Meet Lava – Hawaii’s Tweeting Two-Colored-Faced Cat

Ok… well every once in a while I come across something pretty strange.  Tonight I think I out did myself.  Meet “Lava” the Tweeting Two-Colored-Face Cat from Honolulu, Hawaii:

Lava's Twitter "Profile" picture

Lava’s Twitter “Profile” picture

Lava tweets about everything a normal cat would… things like the thing she tweeted today:
Lava Tweet 1Lava bills herself as a “Hot Hawaiian Adventure Cat” and seems to live quite the lifestyle:
Lava Tweet 2The owner of the cat said that she named her “Lava” because she looked like lava pouring.  You can check out her entire series of tweets here @ohmylava.

Her first tweets were on Valentines day.

Her first tweets were on Valentines day.

She is only followed by 54 folks at this time… but I expect her to soon beat out Justin Bieber for followers… LOL!

Report Shows Access Learning Pilot Enhances Teaching and Student Learning

A first-year report on the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (DOE) Access Learning pilot presented to the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) today shows the initiative is helping to reduce burden on teachers, increase student engagement and responsibility, and improve parents’ support of public schools.

Click to view the report

Click to view the report

Last year, the DOE unveiled Access Learning, a pilot project to study the impact of technology and digital curricular resources on teaching and learning, at eight schools. This initiative takes advantage of ongoing Department efforts such as new technology for learning while addressing challenges facing our public schools. Access Learning does not focus on the device, rather on how technology can be a tool to support teachers’ efforts to personalize instruction and engage students.

Monanalua Middle School Principal Lisa Nagamine told the BOE, “Access Learning has enhanced the collaborative learning environment of our school.”

Moanalua Middle is one of the eight Access Learning schools that has incorporated technology for learning at all levels within its campus, not just the student level.

“The dedication and commitment by the school leaders, staff, and students allowed us to see the full potential of this initiative and its impact on student learning,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We appreciate their input and based on the positive results, hope to increase access to digital learning in all schools in the near future.”

Information and data collected from the eight Access Learning schools from October 2013 through April 2014 revealed:

  • Teachers use computers in a wide variety of ways to improve job performance and teaching – and that usage has increased since an initial survey was done last fall.
  • Teachers believe access to technology will benefit English language learners and special education students.
  • Students reported having positive experiences with the program. More than 90 percent of students surveyed say laptops make schoolwork more interesting and better prepare them for the future.
  • Students reported computers help them to be more organized and finish work more quickly and with better quality. Access to technology also made assignments a lot more fun by creating blogs, slideshows, movie trailers, and usage of other media.
  • Laptops allowed for better peer collaboration during project work and completing homework.
  • Parents believe computers help students gain a better insight into the happenings of the classroom and learn essential skills to compete globally.

“The 1-to-1 laptop program has improved education opportunities for students,” noted one parent. “The school has finally caught up with private schools.”

“I have seen increased student engagement in classwork because their computer allows them to have a ‘voice’ at the same time as everyone else. Less students are distracted or off task. (This) has allowed students to work more collaboratively in and out of the classroom setting,” one teacher reported.

The 2013 Legislature appropriated $8.2 million to the DOE for the pilot, which funded computers for teachers and students, technical support, professional development, and also helped offset curriculum and implementation expenses. In addition to Moanalua Middle, Access Learning pilot schools include Keaau Elementary and Pahoa Elementary, Mililani Mauka Elementary, Mililani Waena Elementary, Nanaikapono Elementary, Nanakuli Elementary, and Nanakuli Intermediate and High.

Pilot schools received devices for every student and teacher equipped with Hawaii Common Core-aligned digital curriculum for English Language Arts. The DOE partnered with county police departments to safeguard the computers, all of which are equipped with advanced security tracking software. As a result, the schools reported a combined theft and loss rate of only six computers (less than 1 percent).

Due to funding requirements, the Department was given a very short window to implement the initiative and the report noted those challenges. Teachers expressed frustration with limited time for professional development sessions. View the full report here.

During the past legislative session, DOE requested funding for ongoing Access Learning technical assistance and professional development. The budget request was denied; however, DOE officials worked with and received approval from the BOE to expend funding to continue technical assistance for the pilot schools through FY15. The funding request to the BOE will provide customized professional development for schools, overall and school specific program evaluation for formative purposes, and support for project management. For more information about the program, see the DOE’s Access Learning page.

United 777 Diverts to Remote Pacific Island After Burning Smell Reported

A United Boeing 777 diverted to the tiny Pacific island of Midway last night after a burning smell filled the plane while it flew over one of the most remote places on earth.

Stranded Plane

The airline will only say it was a mechanical issue. But this may have been a fairly serious incident. No one was hurt but those on board had the scare of their lives, says Teresita Smith from Maryland, who was traveling on board with 25 family members.

“The smell was getting stronger…it smelled like something burning,” she told ABC News in a phone interview today from Honolulu.

The departure had originally been delayed in Honolulu because of the odor but was cleared for takeoff for the eight-hour flight to Guam after about three hours, she said.

And then five hours into the flight the smell returned. “In the back section of the plane alarms were going off,” Smith said. Then after the pilot announced the plane would be diverting to Midway, the power seemed to go out and the plane dropped precipitously. “It was very scary,” she said. “It shook a lot of people up.”

More here: United 777 Diverts to Remote Pacific Island After Burning Smell Reported

Drone Planes Banned From Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and ALL Other National Parks

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today signed a policy memorandum that directs superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

“We embrace many activities in national parks because they enhance visitor experiences with the iconic natural, historic and cultural landscapes in our care,” Jarvis said. “However, we have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience.”

Unmanned aircraft have already been prohibited at several national parks. These parks initiated bans after noise and nuisance complaints from park visitors, an incident in which park wildlife were harassed, and park visitor safety concerns.

Last September, an unmanned aircraft flew above evening visitors seated in the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Amphitheater. Park rangers concerned for visitors’ safety confiscated the unmanned aircraft.

In April, visitors at Grand Canyon National Park gathered for a quiet sunset, which was interrupted by a loud unmanned aircraft flying back and forth and eventually crashing in the canyon. Later in the month, volunteers at Zion National Park witnessed an unmanned aircraft disturb a herd of bighorn sheep, reportedly separating adults from young animals.

The policy memorandum directs park superintendents to take a number of steps to exclude unmanned aircraft from national parks. The steps include drafting a written justification for the action, ensuring compliance with applicable laws, and providing public notice of the action.

The memorandum does not affect the primary jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration over the National Airspace System.

The policy memorandum is a temporary measure. Jarvis said the next step will be to propose a Servicewide regulation regarding unmanned aircraft. That process can take considerable time, depending on the complexity of the rule, and includes public notice of the proposed regulation and opportunity for public comment.

The policy memo directs superintendents to use their existing authority within the Code of Federal Regulations to prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft, and to include that prohibition in the park’s compendium, a set of park-specific regulations.

All permits previously issued for unmanned aircraft will be suspended until reviewed and approved by the associate director of the National Park Service’s Visitor and Resource Protection directorate. The associate director must approve any new special use permits authorizing the use of unmanned aircraft. Superintendents who have previously authorized the use of model aircraft for hobbyist or recreational use may allow such use to continue.

The National Park Service may use unmanned aircraft for administrative purposes such as search and rescue, fire operations and scientific study. These uses must also be approved by the associate director for Visitor and Resource Protection.

Hawaii’s State and County Leaders Formalize Joint Sustainability Commitment

“Aloha+ Challenge” Sets 6 Targets by 2030

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii’s four county mayors, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) leadership jointly launched the Aloha+ Challenge: A Culture of Sustainability – He Nohona ‘Ae‘oia at a declaration signing held today at the Hawaii State Capitol. The statewide joint leadership commitment sets clear targets for clean energy transformation, local food production, natural resource management, waste reduction, smart growth, climate resilience, green jobs and education by 2030.

Government leaders sign the Aloha+ Challenge.

Government leaders sign the Aloha+ Challenge.

“The Aloha+ Challenge brings us all together across jurisdictions, agencies, sectors and communities to build a sustainable Hawaii for current and future generations,” said Gov. Abercrombie, who as a member of President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience is in a strong position to provide recommendations on how the federal government can support local efforts outlined today. “The targets transcend political timelines with a longer-term vision that also calls upon us to take bold action now. As a microcosm of the world’s sustainability challenges, it is time for Hawaii to become a global model of how to develop innovative and collaborative solutions.”

The Hawaii State Legislature unanimously passed the Aloha+ Challenge through resolution this year. Hawaii Green Growth, which brings together key leaders from federal, state, county, business and nonprofit organizations, hosted the declaration signing to show broad support.

Photo by Sen. J Kalani English

Photo by Sen. J Kalani English

Hawaii’s commitment to the Aloha+ Challenge is already creating international attention. With the U.S. Department of State, Hawaii has been invited to announce the Aloha+ Challenge on the world stage at a high-level Global Island Partnership event in Samoa this September, during the United Nations’ International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which focuses on sustainable development.

“Alternative energy sources like H-Power, solar and wind, combined with fewer car trips and reduced energy consumption, will help us sustain our island for future generations,” said City and County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We have to invest in our future, and now is the time to do it.”

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi at the Aloha+ Challenge Dedication Signing and Press Conference.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi at the Aloha+ Challenge Dedication Signing and Press Conference.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi said: “The Aloha+ Challenge is about protecting our Hawaii and maximizing our resources to improve the quality of life for our communities. It reinforces that our decision-making as a state must focus on sustaining our resources for generations to come, and must be rooted in aloha.”

“The Aloha+ Challenge is about leading by example,” Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa said. “Our goal is to provide a higher quality of life for our children, and to build a community for our grandchildren that they can be proud of.”

“We are a state separated by ocean, but we are connected in so many ways – by families, by businesses and by shared values and traditions,” said Mayor Bernard Carvahlo of Kauai County. “It is important for us to always remember that. When our leadership focuses on one vision, we are united.”

“We must honor our past while also preparing for our future,” said Kamana‘opono Crabbe, chief executive officer for OHA. “The active participation of the community partners in this effort will also play a major role in bringing about a better, brighter future for all people of Hawaii.”

Photo from Gov. Abercrombie's Twitter feed.

Photo from Gov. Abercrombie’s Twitter feed.

In addition to sharing tools and knowledge and expanding partnerships, Hawaii’s top elected officials have agreed to develop a joint system of tracking progress and to increase long-term financing mechanisms for conservation and sustainability programs geared towards reaching the 2030 targets.

The Aloha+ Challenge commits Hawaii to reaching six targets by 2030:

  1. Clean Energy: 70 percent clean energy – 40 percent from renewables and 30 percent from efficiency (reinforcing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative)
  2. Local Food: At least double local food production – 20 to 30 percent of food consumed is grown locally
  3. Natural Resource Management: Reverse the trend of natural resource loss mauka to makai by increasing freshwater security, watershed protection, community-based marine management, invasive species control and native species restoration
  4. Waste Reduction: Reduce the solid waste stream prior to disposal by 70 percent through source reduction, recycling, bioconversion and landfill diversion methods
  5. Smart Sustainable Communities: Increase livability and resilience in the built environment through planning and implementation at state and county levels
  6. Green Workforce and Education: Increase local green jobs and education to implement these targets

In 2011, Gov. Abercrombie signed Act 181, which established sustainability as a priority in the Hawaii State Plan and incorporated the definition, goals and principles of sustainability from the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan into Chapter 226. More than 10,000 citizens participated in the Hawaii 2050 planning process.

HI-EMA Encourages Public to Update Emergency Notification Service

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), formerly known as State Civil Defense, encourages members of the public to sign up for local emergency notifications provided by county civil defense and emergency management agencies.

Department of DefenseInstructions for island-specific systems are available at:

On June 30, 2014, Sprint Relay Hawaii discontinued its emergency notification system that the company had been providing free of charge for 6 years. Relay Hawaii was designed to provide Short Message Service (SMS)/text messages on natural disasters and other emergencies to the deaf and hard of hearing community.

“Sprint Relay Hawaii has been a terrific partner in providing warning of approaching hazards and emergencies, and we are grateful for the services it provided,” said Doug Mayne, Administrator for Emergency Management. “Individuals are urged to update notice subscriptions with alternatives. Having a reliable way to get information on local dangers is crucial to making sure an emergency doesn’t turn into a disaster.”

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are also available through the federal government for people with WEA-enabled phones. Go to http://www.ready.gov/alerts for more information.

Big Island Police Investigating Stun Guns Recovered From Maku’u Farmers Market

Hawaiʻi Island police recovered two electronic stun devices from a vendor at the Makuʻu Farmers Market on Sunday morning (June 29) and have initiated a criminal investigation into violations of laws specific to electric guns, possession and sale.

HPDBadgeDevices that were recovered had the appearance of a cellular phone. Police received additional information that other devices previously displayed had the appearance of a Maglight type flashlight.

Police remind the public that the possession, sale, gift or delivery of electric guns/devices is illegal under section 134-16 of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes and is a misdemeanor offense. The definition of an “electric gun” means any portable device that is electrically operated to project a missile or electromotive force. Persons who may have purchased such a device are advised to destroy the item or turn it in to the nearest police station for recovery and destruction.

Use of an electronic gun on another person (by anyone other than a law enforcement officer in the lawful course of duties) would fall under the assault section of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes.

Police ask anyone with information about other vendors selling similar devices to report this to the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Statement By Admiral Harry Harris Jr., On Opening of RIMPAC

Aloha! Welcome everyone to the Rim of the Pacific exercise. It’s a great day to look across Pearl Harbor and see so many international ships berthed here for RIMPAC 2014. I want to personally welcome every Sailor, Marine, Airman, Soldier and Coastguardsman from all 22 participating nations and from the six observer nations – not only here in Hawaii, but also to the joint forces operating together in Southern California. You may not realize this, but the Southern California RIMPAC phase includes more than 1,000 personnel and seven ships from nine countries.

RIMPAC Line Up

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps our armed forces increase transparency and foster the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring security on the world’s oceans. Everyone standing here with me today recognizes how valuable a cooperative approach can be to sharing the workload and leveraging unique national capabilities.

Today, maritime cooperation is more vital than ever before. For centuries, the world’s oceans kept us apart, but in this increasingly globalized world, they are the pathways that bring us together.

Freedom of the seas is the minimum condition necessary for global prosperity and trade to flourish. This applies to the United States, a maritime nation and a Pacific nation, and it applies to each of the countries participating in RIMPAC.

As the world’s economic center of gravity shifts rapidly toward the Indo-Asia-Pacific, we also note the increasing risks in the region – some man-made, some natural – but all capable of disrupting stability and impacting our collective prosperity. We can all appreciate that conflict and crisis are bad for business. I think it’s important to note that by simply attending RIMPAC, every nation here is making the bold statement that we must improve multinational military cooperation despite disagreements. We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

Capable maritime forces enhance stability, security, prosperity and peace around the world, especially in an ocean as vast as the Pacific. The 22 nations who sent forces to RIMPAC have interests in the Pacific, and they know that this exercise will help them improve their capability to operate with each other and contribute to multilateral efforts when needed.

Mutual trust and open lines of communication are critical, but are very challenging to build. That’s why multilateral exercises like RIMPAC are so important. It helps us work together effectively in real world events like the recent search for Malaysia Airliner MH370, or in responding to the devastating typhoon that hit our friends in the Philippines last November. Friends help friends, and often, the fastest response to crisis comes from the sea.

Capable maritime forces matter to all nations.

And they matter to the United States, which is conducting a whole-of-government strategic rebalance to the Pacific. The rebalance is based on a strategy of cooperation and collaboration, and that’s why it is imperative that we work together to build trust and confidence to solve our collective maritime challenges. When great nations work together, we can accomplish great things.

Collaboration and cooperation, that’s why we are here to learn together, operate together and sail together.

There are three great ships that sail on the high seas – friendship, partnership and leadership – all three are exemplified at RIMPAC. Great leadership is also something I get every day from our U.S. Third Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd, who will serve as the Combined Task Force commander during this exercise.

Adm. Harris is commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Complete List of Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter Awards

Here is the full list of the 2013 winners and finalists of the Hawaii Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists that were recognized Friday evening at the Manoa Grand Ballroom of the Japanese Culture Center over on Oahu.

Hawaii SPJ

The ceremony and banquet was emceed by Keoki Kerr and Robbie Dingeman.  The Colorado Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists judged the 2013 contest.

Every entrant had to pay $25.00 per category to have their entry judged.

ALL MEDIA

Column Writing or Blog/News

First Place – “Board Talk,” Teresa Dawson, Environment Hawai’i

Comments: “Exhaustive reporting clearly presented. sometimes excessive length, but comprehensive. Good public service reporting/writing.”

Finalists

“Patti Epler columns,” Patti Epler, Civil Beat

Comments: “Ms. Epler de-mystifies journalism for readers, writes about important topics like access to open records and strong shield laws. ”

“The State of Aloha,” Ben Lowenthal, Maui News

Comments: “Nice use of historical perspective. Clear writing style.”

Column Writing or Blog/Features or Sports— First Place:

“Sharing Mana’o,” Kathy Collins, Maui News

Finalists:

“Afterthoughts,” Michael Keany, Honolulu Magazine

“My Job: Greens Coordinator for Films, Jewelry Takes Her Underwater, ‘Eyes and Ears’ of the Store, Caring for Kahoolawe, Family Tradition of Feather Work,” Stacy Yuen, Catherine Toth, Paula Rath, Lehia Apana, Lee Ann Bowman – Hawaii Business

Overall comment: “This category has a broad variety of entries. I think the “”Modern Cowboys”” video might fit better in another place. Very strong column-writing entries. It was tough to decide between No. 1 and No. 2!”

Government Reporting

First Place -“Hawaii Prison Problems,” Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now

Comments: “Terrific series of reports, eye openers.”

Finalists

“The Agribusiness Development Corporation,” Teresa Dawson, Environment Hawai’i

Comments: “Impressive continuing coverage of a government body wielding a lot of money but with little oversight and media scrutiny. Great job.”

“Hawaii’s Public Records,” Nathan Eagle, Nick Grube – Civil Beat

Comments: “Great stuff. Journalists need to explain in laymen’s terms to readers about public records, and this package does a terrific and compelling job.”

Breaking News Reporting

First Place – “Tropical Storm Flossie,” Melissa Tanji, Eileen Chao, Chris Sugidono, Lila Fujimoto – Maui News

Comments: “Comprehensive deadline coverage of a storm, its impact on services, infrastructure, personal stories and emergency preparedness information for readers. Well done.”

Finalists

“Plane makes emergency landing,” Chris Sugidono, Brian Perry, Lee Imada – Maui News

Comments: “Excellent footwork in getting to the crash site, sticking with pursuit of survivors and capturing the aircraft’s final plunge into the ocean.”

“Shark attack,” Chris Sugidono, Melissa Tanji – Maui News

Comments: “Diligent pursuit of a rare rash of shark attacks and in getting firsthand accounts from a tourist’s rescuers.”

Health Reporting

First Place – “The Doctor Is Out, June 2013,” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “A comprehensive and highly readable story about an issue with high public impact. The author explains well the reasons for critical doctor shortages, potential solutions and programs in play.”

Finalists

“Dis Enabled,” Rylan Suehisa, Hawaii Business

“Transformation at Rehab Hospital,” Stacy Yuen, Hawaii Business

Sports Reporting

First Place – “Go Bows–Will We Ever Win Again? September 2013,” David Thompson, Lance Tominaga, Dave Choo – Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “This was a great read, a thorough look at the athletic director’s efforts to improve a struggling program. The example of the replacement of the light bulbs was classic.”

Finalists

“Camacho conquers Kaiwi Channel,” J.R. De Groote, West Hawaii Today

Comments: Hats off to the writer for an in-depth look at the swimmer’s accomplishment — especially after very painful jellyfish stings.

“Farmers facing shortfall,” Robert Collias, Maui News

Comments: “The school sports teams on these islands face unique travel problems, and the writer did a great job telling us about them. ”

Arts/Entertainment Writing

First Place – “Na Kumu,” Maureen O’Connell, HAWAI‘I Magazine

Comments: “Wonderful work, fine tributes to artisans who deserve the media coverage. Great photos too. Elegant piece!”

Finalists

“Hula Lives: Fifty Years of Renaissance and Revival through the Merrie Monarch Festival,” Jade Eckardt, Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz – Mana Magazine

Comments: “Page design and photos strengthen this submission, which starts with solid writing.”

“The Extra, May 2013,” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “Very nice story about one man’s dreams and his willingness to wait for his big break.”

Editorial Opinion

First Place – “After tough start, Rosenthal enters golden chapter of his life,” Walter Chihara, Lahaina News

Comments: “A simple but compelling account, plainly and powerfully expressed.”

Finalist

“History Repeated,” Ke‘oplaulani Reelitz, Mana Magazine

Editorial Cartoon/Illustration

First Place – “Favorite Perks,” Jon Murakami, Hawaii Business

Comments: “An amusing presentation that enlivens a familiar business ranking. Lots of content in a compact space.”

Finalists

“He Mana Ko Ka Leo,” Jessica Kamaka‘aina Siepp, Mana Magazine

Comments: “Haunting and well executed, complemented by clever page layout.”

“I Feel So Much Safer Now,” John Pritchett, Civil Beat

Informational Graphic

First Place – “Quality of Life”,” Kristin Lipman, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Pie charts, bar graphs, graphic tid-bits and color visuals that impart a lot of information.Graphics blend with the stories nicely to complete incredibly comprehensive package.”

Finalists

“Balancing Act,” Jen Tadaki Catanzariti, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Clean way to present a lot of info in an easy-to-digest fashion.”

“The Poop Scoop: What happens after you flush,” Vincent Meadows, Molokai Dispatch

Comments: “Colorful ‘Flow’ chart tells the story visually.”

News Photography/Videography

First Place – “Heavy rains ran like rivers,” Matthew Thayer, Maui News

Comments: “Life and death in the balance. It doesn’t get more newsworthy than this well-composed, dramatic photograph.”

Finalists

“10 years in fatal crash,” John Burnett, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Human tragedy and remorse compel viewers to lock onto this excellent photograph of a sentencing and to read the story behind it.”

“Same Sex Marriage Special Session – Jubilation,” PF Bentley, Civil Beat

Comments: “Foreground and background merge into one powerful photograph capturing one powerful issue in the news.”

Feature Photography/Videography

First Place – “One Last Look: Volcano,” Grant Kaye, HAWAI‘I Magazine

Comments: “Everything works in this photo of the continuing creation of the Earth: beauty, disfigurement, power, light and dark, detail, shape, form, tones, and ultimately, transformation.”

Finalists

“Hawaiian Language Immersion Program – Student with Book,” PF Bentley, Civil Beat

Comments: “The composition and great use of depth of field bring this simple photo into powerful three-dimensional life and visual immersion.”

“Fleetwood And Company,” Matthew Thayer, Maui News

Comments: “Lighting, composition, mood, depth of field and low noise make this a concert photo deserving of special recognition.”

Sports Photography/Videography

First Place – “Va’a Va’a Va’a Voom!” Kunio Hayashi, Sonny Ganaden, Elyse Butler, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee, Hana Hou!

Comments: “A striking composition with all the elements of a first-rate sports photo: action, people, dramatic lighting and rich warm tones.”

Finalists

“Lawai‘a,” Sterling Kaya, Mana Magazine

Comments: “A compelling photo in terms of angle, composition, tones and detail.”

“Safe Under The Tag,” Matthew Thayer        , Maui News

Comments: “Exactly what a good baseball photo should be: dramatic and human.”

Photo/Video Essay

First Place – “Women of the Water,” Johann Meya, Janelle Kalawe, Mary Alice Ka‘iulani Milham – Mana Magazine

Comments: “A great story told exceptionally well in high quality, compelling images.”

Finalists

“Hele on to Hamakua,” David Croxford, HAWAI’I Magazine

Comments: “A large variety of excellent images tell the story of an entire region.”

“Hooverball hits Hawaii,” Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine

Comments: “The slides deftly edited into a video and the accompanying narration bring visual life and interest to an unusual but entertaining topic.”

Headlines

First Place – “Va’a Va’a Va’a Voom!” Kunio Hayashi, Sonny Ganaden, Elyse Butler, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee—Hana Hou!

Comments: “Excellent play on Va’a, canoe, and the topic: Speed.”

Finalists

“I Want Candy”/“The Daytrippers”/“Get Baked”/“Big Shrimpin”/“Dry Idea,” Derek Paiva, HAWAI’I Magazine

Comments: “The Daytrippers”: Perfect headline for a travel story written for locals and visitors with only hours to spare.”

“Prime Example; A Spoonful of Noni; Lost in Translation; Morning Board Meeting; Hawaiian Enough,” Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz, Janelle Kalawe, Malia Ka‘aihue, Mana Magazine

Comments: “ ‘Lost in Translation’: Captures the controversy over a language immersion program, the goals behind testing, and the students themselves.”

Best Reporting Using Social Media

First Place – “Lucky We Live Hawaii: What Hawaii Can Teach Us About Seizing The Day,” Chloe Fox, HuffPost Hawaii

Comments: “Enjoyable way to cover the beauty of Hawaii, though I was left wondering: why only six photos?”

Special Section

First Place – “Quality of Life,” Steve Petranik, Stacy Yuen, Beverly Creamer, Kristin Lipman—Hawaii Business

Comments: “Stunning use of graphics, photos and well reported stories to create an outstanding public service package.”

Finalists

“Merrie Monarch Festival 50th anniversary,” Staff, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Wow. This package is very well designed and obviously comprehensive. While outsiders might not fully understand, they would after reading this special section. It’s the ‘spirit and the culture of the Hawaiian people.’”

“Accountable for Results,” Dennis Hollier, Stacy Yuen, Beverly Creamer—Hawaii Business

Comments: “The writing is descriptive: ‘bloated, inefficient and sometimes corrupt …’ Incredibly comprehensive report. Well-researched and clearly written.”

Investigative Reporting

First Place – “Living Hawaii: Why Is the Price of Paradise So High?” Kery Murakami, Nathan Eagle, Adrienne LaFrance— Civil Beat

Comments: “Amazing series. Good mix of facts, history/context and storytelling. Bonus points for the bar charts on the first story as a way of presenting big data points in a digestible format.”

Finalists

“State Hospital Investigation,” Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now

Comments: “Fine journalism!”

“GMO Hawaii: A war is waging in the islands,” Tom Callis, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Wide-ranging stories give a very good overview of GMO in the state, with perspective from both sides.”

Public Service Reporting

First Place – “In the Name of the Law,” Nick Grube, Patti Epler—Civil Beat

Comments: “A clear winner in a very competitive category. The depth and breadth of this series was impressive … an extraordinary and chilling investigation into law enforcement misconduct and its ability to operate beyond public scrutiny.”

Finalists

“GMOs and the Hawaiian Community,” Britt Yap, Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz—Mana Magazine

“Hawaiian Education in the DOE,” Kathryn Wagner, Alyssa Navares, Mary Alice Ka‘iulani Milham, Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz, Janelle Kalawe—Mana Magazine

DAILY NEWSPAPERS

Spot News Reporting

First Place – “10 years in fatal crash,” John Burnett, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Compelling narrative spot reporting of a painful sentencing hearing that deftly includes key elements of a tragic accident.”

Finalists

“Flossie strikes,” Eileen Chao, Melissa Tanji, Lila Fujimoto, Chris Sugidono—Maui News

Comments: “A comprehensive account of a storm and the damage it inflicted that provides nearly everything a citizen should know — all done in difficult conditions.”

“Priest-Crash kills health director,” Chris Sugidono, Maui News

Comments: “Excellent spot reporting on deadline that overcame logistical challenges while taking care to insist that the health director’s death had yet to be completely confirmed.”

General News/Enterprise Reporting

First Place – “Pop Warner embezzlement,” John Burnett, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Finalists

“Food thrown out,”    Nancy Cook Lauer, West Hawaii Today

“Isle mortgage broker facing court hearing on bankruptcy,” Melissa Tanji, Nanea Kalani—Maui News

Feature Writing/Short Form

First Place – “Making it official,”    Colin Stewart, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Well written story on an issue of high interest.”

Finalists

“Fixing pools gone amuck,” Carolyn Lucas-Zenk, West Hawaii Today

Comments: “Story brings light to an environmental issue in a community in a compelling manner.”

“Ocean swim part of an active life,” Rich Van Scoy, Maui News

Comments: “Good human interest story on changing senior adult lifestyles.”

Feature Writing/Long Form

First Place – “’I was supposed to die’” Lila Fujimoto, Maui News

Finalist

“15 years later, man’s slaying still unsolved,” Brian Perry, Maui News

Feature Page Design

First Place – “Got rocks?” Brenda Jensen, West Hawaii Today

Finalists

“Google: Peering into social mindset,”           Nathan Christophel     , Hawaii Tribune-Herald

“GMO Hawaii: A war is waging in the islands,” Meg Scarbrough, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

INTERNET

Online News Reporting

First Place – “Diane Lee’s Reporting on the Same-Sex-Marriage Special Session,” Diane Lee, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “I like the presentation as a package, sort of a non-linear way to tell the story. I wish the layout on the landing page had better use of headline font sizes so they’d stand out more. And in the “”man on the street”” interviews, I wish they could have been done in video instead of text, just to underscore this is online journalism. But those are quibbles. Great job done in a different way, on a big news story.”

Finalists

“Fo Teach Pidgin o Not Fo Teach Pidgin ? Das Da Question,” Alia Wong, Civil Beat

Comments: “Fascinating topic, though for an outsider, a little long of a package to absorb. But fascinating… and important. Also like the video support materials with the reporter’s voiceover, too.”

“Learning Hilo,” Alia Wong, PF Bentley—Civil Beat

Comments: “Nice writing, strong individual stories.”

Online Feature Reporting

First Place – “Waikiki’s Venetian Nightmare: Natural Disasters in Paradise?” Sophie Cocke, Civil Beat

Comments: “Like her Ala Wai Canal package, this is written with crisp prose, solid reporting and obvious depth of knowledge of the topic. She owns this beat. ”

Finalists

“Making Waves: Tommy Russo Is ‘Fighting for Change’ on Maui,” Nathan Eagle, Civil Beat

Comments: “Always good to read about a butt-kicking journalist who loves his community.”

“Bones in Purgatory: 660 Skeletal Remains Languish in Church Basement,” Sophie Cocke, Civil Beat

Comments: “Compelling story. Only nit is wish there could have been a photo of the bones in the basement, though I can guess the church turned it down.”

Category comments: “Some fine work! Sort of wish Civil Beat wasn’t so dominant, but the quality is there….”

Best Multimedia Presentation

First Place – “Ala Wai Canal: Hawaii’s Biggest Mistake?” Sophie Cocke, Joe Rubin, PF Bentley—Civil Beat

Comments: “Wow, comprehensive and incredibly well-done. Tackles a difficult, dense subject in digestible chunks and organizes the issues well. Also like that you’re including links to ‘Ongoing Coverage.’”

Finalist

“In the Name of the Law,” Staff, Civil Beat

Comments: “Solid reporting, interesting look at how law enforcement is working (or not working). Wish there were more ways to incorporate video, but the infographic is good, and the searchable database is very nice to have.”

Best Overall News Site

First Place – Honolulu Civil Beat, Staff, Civil Beat

Comments: “It’s hard to deny CB. Such great deep reporting nicely presented…”

Finalists

“HuffPost Hawaii” Chloe Fox, Gabriela Aoun, Carla Herreria—HuffPost Hawaii

Comments: General Interest Site. Good reporting though w/o bylines these read a bit anonymous…

“All Hawaii News – Top Hawaii government and political news from all the islands,” Nancy Cook Lauer, All Hawaii News

Best 1-Person Online News Site/1-Person News Blog

“All Hawaii News- Top Hawaii government and political news from all the islands,” Nancy Cook Lauer , All Hawaii News

Comments: “This site glows with the passion of its creator. The writing isn’t elegant, it’s straight-on journalism and unvarnished commentary, and it’s alive with the moment and depth of knowledge and love for the state. Awesome, and an example of one future for journalism.”

Best 1-Person Online Features Site/1-Person Features Blog

First Place – “Martin Luther King, Jr. Wearing a Lei in Selma, Alabama (and Other Blogs),” Ray Tsuchiyama, Pacific Visions and Memories

Comments: “Very strong, evocative writing steeped in history. As a reader, I get drawn in and taken to the past in each piece submitted. One nit is not a criticism of the writer, but of the site that publishes him: The photos are dreadfully presented. And in the case of “”Hawaiian Eye,”” someone — if not the writer, then a producer or even an editor at the paper, should have embedded the TV show’s theme, which is easily available on YouTube.”

Finalists

“Sugar + Shake: Sweets, Savories, Sips & More,” Dawn Sakamoto Paiva, Sugar + Shake

Comments: “Nice, very good foodie blog with a strong local base.”

“Social Encore,” Jermel-Lynn Quillopo, www.honolulupulse.com

Comments: “Her writing can be a little rough, but her passion and love for her home state is obvious. Like the photos too.”

MAGAZINES

Business Reporting

First Place – “Twins?” Dennis Hollier, Hawaii Business

Comments: “This crammed an easy-to-understand semester’s worth of information about how banks invest and make money into one story. Comparing the practices of these two banks was a public service.”

Finalists

“Million Dollar Microbes,” Dennis Hollier, Hawaii Business

Comments: “A terrific examination and clear explanation of how much a research center can mean to a college or university. Plus, the story provided many meaningful examples of how this all works.”

“Parking In Paradise,” Michael Keany, Matt Kain—Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “My kingdom for a parking space … a well-done examination of what’s behind the high prices and aggravation, plus interesting side notes, such as the Hall of Shame. ”

Category comments: “This was a tough category to judge. All six entries stood out: interesting topics, strong research and most of all, these subjects affect readers.”

Industry or Trade Reporting

First Place – “The Everything Guide to Ahi,” Martha Cheng, Mari Taketa, Tiffany Hill, Katrina Valcourt—Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “A lively, detailed, colorful biography of an iconic fish, bolstered by dazzling art and design. The best of a highly competitive category.”

Finalists

“Biofuel Industry on the Big Island,” Patricia Tummons, Environment Hawai’i

Comments: “Tales about things going wrong are hard to tell, but can be compelling when relayed with as much intelligence and detail as this entry.”

“GMOs and the Hawaiian Community,” Britt Yap, Mana Magazine

Comments: “An insightful examination of an important issue.”

Profile

First Place – “Flight Instructor,” Kunio Hayashi, Sonny Ganaden, Greg Vaughn, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee–Hana Hou!

Comments: “Great writing, pictures and layout! Love it!”

Finalists

“The Fighter,” Kunio Hayashi, Aaron Kandell, Dana Edmunds, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee—Hana Hou!

Comments: “Tightly written. Very nice package.”

“Can Ben Jay Save UH Sports?” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “Very strong package. It was hard to choose between this and the other winners.”

Category comments: “Very impressive entries in this category. I’d like to give an honorable mention to CEO of the Year: Stanley Kuriyama. Lots of hard work went into that piece”

Feature Writing/Short Form

First Place – “Ode to Red Cinder Road,” Derek Paiva, HAWAI‘I Magazine

Finalists

“Into The Black,” Kunio Hayashi, Hunter Haskins, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee—Hana Hou!

“Field Notes: God Wants You to Be a Millionaire,” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Feature Writing/Long Form

First Place – “From Souvenirs to Saks: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the International Marketplace,” David Thompson, Honolulu Magazine

Comments: “Comprehensive, well researched, interesting sources and well written. A worthy tribute an icon of the past.”

Finalists

“Go Fish!” Kunio Hayashi, Michael Shapiro, Monte Costa, Leigh Morrison, Samuel Lee—Hana Hou!

Comments: “Intriguing slice of life in a remote and romantic place with unusual characters well described. Conveys sense of place and lostness.”

“Georgia & Ansel in Hawai‘i” Maureen O’Connell, HAWAI’I Magazine

Comments: “Elegant story benefits from tight focus and generous display of artwork, deep research, as well as local connection.”

Page Design

First Place – “75 Places to Eat Like A Local,” Cody Kawamoto, HAWAI‘I Magazine

Comments: “Clean, professional, clear. Something I’d want to keep on hand for reference. Nice use of complementary fonts and colors.”

Finalists

“Eddie Went,” Janelle Kalawe, Mana Magazine

Comments: “Very clever design. Good mix of design elements yet the package maintains a cohesive feel.”

“Boom!” Mary Pigao, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Layout really grabs the reader’s attention. Nice use of white space.”

Category comments: “Some excellent entries in this category.”

Magazine Cover

First Place – “HONOLULU Magazine, April 2013,” Erik Ries, Honolulu Magazine

Finalists

“Kaho‘olawe: Kanaloa Rising” Janelle Kalawe, Olivier Koning, Ke‘opulaulani Reelitz—Mana Magazine

“Huakai: Fall 2013” Cody Kawamoto, HAWAI’I Magazine

NEWSPAPERS

Business Reporting

First Place – “Isle mortgage broker facing court hearing on bankruptcy,” Nanea Kalani, Melissa Tanji—Maui News

Comments: “Nanea Kalani does a service by shedding light on the shady dealings of mortgage brokers.”

Finalists

“Out of its shell,” Colin Stewart, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “A clearly-told look at a budding industry.”

“Kona Village laying off last workers,” Erin Miller, West Hawaii Today

News Page Design

First Place – “Design: Snow and Ironman preview,” Joseph Mountain, West Hawaii Today

Comments: “Nice use of photo with banner. Good headline with color splash ‘m’ in middle.”

Finalists

“Ka Molokai Makahiki 2013,” Laura Pilz, Molokai Dispatch

Comments: “Colorful page with a lot going on, but not too busy to confuse reader. Liked the text flow on top of photo cutout.”

“GMO Hawaii: A war is waging in the islands,” Meg Scarbrough, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Comments: “Good blend of stories graphics and pictures. Layout pretty conventional, but effective.”

NONDAILY NEWSPAPERS

General News/Enterprise Reporting

First Place – “Energy on Molokai,” Catherine Cluett, Molokai Dispatch

Comments: “Nice job balancing the different perspectives on this story. Lots of potential impact on the local community.”

Finalist

“K-Bay Marine linguist named best in DoD,” Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine

Comments: “Many people may not know about this award; it is good to let locals know one of their own received it.”

Feature Writing

First Place -“K-Bay Marines reap benefits from acupuncture in pinpoint solution,” Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine

Comments: “Intriguing story on use of alternative medicine for soldiers.”

Finalist

“Island Legend: Paniolo Jimmy Duvauchelle,” Catherine Cluett, Molokai Dispatch

Community Reporting

First Place – “Does the state’s new $7 million seawall at Ukumehame work?” Louise Rockett, Lahaina News

Comments: “A terrific investigation into whether an expensive highway project is really working, or whether it’s creating a potential public safety hazard. Good local color and anecdotes.”

Finalists

“The Poop Scoop: What happens after you flush,” Jessica Ahles, Molokai Dispatch

“Ready to launch: Marine aids Kalaheo High School robotics team,” Christine Cabalo, Hawaii Marine

RADIO

General News/Enterprise Reporting

First Place – “’Linsanity’ Details Rise of Asian-American Basketball Star,”          Heidi Chang, Faith Lapidus— Voice of America

Comments: “An important story about the challenges Jeremy Lin has faced, told in a very conversational way.

Finalist

“Special Legislative Session (Marriage Equality)” Wayne Yoshioka, Hawaii Public Radio

Feature Reporting

First Place -“Plugged In on the Streets,” Molly Solomon, Hawaii Public Radio

Comments: “Compelling exploration of homelessness from a unique perspective.”

Finalists

“Growing a New Crop of Young Farmers,” Molly Solomon, Hawaii Public Radio

Comments: “Insightful exploration of evolution in agriculture.”

“’If It Swings’: An Asian-American Jazzman’s Pioneering Career,” Heidi Chang, National Public Radio

Comments: “Well-written story on intercultural jazz movement.”

Student

Student News Reporting in Any Media

First Place – “My Wish is to Create a Business,” Ashley Shaffer, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Strong, nice presentation too.”

Finalist

“Yelp Me,” Ashley Shaffer, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Pretty interesting story on a topic that young people would be interested in.”

Student Feature Reporting in Any Media

First Place – “How I Learned to Love to Weed,” Ava Rose Prince, Environment Hawai‘i

Comments: “Wow, a high school student! Very impressive…”

Finalists

“Startup in a Cup,” Ashley Shaffer, Hawaii Business

Comments: “Cool story, nice writing and layout.”

“Boom!” Ashley Shaffer , Hawaii Business

Comments: “Solid look at the gun issue in Hawai’i. Good photos too.”

TELEVISION

Government Reporting

First Place – “PRISON GUARD SICK DAYS”   Keoki Kerr, Darin Akita—Hawaii News Now

Comments: “An astonishing analysis of the high percentage — nearly 50% — of prison guards calling in sick on Super Bowl Sunday, during March madness and a parade day for a local football player. Great explanation of the impact on coworkers and why it’s so easy to call in sick.”

Finalist

“Empty City Parking Garage,” Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now

Business Reporting

First Place – “Business booming on Lanai with new billionaire owner,” Keoki Kerr, George Hurd, Mahealani Kahoano—Hawaii News Now

Comments: “A fine report on the changes that are coming to the traditionally closed, remote island of Lanai.”

Finalist

“HE>I” Marisa Yamane, Travis Nishida—KHON2

General News/Enterprise Reporting

First Place – “Empty New City Parking Garage,” Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now

Comments: “This story, about a new parking garage sitting nearly empty while city workers scramble for parking elsewhere, is perfect for television. Very nicely done.”

Feature Reporting

First Place – “Hawaii’s only elevator operator hopes to lift the spirit of others,” Olena Heu, KHON2

Comments: “Interesting human interest feature with vintage slant.”

Finalists

“Modern Cowboys,” Diane Ako, Tracy Arakaki—smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com

Comments: “Clever exploration of changing culture.”

“What a catch! Man reels in 759 lb. marlin off Kewalo Basin” Kristine Uyeno, KHON2

Comments: “Creative story on catching the big one.”

Spot News Reporting

First Place – “Haleiwa Fire,” Marisa Yamane, Taires Hiranaka, KHON2

Comments: “Vivid coverage of a wildfire threatening homes, seen through the eyes of worried residents. ”

Finalist

“Palolo Hikers Rescued,” Marisa Yamane, Taires Hiranaka—KHON2

Investigative Reporting

First Place – “State Hospital Investigation,” Keoki Kerr, Darin Akita, Mahealani Kahoano—Hawaii News Now

Comments: “This really is a terrific report.(Previous comments on the series from the other category.)”

Finalists

“Growing tab for UH head-hunts amid budget crunch,” Gina Mangieri, Greg Lau—KHON2

Comments: “Good story. A visual approach might be helpful — even a chart that shows actual revenue numbers instead of just saying the amounts swing wildly.”

“Careless disposal puts personal info at risk,” Gina Mangieri, Greg Lau—KHON2

Comments: “Good deeper research showing the cost of a variety of personnel searches at UH.”

Videography

First Place – “Modern Cowboys,” Tracy Arakaki, Diane Ako—smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com

Comments: “Strong, lively video work and narration, good storytelling. This story works better as a video package than text with stills.”

Series Reporting/Documentary/Special News

First Place -“Hokule’a: Her Farthest Journey,” Kathy Muneno, KHON2

Finalist

“Mysterious urn found on the beach,” Reid Shimizu, Tammy Mori, Ron Mizutani, KHON2

THANK YOU TO THE JUDGES OF THE TOP OF THE ROCKIES CONTEST. YOU HELPED MAKE THIS CONTEST POSSIBLE.

Board members:

  • Dave Briscoe
  • Teresa Dawson
  • Nancy Cook Lauer
  • Christy Strobel

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

  • Richard Borreca
  • Nanea Kalani
  • Stirling Morita
  • Curtis Murayama
  • Mary Poole
  • Dave Shapiro
  • Christie Wilson
  • Alan Yonan
  • Lucy Young-Oda

PacificBasin Communications

  • Jen Tadako Catanzariti
  • Dennis Hollier
  • Kristin Lipman
  • Lennie Omalza
  • Steve Petranik
  • Christi Young

VIDEO: NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Successfully Launched From Kauai

NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) was successfully launched on a helium balloon today at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii later the LDSD will be released at 120,000 feet and fire a Star 48B rocket motor to boost it to Mach 4.0 and 180,000 feet.

NASA IFO

This height and speed simulates a spacecraft flying through the Martian atmosphere and is where the air breaking systems will be tested on the LDSD vehicle.

LDSD is fitted with what is called SIAD-R, a giant dounaut air bag that will increase the diameter of the vehicle and help slow it down to Mach 2.5 where a supersonic parachute will deploy ahead of a safe landing in the Pacific Ocean for recovery.

Inaugural State Teacher Fellowship Program to Play Key Role in Public Education

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce the selection of 17 public school educators to the Hope Street Group’s inaugural Hawaii State Teacher Fellows. Together with the DOE and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), the fellows will voice teacher perceptions and potential solutions to issues educators face in implementing the Hawaii Common Core.

DOE ReleaseThe fellows represent a range of outstanding Hawaii teachers chosen from a pool of competitive candidates from across the state. Selected for their strong individual commitments to improving learning outcomes for children, fellows will serve as leaders among their peers for the next 12 months, and have the option of continuing in their leadership capacity for additional school years.

“The Hawaii State Teacher Fellows have a critical charge ahead to expand engagement of their peers, by their peers. They stand ready to lead in this role as they lead every day in their respective classrooms,” said Dan Cruce, vice president for education, Hope Street Group.

The 17 teachers selected to be Hawaii’s first State Teacher Fellows are:

  1. Yuuko Arikawa (Leilehua Complex)
  2. Ruth Ballinger (Puunene – Maui District)
  3. Justin Brown (Kealakehe High)
  4. Kristen Brummel (McKinley Complex)
  5. Jaimelynne Cruz (Kamaile Academy)
  6. Elizabeth Marie Fitzpatrick (Keonopoko Elementary)
  7. Michelle June Fujie (Lanai High and Elementary)
  8. Jonathan Gillentine (Windward District)
  9. Tracey Lynn Idica (Aiea High)
  10. Dana Ishiii (Kanoelani Elementary)
  11. Loretta Labrador (Kualapuu Public Charter)
  12. Sharon M. Look (Paia Elementary)
  13. Jonathon Medeiros (Kauai High)
  14. Tracy Monroe (Ilima Intermediate)
  15. Christopher J. Rodriguez (Waipahu Elementary)
  16. Jamie Takamura (Red Hill Elementary)
  17. Leslie Toy (Aiea Intermediate)

Through the partnership, the group will be trained in peer and community engagement, data collection and media strategies – all with the intent of sharing information with the community. Fellows will also collect input from their peers to present to the DOE.

“The development of the Hawaii State Teacher Fellows is a tremendous step toward our shared commitment to engage teachers at every level,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This collaborative program will reinforce our strategic work toward student and staff success in our schools. We’re grateful to our partners for their commitment and support in this effort.”

By engaging school communities, informing state policy decisions, and participating in professional development and training opportunities, fellows will work toward elevating the teaching profession and providing the DOE with critical feedback on the Hawaii Common Core – a set of consistent learning expectations aimed at preparing all graduates for college and careers.

HSTA Executive Director Al Nagasako supports this work stating, “Engaging teachers in the elevation of their profession is core to our work at the Hawaii State Teachers Association. We look forward to continuing our collaborative partnership with Hope Street Group and the Department of Education as this program provides additional teacher voice at the decision-making table.”

The Hawaii State Teacher Fellows program is supported locally by grants from Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, and by a $200,000 grant from McInerny Foundation.

“This program is heavily focused on supporting the development of teacher leaders in Hawaii, which is why the Castle Foundation chose to support it. We believe it is a step in the right direction in building a profession of teachers in Hawaii who take on added leadership to improve the system,” said Harold K.L. Castle Foundation President and CEO Terrence R. George.

“Ensuring that teachers have a voice in decisions that impact their daily practice is essential,” added Tammi Chun of the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Hope Street Group is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. For more information, see www.hopestreetgroup.org.

Governor’s Chief Advisor for Technology and Cybersecurity Wins National ‘Government Innovator of the Year’ Award

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today commended Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, his chief advisor for technology and cybersecurity, for earning the 2014 Government Technology Research Alliance (GTRA) “Government Innovator of the Year” award. Bhagowalia received the award for facilitating Hawaii’s business and technology transformation, launched in 2011 under the Abercrombie Administration.

Sonny

“This prestigious award recognizes the finest leaders and innovators in government,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Under Sonny’s innovative leadership, Hawaii has developed an ambitious business and technology plan, established a stable technology foundation, launched key programs to transform delivery of online services, and significantly improved transparency and accountability. Our state government is now being recognized as a leader in the nation for our steady and incremental transformation gains.”

Bhagowalia received the honor amid a field of nominees from federal, state, local and tribal governments. Hawaii was the sole state recipient in the “Government Innovator of the Year” category, beating out two federal finalists from the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The award was one of 24 handed out at this week’s GTRA GOVTek Executive Government Technology Awards Gala, which celebrates and recognizes government and industry information technology (IT) leaders whose vision, innovation and remarkable accomplishments have improved efficiency, the delivery of government services, citizen engagement, information sharing, and national security.

Bhagowalia was nominated for his accomplishments as the first leader of state Office of Information Management Technology (OIMT) and his achievements over the past year in transforming business and technology in the state through the innovative use of enterprise architectures, strategic planning, program management, transparency and personal transformation.

After being appointed by Gov. Abercrombie as the State of Hawaii’s first chief information officer (CIO) and serving in that capacity for three years, Bhagowalia was promoted to Governor’s chief advisor for technology and cybersecurity in February 2014. The new executive leadership position was created to establish Hawaii as a premier technology and cybersecurity hub in the Asia-Pacific region, and to strengthen ties between Hawaii and Washington, D.C. in support of the state’s business and technology transformation.

Bhagowalia is working with the new state CIO, Keone Kali, and other stakeholders to publish a cybersecurity report on Hawaii’s next steps to align with the National Cybersecurity Framework and establish itself as a world-class cybersecurity center of excellence for the emerging 21st Century Asia-Pacific region.

“Hawaii is on track and being recognized at the national level for making steady progress in modernizing and securing our technology infrastructure and reengineering the way government does business – online versus waiting in line,” Bhagowalia said. “A cybersecurity framework of cooperation and investment will be required by government, industry and academia with local, national and international representation to help Hawaii realize its promise as a crossroads of the Pacific in the Information Age.”

For more information on the GTRA Awards, visit: http://june2014.gtra.org/awards/

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the International Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds). It will be visible beginning tonight, Wednesday June 25th at 8:22 PM.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

It will be visible for approximately 3 minutes.  Maximum Height: 60 degrees, and it will appear in the North Northwest part of the sky and disappear to the East.

Hawaii Passes Revenge Porn Bill – Becomes 10th State in Nation to Enact Legislation

Vice Speaker John Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, and Lower Kalihi) the author of HB1750, Hawaii’s “revenge porn” bill, provided, “Prior to the convening of the 2014 legislative session only two states, California and New Jersey, had “revenge porn” laws.

HB 1750

Today Hawaii became the 10th State in the nation to have this legislation enacted. (Source National Conference of State Legislatures).  I looked at California’s revenge porn law as a blueprint, however, we crafted our law to be stronger against the perpetrator. California’s crime for distributing unconsented nude or sexual photos or videos of another person is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine; Hawaii’s revenge porn law makes it a Class C felony, up to five years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.”

Revenge porn occurs where the depicted person initially agrees to the photographs or video, often in the context of a romantic relationship, only to have one partner distribute those nude or sexually graphic images via photos or on the internet after the relationship ends. This law will criminalize the perpetrator from distributing sexually explicit pictures that were intended to be private.

Mizuno states, “This newly enacted law will make it a crime to distribute, transmit or display photos, images or videos of sexual representation or nude photos without the consent of the person represented, with the intent to harm the depicted person, with respect to that person’s health, safety, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation, or personal relationships.  With technology comes different crimes; today Hawaii will have passed a very important and progressive piece of legislation to address a crime that was unforeseeable years ago and criminalize such offensive crimes.  The fact that we made it a Class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, is extremely tough on this sort of crime.”

Mizuno added, “The consequences of posting private images on the internet with the intent to hurt the person in such publications is degrading, humiliating, career threatening and places that person at significant risk in terms of her (his) safety, reputation, physical and mental health. At times this form of cyber bullying may cause the person to commit suicide.”  Please note news articles on the 15-year old girl in California who committed suicide after nude photos were posted of her.

According to Rep. Mizuno, “Today the State of Hawaii will have enacted a law which makes it a felony for perpetrators to post unconsented nude or sexual photos of another person on the internet.  There is not one scintilla of doubt this new law will save lives.”

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Updating Hawaii’s Emergency Management Laws

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed House Bill 849 (Act 111), a measure that updates the state’s emergency management statues, including clarification of the relationship between state and county emergency management agencies and the emergency management functions and powers of the governor and mayors.

hb849

The bill was introduced in the 2013 legislative session and updates laws more than 60 years old that were primarily focused on nuclear attack and civil unrest.

“This measure will ensure that the state is better prepared for all catastrophic events, both natural and manmade, in safeguarding the people of Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In addition, this act will better integrate state and county disaster response planning and reorganizes the authorities and responsibilities of government leaders, providing the public with increased clarity during difficult and uncertain circumstances.”

The signing of this bill also changes the name of State Civil Defense to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. Hawaii was the last state to retain the use of civil defense in reference to its emergency management agency. This change brings Hawaii in line with modern best practices and updates the outdated language and references used in prior statutes.

Act 111 also establishes an Emergency Reserve Corps and authorizes the 24/7 State Warning Point, both critical increases in the state’s readiness to respond to hazards. It does not significantly change the governor’s emergency powers, but it does vest county mayors with emergency authorities independent of the state emergency management structure.

Governor Abercrombie Signs 5 Bills Relating to Energy

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed five energy-related measures (Acts 106 to 110) that address solar energy device warranties or guarantees, the energy systems development fund, the Public Utilities Commission, modernization of the electric grid and a car-sharing vehicle surcharge tax.

Energy Bills

“We spend billions of dollars a year on imported oil,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Let’s keep our money within the state by investing in clean, renewable energy development that will reduce carbon emissions in the process, helping to mitigate climate change. These bills are critical to Hawaii’s future and demonstrate our commitment to a more sustainable state for our residents.”

Senate Bill 2657 (Relating to Renewable Energy) requires contractors installing solar energy devices to notify private entities that installation may void roofing warranties or guarantees and to obtain written approval and follow written instructions for waterproofing roof penetrations from the roof manufacturer, unless the private entity forgoes the roofing warranty or guarantee. The measure also requires a roofing contractor that waterproofs roof penetrations related to the installation of a solar energy device to honor the roof warranty or guarantee.

Senate Bill 2196 (Relating to Energy) reestablishes the energy systems development special fund that was repealed on June 30, 2013. The measure also extends the allocation of revenues collected from the environmental response, energy and food security tax, also known as the “barrel tax,” to various special funds from 2015 to 2030.

Senate Bill 2948 (Relating to the Public Utilities Commission) transfers the administrative placement of the Commission from the Department of Budget and Finance to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and clarifies its authority to concerning standard administrative practices, including operational expenditures and hiring personnel. The measure also enables the commission chair to appoint, employ and dismiss an executive, fiscal and personnel officer.

House Bill 1943 (Modernization of the Hawaii Electric System) amends the Public Utilities Commission principles regarding the modernization of the electric grid.

Senate Bill 2731 (Relating to a Car-sharing Vehicle Surcharge Tax) establishes a car-sharing vehicle surcharge tax.

Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is Back

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s popular Remote-Control Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii is back and it’s bigger than ever, Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17, 10am to 4pm. Guests will be able to drive on to Ford Island for this event, or take the free shuttle from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. There will be music, food, drinks, retail and entertainment booths and exhibits, and lots and lots of airplanes.

biggest 4For two days, Ford Island will come alive with remote-control flying and static aircraft and full size aircraft on display, “candy bombings” over historic Ford Island Runway for the keiki, hands-on modeling stations, and open access to Hangar 79 to see the Museum’s many aircraft exhibits and Restoration Shop.

Biggest

Talented local performers, Mainland pilots from the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and remote control flyers from Japan will perform remote-control aviation feats for two days. Airshow pilots will fly their massive, 1-to-5 scale planes in the skies above the Museum. Specialty acts to be performed include: Pattern, 3-D fixed wing and helicopter aerobatic flights, South Pacific battles, “Candy Bomber” drops, and Skycam drone helicopters. There will be remote control aircraft in the air and on static display, including jets, helicopters, F-22s, warbirds, B-17s, P-38s, Corsairs, OV-10s and more.

Biggest 2

Visitors can also enjoy free tours of Hangar 79, which still bears the bullet holes of the December 7, 1941attack. Inside, guests will see helicopters, fighter planes, and the Lt. Ted Shealy Restoration Shop–the 1941 machine shop that is busy restoring the Museum’s aircraft. They’ll also get up close and personal with an F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, F-86s, P-40, MiG-15, F-111, and the Museum’s “MiG Alley” and Flying Tigers Exhibits.

biggest 3Admission to the Airshow is $5 per person (including entry to Hangar 79), $15 per family (limit 6 entries per family). It’s free with Museum general admission and free to Museum Members. Tickets for the Airshow only and tickets for the entire Museum visit that day are available online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org. Museum admissions may also be purchased at the Museum and at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center ticketing desk. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes, 7:30am to 5:00pm from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, round trip to the Museum. Call 808/441-1007 for more information or visit www.PacificAviationMuseum.org, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and @PacificAviation on Twitter, for updates.

This is a City & County of Honolulu and Hawaii Tourism Authority sponsored event. Sponsored in part by Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Yelp, Pearlridge Center, Mokulele Airlines, Pizza Hut, Aqua Hospitality, and Hawaii Gas. Sponsors and vendors are invited to participate by calling 808-441-1013.

UH Hilo Alumnus Wins National Software Competition

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo student Mike Purvis won first place in the 2013 Pearson Coding Contest and was awarded $10,000.

Purvis

The software competition is open to undergraduate students in the United States. Contestants develop relevant, innovative, creative, functional and original applications that integrate with the Pearson LearningStudio Learning Management System and/or utilize the LearningStudio application programming interfaces (API).

Purvis developed a module that integrates with existing Drupal university websites and brings in information about Pearson courses. He utilized a Twilio API to allow students to receive text messages when new course announcements or exams are created. Students can also set goals for their classes and professors can see how the class is doing at reaching their goals.

Go to the Pearson Coding Contest website for more on Purvis’ entry.

Pearson is a learning company that partners with faculty and institutions to create innovative solutions to improve student achievement and institutional effectiveness.

Purvis was also part of the UH Hilo team that won the 2013 Microsoft Imagine Cup U.S. Finals. The team created an app called Help Me Help, which allows users to share photos and information about hazards they may encounter in emergency situations such as fires, floods or roadblocks.

Chancellor Don Straney honored Purvis at UH Hilo’s Fall 2013 commencement with the Community Spirit Award, which includes a $500 cash prize. The award recognizes students who demonstrate excellence in applied research, learning and innovation in their respective fields of study.

Big Island Farmers File Federal Complaint About GMO Bill

We’re Standing United with Agriculture to Protect the Future of Farming in Hawaii

Papaya Trees Destroyed by Machete in Puna

Papaya Trees Destroyed by Machete in Puna

“Our organization is participating in this lawsuit because we have cause and want to stand with farmers, ranchers and growers when unfair and unnecessary laws and regulations threaten our livelihood.

“Bill 113 will make it illegal to grow some genetically modified (GM) plants, including valuable food and feed crops and flowers. By prohibiting the use of these crops that have been deemed by the government and scientific experts to be perfectly safe, Bill 113 is a direct assault on our ‘right to farm’ and essentially criminalizes those who rely on the tools of modern biotechnology to foster productivity.”

“United we stand, divided we fall”

Background:

Signed into law on December 5, 2013, Hawaii County enacted Bill 113, which imposes a county-wide ban on the development, propagation, cultivation, and open-air testing of most genetically engineered (GE) crops.

Plaintiffs represent a broad cross-section of Hawaii Island farmers and related businesses that rely on GE crops, including disease-resistant papaya, as well as technology companies that develop, test, and commercialize valuable, new GE agricultural products.

Farmers and Agriculture Associations are standing United; participating in this suit, which seeks to invalidate and enjoin the County of Hawaii from enforcing County Ordinance 13-121 (“Bill 113”).  The suit alleges that the bill:

  • is preempted under federal law
  • is preempted under state law
  • violates the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution
  • presents a regulatory taking in violation of the HI Constitution

Plaintiffs include:

  • Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association
  • Hawaii Papaya Industry Association
  • Big Island Banana Growers Association
  • Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council
  • Biotechnology Industry Organization
  • Pacific Floral Exchange
  • Richard Ha
  • Jason Moniz
  • Gordon Inouye
  • Eric Tanouye

Key Points:

  • Bill 113 cripples farmers’ current and future ability to farm GE crops, imposes extreme burdens on local agriculture and violates Federal and Hawaii law.
  • Despite the central role of GE crops in modern commercial agriculture and their long history of safe use in Hawaii and around the world, Bill 113 imposes a near-blanket ban on new cultivation, propagation, development, and open-air testing of such crops in the County.

Bill 113 is backed by no findings or evidence that GE crops are in any way harmful, or in any way endanger the local environment.

Using the “precautionary principle,” Bill 113 is in direct conflict with determinations made by expert federal agencies, and seeks to outlaw agricultural activities that the federal government has specifically authorized following thorough scientific reviews.

  • Farming GE crops has also long been a generally accepted agricultural practice locally and GE crops have been vitally important to the County of Hawaii.

In the 1990s, Hawaii’s papaya industry was devastated by the ringspot virus. The development of a GE variety of papaya that is resistant to the virus is widely credited with saving the industry.

The resulting Rainbow GE variety of papaya now accounts for approximately 85 percent of papaya grown in the County and is widely sold throughout the United States and in other nations.

County farmers support federally-approved testing to develop new disease-resistant papaya and banana plants and floral varieties that resist harmful insect pests and bacteria.

  • GE crops not only help farmers, but contribute to food security for the island. By banning any use of new GE crops, Hawaii consumers can expect increases in food costs, business costs, and pesticide use.
  • If farmers in Hawaii are unable to farm efficiently and productively, more costly foods will need to be imported.
  • The State of Hawaii has deemed the promotion of “diversified agriculture” a vital public interest. This principle is enshrined in the Constitution of Hawaii, which expressly directs the State – not the counties – to conserve and protect agricultural and farming resources.

COEXISTENCE:

Individual farmers routinely incorporate multiple production practices within a single operation.  Coexistence is not about health or safety; it is about finding ways to improve working relationships when different production systems are used in close proximity.

SAFETY:

Every GE crop on the market today was thoroughly evaluated by government scientific experts, often at as many as three different federal regulatory agencies, through a complex multiyear scientific review process.

Not only have GE crops been deemed safe by expert federal agencies, but multiple other governmental and non-governmental agencies have reached the same conclusions, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the European Commission, and the British Medical Association.

More than 600 peer-reviewed scientific reports document the safety of GE foods.

GENERA a project by BIOFORTIFIDE to create a searchable database to more than 2000 studies on biotechnology in Food and agriculture.

TRANSPARENCY:

We understand people have questions about how their food is grown. We need to have the discussion before we prematurely make laws that cripple the Future of Farmers and unfairly target growers using technology. While industry will stand with growers and challenge unfair and unlawful ordinances like Bill 113, we urge people to visit the GMO Answers website (http://gmoanswers.com) to get more information about the products of biotechnology.

The Rainbow Papaya that saved Hawaii’s papaya industry was genetically engineered to resist the ringspot virus. See how it was done by viewing this video on gmoanswers.com.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the International Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

Spot the International Space Station tonight.

It will be visible beginning tonight, Sunday June 8th at 8:27 PM.  It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes.  Maximum Height: 56 degrees, and it will appear in the Southwest part of the sky and disappear to the North Northeast.