to play it, too.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
In addition to the cultural programs at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park during National Park Week , there are Stewardship at the Summit volunteer opportunities, Kahuku hikes, and After Dark in the Park programs. Check the park website for a complete schedule.