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Hawaii’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Lets Survivors Know They ARE NOT Alone – The Mālama Kākou Project

Attorney General Doug Chin and the state of Hawaii’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (Hawaii SAKI) multidisciplinary team today announced the launch of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video under Project Mālama Kākou.

Project Mālama Kākou was created as a result of Act 207 (2016), passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor David Ige, which assembled a statewide multidisciplinary team of victim services providers, crime lab personnel, police officials, and prosecutors to comprehensively reform the testing of sexual assault kits in Hawaii in a caring and victim-centered manner.

Attorney General Chin said: “This public service announcement is an important next step for reaching out to sexual assault survivors. We recently launched the Project Mālama Kākou website to let survivors know they are not alone and there is information and support available for them.”

The PSA will be hosted on the Attorney General’s Project Mālama Kākou website at ag.hawaii.gov/hisaki and will be distributed using social media, email and more. The video features Attorney General Chin representing law enforcement and Ms. Chelsea Crapser, Director of Crisis and Prevention Services of the YWCA of Kauai, representing victim support providers.

A joint statement from Chelsea Crapser, Director of Crisis and Prevention Services at the YWCA of Kauai and Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh, Executive Director of the YWCA of Kauai said, “As service providers, it is our sincere hope that every individual knows there are support services and resources available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Mālama Kākou Project is the result of collaboration to better serve sex assault survivors by implementing a new process for statewide testing of Sex Assault Kits. This process allows police, prosecutors, advocates and victim counselors to work together to provide comprehensive support. We are grateful for the collaborative spirit of this group, but most of all, we acknowledge the strength of every survivor who has come forward.”

Hawaii’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Opens Today

Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies is the first licensed medical cannabis dispensary in the state to receive the green light from the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) to begin selling medical cannabis to registered patients and their caregivers. The Department of Health issued a formal notice to proceed to Maui Grown Therapies today after the dispensary completed laboratory testing requirements and passed its final onsite inspection.

The licensed retail center for Maui Grown Therapies is located at 44 Pa‘a Street in Kahului, Maui. The dispensary will begin selling dried medical cannabis flowers when it opens to registered patients.

“This is an important day for qualified patients and caregivers on Maui who now have assurance the medical cannabis they purchase at Maui Grown Therapies has been thoroughly tested and is safe for them to use,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception. With legal guidance from Department of the Attorney General, the DOH team paved the way for this new industry in Hawai‘i and has set a new standard for dispensary programs other states can emulate.”

The rigorous dispensary approval processes to open and begin selling medical cannabis are based on the requirements of Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 329D and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Chapter 11-850. Dispensaries are required to comply with all state and county, health, safety, and sanitation regulations, and are subject to unannounced inspections by DOH.

Registered patients and their caregivers may purchase up to four ounces of medical cannabis during a 15 consecutive day period and purchase a maximum of eight ounces over a 30 consecutive day period. All use of medical cannabis must be on private property and may not be used in a car while on the road, at work, at the beach, on hiking trails, or in any other public space. It is illegal to use or possess medical cannabis on any federally owned property such as military installations and national parks. When bringing medical cannabis home after purchasing it from a dispensary, the medical cannabis must be in a sealed container and not visible to the public.

According to the StarAdvertiser:

Hawaii history will be made today when the first dispensary opens for business on Maui, nearly two decades after the state legalized medical marijuana.
Maui Grown Therapies, one of eight dispensary licensees, will begin at 11 a.m. the first legal sales of cannabis in the islands…

There are eight licensed dispensaries in Hawai‘i. There are three on O‘ahu: Aloha Green Holdings Inc.; Mānoa Botanicals LLC; and TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure Oahu. There are two in Hawai‘i County: Hawaiian Ethos LLC and Lau Ola LLC. Two on Maui: Maui Wellness Group, LLC dba Maui Grown Therapies and Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC; and one on Kaua‘i, Green Aloha, Ltd. These dispensaries are now at different stages of development by the licensees, and at varying stages of the approval process.

Hawaii Receives Approximately $477,000 in Settlement with Drug Manufacturer

Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that Hawaii joined 29 states and the federal government last week in settling claims against Celgene Corporation (Celgene), a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Celgene had permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its drug Thalamid for skin conditions associated with leprosy and its drug Revlimid for transfusion induced anemia. This settlement resolves allegations that Celgene illegally marketed both drugs for cancer treatments that were unrelated to the skin conditions and anemia. Celgene’s promotions encouraged what the FDA considers “off label” uses without first securing FDA approval.

As a result of the settlement with Celgene, Hawaii will receive approximately $477,000. This money will be split between Hawaii’s MedQuest program and the Hawaii Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Attorney General Chin said of the settlement, “Money from the settlement will help with further investigations and prosecutions of medical fraud in this state.”

Celgene’s alleged illegal marketing included monetary kickbacks to doctors, forged clinical studies and medical literature, and manipulated medical diagnostic codes in order to increase sales of Thalamid and Revlimid.

A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the settlement negotiations with Celgene on behalf of the states. It included representatives from the offices of the attorneys general for the states of California, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Man Charged in Connection with Theft of County Mass Transit Bus

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged 21-year-old Kawelo Nakamura in connection with the theft of a county mass transit bus.

Kawelo Nakamura

On (August 6), at 3:43 p.m., police located the bus on Route 130 and was able to stop it near the intersection at Kaohuwalu Street in Pāhoa, at which time officers arrested Nakamura who was its operator.

Photo by Daichi Marquis

On (August 7), police charged Nakamura with first degree theft, accident involving vehicle/property damage, first degree criminal property damage, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and driving without a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Photo from Kawika Tokita on Facebook.

Nakamura is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $13,000 bail pending his initial appearance in South Hilo district court (August 8).

Kiki Lane stated the following on Facebook which lead to the arrest: “”The bus” just over took us on railroad and side swiped my mirror and kept driving, my kids are freaking out and this piece of shit didn’t even stop! police were called! Keep on the look out bus number 342 and license plate Ch3439″….
“Update: just spoke to the police “the bus” that hit me was a stolen bus!
bus number 342 and license plate Ch3439
Please be on the look out and stay out of his way!”

Police initially responded to a 1:47 p.m., report (August 5), of a hit-and-run traffic accident on Railroad Avenue in Hilo involving a Hawaiʻi County mass transit bus that fled the scene. No one was injured in that incident. At 2:36 p.m., police were informed that the bus was stolen from the County’s Hilo base-yard sometime early Saturday morning.

Witnesses saw him earlier down at 4-mile Beach in Keaukaha earlier in the morning. Photo from Kawika Tokita Facebook Account.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Tuckloy Aurello of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2385 or Tuckloy.Aurello@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

New Online Service to Request Building Related Inspections

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Building Division is pleased to announce a new online service to better serve the community. You can now request your inspections online.

Just use the new Online Inspection Request Form located on the Building Division’s website at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/pw-inspections. The form will assist in gathering all the information needed for your inspection request. Once completed and submitted it will send an email to the inspector that your request will be assigned to. Your inspector will then be able to schedule your request.

You can also bookmark the online inspection request form for direct access from your computer or mobile device.

For more information or assistance please contact the County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works Building Division:

East Hawai‘i – (808) 961-8331
West Hawai‘i – (808) 323-4720
Email – cohbuild@hawaiicounty.gov

Traffic Signal Upgrade on La’aloa Ave. and Kuakini Hwy. Intersection Wednesday

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be working on the traffic signals at the La’aloa Ave. and Kuakini Hwy. (Hwy. 11) intersection, on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

The upgrade involves installing wireless vehicle detection sensors in the roadway on all three approaches and programing the traffic signals to optimize traffic flow. The intersection will remain open and the Traffic Division will work on one approach at a time with Special off-duty police officers supporting them in directing motorists around the lane they are working in. Motorists are advised to expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes.

Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Hawaii Island Festival of Birds Adds to Event Schedule

The second annual Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds has enhanced its event and speaker lineup. The Festival, scheduled for the weekend of September 15-16, includes an all-day Bird Fair on Saturday at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, and field trips on Friday and Sunday.

Saturday’s Bird Fair, including special programs for children, will be highlighted by talks from expert guest speakers Jeff Gordon, President of the American Birding Association, Dr. Eric Vanderwerf, President of Pacific Rim Conservation, and a panel discussion on the last sightings of now-extinct endemic Hawai’i birds.

Noah Gomes, a recent graduate of the University of Hawai’i with a M.A. in Hawaiian Language and Literature will share his research on the ancient bird hunters of the Hawaiian archipelago. Attendees can also learn and shop at 20+ vendor booths from 9am to 3pm. In addition, now joining Saturday’s Bird Fair booths will be famed Japanese bird carver and inlay artist, Haruo Uchiyama, who will be displaying his bird carvings of Hawaiian honeycreepers as well as selling his bird wood inlay artwork and pins that he is bringing with him from Japan.

Mayor Harry Kim, a bird enthusiast, will welcome Bird Fair attendees at noon, and Suzanne Case, Chair of the Department of Land & Natural Resources will officially launch the Hawai’i Island Birding Trail’s new website.

Photo by Jack Jeffrey

Saturday’s Bird Fair options include Birding 101 class by renowned mainland author, artist and conservationists, Kenn and Kim Kaufman; a workshop on eBird by Brian Sullivan, project leader for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; a hands-on Photography Workshop with professional photographer Jack Jeffrey; and an art workshop with California artist Catherine Hamilton. Materials will be provided.

“We are very pleased with the excellent reception we’ve had so far,” said Rob Pacheco, Hawaii Forest & Trail President and Festival volunteer. “Not only are we enrolling participants from Hawai’i, but birders from across the U.S. Mainland and Internationally have already registered via our website. The Festival is a boon to Hawai’i tourism, and it also will give our keiki (children) a chance to learn more about the nature of Hawai’i, with the help of experts who will be joining us to teach at the Festival.”

On Friday and Sunday, Festival participants will be able to take part in guided birdwatching field trips along the newly created Hawai’i Island Birding Trail, and in guided boat trips departing from Honokohau Harbor to observe seabirds. The 90-mile Hawai’i Island Birding Trail is a cross-island link from Kona (on the west coast) to Hilo (on the east coast) that connects diverse habitats from ocean to mountain top, rainforest to lava plains.

The self-guided Hawai’i Island Birding Trail, modeled after similar North American trails, follows a network of sites so users can take in all or any part of the route along the way. Locating and observing birds is, of course, the main event on the Trail, but discovering Hawai’i Island’s unique plants and trees, geology, history and scenic viewpoints are also emphasized.

Friday afternoon’s program at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay includes a film festival and panel discussion focusing on the conservation of Hawai’i’s birds, and the topics portrayed by the films shown. The series of short films include Endangered Hawaii from the American Bird Conservancy, The Endangered Forest Birds of Hawaii from DLNR, Struggle for Existence by Laurie Sumiye and Archives of Extinction by Alyse Takayesu.

A detailed schedule of events is available at birdfesthawaii.org.

Sponsors of the Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds include Hawai’i Tourism Authority, County of Hawai’i, Hawaii Forest & Trail, Destination Marketing, Hawai’i Wildlife Center and Alaska Airlines.

Hawaii Forest Institute Receives Grant from OHA – Funding Benefits Native Dryland Lama Forest of Kaʻūpūlehu

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) awarded Hawai‘i Forest Institute $172,262 over two years to tend, honor and grow a place of peace and safety for the native dryland lama forest of Kaʻūpūlehu. The land grant funding will assist Hawai‘i Forest Institute with its “Aloha ‘Āina. Aloha Kaʻūpūlehu. Aloha Wao Lama.” program to foster restorative kinship relationships between community and ʻāina, utilizing educational stewardship, traditional ecological knowledge, and contemporary and institutional scientific methods.

Wayne Tanaka (Environmental Law Clinic group from Honolulu) and Lehua Alapai choosing the next lā‘au to kanu at Ho‘ola Ka Makana‘ā o Ka‘ūpūlehu. They are under the shade of the ‘Ēlama (Lama) tree. February 19, 2017. Photo by YYC.

OHA recently approved $6 million in grants over the next two fiscal years to programs benefitting the Native Hawaiian community. Hawai‘i Forest Institute was one of 23 organizations receiving grant funding to help meet its Strategic Plan priorities relating to housing, income, health, education and culture. The funds will be disbursed for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

“We are extremely grateful to OHA for supporting ecology forest restoration and educational programming including our ‘Aloha ‘Āina. Aloha Kaʻūpūlehu. Aloha Wao Lama.’,” said Hawai‘i Forest Institute Executive Director Heather Simmons. “These valuable funds help continue the stewardship work at Kaʻūpūlehu and foster active, accountable and sustainable relationships for all community stakeholders.”

The long-term mission of the Kaʻūpūlehu project is for people to feel connected and committed to perpetuating a functioning native landscape, its genealogical stories and multiple truths, and treating each other with kindness and respect. The vision for Kaʻūpūlehu is to become a healthy landscape of plenty, alive with native plants, bird song and history that will be tended and cherished by many.

Kaʻūpūlehu is one of 23 traditional ahupua‘a (or land divisions) in the kekaha region of North Kona. To learn more about the unique ecology, history and culture of Hawaii’s dryland forests, visit http://www.drylandforest.org/.

Other funders of the restoration and education program at Kaʻūpūlehu Dryland Forest include landowner Kamehameha Schools, Dorrance Family Foundation, Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC) Climate Fund, Hawai‘i Community Foundation FLEX-Arthur Lawrence Mullaly Fund, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Kūkulu Ola Program, and American Forests.

Hawaii State Moves Forest Carbon Project Forward

4,700 Acres Made Available for Reforestation to Generate Carbon Credits

A first-of-its-kind initiative in Hawai‘i to use carbon offset credits for reforestation and recovery of Hawai‘i Island pasture land is moving forward with the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP).  The program involves planting of native tree species such as koa and mamane, restoration of the watershed on the north slopes of Mauna Kea, and habitat restoration for the endangered native bird, the palila. The initiative will generate revenues for all the activities through the sale of carbon offset credits.

One “carbon offset credit” certifies the storage of one metric ton of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in plants and other organic material. Carbon offset credits are used to offset carbon emissions, often referred to as greenhouse gas emissions, from transportation, commercial activities, and other carbon emitting activities. Offsetting carbon emissions is recognized as an important way to reduce the impact of climate change. The market for voluntary carbon offset credits has been growing worldwide for many years spurred by individuals and corporations that wish to reduce their carbon footprint. By making the Pu’u Mali Restoration Area available for a forest carbon project, DLNR is creating opportunities to generate carbon credits locally.

Philipp LaHaela Walter, State Resource and Survey Forester in the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) explained, “Our goal is to give companies and individuals a transparent and measurable way to contribute to the protection of Hawai’i’s watersheds and forests for future generations. We are noticing that the local business community is increasingly making the conservation of our natural resources such as beautiful, healthy reefs, stunning mountain forests, and clean freshwater a part of their kuleana. We are excited to provide opportunities to contribute and to help continue the State’s national leadership in building sustainable communities through this innovative approach.” Proposals in response to the RFP will be due on August 31, 2017. A site visit at the Pu’u Mali Restoration Area was held for entities interested in submitting a proposal on August 1.

If you drive a car, fly in a plane, use air-conditioning to cool your home, or engage in any activity that creates greenhouse gas emissions, you’ll soon have a way to offset your emissions locally.  The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) approved this first State carbon offset project in early July.

Forest Carbon Project Video News Release, 8-7-17 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Free Floral Design Event to Celebrate the Centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens

Hitomi Gilliam, an award winning floral artist, author and educator, will lead a floral design event in Hilo August 19, 20, and 21 to celebrate the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens.

Hitomi Gilliam

Registration is free through the Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association. Request a registration form from Judy Schilling at HFNAJUDY@gmail.com

Hitomi is a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and is one of a very few recipients of AIFD’s Design Influence Award. In 2006, Hitomi was the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s Frances Poetker Award that recognizes outstanding contributions as designer, author, and lecturer in the art and science of American horticulture. In 2008 she won Gold and Best of Show at the invitation only international entry at Singapore Garden Festival .She is the author of seven books including Neotropica: Hawaii Tropical Flower and Plant Guide.

“Flowers enhance every occasion,” said Hitomi on a recent visit to Lili`uokalani Gardens. “This is such a big space with so many different viewpoints. Floral designers will be given a site and do their magic here.”

The theme of the three-day event is “Celebrate with Local Flowers – Joy in Lili`uokalani Gardens.” Sixteen different floral designers or teams will be provided a bamboo structural base plus flowers and foliage in order to create designs that carry out that theme on Saturday afternoon. The exhibition will be open to the public on Sunday with voting for People’s Choice. The installation in the Gardens will come down Monday afternoon.

The program is presented by the Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association and Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens with sponsorship from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Hawaii County Department of Research & Development.

Coast Guard Celebrates Centennial of Diamond Head Lighthouse

The Coast Guard commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Diamond Head Lighthouse, a cultural icon and landmark.

As part of the celebration, an art contest was held over the last school year and over 70 students from around Oahu entered the contest.

During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Vince Atkins, commander of the Coast Guard’s 14th district, announced the winner, Logan Erickson, an 8th grader form Kailua Intermediate School. Erickson’s painting will be hung in the lighthouse for years to come.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa was the guest speaker and shared what the Diamond Head Lighthouse represents to her.

This hale ipukukui harkens back to 1878 when a lookout was established on the slopes of Diamond Head. It was later determined a more substantial structure should be built to warn mariners of the dangers of the reefs. As technology advanced the original ironwork structure built in 1899 was replaced in 1917 and has since been further modernized to use LED lighting burning at 60,000 candle power and shining 18 miles out to sea.

Estate Planning 101 Seminar

Planning today for tomorrow can be confusing sometimes, so Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is inviting members and residents to a free Estate Planning 101 seminar to help explain estate planning basics. Held onSaturday, August 12, 9:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. at the Kohala Intergenerational Center in Kohala, HI, this important discussion is presented by John Roth, Attorney and Program Director of the Hawaii Trust & Estate Counsel. “This seminar is so informative. John answers so many questions and covers so much material that the attendees leave with actionable next steps,” said Tricia Buskirk, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union President/CEO.
John Roth will discuss such key topics as:

  • Learning the process of estate planning
  • Preparing for the initial consultation
  • Determining when it’s time to review/revise an existing plan
  • Exploring common hypothetical scenarios
  • Ensuring that your wishes are carried out “to the letter” after you have passed on and other relevant topics

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by it’s over 39,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala. In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services; youth programs and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events. Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents. For more information visit www.hicommfcu.com.

For more information or to register, contact us at 808-930-7700 or marketing@hicommfcu.com. Seating is limited so please RSVP today

`Iao Valley State Monument to Reopen Tomorrow

‘Iao Valley State Monument will reopen on Saturday, August 5, 2017,  at 7:00 a.m., The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is in the process of completing repairs to the areas in the park that were damaged by a massive flood event in September 2016.  Due to pending permit approvals to complete the project, the DLNR Division of State Parks, decided to re-open the park for residents and visitors during the hiatus of construction activity. It’s anticipated construction will resume sometime this fall after permits are approved.

The valley has been closed since massive flooding swept through it September 13th and 14th, 2016

State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell said, “We thank the Maui community and visitors for their patience and understanding during the park closure, but we still need to complete further safety measures later this year.  We believe these improvements and repairs will provide our park users and visitors with the assurance that their health and safety are our top priorities.”

Cottrell added, “We coordinated with the tour industry and the local community to inform them on our repair plans, and consulted with the ‘Aha Moku representatives to ensure that the mitigation work was consistent with cultural values and protocols. A private blessing with ‘Aha Moku representatives and parties involved in the restoration took place today, to ensure public safety, and that we honor the place we are reopening tomorrow.”

As a demonstration of the collaborative relationship between state parks and tour industry to benefit the community, Polynesian Adventure Tours is intentionally not scheduling its bus tours for the first week after ‘Iao opens, to allow the community to visit without the buses returning.

Contractor Maui Kupono Builders, LLC. began work on February 13, 2017 to remove green waste, concrete debris and railings, followed by interim slope stabilization in the Wailuku River (‘Iao Stream). Visitors will see a significant change to the slopes of the now wider river, which now sport a revetment of stacked rocks and 300-400 feet worth of Shotcrete slope coating to prevent loose material from falling down.

Changes to the parking lot include restriping and installation of flexible traffic delineators, as well as installation of a green security guardrail fencing at various locations to keep buses only within the upper parking area, and warning signs to prevent people from getting close to the stream’s edge.

A pedestrian corridor has been marked with striping and surface repairs to the pathways leading to the Hawaiian Garden and to the summit lookout were made. The iconic pedestrian bridge over Kinihapai Stream received a new support structure and the comfort station and upper lookout hale have been painted.

Still closed is the lower streamside loop trail area in the Hawaiian garden, which sustained severe damage. It was cleaned up but will remain fenced off. State Parks is considering options for ways to make it safe for people to enjoy.
Division of State Parks will hold a community meeting later this year to explain a second phase of additional streamside slope stabilization and improvements requiring park closure again. Total project cost is $1,837,341.

‘Iao Valley State Monument is among the top attractions on Maui and sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The flash flood in 2016 caused millions of dollars of damage to manmade structures like railings and pedestrian bridges and created serious erosion, stream channel and land movement.  State Parks obtained emergency restoration funding and began clean-up and restoration operations within weeks of the flood.

Construction of New Clinical Building at UH Law School is Progressing on Time, on Budget

Supporters, donors, faculty and staff of the UH Law School had a first close-up look this week at the new Clinical Building, which is rising in part of the parking lot next to the William S. Richardson School of Law.

A view of the front of the Clinical Building on the UH Manoa campus.

Reception guests were able to scrutinize the outside of the precast structure that is well over half complete. It is scheduled to be done on time and on budget, and will be ready for use in Spring 2018.

The reception also honored Professor Melody Mackenzie ’76, who will serve as acting dean for the next four months while Dean Avi Soifer is on Professional Growth and Development leave at the New York University School of Law. He returns December 1.

As the crowd toasted the new building and acting dean, UH President David Lassner shared words of praise, calling Richardson “a great law school” that is not only responsive to the community but trains students who go on to have positive impacts far beyond Hawai‘i. “The new Clinical Building will amplify that,” Lassner said.

Acting Dean MacKenzie told the crowd that the law school is a source of inspiration as a multi-cultural community whose primary mission is to advance justice. “Without CJ’s vision, many of us would not have had the opportunity to study law,” said MacKenzie, who was a member of the first graduating class, and who served as a law clerk for Chief Justice Richardson, the school’s namesake.

Acting Dean Melody Mackenzie and Dean Avi Soifer

The late CJ Richardson inspired the 1970s movement to build a law school committed to providing opportunities for Hawai‘i’s people.

Construction of the new Clinical Building was funded by $7.2 million in bond appropriations by the Legislature, partially backed by the school’s own funds. Recent additional philanthropy has contributed over $2 million and will pay for furniture and an advanced flexible wall system — not included in construction costs — as well as state-of-the-art IT equipment and landscaping. Additional fundraising is under way, including the goal of $5 million from a single donor for the opportunity to name the entire Clinical Building.

For more information, visit: https://www.law.hawaii.edu/

UPDATED FAQ’s on National Park Specialty License Plates – Available Statewide for Limited Time Only

Updated FAQs: National Park Specialty State License Plates Available at DMV locations throughout Hawai‘i.

License plate frame not included!

Q: Are there any plates left?
A: Yes! There are plenty of plates statewide. (Editors Note – Plate availability is very limited and note that many offices have run out on their first batch received already).

Q: How much do the plates cost?
A: $35.50, and $18 goes to support the corresponding park. There is an annual renewal fee of $25, and $18 is again donated to the corresponding park.

Q: Can I get personalized license plates in the specialty design?
A: The plates are pre-numbered, so customizing isn’t an option.

Q: I have two vehicles. Can I get one of each?
A: Yes! Visit your local DMV, and go to www.hawaiiparkplates.com for the location nearest you.

Q: Can I get the specialty plate for my electric vehicle?
A: You can exchange your EV plates for the specialty plates, however, it does not come with the EV designation so you’d have to forego the benefits of having an EV plate.

Q: Can I get the specialty plate for my motorcycle?
A: There is not a motorcycle option at this time.

Q: Can I get a military/veteran plate transferred to a national park plate?
A: You can exchange your military/veteran plates for the specialty plates, however, you can’t have both.

Q: Are the plates tax deductible?
A: Individuals would have to check with their tax accountants, but specialty plates haven’t been tax deductible in the past.

Q: Can I pay with a credit card?
A: No. The DMV accepts cash or check only (at least that’s the case in Hilo)

We hope to see you on the road and in the park with your gorgeous new license plates soon! Post a photo to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #FindYourVolcano to show your park pride!

Mahalo for supporting your local parks!

A Message From Senator Kahele

Photo courtesy “Hawaii State Senate.”

Aloha,
This Monday, August 7, 2017 is the start of the new school year and I wanted to take this moment to welcome back our students, teachers and administrators and wish all of you a fantastic school year.

As the school year begins, there will be many students walking to school and crossing our streets. As a reminder to our drivers, please be extra vigilant of our keiki on our roadways starting next week.

I’m especially excited about the implementation of the Farm to School program into our Hilo schools this year. Led by Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center, the program emphasizes the use of more locally grown food within our public school cafeterias. The pilot phase took place last year at Kohala elementary, middle and high schools. This year, the program is expanding to Kalaniana‘ole Intermediate School, Ha‘aheo Elementary School and Keaukaha Elementary School.

Farm to School is focused on improving student health by reducing processed foods, sourcing local ingredients and serving nutritious meals cooked from scratch. The program will expand the relationship between Hawai‘i public schools and local agricultural communities. In the classroom, students will learn how their food choices as consumers impact their health, environment and community.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, I will be conducting a series of statewide visits to all University of Hawai‘i System campuses to speak with students, faculty, staff and administration. These site visits will be an opportunity to answer questions and hear concerns so that we can make the necessary changes to strive for a world class University of Hawai’i System.

To kick this off, I will be holding a Higher Education Town Hall on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. I would like to invite the UH-Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College faculty, staff, students and administration. The town hall will be held at UH-Hilo in UCB 100 at the University Classroom Building.

Again, my office and staff are always available to you should you need any assistance. I hope to have an opportunity for us to talk story. Be sure to swing by my next Saturday with your Senator event on August 12, 2017.

Me ka haʻahaʻa,
Kaialiʻi Kahele

Rep. Morikawa Asks State to Delay Lehua Rat Eraddication Until Critical Questions Answered

Rep. Daynette Morikawa is asking the state to delay its planned rat eradication project on Lehua Island until critical environmental questions can be answered.

“Residents are very concerned about the process of dropping poison on Lehua Island to kill rats, especially as we enter hurricane season,” Morikawa said in a letter delivered to the state this week. “There are also questions about the possible effects of the poison on the coral reef, the endangered monk seal and green sea turtle, and fish near the island.”

By Polihale, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3862929

Morikawa, who represents the section of Kauai including Lehua, Niihau, Koloa and Waimea, has written to both Suzanne D. Case, chairperson of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Scott Enright, chairperson of the state Board of Agriculture, asking them to delay the project scheduled to drop rodenticide pellets set to begin August 8.

Public hearings on the project were inadequate and ineffective and many residents left the meetings without having their questions addressed by state experts, she said.

Morikawa said the same type of eradication was attempted in 2009 and failed. She is asking the state to explain what alternatives have been explored.

In addition, brodifacoum, which is planned to be used as the rodenticide, has not been licensed for use in Hawaii.

“I am asking the state to delay the rat eradication project until all concerns from the public have been addressed and an agreement is reached on how to best proceed,” she said.

*To read the letter to the state, click here.

National Organization Selects Rep. Beth Fukumoto for Leadership Position

Representative Beth Fukumoto (Mililani Mauka, Mililani) has been selected to serve in a leadership role for the nation’s oldest non-partisan organization addressing the needs of elected women at all levels of government.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto

Fukumoto was appointed to serve as the 2017 Hawaii State Director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL).

“We need women now more than ever to start stepping into positions of influence in government. I’m proud to be partnering with an organization that has a long history of reinforcing female leaders,” said Fukumoto.

“We are so proud that Representative Fukumoto has accepted a leadership position in our Foundation,” stated Minnesota State Senator Carrie Ruud, NFWL’s 2017 Chair. “NFWL’s theme for 2017 is leadership and Representative Fukumoto exemplifies this theme. She will play a key role in aiding elected women in Hawaii, as we continue to grow as an organization.”

Photo of Rep. Beth Fukumoto at the Hawaii Women’s March in January, 2017 by Rep. Fukumoto’s office.

Fukumoto begins serving in her new position immediately and will hold this office through the end of 2018.

Elected women from across the country will gather in Minneapolis, Minnesota from November 14-18, for NFWL’s 2017 Annual Conference to identify effective solutions to some of the nation’s most timely and pressing issues. Fostering a non-partisan environment that encourages dialogue and the sharing of information and experiences, women leaders are able to build coalitions, share the concerns of their constituents, and identify out-of-the-box solutions to the most pressing issues facing their communities today.

About the National Foundation For Women Legislators, Inc. (NFWL)
Through annual educational and networking events, the National Foundation for Women Legislators supports elected women from all levels of governance. As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, NFWL does not take ideological positions on public policy issues, but rather serves as a forum for women legislators to be empowered through information and experience. www.womenlegislators.org

Unseen Archival Footage from Eddie Kamae Films to Debut

Historic and previously unseen footage shot by the late musician and filmmaker Eddie Kamae for his “Listen to the Forest” documentary will be available to the public online through the efforts of ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻuloha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi to preserve, digitize, and catalog archival footage from the making of 10 award-winning documentaries by Kamaʻe and his wife, producer Myrna Kamae.

Eddie Kamae interviewing Kupuna Loea Malia Craver

The work is debuting online to commemorate what would have been Kamae’s 90th birthday on Aug. 4, and to celebrate the completion of the “Listen to the Forest” digitization effort. Kamae, recipient of a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, was a noted musician who began producing films to document and preserve authentic Hawaiian culture. When he passed away in January 2017 the Los Angeles Times remarked Kamae was “one of the most influential Hawaiian musicians in the last half-century and a filmmaker who painstakingly documented the culture and history of the islands.”

The complete descriptive catalog of “Listen to the Forest” and short streaming video clips of newly digitized footage can be found at http://uluulu.hawaii.edu starting tomorrow.

“Listen to the Forest” was part of the Hawaiian Legacy documentary series released between 1988 to 2007. The 1991 film is about the biodiversity of Hawaiʻi’s rainforests and the unique relationship of reverence existing between Hawaiʻi’s native people and its native landscape. In total, more than 33 hours from 84 videotapes of raw footage and interviews from the making of “Listen to the Forest” have been digitized and preserved by ʻUluʻulu.

The effort is the result of a March 2016 Preservation and Access Partnership between ʻUluʻulu and the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation to make the documentaries’ archival footage available to the public after it is preserved, cataloged and digitized. The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation was created by Eddie and Myrna Kamae to help perpetuate the cultural heritage of Hawaiʻi through music, film and video, educational programs, community outreach and archival work.

Work continues on preserving and digitizing the entire Hawaiian Legacy Foundation collection of nearly 1,000 videotapes housed at ‘Ulu‘ulu. Researchers registered with ‘Ulu‘ulu may view the full-length footage of interviews, traditional chants, and original songs and dances, upon request.

For more information regarding the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, call (808) 951-7316 or visit https://www.hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org/.

The ʻUluʻulu Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi is Hawaiʻi’s official moving image archive located in the UH West Oʻahu Library. The mission of the ʻUluʻulu Archive is to perpetuate and share the rich moving image heritage of Hawai‘i through the preservation of film and videotape related to the history and culture of Native Hawaiians and the people of Hawai‘i. For more information call (808) 689-2740 or visit uluulu.hawaii.edu.

Video clips available on request.

Gov. Ige Appoints Robert K. Masuda to First Deputy Position at the Department of Land and Natural Resources  

Gov. David Y. Ige has appointed Robert K. Masuda as First Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) effective August 4, 2017.

Robert K. Masuda

In his new role, Masuda will help manage, develop, oversee and implement initiatives, programs, and policies for DLNR’s eleven divisions, including DLNR’s implementation of Gov. Ige’s Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative.

Masuda previously served as DLNR First Deputy Director from May 2005-May 2007. He led DLNR’s efforts during two critical natural disasters and was the department’s representative for numerous interagency working groups. Masuda has more than 55 years of experience as an executive leader including top roles with the YMCA and the City and County of Honolulu.

“Bob is the right leader for the right time,” commented Gov. Ige. “As second-in-command of DLNR, one of the key agencies developing sustainability and environmental leadership initiatives, I couldn’t be more pleased to have someone of Bob’s experience and dedication on board.”

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Bob is well known across the state as an inspirational leader with a passion for natural and cultural resource protection and education, and forestry and marine life sustainability. He knows DLNR well. We are fortunate and appreciative that Bob is willing to serve Hawaiʻi in this capacity.”

Since 2007 Masuda has served as Senior Advisory for Special Programs Development at the USDA’s U.S. Forest Service’ Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry. In this role he advised, consulted and assisted management and scientists with a variety of programs and projects related to inter-agency cooperation on multiple government levels.
“I’m honored to be returning to DLNR and happy to help continue its mission of protecting and perpetuating the natural and cultural resources of Hawai‘i,” said Masuda. “I believe my work on the local, national and international levels is very much in alignment with the governor’s and Chair Case’s vision for how we work through and improve upon the monumental tasks DLNR is responsible for. I’m excited to re-engage with many of my former DLNR colleagues and look forward to working with new co-workers who share my passion for protecting what makes Hawaiʻi such a special place.”

Mr. Masuda holds a B.S. in Applied Behavioral Science & Group Work Education from George Williams College, and an Executive M.B.A. from the University of Hawai‘i.

Masuda’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation during the next legislative session.