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Jyselle Arruda Awarded Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation Scholarship

Jyselle Arruda of Hilo High School has been awarded the 2016 Youth scholarship from the Hilo Bay Rotary Club.

Hilo Bay Rotarians congratulate Jyselle Arruda on her scholarship award. Left to right, Richard Cunningham, Kim Keahiolalo, Arruda and Bettye Williams, RCHB president.

Hilo Bay Rotarians congratulate Jyselle Arruda on her scholarship award. Left to right, Richard Cunningham, Kim Keahiolalo, Arruda and Bettye Williams, RCHB president.

Ms. Arruda will receive a cash award of $5,000 for her planned studies at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. A member of the National Society of High School Scholars and active in community service and school clubs, Ms. Arruda plans to study pre-med at UH-Hilo with a goal to become a pediatrician and set up a children’s health clinic on Hawaii Island. She lives in Honomu with her grandmother, and buses daily to Hilo High.

Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation Scholarships (HRYF) are awarded to senior high school students across the state on a competitive basis of scholarship, campus leadership and service, and promise of future contributions to the community at large.

“Once again, Rotary Club of Hilo Bay had a number of outstanding scholar applicants. Jyselle impressed us not only with her academics, but with her drive to overcome obstacles on her path to meet her goals,” said Kim Keahiolalo, scholarship committee chair.

The Rotary Club of Hilo Bay is a staunch supporter of academic scholarships for future leaders, and is generally the Club with the largest contribution to the HRYF each year. This year alone, Hilo Bay contributed $6,100 to the scholarship fund. Richard Cunningham of Cunningham Galleries, spearheads scholarship donations in East Hawaii.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series – “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace”

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center hosts a free talk on April 21 as part of their “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace” Brown Bag Lunch Series.  Talks are Third Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 pm in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney at 655 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo.

Tracie White

Tracie White

This month’s speaker is Tracie White on the topic “Personal Accountability: Managing Your Energies, Priorities, and Reputation.”

“Managing your energies, priorities, and reputation is the path to fulfilling your life goals,” says White.  “This is your life.  There is no one more important to be personally accountable to than you.  Your complete commitment for yourself is best built on a clear vision of things that truly matter and you have the greatest passion for.” 

Tracie White was born in San Leandro, California and lived in Latin America and Europe before calling Hawaiʻi Island home 6 years ago.  She currently serves as HPM Building Supply’s Talent Development Manager.  White’s quick success at HPM reflects her positive and energetic approach to life and her wide skill set in customer service, staff development and training, and networking.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series is free and open to the public.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, enjoy an informal and educational talk-story session, and meet others interested in “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.”

This lunch-and-learn series is made possible thanks in part to funding from the Atherton Family Foundation.  For more information, contact Ku‘ikahi Program Coordinator Gail Takaki at 935-7844 x 9 or gail@hawaiimediation.org.  Or visit www.hawaiimediaiton.org.

12th Annual Hilo Huli

The Rotary Club of South Hilo will be celebrating its 12th Annual Hilo Huli on May 1, 2016 on Coconut Island from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. The Hilo Huli is the Rotary Club of South Hilo’s main fundraising event, with over 1000 people in attendance every year.

hilo huli

“The club brings together the cuisine of local chefs, award winning music, as well as a variety of wine, beer and mix drink offerings to create an all you can eat event that helps raise much needed funds to support our local community. It’s a fantastic way to have a really great time while helping uplift the life of our community,” said Rotary Club of South Hilo President, Kim Arakawa.

To date the Rotary Club of South Hilo’s Hilo Huli has raised over $200,000 used to serve needs in our local community, as well as international projects.

The money raised from this year’s event will help the Rotary Club of South Hilo support a variety of community projects throughout East Hawai‘i including the Obstetrics & Pediatric Unit Renovations (Hilo Medical Center), Hospice of Hilo’s Children’s Bereavement Program and Hilo Bayfront Trails.

“We’re so grateful for all the work the Rotary Club of South Hilo does to make sure our community is a great place to live, and we are so honored to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the Hilo Huli,” said Hospice of Hilo CEO, Brenda S. Ho.

Tickets for the event are $50.00 in advance and $65.00 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased online or from Aiona Car Sales, The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo, Short & Sweet, and any Rotary Club of South Hilo member, www.hilohuli.org or call 808-930-3609.

Hilo Center Suspends Mammograms Pending FDA Recertification

Hawaii Radiologic Associates, Ltd. (HRA) has suspended mammography operations at its Hilo Women’s Imaging Center as it goes through a U.S. Food and Drug Administration process for recertification of its mammography services. The FDA notified HRA that patients who had mammograms between June 30, 2014 and August 24, 2015 should be notified of the possibility of inaccurate tests.
mammogramEach patient is being notified by certified letter of the potential concern and urged to review mammograms with their health care provider to determine if a retest is required.

HRA will review mammograms taken during that timeframe, if requested, and when necessary perform another mammogram at its Kona facility at no charge to the patient. Patients can also go to other certified mammogram centers of their choosing; HRA will provide previous mammographic examinations to that facility for review.

HRA’s Hilo Women’s Imaging Center continues to provide breast ultrasounds, magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI), bone density tests and breast biopsies.

James Lambeth, M.D., president of HRA, said the FDA ordered the suspension of the Hilo center mammograms after random samples showed that mammograms performed on one of the units failed to meet standards and further investigation resulted in the Hilo program being decertified.

“Patients who had mammography at our Hilo center during that time should not take this lightly,” said Dr. Lambeth. “Those who receive our letter should contact their doctors immediately to review their exam and determine if a repeat exam is warranted.”

Patients can go to the HRA website at www.hirad.com for more information and FAQs.

HRA performed 12,000 mammograms during the period.

“We apologize for this apparent lapse in quality assurance at our Hilo Center,” said Dr. Lambeth. “We want to make very clear that our Kona facility is unaffected by the decertification.”

Dr. Lambeth added that HRA is aggressively pursuing recertification for its Hilo facility and hopes to complete all requirements and be fully functional within three months. Technicians and other staff are undergoing additional training.

HFD Incident Report on Today’s Fire in Hilo

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: News release for a structure fire on Mililani Street in Hilo today.

Mililani House Fire

Type of Incident: Structure Fire

Situation Found at Scene: First HFD Unit arrived on scene found an unoccupied residential structure fully engulfed in flames.

Cause: Under investigation.

Remarks: HFD Units extinguished an unoccupied residential structure fire. Initially, the fire threatened a residence on Manono Street, but two crews were able to protect that residence by using tactical attack lines. HPD Units provided scene control and setup roadblocks at the Piilani Street/Mililani Street intersection and also at the Hualani Street/Mililani Street intersection.

Commentary – Senator Kahele on Safety Concern of Hilo Medical Center Helipad

On behalf of our constituents within the first senatorial district of Hilo and all of Hawai‘i Island, I am writing to request Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) Board to discontinue its Agreement for Purchase of Goods and Services (APGS) with Hawai‘i Life Flight, Inc. (HLF), signed on April 10, 2013 which allows permanent parking on the helipad of Hilo Medical Center (HMC) and has presented numerous safety of flight issues for other operators in the area.

Helipad

Although the agreement allows HLF to park their aircraft to one side of the helipad and the space meets the minimum requirements to do so – it has still proven, on numerous occasions, to present a safety concern.

The U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area Department of Emergency Services has reported that on two occasions within the past year, several of their Blackhawk Medevac helicopters have been prevented from landing safely during training patrols and other exercises because of HLF’s permanent occupation of the helipad. On October 29, 2015 an emergency transport helicopter arrived at the HMC helipad to find the HLF helicopter still on the helipad. As an HLF employee was securing the aircraft, the Medevac Blackhawk was in its final approach and unfortunately was forced to land with the HLF aircraft only partially secured.  The Engine Company Captain on scene reported a “near miss” incident with both aircraft being on the helipad at the same time.

Additionally, the County of Hawai‘i Fire Department which maintains two helicopters for emergency medical services has reported that on three separate incidents their Chopper 2 aeromedical helicopter has landed at the helipad with the pad being occupied by HLF.

One way to resolve this issue is to keep the helipad vacated and available at all times. This would ensure a safer overall operation.  It is our understanding that the aforementioned APGS is up for renewal on April 10, 2016 and that last fall representatives of the U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area met with HHSC’s Board of Directors and raised these safety of flight issues with them.  At that time, there was an indication that HHSC’s board did not intend to renew the agreement.

Because of these safety of flight issues which could have resulted in serious loss of life to patients, crew and bystanders on the ground – as well as loss of necessary medical equipment funded by and provided for the use of our community – we support your efforts to preserve necessary landing space at HMC to allow for a safer environment and improved access.

Thank you for your leadership in keeping the health and safety of our residents HHSC’s top priority and we look forward to working with you towards a positive solution.

Hau‘oli ka mana‘o,

Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele, Senate District 1-Hilo

Big Island Police Investigating Series of Crimes Involving Stolen Tractor and Trailer

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a series of crimes involving a stolen tractor and trailer.
HPDBadge

At 7:17 p.m. Wednesday (March 30), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a tractor and trailer that struck two other vehicles and a house on Pilipaʻa Street in Hilo.

Responding officers observed several individuals restraining the alleged driver of the tractor and trailer as he was seen walking away from the scene. Police learned that the tractor, trailer and its contents were stolen from a business on Makaʻala Street and were observed driving through a closed gate.

Police learned from witnesses that the stolen tractor and trailer also struck a vehicle and ran another vehicle off the road on Pilipaʻa Street before striking and severing a utility pole. The tractor and trailer continued southbound on Pilipaʻa Street and then ran off the street and struck a house.

Neither of the drivers of the vehicles nor the three occupants of the house was injured.

Pilipaʻa Street between Puainako Avenue and Kahaopea Street was closed to traffic overnight due to the downed power lines. Utility crews from HELCO made temporary repairs and Pilipaʻa Street was opened to traffic Thursday morning (March 31).

The suspect, 30-year-old Solomon Aloha Kepano of Hilo was arrested on suspicion of first-degree theft, fourth-degree theft, third-degree criminal property damage, accident involving damage to a vehicle or property and two counts of first-degree reckless endangering. He remains in custody at the Hilo police cellblock while detective from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section continue the investigation

Detectives ask anyone who may have witnessed a white Freightliner and a white container trailer traveling through the industrial areas onto Kanoelehua Avenue, Puainako Avenue or Pilipaʻa Street in Hilo to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 dean.uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls of subscribe to caller ID and the information is kept confidential.

Coast Guard to Temporarily Move Navigation Aids Near Hilo Harbor to Assist with Dredging of Harbor

The Coast Guard began temporarily moving aids to navigation in Hilo Harbor, Hawai’i, Sunday, to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with planned dredging operations.
Harbor BuoysAs previously released, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ hopper dredge Essayons will conduct maintenance dredging in March and April starting in Nawiliwili last week, and then at Kalaeloa (Barbers Point), Hilo, Kahului, and Honolulu harbors. Mariners should NOT rely on the aids to navigation that are relocated.

Mariners entering or departing Hilo Harbor during this time period are encouraged to contact the Essayons to determine the location of dredging operations and coordinate passing arrangements. Mariners should transit at their slowest safe speed to minimize wake when in the vicinity of the dredge and proceed with caution after passing arrangements have been made.

All waterway users should transit with caution when in the vicinity of the dredging vessel and operate at a safe speed when the potential for hazards such as dredging components are present. During operations near Barbers Point no aids will need to be moved but mariners should exercise caution around dredging operations.

The following buoys will be temporarily relocated starting March 27, 2016 through April 11, 2016. These dates may vary due to unforeseen on-site conditions, weather and other factors. See attached graphic.

Hilo Harbor Buoy 6 (LLNR 28080) relocated in approximate position 19-43-51.80N/ 155- 03-51.00W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Buoy 7 (LLNR 28085) relocated in approximate position 19-44-06.62N/ 155- 03-40.04W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Lighted Buoy 9 (LLNR 28105) relocated in approximate position 19-44- 05.10N/ 155-03-28.00W in 12ft of water.

Hilo Harbor Lighted Buoy 10 (LLNR 28110) relocated in approximate position 19-43- 44.95N/ 155-03-29.77W in 10ft of water.

Again, the relocated buoys may be in shoal water and should NOT be used for navigation.

General safety information regarding operating in the vicinity of dredging vessels can be found in Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 14-15. This safety alert and other information about the 2016 Maintenance Dredge Project can be found on the Sector Honolulu homeport website www.homeport.uscg.mil/Honolulu under the Waterways Management page and Hawaii Commercial Harbor 2016 Maintenance Dredging tab.

Hawaii is a maritime state over 2,400 miles from the mainland and far more dependent on its harbors than most of the United States. The Hawaii state DOT claims that over 80 percent of all consumer goods – food, clothing, autos, building supplies, machinery, paper, and allied products, medical supplies, and agricultural materials – are imported into the state. Of that 80 percent, approximately 98 percent enters Hawaii though commercial harbors on the major islands.

To ensure that these vital goods continue to arrive safely in Hawaii, the Essayons crew will dredge approximately 290,000 cubic yards from the five key harbors. The dredge-material will be safely disposed of at EPA-designated ocean disposal sites.

For questions about the dredging operations specifically please contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District Public Affairs office at CEPOH-PA@usace.army.mil or 808-835-4004.

Merrie Monarch Dengue Fever Precautions – Vector Spraying at Venues

With the annual Merrie Monarch Festival just around the corner, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging both residents and travelers to take extra precautions to stay away from and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while they are in Hilo for the event.

Mosquito Bite

Although the number of locally-acquired dengue fever cases have slowed over the past several weeks, the outbreak is not over, and the public should reduce their risk of infection as much as possible.

In the days leading up to one of Hawaii’s most celebrated traditions, Vector Control teams will be taking preventive measures by surveying and treating areas near the venues where the Merrie Monarch Festival will be held: the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.

“People from all over the world come to Hawaii to celebrate the tradition of hula during the Merrie Monarch Festival, so we are doing our due diligence and taking proactive measures now to reduce the risks of both imported and local cases of mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health.

“We continue to work with our county partners to coordinate and implement best practices for mosquito abatement and prevention.”

DOH is advising visitors to be vigilant in their efforts to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during their stay. Recommended precautions include:

  • Apply insect repellent when outdoors, and always follow directions for using repellants -especially on small children.
  • Wear covered clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks, to help protect skin from mosquito bites.
  • Be aware and avoid activities in areas with lots of mosquitoes.

In addition to these recommendations, DOH advises Hilo residents to take the following steps in their own neighborhoods to help fight the bite:

  • Eliminate standing water in buckets, containers and puddles around your home;
  • Fix leaky faucets and outdoor hoses that may be dripping water;
  • Treat bromeliads and other plants that hold water with a larvicide;
  • Clear storm gutters and other outdoor drains of leaves and lawn cuttings;
  • Repair screens and jalousie windows to keep mosquitoes out; and
  • Dispose of old tires and anything else that may collect and hold standing water.

For further recommendations on how to take precautions against mosquitoes and dengue fever, visit DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division’s website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dengue-outbreak-2015/ .

50 Marathons 50 States… Finished at the Hilo International Marathon

A professor from Louisiana, Jorge Pullin, has completed his goal of completing a marathon in each and every state in America by finishing the Hilo International Marathon this past weekend.
Jorge Pullin picture from Twitter.

Jorge Pullin picture from Twitter.

Jorge Pullin tweeted:

Finished the Marathon in Hilo, Hawaii in 6h29min. 50th marathon in 50th state. Mission accomplished!

According to Marathon Maniacs, Pullin started in his home state on February 26, 2005 with the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans, Louisiana with a marathon time of 6:21:42.

Over the next 11 years, Pullin would run in races across the United States and his best time would be his 40th race on June 28th, 2014 at the Run4Troops Marathon held in Iowa where he clocked a time of 5:36:35.

Oregon Athletes Win 2016 Big Island International Marathon

Two athletes from Roseburg, Oregon captured the titles in the 2016 Big Island International Marathon that was held today.

Click to view individual results

Click to view individual results

Sam Settelmeyer captured the men’s division and overall title with a time of 2:37:13.  Amanda Phillips captured the women’s division and was third overall with a time of 2:53:22.

The first Big Island Resident to cross the line was Jared Burris from Kapaau, HI who came in second overall with a time of 2:48:43.

Rank
Name
Bib
Time
Pace
Hometown
Division
Div Rank
1 Sam Settelmeyer 175 02:37:13 06:01 Roseburg, OR M20-24 1
2 Jared Burris 36 02:48:43 06:27 Kapaau, HI M20-24 2
3 Amanda Phillips 158 02:53:22 06:38 Roseburg, OR F30-34 1
4 Kengo Yoshimoto 3 02:56:30 06:45 Honolulu, HI M40-44 1
5 Michael Sullivan 193 02:57:30 06:47 Hilo, HI M35-39 1
6 Alan Ryan 1 03:11:38 07:19 Makaweli, HI M45-49 1
7 Daniel Wagner 212 03:16:31 07:31 Honolulu, HI M30-34 1
8 Tyler Sprague 191 03:17:04 07:32 Pahoa, HI M25-29 1
9 Michael Arnstein 9 03:17:06 07:32 Kamuela, HI M35-39 2
10 Jon-Erik Jardine 90 03:18:00 07:34 Hilo, HI M25-29 2
11 Yuko Nakai 232 03:20:04 07:39 HONOLULU, HI F40-44 1
12 Joshua Johnson 230 03:26:26 07:53 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO M35-39 3
13 James Lehman 105 03:26:37 07:54 Coppell, TX M45-49 2
14 Michael Carroll 38 03:28:27 07:58 Millville, MA M50-54 1
15 Nelson Soken 186 03:30:20 08:02 Hugo, MN M50-54 2

For complete results see here: 2016 Big Island International Marathon Results

Easter at Prince Kuhio Plaza

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with several groups and businesses, invites keiki age 17 and younger to its free Easter at the Plaza holiday event Friday, March 25, at Hilo’s Prince Kūhiō Plaza.

Prince Kuhio PlazaRegistration opens at 9:30 a.m. at the plaza’s center court. Keiki activities, including Easter crafts, coloring station, carnival games, tattoos, face painting, and balloon sculpting, will be offered from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Prize giveaways will occur every half-hour.

A special milk drinking contest, sponsored by the Hilo Jaycees and Kandi’s Drive-Inn, and an ice cream eating contest, sponsored by Dairy Queen/Orange Julius, will be held at 12:30 p.m. Contests open to keiki age 12 and younger.

Easter at the Plaza is a drug-, alcohol- and tobacco-free event.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks partners Prince Kūhiō Plaza, Hilo High School Key Club and AVID, Waiākea High School Key Club, Hilo Jaycees, Living Waters Assembly, Circle K at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, East Hawai‘i Kiwanis, and Kandi’s Drive-Inn for helping sponsor the Easter at the Plaza event.

For more information, please contact the Hilo Recreation Division of the Department of Parks and Recreation at 938-2014.

Second Annual Free Easter Egg Hunt at Botanical World Adventures

Children from age two to eleven can enjoy the fun of searching for over 2,000 plastic eggs during the Second Annual Free Easter Egg Hunt at Botanical World Adventures, 16 miles north of Hilo.

maze

“The event was a huge success last year so we made it even bigger this year,” explained Kika Nixon, Operations Manager at Botanical World Adventures. “There are more eggs for the children to find and more and larger prizes for adults. “Every child will receive candy or a small prize. Plus we are having drawings for free rides on our Zip Isle zip line tour and on our unique Segway Rainforest tour.”

Mrs. Nixon said the Easter Egg hunt will take place on both Saturday and Sunday, March 26 and 27. The egg hunt starts at 10:00a.m. each day. Children will gather the eggs then turn them in for candy or prizes. Admission to the beautiful World Botanical Gardens at Botanical World Adventures is free for children and families attending the egg hunts.

“We want to give back to our community and just felt this is one fun way to do that,” Mrs. Nixon added. “We look forward to seeing everyone.”

A special Sunrise Service by the Hilo Coast United Church of Christ will also take place at Botanical World on Easter Sunday from 6:00 – 6:45a.m. “All are welcome. The service will be at the Kamae’e Falls overlook here at Botanical World and we have easy to access to a tent in case of rain,” said the Operations Manager.

Botanical World Adventures is located 16 miles north of Hilo at mile marker 16 on Highway 19. Additional information is available by calling (808) 963-5427; (toll free: 888-947-4753), and on the web at www.ZipIsle.com or BotanicalWorld.com

Senator Kai Kahele Responds to Question of His Residency

I just spoke to Senator Kaiali’i Kahele and his office has sent me the following press release regarding a question of his residency:
Senator Kai Kahele Legislature Profile

In response to a recent inquiry regarding his residency, Sen. Kaiali‘i Kahele (Dist. 1 – Hilo), offers this statement:

“I live in the First Senatorial District – Hilo. In 2012, I moved to Hilo and have resided in Hilo continuously from that time. At that time, my parents and I agreed to take out a mortgage to remodel their house to allow me and my family to live there. Since 2012, I have continuously had the residence in Hilo as my primary residence and have used that residence for all purposes, including voter registration.

The question has been raised regarding the agreement I entered into in 2011 with my Aunt, Sally Kahikinaokala Dacalio, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources for a property in Miloli’i.

In 2011, I was approached by extended family with a request to assume my Aunt’s lease for the property in question. My Aunt was in poor health and her family was afraid that the lease would be lost by our family. Under those circumstances, I agreed to pay off my Aunt’s mortgage and assume the lease with DLNR. The matter was handled informally without legal advisors. Since I became aware of the terms of the lease, I have contacted DLNR for the purpose of addressing the situation. I am hopeful and confident that I will be able to resolve this matter with DLNR in the near future.”

BISAC’s Team Inspire Powerlifting Champions

This year’s annual WABDL Sonny Ronolo’s Powerlifting Meet was held at the Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium.  With over 100 participants taking part in the meet and hundreds of spectators, this event showcased some of the best lifters in the world.   The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) is no stranger to taking part in events that celebrate the community and promote healthy lifestyles.

Top Row Left to Right: Waiakea High School Coach Moku Pita, Jian Pascual, Isaiah K-Aloha, Va`a Keahi-Broad, Makana Gomez, Coach Toe Preston.   Bottom Row Left to Right: Shayne Kanae, Devin Vance Preston, and Nu`u Aiava.

Top Row Left to Right: Waiakea High School Coach Moku Pita, Jian Pascual, Isaiah K-Aloha, Va`a Keahi-Broad, Makana Gomez, Coach Toe Preston. Bottom Row Left to Right: Shayne Kanae, Devin Vance Preston, and Nu`u Aiava.

 BISAC’s team Inspire consisted of current students and graduates of Waiakea High School and promoted positive alternatives to substance use.   “These young men are an inspiration and provide positive  role modelling to younger individuals who are struggling with addiction” says BISAC’s CEO, Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.  “When we are able to show the younger generation that they can do it by engaging in healthy activities like this it gives them hope.”

By the end of the meet, Team Inspire’s small team was able to leave a positive impression, by securing 2nd place in the team category, receiving (11) first place trophies, (5) state records, and (1) world record.

 Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse.  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.

S-STEM Program at UH Hilo Accepting Applications

The Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is currently accepting applications for the 2016-2017 academic year.

UH Hilo Moniker

The S-STEM Program supports academically talented and highly motivated students from economically disadvantaged families to complete STEM degrees in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Geology, Marine Science, Mathematics, Natural Science, or Physics. Application deadline is March 15, 2016.

The S-STEM Program provides each scholar with a $20,000 scholarship for four years of their undergraduate studies (up to $5,000 per year) while they maintain a good academic standing in their STEM major. The program also integrates and expands existing educational services for STEM students at UH Hilo.

“We are very pleased with the success of our first cohort, accepted in S-STEM in Fall 2015,” said Raina “Reni” Ivanova, professor of mathematics, principal investigator and director of the program. “Our scholars came from different cultural and academic backgrounds. Along with the kama`aina students from the Big Island and O`ahu, we have scholars who travelled thousands of miles, from places like Montana and Saipan, to join us at UH Hilo. With the S-STEM support, they are able to pursue their dream careers in STEM. We are very proud of their progress. Our S-STEM team and I look forward to welcoming our second cohort in Fall 2016.”

For more information about eligibility requirements and an application form, visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/affiliates/s-stem/ call (808) 932-7587, or email mmellott@hawaii.edu.

Zonta Club of Hilo to Honor Jackie Pualani Johnson with Rose Award

The Zonta Club of Hilo will honor Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson with its biennial “Rose Award of Excellence” on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson

Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson

The Zonta Rose Award of Excellence recognizes women who have made significant impact on the lives of others through their employment, volunteer activities and associations. The award is part of Zonta International’s observance of International Women’s Day and Zonta Rose Day. Zonta’s mission is to empower women through service and advocacy.

“Zonta Hilo is proud to play a part in celebrating Jackie’s extraordinary achievements and contributions to the arts, education and throughout the community,” said Julie Tulang, Zonta Hilo Service Chair. “For nearly four decades, Jackie has worn many hats—teacher, mentor, performer, director—inspiring and sparking creativity wherever she goes.”

Johnson was born and raised in Hilo. She is a graduate of St. Joseph High School, where she began singing under the direction of Clarence Waipa. Johnson received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in drama from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has performed hula and chanted oli for international audiences, and played a number of roles in local theater productions including Golde in Fiddler on the Roof and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Johnson helped organize, and appeared in, Hilo Community Players’ Shakespeare-in-the-Park, now in its 39th year. For the outdoor summer production’s 25th anniversary, she fulfilled a lifelong dream, presenting a pidgin version of a Shakespeare classic re-titled One Uddah Mid’summah.

Johnson is professor and chair of the Performing Arts Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, where she began teaching in 1979. She has taught acting, stage make-up, costuming and directing, and provided oral interpretation of literature with an emphasis on works by local writers. Johnson has directed more than seventy productions, and plans to retire from UHH in May 2017.

Recently, she acted in and directed historical performances for Kona Historical Society including Isabella Bird at Kealapuali, Kona Coffee Days and A Visit to Kalu Kalu as well as scripts based on the lives of female monarchs in Hawaii including Queen Kaahumanu and Queen Liliuokalani. Johnson is married with three daughters and six grandchildren.

For more information about the Zonta Rose Award event or to purchase tickets—$25 includes dinner—contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004 or via email: alk@hastingsandpleadwell.com by March 9.

About Zonta Club of Hilo
The Zonta Club of Hilo was founded in 1950 and is part of Zonta International, a global organization whose mission is to empower women through service and advocacy. To learn more about the club’s service projects, special events, advocacy efforts and scholarship opportunities, visit zontahilo.org.

Hawaii Governor Ige Appoints Kaiali‘i Kahele to Late Father’s Seat in State Senate

Gov. David Ige has appointed Kaiali‘i (Kai) Kahele to his late father’s state Senate seat. Sen. Gil Kahele represented Senate district one which encompasses the greater Hilo area, when he died on Jan. 26, 2016.

Kai Kahele Profile“Kai has extensive community support and is committed to completing the work of his father. He has a broad vision for the future of this district and for all of Hawai‘i Island that will serve his constituents well,” said Gov. Ige.

“I thank the high-quality candidates who were willing to serve and the Senate district one Nominating Committee for working so quickly to get the names to me,” he said.

“My father led by example, and community service was part of my life for as long as I can remember. I am honored to carry on his legislative initiatives. In addition, I intend to focus on job creation by strengthening workforce opportunities and small business in Hilo and the state, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for Hawai‘i Community College and UH-Hilo,” Kahele said.

Kahele lives in Hilo where he is a Major in the Hawai‘i Air National Guard and a combat veteran C-17 instructor pilot. He has been honored many times for his military service. In 2005 he was awarded a National Defense Service Medal and a USAF Air Medal for combat missions flown in Afghanistan. Most recently Kahele received the Guard Officer of the Year award at Hickam Air Force Base (Feb. 2016).

He is also a pilot with Hawaiian Airlines, a UH-Hilo adjunct faculty member and the executive director of the nonprofit Pa‘a Pono Miloli‘i. In 2015, Kai was a crew member on the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s canoe Hikianalia.

Kahele is a graduate of Hilo High School and UH-Manoa where he earned a B.A. in education while playing on the UH-Manoa Men’s Volleyball team as an outside hitter. He was named Most Inspirational Player in 1997.

Kahele will take office once the state senate qualifies him and administers the oath of office.

Hikianalia Sails to Hilo – Local Schools Invited to Participate (Must RSVP)

As legendary traditional sailing vessel Hokulea travels around the world, sister voyaging canoe Hikianalia continues to make her impact in Hawaii by delivering the Malama Honua message of taking care of Island Earth – this time on Hawaii Island- with the help of Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) crew members, Hawaii’s Ohana Waa (canoe family), and Imiloa Astronomy Center.

Vaka Sail - Oahu to Kauai - July 2011

Vaka Sail – Oahu to Kauai – July 2011

“It’s very important to PVS that Hikianalia continue engaging our local communities by offering opportunities for the public to interact with crew members and learn more about the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage,” stated Miki Tomita, director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Learning Center. “As an organization, we’re always striving to ensure that the public, especially our islands’ schoolchildren, are engaged in the educational aspects of the voyage at home as well as abroad,” Tomita added.

Between Feb. 15-25, weather-permitting, Hikianalia, Ohana Waa, and partner organizations will be hosting community outreach events in Hilo, with some events open to the general public.

Hilo Day

A welcome ceremony in Palekai, Keaukaha will be held on Monday, Feb. 15, with the time to be determined. Local schools are invited to participate in the momentous occasion and will need to RSVP.

On Friday, Feb. 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Hawaii Island teachers and students will have the opportunity to take part in Hikianalia Education Day – again, schools will need to make reservations to participate.

Hikianalia Community Day will be held on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will be at Suisan Pier, and all of the Hawaii Island community is invited – no reservations are required.

Imiloa Astronomy Center celebrates its tenth anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy the day by visiting the astronomy center for free, meeting PVS crew members, and learning more about Hikianalia, Hokulea and the Worldwide Voyage.

For more information or to participate in events that require reservations, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hikianalia/.

Hilo Municipal Golf Course to be Shortened, Remain Open During Renovation Project

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will shorten the Hilo Municipal Golf Course and open temporary greens so golfers may continue using portions of the links while it is undergoing major renovation.

Hilo Golf Course

Starting Monday, February 8, play will be limited to the front 9 holes and a temporary 9th green opened to accommodate construction work. When renovation of the back 9 holes is completed, they will be opened for play and the front 9 holes closed so renovation work may shift to that section of the course. Temporary greens will be opened at the 17th and 18th holes until new grass is established on the reconstructed greens. Also, temporary tee boxes will be opened at the 15th hole to allow for construction access.

These rotating partial closures are expected to continue through mid-May. During that period, tee times will be modified to allow golfers to play two rounds and create the equivalent of an 18-hole golfing experience.

Course renovation work will include the following upgrades:

  • Reconstructing the 9th, 17th and 18th greens
  • Constructing a new 14th green and using the existing green as a temporary green
  • Replacing all course waterlines
  • Installing new accessible drinking fountains throughout the course
  • Constructing new accessible shelters at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 13th and 18th tees
  • Constructing new accessible restrooms at the 4th and 12th tees
  • Performing structural and safety repairs to the course bridges
  • Tree removal

The Department of Parks and Recreation understands the inconvenience the ongoing construction work will cause, and sincerely appreciates patrons’ patience and understanding.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.