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$3 Million in Improvements Slated for Honoka‘a High & Intermediate

Hawai`i State Senator Lorraine Inouye. Senate Communications photo.

Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige released $3 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School.

Allocated has been $1.5 million to provide covered walkways that will connect various buildings at Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School. This project will also improve cross-campus mobility while improving sidewalk ADA ramps and access. Another $1.5 million will finance the design and construction of new restroom facilities at the school’s auditorium.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye (District 4: Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) championed to secure the funds which was approved in the 2016 and 2017 Legislative Sessions.

“Honoka‘a High and Intermediate is a school that carries a substantial responsibility in educating a huge number of students, so I’m thrilled that my colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor recognized the needs of the campus,” said Sen. Inouye. “I’m proud and happy students and staff at the school will soon have a healthier and safer environment to learn.”

Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School was founded in 1889 and is located in the center of Honoka‘a Town on the Hāmākua Coast of the Island of Hawai‘i. The Honoka‘a complex is unique in that it is the only high school in the state that is fed by a kindergarten to eighth grade public conversion charter school (Waimea Middle), a kindergarten to sixth grade elementary school (Honoka‘a Elementary) and a kindergarten to ninth grade elementary and intermediate school (Pa‘auilo Elementary & Intermediate), serving students from as far as Kawaihae through ‘Ō‘ōkala, about a 40 mile reach.

Hawaii Governor Elected Vice Chairman of the Western Governors’ Association

Gov. David Ige was elected vice chairman of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) at its annual conference in Whitefish, Montana. He will serve with South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, who is the incoming WGA chairman.

In his role as vice chair, Gov. Ige will serve as chairman of WGA’s policy committee. The governor will serve for one year before becoming chair of the WGA next year, by a vote of the Western Governors.

Former Hawai‘i Governors George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano previously served as WGA chairmen.

The Western Governors’ Association was established in 1984 to represent the governors of 19 western states and three U.S. flag islands – American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The association is an instrument of the governors for bipartisan policy development, information exchange and collective action on issues of critical importance to the Western United States.

Governor Ige Signs Dengue Fever Emergency Proclamation for State of Hawaii

Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation Friday, as a preventive measure against mosquito borne illnesses that include dengue fever and Zika. This follows the recent decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to open its emergency operations center at Level 1 to prepare for and mitigate the Zika risk.

Click to read proclamation

Click to read proclamation

“There have been no locally acquired Zika cases in the U.S. or Hawai‘i, and we’d like to keep it that way. This is about getting in front of the situation across the state. I will be coordinating planning efforts with the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, all county mayors and Civil Defense coordinators,” said Gov. Ige.

On Hawai‘i Island, dengue fever cases continue to be fewer and farther between. However, the battle is not over and state continues to focus resources to break the cycle of dengue fever infection and transmission.

The emergency proclamation will give the state access to the Major Disaster Fund, the option of waiving certain laws and regulations to expedite the outbreak response if and when needed, as well as pave the way for federal assistance should the state exhaust its resources.

The state previously released the State Health Department from a 5 percent budget restriction ($250,000) to fund costs incurred while responding to the onset of the dengue outbreak.

The state is also releasing the Health Department from another 5 percent restriction ($250,000) to fund eight vector control positions, one entomologist and one communications position.

The emergency proclamation can be found here.