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Hawai’i Students Nab 20% of Awards at National Student Video Competition

Students from Hawai‘i schools returned to the Islands with 20 percent of the 196 total awards given out at the 14th annual Student Television Network (STN) Convention in Anaheim, CA, held March 28-31. The complete list of Hawai‘i results is included below.

All but one of the Hawai‘i schools that took home awards are public schools. Kamehameha Schools Maui, which won two awards, was the sole Hawai‘i private school in attendance. All of them participate in PBS Hawai‘i’s HIKI NŌ student news network.

Approximately 3,000 middle and high school students from across the U.S. gathered to compete in on-site, time-restricted contests in video journalism, television production, filmmaking, music videos, commercials, and public service announcements.

As in the last few STN competitions, the number of awards won by Hawai‘i schools was notably high in comparison to states with larger populations, such as California, Florida and Texas.

Two neighbor island middle schools led the Hawai‘i awards count – Kaua‘i’s Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School and Maui Waena Intermediate School, with seven awards each. Veteran student video production high schools Moanalua and Wai‘anae took home wins in major overall categories.

“Without a doubt, the stellar performance by Hawai‘i schools at STN is due to the work our schools have done with HIKI NŌ and PBS Hawai‘i,” said Kevin Matsunaga, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School media teacher and STN regional board member. “Our Hawai‘i media teachers have worked tirelessly, as well, and the outstanding work their students have done at these competitions is proof that HIKI NŌ is making a huge difference in the lives of our students.”

“HIKI NŌ offers students the ideal preparation for this national competition and it also readies them for different professional paths – by teaching them to work their way through challenges and deliver quality work on tight deadlines,” said Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO.

“This national recognition is yet another testament of the quality work being produced by our HIKI NŌ students and the dedication of their media teachers and mentors,” stated Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Department of Education Schools Superintendent. “These opportunities would not be possible without the commitment and partnership with PBS Hawai‘i. The teamwork and use of technology needed to create these quality productions align with the Department’s mission to help our students connect with their communities and be lifelong learners.”

2017 Student Television Network – Hawai‘i Winners:

CONVENTION RE-CAP

  • 1st Place – Moanalua High School
  • 2nd Place – Waipahu High School
  • Honorable Mention – Maui High School

SPOT FEATURE—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • 3rd Place – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

MOVIE TRAILER—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • Honorable Mention – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

“TELL THE STORY”

  • Honorable Mention – Waiakea High School
  • Honorable Mention – Wai‘anae High School

NAT. SOUND PACKAGE—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 1st Place – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
  • Honorable Mention – Maui Waena Intermediate School

NAT. SOUND PACKAGE—HIGH SCHOOL

  • Honorable Mention – Moanalua High School
  • Honorable Mention – Wai‘anae High School

COMMERCIAL—HIGH SCHOOL

  • 3rd Place – Moanalua High School

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT—HIGH SCHOOL

  • 1st Place – Maui High School
  • 3rd Place – Moanalua High School
  • Honorable Mention – McKinley High School

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Wai‘anae Intermediate School
  • 3rd Place – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
  • Honorable Mention – Maui Waena Intermediate School

WEATHER REPORT—HIGH SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Kapolei High School

SILENT FILM—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 3rd Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • Honorable Mention – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

ACTION SPORTS—HIGH SCHOOL

  • Honorable Mention – Kamehameha Schools Maui High

ANCHOR TEAM—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 3rd Place – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

MUSIC VIDEO—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • Honorable Mention – Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School

CRAZY 8s BROADCAST NEWS MAGAZINE—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 1st Place – Maui Waena Intermediate School
  • 2nd Place – Kamehameha Schools Maui Middle
  • 3rd Place – Wai‘anae Intermediate School

CRAZY 8s BROADCAST NEWS MAGAZINE—HIGH SCHOOL

  • Honorable Mention – Wai‘anae High School

CRAZY 8s SHORT FILM DOCUMENTARY—HIGH SCHOOL

  • 3rd Place – McKinley High School

CRAZY 8s SHORT FILM FICTION—MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • 2nd Place – Ewa Makai Middle School
  • 3rd Place – Wai‘anae Intermediate School

FILM EXCELLENCE BEST WRITING

  • Waipahu High School

FILM EXCELLENCE BEST EDITING

  • Moanalua High School

FILM EXCELLENCE BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Moanalua High School

FILM EXCELLENCE BEST ANIMATION

  • Wai‘anae High School

MONTHLY BROADCAST EXCELLENCE AWARD

  • Wai‘anae High School

Hawaii Representative to Host Internet Personal Security Teach-In

Expert panel to discuss online privacy following loss of federal protections

Rep. Matt LoPresti will host a teach-in to discuss personal internet privacy on both the federal and state levels following the recent loss of government protections by the Trump Administration.

The Teach-in will be held on Sunday, April 30 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Box Jelly, 301 A Kamani Street in Honolulu.

With internet protections rules repealed, internet service providers are now allowed to track, package and sell your personal internet browsing history without your knowledge or consent.

Rep. LoPresti and a panel of internet security experts will explain attempts during the current legislative session to protect personal privacy, what steps are now being planned and, most importantly, what residents can do now to protect themselves.

Todd Nacapuy, Chief Information Officer of the state Office of Enterprise Technology Services will attend the event along with internet security experts.

Residents can bring their laptops to learn how to install a VPN (virtual private network) and ‘HTTPS everywhere’ add ons to their browsers.

The gap in privacy protections left by the federal actions require individual states to take action to protect consumers’ data. One of the most troubling aspects is that telecom companies are no longer responsible for protecting your data, even though they will be collecting it, according to Rep. LoPresti.

“The problem is multi-faceted and there are currently no government protections from companies selling your personal data to the highest bidder,” said LoPresti. “You need to know how to protect yourself until we can create state laws to make this kind of abuse illegal.”

LoPresti said it is now clear from the large amount of money donated to Congress members who voted to repeal these rules, that internet service providers have a huge invested interest in our private data including Social Security numbers, geo-locations, and browsing history.

“Even if telecom companies do not actually package and sell the browsing histories for individuals, they are compiling and packaging that data for sale as part of larger aggregates, and – thanks to Congress and President Trump signing the bill – these companies are not even incentivized to legally protect this data,” he said.

LoPresti said that everyone is vulnerable and should take action on their own to protect internet privacy.

Seating is limited. Call 808 769-6921 to RSVP for the event.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Commemorates Day of Valor, Honors Filipino Veterans

This morning at the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Kauaʻi Mayor Bernard Carvalho delivered remarks to honor Filipino and Filipino-American veterans in commemoration of the 75th Ara Ng Kagitingan—The Day of Valor.  In her remarks, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed Major with the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard, shared the following:

“In 1942, over 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American soldiers were surrendered to the Japanese in what we now know as the Fall of Bataan. Despite the unimaginable hardship that they endured, these brave men fought relentlessly against their enemies without any outside support from either the Philippines or the United States. In total, around 21,000 soldiers lost their lives. The legacy and sacrifice of these heroes must never be forgotten. Nor can we forget the high cost of war and the lasting effects that inevitably define those who are touched by its reaches. Today, as we commemorate the Day of Valor, we honor all of our courageous warriors, as well as their families who have made tremendous sacrifices, and we give thanks for the great and lasting partnerships that were paved—truly—by these heroes.”

Today’s commemoration ceremony also celebrated the passage of landmark legislation, the Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, which was introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Mazie Hirono to honor Filipino Veterans of World War II, as well as the launch of the Filipino-American Veterans Parole Program.

Transcript of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s remarks:

Aloha. Mabuhay. It’s wonderful to be back home here in Hawaii from Washington and to be able to spend this special morning with all of you.

As a veteran and someone who has spent a lot of time in the Philippines, and with many friends from there, I feel very much at home and amongst family here today. I appreciate you welcoming all of us to join you in recognizing this important Day of Valor and sharing why it is so important to reflect on this historical event, especially in this most special place and amongst courageous heroes of past and present.

In 1942, over 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American soldiers were surrendered to the Japanese in what we now know as the Fall of Bataan. Despite the unimaginable hardship that they endured, these brave men fought relentlessly against their enemies without any outside support from either the Philippines or the United States.

In total, around 21,000 soldiers lost their lives. The legacy and sacrifice of these heroes must never be forgotten. Nor can we forget the high cost of war and the lasting effects that inevitably define those who are touched by its reaches.

For decades, legislation has been introduced in the United States Congress to honor our Filipino Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal and, as you’ve heard, we were finally successful at obtaining this long overdue recognition—thanks in large part to the support and leadership of so many of you here today. Last Session, I was very proud, along with Senator Hirono, to reintroduce and finally pass this legislation, honoring our Filipino Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal Act, and see President Obama signed it into law in December, just before he left office.

It was a special thing to be able to share the stories and experiences of some of the Filipino veterans here today and their families with other members of Congress as we were seeking support to pass this legislation. In the House, where we have more than 435 members of Congress, we were able to get more than 300 of them to support and sponsor the legislation. It was wonderful to be able to talk with them on the House Floor, to share some of these stories with them, and to educate them about the storied history of these brave heroes who fought alongside our American soldiers—they deserve nothing but the highest honor.

So now, on behalf of the United States Congress, we can officially honor the more than 200,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who served our country during World War II. These loyal and courageous soldiers served, suffered, and sacrificed—many paying that ultimate price—alongside their American counterparts throughout the war.

Though less than 18,000 of our Filipino WWII veterans are still alive today, some of whom are among us, this recognition is an important testament to each and every one of our veterans who earned and deserve their place amongst our greatest generation.

Today, as we commemorate the Day of Valor, we honor all of our courageous warriors, as well as their families who have made tremendous sacrifices, and we give thanks for the great and lasting partnerships that were paved—truly—by these heroes.

Annually, as we gather to honor this important Day of Valor, we recognize that it helps current and future generations to understand a little better the hardships and the values for which the ultimate sacrifice is made. And it inspires us to live our lives in a way that honors the values that they sacrificed for.

Here in Hawaii, we are a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, and faiths, bound by a common thread of the aloha spirit.  The principles that guide us as we live aloha teach us to sincerely respect one another and come together with care, compassion, and love. So, let us remember these remarkable individuals and the driving forces of freedom, righteousness, and the desire for lasting peace that sustained their fighting souls. Thank you very much. Aloha.

Coca-Cola Company Expands Watershed Stewardship to Hawai`i

On April 11, 2017, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, The Coca-Cola Company and the Koʻolau Mountains Watershed Partnership will announce plans for a new replenishment project designed to help restore and recharge the Waiawa watershed. It is the principle recharge area for the Pearl Harbor Aquifer, which supplies the majority of drinking water for communities across Oʻahu; more than 364 million gallons each day.

Company and its Bottling Partners Meet 2020 Water Replenishment Goal Five Years Early; Intend to Maintain Water Stewardship Performance as Business Continues to Grow

Under the Sustainable Hawai‘i Initiative, the State hopes to protect 253,000 acres of critical watershed like Waiawa by the year 2030. The Koʻolau project becomes one of more than 100 such partnerships Coke supports around the country.

Coca-Cola states:

Supporting healthy watersheds is a key priority for The Coca-Cola Company. With more than 100 production facilities in North America, water is essential in the manufacturing of our products and the communities in which we operate.

Water supplies across North America are becoming increasingly stressed. We are committed to doing our part to improve the sustainability of these watersheds. We are working to return to nature and communities an amount of water equivalent to what we use in all of our products and their production by 2020. To achieve this, we focus on improving water efficiency, recycling water used in our operations and replenishing resources through watershed restoration and protection in partnership with conservation organizations, universities and local governments.

 

NASA Scientific Double Play in Hawaii

NASA pulled off a scientific double play in Hawaii this winter, using the same instruments and aircraft to study both volcanoes and coral reefs. Besides helping scientists understand these two unique environments better, the data will be used to evaluate the possibility of preparing a potential future NASA satellite that would monitor ecosystem changes and natural hazards.

NASA coral reef studies in Hawaii this winter will help scientists understand this unique environment.  Credit – NOAA

The advantages of studying active volcanoes from the air rather than the ground are obvious. Coral reefs may not offer the same risks in a close encounter that volcanoes do, but there’s another good reason to study them by remote sensing: they’re dotted across thousands of square miles of the globe. It’s simply not feasible to survey such a large area from a boat. So NASA has been monitoring coral reefs by satellite and aircraft for several decades. Recent airborne efforts have used sensors that provide better spatial and spectral resolution than currently available from NASA satellite systems.

“Reefs are threatened by bleaching due to rising sea surface temperatures as well as, to some degree, by increasing acidification of ocean waters,” said Woody Turner of NASA Headquarters in Washington, the program scientist for the recent Hawaii study. “On top of that, since they’re coastal ecosystems, they are also subject to sediment and other effluents running offshore. We have an urgent need to get a handle now on how reefs are changing.”

Over the past four years, NASA has flown a series of research flights over California, carrying airborne prototypes of instruments in preparation for a possible future satellite mission called the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI), now in the conceptual design phase. The Golden State has many diverse landscapes to test the instruments’ observational capabilities, but not coral reefs or erupting volcanoes. This winter’s HyspIRI Hawaii field campaign filled that gap.

To get the next best thing to a satellite’s point of view, HyspIRI Hawaii used a high-altitude ER-2 aircraft from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Palmdale, California. During the study, the aircraft was based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. Flying at approximately 60,000 feet (18,000 meters) and thus above most of Earth’s atmosphere, the ER-2 carried the Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and the MODIS-ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER), developed by NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. AVIRIS is an imaging spectrometer that observes the complete reflected spectrum of light in the visible and shortwave infrared wavelengths. MASTER has multiple observational channels in the thermal infrared wavelengths. Together AVIRIS and MASTER provide the same combination of spectral bands planned for the future HyspIRI mission — and powerful data for current coral reef research.

Six coral reef-related projects with diverse objectives are using imagery that AVIRIS and MASTER collected around the Hawaiian archipelago in January through early March.

  • Under principal investigator Steven Ackleson (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington), a team investigated how coral reefs and water quality vary, in both space and time, over the huge distance encompassed by the Hawaiian Islands and the 1,200-mile-long (2,000-kilometer-long) Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument north of the main islands. Ackleson’s team used the airborne instruments and in-water observations to collect data on reef condition and water quality and compared them with data collected from 2010 to 2014 with a different hyperspectral imager.
  • To study reefs’ responses to stress, Kyle Cavanaugh (UCLA) led a study of the composition of shallow reefs (coral, algae and sand) and the extent of their bleaching. The team hopes to uncover the practical limits of the proposed HyspIRI instrument in observing these features. Like Ackleson’s and most of the other investigators’ projects, this study combined airborne imagery with ocean measurements.
  • Heidi Dierssen (University of Connecticut) used in-water spectrometers in conjunction with the airborne AVIRIS imaging spectrometer products to look at pigment differences among corals’ photosynthetic algae, known as zooxanthellae. A goal is to determine the degree to which differences in pigment — which relate to different types of algae with different biological characteristics and responses to environmental change — can be detected from an airborne platform and ultimately from space.
  • To determine how changes in a reef’s environment — cloudiness, water temperature, water murkiness — might affect coral health, and how these environmental factors themselves might be influenced by changing land use on the islands, Paul Haverkamp (supported by Cramer Fish Sciences, West Sacramento, California) will be comparing this year’s AVIRIS data with observations from AVIRIS campaigns flown between 2000 and 2007. The study focuses on reefs in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, and Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii.
  • Eric Hochberg (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences) and his team will compare this year’s AVIRIS measurements with AVIRIS data from 2000 to study how human and climate stresses may be affecting reefs around the islands. They will quantify reef composition and primary productivity and correlate them with oceanographic conditions, land use and land cover on the islands, and local human threats to investigate how the reefs’ condition and relationship to their environments may have changed in the last 16 years.
  • ZhongPing Lee of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, took field measurements of reefs concurrently with the HyspIRI flights, using a special system that precisely measures the spectrum of colors in ocean water, which provides important information about what’s in the water. Lee and his team measured the shape of the seafloor, the water’s optical properties, and other characteristics to compare with the same measurements made by AVIRIS.

Get a 360-degree view of the ER-2 landing on Oahu during the HyspIRI Hawaii mission:

Gabbard, Hanabusa, Young Introduce Bill to Exempt Hawaii, Alaska from Travel Fee Increases

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), and Don Young (AK-AL) introduced bipartisan legislation today to exempt Hawaiʻi, Alaska, and communities that rely on essential air service as subsidized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, from increases in TSA air travel fees. The Passenger Fee Restructuring Exemptions Act (H.R.1782) recognizes the unique reliance on air travel that residents of Hawaiʻi and Alaska face by lowering the states’ TSA fee to $2.50 for interstate direct flights. Congress raised the national TSA fee to $5.60 in late 2013, and could increase the fee to $6.60 in FY2018.

  “The doubling of the TSA fee since 2013 has had a disproportionate, negative impact on Hawaiʻi residents and businesses who rely on air travel as the only available mode of transportation for everyday necessities like commerce, healthcare, education, and more. As Congress considers raising the TSA fee again, our bipartisan legislation will help relieve this cost burden by exempting Hawaiʻi and Alaska, and other communities who rely solely on essential air service, from this tax,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“Hawaiʻi and Alaska share unique geographic challenges that make our dependence on air travel a necessity.  As such, any increase in TSA fees disproportionately hurts our residents, tourists and businesses alike. This bill redresses that wrong by exempting Hawaiʻi and Alaska from the disparate impact of these fee increases,” said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

“Simply put, current aviation security fees disproportionately affect the residents of my state due to our unique reliance on air travel. I have opposed fee hikes in the past and have consistently worked with my Hawaiian colleagues to alleviate the hardships placed on those without transportation alternatives. This bipartisan legislation will address this inequity and allow our residents, who depend on air travel, to access and grow their economies without being overburdened by the growth of government fees,” said Rep. Don Young.

Kona Brewing Company and Lavaman Triathlon Celebrate 20 Years of Aloha – Traffic Advisory

Kona Brewing Co. will celebrate a twenty-year partnership with Lavaman Triathlon on Sunday, April 2, 2017.  Starting as a founding partner of the Lavaman Triathlon in 1997, Kona Brewing Company’s partnership with the local event has continued and evolved — the Lavaman Triathlon has grown more than 20-fold, from 83 participants to more than 1,800, and Kona Brewing Co. has become a fan favorite and the #11 craft beer sold in the U.S., growing 3x faster than other beers in the craft beer category. (source Nielsen, Total US xAOC FY 2016)

“Both brands started with big dreams and we’re now making big waves in our respective industries. We attribute this lasting partnership to our common goal of giving back to our community and are proud to have kept our joint slogan ‘Celebrate the Sprit’ alive for two decades,” said Gerry Rott, Lavaman Race Director.

The 51.5k mile race kicks off at the Waikoloa Beach Resort and ends with the annual Lavaman Awards Beach Party, where competitors and more than 600 volunteers celebrate the day by toasting with Kona Brewing Co.’s liquid aloha.

In addition to its support of the Lavaman Triathlon, Kona Brewing Co. is committed to social responsibility and donates more than $120,000 annually to a variety of local non-profit organizations which range from environmental protection, to cultural and community organizations.

“Giving back to our local community is in Kona Brewing Company’s DNA and we will continue to support the islands for years to come” said Eric Chang, Kona Brewing Co. Senior Market Manager. “Our roots and respect for the Islands run deep with two brew pubs and a 22 year history brewing beers in Hawai‘i.”

April 2, 2017 also marks the one-year anniversary of bottling Lavaman Red Ale, Kona Brewing Co.’s malty brew with caramel notes.

For more information, visit KonaBrewingCo.com and Lavamantriathlon.com.

Trump Travel Ban Case Update: Court Grants Conversion of Temporary Restraining Order to Preliminary Injunction

Attorney General Doug Chin

Attorney General Doug Chin issued the following statement today in response to the ruling by federal judge Derrick K. Watson granting the state’s motion to convert the temporary restraining order enjoining the President’s travel ban to a preliminary injunction:

“This is an important affirmation of the values of religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution’s First Amendment. With a preliminary injunction in place, people in Hawaii with family in the six affected Muslim-majority countries – as well as Hawaii students, travelers, and refugees across the world – face less uncertainty. While we understand that the President may appeal, we believe the court’s well-reasoned decision will be affirmed.”

Unlike a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction generally has no set expiration date.

Hawaii Study Shows the Importance of Coastal Water Quality to Recreational Beach Users

Coasts around the world are threatened by land-based pollutants, including sewage, which affect water quality, coastal habitats and human experiences. To capture the value people place on the coastal environment, UH ecological economist Kirsten L.L. Oleson and former MS student Marcus Peng recently published a study in the journal Ecological Economics. Titled “Beach Recreationalists’ Willingness to Pay and Economic Implications of Coastal Water Quality Problems in Hawaiʻi,” the study found that improvements in coastal environmental conditions could result in large benefits for beach users on Oʻahu, in some cases valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. This could justify increased spending on management and restoration.

“The economic value of water quality isn’t yet well understood in Hawai‘i,” says study lead author Marcus Peng, a former Master of Science student in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources who is now pursuing his PhD in Economics at UH Mānoa. “Quantifying the economic value of coastal water quality can help to inform policy decisions that impact the coast and help justify expenditures in water-quality improvements.”

Coastal water is a critical habitat for many marine species, and it is the basis for many economic concerns important to society and local economies, including tourism, coastal recreation, fisheries and property values. The article argues that water-quality degradation presents real and serious costs to the environment and human welfare, and in destinations important for beach tourism, like Hawai‘i, it could threaten an industry contributing trillions of dollars to the global GDP.

In a survey administered to 263 beach users across beaches on Oʻahu, Peng and Oleson surveyed participants’ willingness to pay (WTP) for environmental attributes at different levels of quality. They asked about reducing the number of days a year when the bacterial count in the water exceeds safety standards, and increasing water visibility distance, coral reef cover and the number of different fish species. While beach users cared about all of these, their strongest preferences, based on the amount they were willing to pay, were for water clarity and bacterial quality improvements.

In light of recent and repeated water-quality warnings and beach closures, echoing the serious and prolonged sewage spill in 2006, it is important that decision-makers recognize the significant value of the coastline and the serious harm to the economy that takes place when natural resources are poorly managed or neglected. This is especially true in a state heavily reliant on its natural resources for recreation and tourism. The authors suggest that further studies such as this should attempt to ascertain the economic costs of human impacts on the coastal zone, and these studies should then be used to set management priorities and allocate budgets. Dr. Oleson emphasized, “Reducing human impact on our environment is an investment that benefits society and supports and sustains our quality of life.”

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

“Behind every distracted driving death is a story of loss. In the blink of an eye, lives can be transformed forever,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “Scrolling through song lists on a cell phone, or texting while driving is not just irresponsible, it can have tragic consequences. We’re calling on drivers to put down their devices and help keep the roadways safe.”

During April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), along with the county police departments, and traffic safety partners, Toyota Hawaii and DTRIC Insurance, will be working together to educate Hawaii about the dangers of distracted driving.

Presentations will be held at Drive Aloha Fairs statewide to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving with the use of a state-of-the-art digital driving simulator system that allows drivers of all ages to experience how dangerous it is to operate a vehicle while being distracted. The digital simulator system is the only one of its kind in Hawaii.

“Distracted driving is a completely preventable cause of death or injury on our roadways. We believe education can be as important as enforcement in addressing this problem, which is why we are pleased to have our traffic safety partners and law enforcement agencies working with us,” Fuchigami added. “The collective goal of this campaign is to change driver behavior. We hope that once people see the statistics, they will evaluate and alter their driving habits to help protect themselves and others on the road.”

According to NHTSA, at any given daylight moment across the country, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. Nationally, in 2014 alone, motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers claimed 3,179 lives and injured 431,000 people. Additional research shows that 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash.

There are three types of distracted driving: (1) Visual, taking your eyes off the road; (2) Manual, taking your hands off the wheel; and (3) Cognitive, taking your mind off driving. Operating a cell phone while driving involves all three types of distracted driving.

Hawaii’s law prohibits the use of mobile electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle, making it illegal for drivers to text or engage in other hand-held uses of mobile electronic devices such as cell phones, mp3 players, personal digital assistants and navigation devices. The law also prohibits drivers from using a hand-held mobile electronic device when stopped at a red light or stop sign. Furthermore, no person under the age of 18 may use a hands-free mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. The fine for violating this law starts at $257. Violations in school zones or construction areas are subject to a higher amount.

Although distracted driving related incidents tend to be underreported locally, last year police issued over 20,000 distracted driving citations statewide. Increased enforcement of distracted driving laws combined with public education have proven to be an effective method to reduce distracted driving and save lives.

In partnership with Toyota Hawaii and DTRIC Insurance, the distracted driving presentations will be held at the following Drive Aloha Fairs, which are free and open to the public:

  • Thursday, March 30, 2017 – Tamarind Square, Honolulu 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 1, 2017 – Prince Kuhio Plaza, 111 Puainako Street, Hilo 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, April 8 & 9, 2017 – Kukui Grove Center 3-2600 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 15, 2017 – Kamehameha Shopping Center 1620 North School Street, Honolulu 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, April 22 & 23, 2017 – Queen Kaahumanu Center 275 West Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday April 29, 2017 – Pearlridge Center 98-1005 Moanalua Road, Aiea 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More information about the dangers of distracted driving can be found at www.distraction.gov

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Statement on President’s Repeal of Clean Energy, Environment Protections

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement after President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order rolling back progress to fight climate change and promote clean energy nationwide:

“In light of President Trump’s Executive Order paving the path for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, and slashing funding for the EPA by nearly one-third, the consequence of today’s actions on our environment and precious water resources are especially concerning. Unless we make a concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions, invest in clean energy, create green jobs, and improve our air and water quality, we are moving backwards, at a time when our planet simply cannot afford for us to do so. In spite of this action today, I have no doubt that Hawaiʻi will continue to lead the nation in renewable energy production. We must continue investing in renewable energy, moving away from foreign oil and fossil fuels, and moving toward our goal of 100% clean energy by 2045.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Commits Funds to Protect Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Stilt

The Department of the Interior announced that through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Cooperative Recovery Initiative (CRI) more than $3.74 million is being committed to nine projects on 12 national wildlife refuges across 12 states to help recover some of the nation’s most at-risk species on or near national wildlife refuges.

Hawaiian Coot (Photo by Dick Daniels http://carolinabirds.org/)

“We are targeting our work where it will do the most good for America’s resources,” said FWS Acting Director Jim Kurth. “This initiative is a unique way to engage in conservation work with states and partners, giving the taxpayer a good return on investment.”

Species to benefit from CRI funding include the Miami blue butterfly, ocelots, Puritan tiger beetles, masked bobwhite and spectacled eiders.

Since 2013, FWS has funded 66 projects for nearly $27 million through the CRI. Other species that have benefited include the Oregon chub, the first fish in the nation to be taken off the endangered species list; Sonoran pronghorn; dusky gopher frog; and red-cockaded woodpecker. These projects often provide conservation benefits to other imperiled species and encourage partnerships with states and private groups.

Project Details:

Hawaiian Stilt

Pacific Region
Protect Two Endangered Hawaiian Waterbirds and Core Wetland Habitats at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge

A project team will establish long-lasting protections for two endangered birds, the Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian stilt, against predators and ungulates and create new habitat, resulting in a large-scale restoration of Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, a critically important wetland habitat in Hawaii.

Enhance the Conservation Status of Spalding’s Catchfly
A project team will establish five additional viable subpopulations of 500 individual threatened Spalding’s catchfly on protected habitat at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge in Washington and three other partner and privately-owned locations within the Channeled Scablands and Palouse Prairie regions in Washington and Idaho.

Southwest Region
Protect Endangered Species Corridors in the Rio Grande Valley

Staff at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas will work with partners to acquire a 400-acre conservation easement to expand habitat between the refuge and Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge for the endangered ocelot. The increased habitat will also aid the endangered northern aplomado falcon.

Establish Second Captive Breeding Population of Masked Bobwhite Quail in North America
A project team will expand the endangered masked bobwhite population by creating a captive population in a rearing facility at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona and establish a second captive population and biosecurity program at Sutton Avian Research Center.

Southeast Region
Protect and Enhance Watercress Darter Habitat at Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge

A project team will maintain the current pool habitats on Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama for the endangered watercress darter to improve migration and genetic diversity, promote additional aquatic habitats on the refuge, and monitor restored and developed habitats. They will also remove a failing water control structure, promote connectivity for fish passage between pools, and enhance habitats downstream or adjacent to the pools.

Habitat Restoration through Prescribed Fire at Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge for 11 Listed Plant Species and the Florida Scrub Jay
A project team will restore fire-suppressed scrub and sandhill habitat to enhance populations of 11 listed plant species and the endangered Florida scrub jay at Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. In particular, the staff will augment the only protected population of endangered Garrett’s mint through seed collection and strategic dispersal, which will significantly increase the population.

Restore Populations of the Critically Endangered Miami Blue Butterfly
A project team will establish new viable populations of the endangered Miami blue butterfly over a much larger geographic range in south Florida, including on National Key Deer Refuge, Great Heron National Wildlife Refuge, and local state parks.

Northeast Region
Puritan Tiger Beetle Habitat Enhancement and Population Stabilization in the Connecticut River Watershed

Two new viable subpopulations of the threatened Puritan tiger beetle will be established by a project team from Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge on state-owned lands in New Hampshire and Vermont, within the Connecticut River watershed. The project will optimize a captive rearing protocol, enabling the beetle to be reared in the lab and translocated to protected habitat sites.

Alaska Region
Estimate Global Abundance and Evaluate Changes in At-Sea Distribution of Threatened Spectacled Eiders.

A project team will estimate the global population of threatened spectacled eiders as well as evaluate changes in distribution at marine molting, staging, and wintering areas, including in Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The team will also evaluate changes in non-breeding distribution of adult females captured on the refuge breeding area.

For more information on the 2017 projects and those in previous years, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuges/whm/cri/.

“Dear Republican Leaders” – Hawaii Representative Explains Why She Quits the Republican Party

Dear Republican Leaders,

Since becoming a member eight years ago, I’ve suggested our local party should reflect our uniquely diverse community. And I believed that if I was committed to this cause, I could help attract more people to the party.

But, a little more than a year ago, a fellow caucus member told me “We are the party of middle America.  I don’t care if the demographics don’t fit.” He declared that Republicans are the national majority and that it is our responsibility to represent “middle American” values here in Hawaii.

It was in that moment that I was finally able to identify the colonial mindset I’d unknowingly run up against for years. No ethnic group in our state is a majority, and more than 70 percent of the population isn’t white. But our Hawaii Republican Party leaders wanted us to adopt “middle American” values instead of holding on to Republican principles that also reflect our own local values, such as responsible stewardship over things like wealth and power.

This election, I saw members of my party marginalizing and condemning minorities, ethnic or otherwise, and making demeaning comments towards women. So, when I listened as our now top office holder refused to condemn the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, speaking out didn’t seem like a choice.

A little over a year ago, I was in Washington, D.C. with a group of Republican friends talking about my concerns with Donald Trump’s candidacy and, more specifically, his suggestion about a Muslim registry. They told me it was just rhetoric. I reminded them that a registry was only one step away from internment camps. Less than an hour later, we saw the breaking news headline, “Trump says he may have supported Japanese Internment.” As a woman and the only Japanese-American in our (then) seven-member caucus, I had something valuable to add about why our party continues to lose.

My Japanese-American grandparents owned a small grocery store in Hawaii during World War II with a small house attached to the back where my father’s family all lived in cramped space. When word spread through the community that the government was placing Japanese-Americans in internment camps, my grandpa destroyed everything written in Japanese, smashed my family’s beautiful Japanese dolls, and buried everything else that would make them look “less American” in the backyard.

Despite his devastatingly heroic actions, they took my grandpa anyway. He was fortunate enough to be detained for only a few hours, however, thousands of families across the United States weren’t so lucky.

Every immigrant group has a story of hardship and suffering. Every woman has a story about sexism or inequality. Most people’s stories are worse than mine. I’ve had a lot of opportunities in life, and I truly believed that the Republican Party was a group that believed in creating more opportunities for everyone.

President Trump’s meteoric success and his unabashed prejudices should have forced our party to address the elements of racism and sexism within the base. But for years, the party allowed it, fearing Democrats, primaries and third-party challenges. With electoral successes across the nation, concerns about disenfranchising minority voters are being buried. The party has ended conversations about how Republican rhetoric and actions threaten any ability to win amongst an increasingly diverse electorate.

So, I continued to speak out. The day after the inauguration, I spoke at the Hawaii’s Women’s March. I said we should all agree that the campaign remarks made by our president about women and minorities were unacceptable, and that it was our responsibility, regardless of who we voted for, to show our kids that everyone should be treated with respect.

A call for kindness and respect should have been a non-partisan message, but it was controversial within the party. Within 24 hours, calls for my resignation or censure abounded. My caucus told me that they would remove me from leadership unless I promised to not criticize the president for the remainder of his term. That was a promise I simply could not make.

Since I became a Republican eight years ago, I’ve served the party at every level from envelope stuffer to party chair. And, I’ve served our Republican legislators as a file clerk, an office manager, a research director and eventually, the Minority Leader. I dedicated myself to making the Republican party a viable, relevant party in Hawaii. But, what I’ve experienced over the last eight years is that the GOP doesn’t want to change.

The leaders that remain in the party either condone the problems I’ve identified or they agree with me but are unwilling to stand up and fight. For those reasons, I am resigning from the Republican party.

If I chose to stay, I would simply become an obstructionist in a political party that doesn’t want to hear my voice or my message. I don’t believe that I can make a difference in the Hawaii Republican Party, but I still believe there’s hope for other Republicans in other states.

I want to see all Americans fight for diversity of opinion, moderation, minorities, women, and ultimately, a better party system. Without confronting this problem, Republicans across the country will inevitably discover what it’s like to be a super minority, or a Republican in Hawaii. No matter how many walls are built and travel bans enacted, America’s demographics will keep changing, and the Republican party can’t keep marginalizing voices like mine and the people that care about what I’m saying.

Thank you,

Representative Beth Fukumoto

Hikianalia Launches from Hawaii to Reunite with Hokulea

Polynesian sailing vessel Hikianalia launched from the Marine Education Training Center at Sand Island today to meet her sister canoe Hokulea in Tahiti. This will be the crew’s final stop to share the Malama Honua message before sailing back home to complete the Worldwide Voyage.

The journey to Tahiti marks the inaugural voyage as captain for apprentice navigator Kala Baybayan Tanaka. Tanaka is an educator and apprentice navigator with Maui’s voyaging society, Hui o Waa Kaulua, where she teaches about  Polynesian wayfinding techniques to children and other interested learners. Tanaka draws her inspiration and connection to voyaging from her father and pwo navigator, Kalepa Baybayan, who will also be aboard while Kala captains Hikianalia to Tahiti.

“As a captain for the first time I’m reminded of the amazing teachers like my dad who I’ve learned from over the years,” said Kala Babayan, captain of Hikianalia. “It’s truly an honor to lead this leg on an epic journey that aims to inspire the world and our home here in Hawaiʻi.”

Hikianalia is the Hawaiian name for the star also known as Spica, which rises together with Hokulea (Arcturus) in Hawaii. They are sister stars because they break the horizon together at the latitude of the Hawaiian Islands. The 72-foot canoe Hikianalia is a modern Polynesian voyaging canoe and sister canoe to the Hokulea, uses sustainable solar and wind energy to combine the latest ecological technology with the heritage of the voyaging tradition.

The crews anticipate arrival at Tahiti around mid-April. They will travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local community in ceremony and education outreach as they celebrate the message of caring for Island Earth at the close of the nearly four-year long voyage. Together, Hokulea and Hikianalia will head home to a welcoming ceremony on Magic Island in June 2017.

Trump Travel Ban Update: Hawaii Seeks Conversion of Temporary Restraining Order to Preliminary Injunction

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that the state of Hawaii has moved to convert the temporary restraining order issued last week by Hawaii federal judge Derrick K. Watson in the travel ban case into a preliminary injunction.

Attorney General Doug Chin

On March 15, 2017, Judge Watson issued a 43-page opinion enjoining the federal government nationwide from enforcing or implementing Sections 2 and 6 of a second Executive Order issued by President Trump. That Executive Order would have restricted immigration from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, and also temporarily suspended refugee admissions. The second Executive Order had been scheduled to become effective on March 16, 2017.

Attorney General Chin said, “Protecting national security and the safety of our state is critically important, but executive orders must not discriminate against people based on national origin or religion. President Trump during his campaign called for a Muslim ban. His comments in the last week indicate he still supports that policy.”

In today’s filings, Hawaii quotes from the following statement made by the President at a rally in Nashville, Tennessee on the evening of March 15 after the federal court had issued its temporary restraining order:

“The order [Judge Watson] blocked was a watered down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with . . . . Remember this. I wasn’t thrilled, but the lawyers all said, oh, let’s tailor it. This is a watered down version of the first one. This is a watered down version. And let me tell you something, I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place.”

Today’s filings also describe a television interview later that night during which President Trump stated that it was “very hard” to assimilate Muslims into Western culture.

Under federal court rules, a temporary restraining order expires 14 days after entry, unless the court extends it. In contrast, a preliminary injunction will last as long as directed by the court.

A hearing on today’s motion is currently scheduled before Judge Watson on March 29, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. The Court has advised that the hearing date and time may be changed or vacated upon review of the written briefs. The parties have also stipulated that Judge Watson’s nationwide order of March 15, 2017 shall remain in place until such time as the Court rules on whether the TRO should be converted to a preliminary injunction or until otherwise ordered by the Court.

Copies of the motion to convert the temporary restraining order to a preliminary injunction and the memorandum in support of the motion are attached.

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls for Federal Decriminalization of Marijuana

Continuing her commitment to common sense criminal justice reform, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the House floor today urging Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana.

If passed, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act (H.R.1227) would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list—joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco. Gabbard introduced the legislation with Rep. Tom Garrett (VA-05), an Army veteran and former prosecutor.

“Our outdated policies on marijuana are having devastating ripple effects on individuals and communities across the country. They have turned everyday Americans into criminals, torn apart families, and wasted huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people for non-violent marijuana charges,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Differences in state and federal law have also created confusion and uncertainty for our local businesses, who face contradictory regulations that affect their bottom line and ability to operate. I urge our colleagues to support our bipartisan legislation which would decriminalize marijuana, bringing about long overdue and common sense reform.”

“There is growing consensus acknowledging that the effects of marijuana are less harmful than its criminal prohibition, which has increased incarceration rates, divided families, and burdened state governments with the high cost of enforcement, prison and probation. It’s clear that there are more vital needs that we as a society need to allocate our precious resources towards, such as education, mental health, and homelessness. Decriminalization is a step forward in making needed criminal justice reforms, which should also include more diversion to substance abuse treatment,” said Karen Umemoto, Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and juvenile justice researcher.

“As long as marijuana is federally illegal, FDIC regulations make it impossible for banks to provide any services to the eight Hawaiʻi Medical Marijuana Dispensary licensees. Federal decriminalization will enable professional dispensaries to provide much needed patient access and cost savings,” said Richard Ha, CEO of Lau Ola, a medical marijuana dispensary on Hawaiʻi Island.

“Descheduling cannabis will benefit Hawaiʻi patients by allowing for more rapid research to identify the best medical marijuana strains and dosages for individual medical conditions. Also, eliminating the barriers to banking will make it easier and safer for Hawaiʻi patients to purchase the medicine they need and eliminate unnecessary expense and complexity for dispensaries,” said Brian Goldstein, Founder and CEO of Mānoa Botanicals, a licensed medical marijuana dispensary on Oʻahu.

Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard supports the full legalization of marijuana on the federal level as part of her overall effort toward criminal justice reform. Last month, she visited correctional facilities throughout the state, and met with inmates, criminal justice advocates and experts, health professionals, educators and others to discuss reducing recidivism and her continued efforts to pass federal criminal justice reform legislation like the SAFE Justice Act and the Sentencing Reform Act.

The congresswoman has also supported legislation like the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to support the cultivation of industrial hemp in Hawaiʻi and nationwide.

 

Report on College Readiness for the Class of 2016 Shows Increase in Post-High School Preparation

The College and Career Readiness Indicators Report for the Class of 2016, released by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, show that Hawaii students continue to reach higher levels of achievement, with more students taking college-level courses while in high school and graduating with college credits.

​Indicators used to measure student readiness for college and careers reveal that Hawaii’s students continue to reach higher levels of achievement, with more students taking college-level courses while in high school and graduating with college credits.  The College and Career Readiness Indicators Report (CCRI) for the Class of 2016, released today by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, shows that Hawaii’s public school graduates have made steady, and in some cases significant improvements in key indicators of college and career readiness, including earning college credits before graduation (often referred to as “early college”), Advanced Placement (AP) participation, and completion of career pathways.

Of last year’s high school graduating class, 515 more students graduated with college credits than in the prior year. High school students who graduate with college credits are more likely to enroll, persist, and succeed in higher education.

While nationwide college enrollment for Hawaii’s students has remained steady over the last few years at around 55 percent, the enrollment rate for four-year colleges has increased over four years, from 26 percent for the Class of 2012 to 32 percent for the Class of 2016.

In the Class of 2016, more students participated in the AP exams, which many colleges recognize for college credit. Last year, some schools registered significant increases.

Remediation rates for both English and mathematics have been steadily declining with each graduating class since the reports’ inception with the Class of 2008.  Following a decade of collaboration on improving educational outcomes for Hawaii, the University of Hawaii System’s (UH) 10 campuses instituted a new placement policy beginning in Fall 2016 that allows students to be placed into college-level coursework based on their achievements as a high school student.  Research shows that the more quickly students enter and complete these college-level courses, the more likely students are to attain their higher education goals.

“More high school graduates entering into college-level courses immediately after high school demonstrates that the changes we’ve initiated from Hawaii Common Core to early college programs and the collaboration with the University of Hawaii are paying off for our students and community,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.  “These results are a clear testament to the commitment of our school leaders and teachers who stayed the course in raising the rigor and setting high expectations for our students.”

Collaboration between the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and UH to provide opportunities for students to access and be successful in higher education is making an impact.  Research shows that participation in college-level coursework during high school increases students’ exposure and confidence to pursue postsecondary opportunities.  High school students who graduate with college credits are more likely to enroll, persist, and succeed in higher education.

New to this year’s CCRI report is the measurement of Career Technical Education (CTE) program completers.

In the Class of 2016, the number of dual-credit participants (students who enrolled in college-level courses during high school) increased by four percentage points statewide, from 10 percent for the Class of 2015 to 14 percent for the Class of 2016.  Of last year’s high school graduating class, 515 more students graduated with college credits than in the prior year.  At Waipahu High School, about one in three students in the Class of 2016 participated in dual credit, for a total of 32 percent of the Class of 2016.  Several other schools increased dual-credit participation by 10 percentage points or more since the Class of 2014:

  • Hilo High School: 24% from 7% (+17 points)
  • Kaimuki High School: 29% from 14% (+15)
  • Kapaa High School: 23% from 8% (+15)
  • Kailua High School: 20% from 5% (+15)
  • Roosevelt High School: 21% from 8% (+13)

In the Class of 2016, more students participated in the AP exams, a rigorous assessment that measures students’ mastery of college-level coursework, which many colleges recognize for college credit.  This continues the trend of the last five years of more public school students graduating having taken AP courses and exams:  24% of the Class of 2012 to 33% of the Class of 2016.  Last year, some schools registered significant increases in AP exam-takers.  The top five schools with the highest increases between the Class of 2014 and 2016 are:

  • Roosevelt High School: 58% from 30% (+28 points)
  • Nanakuli High School: 33% from 11% (+22)
  • Castle High School: 43% from 23% (+20)
  • Aiea High School: 44% from 25% (+19)
  • Radford High School: 47% from 33% (+14)

Nanakuli, Castle, and Aiea High Schools made significant strides, moving from below the statewide average for AP exam participation, to above the statewide average.

Several schools are spotlighted in the Class of 2016 CCRI for gains made in a number of additional areas of college and career readiness, including:

  • Radford High School
    • Increased on-time graduation rate to 94% for the Class of 2016, from 87% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased participation in AP examinations to 47%, from 36% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 62%, from 51% for the Class of 2012
  • Lahainaluna High School
    • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 55%, from 47% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 52%, from 25% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 57%, from 45% for the Class of 2012
  • Nanakuli High and Intermediate School
    • Increased dual-credit participation to 19%, from 3% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased participation in AP examinations to 33%, from 11% for the Class of 2014
    • Increased nationwide college enrollment to 38%, from 29% for the Class of 2012
  • Farrington High School
    • Increased participation in AP examinations to 22%, from 4% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 34%, from 27% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 59%, from 43% for the Class of 2012
  • Hilo High School
    • Increased dual-credit participation to 24%, from 10% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in math to 54%, from 26% for the Class of 2012
    • Increased college-level course enrollment at UH in English to 63%, from 37% for the Class of 2012

Stephen Schatz, recently appointed as Executive Director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, said, “Year over year, we see that Hawaii’s public high school graduates are more prepared for success after high school.  The College and Career Readiness Indicators report is an important tool that quantifiably measures college readiness of our public high school students, and gives leaders the data they need to make improvements.”

CCRI reports are an annual collaboration between HIDOE and UH, coordinated by Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, to present information on how well-prepared Hawaii public school graduates are for college.

Hawaii’s CCRI reports are continuously recognized by national organizations, including the Data Quality Campaign, Achieve, and the National Governors Association, as a leading example of collaboration between K-12 and higher education and for providing useful information on college readiness. The full reports can be found at: http://www.p20hawaii.org/resources/college-and-career-readiness-indicators-reports/ccri-2016-data, and also at: http://hawaiidxp.org/research/ccri_reports.

Commentary – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: CBO Confirms AHCA Is Bad Deal for American People

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis on the American Health Care Act (AHCA):

“The CBO released the AHCA cost estimate today, confirming what many have been saying—the AHCA is really a handout to insurance and pharmaceutical companies that will further exacerbate the burden on American families. While corporations rake in over $600 billion in tax breaks, our seniors will see their costs rise and low-income Americans will see their coverage drop completely. The proposed AHCA would slash funding for Medicaid by $880 billion over the next decade, threatening the health of millions of vulnerable Americans, and shifting costs to state and local governments that already face tight budgets. Seniors could see their premiums increase up to five times under new age-rating rules that do nothing except continue lining the pockets of insurance companies.

“While I have long called for serious improvements to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is imperative that any reforms to our healthcare system actually serve the health and wellbeing of people. This bill does the opposite—it will have a negative impact on the people of Hawaiʻi and our country. I strongly oppose this harmful legislation, and will continue working for true healthcare reform that puts people above the profits of corporations.”

Click to view report

Background: The AHCA is opposed by AARP, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, the AFL-CIO, and others.

Statement of Attorney General Doug Chin Regarding Activity Today in Hawaii vs. Trump

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin confirmed today that the State of Hawaii intends to pursue legal action regarding President Trump’s new travel ban, which was issued yesterday. The State, together with the Department of Justice, asked Judge Derrick K. Watson for an expedited briefing schedule on a motion for temporary restraining order. If Judge Watson agrees, this schedule will allow the court to hear the State’s motion before the new travel ban goes into effect on March 16, 2017.

A copy of today’s filing is attached. The State anticipates filing a second amended complaint and a motion for temporary restraining order in the near future. Those documents will be available to the public after they have been filed in court.

Hawaii State Civil Rights Commission Decries Threat Against Jewish Preschool

On behalf of the Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission, Chair Linda Hamilton Krieger today strongly condemned the threatening phone call made on Monday, February 27, 2017, that necessitated the evacuation of the Temple Emanu-El preschool, and renewed the Commission’s previous call for Hawaiʻi to stand against the national upsurge in discriminatory harassment and intimidation. “We must all come together to condemn this despicable, hateful act against Hawaii’s Jewish community,” said Krieger. “No one should have to live in fear because of their religion, just as no one should live in fear because of their national origin, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or immigration status.”

“It is sobering that this happened here in Hawaiʻi, in the context of threats against 20 Jewish community centers and day schools on the same day nationwide, as well as the bias-motivated shooting that took the life of an Indian man in Kansas last week,” added HCRC Executive Director William Hoshijo. “Those who share a commitment to civil rights must stand up for those who cannot stand alone, and condemn the post-election proliferation of anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant attacks and threats, acts of vandalism, and hateful rhetoric.”

The Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing, and will enforce, state civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and

State-funded services. The HCRC stands in opposition to discriminatory harassment, whether in schools, workplaces, places of business, or in our communities.

If you feel you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment because of your race, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, religion, sex, including gender identity, or other prohibited bases, contact the HCRC at telephone (808) 586-8636, or email DLIR.HCRC.INFOR@hawaii.gov.

For more information, go to the HCRC webpage at:  http://labor.hawaii.gov/hcrc/.