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.

Federal-Aid Highways 2035 Transportation Plan for the District of Hawaii

The Statewide Federal-Aid Highways 2035 Transportation Plan is being developed by the Hawaii State Department of Transportation (HDOT). This is the first time that a plan of this type has been prepared statewide. The Plan will provide a basis for making informed land transportation decisions through the year of 2035. This planning effort will embrace the values of the people of Hawaii and identify existing and future needs for the movement of people and goods utilizing all modes of land based transportation.

In conjunction with the development of the statewide Plan, the HDOT is updating the Regional Long-Range Land Transportation Plans for the Distrcits of Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai using a future horizon year of 2035. The new regional long-range plans, titled Federal-Aid Highways 2035 Transportation Plans for the Districts of Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai, were last updated in the late 1990’s. Since then, the State of Hawaii has experienced significant changes in population, development, and travel needs. To ensure a current and comprehensive statewide Plan, the regional Plans are being concurrently updated.

The statewide Plan will incorporate all the updated regional Plans and the Oahu Regional Transportation Plan (ORTP) 2035, which has been developed by the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OahuMPO) and completed in Spring 2011.

According to the State Integrated Transportation Planning Structure, the statewide Plan is categorized as the “Statewide Modal Plan/Strategy”, with its primary focus to identify long-term statewide program needs, and to set the framework for the regional Plans. The regional Plans are categorized as the “Facility Master Plans”.  Facility Master Plans are implementation plans focusing on the prioritization of programs and commitments.

To learn more about the project, see the plan development process, plan framework and plan stakeholders pages.  And to review long-range plan efforts accomplished, visit to the project materials page.

To participate in upcoming meetings and events, see the Get Involved! page. And to provide thoughts on these plan development efforts, contact us at the comment page.

Highway Plans

Draft Federal-Aid Highways 2035 Transportation Plan for the District of Hawaii

  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. Goals and Objectives
  3. Hawaii’s Transportation Context and Needs
  4. Potential Solutions
  5. Implementation

List of Appendices

Agreement Reached to Place a Conservation Easement Over Lands Owned by Turtle Bay Resort

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced an agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, The Trust for Public Land, and Turtle Bay Resort (TBR) to establish a conservation easement on 665.8 acres of land at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku. Portions of this land had previously been planned for development but will now be protected forever from future development.

Governor announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

Governor Abercrombie announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

“As I said in my State of the State Address this year, ‘there are times for planning, and there are times for acting; now is the time to preserve open spaces at Turtle Bay,’” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This historic agreement is the result of public and private interests joining together to benefit the people of Hawaii and our visitors. This protects the heritage and rural character of the North Shore to ‘Keep the Country Country.’ ”

State Sen. Clayton Hee said: “The shoreline from Kahuku Point to Kawela Bay represents one of the most beautiful and pristine areas on all of Oahu. As elected leaders, we have a profound and solemn duty and responsibility to preserve and protect this shoreline for future generations just as our ancestors did before us.”

The conservation easement will be placed upon the land and will permanently limit use of the land in order to protect the ecological, recreational and open space characteristics of Oahu’s North Shore. TBR will continue to own, use and hold title to the land, but it and future owners of the land will be bound by the restrictions. The easement will protect, and in many cases, allow restoration of critical marine and land ecosystems and Hawaiian cultural resources. It will foster and enable recreational and educational uses of the land.

The total value of this agreement is $48.5 million; $40 million will be provided by the state, $5 million will be provided by the city, and $3.5 million will be provided by The Trust for Public Land. The amounts of money provided by the state and the city are subject to appropriation and release of the funds. Gov. Abercrombie has previously asked for and encourages the Legislature to appropriate $40 million in general obligation bonds. The City Council has previously appropriated $5 million for this matter. TPL will be obtaining funds from various sources. The final documents and details of the agreement are to be worked out between the parties.

“We are excited to be a part of the stewardship to protect these natural resources and to secure forever the public’s access to that entire shoreline from Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We want to thank the state for its leadership in this effort and to the people around the table who worked hard to make sacrifices and to find common ground. The work is not yet complete, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin said: “The City Council has constantly demonstrated its commitment to land conservation as evidenced by the Fiscal Year 2014 budget appropriation of $5 million to preserve Kawela Bay. Protecting such a valuable natural resource on the North Shore today is an investment that will reap dividends for generations to come.”

This agreement benefits the public in many ways, such as preserving open space and providing public access to beaches in the area at no charge. It also allows public access to more than five miles of coastal hiking trails and opens up the area for traditional native Hawaiian cultural practices. In addition, the agreement keeps recreational use available to the public and prevents the sprawl of urban development in the area.

“This historic conservation agreement is supported by The Trust for Public Land, The North Shore Community Land Trust and many community organizations, residents of the North Shore and people from all over our island, along with visitors who enjoy and treasure the area,” said The Trust for Public Land, Hawaiian Islands State Director Lea Hong.

TBR Chief Executive Officer Drew Stotesbury said, “As a part of the North Shore community, Turtle Bay Resort is proud to contribute to the conservation of these unique lands.”

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.

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.

 

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

Changes in State ID Card and Driver’s License Application Process

Beginning May 1, 2014, the cost of a state identification card and the documents required to obtain a driver’s license will change.

State ID’s will cost $32.00 in Kauai County with a fee of $4 per year, and $40.00 in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties with a fee of $5 per year. The state ID is good for 8 years, and a duplicate will cost $7 in Kauai County and $6 in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties.

Hawaii Drivers License SampleThose obtaining a driver’s license will be required to present two forms of proof of principal residence in Hawaii. Principal residence is defined as the location where a person currently resides even if the residence location is temporary. Any two of the following documents (original or copy) with the applicant as the addressee and stating the applicant’s principal residence will be acceptable proof:

  1. A current valid Hawaii driver’s license;
  2. Vehicle registration or title;
  3. A current voter registration card or other mail addressed to the applicant from a government or medical entity that is not more than two months old;
  4. Utility bill that is not more than two months old with applicant’s name and address;
  5. Checking or savings account statement not more than two months old;
  6. Payroll check or check stub issued by an employer within two months of the application date;
  7. Current mortgage account or proof of home ownership;
  8. Residential rental or time share contract for six months or more;
  9. United States income tax return, W-2 form or 1099 SSA benefits form from the previous year;
  10. Hawaii income tax return from the previous year or W-2 form;
  11. Receipt for personal property taxes paid to a county within the State of Hawaii within the last year;
  12. Medical card issued by a health insurance agency with principal residence address printed on it;
  13. Documentation dated not more than ninety days prior to making application that the individual is receiving State of Hawaii public assistance;
  14. Current property tax assessment bill or statement;
  15. A stamped department of taxation form A-6, application for tax clearance that is not more than six months old;
  16. Homeless applicants may use the address of their current shelter agency, or if not staying in a shelter, may use the general delivery of the post office nearest where they spend most of their time;
  17. Applicants documenting enrollment in a State or Federal address confidentiality program which allows an applicant to obtain and use alternative addresses may use an alternative address on the card but must provide the applicant’s permanent address for file purposes;
  18. P.O. Box numbers are not acceptable to indicate principal residence address unless a number and street name have not been assigned for U.S. mail delivery. An address convention used by the U.S. Postal Service is acceptable;
  19. Affidavit indicating that the applicant currently resides with the affiant, provided the affiant’s address can be verified and the affidavit is notarized within two months of the application date; or
  20. Other documents the examiner of drivers accepts as proof of principal residence in the State of Hawaii.

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.”

Grassroot Institute ‘Celebrates’ Hawaii’s Tax Freedom Day

In an effort to help Hawaii’s citizens better understand the state tax burden, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is wishing them all a “Happy Tax Freedom Day” today via social media.

Tax Freedom Day
Based on calculations by theTax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day is the day when taxpayers have collectively earned enough to satisfy the tax bill for that year. In other words, for the average Hawaii citizen, if he or she had dedicated every penny of their earnings to their tax bill from the beginning of the year, then today (April 15th) would be the day that bill would be “paid off.”

Hawaii ranks in the middle of the pack for state Tax Freedom Days. Louisiana has the lowest burden (their Tax Freedom Day was March 30th), while Connecticut and New Jersey are the highest (May 9th). The National Tax Freedom Day (using figures from the country as a whole) is on April 21st, three days later than last year–which reflects the slow economic recovery. (As a point of comparison, consider that Tax Freedom Day in the year 1900 would have fallen on January 22nd.)

“Hawaii’s economic recovery has a lot to do with our better-than-average performance,” stated Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “However, we’ve taken a small step backward and should be wary of policies that will increase the tax burden and slow our economic growth.”

“Most people don’t realize just how hard and long they work to pay their tax bill,” Dr. Akina continued. “We hope that this helps put that into perspective and encourages taxpayers to demand greater fiscal responsibility and accountability from the government and their elected officials.”

Commentary – Bureau of Interior Wants To Control New Development in North Kona

I’m deeply concerned about the actions of the National Park Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These federal agencies intend to control how much new development happens in North Kona it seems.

For example, the National Park Service wants the State of Hawaii to designate the Keauhou aquifer as a water resource management area and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to assign nearly 19,000 acres of land in North Kona as a critical habitat area.  In addition, the
National Park Service was the first entity to intervene in the stalled Queen Kaahumanu Highway phase 2 widening project’s section 106 process in early 2011.

These requests, if approved, will impact all new developments in North Kona. It strips home rule authority from the County of Hawaii and adds an additional layer of bureaucracy to the entitlement process.

I firmly believe the County and State of Hawaii are in a better position to manage our resources than a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

DLNR Preparing Draft Kawainui Master Plan And EIS

After an extensive public input process, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will release a draft updated master plan for its management of the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex on May 16. At that time, DLNR will initiate a 30-day comment period to seek public comments on the draft plan.

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

“We will continue to develop and finalize our master plan and prepare an EIS as part of the process, which allows opportunities to hear community concerns,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We ask for everyone to go through this important process with us as we listen to all voices in the community.”

The draft master plan, an update of the 1994 Master Plan for Kawainui Marsh, is the result of ongoing discussion with the public that seeks to strike a balance among a wide range of opinions regarding management of the area. An EIS will also be prepared for the project that will allow the community to review environmental impacts associated with the updated master plan concepts as part of that environmental review process.

“We want to make it clear that our primary concern is protection and management of the wetlands in Kawainui and Hamakua,” Aila said. “Our main objectives within the marsh are management of native water bird habitat, including habitat for Hawaii’s four species of endangered waterbirds, and the migratory shorebirds and waterfowl that utilize the area on a seasonal basis.”

“The built elements currently being considered in the draft master plan revision – trails, education center, and cultural facilities – are the result of input we have received from the community,” he added. “Neither our Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife and State Parks nor the planners have an agenda either way regarding built elements and public access. We are seeking to accommodate the various opinions and views presented to us. These proposed features are common to natural areas of this type throughout the country and the world. Whatever built elements ultimately make it into the revised plan should not detract from the fact that our primary focus is protection and management of the natural resources at the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex. We have no intention or interest in creating a ‘tourist attraction’ at Kawainui Marsh, as some have suggested.”

Another important element of the master plan for Kawainui Marsh is the flood control project installed by the City and County of Honolulu and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This involves maintenance of the flood control levee, and maintaining the marsh lands in such a way as they do not inhibit water flow through the marsh and out into the ocean.

According to David Smith, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Oahu branch manager, “The main elements of our resource management program include control of invasive vegetation that is choking out bird habitat. This is a very large and ongoing task involving a huge number of personnel-hours and highly specialized equipment. In addition, the program includes control of non-native predators such as cats, dogs, mongooses and rats that prey on the waterbirds. In the upland areas, we are preserving and managing existing forest cover, and converting non-native forest to native forest through selective control of certain tree and shrub species, and the planting of native species.”

These natural resource management activities make up the bulk of DOFAW’s work in the marsh. Other land management responsibilities include cleaning up illegally dumped trash, cleaning out homeless camps along the marsh periphery, control of illegal access and off-road vehicles that damage marsh resources, clearing over-grown vegetation, mowing open lawn areas, and cleaning up decades of abuse and neglect to the marsh before DLNR gained control of the land. These land management activities are an ongoing, though costly part of DOFAW’s responsibility as stewards at Kawainui.

Big Island Senators Welcome Public to Art at the Capitol

Big Island Senators Gilbert Kahele, Josh Green, Russell Ruderman and Malama Solomon opened their doors for an evening at the capitol “museum” during the 6th Annual Art At The Capitol event on Friday, April 4 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. Each senator brings a distinct perspective to the décor of their offices through the personalization of their walls according to interest and taste. The works of art are placed in public areas of the Capitol as part of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ “Art in Public Places” program, which was established in 1967, and was the first program of its kind in the nation.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, his nine-year-old grandson Maka'i Okalani Snyder and Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor enjoy music by the Hawaii Youth Symphony during the 6th Annual Art at the Capitol, featuring chandeliers hanging in the House and the Senate. The House Sun and the Senate Moon were done by kinetic sculptor Otto Piene.   Photo courtesy of the Senate Communications Office.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, his nine-year-old grandson Maka’i Okalani Snyder and Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor enjoy music by the Hawaii Youth Symphony during the 6th Annual Art at the Capitol, featuring chandeliers hanging in the House and the Senate. The House Sun and the Senate Moon were done by kinetic sculptor Otto Piene. Photos courtesy of the Senate Communications Office.

More than 500 residents and visitors toured the capitol taking in all the art on display.

In Kahele’s office attendees viewed a 1972 oil painting depicting Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole by artist Patric Bauernschmidt, who is internationally recognized for her portraits of historical people. Bauernschmidt was the first artist to paint a complete set of works of Hawaiian royalty in a single style.

Kahele Office Art

“This is an elaborate piece representing Prince Kuhio, and it reminds me of my lineage and the history of our island state,” said Kahele.

Solomon’s latest acquisition is a work of art by Honolulu resident Alison Manaut called “Nonolo,” an acrylic painting completed in 1975.

Nonolo

“This piece talks about involving each person as an observer,” said Malama. “Each person will probably have a unique perspective on what it means to them. I wanted this piece in the office because it reminds me of how we legislate and create policy. We have to be creative and solve many complex problems by taking in all kinds of perspectives to come up with a creative solution.”

In Ruderman’s office is a gorgeous photograph called “Volcano House Fireplace,” an image of the lava ocean entry superimposed beneath a carving of the Pele, which is located above the fireplace in Volcano House on Hawaii Island.  The shot was an in-camera double exposure made in 1991.

Ruderman Art

“We are honored to display art from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts,” Ruderman said.   “Paul Buklarewicz is a resident of Volcano and he is a talented photographer. The Volcano House Fireplace allows our office in Honolulu to have a piece of Hawaii Island with us every day.”

A stunning sand-blasted hand blown glass with gold lead is displayed in Green’s office. It’s called “The Sea Before Me” and was done in 1998 by Wilfred Yamazawa, who keeps an active hot glass sculpture studio in Kealakekua, where he was born.“The Sea Before Me” refers to the nurturing ocean that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands. For Yamazawa, the sea personifies the life blood that defines us because man and nature are bound by the sea – the three are inseparable.

Green Art

“This piece of art specifically reminds me of the richness and beauty that Hawaii has to offer,” said Green. “We’re humbled to have so many unique artwork from talented artists line our capitol walls and shelves.”

Lava Flow Update – Kahauale’a 2 Flow Continues Moving Through Forest

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active, with scattered pāhoehoe breakouts driving slow advancement of the flow field through the forest.

Breakouts at the flow margins trigger forest fires, and numerous plumes of smoke. Today, the flow front was 8.2 km (5.1 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
A comparison of a thermal image (left) with a normal photograph (right) of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front. Brighter colors in the thermal image depict hotter surface temperatures, with white and yellow areas showing active pāhoehoe breakouts. These breakouts are distributed in a scattered fashion across this portion of the flow field. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, visible in the upper left of the photograph.

A view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater from the north, looking southeast. In the foreground, the crater rim has red hues due to oxidized cinder and spatter from the early days of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980s. In the center of the photograph, the black crater floor consists of lava flows erupted in the last several years, with several spatter cones built upon these flows. Near the left edge of the photograph, a small perched lava pond has been active in recent months. A closer view of the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava pond has partially closed over the past several weeks, and today was about 5 meters (yards) in diameter – about half of the diameter from two weeks ago. The pond was spattering, with small bits of airborne spatter visible in this photograph.

Hawaii Teacher Survey Results Regarding Educator Effectiveness System

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) recently conducted a joint survey regarding the Educator Effectiveness System (EES), which was implemented statewide at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. The purpose of the joint survey was to gather teacher feedback on their experiences and opinions regarding the EES to help better understand its strengths and identify areas for improvement.

DOE ReleaseFunded by the Castle Foundation and conducted by Ward Research Inc., the online survey was sent to the HSTA’s 13,500 teacher members, 4,280 (30%) of which completed the survey between the Feb. 25 and March 11 survey period. Respondents represented all districts and types of teachers. This level of response provides a maximum sampling error of only +/- 1.3 percent.

Results from the survey indicate varying degrees in understanding the EES and provide a good starting point in better identifying areas for improvement. Key survey findings include:

  • One in five respondents indicated high levels of understanding of the EES (18% rating ‘top three’ box or 8-10 where 10 = completely understand) while a comparable proportion indicated low levels of understanding of the EES (20% rating ‘bottom three’ box or 1-3 where 1 = do not understand at all)
  • Classroom Observations reflected the highest levels of reported understanding (36%) and the Hawaii Student Growth Model the lowest (12%)
  • One in five respondents indicated strong agreement (‘top three’ box or 8-10 rating where 10 = strongly agree) that they have applied the EES information towards improving their professional practice (18%), their instructional practice (18%), and toward improving student growth and learning (18%)
  • An emerging theme identified in the survey was providing teachers more time to prepare for the various requirements within the components, more guidance and clarity, and providing examples of successful stories by distinguished teachers.

“The Department of Education is actively engaged in an ongoing data review process that involves working with teachers, principals and other groups,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The EES is intended to provide timely, actionable and professional feedback, and support to improve teacher practice and student outcomes. We’re grateful to the teachers and various groups who are ensuring that the system fairly assesses the effectiveness of educators. This survey will be used as part of a collective process to help better understand strengths and identify areas for improvement.”

“The HSTA’s goal is to make sure that every child in Hawaii has access to the best teachers in our public school system,” said Wil Okabe, HSTA president. “When we started this process, we agreed that the Joint Committee of DOE and HSTA representatives would gather data and feedback from our members in order to implement collaborative adjustments and improvements to the EES.”

“The joint survey reflected what we have been hearing from teachers. That the EES is a work in progress, and teachers feel that more needs to be done so that the EES can help improve the practice of teaching. Our teachers clearly expressed the need for more time to implement the EES, more guidance, and more clarity of the expectations and process,” said Okabe.

“We are committed to the EES and will continue to collaborate with the DOE to improve this system and develop a fair and effective resource that should be designed to, ultimately, improve our educational system for Hawaii’s students,” added Okabe.

The committee has met four times over the last nine months and provided areas of potential recommendations to Superintendent Matayoshi, including:

  • Improving support for implementation (e.g. training structure, educator engagement strategy)
  • Solutions for new teachers (e.g. personnel consequences for SY 13-14 first-year teachers, differentiating evaluation criteria for first and second year teachers)
  • Supporting structures for teachers based on EES feedback and results (e.g. searchable database for teachers to find quality professional development opportunities based on area of need)
  • Transitioning between student assessments (impact on student growth as the state shifts from the Hawaii State Assessments, to the bridge assessments, and Smarter Balanced Assessments)
  • Differentiating frequency of evaluation components within the annual evaluation cycle, based on the needs of teachers
  • Reviewing scoring methodology for the Tripod student perception survey
  • Monitoring the use of multiple measures.

The Joint Committee is one of several feedback groups the DOE relies upon for structured input about EES. Other groups include the Teacher Leader Workgroup and Technical Advisory Group and a newly established Principal Workgroup.

“The survey results reinforce priority issues that are being discussed by the Joint Committee and raise some additional concerns for further discussion,” noted Matayoshi. “Teachers, administrators and the HSTA are all involved in this process, and this is just the beginning.”

The DOE and HSTA are committed to working together to improve the EES and teacher feedback is an important part of the improvement process. Following the first full year of implementation, the DOE will make any design improvements necessary based on reviews of data and consideration of feedback from the field.

Kīholo State Park Master Plan Released

Get your copy of the Kīholo State Park Final Master Plan and Final Environmental Assessment! Kiholo State Park

Land board submittal: 04/11/14

Approval of the Kīholo State Park Master Plan, Acceptance of the Final Environmental Assessment, and Issuance of a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Proposed Project, TMK: (3) 7-1-02: 02, 08; 7-1-03: 02, 07, Kīholo, North Kona, Hawai‘i.

Island Air Signs Purchase Agreement for up to Six Planes – Looking to Expand

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Hawaii Island Air, Inc. (Island Air) has placed a firm order for two Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners and has also taken options for four additional Q400 NextGen aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered with a dual-class, 71-seat configuration. Island Air is Hawaii’s leading regional airline and second oldest carrier.

Q400 NextGen turboprop

Inside a Q400 NextGen turboprop

Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, the firm order is valued at approximately $60.9 million US. The value could increase to $188 million US should Island Air exercise all its options.

“As part of our ongoing restructuring and expansion strategy, the Island Air team considered a number of aircraft and we are pleased to announce the selection of the Q400 NextGen turboprop. With its superior speed, performance and fuel efficiency; outstanding operational flexibility; and market-leading passenger comfort, the Q400 NextGen aircraft is the optimal solution for our needs,” said Paul Casey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Island Air.

“We are pleased to partner with Bombardier as Island Air moves to redefine regional travel within the Hawaiian Islands and offer our passengers the premium product they expect. The Q400 NextGen aircraft is clearly the most suitable airliner for Island Air and will provide a superior passenger experience coupled with unbeatable performance. My experience with Bombardier over the years has been nothing but positive which has further led to our selection of the Q400 NextGen aircraft for the next chapter of Island Air,” said Island Air’s owner, Larry Ellison.

“We are proud to welcome Island Air back to the Bombardier family and we are excited to see the Q400 NextGen airliner take to Hawaiian skies,” said Ryan DeBrusk, Regional Vice President, Sales, Americas, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The Q400 NextGen aircraft with its superior passenger comfort and market-leading performance characteristics will serve Island Air well as it embarks on its re-fleeting strategy.”

“The Q400 NextGen aircraft is designed to respond to the needs of an evolving market and our growing customer base shows that the aircraft is creating excellent value for operators and meeting a wide variety of business requirements. This operational flexibility maximizes the profit potential of the aircraft and positions it well ahead of competitive aircraft,” said Ray Jones, Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Asset Management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “I’m delighted that Island Air has chosen to re-join the Bombardier family and I wish the airline much success in its future ventures.” Island Air currently offers flights to and from the islands of Oahu, Maui, Lanai and Kauai.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Praises Hawaii’s Education Leadership

Hawaii’s public schools can be a model for the nation, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who visited two schools today before returning to Washington, D.C. Secretary Duncan, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi spoke with media in reflecting on the progress made during the last three years based on the Race to the Top (RTTT) federal education reform grant.

 Secretary Duncan with Keith Hayashi, Supt, Matayoshi, Gov. Abercrombie in Waipahu HS aquaponics lab


Secretary Duncan with Keith Hayashi, Supt, Matayoshi, Gov. Abercrombie in Waipahu HS aquaponics lab.

“When we first did the RTTT grant, there was a huge amount of skepticism in the outside world, and frankly, internally,” stated Secretary Duncan. “Hawaii initially had its challenges; they’ve shown amazing leadership, courage and vision. I can’t overstate how important the Governor’s leadership has been…the leadership of the State Superintendent…they are a profile in courage. The only way you get better is to challenge the status quo. The only way to accelerate the rate of change is to do something different. The progress has been extraordinary. Hawaii by any objective measure – is one of the fastest improving states in the nation – top five states, that’s top 10 percent in the nation.”

Ka Waihona student (newly accepted to Kamehameha) explains kalo to Secretary Duncan

Ka Waihona student (newly accepted to Kamehameha) explains kalo to Secretary Duncan

Secretary Duncan began the day at Ka Waihona o ka Naauao, a public charter school in Nanakuli, where he learned how to pound taro (paiai) and participated in a discussion about culture-based education with stakeholders and Kirin Ahuja, the U.S. DOE’s executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Secretary Duncan pounds kalo

Secretary Duncan pounds kalo

Secretary Duncan then visited Waipahu High where he participated in a Hawaii DOE and Hawaii State Teachers Association joint-committee meeting followed by a tour of the school with Gov. Abercrombie and Supt. Matayoshi.

Supt. Matayoshi and WHS students greet Secretary Duncan.

Supt. Matayoshi and WHS students greet Secretary Duncan.

Waipahu High is the second-largest high school in Hawaii with 2,450 students. About 70 percent of its students are of Filipino ancestry, while nearly 6 out of 10 students come from economically disadvantage backgrounds. Waipahu High Principal Keith Hayashi, who was appointed in 2009, has led a tremendous academic turnaround at the school. Reading proficiency among 10th graders rose to 69 percent in 2013 from 58 percent in 2011, while math proficiency jumped to 47 percent from 26 percent. College-going rate increased to 58 percent from 49 percent during the same period.

“We are proud to share the passion of what we do here at Waipahu with Secretary Duncan,” Principal Hayashi said.

Secretary Duncan with Andrea Gurado, WHS student with full ride to Columbia University, looking at her science project exploring synthesizing molecules.

Secretary Duncan with Andrea Gurado, WHS student with full ride to Columbia University, looking at her science project exploring synthesizing molecules.

One of the students who enjoyed lunch with Secretary Duncan at Waipahu was Andrea Jurado, who recently accepted a full scholarship from Columbia University. She arrived to the islands just four years ago from her native Philippines, and since then, she has taken advantage of opportunities that have helped her excel during her four years at Waipahu. She’s participated in internships with the University of Hawaii Cancer Research Center and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in Livermore, Calif. She will also represent Hawaii at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, Calif., which is the largest science and engineering fair for high school students from around the globe.

“Waipahu is very focused on students succeeding in post-secondary life,” said Supt. Matayoshi. “The school has a great early college program, and great opportunities for students to succeed. We’re very happy that Secretary Duncan can see the fantastic work being done here by our faculty, teachers, and students.”

“I ask anybody in the state, before you make a judgment about the public schools, see what’s been accomplished in the last three years. By any outside observation, Hawaii public schools are rising, and we’re going to keep on rising,” added Governor Abercrombie.

Principal Sheena Alaiasa of Castle High in Kaneohe was one of the educators selected to meet with Secretary Duncan during his visit. As head of King Intermediate last year, Alaiasa was named the 2014 National Middle Level Principal of the Year by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

“It’s great for Hawaii as a whole for the U.S. DOE to see what we’re doing,” said Principal Alaiasa. “It means a lot to our students for them to meet and greet someone of such importance.”

Hawaii is the 50th and final state to welcome Secretary Duncan during his tenure. Prior to this visit, the last U.S. education secretary to visit the islands was Richard W. Riley in 1994 under President Bill Clinton. The last federal education official to visit Hawaii was Martha Kanter, U.S. Department of Education under secretary of education, who spoke at a September 2010 higher education summit in Waikiki. Also, in December 2009, Peter Cunningham, assistant secretary for communications and outreach for the U.S. Department of Education, visited several island schools.

Visits to Correctional Centers Cancelled… Again!

For the second weekend in a row… visits at Correctional Centers have been cancelled.

Hawaii State LogoIt is rumored that the correctional centers are understaffed and that guards are intentionally calling in sick to bring attention to the matter.

  • Visitation at Oahu Community Correctional Center has been cancelled for the day.  To check the OCCC hotline you can call 832-1623. The Department of Public Safety has started putting out visitation cancellation notices through social media in an effort to get the word out faster to people who are planning to come to the facility to visit a loved one. Watch for these posts between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled visitation day.  To find out more about visitation schedules for each facility go to our website at dps.hawaii.gov.
  • Visitation at Hawaii Community Correctional Center has been cancelled for the day. The Department of Public Safety has started putting out visitation cancellation notices through social media in an effort to get the word out faster to people who are planning to come to the facility to visit a loved one. Watch for these posts between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled visitation day. To find out more about visitation schedules for each facility go to our website at dps.hawaii.gov.

Governor Releases $58.4 Million for University of Hawaii System Facilities

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $58.4 million to the University of Hawaii (UH) system for capital improvement projects (CIP) at various campuses that will further energize our growing construction industry to help sustain our economy.

abercrombieheader“A majority of these funds are going to improvements at our community colleges, which make up the largest sector of the UH system,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These projects will help increase job growth and ultimately improves our state’s affordable education opportunities.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$38,213,000 – Honolulu Community College Advanced Technology Training Center, Oahu – Construction funds for a new three-story facility for science- and technology-related programs. The building will include classrooms, offices and laboratories, and will support technical workforce development in areas including diversified agriculture, aquaculture, renewable energy development and creative media. UH indicates that Honolulu Community College has established itself as the technological training center of the Pacific and has the expertise in technical workforce development to warrant a new facility.

$6,500,000 – Minor Capital Improvements Program Projects for Campuses of the Community College System, Oahu – Design and construction funds for the renovations of Kapiolani Community College’s (KCC) Kopiko Building, Wing B ($3,500,000) and Windward Community College’s (WCC) Hale Naauao ($3,000,000). KCC project includes renovating the building’s first floor (Wing B). Built in 1994, Wing B has three classrooms used by the nursing program, and will be upgraded with current technology and renovated to connect with the outdoor courtyard. WCC project includes renovations for the TRiO and special project programs including air conditions installation, restroom upgrades and converting spaces into offices, storage rooms, a staff room and a conference room. The 10,150-gross-square-foot building was constructed in 1930 and has not been renovated to meet the College’s academic and technological needs. The TRiO program includes Student Support Services, Talent Search and Upward Bound, which help disadvantaged and low-income individuals graduate from secondary/post-secondary institutions.

$6,312,000 – Coconut Island, Oahu – Design and construction funds to renovate the interior of the Old Pauley Laboratory for the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The research institute specializes in tropical marine biology, and is located on the 28-acre Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay.

$5,415,000 – Coconut Island, Oahu – Planning, design and construction funds for improvements at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Improvements include utility upgrades, replacement/rehabilitation of existing sewer lines by direct drilling between Oahu and Coconut Island under Kaneohe Bay, sewer pump replacement and wet-well repairs, and rerouting of north end sewer lines.

$2,000,000 – University of Hawaii at Hilo, Office of Mauna Kea Management, Hawaii Island – Design and construction funds for infrastructure improvements within UH’s managed lands on Mauna Kea, renovate mid-level facilities at Hale Pohaku and improve the summit access road. The summit access road between the mid-level facilities and the Mauna Kea summit needs improvement. A section of the road was paved in the late 1980s and is deteriorated due to age, snow, rock debris and natural earth shifting. The Visitor Information Center (58-person capacity) is also overextended in terms of parking and facility infrastructure, and is unable to accommodate the significant increase in visitors who come for stargazing activities.

Rules for Protests at Hawaii State Capitol Challenged as Unconstitutional in Federal Court

A federal lawsuit against the State Department of Accounting and General Services (“DAGS”) charges that outdated rules restricting public use of State property (including the Hawaii State Capitol rotunda and grounds) violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs for the lawsuit are the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (“ACLU”) and Pamela G. Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Action Group and ACLU board member. They are represented by Daniel M.Gluck, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU and Alexandra Rosenblatt of Chun Kerr, LLLC.

capital

Public access to grounds and rotunda, noted in the run-up to 2011 APEC meeting, now an issue for upcoming ASEAN meeting, April 1-2.

The lawsuit asks the court to require DAGS to remove burdensome requirements for obtaining a permit – including requirements that small groups have to get the government’s permission before holding a protest; that individuals have to agree to indemnify the State for any injuries arising from their protest (even if the injuries are caused by the protesters’ opponents); and that individuals or groups apply for a permit  weeks in advance (with no exception for spontaneous demonstrations in response to sudden events or news).

The ACLU informed DAGS of these problems over three and a half years ago (more than a year before the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting). The ACLU continued to inform the State of these problems through 2011, 2012, and 2013, but the State has neither changed its rules nor issued any new policies to correct these problems.

The ACLU has assisted several groups in navigating the unlawful permit process, but does not know how many other individuals or groups have been deterred from holding a demonstration because of DAGS’ unconstitutional rules. Honolulu now plans to host Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and defense ministers of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations April 1-2, and the ACLU hopes that this lawsuit will ensure that any individuals or groups that want to demonstrate on State property during the ASEAN Conference (or any other matter) are able to do so.

Daniel M. Gluck said: “After three years of being rebuffed by DAGS and the Attorney General?s office to resolve these issues administratively, it’s clear that the State won’t take any action without being sued.  We need to ensure that the free speech rights of all people are respected and protected, particularly on state grounds such as the Capitol, to show that our government is open, transparent, and participatory.”

Alexandra Rosenblatt said: “Current permitting practices could prevent people from gathering around a legislative measure or breaking community crisis. The State requires a fourteen day lead time for permits, yet legislative hearings only have a 2-3 day lead time. The State also requires that permit holders waive all claims against the state as a condition of exercising their first amendment rights. DAGS has made exceptions, but the absence of consistent, objective standards raises a concern that groups could be treated differently based on the content of their speech. When it comes to our government and state capitol there is no room for opaque rules that hinder community voices from being heard.”

The ACLU’s First Amendment Toolkit is a free guide for those considering demonstrations at the Hawaii State Capitol, or at parks, beaches, sidewalks and more statewide.