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Hawaii Books and Medical Supplies Heading to Micronesia

Education and healthcare in the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia are about to get a significant boost from organizations in Hawaii.  An estimated 10,000 book not sold at the annual Friends of the Library sale will be combined with books from Moanalua Middle School, Hongwanji Mission School, and an assortment of medical supplies donated by Shriner’s Hospital.

“The libraries and hospitals in Micronesia have meager resources,” says Reach out Pacific (REPAC) President Glenn Wakai who is organizing the project.  “The books not sold will fill two containers and ultimately improve literacy in Majuro and Yap.”

Volunteers from the local Micronesian community and the Farrington Football team will box and load the books.  Matson is providing the containers free of charge, and Pacific Transfer is donating trucking services.

“Many of these items were bound for our landfill or incineration, but this Sunday they are being redirected to impoverished areas of Micronesia.  What a win-win projct,” says Reach out Pacific (REPAC) Vice President, Miki Wakai, “There are a variety of volunteers and organizations coming together to send this care package of Aloha.”

  • What:  Volunteers loading thousands of books bound for Micronesia
  • Where: McKinley High School Cafeteria
  • When: Sunday, July 23, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.REPAC was established in 2005.  The organization has sent more than $2.5 million in surplus medical supplies to: Kiribati, American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Chuuk, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Palau, Guam, Philippines, Vietnam and Nepal.

State of Hawai‘i Partners with SANS Institute to Help Students Test Cyber Aptitude

Participants serve as ‘Cyber Protection Agents’ in free online simulation

Gov. David Y. Ige today announced a partnership between the State of Hawai‘i and SANS Institute to offer high school and college students the opportunity this summer to participate in a free online cybersecurity assessment and exercise called CyberStart.

In coordination with the Hawaii Departments of Education and Defense, University of Hawaii, and the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), SANS Institute is encouraging students to participate in the CyberStart program, which involves a game simulation through which students interested in cybersecurity as a career can learn basic cybersecurity skills and test their cyber aptitude. An introductory “practice” version of CyberStart is available through July 28, 2017. The full-scale program will run from Aug. 1 to 28, 2017.

“CyberStart is an innovative opportunity for Hawaii students to test and develop skills applicable to careers in high-demand IT security and related fields,” Gov. Ige said. “There is clearly high interest in cybersecurity among Hawaii youth, as demonstrated by strong participation in existing programs coordinated by the Department of Education, University of Hawai‘i, and organizations such as Cyber Hui. Exploration of this exciting career path can now continue with CyberStart.”

Students don’t have to travel to participate; all they need is an Internet-connected computer and a desire to explore. Each player starts as a “cyber protection agent” responsible for protecting a hypothetical operational base. The student chooses and solves challenges, earning points along the way. An agent field manual provides answers to questions that may arise and helpful hints when players get stuck. When the player has solved a sufficient number of challenges at one level, a new level opens and new challenges appear – for a total of 31 layers. Experienced players have cited CyberStart as being particularly useful to a wide variety of students because everyone can excel, not just a few superstars.

Students who excel in the CyberStart game will have the opportunity to share in $150,000 in scholarships for further cyber education, and ultimately for $500,000 in scholarships for college and graduate-level training in preparation for highly sought-after industry certifications.

“It’s exciting to see our youth being given the opportunity to excel in cybersecurity with the CyberStart program,” said Reynold Hioki, state cybersecurity coordinator within the Hawai‘i Department of Defense, whose protective mission extends to law enforcement agencies and public sector partners providing critical infrastructure and services to the Hawaii community. “Hawai‘i is taking advantage of CyberStart and other related youth programs like CyberPatriot, CyberCamps, GenCyber, Safe and Secure Online, and Hacker High school that directly contribute to increasing the state’s cybersecurity posture.”

ETS Chief Information Security Officer Vincent Hoang, who is responsible for securing state government information resources and infrastructure, said: “These types of programs provide a fun and interactive environment where students are exposed to challenges of varying difficulty and are approachable at any experience level. This is a great opportunity for students to level up their cybersecurity skills.”

SANS Director of Research Alan Paller added: “SANS trains more than 30,000 advanced cybersecurity professionals each year for military and intelligence organizations and for large high-tech companies in the U.S. and its allies. We discovered that those who have mastered the topics taught and measured in the CyberStart program do far better than others in the advanced cybersecurity courses that prepare the critically needed people. By opening CyberStart to hundreds of thousands of students we may be able to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field.”

To join the program, participants must be 16 years or older and enrolled in any high school or college in Hawai‘i, Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, or Virginia. For more information, visit: www.sans.org/cyberstartUS

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin Supports “Dreamers”

Attorney General Doug Chin today joined California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 18 attorneys general in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain and defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In the letter, the attorneys general explain how DACA has benefited their states and the nation as a whole and call on the President to fulfill his public commitment to Dreamers.

Click to read

Attorney General Chin said, “I am the son of immigrants. Hawaii is the most diverse state in our country – a nation founded by immigrants. A legal process has been established to ensure the almost one million Dreamers under DACA can stay in the United States and continue contributing to our country. Rescinding DACA would be senseless, cruel, and self-defeating.”

Since DACA’s inception five years ago, nearly 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to this country as children have been granted DACA status after paying application fees, submitting to and passing background checks and applying for work permits. In Hawaii, approximately 2,000 people are eligible for DACA status.

Today’s letter to President Trump states:

“Mr. President, now is the time to affirm the commitment you made, both to the ‘incredible kids’ who benefit from DACA and to their families and communities, to handle this issue ‘with heart.’ You said Dreamers should ‘rest easy.’ We urge you to affirm America’s values and tradition as a nation of immigrants and make clear that you will not only continue DACA, but that you will defend it. The cost of not doing so would be too high for America, the economy, and for these young people. For these reasons, we urge you to maintain and defend DACA, and we stand in support of the effort to defend DACA by all appropriate means.”

The letter refutes arguments set forth by those opposing DACA and threatening litigation, saying they are wrong as a matter of law and policy and urges the President not to capitulate to their demands.

The letter further states:

“DACA is consistent with a long pattern of presidential exercises of prosecutorial discretion … DACA sensibly guides immigration officials’ exercise of their enforcement discretion and reserves limited resources to address individuals who threaten our communities, not those who contribute greatly to them. Challenges have been brought against the original DACA program, including in the Fifth Circuit, but none have succeeded.”

Joining Attorneys General Chin and Becerra in sending the letter are attorneys general from: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.

5th Annual Big Island Summer Jam

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) will be celebrating their 5th annual Summer Jam event.  This event is scheduled for July 29, 2017 at Hilo’s Edith Kanaka`ole Multi-purpose Stadium.

The event begins at 8:00 a.m. and finishes at 3:00 p.m.  This year’s event will include a craft fair with over 40 vendors, health fair, keiki activities, Strong Man contest and an Arm Wrestling competition.   The event’s purpose is to provide a free fun-filled event for the whole family.   BISAC will be honoring Judge Greg Nakamura for his years of service in Hawaii County Drug Court.

Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse and mental health.  They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field.

For more information about BISAC and all of its programs call 969-9994 or visit www.bisac.org.

Hawaii Police Department Backpack Drive For Children Who Can’t Afford Them

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is proud to participate again in a backpack drive for children who cannot afford to buy them. As in previous years, all police stations around the island will double as drop-off points for persons interested in helping children in need. Backpacks may be dropped off between now and (August 30).

Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawaiʻi. The donated backpacks will be distributed to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island.

This is the ninth consecutive year the Police Department has worked in partnership with HOPE Services Hawaiʻi (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry), and Camp Agape Big Island.

Queen Lili‘uokalani Keiki Hula Competition Celebrates 42 Years: Children’s Event Honors Culture, Music, Dance

The Kalihi-Pālama Culture & Arts Society proudly presents the 42nd Annual Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition this Thursday through Saturday, July 20-22, at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena.  This competition was established in 1976 to provide a venue for children ages 5-12 to showcase their achievements in ancient and modern hula.   Four hundred youngsters will represent twenty-two hālau from O’ahu, Maui, Kaua’i, Hawai‘i Island, and Japan.

40th Annual Queen Lili’uokalani 2015 Keiki Hula Competition. Photo: James Kimo Garrett

Over its history, thousands of keiki have participated in this prestigious event. Former Miss Keiki Hula winners include Kumu Hula and 1995 Miss Aloha Hula Kailihiwa Vaughan, 2015 Miss Aloha Hula Jasmin Dunlap, and Kumu Hula and 1999 Miss Aloha Hula Keola Dalire, who brings her hālau to this year’s competition backed by Grammy winner Kalani Pe‘a. Former Master Keiki Hula winners include Kumu Hula Brandon Paredes and Kau‘i Kamana‘o, both of whom bring their hālau regularly to the competition. Former Master Keiki Hula winners also include fashion designers Manaola Yap (Manaola Hawai‘i) and Chaz Kamau‘u (Hula Tease).

“Keiki Hula exemplifies the best of Hawai‘i. It’s a combination of culture, community, and children,” explains Kalihi-Pālama Culture & Arts Society President, Trisha Kehaulani Watson. “Nothing is more inspiring than watching children dance hula. This event gives keiki the opportunity to showcase their hard work and passion. We have seen over our many years how this opportunity positively shapes children’s lives and helps to set in families a lifelong appreciation of hula and the arts. It’s a beautiful experience.”

This event is supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, the State Foundation on Culture & the Arts, and numerous community partners.  For more information, email info@kpcahawaii.com or visit our website at www.keikihula.org.

The schedule of the competition is as follows:

  • Thursday, July 20, 6:00 p.m. – Miss & Master Keiki Hula competition
  • Friday, July 21, 6:00 p.m. – Group-Hula Kahiko competition
  • Saturday, July 22, 1:00 p.m. – Group-Hula ‘Auana competition

Reserved seats are $14.50 for adults and $12.50 for children 4-12 yrs.  Tickets are on sale now at the Blaisdell Center box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 1(800)745-3000 or via the internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

The participating hālau are:

  • Aloha ‘O Pu’uwailani Halau
  • Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi
  • Halau Hula Helele’i Pua ‘O Waipi’o
  • Halau Keolakapuaokalani
  • Halau Hula ‘O Hokulani
  • Halau ‘O Kaululaua’e
  • Halau Hula O Keola-Ali’iokekai
  • Halau ‘O Napuala’ikauika’iu
  • Halau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua
  • Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela
  • Halau Hula O Puka’ikapuaokalani
  • Hula Hui O Kapunahala O Nu’uanu YMCA
  • Hula Halau ‘O Leilani
  • Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka
  • Halau Hula Olana
  • Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Ha’eha’e
  • Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua
  • Ka Pa Nani ‘O Lilinoe
  • Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala
  • Keolalaulani Halau Olapa O Laka
  • Halau Kala’akeakauikawekiu
  • Leialoha Hula Studio

This year’s event will include some of Hawaii’s top Hawaiian musicians, including Keauhou, Waipuna, Kuana Torres, Na Palapalai, Natalie Ai Kamauu, Hoku Zuttermeister, Chad Takatsugi and many more.

 

Aloha in Abundance at Park’s 37th Annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival & BioBlitz

Sunny skies, outstanding views of Mauna Loa and Kīlauea, and an outpouring of aloha from all who participated in the Hawaiian Cultural Festival & BioBlitz, made for a joyful Saturday at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

NPS Photo(s) – Janice Wei

Although the official count isn’t yet available, park staff estimated that several thousand people, from keiki to kupuna, from local residents to first-time visitors, enjoyed the annual event that celebrates and perpetuates authentic Hawaiian culture. For the third year, the event connected people to science with BioBlitz field hikes.

The 37th annual Cultural Festival and BioBlitz were held on the grounds of Kilauea Military Camp in the park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and park entrance was free all day.

The festival’s theme, Hilina‘i Puna, Kālele iā Ka‘ū, (Puna leans and reclines on Ka‘ū), celebrates the two land districts that comprise the park. The event was sponsored by Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Solomon Elementary Breaks Ground for Campus-Wide Renovations Fueled By Federal Grant

1SG Samuel K. Solomon Elementary broke ground today on a major renovation project to construct four new classroom buildings, a new playfield and new parking areas that will transform the existing campus and provide modern facilities designed to serve 1,100 students.

Project partners break ground on the campus-wide renovation project. Photo Credit: Department of Education

“The improvements will give the campus an entirely new footprint and create four state-of-the-art buildings that will provide an array of opportunities for our Kindergarteners through fifth graders, in support of our military students,” said Interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi.  “The Department of Defense continues to be a valuable partner in the improvement of our public schools located on military bases and we thank them for their support.”

Artist’s rendering of the new A-Bldg. as seen from the new entrance driveway entering from Carpenter St.

The project received a grant from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment for approximately $70 million to upgrade and modernize school facilities.  State funding will provide nearly $20 million for the remainder of the total project cost.

“It’s really important that every student in the state of Hawaii have a foundation that they can build a future with and that means having engaging teachers, a supportive community and access to technology and a strong curriculum,” said US Senator Brian Schatz.  “In 2017, it also means having a 21st century facility and by investing in this campus, we’re investing in all of our kids.”

Artist’s rendering of the new B-Bldg. central courtyard.

The project will construct 63 new classrooms, a student support center, two computer labs, an audio/video room, a covered playcourt, cafeteria and administrative offices within a two-story, four-building facility, along with a new entrance driveways on both sides of campus and more than 170 parking stalls.

“We are going to make sure that military students have the best environment, so that when their parents are away serving us and ensuring our freedoms, that they won’t have to worry that their kids are in less than perfect situations,” said US Representative Colleen Hanabusa.  “They will know that their kids are getting the best education that the state of Hawaii can offer.”

The project will construct 63 new classrooms, a student support center, two computer labs, an audio/video room, a covered playcourt, cafeteria and administrative offices within a two-story, four-building facility, along with new entrance driveways on both sides of campus and more than 170 parking stalls.

The four-year project will proceed in four construction phases.  Phase I will demolish the existing open playfield and play courts near Trimble Road in preparation for building construction.  Phase II will construct three new classroom buildings, A, B and C, on the former playfield site with completion anticipated in Summer 2019.  During that summer, school operations will begin using the new buildings in anticipation of the Fall 2019 semester.  Phase III will then relocate existing portable structures and construct new drop-off lanes and parking on the east and west sides of campus.  Phase IV will construct the final classroom Building D, demolish the present-day school buildings and construct a new playfield and play courts with completion anticipated in Summer 2021.

Originally opened in 1969, Solomon Elementary is one of two public elementary schools located on Schofield Barracks, a US Army installation, and serves mainly military-dependent students from families with members serving in Army units.  In School Year 2016-17, it served 933 students from kindergarten through grade five.

The school is named after 1SG Samuel K. Solomon, Jr., a Hawaii-born enlisted member of the 25th Infantry Division’s Wolfhounds.  1SG Solomon earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his courageous effort in saving wounded members of his company in the Vietnam War.  As 1SG Solomon was carrying wounded men to safety, he was hit by gunfire and killed in action.  The school was officially dedicated as 1SG Samuel K. Solomon Elementary School on November 11, 1969.

10,000 Attend Waikiki 4th of July Floatilla – Rep. Ing Response

The Coast Guard and local authorities wrapped up a busy Fourth of July holiday handling multiple incidents off Waikiki, Tuesday.

Coast Guard crews partnering with Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services and the Honolulu Police Department, rescued more than 30 persons in the water.

The Coast Guard and local authorities wrapped up a busy Fourth of July holiday handling multiple incidents off Waikiki, July 4, 2017. Coast Guard crews partnering with Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services and the Honolulu Police Department, rescued more than 30 persons in the water. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Keith Ito/Released)

“Our overall objective yesterday was to ensure everyone was safe on the water and to deter possible violations of federal, state and local law,” said Lt. j.g. Brian Waters, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Enforcement. “Our crews worked closely with HPD, DLNR and Ocean Safety to assist in the rescue of over 30 persons in the water, which included multiple intoxicated and underage youths.”

It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. Penalties for violating BUI/BWI laws can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges and jail terms.

An estimated 10,000 people were in attendance for the floatilla celebration, which included numerous personnel in various types of watercraft from motorized boats, kayaks, canoes, dinghies to inflatable floats.

Coast Guard crews also recovered over 100 inflatable floats to prevent future unnecessary search and rescue cases.

Sector Honolulu crews dispatched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Station Honolulu and four 25-foot Response Boat-Small boatcrews from Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu (91107) to conduct safety and security patrols throughout the day.

“We want to thank our state partners for their close coordination and assistance with the floatilla,” said Waters. “The joint effort highlights the importance of our partnership for these large holiday events.”

Representative Kaniela Ing, Chair of the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs, responds to the July 4 Floatilla event:

Rep. Kaniela Ing

“Reports of yesterday’s ‘Floatilla’ event are alarming. I know that the Department of Land and Natural Resources and city officials have attempted to address this issue in the past, but it has taken a turn for the worse,” said Rep. Kaniela Ing (D-11, Kihei, Wailea, Makena). “Organizers have had numerous chances to clean it up and keep attendees safe, but nothing has changed for the better. We are talking about public underage drinking, trash on our beaches and in our waters, 10 young people being rushed to the hospital, one 19-year-old woman in critical condition, and lifeguards having to rescue over 100 event goers, all during one party. Look, I’m young, and am all for having fun responsibly, but this has crossed way over the line.”

Ing believes that certain legal loopholes might make enforcement by city officials or DLNR impossible, and it is up to the legislature to amend the law. He plans to explore the issue by introducing and hearing a bill led by the committee he leads.

Aloha Grown “Malama Honua Fund” Awards Five (5) Big Island Schools and Organizations

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, five (5) Big Island schools and organizations were presented with a 2017 Aloha Grown Malama Honua Award. Each organization received a $500 award to put towards a specific project or program that embodies Aloha Grown’s philosophy to ‘Support Local, Sustain the Aina & Share the Aloha.’

From left to right: Camille Kalahiki (Manager – Parker Ranch Store), Joe Vitorino (Program Director – Kohala Youth Ranch), Tina Doherty (Head of Parker Middle School), Jenny Bach (“Farm to School” Coordinator/Garden Teacher – Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School) and Randy Kurohara (President & Owner – Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store).

“Here at Aloha Grown, we are committed to supporting efforts to care for our island, our people and our culture,” said Randy Kurohara, President and Owner of Aloha Grown. “That is why 2% of every Aloha Grown sale goes to our Malama Honua Fund, which annually awards local nonprofits, schools, organizations and initiatives that embody our philosophy. This year we received a number of applications and essays from many well-deserving organizations.”

Parker Ranch Store Manager Camille Kalahiki noted, “it was inspiring to see how many organizations are committed to sustainability efforts in our Big Island communities.”

From left to right: Aunty Bev (Aloha Grown employee), Jason Wong (Principal – Na Wai Ola Public Charter School), Stephanie Olson-Moore (Third Grade Kumu – Na Wai Ola Public Charter School), John Lyle School (Parent – Volcano School of Arts & Sciences), Kalima Cayir (Principal – Volcano School of Arts & Sciences) and Randy Kurohara (President & Owner – Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store).

The Malama Honua Fund award application process included a one-page essay explaining how the organization follows Aloha Grown’s philosophy, as well as a description of the project/program that the $500 award would be used to fund. All essays were thoroughly reviewed by an Aloha Grown selection committee.

Congratulations to the 2017 Malama Honua Award Winners! We applaud you for your dedication to sustainability efforts on the Big Island!

  • Parker School & Waimea Elementary School – “Kihapai Ho`oulu” Project
  • Kohala Youth Ranch – “Equine-Assisted Therapy” Program
  • Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School – “Farm to School” Program Hydroponics & Aquaponics Systems
  • Volcano School of Arts and Sciences – “Kalo Garden” Project
  • Na Wai Ola Public Charter School – “Third Grade Composting” Project

Department of Education Pursues Expansion of Hawaiian Education Assessment

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has taken another step towards advancing Hawaiian language assessments for Hawaiian immersion students. In a collaborative effort with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Hawaiian language stakeholders, HIDOE is seeking federal approval for the expansion of the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes (KAEO) to Grades 5-8. Ka Papahana Kaiapuni (Hawaiian Language Immersion) students in Grades 3 and 4 have been taking the KAEO assessment since the 2014-15 school year.

“The collaborative work to expand Kaiapuni assessments for more students honors our commitment to assure that a Hawaiian language education pathway is strengthened and realized in our public school system,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “A lot of work has been done to ensure that these tests are rigorous and meets a standard of education that provides high quality assessments for our Kaiapuni students.”

Additionally, the desire to expand Hawaiian assessment was expressed by Native Hawaiian education advocates who provided feedback during the Hawaii Consolidated State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) public comment period and in testimony before the Board of Education.

For the past two years, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) approved HIDOE’s requests for extended waivers that allowed Kaiapuni students to take a specialized assessment in lieu of the state’s English language arts and math student assessments.

HIDOE will now request a USDOE double-testing waiver for Kaiapuni students in Grades 5-8. Approval of the waiver would allow Kaiapuni students enrolled in those grades to take the KAEO field tests in language arts, mathematics and science in lieu of the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) in language arts and mathematics and the Hawaii State Science Assessment (HSA-Science).

“The previous waivers granted by the USDOE has lifted the burden of having our Hawaiian language students take double the amount of assessments,” stated Tammi Chun, Assistant Superintendent, office of strategy, innovation and performance. “The work put into the expansion of assessments for Kaiapuni students is unprecedented.”

A seven-day public comment period will open on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 and close on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Those interested in submitting comments can email ESSA@hawaiidoe.org.  For more information, please click here to view the public notice.

Click to read notice

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 17-Year-Old Kona Girl

7/3/17 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 17-year-old Nahoni Chaul of Kailua-Kona, who was reported missing. She was found unharmed on the island of Kauai on (June 30).

Hawai`i Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Kailua-Kona girl who was reported missing.

Nahoni Chaul was last seen in Kailua-Kona on (June 20).

Nahoni Chaul

She is described as Caucasian, 5 feet-9-inches, 165 pounds with brown short shoulder length hair, medium complexion, and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pair of grey shorts, a grey t-shirt, a blue backpack, and brown slippers.

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 island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID Service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Campus Youth Football Clinic

Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Campus is having it’s First Annual Youth Football Clinic in July:

Hawaii Department of Education Announces Transition Centers Initiative in Honor of Late Congressman K. Mark Takai

In partnership with Hawaii 3Rs and the Military Affairs Council, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced today an effort to develop high-quality transition centers for Hawaii public schools. The effort is in honor of late Congressman K. Mark Takai, who was a staunch advocate for Hawaii’s students and supporter of military-dependent students throughout his career.

Takai Transition Center partners and Kailua Intermediate AVID students announce the new HIDOE initiative. Photo Credit: Department of Education

School Transition Centers provide a safe and stable foundation for all students, particularly newly arrived military-dependent students, offering peer-to-peer mentoring to help students acclimate into their school community.

“Transition Centers provide tremendous support to new students as well as instilling leadership skills for student mentors,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We’re grateful for this partnership that allows us to not only expand this program, but fulfill one of our goals in our Strategic Plan in helping as many students and families as possible.”

HIDOE will commit $250,000 annually for four years using federal Impact Aid funds towards school Transition Center facility improvements, technology, furnishings and special events.  Program partners at the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Council and the Hawaii Business Roundtable will provide matching funds each year to be managed by the Hawaii 3Rs Special Fund.

“Hawaii 3R’s is pleased to partner with the Hawaii Department of Education to develop transition centers that will help students assimilate into an unfamiliar environment,” said Hawaii 3Rs Board Chairman Alan Oshima. “By easing them into the rhythm of a new school and campus, learning can become the priority.”

U.S. Rep. Takai’s conscientious work was essential in securing tens of millions in federal Impact Aid funding every year that goes to all public schools

“In working on this initiative there was no question that the effort would be in honor of our friend Mark Takai who was fiercely committed to public education and his service to our nation,” added Superintendent Matayoshi.

“Transition Centers provide tremendous support to new students as well as instilling leadership skills for student mentors,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. Photo Credit: Department of Education

Transition Centers are rooted at public schools with higher populations of military-dependent students, such as Radford High, Leilehua High, Mokapu Elementary and many more.  The success of these Transition Centers will be expanded to serve more students at other schools across the state.

Future transition centers that benefit from this effort will be known as a “Takai Transition Center” and will feature the following pledge.

Future transition centers that benefit from this effort will be known as a “Takai Transition Center” and will feature a pledge welcoming all transitioning students and recognizing military-connected students and their families. Photo Credit: Department of Education

As a member of the K. Mark Takai Transition Center Network, we:

  • Understand the challenges that are an inherent part of matriculating into a new and unfamiliar school environment;
  • Welcome all students transitioning into our school, including military-connected students, and will support and sustain them throughout their time in our school community;
  • Recognize and honor our military personnel for the contributions and sacrifices they make for our defense and the preservation of our rights, and the sacrifices of our military families to support them;
  • Value the added richness and experience that students from varied cultural and social backgrounds bring to our school community; and
  • Commit to providing high-quality supports through dedicated resources via the establishment and sustained operation of a transition center on our school campus.

Schools interested in establishing a new Transition Center or upgrading existing Transition Center facilities should contact HIDOE Military Liaison Cherry Okahara at cherry_okahara@hawaiidoe.org.

Hawaii Governor Signs Heat Abatement Bill to Expedite Cooling Public School Classrooms

Gov. David Ige signed HB 957 (Act 57) – authorizing the Department of Education to borrow money, interest-free, from the Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Loan Program for heat abatement measures in Hawai‘i’s public school classrooms.

This will expedite the cooling of classrooms across the state while decreasing energy usage and electricity costs.

“I ordered the cooling of 1,000 public school classrooms about a year and a half ago. The state and the DOE have worked very hard to achieve this goal. Although the process hasn’t always been easy and it has taken more time than we would have liked, I am happy to say that we expect to have 1,000 classrooms cooled off by the end of August,” said Gov. David Ige.

The DOE is expecting significant decreases in energy use and electricity costs. The use of LED indoor lighting in public school classrooms is expected to result in a $4 million drop in energy costs annually. Such reductions in energy consumption and the lowering of the kilowatt load may enable the installation of AC units in classrooms without expensive and time consuming electrical upgrades.

The governor’s Cool the Schools initiative and the DOE’s Heat Abatement program have resulted in:

  • The installation of 456 classroom air conditioning units
  • The installation of 201 photovoltaic AC units
  • The distribution of 402 portable AC units to the hottest classrooms across the state
  • Ordering of 1,062 AC units

In addition, 461 portable classrooms have been covered with heat reflective material; trees have been planted to shade buildings and minimize heat; awnings have been installed on at least four buildings; ceiling fans have been installed in 139 classrooms; and large diameter fans are being installed in cafeteria dining rooms.

“A big mahalo to our state legislators for their support of our efforts to cool the schools. Thank you also to the DOE for its hard work and for helping us to achieve our goal of creating a learning environment in which our students and teachers can thrive,” Ige said.

Hawaii Island Students Win $20,000 in Scholarships

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2017 College Scholarships. A total of $20,000 was awarded to eight deserving Hawaii Island recipients. Seven of the scholarships were awarded to high school graduates planning to attend a two- or four-year institution of higher learning in the coming school year, and one of the scholarships was awarded to a recipient who is continuing her education post-high school graduation. The scholarships are named after a retired HCFCU employee and community volunteers who made important contributions to the HCFCU.

Aaliyah Kamalii-Keka of Pahoa Intermediate and High School

  • The $2,500 Mitsugi Inaba Scholarship was awarded to Aaliyah Kamalii-Keka of Pahoa Intermediate and High School who intends to pursue studies in Nursing and Hawaiian Language.
  • The $2,500 Peter T. Hirata Scholarship was awarded to Andre Fazeli. The Konawaena High School graduate intends to pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering.

Kamehameha Schools Graduate Shariah Mae Olomua

  • Shariah Mae Olomua, a Kamehameha Schools Hawai graduate, was awarded the $2,500 Albert Akana Scholarship. Olomua’s career goal is to study Business and Law.
  • The $2,500 Katsumasa Tomita Scholarship was presented to Danielle Brown. The Hilo High School graduate intends to become a Professional Writer.
  • Lois Taylor, a graduate of Kealakehe High School, is the recipient of the $2,500 Frank Ishii Scholarship. Taylor will be studying Environmental Biology
  • Gabriella Boyle, a graduate of Kohala High School, was awarded the $2,500 Student Credit Union Scholarship. Boyle intends to pursue a career in Psychology.
  • The $2,500 John Y. Iwane Scholarship was awarded to Hailey Briseno who graduated from Hawaii Preparatory Academy. Hailey intends to pursue a career in Ecosystem and Marine Sciences.
  • Sarah Rouse of Wheaton College is the very first winner of our new $2,500 Yasunori Deguchi Scholarship. The scholarship is offered to high school graduates who could not attend college right after graduation or are currently in their second year of college and in need of further financial assistance.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by it’s over 39,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala. In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services; youth programs and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events. Membership in Hawaii community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents. For more information visit www.hicommfcu.com.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 17-Year-Old Kona Girl

6/22/17 UPDATE:  Hawai`i Island police have located 17-year-old Leilani Alvarado of Kailua-Kona, who was reported missing.  She was found unharmed on the island of Kauai on Thursday morning (June 21).

Hawai`i Island police are searching for a 17-year-old girl who was reported missing.

Leilani Alvarado was last seen in Kailua-Kona on (May 3)

Leilani Alvarado

She is described as Caucasian, 4-feet-11-inches, 95-pounds with brown hair with red highlights, and brown eyes.

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 island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID Service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawai‘i Electric Light Company Supports Ku‘ikahi School Mediation Program

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center received a $1,500 grant from Hawai‘i Electric Light Company to support its East Hawai‘i Peer Mediation Elementary School Program.  The program brings conflict resolution and prevention skills to students, developing peacemakers in East Hawai‘i schools.

“I have learned as a Peer Mediator to let the students solve their own problems and not be rude and disrespectful.  I improved my communication and behavior by not interrupting conversations and to be patient when people are talking,” said fifth grader Caleilah-Estelle Ahyee.  “I am proud to be a Peer Mediator because I can make the world better.”

Keonepoko Elementary School fifth grader Caleilah-Estelle Ahyee in school year 2016-2017

During the 2016-2017 school year, 42 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders were trained on how to mediate disputes among students at Kapiolani and Keonepoko elementary schools.  In the coming school year, Mountain View will also participate.

“We appreciate Hawai‘i Electric Light’s ongoing commitment to working with local charities and other non-profit organizations toward a vision of a better Hawai‘i,” said Ku‘ikahi Executive Director Julie Mitchell.

“Peer mediation directly contributes to Hawai‘i Electric Light’s focus on community programs aimed at promoting educational excellence.  Our East Hawai‘i Peer Mediation Program helps keiki reach their full potential,” Mitchell stated.

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s mission is to empower people to come together–to talk and to listen, to explore options, and to find their own best solutions.  To achieve this mission, Ku‘ikahi offers mediation, facilitation, and training to strengthen the ability of diverse individuals and groups to resolve interpersonal conflicts and community issues.  For more information, call Ku‘ikahi at 935-7844 or visit www.hawaiimediation.org.

Board Unanimously Approves Hawaii ESSA Plan for Submission

The Hawaii Department of Education Board of Education (BOE) unanimously approved the submission of the Hawaii Consolidated State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA Plan) to the U.S. Department of Education. The plan will be submitted following a 30-day opportunity for Governor David Ige to sign it.

“We appreciate the many meetings and valuable input that led up to today’s Board action,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This decision is one step forward in greatly helping our administrators who are now tasked with implementing the plan in time for the 2017-18 school year, which starts as early as two weeks for some of our schools.”

The ESSA Plan serves as Hawaii’s application for federal funds, providing resources for our schools to support students in achieving equity and excellence. The plan takes advantage of flexibility by leading with the state’s aspirations, goals and plans as described in the Governor’s Blueprint for Public Education and the joint Strategic Plan.

In testimony submitted by Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Area administrators, praised the process of developing the plan stating, “Ongoing participation for input and feedback via surveys and face-to-face meetings were provided to learn more about the direction of our Department. We understand that the ESSA plan aligns with our State Strategic Plan and provides overarching guidance while leaving discretion to the schools to determine customized priorities and needs of our community.”

Since January 2016, the Hawaii State Department of Education sought input from educational communities to inform development of the ESSA Plan. Engagement included:

  • 230 meetings to share information and gather feedback with legislative leaders, the Hawaii State Teachers Association, school leaders, the Hawaii State Student Council, and more;
  • 35 presentations and 450 pieces of testimony considered by the BOE; and
  • 458 online survey submissions providing feedback as part of a public comment period.

In his letter of support for the ESSA Plan, Governor Ige noted, “The past year has been unprecedented in the engagement of our statewide community in the development of our education blueprint, strategic plan, and state plan for ESSA. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all teachers, administrators, and community members who submitted testimony and provided input into this plan.”

For more information about the ESSA Plan, click here. To view today’s BOE presentation, click here.

Department of Health – Lead Tests Can Give False Results, Advises Parents About Re-Testing Their Children

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) recommends parents with children less than 6 years old who had a venous blood lead test drawn before May 17, 2017 consult with their health care provider to determine whether their child should be retested. This advisory does not apply if the child was tested with a finger or heel stick. Additionally, pregnant women and nursing mothers who had a venous blood lead test before May 17, 2017 should consult a health care provider about retesting.

In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning about Magellan Diagnostics’ LeadCare® analyzers used by some Hawaii laboratories. Magellan blood lead tests on blood drawn from a vein may provide falsely low results. The warning does not apply to capillary blood test results collected by finger stick or heel stick.When the warning was issued, DOH contacted local independent testing laboratories using Magellan Diagnostics’ LeadCare® analyzers. The DOH also contacted the chief medical officers of all health care facilities statewide. Working closely with laboratories throughout the state, and as more information became available, it was determined that a substantial number of children’s test results in Hawaii may have been affected. At this time, the exact number of inaccurate blood lead test results received within the state is not known.

“It’s very important to identify children who may have been exposed to lead” said DOH Director, Dr. Virginia Pressler. “The faulty test underestimates low blood lead levels and even low levels of lead exposure may cause adverse health effects such as learning and behavior problems in young children. If your child was tested for lead with blood drawn from a vein from 2014 to May 17, 2017, please contact your health care provider to discuss the need for retesting.”

For further questions on lead exposure contact the Hawaii Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Information on the national safety alert is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/about/blood_lead_test_safety_alert.html