DOE Releases Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is announcing its policy for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Copies of the policy are available at public schools.

Children from households with income at or below the following levels are eligible for free or reduced-price meals:

INCOME CHART: Effective from July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

INCOME CHART: Effective from July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out one application and return it to the school where the child is enrolled or complete an online application via ezmealapp.com. Applications for the current school year (2014-2015) are now being accepted. The application information will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials.

For DOE officials to determine eligibility, households receiving SNAP or TANF must list the child’s name, date of birth, grade, school code and their SNAP or TANF case number and the signature and name of an adult household member. Households not receiving SNAP or TANF must list: 1) the names of everyone in the household; 2) the amount of income received by each person, how often the income is received and the source of the income; 3) the name and social security number of either parent/guardian who is the primary wage earner or the adult household member who signs the form or the word “none” if neither adult household member has a social security number; and 4) the signature of an adult household member.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, the DOE will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the reviewing official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request for a hearing on the decision in writing to:

Name of Hearing Official: Glenna Owens, SFA Director
Address: 1106 Koko Head Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816

Phone Number: (808) 733-8414 or toll-free 1-800-441-4845

In certain cases foster children are also eligible for school meal benefits. If a household has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for them, the household should contact the school for more information.

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

Big Island Police Searching for Man Wanted on Six Warrants

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 46-year-old man wanted on six warrants for contempt of court.

Pio Kapeli Jr.

Pio Kapeli Jr.

Pio Kapeli Jr. is also wanted for questioning in connection with a theft investigation.

He is described as 5-foot-10, 215 pounds with brown eyes, brown hair and numerous tattoos. He has no permanent address but frequents the Puna area.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386 or ralmeida@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Governor Abercrombie Expedites 3 Appointments to Boards and Commissions with Several Vacancies

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the nominations of Jonathan Scheuer to the Land Use Commission (LUC), as well as Rona Fukumoto and Edwin Taira to the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), effective immediately. All are interim appointments subject to state Senate approval.

Scheuer was appointed to an at-large seat and is the first LUC appointee to fill vacancies left by five recent resignations on the nine-member commission.

For HHFDC, Fukumoto was appointed to the “community advocate for low-income housing affiliated with a private nonprofit” seat, and Taira to the Hawaii County seat. Two vacancies remain on HHFDC, also a nine-member board, which likewise had multiple resignations recently.

“Filling vacancies on the Land Use Commission is a top priority for the administration right now so commissioners can resume decision-making,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The appointments to HHFDC were expedited to avoid interruption of its duties. I thank Jonathan, Rona and Ed for quickly stepping up to accept their nominations to ensure that the public continues to be served.”

Jonathan ScheuerJonathan Scheuer of Honolulu has 25 years of experience in policy and land management in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Since 1990, he has run his own consulting practice helping clients manage conflicts over natural resources. Scheuer was also land management director for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) from 2006 to 2010 and a policy analyst for OHA from 2004 to 2006. He has been a lecturer at the University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa, a fellow with the Land Assets Division of Kamehameha Schools, staff lead for the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Natural Area Reserves System Commission, and a legislative aide to Rep. Jim Shon. Scheuer currently serves on the Board of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and with the Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter. His previous public service includes serving as vice chair of the Oahu Island Burial Council and work with the Oahu Land Trust, Malama Manoa and Malama Hawaii. An Iolani School graduate, Scheuer holds bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a master’s degree from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Rona Fukumoto

Rona Fukumoto of Honolulu is currently division administrator for Catholic Charities Hawaii’s Housing Assistance and Referral Programs, and is the nonprofit’s former director of intake, information and referral. Prior to that, she worked her way up from employment specialist to vice president and director of employment and community programs at Winners at Work from 1995 to 2004. Fukumoto also served as an educational specialist and office assistant at UH Manoa’s KOKUA Program. She currently volunteers as a member of the Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation and Hawaii State Department of Human Services Financial Assistance Advisory Council, and is a former member of the Hawaii Parkinson Association. Fukumoto also volunteers for Project Dana, providing respite care through home visits to elderly individuals. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in public administration from UH Manoa.

Edwin Taira, a resident of Hilo, has more than 30 years of housing experience that includes management, program and development background. He previously served as housing administrator, assistant housing administrator and development division head for Hawaii County’s Office of Housing and Community Development. While there, Taira gained experience with the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Investment Act, along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 and Community Development Block Grant programs. His development experience includes numerous affordable for sale and rental projects. Taira has served on the Hawaii Community Reinvestment Corporation and the Rental Housing Trust Fund Commission, and has been a private consultant for HHFDC and private developers. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UH Manoa.

Land Use Commission

The State Land Use Law was adopted in 1961, establishing a framework of land use management and regulation in which all state lands are classified into urban, rural, agricultural or conservation districts. The Legislature established the Land Use Commission to administer this statewide zoning law. The commission is responsible for preserving and protecting Hawaii’s lands and encouraging those uses to which the lands are best suited.

Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation

The mission of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation is to increase and preserve the supply of workforce and affordable housing statewide by providing leadership, tools and resources to facilitate housing development.

The Office of the Governor oversees more than 180 boards and commissions established by the state constitution, statutes or executive orders.

Historical Kakaako Pumping Station to be Rehabilitated and Refurbished

Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday announced the release of $1 million in capital improvement grant funds to the Pacific Gateway Center (PGC) to rehabilitate and refurbish the historical Kakaako Pumping Station into a community resource center.

The once historic Kakaako Pumping Station

The once historic Kakaako Pumping Station

Identified by the state Legislature, these funds will create a new facility that will focus on services for the elderly and specifically on inter-generational programs, in which Hawaii’s youth will be engaged to help older adults with workshops and services, such as teaching computer skills or assisting with lifelong learning opportunities.

“After 35 years of neglect, this administration is transforming Kakaako into a vibrant community with affordable housing options that Hawaii needs,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The Kakaako Pumping Station is the latest example of a facility that had fallen into disuse but now will be preserved and given the opportunity for a second life, providing area residents with a gathering place for kupuna and keiki as the community grows.”

PGC was founded in 1973 and has since developed a 40-year track record of delivering critical need-based services and designing innovative social enterprises to support the community. It offers a wide range of direct and support services to approximately 5,000 clients per year.

Star-Advertiser Poll Confirms that Majority Oppose Federal Involvement in Native Hawaiian Recognition

A new online poll by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser confirms that despite continued support from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a significant majority are opposed to the federal government’s involvement in the creation of a Native Hawaiian government.

Advertiser PollThe poll, which appeared on the Star-Advertiser website as a daily poll question for July 15, 2014, asked, “Should the U.S. Department of Interior keep open the process for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians?” An overwhelming 67% of those responding voted “No,” while only 33% supported the continuation of the DOI’s efforts.

In light of the strong opposition voiced at the recent DOI hearings, these results were not a surprise. Support for the nation-building process has waned over the years, but the recent efforts from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the federal response from the Department of the Interior have met with increasing criticism. Many Hawaiian citizens are concerned to see the nation-building process pursued so vigorously despite the many questions that have been raised about it.

“The people of Hawaii have put up a giant flashing ‘Stop’ sign for OHA and the federal government to see” stated Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “In every possible venue they are expressing opposition to the state’s race-based nation-building program.   The question shouldn’t be whether the people support a Native Hawaiian government. The question should be whether the State will finally listen to the voice of the people and abandon this wasteful and divisive effort.”

“After the expenditure of millions of dollars and considerable influence, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has still failed to convince the People of the merit of its nation-building effort,” continued Dr. Akina. “How much more will they throw away on this process? These resources could be better spent helping the people of Hawaii in real and substantial ways such as improving educational achievement or job training. Let us hope that OHA finally hears what the citizens of Hawaii have been trying so hard to tell them–it’s time to get out of the nation-building business.”

2014 “Rusty Scalpel” Winner Announced

The League of Women Voters and Common Cause Hawaii have a 2014 “Rusty Scalpel” winner, HB2434, CD1, Relating to the Transient Accommodations Tax! The two organizations offer a “Rusty Scalpel” award for the most altered bill whose original content is no longer recognizable because of “surgical techniques” that changed the original purpose of the bill.

hb2434During a Conference Committee near the end of the 2014 legislative session, without meaningful opportunity for public or agency comment, HB 2434 SD 2 was drastically amended. When introduced the measure was a bill to allocate $3 million of hotel tax revenues to a multi-purpose conservation fund. After the Conference Committee discarded the SD2, the bill morphed to a measure to refinance the Convention Center debt. Proceeds of the refinancing will be used to acquire the conservation easement at Turtle Bay, Oahu. Regardless of the final proposal’s merits, there was no compelling reason not to extend the session and hold public hearings on this important amended bill.

HB2434_SD2 Pdf File
HB2434_SD1 Pdf File
HB2434_HD2 Pdf File
HB2434_HD1 Pdf File
HB2434_CD1 Pdf File
HB2434 Pdf File

It disrespects Hawaii’s Constitution when a legislative committee adopts bill amendments with no rational connection to the subject of the bill referred to that committee. Article III, Section 14 of our Constitution specifically requires that each bill have a single subject expressed in the bill’s title and prohibits changing any bill’s title. Article III, Section 15 requires that each bill have three separate readings in each house of the Legislature. The unambiguous intent is to encourage informed public comment on all proposed legislation and thorough consideration of all relevant factors by both House and Senate subject matter committees. The public obviously is not aware of and cannot comment on substantive amendments being proposed in Conference Committee.

Ann Shaver, League President, said “This makes a travesty of the democratic process. Just because there are enough votes to pass a measure doesn’t make it Constitutional. HB2434 CD1 proposed a new idea, maybe even a great idea, but it was obviously unrelated to the bill’s original purpose. The content of the CD1 stunned us; it was passed without a single public hearing when there was no emergency. “

Carmille Lim of Common Cause added, “Citizens should be able to participate in the legislative process in a fair and orderly manner. In this case, a $40 million dollar appropriation was grafted on to a major last-minute change, depriving many members of the legislature from the normal review and give and take of budget discussions. Gutting bills and replacing content with new and unrelated content that alters the bill’s original intention does a disservice to members of the public and distorts the legislative process.

“Last year the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and other civic organizations petitioned both houses of the Legislature asking that they amend legislative rules to ban such practices, but the legislature chose to do nothing. Maybe a Constitutional amendment to prohibit this would make democracy work a little better.

In the 2014 session the League and Common Cause identified dozens of bills which were subjected to these techniques. For example, HB 193 concerned developer compliance with conditions for land use district boundary amendments while HB 193, SD 1 concerned use of State property for transit-oriented development. Or for example, SB 2535 concerned State acquisition of real property for agricultural production while SB 2535, proposed HD 1 concerned labeling of genetically modified food.

In general, when the subject of a bill was totally changed after cross-over, only one public hearing was held on the amended subject (with the Senate totally disregarding public testimony to the House, and the House totally disregarding public testimony to the Senate). However, HB2434, CD1 was our “winner” because not only was it a “gut and replace” no hearing was held on the CD1 version of the bill.

Common Cause Hawaii is a state chapter of the national Common Cause organization. Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting and improving Hawaii’s political process and holding government accountable to the public interest. For more information, www.commoncause.org/states/hawaii/

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information visit http://www.lwv-hawaii.com/index.htm

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Offers Free Hawaiian Music Songwriting Retreat

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is offering a two-day Hawaiian music songwriting retreat for beginners on Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17. Hawaiian music, language and haku mele (Hawaiian song) experts Kenneth Makuakāne and Kaliko Trapp-Beamer will lead the workshops.

Kenneth Makuakane teaching ukulele.

Kenneth Makuakane teaching ukulele.

Both workshops run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be held at the park’s Education Center. Advance registration is required. To register, call (808) 985-6166. Leave your name, email address, and best contact number no later than August 8. Space is limited. The park will contact you by email to confirm your reservation.

The retreat will be held in the park at the summit of Kīlauea. Budding songwriters will find inspiration in this wahi kapu (sacred place), among the towering koa and ‘ōhi‘a lehua trees, over fields of ropy pāhoehoe lava, and in the awe-inspiring eruptive glow from Halema‘uma‘u Crater.

Also inspirational are the retreat’s accomplished teachers. Kenneth Makuakāne is a multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner, along with his group, The Pandanus Club. He’s a prolific songwriter (1,500-plus songs), producer of more than 100 albums, and collaborator who has worked with virtually all of the stars of Hawaiian music over the years.

Kaliko

Kaliko Trapp-Beamer

Kaliko was raised as the hānai son of Hawaiian cultural expert Aunty Nona Beamer (1923-2008), learning Hawaiian chant, storytelling, traditional protocol, family songs, and stories. He currently teaches Hawaiian language courses at the University of Hawai‘i in Hilo, and helps coordinate the Beamer Family Aloha Music Camp. He is the President of the Mohala Hou Foundation dedicated to “preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture through education and the arts.”

The two-day Hawaiian songwriting retreat is sponsored by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Park entrance fees apply.

Senator Ruderman Hosts Meeting With Governor Abercrombie in Pahoa

Senator Russell Ruderman hosted a meeting with Governor Neil Abercrombie including about twenty-five Puna community leaders. This was the first time in several years that the Governor has visited Puna to specifically listen and address concerns of the district. The meeting was held at Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences school in Kea’au on Saturday, July 12th.

Ruderman Abercrombie

It was a productive meeting, with both the Governor’s staff and Puna leaders expressing great appreciation for the opportunity to meet directly with one another to address community concerns.

Governor Abercrombie intently listened as the issues of the Puna District, such as substandard subdivisions and the problems they are facing including roads and other necessary infrastructure; emergency access; geothermal; need for social & medical services; unsafe highways; safe access to medical marijuana; charter schools; and a variety of other concerns were presented by those in attendance. The governor acknowledged their concerns, asked questions, and agreed that Puna is in need of long-denied attention and resources.

One theme emerged repeatedly, as Senator Ruderman explained, “Puna is the state’s fastest-growing district, and includes some of the state’s poorest population areas, yet it has received less funding than other districts for several decades.”

Ruderman at Haas

One example of the problems this has caused is that Lower Puna has only one road for access and emergencies (Highway 130) and this overburdened highway is the most dangerous road in the state. As Community leader Jon Olson said “We’re dying out here, literally, on the unsafe state highway.”

The Governor stated, “This is the 21st Century, and we need to look at things anew.” The old assumptions about our subdivisions, roads, and what Puna residents deserve must be re-evaluated. The Governor agreed to focus more attention on our needs and will follow up with more communication.

Senator Ruderman coordinated this meeting to create a productive avenue of communication between the administration and the Puna community, which has been lacking in recent years. Senator Ruderman said “For this meeting, we put aside the most contentious issues and focused instead on all the other basic issues so desperately in need of attention in Puna. I am thankful for this renewed dialog between my community and the administration.”

Eleven Highway Bridge Projects To Be Expedited With Innovative Federal/State Partnership

As part of the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s (HDOT) goal of improving the state’s highway infrastructure, HDOT is partnering with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Central Federal Lands Highways Division (CFLHD) to deliver 11 bridge projects throughout the state.This partnership will supplement the state’s current project delivery process and get additional projects shovel-ready.

Department of Transportation logo

“Central Federal Lands Highways Division has managed various construction phases of Saddle Road on Hawaii Island with great results,” said Ford Fuchigami, HDOT Interim Director. “Its enhanced role statewide will provide a valuable resource and allow us to complete more needed projects.”

“We have experienced great results because of the strong partnership we have with the HDOT and the incredible support of the Big Island communities. The success experienced reminds us all of the importance of partnerships and how all the right resources from local, State and Federal levels can join forces and make great things happen”, said Rick Suarez, CFLHD Division Engineer. “This represents good government in action. It represents the best interests of those we serve and enables us to be good stewards of limited resources entrusted to us.”

The projects include:

Oahu:

• Interstate H1 Bridge Rehabilitation, Kapalama Canal, (Halona Street Bridge)
• Kamehameha Highway, Kipapa Stream (Roosevelt) Bridge Rehabilitation
• Kamehameha Highway, Replacement of Hoolapa (Nanahau) Stream Bridge
• Kamehameha Highway, Replacement of Kawela Stream Bridge

Hawaii Island:

• Kawaihae Road, Waiaka Stream Bridge Replacement and Realignment of Approaches
• Mamalahoa Highway, Hilea Stream Bridge Replacement
• Mamalahoa Highway, Ninole Stream Bridge Replacement

Kauai:

• Kaumualii Highway, Hanapepe River Bridge Replacement and/or Rehabilitation
• Kaumualii Highway, Route 50, Bridge Rehabilitation, Bridge No. 7E
• Kuhio Highway, Route 56, Mailihuna Road Intersection and Kapaa Stream Bridge Rehabilitation
• Kuhio Highway, Route 560, Bridge Rehabilitation at Wainiha Stream Bridges #1, #2 and #3

The total program cost is estimated to be more than $137 million dollars. These projects are in the preliminary planning phases. There may be additional projects as the HDOT works collaboratively with CFLHD and as funds are available. More information on each project will be available in the coming months as the process continues.

CFLHD operates as part of the Federal Lands Highway Program, serving the needs of the central United States, Hawaii, and American Samoa. CFLHD actively administers the surveying, design and construction of forest highway system roads, parkways and park roads, Native American reservation roads, defense access roads, and other Federal lands roads. About 30 percent of the land in the United States falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal government.

Mauna Kea From Space

Mauna Kea has the largest observatory for Optical, Infrared, and Sub-millimeter Astronomy:
Mauna Kea from above

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.

Big Island Police Need Help Identifying Composite Drawings of Robbery Suspects

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying robbery suspects shown in composite drawings.

Composite Sketch

Composite Sketch

Sketch2
At 2:20 a.m. on June 27, Kona Patrol officers responded to a reported robbery near the intersection of Highway 190 and Loloa Drive in Kalaoa.

The victim, a 27-year-old Kailua-Kona man, had been hitchhiking at the intersection of Palani Road and Henry Street in Kailua-Kona when two men in a dark Jeep Cherokee picked him up. Near the intersection of Highway 190 and Loloa Drive, the Jeep pulled off the road onto an access road to the Department of Water Supply’s pump station. The driver then reportedly exited the vehicle, went to the rear passenger door armed with a knife and robbed the victim of an undisclosed amount of cash. While the victim was walking away from the Jeep, the driver attacked him, causing a stab wound to his right arm and a laceration to his chest.

The victim was able to flee the area and call 911. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Following the victim’s lengthy recovery, detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section were able to work with a Police Department forensic artist to produce composite sketches of the suspects. The driver was described as a local male, 6-feet tall, 200 pounds in his early 30s. The passenger, who was only seen from the rear, was described as a heavy-set local male with long hair in a pony tail that had several dark bands.

Police ask anyone with information about this case or the suspects’ identities to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Levon Stevens at 326-4646, extension 275, or lstevens@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Announces 2014 Pualu Awards

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) recently recognized 11 individuals, businesses or organizations with Pualu Awards at its annual Installation and Membership Banquet at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

“Meaning to “work together,” Pualu Awards were established in 1979 to honor those in West Hawai‘i for their dedication and hard work in the community,” explains Vivan Landrum, Chamber president/CEO. Winners are tapped in seven categories and chosen by an awards committee from nominations received by Chamber members and the general public.

The Community Education Award honors an individual or organization that promotes and supports education and enrichment programs that develop personal skills and lifelong learning. There are three recipients of this award: Kei-Lin Cerf of Kealakehe High School’s Life Plan Youth Mentoring Program, West Hawaii Community Health Center and Jack’s Diving Locker.

Kei Lin

Kei Lin pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Lifeplan pairs community volunteers with high school classrooms to learn about student’s individual values, dreams and goals. These mentors assist in turning these aspirations for students into action steps for success. Currently the program supports almost 650 students with the help of 32 volunteer mentors, 32 homeroom teachers and 42 youth leaders.  At the helm of this program is Kei-Lin Cerf, who, for the past four years, has taken this program to a new level through her innovation, dedication and hard work.

pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

West Hawaii Community Health Center Representative pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

West Hawaii Community Health Center was honored for its Patient Centered Health Care Home program that builds personal relationships through medical providers. These professionals bring education and coaching to high-risk patients with chronic diseases and significant health challenges. This program establishes an ongoing and long-lasting relationship that educates patients on how to self-manage their health care and improve outcomes.

Jack's Diving Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Jack’s Diving Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Jack’s Diving Locker has been offering educational programs in ocean ecology, marine life conservation and environmental stewardship for kids and teens since 1987. Jack’s educational Junior Programs include a six-week Sea Camp for ages 8 – 14 and a Keiki Sea Camp for ages 6 – 8. These camps focus on marine life education and positively impact the lives of many children in the community as well as our ocean resources.

The Environmental Awareness Award taps an individual or organization that exhibits sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices. There are two recipients in this category: David Chai and the Hawaii Wildlife Center.

David Chair pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

David Chair pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Chai has been active in pond and wetland environmental assessment and management plans since the late 1980s. His many projects include restoring water resources and monitoring marine life and water quality at Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Kaloko-Honokohau and Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Parks, plus the shorelines of Makalawaena, Awake’e, Kohanaiki and Kiholo. In addition, one of his projects, a water feature at Ke`olu Golf Course, received one of only two EPA environmental awards in Hawai‘i, and was cited as an example of natural filtration technology and its potential application to keep all Hawai‘i streams, lakes and oceans free of harmful pollutants.

Hawaii Wildlife Center Rep pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Hawaii Wildlife Center Rep pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The Hawaii Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization that specializes in the conservation of native birds and the Hawaiian hoary bat. It is the first organization of its kind exclusively for native Hawaiian wildlife and is the state’s only organization providing professional wildlife response services exceeding the national standards, including state-of-the-art care and rehabilitation to all species of native birds and bats throughout the Hawaiian Islands. In addition to wildlife treatment, it also provides rescue and response training and research assistance for wildlife response to seabird fallout and contaminant spills and avian diseases.

The Business Innovation Award recognizes a business or organization that is committed to improving or enhancing employee’s lives, or exhibits creative product development, marketing or customer service. The recipient is Interim Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS).

UH Hilo Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

UH Hilo Rep and Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

In an effort to ensure the island has a viable workforce, Gomes was proactive in forming creative and innovative credit and non-credit classes and professional development programs to meet new workforce needs. The CCECS program worked with community partners to ascertain the training needs, identify curriculum and forge delivery partnerships to address those needs.

The Lifetime Service Award taps an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to the community exemplified by their personal and/or business achievements. This year’s recipients are Gretchen Lawson and the late Guy Toyama.

Gretchen Lawson pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gretchen Lawson pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Lawson has dedicated the last 18-plus years of her life to empowering persons with disabilities to live life to the fullest. Under her leadership, the Arc of Kona moved from near bankruptcy to a thriving, financially secure, effective and well-respected organization that employs over 100 individuals, who are offered opportunities for self-improvement and training. Outside of the office, the Holualoa resident has been an avid advocate for the disabled by participating in government and community organizations, including the Hawaii State Rehabilitation Council, the UH College of Education Advisory Board, the State Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Advisory Board and the County of Hawai‘i Community Alliance Partners.

pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The late Guy Toyama was honored by Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The late Guy Toyama was dedicated to improving the quality of life in West Hawai‘i. During his short, 42 years of life, his leadership in entrepreneurship, business development, education and policy illustrated his unmatched passion for inspiring our community to be more self-reliant and sustainable. Mr. Toyama organized dozens of conferences and workshops at the NELHA Gateway Center, hosted environmental films for the Kona Earth Festival and helped organize community events. He also helped build relationships between the County of Hawai‘i and Japan and was instrumental in the establishment of a sister-city relationship between KKCC and the Hatsukaichi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hiroshima.

The Visitor Industry Marketing Award is presented each year to that person or group who diligently works to promote the visitor industry in West Hawai‘i. Congratulations to Gerry Rott of the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon.

Gerry Rott pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gerry Rott pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Since its inception in 1997, the number of participants for the Waikoloa Lavaman has grown from 83 to over 1500. Rott’s ingenious job of branding the Lavaman Triathlon series—including the signature petroglyph logo, website, merchandising, vendor exhibits, celebrity participants, creative sponsorship opportunities and ever changing event additions, such as the Friday Night Fun Run and Lavakids—keeps the event fresh and appealing not only to repeat participants, but consistently draws in new athletes, volunteers and sponsors each year.

The Culture & Heritage Award is given to an individual or organization that has exhibited, through its actions, practices that promote island traditions and preserves our multi-cultural heritage. This year’s recipient is Rick Gaffney.

Rick Gaffney pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Rick Gaffney pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gaffney has undertaken leadership responsibility to promote island traditions and help preserve our cultural heritage by contributing both time and money to the preservation of Hawaii’s unique marine traditions and multi-cultural heritage. While the voyaging canoe Hokulea was in dry dock during preparation for its current worldwide voyage, Gaffney arranged for the donation of a $250,000 sailing catamaran to the Polynesian Voyaging Society to be used as a navigation and training platform. Upon the launch of Hokulea this year, he arranged for the transfer of that sailing catamaran to a local business here and supported the work of the Nakoa Foundation, to continue the training of Kona’s youth in the traditional use of Hawaiian sailing and fishing canoes.

Chamber Member of the Year recognizes the individual who advocates, promotes and supports the mission of KKCC through active participation on committees, events, membership and/or community service. This year KKCC honors Sharon Sakai.

Sharon Sakai pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Sharon Sakai pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The Hawai’i Island native has been very active in KKCC for 15 years, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for several terms and South Kohala Vice President, and participating on the Marketing & Communications Committee, the Education Resource Group and the Economic Development Committee. She has worked tirelessly as a behind-the-scenes volunteer by staffing KKCC events and offering support and guidance. As KKCC President/CEO Landrum stated, “I couldn’t imagine the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce being where it is today without the support and guidance of Sharon Sakai. She exemplifies service above self and is truly deserving of this award.”

Big Island Man Dies in Crash in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates

A 20-year-old Kaʻū man died Sunday (July 13) from injuries he sustained in a single-vehicle crash late Friday on Hawaiʻi Belt Road and the junction with Ginger Blossom Lane in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Austin Yurong

Austin Yurong

He has been identified as Austin L. Yurong of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Responding to a 11:10 p.m. call Friday (July 11), Kaʻū Patrol officers determined that Yurong, who was the operator and sole occupant of a 1986 Toyota pickup truck, was traveling east on Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Route 11) between the 80- and 81-mile markers approaching the junction with Ginger Blossom Lane when he lost control and veered off the right shoulder, colliding with a lava embankment. The vehicle veered back into the southbound traffic lane and then back into the lava embankment, rolled twice and came to rest upright, straddling the center lane markings.

Yurong was ejected from the vehicle and found lying unconscious on the south shoulder. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital and later transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, where he was pronounced dead at 12:39 p.m. Sunday.

Hawaiʻi Belt Road was closed to all traffic from about 11:10 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday.

Police believe that alcohol and speed may be contributing factors to this collision.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and has ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the collision to call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 8th fatality this year compared with 17 at this time last year.

Canadian Navy Orders Ship Return After Misconduct by Sailors at RIMPAC

I just don’t know what to say about these Canucks at times!

HMCS Whitehorse

HMCS Whitehorse

The head of the Royal Canadian Navy has taken the rare step of ordering one of its ships to return from an international exercise because of misconduct by its sailors.

Vice Admiral Mark Norman issued the message Monday, citing three incidents involving the crew of HMCS Whitehorse that took place during Exercise RIMPAC 2014.

Big Island Police Searching for Hilo Man Wanted on Two Bench Warrants

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 29-year-old Hilo man who is wanted on two $50,000 bench warrants for violation of probation.

Bryce Dustin Feary

Bryce Dustin Feary

Bryce Dustin Feary is described as 5-foot-11, 170 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call 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.

Big Island Police Searching for Hilo Woman Wanted on Two Bench Warrants

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 31-year-old Hilo woman who is wanted on two $50,000 bench warrants for violation of probation.

Jaclyn Kanani Kama

Jaclyn Kanani Kama

Jaclyn Kanani Kama is described as 5-foot-6, 145 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call 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.

The Elders Headline Pillars of Peace Hawaii Events

Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i to host peace leaders Gro Harlem Brundtland, Hina Jilani, and Desmond Tutu in a series of community events.

Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i, an initiative of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, will host three preeminent global leaders from The Elders from August 29-31. While in Honolulu, they will engage in a series of exchanges with the people of Hawai‘i on peace, compassion, and ethical leadership. The Pillars of Peace Hawaii program was established in part to inspire our community to cultivate empathy, mindfulness and justice in our daily lives and better understand the roles of diversity and culture in the practice of peace.

Elders

The Elders include former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland; renowned lawyer, pro-democracy campaigner and Pakistani women’s movement leader Hina Jilani; and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, veteran anti-apartheid activist and peace campaigner.

This is the first time that representatives of The Elders will engage Hawai‘i. The community will have the unique opportunity to listen to this world-renowned group of leaders in a public forum entitled “A Just and Inclusive Global Community,” on Sunday, August 31, 4:00 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s Lili‘u Theater. Tickets for the public presentation will be available for purchase at http://pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/schedule-tickets-the-elders on August 1st. Student tickets are $12 and general public tickets are $20; both include validated parking at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

There will also be an opportunity for selected Hawai‘i students to attend a special Student Leaders Program, “Leaders Make the Future: the Wisdom of Elders and Youngers.” The student leaders will be chosen to attend by their schools’ administrators or teachers. Other areas of discussion during the Elders’ visit to Hawai‘i include climate change and ethical leadership.

“We are honored to have such an esteemed group of leaders come to Hawai‘i to share their global experiences and perspectives on peace issues,” said Kelvin H. Taketa, President and CEO of Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “Their visit will enable us, in turn, to share our approach to peace, influenced by the spirit of aloha and our community that merges numerous cultural influences.”

The Elders is an independent group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007; they use their collective wisdom, experience, and influence to support peace building, address major causes of human suffering, and promote the shared interests of humanity.

Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General, currently chairs The Elders. Archbishop Tutu served for six years as Chair and remains an Honorary Elder. Using its members’ collective experiences and insights, the group promotes universal human rights and peace. For more information on The Elders, please visit http://www.theelders.org/.

The Elders’ visit is part of “Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha,” an initiative of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation launched in 2012. The program’s events aim to spark conversations about the roles of compassion, diversity, and culture in the practice of peace. Highlighting Hawai‘i’s culture and its spirit of aloha, the program also positions Hawai‘i as a leading voice for peace. Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i is funded by the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and other partners. For more information on this initiative, please visit http://pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/.

About Hawai‘i Community Foundation

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), with 98 years of community service, is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. The Foundation is a steward of over 650 funds, including more than 190 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2013, $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed by HCF statewide, including $4 million in scholarships. The HCF also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. For more information on HCF, please visit http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/.

Hawai‘i Island National Parks to Celebrate Hawaiian Flag Day

Four national parks on Hawai‘i Island will simultaneously celebrate the first national holiday in Hawai‘i, Lā ho‘iho‘i ea, or Hawaiian Flag Day, on Thursday, July 31. The event is free, but entrance fees apply at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park & Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

Hawaii Flag
Hawai‘i celebrated its first national holiday on July 31, 1843, when the Kingdom of Hawai‘i was restored by Great Britain. Kamehameha III, Kauikeaouli, proclaimed, “Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono,” the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. That famous proclamation is perpetuated today as the state motto.

Join the unified celebration of Lā ho‘iho‘i ea on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park from 9 a.m. to noon. The ceremony at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will be from 10 a.m. to noon.

On July 26, 1990 then-Governor John Waihe‘e signed a proclamation making every July 31 Hawaiian Flag Day, and urged Hawai‘i citizens ‘to observe due respect for the flag and the proud tradition for which it stands.’

The Hawaiian Flag Day ceremony schedule at the Hawai‘i Island national parks is as follows:

9 a.m.: Learn to make your own pū ‘ohe (bamboo trumpet) at the West Hawai‘i parks.

10 a.m.: Participate in presentations to learn the history of Lā ho‘iho‘i ea, Hawai‘i Pono‘ī, “Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono, and ‘aha‘āina, the first lū‘au.

Noon: Honor the 1816 flag of Kamehameha I.

Hawaii’s State Debt Now Represents 92% of the Average Taxpayer’s Income

Hawaii’s mounting state debt now represents $41,300 per taxpayer, the second highest in the country. This, according to Truth in Accounting’s State Data Lab, which calculates the Per Taxpayer Burden (the debt remaining after all assets are tapped) for all 50 states.

income

According to Truth in Accounting, the five states with the highest Per Taxpayer Burden are Illinois, Hawaii, Connecticut, Kentucky, and New Jersey. With the average income in Hawaii at approximately $44,767, the Per Taxpayer Burden represents approximately 92% of the average income.

The continued growth of the state’s debt has caused some to ponder the viability of current spending practices and state benefits.

“Hawaii’s Taxpayer Burden is one of the 5 highest across the 50 states, and has increased every year since 2009.  Most of Hawaii’s debt is unfunded retiree pension and healthcare benefits, left for tomorrow’s taxpayers who may not receive services today’s taxpayers should have fully paid for,” stated Donna Rook, President of StateDataLab.org.

“It is time to face some hard truths when it comes to government spending,” stated Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “Hawaii’s unfunded liabilities threaten to sink our future. We cannot pass such a burden on to the next generation, but must make the hard decisions that will ensure the fiscal health of our state for decades to come. I urge our state’s policymakers to put aside partisanship and embrace a ‘best practices’ plan of action that reduces our state debt.”