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Hawaii Judiciary Celebrates Law Day Across the State

The Hawaii State Judiciary will host a variety of activities for Law Day, the annual celebration of the role of law, the legal process, and the courts in our democratic society.

The theme of Law Day 2016 is, “Miranda: More than Words,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of America’s best-known U.S. Supreme Court cases, Miranda v. Arizona.  Through the “Miranda” theme, Law Day will explore the procedural protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution, how these rights are safeguarded by the courts, and why the preservation of these principles is essential to our liberty.

Supreme Court Law Library staff members Chelsea DeMott and Jason Weekley are pictured above with the Library’s “Law Day 2016: Miranda More Than Words” display that provides an overview of the historical significance of the Miranda case in the United States, along with basic information on Miranda rights.

Supreme Court Law Library staff members Chelsea DeMott and Jason Weekley are pictured above with the Library’s “Law Day 2016: Miranda More Than Words” display that provides an overview of the historical significance of the Miranda case in the United States, along with basic information on Miranda rights.

Across the islands, the Judiciary will sponsor special events and activities during the first week of May.

As part of the Judiciary’s Access to Justice Initiative, volunteer attorneys and AmeriCorps Advocates at courthouse Self-Help Centers will provide limited legal information to members of the public, free of charge.  At Oahu’s Access to Justice Rooms, volunteer attorneys will also provide limited legal advice.  For Self-Help Center locations, days and times, visit the Hawaii State Judiciary website at:  http://bit.ly/23bEaXX

FIRST CIRCUIT (Oahu)

The Supreme Court Law Library will have an educational display for the public on the historical significance of the Miranda case, basic information on Miranda rights, and the influence of the Miranda case in the media and popular culture.

The Supreme Court Law Library, located at Aliiolani Hale, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, 96813, is open Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Staff is available to provide information services and hand-outs on accessing legal resources.

SECOND CIRCUIT (Maui)

In the days leading up to Law Week, approximately 180 students have visited courts throughout the Second Circuit, observing court proceedings and meeting with judges.  Schools or individual students wishing to arrange a student tour of their local courthouse should contact the court at: (808) 244-2860.  Judges are also available to visit schools to discuss the law and the role of the courts in our society.

During the month of May there will be an educational display at the Second Circuit Court (Hoapili Hale, 2145 Main Street, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793-1679) concerning the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the rights of victims and witnesses, Access to Justice, and the different courts in the Second Circuit.

On May 5, 2016, a County of Maui Proclamation recognizing the Drug Courts and Veterans Court will be presented by Maui County Managing Director Keith Regan on behalf of Mayor Arakawa as part of the 55th Graduation Ceremony of the Maui / Molokai Drug Court.

THIRD CIRCUIT (Big Island)

Student tours have been arranged throughout the Third Circuit so students have the opportunity to observe court proceedings and meet with judges.

FIFTH CIRCUIT (Kauai)

Legal Aid Managing Attorney Linda Vass will provide a special 90-minute presentation on “Landlord/Tenant:  Basic Laws for Landlords & Tenants,” on May 2, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Kauai Judicial Complex (Puuhonoa Kaulike Building, 3970 Kaana Street, Lihue, 96766) First Floor, Multi-Purpose Room.  This event is free and open to the public.

On May 6, 2016, the courthouse Self-Help Center will open for extended hours, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., with volunteer attorneys providing free legal information to the public.  Walk-in appointments will be taken on a first come, first served basis.  For more information call (808) 482-2660.

Tours of the Kauai Judicial Complex will be available for schools and interested members of the public.  Tour arrangements may be made by calling (808) 482-2347.

Finally, a number of educational displays will be posted at the Kauai Judicial Complex.  The Adult Client Probation Service will have a display on the HOPE Probation Program, along with the Juvenile Client and Family Service Branch displays on Girls Court and the Kauai Drug Court.  The educational displays will feature program highlights and provide free program literature.

Hawaii Governor Names Every Student Succeeds Act Team Members

Gov. David Ige announced the names of the newly selected members of the Governor’s Team on ESSA – Every Student Succeeds Act. The team will work to develop a blue print for Hawai‘i’s public schools that is consistent with ESSA and will maximize opportunities and possibilities for Hawai‘i to transform education.

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The team was selected by Gov. Ige based on recommendations and applications, including one recommendation each from Senate President Ronald Kouchi and House Speaker Joe Souki.

“Our goal was to get a good cross-section of stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The work of the ESSA team will be an inclusive process that will involve town meetings and a summit to allow all to participate,” said Gov. Ige.

Gov. Ige appointed Darrel Galera as chairman of the ESSA team earlier this month.

Here is a complete list of members:

  • Philip Bossert – Community member, Director of Strategic & International Program, HAIS
  • Catherine Caine – Elementary School Teacher, Waikīkī Elementary
  • Kamana‘opono Crabbe – CEO – Office of Hawaiian Affairs
  • Darrel Galera – Chariperson, Executive Director, Education Institute of Hawai‘i
  • Keith Hayashi – Principal, Waipahu High School
  • Michelle Kidani – State Senator, Chair of Senate Education Committee
  • Brennan Lee – Student, State Student council
  • Ann Mahi – DOE – Complex Area Superintendent Waianae/Nanakuli
  • Hubert Minn – Member, Board of Education
  • Lauren Moriguchi – Executive Director, Office of Early Learning
  • Steve Nakasato – Principal, Pearl Ridge Elementary School
  • Alan Oshima – President, CEO Hawaiian Electric Co.
  • Catherine Payne – Chairperson, Charter Schools Commission
  • Amy Perruso – Teacher, Mililani High School
  • Stacey Roberts – UH Professor, Chair of Educational Administration Program
  • Carol Shikada – DOE – Educational Specialist (Kaua‘i)
  • Linda Takayama – Workforce – Director of Labor & Industrial Relations
  • Stephen Terstegge – Parent/Military, Castle High School
  • Takashi Ohno – State Representative

The team had its first preliminary, introductory meeting today. Meeting minutes will be regularly distributed to the Legislature, Schools Superintendent, Board of Education, Department of Education and will be posted on the governor’s website at: governor.hawaii.gov.

The ESSA team will ultimately be responsible for assessing the current public school system and identifying areas of need.

An Education Summit will be scheduled this summer to give organizations and individuals the opportunity to discuss possibilities for a future-focused education system and solicit input on key recommendations to the state’s ESSA plan.

Milestone Reached in Hawai‘i Island Dengue Fever Outbreak

With no reports of recent incidences of locally acquired dengue fever in 30 days, the state and County of Hawai‘i announced a significant milestone in the Hawai‘i Island outbreak that began in October. While the outbreak seems to have come to a halt, Gov. David Ige, along with other state and local officials caution the public not to let their guard down in the fight against mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit.

Mosquito Bite

The state and Hawai‘i County are standing down certain emergency response activities related to the dengue fever outbreak after 30 days of no new locally acquired cases. This decision rests on the fact that three periods of the maximum human incubation period of ten days have passed. The final day of the infectious period for the last reported case was March 27. However, as per routine operations, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) continues to immediately investigate all travel related cases and conduct mosquito assessments and/or treatment of potential areas of mosquito exposure.

“This milestone could not have been reached without the diligent efforts and teamwork by the Department of Health and the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency,” said Gov. Ige. “While this outbreak seems to be ending, our statewide response to mosquito-borne diseases must continue. We must remain vigilant in our mosquito prevention and abatement practices, be ready to respond to the Zika virus, and continue working together as a state to ‘Fight the Bite.’”

Since Oct. 28, 2015, DOH and the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency (HCCDA) have been actively investigating and responding to locally-acquired cases of dengue fever on Hawai‘i Island. Dengue is not endemic to Hawai‘i, but it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. As of April 27, 2016, 264 cases of locally-acquired dengue fever have been confirmed on Hawai‘i  Island with illnesses occurring as early as Sept. 11, 2015.

“By no means are we out of the clear,” said Darryl Oliveira, administrator of the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency. “Cooperation and collaboration between the state and county have been exemplary but we continue to identify actions and efforts that we can improve on in the future. We appreciate the tremendous initiative shown by the community in assisting with mosquito abatement and encourage everyone to continue taking proactive measures around their homes and neighborhoods to keep our state safe.”

Over the course of the outbreak, DOH’s Vector Control team surveyed a total of 523 private properties and 310 public spaces. Of that count, 220 private properties and 65 public spaces were sprayed and/or treated for mosquitoes. A total of more than 1,900 reported potential cases were evaluated and/or tested by DOH disease investigators and State Laboratories Division staff.

Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler added, “The fight against mosquitoes is far from over and we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our communities from the risk of mosquito borne diseases. We continue to receive and investigate reports of travel-related suspect cases of dengue fever, Zika virus and chikungunya on all islands. As Zika continues to spread rapidly overseas, we must take precautionary measures to prevent any locally acquired cases from taking hold in our state.”

“Knowing the dengue fever outbreak has been halted is welcome news for Hawaii’s tourism industry, especially for the travel partners, employees and residents who rely on its continued success,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “Travelers considering a visit to the Hawaiian Islands in the coming months can make their plans with confidence and without the hesitation that dengue may have been causing them.”

On April 11, Gov. Ige signed a supplemental proclamation to extend the state’s emergency period for mosquito borne illnesses. Under the extended emergency proclamation, DOH and the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), with input from county partners, will continue ongoing efforts to develop a comprehensive response plan detailing appropriate actions and measures dependent on the state’s current risk associated with mosquito borne diseases. A statewide public awareness and education campaign will kick off this year to ensure people understand the risks of mosquito-borne diseases and how to best prevent these illnesses in Hawai‘i.

Pregnant women need to take special precautions against the Zika virus and should avoid travel to areas where Zika is actively circulating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that Zika can cause microcephaly in newborns, a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared with other babies of the same sex and age. CDC has also confirmed that Zika can be spread from an infected man to his sexual partners. It is still unknown how long the virus can be spread in this way after the infected male’s symptoms have cleared.

For additional information about Zika virus and precautions, visit DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division’s website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/zika_virus/. For travel information and advisories, visit CDC’s website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information.

Update on Response Activities for Big Island Dengue Fever Outbreak – Health Department Daily Web Site Updates End

The State Health Department is no longer updating their website as of 4/26/2016

The State Health Department is no longer updating their website as of 4/26/2016

What: The State and County will announce the status of the Hawai‘i Island dengue fever outbreak and a new phase of response activities

Who:             

  • Governor David Ige
  • Mayor Billy Kenoi, County of Hawai‘i
  • Darryl Oliveira, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator
  • Dr. Virginia Pressler, Director of Health
  • Maj. Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan, State Adjutant General and Director of the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency
  • George Szigeti, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority President & CEO

When: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. 

Where: State Capitol, 5th floor, Governor’s Ceremonial Room

We plan to live stream the event through the governor’s website.

End of Dengue

Hawaii House and Senate Budget Conferees Agree on Funding to Increase Vector Control Staffing – Concern for Dengue and Zika Drives Need

House and Senate conferees on the state budget today agreed to provide $1,270,120 to bolster the state Department of Health Vector Control Branch to focus on controlling populations of animals and insects that spread disease.

Mosquito Bite

Hawaii Island’s recent outbreak of dengue fever and the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, which are spread by mosquitoes, have highlighted the continued importance of vector control, and House and Senate conferees want to ensure that the state is prepared to adequately short circuit, monitor and respond to any future outbreaks.

“This funding will help re-establish the vector control branch, which has been reduced over the past few years by furloughs and budget cuts,” said Sylvia Luke, chairperson of the House Finance Committee.  “In making these appropriations, the department will be able to add 20 new positions to monitor populations of vectors such as mosquitoes and rats, and to respond appropriately when a threat arises.”

Before the dengue fever outbreak in October, 2015, the state had 25 vector control positions, but 8 were vacant. With the added 20 new positions, there will be a total of 45 people in vector control when all positions are filled.

“Infectious disease has been and will continue to be one of our key challenges in a world made smaller and more connected with modern day air travel,” said Jill Tokuda, chairperson of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  “The state’s recent slow response to the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island was a wake-up call for all us.  We must be more vigilant in anticipating and responding to such outbreaks spread by mosquitoes and other vectors.”

In addition, the budget items agreed upon today included:

  • $6.9 million for public school transportation services;
  • $5.2 million for utilities for public schools;
  • $2.5 million for new fire trucks, firefighter equipment and fire retardant suits to ensure airport safety;
  • $1.5 million to fund a U.S. geographical survey study on Hawaii streams;
  • $1.4 million for port security and safety boats to reduce impact of natural disasters;
  • $1.25 million for maintenance and replacement of equipment at UH community colleges;
  • $400,000 to support beach restoration and protection projects and studies;
  • $180,000 for hydrologist and project development specialist positions for public land management for the disposition of water rights lease management and oversight; and
  • $162,354 for physician salary increases for better access to medical services for the Department of Public Safety.

The agreements were part of House and Senate conferees continued negotiations on a final version of HB1700, the state budget bill.  Earlier in the session, the House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee crafted their respective versions of the budget.

Lawmakers will continue to meet to iron out differences between the two versions through April 29, the deadline for all fiscal bills to pass out of conference committee.  A final conference draft will then be voted upon by the Legislature and if approved, will be sent to the Governor for his signature.

Budget worksheets detailing agreements and disagreements in the state and judiciary budget bills are available on the Capitol website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/budget/2016budget.aspx

The conference committee is scheduled to reconvene on Friday, April 22, at 2:30 p.m. in room 309.

DBEDT Releases Report on Non-English Speaking Population in Hawaii

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report today that examines the non-English speaking population in Hawaii based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau from 2010 to 2014.  The department’s Research and Economic Analysis Division created the report.

Click to read the report

Click to read the report

The “Non-English Speaking Population in Hawaii” report looks at residents aged 5 and older, who can speak a language other than English.  The report shows 17.9 percent of the population are foreign born, and speak more than 130 languages. About one in four Hawaii residents speak a language other than English at home, which is higher than the U.S. average of 21 percent. The data shows 12.4 percent of the state’s population speak English less than “very well,” which is much higher than the U.S. average of 8.6 percent.

Some of the findings in the report include the following:

  • Non-English language speaking at home was more prevalent in Honolulu County than in the neighbor island counties.  The proportion of non-English speakers was highest in Honolulu County at 28 percent and lowest in Hawaii County at 19 percent.
  • Ilocano, Tagalog, and Japanese were the top three most common non-English languages spoken at home in Hawaii.  Speakers of these three languages made up about half of non-English speakers at home in Hawaii.
  • English proficiency of the non-English speaking population varied substantially by language.  Among the top 10 most common non-English languages spoken at home in Hawaii, the German speaking population had the highest English proficiency with 84 percent of them speaking English “very well,” followed by the Hawaiian speaking population at 82 percent.  The proportion of fluent English speakers was relatively low among Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Ilocano speaking population, with less than 40 percent of them speaking English “very well.”
  • Compared with the adult population, the proportion of non-English speakers was lower and English proficiency was better in the 5 to 17 school-age children group. The popular language spoken by the school-age children were also different.  The share of Hawaiian speakers was noticeably bigger in the school-age children group than in the adult group.
  • The most distinctive characteristic of the non-English speaking population from the English-only speaking population was their nativity.  Of the non-English speakers at home, 63 percent in Hawaii were foreign born.  Compared with the English-only speaking population, the non-English speakers in Hawaii had a gender structure with more female population, and an age distribution with higher shares of older age groups.  The overall educational attainments of the non-English speakers were lower than that of the English-only speakers.
  • English proficiency had strong impacts on an individual’s economic activities. Labor force participation rate of the non-English speakers, who could not speak English well was about 15 percentage points lower than the rates for the English-only speakers and the non-English speakers who could speak English well. The rate difference with these groups was bigger at 33 percentage points for the non-English speakers who could not speak English at all.
  • English proficiency also played an important role in the selection of occupation. The occupational composition of the non-English speakers who could not speak English well showed a high concentration in two occupation groups: “Food preparation and serving” and “building/grounds cleaning and maintenance”. About one in two non-English speakers worked in one of these two occupations if they could not speak English well.
  • Earning disparities among various English proficiency groups were evident.  The median earnings of the non-English speakers were lower than that of the English-only speaking population for all English proficiency levels, and the earnings gap amplified as English proficiency decreased.

The full report is available at: dbedt.hawaii.gov/economic/reports_studies/non-english-speaking-population-in-hawaii/.

Maps on the non-English speaking population in Hawaii are available on this page by Census Designated Place and by Census Tract (based on the 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5 year data).

New Federal Education Law Prompts Governor to Form Team to Develop Blueprint for Hawaii’s Education

Gov. David Ige today announced the formation of the Governor’s Team on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The new law calls for the most significant reduction in federal authority over public education in decades. The law returns authority to the 50 states to set the direction for their own public schools.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act. President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act into law on December 10, 2015.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act into law on December 10, 2015.

The governor’s team will work to develop a blue print for Hawai‘i’s public schools that is consistent with ESSA and will maximize opportunities and possibilities for Hawai‘i to transform education.

Gov. Ige has appointed Darrel Galera as chairman of the Governor’s ESSA team and is in the process of appointing 16 additional members representing all stakeholders in public education.

Under the new education law, Gov. Ige will be involved in the development of the new state education plan and will have final approval over the plan.

“This is a major opportunity to change the face of public education in Hawai‘i for the better. Our innovation economy depends on a well-educated workforce to meet the state’s goals in renewable energy, locally grown food production, environmental stewardship and more. It is my hope that the public will participate in this process to help our education system prepare students for high-skill careers in the 21st century,” said Gov. Ige.

The ESSA team will ultimately be responsible for assessing the current public school system and identifying areas of need.

An Education Summit will be scheduled this summer to give organizations and individuals the opportunity to discuss possibilities for a future-focused education system and solicit input on key recommendations to the state’s ESSA plan.

Town hall meetings will also be scheduled to share information with the public and to collect public input for the ESSA plan.

To apply to serve on the Governor’s ESSA Team, go to: https://forms.ehawaii.gov/pages/board-survey/

Deadline for applications is April 22, 2016.

On Equal Pay Day, Senator Hirono Leads Measure To End Gender Barriers In STEM Careers

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today marked Equal Pay Day by introducing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Opportunities Act, legislation that would improve inclusion of women, minorities, and people with disabilities in STEM careers. Equal Pay Day marks the day in 2016 when, on average, women’s wages catch up to what men earned in 2015.

mazie 412“It’s unacceptable that we are more than 100 days into 2016, but women’s salaries are only now catching up with what men made last year,” said Senator Hirono. “While the gender pay gap affects women across all fields, women in STEM careers continue to face barriers that can limit their opportunities for employment and equal pay. The STEM Opportunities Act takes a comprehensive approach to combatting factors that limit the advancement of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM. For America to remain competitive in a 21st century economy, we must break down barriers for working women through passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and the STEM Opportunities Act.”

Senator Hirono also took to the Senate floor to mark Equal Pay Day and highlight disparities in STEM fields. For example, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in school year 2014-2015, men earned more than five times the number of computer science bachelor’s degrees and three times as many bachelor’s degrees in the College of Engineering as women.

The STEM Opportunities Act helps federal science agencies and institutions of higher education identify and share best practices to overcome barriers that can hurt the inclusion of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM, and also allows universities and nonprofits to receive competitive grants and recognition for mentoring women and minorities in STEM fields. The STEM Opportunities Act builds on legislation championed by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

The Senate measure is cosponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Brian Schatz (D-HI).

“Science, technology, engineering and math are drivers of innovation in states like New Jersey, and across the country. If we are to remain globally competitive, we have to ensure all Americans- including women and minorities- are prepared to succeed in these important fields,” said Senator Booker. “I am pleased to support the STEM Opportunities Act to create inclusive career pathways that will help grow our economy and create opportunities for more Americans.”

“The STEM fields are critical to driving innovation and economic growth,” said Senator Gillibrand. “But we limit our potential when our STEM workforce does not reflect the diversity of our nation. I was proud to lead a successful bipartisan amendment to the recently enacted Every Student Succeeds Act to increase access to high-quality STEM coursework in K-12 education for students who are members of groups underrepresented in STEM fields. The STEM Opportunities Act will improve opportunities for advancement in STEM fields for women and underrepresented minorities further down the pipeline – in higher education, in early careers, and for STEM academics and professionals.”

“Increasing women and minority participation in the STEM economy will keep the United States at the forefront of scientific discovery and technological innovation in the 21st century,” said Senator Markey. “The diversity of STEM professionals will help fuel the diversity of discoveries in science, technology, engineering and math. For our future scientific endeavors to produce the next generation of life-changing results, we need to ensure that our universities, laboratories and research institutions reflect the rich diversity of our nation and continue to receive the support that fosters breakthroughs and helps maintain American leadership in science and technology.”

“If we’re serious about empowering more young women and communities of color to take on STEM careers and compete in the 21st century economy, we need to ramp up our research efforts to identify and share best practices so that we can diversify the next generation of STEM professionals,” said Senator Murray. “STEM skills are so important for Washington state’s economy, so making these fields more inclusive will ultimately strengthen our workforce and our economy in the years to come.”

“By expanding access to STEM disciplines in schools and sharing best practices for recruitment and retention in STEM careers, we can help more women and minorities become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math, boosting economic success and strengthening America’s competitiveness in the 21st-century global economy,” said Senator Peters. “The STEM Opportunities Act of 2016 will improve inclusion of women and minorities in STEM fields by tapping into and fostering their talents.”

The American Association for University of Women, American Women in Science, Girls, Inc., MAES- Latinos in Science and Engineering, Maui Economic Development Board, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Society for Women Engineers, Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center support the STEM Opportunities Act.

“When we reduce barriers that deter women and other underrepresented minorities from pursuing careers in STEM fields, American businesses get a leg up on the rest of the world. The STEM Opportunities Act will open doors for a more diverse science community, and in so doing help spur innovation and increase our global competitiveness,” said Lisa Maatz, Vice President of Government Relations at American Association of University Women. “Any serious attempt to modernize our science workforce and our nation’s science priorities is incomplete without this measure.

“In Hawaii, high-paying STEM jobs are boosting our island economy,” said Leslie Wilkins, Vice President, of the Maui Economic Development Board and Director of the Women in Technology Project. “To grow the education to workforce pipeline needed to keep up with STEM job demand, our Women in Technology initiative continues to engage girls and women who are under-represented in technology fields. WIT’s hands-on STEM curriculum, training, mentoring and internship programs have had a significant impact statewide but still need ongoing support.  Mahalo to Senator Hirono for introducing the STEM Opportunities Act, a comprehensive bill that could strengthen our efforts, as well as others throughout Hawaii and the nation.”

“Investing in STEM is an investment in our nation’s future, and it is imperative that women and people of color are represented and empowered to succeed in these fields. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are underrepresented in STEM leadership roles, and despite stereotypes, some AAPI subgroups are underrepresented in STEM overall. Disaggregated data on AAPIs at institutions of higher education and federal science agencies will highlight the need for more investment in AAPIs in STEM fields, and this legislation would benefit all women and people of color in STEM. Senator Hirono has been a strong advocate for STEM inclusion, and we also thank her for her ongoing leadership on behalf of AAPI communities in all areas,” said National Council of Asian Pacific Americans National Director Christopher Kang.

“Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) enthusiastically supports the STEM Opportunities Act of 2016 and applauds its sponsors for their efforts.  Improving data collection, research and sharing best practices across federal science agencies and institutions of higher education to address systemic factors impeding the inclusion of underrepresented groups in STEM fields are all key elements in the Nation’s interest.  The PAESMEM awards are particularly essential in bringing all groups into STEM; SACNAS was a PAESMEM recipient in 2004 and 20 of SACNAS’ members have received PAESMEM awards.   In order to keep our nation competitive in science and engineering, such legislation as this Act is essential. As classical Clayton Christensen ‘disruptive thinking’ implies, helping the unserved and underserved—women and underrepresented minorities in STEM in this case—enables the greatest movement forward. SACNAS has over 6,000 paid members and serves a larger constituency of over 18,000—over half of whom are females—with particular emphasis on minorities underrepresented in STEM,” said Robert E. Barnhill, Ph.D, Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science Vice President, Science Policy & Strategic Initiatives.

“SEARAC commends Senator Hirono’s proposed STEM Opportunities Act for taking a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to strengthening and diversifying the STEM workforce through grants for evidence-based efforts, the creation of a federal inter-agency group to create policies that include a more diverse STEM workforce, and the collection of data to examine progress towards increasing STEM opportunities for underrepresented groups.  SEARAC is especially pleased that the STEM Opportunities Act collects disaggregated data for AAPI students — which will illuminate the disparities in access and participation to STEM opportunities within the AAPI community,” said Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).

“U Drive U Text U Pay” – Big Island Police Participate in National Campaign

Hawaiʻi Island police will increase enforcement of distracted driving in the month of April as part of a national campaign called “U Drive U Text U Pay”.
U Drive U Text U PayDistracted driving is a problem of national concern. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finds that the task of driving requires a driver’s full attention in focusing on the roadway and driving maneuvers.

Any distraction that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary tasks of maneuvering the vehicle and responding to critical events increases the driver’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road or hands off the wheel.

On July 1, 2013, the State of Hawaiʻi enacted law prohibiting the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle (with certain exceptions) and to specifically prohibit activities such as texting, instant messaging, gaming and e-mailing, which take a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road and hands off the wheel. Use of an electronic device while operating a vehicle is a $297 fine and $307 if the violation is within a school or construction zone.

Hokulea Sails Through Florida and Georgia Via Intracoastal Waterway

Since departing Titusville, Florida, on Friday, April 8, 2016, Hokulea has been traveling north on the Intracoastal Waterway making overnight stops at Palm Coast and St. Augustine.

Hokulea Canal

Last night, she entered the state of Georgia for the first time and docked in Brunswick. Tonight, the canoe and crew are staying overnight in Fort McAllister, GA and plan to depart first thing tomorrow morning to continue the voyage up the East Coast.

Watch Captain Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau preps the tow line in anticipation of departure from Titusville Marina. Mahalo nui to everyone who came out to show their support and wish us well as we begin Leg 19.

Watch Captain Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau preps the tow line in anticipation of departure from Titusville Marina. Mahalo nui to everyone who came out to show their support and wish us well as we begin Leg 19.

The Hokulea and crew are scheduled to be part of the Charleston Outdoor Festival in South Carolina on April 15.

hokulea 41116

During the voyage up the Intracoastal Waterway, Hokulea has sailed under several bridges and the crew has spotted various kinds of wildlife including manatees, pelicans, dolphins and flamingoes.

Senator Schatz Visits CDC Headquarters, Meets with Top Official to Discuss Zika, Dengue Response in Hawaii

As the outbreaks of Zika and dengue continue to threaten communities in the United States and around the world, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters and met with top officials to discuss the CDC’s response to outbreaks in Hawai‘i.

Senator Brian Schatz in Puna after Hurricane Iselle

Senator Brian Schatz in Puna after Hurricane Iselle

During the meetings, Senator Schatz called for stronger vector-control programs to fight the spread of mosquito-borne viruses. Zika and dengue are transmitted by the same mosquito population, making vector-control programs a key component to preventing outbreaks.

“Dengue remains a public health emergency on Hawai‘i Island, and with new possible Zika cases in the state, we need more support from the CDC to fight these outbreaks,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. “While we continue to secure more funding, I am pleased we were able to get a commitment from the CDC to address dengue and the threat of Zika in Hawai‘i.”

Last month, Senator Schatz led eight senators in calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase funding for mosquito-control programs.

During an appropriations hearing in February, Senator Schatz urged the Director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden, to coordinate with state and local governments to improve mosquito-control programs to help stop the spread of both dengue and Zika.

Hawai‘i has had over 250 confirmed cases of dengue since September 2015, mostly concentrated on Hawai‘i Island. Like dengue, Zika can be transmitted by mosquitos. Zika has been spreading throughout the Americas and has been linked with neurological ailments such as paralysis and devastating birth defects. The CDC has issued its highest alert level for Zika, while the World Health Organization has declared it a global health emergency.

3 Stranded Men Found on Uninhabited Island After Using Palm Fronds to Spell Help

Three men who were stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island for three days are safe, Thursday, after using palm fronds to spell the word “help” in the sand.

Two of three men stranded on the uninhabited island of Fanadik in the Federated States of Micronesia wave life jackets as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 5, assisting U.S. Coast Guard Hawaii Pacific, discovers them on Thursday.

Two of three men stranded on the uninhabited island of Fanadik in the Federated States of Micronesia wave life jackets as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 5, assisting U.S. Coast Guard Hawaii Pacific, discovers them on Thursday.

A Navy P-8 Madfox 807 aircrew from Misawa Air Base in Japan was conducting a search pattern for the missing mariners when they spotted survivors holding lifejackets and their makeshift sign. This information was relayed back to search and rescue watchstanders in Guam and shared with the family. The survivors were then picked up and transferred by a local small boat to Pulap.

Watchstanders at the Sector Guam Command Center received notification from a Chuuk search and rescue liaison at 11:07 a.m. Tuesday of the overdue skiff en route the island of Weno.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast, coordinated the assistance of the Navy P-8 aircrew and vessels in the area of the skiff’s last known location to assist in the search. AMVER vessels Brilliant Jupiter and Ten Yu Maru diverted and conducted a combined 17 hours and searched 178 miles of track-line. The Navy P-8 aircrew launched at 6 a.m. Thursday to assist in the search and located the men approximately two hours into their search.

“Our combined efforts coupled with the willingness of many different resources to come together and help, led to the successful rescue of these three men in a very remote part of the Pacific,” said Lt. William White, Sector Guam public affairs officer.

AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the vest-sited ship or ships to respond.

Since March 28, watchstanders throughout the Coast Guard 14th District have coordinated rescue efforts in the Pacific for seven separate search and rescue cases of this nature, involving 10 AMVER vessels and six aircrews resulting in 15 lives saved.

“The Coast Guard 14th District covers an area of responsibility more than 12.2 million square miles of land and sea, an area almost twice the size of Russia,” said Jennifer Conklin, search and rescue mission coordinator at the Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu. “Oftentimes, we are thousands of miles away from those who need help and because of that our partnerships with the Navy, other search and rescue organizations, partner Pacific nations and AMVER are essential.”

As part of Pacific Partnership 2015, Coast Guard members conducted outreach in Chuuk and provided boating safety equipment such as lifejackets, radar reflectors and signaling mirrors.

Honolulu Bans Non-Essential Publicly-Funded Travel to North Carolina and Mississippi Due to LGBT Discrimination Bills

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Thursday issued a moratorium on non-essential publicly-funded travel by city employees to the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.

Hawaii Rainbow Flag

Similar actions have been taken by municipalities across the country after lawmakers in North Carolina and Mississippi recently enacted laws that endorse discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

“This moratorium sends a clear message to states where discrimination against people in the LGBT community, as well as any discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex, or handicap, is tolerated,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Hopefully, common sense and our core American values of equality and tolerance will prevail in these states, allowing us to lift this moratorium.”

Also today, Mayor Caldwell joined the newly formed coalition group Mayors Against Discrimination spearheaded by San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. Currently, the coalition also includes the mayors of Seattle, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, Oakland, Sante Fe, Washington, D.C., and Tampa, with a quickly growing list of Mayors who are standing against bigotry and hatred. The press release is attached.

Entrance Fees Waived at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for National Park Week

Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary – and the centennial of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – during National Park Week, April 16-24. Entrance fees will be waived nine full days, and a “National Park Rx Day” will be held on Sunday, April 24.

Volcano at night

Visitors gather every night at the Jaggar Museum observation deck to witness the summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano from Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi

“There’s no better way to celebrate the centennial anniversaries of both Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the National Park Service than by inviting our community and visitors to enjoy the park at no charge,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Your park ‘ohana welcomes you to join us for a special program, reconnect with your favorite trail, or stay after dark to admire the splendor of glowing lava within Halema‘uma‘u Crater,” she said.

For Junior Ranger Day on Sat., April 16, keiki 17 and younger are invited to join park rangers in Kahuku for a fun day of discovery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will hike the historic lower Palm Trail, and learn to make traditional string figures called hei. Call (808) 985-6019 to register, limited to 25 participants.

On Wed., April 20 kupuna hula group Haunani’s Aloha Expressions will perform for free at the Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

On the last day of National Park Week, Sun., April 24, from 10 a.m. to noon, the park will host a “National Park Rx Day,” a community health initiative to “prescribe” time in parks to promote wellness. Join park rangers and Dr. Craig Kadooka on an easy one-mile roundtrip hike of upper ‘Iliahi Trail. Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai at 10 a.m. The first 200 walkers will receive a reusable water bottle and fresh fruit. Hawaiian practitioners Edna and Sam Baldado will demonstrate the heath benefits of kalo, and Ka‘ohu Monfort will share how Hawaiians use plants to heal and cure. HMSA will also provide a table with health information.

A hiker takes in the coastal views at ‘Āpua Point in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Photo courtesy of Jacob W. Frank. ​

A hiker takes in the coastal views at ‘Āpua Point in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Photo courtesy of Jacob W. Frank. ​

National Park Week event sponsors include Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ National Park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016. The park provides countless ways for visitors to connect with and appreciate Hawaiian culture, active volcanoes, and native plants and animals. It was designated as a World Heritage Site (1987) and an International Biosphere Reserve (1980).

Hokulea Crew Visits NASA Kennedy Space Center

Continuing their journey of connecting ocean wayfinding with space exploration, Hokulea crewmembers visited Florida’s NASA Kennedy Space Center today and engaged with the center’s staff. Polynesian Voyaging Society president and pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson also took the opportunity to speak to the NASA team on Hawaii-born NASA astronaut Lacy Veach’s contribution to space voyaging, and how Veach inspired the canoe’s Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

NASA Hokulea

“Coming to NASA for me has been an amazing celebration,” Thompson expressed during his speech today to a crowd of about 160 people that included both Hokulea and NASA crew. “I made a promise to Lacy back in ’95 when we lost him, that we’re going to go. It took us 22 years from the idea to actually leave, to get prepared to do something as dangerous as what we’re doing now. Lacy is our navigator on this voyage, and for that, this is the most important two days for me.”

NASA Hokulea Nainoa

Yesterday, the crew honored Veach along with Ellison Onizuka, another Hawaii-born astronaut for their extraordinary contributions to space voyaging, in an intimate ceremony onboard the canoe. Hokulea crewmembers conducted a star compass activity with local students, and pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld led a navigation presentation for the public visiting the center. Wednesday’s activities also included a tour of the NASA headquarters: Hokulea crewmembers visited the facilities where astronauts would get suited up before their flights, NASA’s vehicle assembly building and the launch control center.

Nasa Hokulea Building

Hokulea is scheduled to depart Titusville on Friday, April 8, and continue her journey up the east coast. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit http://www.hokulea.com/hokuleas-planned-east-coast-port-stops/.

To follow the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, visit http://hokulea.com/track-the-voyage

ChefConnect: Hawaii – American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Central and Western Region Awards

Chefs, students and food service professionals from the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Central and Western regions gathered for professional development and culinary trend seminars at ChefConnect: Hawaii. The conference took place at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii, April 3-5.

Chef Connect HawaiiConference topics included honey varietals and beekeeping, Hawaiian poke, food pairings, beef trends and the processes behind growing vanilla. Attendees enjoyed hands-on workshops, culinary demonstrations and networking opportunities.

Presenters included Alan Wong, HHOF, renowned master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine and owner, Honolulu-based Alan Wong’s Restaurants; chef Lee Anne Wong, owner, Koko Head Café, Honolulu;and Bryan Fujikawa, owner/chef, Sun Dried Specialties, Kealakekua, Hawaii. For a full list of presenters, visit www.acfchefs.org/EventSeries.

Regional awards were presented to Central and Western region chefs and students during the conference. The following ACF award winners have the opportunity to earn their respective national titles at Cook. Craft. Create., Phoenix, July 15-19.

ACF Central Region Chef Educator of the Year – Christopher Misiak, CEC, CCE, program coordinator/instructor, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

ACF Western Region Chef Educator of the Year – Cheryl Lewis, CCC, CCE, chef instructor, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, Las Vegas; ACF Chefs Las Vegas

ACF Central Region Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award – Thomas Elkin, CEC, AAC, culinary instructor, St. Louis Community College, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc

ACF Western Region Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award – Bobby Moghaddam, CEC, CCE, AAC, director, hospitality and culinary arts, Riverside City College Culinary Academy, Riverside, California; ACF Southern CA Inland Empire Chefs & Cooks Association

ACF Central Region Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by Minor’s® – Kenneth Thompson, CEC, CCA, chef/instructor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

ACF Western Region Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by Minor’s® – Anthony Danna, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Astor House at Springbrook Oaks, Newberg, Oregon; ACF Pro Chefs Oregon

ACF Central Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers and Vitamix – Students representing Kendall College, Chicago

ACF Western Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers and Vitamix – Students representing Utah Valley University Culinary Arts Institute, Orem, Utah

ACF Central Region Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions – Patrick Mitchell, CEC, AAC, executive chef/culinary adviser, Ben E. Keith Foods, Fort Worth, Texas; Texas Chefs Association

ACF Western Region Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions – Lenard Rubin, CEC, executive chef, The Country Club at DC Ranch, Scottsdale, Arizona; ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona, Inc.

ACF Central Region Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá® European-Style Butter – Jan Lewandowski, CEPC, lead baking instructor, Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas; ACF Central Arkansas Cooks Association

ACF Western Region Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá® European-Style Butter – Andrew Corrao, CCC, CEPC, banquet/pastry chef, Bambara Restaurant, Salt Lake City; ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.

ACF Central Region Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary® – Shayne McCrady, sauté cook/line cook, The Gatesworth at One McKnight Place, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc

ACF Western Region Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary® – Michelle Stephenson, student, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah; ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.

ACF Central Region Student Team Regional Championship, sponsored by Vitamix – Students representing ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association that attend Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas

ACF Western Region Student Team Regional Championship, sponsored by Vitamix – Students representing ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon that attend Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Oregon

ChefConnect: Hawaii award recipients in ACF’s Central and Western regions listed below were recognized for their outstanding contributions to ACF, goodwill in their communities and/or culinary excellence.

ACF Central Region Chapter of the Year – ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association; Bolingbrook, Illinois

ACF Western Region Chapter of the Year – ACF Pro Chefs Oregon; McMinnville, Oregon

ACF Central Region Chapter Achievement Awards –

  • ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana; Schererville, Indiana
  • ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association; Bolingbrook, Illinois
  • Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc; St. Louis

ACF Western Region Chapter Achievement Awards:

  • ACF Pro Chefs Oregon; McMinnville, Oregon
  • ACF World of Thanks
  • ACF Kona-Kohala Chefs Association; Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  • ACF Central Region Cutting Edge Awards, sponsored by Friedr. Dick Corp.
  • Michael Vlasich, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, Indianapolis; ACF Greater Indianapolis Chapter
  • Jack Mix, owner/chef, Comfort’s Catering, St. John, Indiana; ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana

ACF Central Region Achievement of Excellence Awards:

  • Alpine Inn; Hill City, South Dakota
  • Redstone American Grill; Minnetonka, Minnesota

More than 350 chefs, students and foodservice professionals attended ChefConnect: Hawaii. The conference was part of ACF’s Signature Series, which provides educational and networking opportunities for culinary industry professionals and students. Learn more about the conference atwww.acfchefs.org/EventSeries, on Twitter @ACFChefs, #ChefConnect or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ACFChefs.

Sponsors of ChefConnect: Hawaii were: Custom Culinary®; Minor’s®; Unilever Food Solutions; NEWCHEF Fashion Inc; Plugrá® European-Style Butter; Vitamix; Ecolab; Allen Brothers; Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; American Technical Publishers; Don Miller & Associates, Inc. (DM&A); Par-Way Tryson Company; The Beef Checkoff; Jones Dairy Farm; and Valrhona.

About the American Culinary Federation

The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), established in 1929, is the standard of excellence for chefs in North America. With more than 17,500 members spanning nearly 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the leading culinary association offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef®, Certified Sous Chef®, Certified Executive Pastry Chef® and Certified Culinary Educator® designations accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org. Find ACF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ACFChefs and on Twitter @ACFChefs.

Big Island Dog in Running for American Humane Association Hero Dog Award

A Big Island of Hawaii canine is in the running for a American Humane Association Hero Dog Award.

Arson Dog Kaimi

Arson Dog Kaimi

Kaimi’s handler writes:

As Kaimi’s handler and partner for the last 8 years I have had the privilege to work with such an amazing K9 partner. In 2008 Kaimi became the first Arson K9 in the State of Hawaii and continues to serve the state by fighting the crime of arson statewide. Kaimi has worked hundreds of fires where he has assisted investigators to determine the origin and cause of all types of fires (structure, wildland & vehicles) and has been key in the conviction of arsonists in Hawaii.

In one case Kaimi traced the presence of ignitable liquids from the fire scene to the neighbors residence, where he found the presence of ignitable liquids on the neighbor. After laboratory analysis it was confirmed that the ignitable liquids were all consistent and that the neighbor was guilty of the crime. Kaimi and I travel thousands of miles from Hawaii to the Mainland every year for our annual recertification.

Kaimi also loves children and does numerous public education events & demonstrations to teach children about fire safety and prevention. He has also partnered with organizations to help fight animal hunger in Hawaii County. Kaimi is an amazing partner and one of Hawaii’s Heroes! I humbly ask for your vote!

To vote for Kaimi you can click here (voting begins May 12th, 2016): American Humane Association Hero Dogs: Kaimi

For millions of Americans, animals are not just their best friends, but their heroes. Whether they are lending eyes to the unsighted, ears to the deaf, protection to the sleeping family and the soldier, or providing a welcoming kiss at the end of a hard day, animals affect us in so many different ways. Behind almost every hero pet (and millions more animals) is a hero veterinarian or hero veterinary technician. These often little-known benefactors save and improve the lives of our two- and four-legged best friends in many ways, and the American Humane Association Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™, presented by Zoetis, honor their achievements.

Pet owners and animal lovers alike are invited to nominate their favorite veterinary professionals who are dedicated to the betterment of the health and welfare of animals and the promotion of the human-animal bond. The winning veterinarian and veterinary technician will be flown to Los Angeles to be honored as part of the fifth annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, which will be taped for a national television broadcast on Hallmark Channel later in the fall. These awards are not limited to companion animal veterinarians. Professionals from all fields of veterinary medicine are eligible for entry including, but not limited to those who work in: research, emergency services, shelters, and those who work with large and exotic animals.

American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.

78 UH Hilo Vulcan Athletes Honored on National Student-Athlete Day

On National Student-Athlete Day, the University of Hawaii at Hilo recognizes 78 Vulcan student-athletes for their academic, athletic and community service excellence.
National Student Athlete DayCreated by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports in 1987, student-athletes must earn a 3.0 grade point average or higher while engaging in community service.

This year’s recipients include:

Baseball (11) – Micah Carter, William Cleary, Nathan Green, Jacob Grijalva, Reece Kato, Jaron Manago, Timothy Mendonca, Sean Nearhoof, Jonathan Segovia, Phillip Steering, Morgan West

Women’s Basketball (9) – Alia Alvarez, Lauren Hong, Alexa Jacobs, Pilialoha Kailiawa, Felicia Kolb, Sydney Mercer, Kimberly Schmelz, Keani Shirai, Patience Taylor

Cross Country (4) – Riley Arroyo, Crsytal-Lynn Baysa, Anna Mikkelson, Kaylee Rapoza

Women’s Golf (5) – Shannon Abarra, Shantel Antonio, Andi Igawa, Keely Kitamura, Kristen Sawada

Men’s Golf (4) – Kyeton Littel, Conor Morley, Casey Tamura, David Tottori

Men’s Soccer (11) – Max Darris, Andrew Dawrs, Juan David Diaz Casallas, Cassidy Dixon, Tyler Hoffman, Trenton Hooper, Joshua Jasper, Anton Lund, Omar Machado, Zachary Solarte, George Wakefield

Women’s Soccer (11) – Kailah Buchanan, Kayla Clarke, Kahri Golden, Annabel Gonzalez, Meghan Langbehn, Nicole Rascon, Kayela Santiago, Alexa Smiley, Danika Steele, Leighana Weaver, Abcde Zoller

Softball (11) – Angela Aguinaga, Billi Derleth, Cyanne Fernandez, Bailey Gaspar, Brittany Huff, Mari Kawano, Cristina Menjivar, Stephanie Pasco, Danielle Pulido, Maria Steadmon, Danielle Wilson

Men’s Tennis (4) – Stefan Coney, Ryuta Ogawa, Kainoa Rosa, Ryan Torio

Women’s Tennis (3) – Trixie Croad, Bianca Novotna, Chelsea Sato

Volleyball (5) – Trixie Croad, Siera Green, Mariya Heidenrich, Marley Strand-Nicolaisen, Kyndra Trevino-Scott

Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee Proposes Fiscally Equitable Budget

The Senate Ways and Means (WAM) Committee today introduced and passed budget amendments in HB1700 HD1 SD1 that reflects the priorities facing our communities, yet broadly represents and addresses needs across the state.

Capital

The Governor’s operating budget proposed to add approximately $335 million in general funds for fiscal year 2016-2017.  The Senate draft reduced this amount by approximately $215 million in general funds, resulting in a total operating budget add of $120 million in general funds for fiscal year 2016-2017.  The Senate draft did not include 100% pre-funding of Other Post-Employment Benefits, which was included in the Governor’s draft, and amounted to approximately $163 million dollars.

“The Senate draft of the supplemental budget balances priority needs with existing resources, ensuring programs and services can be maintained over time,” said Sen. Jill Tokuda (Dist. 24 –Kane‘ohe, Kane‘ohe MCAB, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘Ahuimanu), WAM Committee chair.  “Our Committee once again identified ways to encourage efficiencies and better utilize base appropriations to do more with less, without unsustainably adding to our budget.”

The Senate draft reflects a significant investment in operating support for homeless programs, totaling over $7.3M.  These include the following:

  • $3,000,000 in general funds for the Housing First Program
  • $1,100,000 in general funds for Homeless Outreach Services
  • $2,000,000 in general funds for Rapid Re-housing Services
  • $450,000 in general funds for a new homeless shelter in Kakaako
  • $200,000 in general funds for a Stored Property Program

In addition, the Senate draft included operating and capital improvement projects to increase the supply of affordable housing statewide.  These include:

 Operating

  • $3,000,000 in general funds for the State Family and Elderly facilities’ operations, deferred maintenance, and repair.
  • (36) positions and $2,703,581 in revolving funds for the Multi-Skilled Worker Pilot Program in the Hawaii Public Housing Authority.  These funds will be used to repair vacant public housing units.
  • (29) positions and $1,125,584 in general funds for the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to issue more housing vouchers and secure additional federal funds.

Capital Improvements Projects

  • $29,150,000 in general funds and $6,000,000 in general obligation bond funds to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority
  • $50,000,000 in general obligation bond funds for the Rental Housing Trust Fund
  • $33,289,000 in general obligation bond funds for the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund

Working with the housing agencies in each county, an additional $59,612,000 in revolving funds was provided for shovel ready housing projects statewide, which will provide for the renovation of 850 current units and the creation of an additional 1,600 units for our communities.

The Senate draft also provides extensive support for hospitals and healthcare needs for the State, including:

Operating

  • $10,000,000 in general funds for the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, to be used at the discretion of the Board in allocating to the regions as well as for any necessary seed capital for the Maui Health System
  • $7,900,00 in general funds for the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation in order to meet the shortfall of the corporate allocation costs due to the Maui transition, which would have otherwise been assessed to the regions without additional funding support
  • $21,000,000 in general funds for an operating subsidy to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation to continue to provide healthcare services statewide

Capital Improvement Projects

  • $160,000,000 in general obligation bonds is provided for the Hawai‘i State Hospital for a new forensic facility to house the high-risk patients
  • $5,000,000 in general obligation bond funds for the purchase of two parcels owned by the Wahiawa Hospital Association, resulting in an immediate cash infusion ensuring greater financial stability for the hospital.  The intent is for the State to provide a long-term lease to the Wahiawa Hospital Association at a nominal rate.

 Other operating and capital improvement funding highlights include:

Department of Agriculture
Funding for efforts to support Hawai‘i farmers

Operating:

  • $500,000 in general funds for pesticide regulation expenses
  • (1) position and $98,800 in special funds for General Administration for the Farm to School Program

Capital Improvement Projects:

The Senate draft includes $107,074,000 in general obligation bond funds to purchase over 8,000 acres of agricultural land which will help support local farmers, decreasing Hawaii’s dependence on importing agricultural products and another $33,700,000 in general obligation bond funds for upgrades and improvements to water infrastructure systems statewide.

Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism
Funding for programs that are sustainable and bolster the economy

Operating:

  • $30,000 in general funds for repair and maintenance for the statewide film program for Creative Industries Division
  • $100,000 in general funds for Creative Industries Division for Creative Lab Program
  • $150,000 in general funds for unmanned aerial systems test site for Office of Aerospace Development
  • (1) temporary position and $100,000 in general funds for Hawaii broadband initiative
  • $5,000,000 in general funds and $5,000,000 in revolving funds for HI Growth initiative for Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation

Capital Improvement Projects:

Focused on reversing the brain drain, creating jobs, diversifying our economy, the Senate draft includes investments of $3,000,000 in general obligation bond funds to develop the Entrepreneur’s Sandbox in Kakaako, $5,200,000 in general obligation reimbursable bond funds to the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii in Kona, $6,000,000 in general obligation bond funds for infrastructure upgrades at Kalaeloa, and over $38,800,000 in general obligation bond funds for a Creative Media Facility at the University of Hawaii West Oahu.

Department of Defense
Funding to support and recognize Hawai‘i veterans

Operating:

  • (7) positions and $160,036 in general funds for multi-skilled worker team to provide services at the Hawaii State Veterans’ Cemetery
  • $500,000 in general funds for veterans’ memorials and commemoration events

Department of Education
Funding to provide student services support, transportation and libraries

 Operating:

  •  $10,000,000 in general funds for Weighted Student Formula for English Language Learners
  • $16,537,791 in general funds for Weighted Student Formula
  • $1,000,000 in general funds for classroom supplies and equipment for new facilities
  • $6,984,689 in general funds for Public School Transportation Services
  • $5,215,919 in general funds for Utilities
  • $200,000 in general funds for repair and maintenance backlog for public libraries statewide
  • Add $250,000 in general funds and $250,000 in special funds for Hawaii State Public Library System

 Capital Improvement Projects:

$358,175,000 in general obligation bond funds, $30,603,000 in federal funds and $4,349,000 in general funds for funding Department of Education projects including $30,000,000 in general obligation bond funds to address the cooling and air conditioning needs of public schools, $40,000,000 in general obligation bond funds for a new secondary school in Kapolei and $38,000,000 in general obligation bond funds for the continued construction costs for new high school in Kihei.

Office of the Governor

Funding to provide staff support

Operating:

(2) temporary positions and $300,000 in general funds for Office of Military Affairs and Federal Grants Maximization

Department of Human Services

Funding to ensure social safety nets and improve IT infrastructure for better service delivery

Operating:

  • $6,000,000 in general funds for Preschool Open Doors Program
  • $4,799,926 in general funds and $7,664,177 in federal funds for preventive adult dental benefits
  • $4,294,333 in general funds and $3,343,667 in federal funds for increased cost of Medicare Part B supplements
  • $4,878,120 in general funds and $5,721,880 in federal funds for services to Medicaid recipients through age 6 with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • $8,000,000 in general funds and $9,383,746 in federal funds for Medicaid recipients with chronic Hepatitis C infections
  • $1,553,559 in general funds and $1,775,971 in federal funds for increase in nursing home payments by the Data Resources Incorporated Rate
  • $5,905,962 in general funds and $17,717,886 in federal funds for Department Enterprise System maintenance and operations
  • $770,000 in general funds for A-Plus Program fee subsidies for employed low-income families
  • $3,196,346 in general funds and $17,714,682 in federal funds for information technology for the Department of Human Services

Department of Human Resources Development
Funding to increase effectiveness

Operating

$250,000 in general funds for workers’ compensation claims

Department of Health
Funding to support healthcare services, assist in fight against Dengue Fever, address Red Hill Consent Order

Operating:

  • (33) positions and $1,777,362 in general funds for the management of the dengue fever outbreak and newly emerging public health threats
  • (3) positions and $88,362 in general funds for Red Hill Administrative Order of Consent for Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch
  • $2,829,923 in general funds for the home and community based services waiver

Capital Improvement Projects:

To continue to provide quality healthcare services for our communities, $31,982,000 in general obligation bond funds and $19,704,000 in federal funds to address critical repairs and maintenance for health safety needs statewide.

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
Funding to provide support to ensure protection of civil rights

Operating:

(1) position and $25,388 in general funds for Hawaii Civil Rights Commission

Department of Land and Natural Resources
Funding for protection of land and wildlife, small boat harbor access

Operating:

  • $3,000,000 in special funds from transient accommodation tax to Special Land and Development Fund for various programs
  • $1,700,000 in special funds from conveyance tax to Land Conservation Fund for land acquisition
  • $400,000 in special funds for beach restoration
  • $600,000 in general funds for wildfire contingency Aloha+ initiatives
  • $250,000 in general funds for endangered species management
  • $1,500,000 in general funds for United States Geographical Survey study on Hawaii streams
  • (18) positions and $617,544 in general funds for operation of small boat harbor facilities six days a week

Department of Public Safety
Funding to enhance safety enforcement

Operating:

$869,165 in general funds for the Department of Public Safety Administration building and State Narcotics Enforcement Division offices

Department of Taxation
Funding to reinforce ability to bring in revenues for the state

Operating:

  • (9) positions and $503,327 in general funds for Investigation Branch
  • (2) positions and $69,462 in general funds for Criminal Investigation Section
  • (1) position and $21,684 in general funds for Audit Branch Maui
  • (1) position and $21,684 in general funds for Audit Branch Hawaii
  • (1) position and $21,684 in general funds for Audit Branch Kauai

Department of Transportation
Funding to support requests that are sustainable and targeted

Operating:

Honolulu International Airport

  • $402,500 in special funds and $1,132,500 in federal funds for motor vehicle replacement
  • $252,500 in special funds and $682,500 in federal funds for motor vehicle replacement

Hilo International Airport

$580,000 in special funds for airport seating replacement

Kahului Airport

$402,500 in special funds and $1,132,500 in federal funds for motor vehicle replacement and other current expenses

Lihue Airport

$613,500 in special funds for routine maintenance contracts

Harbors Administration

$1,000,000 in special funds for pier and wharf insurance

Kauai Highways

$800,000 in special funds for replacement of bridge inspection equipment

Highways Safety

$517,000 in federal funds for highway safety improvement program flex funding

University of Hawai‘i
Funding to support UH Cancer Center, UH West Oahu

Operating:

  • $3,000,000 in general funds for University of Hawaii Cancer Center for faculty and administrative support
  • (4) positions and $197,604 in general funds for University of Hawaii, West Oahu Campus

Capital Improvement Projects:

Acknowledging the deferred maintenance and backlog of projects at our University of Hawai‘i  campuses, the Senate draft provides the funding for the full capital improvement request of the University and it’s Community Colleges by providing $224,925,000 in general obligation bond funds, $113,000,000 in revenue bond funds, and $5,750,000 in special funds and by granting the University of Hawai‘i revenue bond authority.

Hawaii Robotics Teams Receive $45,000 From McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii

McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii donated $45,000 to the Hawaii robotics teams participating in the 2016 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in Hawaii Robotics Regional Competition, which took place on April 1 and 2 at the University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center in Manoa.

L-R: Stephanie Steuri, Robotics Competition emcee; Glenn Waki, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii owner/operator; Victor Lim, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii owner/operator; Lenny Klompus, Friends of Hawaii Robotics president; Shannon Scott, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii marketing consultant; Ed Yamamura, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii owner/operator; Rafael Zayas, Robotics Competition emcee.

L-R: Stephanie Steuri, Robotics Competition emcee; Glenn Waki, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii owner/operator; Victor Lim, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii owner/operator; Lenny Klompus, Friends of Hawaii Robotics president; Shannon Scott, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii marketing consultant; Ed Yamamura, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii owner/operator; Rafael Zayas, Robotics Competition emcee.

During the competition’s opening ceremony on Saturday, April 2, McDonald’s owner/operators presented a check for $45,000, which will be divided among the 26 competing Hawaii robotics teams. The five (5) Hawaii schools (Baldwin High School, Iolani School, Kapolei High School, Kealakehe High School, Waialua High School) that will be advancing to the FIRST World Championship competition in St. Louis, Mo. in April each received an additional $1,000 from McDonald’s.

“We are honored to continue our support of Hawaii’s robotics teams,” said Victor Lim, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii owner/operator. “We are dedicated to helping our communities thrive, so it’s great to be able to lend a hand to help our local schools. To watch the students’ creativity and innovation come to life in these competitions is inspiring. Congratulations to all the schools that competed this year.”

The money was raised through a statewide fundraiser that ran from March 21 to 27 where McDonald’s donated $1 from every Egg McMuffin and Egg White Delight sandwich, and Egg McMuffin and Egg White Delight Extra Value Meal sold between 5 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Additionally, throughout the fundraising period, Hawaii teams conducted robot demonstrations at selected McDonald’s restaurants across the state. This was the fifth consecutive year that McDonald’s was the FIRST in Hawaii official breakfast sponsor, providing breakfast sandwiches to all participating teams.

“We are so very thankful for the overwhelming generosity of McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii in supporting the FIRST in Hawaii Robotics Regional Competition,” said Lenny Klompus, president of Friends of Hawaii Robotics. “This is the fifth consecutive year that McDonald’s has not only brightened our students’ morning with a delicious breakfast sandwich ahead of the competition, but most importantly they have helped our local robotics teams excel as a result of their ever-growing monetary donation. McDonald’s unwavering impact with this donation enables a generation of young leaders in our state to build innovation today, for tomorrow.”

FIRST is a national organization that joins students, teachers and mentors to inspire youth interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to pursue careers in these fields. Students are able to work directly with professionals, gaining first-hand knowledge of the industry. FIRST combines the competitiveness of sports with the rigors of science and technology to engage young people to solve problems in an intense and competitive way.