Hawaii’s Waitlist Trend Increased; Hospital Stays Shorter but Still Longer than Average

Statewide, between 6.9 and 7.8 percent of hospital admissions were waitlisted —that is, remaining in the hospital after the need for acute care ceases—over a five year period (2006-2011), according to discharge data analyzed by the Hawaii Health Information Corporation (HHIC), the state’s premier healthcare data collector and analyzer.

Click to read report

Click to read report

Waitlist patients are those needing treatment after hospital discharge, but not at the severity level that requires inpatient care.  These patients often continue to stay in a hospital because there are limited available community placement options that meet the patient’s needs.

For Hawaii’s neighbor islands, however, the waitlist patterns are significantly different. On Maui, the rate ranged between 12 and 16 percent, whereas on Kauai, the rates varied between 8 and 10.5 percent. Except for 2007 and 2009 (7.7 and 9.2 percent, respectively), Hawaii Island’s rate was similar to the Oahu rate of 6 to 7 percent.

While there were more waitlisted patients statewide in 2011 than in 2006, they experienced shorter hospital stays, according to the HHIC analysis.  Compared to 2006 data, HHIC found that the 2011 average length of stay (ALOS) for waitlisted patients decreased 25 percent, from 21.7 to 16.5 days, across all counties except Maui, which increased 12 percent, from 16.8 to 18.8 days.

However, the ALOS for waitlist patients is still more than the average non-waitlisted patient—nearly four times longer. HHIC found that the risk of a patient being waitlisted increased with age and increased significantly with each decade of life.

Neighbor island hospitals experienced a higher cost and volume of waitlist patients than Oahu with chronic-related disease conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, degenerative nervous system disorders and diabetes.

Bed availability does not appear to be a problem as there was an 11 percent increase in the number of long-term care beds statewide between 2006 and 2011. Appropriately matching the health needs of a waitlisted patient with a sufficiently staffed bed is likely an issue.

The key barriers to community placement of waitlisted patients include insufficient staff with higher skill-mix in nursing homes and other placement alternatives to meet the needs of those with complex conditions, a lack of specialty equipment to provide appropriate care, the cost of multiple or high-cost antibiotics, and lack of community-based resources to support patients with underlying mentally illness in managing their other medical conditions.

“Our analyses make clear that the waitlist problem exists statewide but that has very special dimensions on each island,” said Peter Sybinsky, Ph.D., president and CEO of HHIC.  “Efforts by health plans, hospitals and other providers and community agencies need to take into account this variation as they work together to solve this vexing problem.”

About the Data
Findings are based on data collected from all hospitals across the state, except Tripler Army Medical Center.  The report was prepared based on funding provided by Hawaii Medical Service Association, Kaiser-Permanente, AlohaCare, Ohana Healthcare and United Healthcare, in an attempt to provide a clear description of Hawaii’s waitlist population and estimate the financial impact on Hawaii’s hospitals.

About HHIC/Health Knuggets
Established in 1994, HHIC maintains one of the largest comprehensive health care databases in the state, comprised of local and national inpatient, emergency department, ambulatory care, financial data and other data. The research and data compiled are analyzed and disseminated statewide and are used to help shape healthcare policy and educate decision makers, health care providers and industry experts. Through HHIC Knowledge Nuggets, the organization seeks to inform the public about important healthcare topics. For more information, visit www.hhic.org.

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

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

Lava's Twitter "Profile" picture

Lava’s Twitter “Profile” picture

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

Her first tweets were on Valentines day.

Her first tweets were on Valentines day.

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

Report Shows Access Learning Pilot Enhances Teaching and Student Learning

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

Click to view the report

Click to view the report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

Big Island Police Conducting DUI Checkpoints This Weekend

With the approach of the long Fourth of July weekend and the continuation of graduation parties, Hawaiʻi Island police will be on alert to help prevent tragedy on our roads.

HPDBadgeOfficers will conduct DUI checkpoints and roving patrols beginning Thursday, July 3, and continuing through Sunday, July 6. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Driving under the influence of alcohol presents a potential danger to every motorist, passenger and pedestrian the driver encounters. Already this year, Hawaiʻi Island police have made more than 600 DUI arrests, and seven people have died in traffic fatalities.

The Hawaiʻi Police Department wishes everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.

Department of Education Reminds Parents About Kindergarten Requirements

With public school slated to start in a month on August 1, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is reminding parents about the new kindergarten requirements.

DOE ReleaseStarting this school year, children must be 5 years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. Also, kindergarten is now mandatory in the State of Hawaii. Children who meet the age eligibility requirements for kindergarten may enroll in school anytime.

Parents of children born on or after August 1, 2009 have several options such as pre-school at a private provider or pre-kindergarten classes at select schools. Earlier this year, the State’s Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) announced 21 pre-kindergarten classrooms will be available at 18 schools statewide for children born on or between August 1, 2009 and July 31, 2010, and who are eligible for free- and reduced-price meals. Priority will be given to children born in 2009 to enroll in these pre-kindergarten classes. More information on the EOEL’s pre-kindergarten classes can be found at http://earlylearning.hawaii.gov/doe-eoel-prekindergarten-program/.

Parents whose children attended kindergarten outside of Hawaii, or at a private school in the 2013-14 school year can discuss enrollment options with their home school. Despite the many possible placement scenarios, the final decision for a child’s placement will be based on the principal’s discussions among the appropriate teaching staff and parents.

“We encourage parents to be aware of the changes and take appropriate action for their children,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Kindergarten is a critical time in ensuring children have a solid academic foundation.”

For more information about enrolling in kindergarten in the State of Hawaii, please visit our website at HawaiiPublicSchools.org, and enter “kindergarten” in the white search box on the home page. Parents can also search under “enrolling in school” to be sure they have the necessary documents to enroll their child, including birth certificate, tuberculosis clearance, a completed student health record, and proof of current address.

Proportion of People Living In Poverty in Hawaii Declines

One in four U.S. residents live in “poverty areas,” according to American Community Survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau from 2008 to 2012, up from less than one in five in 2000. These areas of concentrated poverty refer to any census tract with a poverty rate of 20 percent of more. The number of people living in poverty areas increased from 49.5 million (18.0 percent) in 2000 to 77.4 million (25.7 percent) in 2008-2012. The 2012 American Community Survey five-year estimates show a U.S. poverty rate of 14.9 percent.

Click to read full report

Click to read full report

While for most areas the percent of people living in poverty areas increased, some parts of the country moved in the opposite direction of the nation’s 7.6 percentage points increase. In Louisiana (-3.6 percentage points), West Virginia (-2.3), Alaska (-0.4), Hawaii (-1.0) and the District of Columbia (-6.7), the proportion of people living in poverty areas declined over the period. On the other hand, Arkansas (15.7 percentage points), North Carolina (17.9), Oregon (16.0) and Tennessee (16.0) had among the largest percentage point increases in the proportion of people living in poverty areas.

By state, according to the 2008-2012 figures, the percentage of people living in a poverty area ranged from 6.8 percent in New Hampshire to 48.5 percent in Mississippi.

Page 3 of report

Page 3 of report

The report, Changes in Areas with Concentrated Poverty: 2000 to 2010, uses data from the 2000 Census and the American Community Survey to analyze changes in the spatial distribution and socio-economic characteristics of people living in such areas. More than half of people living in poverty lived in a poverty area, and about 30 percent of people living in poverty areas had incomes below the poverty level.

“Researchers have found that living in poor neighborhoods adds burdens to low-income families, such as poor housing conditions and fewer job opportunities,” said the report’s author, Alemayehu Bishaw of the Census Bureau’s Poverty Statistics Branch. “Many federal and local government agencies use the Census Bureau’s definition of poverty areas to provide much-needed resources to communities with a large concentration of people in poverty.”

Other highlights:

  • In the 2008-2012 period, in 14 states and the District of Columbia, 30 percent or more of the population lived in poverty areas. In 2000, this was true of four states and the District of Columbia.
  • Of the people living in poverty areas in the 2008-2012 period, 51.1 percent lived in central cities of metro areas, 28.6 percent in suburbs and 20.4 percent outside metro areas. (In the report, the term “suburbs” refers to areas that are inside metropolitan statistical areas but outside the central or principal cities.)
  • Many of the counties with 80 percent or more of the population living in poverty areas were clustered in and around American Indian reservations (in New Mexico, Arizona, South Dakota and North Dakota) or in the Mississippi delta region (which includes portions of Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas).
  • About 38 percent of all families headed by a female householder with no husband present lived in a poverty area, the largest proportion among all family types.
  • Blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and those in the “some other race” category were the race groups most likely to live in poverty areas, at 50.4 percent, 47.8 percent and 48.3 percent, respectively. Whites, however, experienced the largest percentage point increase in the proportion living in poverty areas over the 2000 to 2008-2012 period. The percent of whites living in poverty areas increased from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 20.3 percent in 2008-2012.
  • Employed people saw a larger increase in the percentage of people living in poverty areas than the unemployed over this period — 8.0 percentage points versus 3.4 percentage points.

About the American Community Survey

The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about all communities in the country. The American Community Survey gives communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Retailers, homebuilders, police departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision makers who count on these annual results.

Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation’s people. Questions about jobs and the economy were added 20 years later under James Madison, who said such information would allow Congress to “adapt the public measures to the particular circumstances of the community,” and over the decades allow America “an opportunity of marking the progress of the society.”

“ROAST & ROOTS” – Mark Yamanaka and Raiatea Helm to Perform at Festival of Hawai‘i Flavors

Capping off a festive celebration of Hawaii’s most ‘ono foods and coffees, Grammy nominee and twice Female Vocalist of the Year, Raiatea Helm is the icing on the cake. The first-ever “Roast & Roots” food event on Saturday, July 19, 2014, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay’s Convention Center, serves up a family-friendly festival with arts and food booths, cooking demos, competitions and all-day entertainment, wrapped up with an intimate concert in the afternoon.

Roast & Roots

Hosted by Hawai‘i Coffee Association (HCA) in alignment with their 19th annual conference, Roast & Roots is a collaborative project between HCA, Kamehameha Schools and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. Events of the day include a “Buy Local” MarketPlace, Coffee Corridor, exciting People’s Choice Cupping Contest, a “mystery box” demo by Chef Sam Choy, and an exciting Chef-Student Culinary Competition. Abundant entertainment throughout the day includes music by Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winner Mark Yamanaka, Kaleo Perry and Dennis Garcia, leading up to Raiatea Helm in concert at 2 p.m.

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka at the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

Known for her soaring lyrics and intricate musicianship, Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm is winner of eight Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation fellowship in music. Beginning her musical career in high school, Helm has captured hearts in Hawai‘i and across the continent and the Pacific, playing to packed houses in Tahiti, Japan and China. Adding her Hawaiian musical flavor to the event seasons it with everything Hawai‘i Island loves: great food, music and family fun.

In the hours leading up to Helm’s performance, families and friends will have numerous opportunities to taste and purchase local food products and peruse the works of Island artisans, including those in the Kona Coffee community in the Coffee Corridor. Additionally, food booths presented by the host hotel and participating chefs and restaurants offer a delicious sampling of dishes from regional ingredients on land and sea.

Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm

Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm

Highlighting the Culinary Competition, Roast & Roots pairs up six local chefs with six culinary students from Hawaiʻi Community College at the University of Hawai‘i Center, West Hawaiʻi and Konawaena, Kealakehe and Waiakea High Schools. Teams will use local Hawai‘i Island proteins such as grassfed beef from Hawaii Beef Producers, local pork from Kulana Foods and farm-raised lamb from Waiakea Uka Ranch and a fresh bounty of local Hawai‘i Island produce, to put their best plates forward.

Emcee for the culinary portion, Chef Sam Choy will share his mana‘o with the audience, and has offered to do a “live mystery box” demo, where he will prepare a dish on the spot, using ingredients that are secret to him until the box is opened onstage. Chef Scott Hiraishi will serve as the Lead Judge and Co-chair for the event. Student and chef pairings will be announced early in July.

Mayor Kenoi talks with Sam Choy outside the Sam Choy Poke Contest.

Mayor Kenoi talks with Sam Choy outside the Sam Choy Poke Contest.

Part of the Hawai‘i Coffee Association’s three-day annual conference, Roast & Roots invites the general public to experience some of HCA’s exciting and educational activities, as well as the expertise of Hawaii’s statewide coffee industry growers, processors, roasters, wholesalers and retailers. The annual conference includes workshops and seminars covering coffee cupping packaging, certification, legislative and industry updates, including reports from UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC).

Admission at the door is $5 per person, free for anyone under 17—includes Culinary Demonstration, Marketplace and Raiatea Helm Concert. No advance ticket sales. For more information, please contact Event Coordinator Tracey Apoliona, mkc01@hawaii.rr.com, (808) 960-3094 or visit www.Facebook.com/RoastandRoots.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary System Task Force Formed

The Public Policy Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa is convening the Medical Marijuana Dispensary System Task Force to develop recommendations for the establishment of a regulated statewide dispensary system for medical marijuana to provide safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualified patients.

Medical Marijuana

The first meeting was held today, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM in Conference Room 325 of the State Capitol Building.

The task force will submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2015.

For more information, please contact:

Susan M. Chandler, Public Policy Center · 956-4237

Representative Della Au Belatti, House Health Committee Chair · 586-9425

Peter Whiticar, Department of Health · 733-8443

Hawaii Drought Monitor for May

It’s been pretty dry here on the Big Island during the last month.

Here is the lasted U.S.D.A. Drought Monitor image for the State of Hawaii updated May 20, 2014 and released today:

Drought Monitor for MayI washed my car this weekend and after two days of driving on Puna roads… my car looked like this from all the dust on the back roads:
Dusty Car

Mandatory Boater Education Requirement to Be Enforced in Less Than Six Months

With just less than six months to go before Hawaii’s new mandatory education law for boaters is to be enforced, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) would like to inform boaters that there is still ample time and multiple ways to become compliant.

Beginning Nov. 10, 2014, all individuals who operate a motorized vessel in Hawaii’s state waters must have taken a boating safety course and be able to show proof of certification.

Click to read the new rules

Click to read the new rules

The rule applies to all boaters unless they and/or the vessels being used fall under one of the exemptions mentioned in the new rule.

The text of this Mandatory Boater Education Rule can be accessed online at: http://files.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dobor/rules/amend/Amend-13-244-15-5.pdf

Any person violating this rule shall be fined not less than $50 and not more than $1,000 or sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both, for each violation. The court may also prevent an individual from operating a vessel in state waters for up to 30 days.

DLNR has worked diligently to create multiple methods for complying with the requirement. There are three Internet courses that are fully approved, with one being offered free of charge. Classroom courses are being offered statewide by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Two U.S. Power Squadrons are offering classes on Oahu.

In the next few months, numerous other course providers across the state will start to offer additional classes and DLNR will launch its own home study course. In addition, those who have already taken a course approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators can take abbreviated courses, free of charge, to become compliant.

A question and answer publication posted by DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) is available at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/mandatory-boating-safety-education-qa/. Full details on all the compliance methods are posted at this site.

A study released in 2007 by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) showed that states with the longest history of mandatory education had the lowest boating fatality rates. For most of the boating safety community, this study was conclusive evidence that mandatory boating education saves lives. Hawaii ranked fifth on the list of highest fatality rates in the year the study was finalized. In 2011, Hawaii had a fatality rate of 44 per 100,000 vessels, second worse in the nation.

“A little bit of education and training can go a long way toward saving lives and preventing accidents. This is why the department initiated its Mandatory Education Rule,” said DLNR Director William J. Aila, Jr. “We can be easily persuaded to think of the ocean as wide open space. But because of the increasing number of whales that visit our waters each year, the burgeoning sea turtle population, the explosion in free diving, the popularity of stand-up paddling and other emerging recreational and commercial uses of our waters, there is growing potential for interaction between boats, marine life and ocean users.

“A boating safety course raises your awareness of your responsibility as a boater. All vessel operators should keep a constant watch and, beyond that, post an additional lookout to help scan the horizon whenever possible.”

Professional Writing, Filmmaking Workshops at Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Presenting a rare opportunity for island filmmakers and writers to learn from and be inspired by some of the best in the business, Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i offers three relevant workshops, presented by top entertainment industry professionals, May 22-25, 2014.

Ron Osborn. Photos courtesy Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai'i.

Ron Osborn. Photo courtesy Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Writer, producer Ron Osborn (DUCKMAN, MEET JOE BLACK, THE WEST WING, MOONLIGHTING) has been nominated for seven Emmys, three Cable Ace Awards and two Writers Guild Awards. He has written pilots for every primetime American network, as well as for such cable networks as Showtime, FX, USA, ABC Family, Lifetime, and Disney. Osborn’s workshop, “The First 10 Pages,” focuses on the most important part of any script, and how to grab readers from the opening moments. Sat., May 24, 8:30-11 a.m. in the Lehua Theatre, $50.

Jennifer Grisanti

Jennifer Grisanti

Jen Grisanti, writing instructor for NBC’s “Writers on the Verge,” and acclaimed story/career consultant, will talk about “Adding Fiction to the Truth in Your Writing.” Since she launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy in 2008, Grisanti has worked with over 500 writers specializing in television, features and novels with numerous successes.

Jennifer Grisanti, Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Actress Eloise Mumford (The River) at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

Jennifer Grisanti, Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Actress Eloise Mumford (The River) at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

Her approach emphasizes the use of a writer’s personal history and emotional “gold” to key in to universal dilemmas, failures and successes that immediately connect with an audience. Sun., May 25, 8:30-11 a.m. in the Lehua Theatre, $50.

Advance registration is required by May 20, and registration forms may be found online at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com

Peter Caranicas

Peter Caranicas

In a special session, Peter Caranicas of Variety will discuss “Trade Journalism as it relates to Film & Television” on Fri., May 23, 9:45- 11 a.m. As Deputy Editor, Caranicas is responsible for the features sections (published over 200 times a year), covering film festivals, up-and-comers, industry anniversaries, in-depth analysis of awards shows such as the Oscars and the Emmys, and key players in entertainment. Immediately following Filmmaker Orientation in the Lehua Theatre, Caranicas’ presentation is open to the public at a cost of $20 per person.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, May 22-26, 2014. Events include free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (free parking), networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, awards brunch and a closing night “Best of the Fest.” Best of the Fest is a fundraising event for Hawai‘i Island Food Basket, with WILLIE K in concert, silent auction for the Tripler Army Medical Center’s Fisher House for military families, and the audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short films of BIFF 2014.

Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP and many others. For more information, complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call 808-883-0394.

Restricted Access to Electronic Welfare Benefits

Effective February 2014, Temporary Assistance for Need Family (TANF) recipients are restricted from withdrawing their cash benefits at certain types of businesses.

Strip Clubs are no longer allowed to accept

LOL… Folks can’t take out their welfare benefits at strip clubs!

Restricted points of access include automated teller machines (ATM) or point of sale (POS) terminals at liquor stores, casinos, and gaming establishments.  Retail establishments that provide adult-oriented entertainment (performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment) also are restricted locations.

Click to view Statewide locations

Click to view Statewide locations

The policy is an outcome of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96).   The law was enacted in 2012, but States were given time to determine how to best impose the restriction.  Hawaii came into compliance this year.

The TANF program provides monthly cash benefits to families for food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. The federally funded program is designed to help families achieve financial self -sufficiency.  Grocery stores and retailers that primarily sell products other than liquor, and restaurants, bars or clubs that serve liquor are exempt from the restriction.

For the purposes of accessing TANF cash benefits, liquor stores are defined as retailers that exclusively or primarily sell liquor.  Gaming establishments mean establishments with a primary purpose of accommodating the wagering of money.  These restrictions have been imposed nationwide.

To qualify for TANF benefits, a family must include children under the age of 19 and earn a total gross income under 185% of the 2006 Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For a household of three persons, that’s a monthly gross income less than $2,941; if the household includes an employable adult net income must be under $610. In households where all adults are disabled, care is required for a disabled household member, or there is a child younger than six months of age, the net income must be under $763 per month.  Effective April 18, 2013, assets were disregarded from the eligibility determination.

Restricted Hawaii Points of Sale

Active Licenses with Nudity (4-14)

Statewide Active Licenses with Liquor (4-14)

Big Island to Launch Global Virtual Studio Transmedia Accelerator

Beginning April 11th, 2014 Global Virtual Studio (GVS), in partnership with the County of Hawaii and the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), and Creative Industries Division (CID) is set to launch the GVS Transmedia Accelerator.

Hawaii entrepreneurs in the creative industries are often forced to take their talents outside of Hawaii to create intellectual property (IP), only for it to be owned by someone else. The traditional Hollywood model is being challenged by the accelerator model, a disruptive concept empowering the creative entrepreneur to own their IP.

This cutting-edge initiative will empower Hawaii’s creative minds to realize and launch original transmedia franchises for commercial audiences with an investment of $50,000 and mentorship to each selected startup franchise.

Accelerator

The founder of the GVS Transmedia Accelerator is Big Island raised and Konawaena High School graduate, David L. Cunningham, a seasoned filmmaker in both independent and studio arenas. Cunningham made one of Hawaii‘s first independent films, “Beyond Paradise,” as well as the World War II drama “To End All Wars,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, filmed on Kaua’i. Cunningham says, “As a studio filmmaker I was constantly trying to find ways to live and work in the Islands. My wife and I wanted to raise our kids in the same environment we were fortunate to have. Dramatic shifts in the entertainment industry have now made it possible for myself and other filmmakers to work from our home state.”

Mayor Billy Kenoi stated, “The Accelerator Program will be the anchor activity of Honua Studios, newly established in Kailua-Kona with support from the Hawaii County Council. We envision this new facility being a creative hub to attract and support entrepreneurs and industry professionals and increase the number of productions here on Hawaii.”

The Accelerator is part of a surge of activity supported by the HI Growth Initiative (led by HSDC President, Karl Fooks) and Chief Officer of CID, Georja Skinner. Programs like Blue Startups, Hawai’i International Film Festival’s (HIFF) Creative Labs and more are designed to create a synergistic environment statewide.

The GVS Transmedia Accelerator will accept six entrepreneurial teams into the intensive program each year and will provide them with the seed capital and world-class mentors to develop their startup franchises into successful businesses. The goal is to see the best up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Hawaii reach their potential right here in the state.

Cunningham and several other active innovators, including Ralph Winter (Producer of “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” movies); Mike Frank (Co-founder of Level 3 Communications) and Grant Curtis (Producer of the “Spider-Man” Trilogy, “Oz: The Great and Powerful”) and others will serve as advisors.

The application period for the Program begins April 11th and the Accelerator is slated to launch its first cycle in June 2014. Qualifying applicants must have a commercially viable startup with at least three revenue-generating media platforms. For more information, contact accel(at)globalvirtualstudio(dot)com or visit http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com.

Clothesline Project Comes to the Big Island

The Clothesline Project was created to bring awareness to the issue of violence against women.  In an effort to express themselves, women who were affected by violence were asked to decorate t-shirts that would later be hung on a line for public display.

Clothesline ProjectThe intent was to honor survivors while promoting awareness of these crimes.  In recognition of Victims’ Rights Week an annual commemoration to promote victims’ rights and service available to victims, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney will be creating a clothesline project to not only bring awareness for violence against women, but awareness of victims of all crime in our community. Our clothesline will be displayed from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the following times and locations:

  • Wednesday, April 9th – UH Hilo, The NEW Student Services Center
  • Thursday, April 10th – Aupuni Center, Hilo
  • Friday, April 11th – West Hawai’i Civic Center, Kailua-Kona

Supplies will be available for anyone who wishes to make a t-shirt to display on the line.  Anyone who has been affected by crime in our community whether male or female is invited. In addition, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney will display informational material regarding services for crime victims.  For more  information regarding this event, please free to contact the Victim Assistance Unit at (808) 934-3306.

Hawaii State Department of Education’s Continued Race to the Top Progress Shows Extraordinary Growth

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is receiving high praise from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) for its efforts in implementing key reforms such as the Educator Effectiveness System, professional development on the Hawaii Common Core and work to support its most needy schools. This comes with Year 3 Race to the Top (RTTT) report released this evening.

DOE Release“Over the last few years, we have seen Race to the Top states build on the systems and framework that they have been developing to lay the foundation for long-term, sustainable progress,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Hawaii has made key steps in implementing its plans, developing great teachers and leaders, and in improving students’ outcomes. As Hawaii completes the third year of implementing its Race to the Top grant, it has continued to demonstrate leadership in education reform.”

During a call with media before the report’s release Secretary Duncan stated: “When we originally gave (Hawaii) the RTTT grant, lots of folks doubted our judgment there, and said there was no way they could be successful. They initially struggled…a lot of people didn’t think they could succeed, and they’ve shown amazing leadership in a relatively short amount of time…they’ve made huge progress.”

Governor Neil Abercrombie welcomed the news. “The U.S. Department of Education’s recognition of Hawaii’s progress highlights our commitment to transform public education,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our principals, teachers, staff and students. Hawaii has proven that no matter how great the challenge, we can pull together to make sure Hawaii’s keiki have the opportunities they need to succeed.”

Among Hawaii’s highlights as noted in the report, which documents efforts from Sept. 2012 – Sept. 2013:

  • Improved scores on national benchmarks and access to more rigorous course work and resources like AP classes. Specifically, “The Nation’s 2013 Report Card” by the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) where Hawaii’s fourth- and eighth-graders proved to be among the nation’s leaders when it comes to improved progress in mathematics and reading achievement. Last year also marked the first time Hawaii’s fourth-graders surpassed the national average in mathematics.
  • Progress in initiatives related to supporting teachers in leaders in Year 3, primarily due to the ratified contract with the Hawaii State Teachers Association in April 2013, allowing the implementation of the Educator Effectiveness System (EES) design and implementation.
  • Continued support and training for educators statewide as we transitioned to new college-and career-readiness standards: Hawaii’s Common Core.
  • Extensive supports the DOE has put in place to turn around low-achieving schools, particularly those in the Zones of School Innovation (ZSI), where community partners have played a key role in ensuring success. They include the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, AT&T, Hawaii 3R’s, Hawaiian Electric Industries and the Hawaii Business Roundtable.

“The third-year report is a testament to the remarkable efforts of our educators in meeting elevated expectations,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “As we head into the final months of the grant, we continue our commitment to put into place systems and practices that will keep our students successful in college, careers and community long after the grant ends. Race to the Top was an important step in the transformation of our public school system and we are staying the course.”

In speaking with education reporters Tuesday morning, Ann Whalen of the USDOE’s Office of the Deputy Secretary commented: “Shout out to Hawaii – this time last year was on high risk, and over the past year has absolutely demonstrated amazing progress. (Hawaii) is one of our rising stars and one of the states we’re really watching as those with promising practices within the field.”

In August 2010, the USDOE awarded Hawaii with a four-year, $75 million RTTT grant. The following year, Hawaii was placed on high-risk status. In February 2013, the USDOE removed Hawaii’s high-risk status in two of five areas. These areas addressed education reform in the areas of standards and assessments (area B); and data systems (area C). In July 2013, the USDOE lifted the high-risk label for the entire grant, including three additional areas: system alignment and performance monitoring (area A); great teachers, great leaders (area D); and turning around persistently low-achieving schools (area E).

The Year 3 RTTT Hawaii Report also noted challenges for the state’s final year, which included transition to standards, building better data systems, and improving teacher effectiveness.

“We are already tackling these challenges and are holding ourselves accountable, not just for Race to the Top but because these are areas of focus in our Board of Education and DOE joint Strategic Plan,” said Matayoshi.

Resources from Hawaii’s Year 3 RTTT report:

Go! Airlines to End Operations in Hawaii – Questions and Answers

Mesa Air Group, Inc. (“Mesa” or “Company”) announced today that it will cease its Hawai’i operations effective April 1, 2014.

go! Mokulele – Hawaii ’s Low Fare AirlineSince June 2006, go! has served its nearly five million passengers with safe, reliable and low fare service. The decision to cease operations in Hawaii follows significant growth in the Company’s flight operations on the mainland and was a strategic decision to focus the organization on maximizing its growth in the capacity purchase “codeshare” operations which comprise over 98 percent of the Company’s business “While this was an extremely difficult decision to reach, we believe it is in the best interest of Mesa’s long term strategic objectives, particularly given the Company’s ongoing expansion of aircraft in service with United Airlines and US Airways.

Mesa will be placing into service 30 EMB 175 aircraft with United beginning in June 2014, and is adding 4 CRJ-900 aircraft with US Airways in 2014, having added 9 CRJ-900s in 2013,” said Jonathan Ornstein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “With the significant expansion opportunities in flying large regional jets in contracted service, we are re-deploying the go! aircraft to support our existing mainland operations.

Go!Mokulele

An additional factor that we accounted for was the long term increase in the cost of fuel, which has more than doubled since go! began service and has caused sustained profitability to be elusive” continued Ornstein. Under the terms of an agreement with Hawaiian Airlines, go! will be able to re-book passengers ticketed through go! for travel scheduled between April 1, 2014 and June 30, 2014 in specifie fare classes on Hawaiian’s Interisland network. go! will refund tickets for passengers who cannot be accommodated on Hawaiian Airlines, or for passengers holding tickets for travel after June 30, 2014.

All ticket holders will be contacted by go! reservations representatives regarding the re-accommodations. Customers and travel agents needing additional information may call 1-888-435-9462 or visit the website .

go! will continue to provide its passengers with safe and reliable transportation through its last day of service, and will work with our passengers and Hawaiian Airlines to minimize the impact that this announcement will have on our passengers,” noted Chris Pappaioanou, President of go!. “On behalf of Mesa Air Group, I would like to thank all of our many loyal passengers and the continued hard work and dedication of our employees – all of whom will be given an opportunity to continue their employment with Mesa Airlines.

While we say goodbye to our many passengers in Hawaii, we look forward to serving you on the mainland through our significant codeshare operations,” continued Ornstein. Mesa currently operates 71 aircraft with approximately 407 daily system departures to 85 cities, 36 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico. Mesa operates as US Airways Express and United Express under contractual agreements with US Airways and United Airlines, respectively. The Company was founded by Larry and Janie Risley in New Mexico in 1982.

FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I have a reservation for travel on go! between March 17, 2014 and March 31, 2014. Do I need to do anything?
A: No, go! will be operating its full flight schedule through March 31, 2014. Only passengers with travel on go! beginning on April 1, 2014 and beyond are affected by this announcement.

Q: I have a travel reservation for a flight after April 1, 2014, what should I do?
A: All passengers holding tickets for flights on April 1, 2014 and beyond will be contacted by go! reservations staff to discuss their reservations. go! has reached an agreement with Hawaiian Airlines to accommodate eligible ticket holders onto flights operated by Hawaiian Airlines. Passengers who are not able to be accommodated onto Hawaiian Airlines will receive a refund.

Q: I am a travel agent with a customer that holds a ticket on go! what should I do?
A: All travel agency bookings must be reaccommodated by go! reservations. Travel Agents should call (888) 435-9462 for assistance.

Q: Should I contact Hawaiian Airlines directly?
A: No, all changes to reservations must be initiated by go!’s reservation department.

Q: I bought my ticket through a travel agency and am not sure what to do?
A: go!’s reservations department will work directly with your travel agent to assist with changes to your reservation. Your travel agent can reach us at (888) 435-9462.

Q: What if I am holding a go! ticket for travel after June 30, 2014?
A: All passengers holding tickets for travel after June 30, 2014 will receive a refund from go!

Q: Can I request a refund even if I am holding a go! ticket for travel on June 30, 2014 or earlier?
A: Passengers holding tickets for travel between April 1, 2014 and June 30, 2014 may request a refund from go!

Q: What if I am unable to travel at the times go! is offering for the new flight schedule?
A: Passengers will be advised of availability for reaccommodation, and any passenger declining the available flights and times will receive a refund.

Q: What if I am holding a reward redemption ticket for travel on go!?
A: Reward redemptions are limited to flights operated by go! through March 31, 2014.

Q: Will I receive a new confirmation number for my flights on Hawaiian Airlines?
A: Yes, when your flight is reaccommodated onto a Hawaiian Airlines flight, you will be issued a new confirmation number.

Q: What number should I call if I have any more questions or need more information?
A: Passengers are encouraged to visit www.iflygo.com for information regarding this announcement and may also contact go! directly at (888) 435-9462.

Q: I booked my travel on Mokulele Airlines and it includes a flight on go!, what should I do?
A: All passengers who purchased tickets from Mokulele Airlines should contact Mokulele to discuss their travel and/or refund options.

If you are requesting a refund, please complete the following form:  Refunds
If you are traveling between now and March 31 you can continue to book here: Booking

Hawaii to Receive $1,783,393 Federal Grant to Turn Around Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that 10 states will receive more than $95 million to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest-achieving schools through awards from the Department’s School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. The following states are receiving awards: Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon and Texas.

SIG

“When schools fail, our children and neighborhoods suffer,” Duncan said. “Turning around our lowest-performing schools is hard work but it’s our responsibility, and represents a tremendous opportunity to improve the life chances of children. We owe it to our children, their families and the broader community. These School Improvement Grants are helping some of the lowest-achieving schools provide a better education for students who need it the most.”

Community engagement is an essential tactic for making school turnaround more effective. The U.S. Department of Education’s Reform Support Network (RSN) is releasing a paper, Strategies for Community Engagement in School Turnaround, which examines engagement in action. Between April and August of 2013 the RSN conducted reviews of 11 states and districts—urban and rural—with engaged communities surrounding low-performing schools. The enquiry yielded five primary lessons or takeaways about successful community engagement: make engagement a priority and establish an infrastructure, communicate proactively in the community, listen to the community and respond to its feedback, offer meaningful opportunities to participate and turn community supporters into leaders and advocates.

School Improvement Grants are awarded to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) that then make competitive subgrants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to provide adequate resources to substantially raise student achievement in their lowest-performing schools.

Under the Obama administration, the SIG program has invested up to $2 million per school at more than 1,500 of the country’s lowest-performing schools. Early findings show positive momentum and progress in many SIG schools. Findings also show that many schools receiving SIG funding are improving, and some of the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities.

States announced today and their grant amounts are:
Hawaii—$1,783,393
Louisiana—$9,572,881
Maryland—$6,619,995
Maine—$1,703,898
Michigan—$16,757,681
Montana—$1,486,422
North Dakota—$1,110,048
Nevada—$3,725,820
Oregon—$5,530,729
Texas—$46,773,565

University of Hawaii Partners on $5.3 Million Cyberinfrastructure Award

The University of Hawai‘i (UH) is one of the founding partners of a new initiative led by Clemson University to enable a national network of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Education Facilitators (ACI-REFs) that will broaden the research and education impacts of advanced computing resources at campuses across the country.
UH LogoAdvanced cyberinfrastructure refers to high-performance computing systems, massive data storage systems, and visualization environments, all linked together by software and high-performance networks to enable human collaborations that improve education and research productivity and enable breakthroughs not otherwise possible.

The National Science Foundation awarded the group $5.3 million over two years to broaden cyberinfrastructure education and outreach through this network. Besides Clemson and UH, the other collaborating institutions are the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Wisconsin, and Harvard University.

The project, called the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure – Research and Educational Facilitation: Campus-Based Computational Research Support, is a consortium that brings together education and research institutions that are committed to the vision of advancing scientific discovery by creating a national network of advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitators.  UH will be able to hire two advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitators for two years under the initial project grant.

“The University of Hawai‘i is delighted to be working with Clemson and our other partners to develop this innovative consortium,” said David Lassner, the Interim President at the University of Hawai‘i.  “Data-intensive science and engineering is a major thrust for the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative (HI2), and the advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitator capability that will be supported is exactly what we need to help many of our gifted faculty and students take their scholarship to the next level by leveraging local and national cyberinfrastructure and collaborations.”

Working together in a coordinated effort, the consortium is dedicated to the adoption of models and strategies that will leverage the expertise and experiences of its members to maximize the impact of investment in research computing and related cyberinfrastructure technologies. The project staff will be located on the six collaborating campuses.  They will be fully embedded in their local technology support environments so they can both extend the reach and impact of the campus as well as make national research computing infrastructure available for local students and faculty.

Gwen Jacobs, UH Director of Cyberinfrastructure in Information Technology Services, will lead UH participation in the project.   She will be working with faculty throughout the UH System to identify opportunities where local and national cyberinfrastructure assets can advance UH research and innovation.  Jacobs said, “UH is an international research leader in astronomy, earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences, and biomedical research – all disciplines that generate massive amounts of data.  With access to a wealth of computational resources and professional expertise, UH researchers will be able to apply new methods in big data analytics to their research programs, speeding scientific discovery and innovation and creating new educational opportunities for UH students.”

The consortium is forging a nationwide alliance of educators to empower local campus researchers to be more effective users of advanced cyberinfrastructure.  In particular, the project seeks to work with scholars and faculty members who traditionally have not benefitted from the power of high-performance computing but who recognize that their research requires access to more computational power than can be provided by their desktop machines.

“This project complements and magnifies the work we have underway to establish our first university-wide high-performance computing cluster,” said Vassilis Syrmos, UH Vice President for Research and Innovation.

That high-performance computing cluster will be located in UH’s new $41-million Information Technology Center.  Interim Vice President for Information Technology Steve Smith said “The new high-performance computing cluster is the first initiative that will leverage the capabilities of our state-of-the-art Information Technology Center to advance research and innovation at UH.  This project couldn’t have moved forward without the new building.”

The national project team will be led by Jim Bottum, the Chief Information Officer at Clemson with a leadership team that includes co-principal investigator Gwen Jacobs of UH, and lead scientists from each institution.   The steering committee includes Glenn Ricart, Chief Technology Officer of the US Ignite Project; Greg Monaco, Director for Research and Cyberinfrastructure Initiatives at the Great Plains Network; and John Towns, the principal investigator of the NSF-funded national scale XSEDE high-performance computing program. Miron Livny, Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin and principal investigator of the NSF-funded Open Science Grid will also serve on the project’s steering committee and serve as the Chief Scientist for the project.

37 Facilities in Hawaii Reported 2.7 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Being Released in 2012

Nationally, total releases of toxic chemicals decreased 12 percent from 2011-2012, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report and Pacific Southwest state fact sheets published today.

In Hawaii, a total of 37 facilities reported a total of 2.7 million pounds of toxic chemical releases during 2012. Hawaii’s total reported on-site and off-site releases increased when compared to 2011 data.

Highlights of data from 2012 in Hawaii show that since 2011:

  • Air: Air releases increased 2 percent
  • Water: Water releases increased 6 percent
  • On-Site Land: On-site land releases increased 46 percent.
  • Underground Injection: Underground Injection releases increased 21 percent
  • Off-Site Transfers: Total off-site transfers have decreased 9 percent

For detailed Hawaii information and the state’s Top 5 releasing facilities please see the state fact sheet at http://www.epa.gov/region9/tri/report/12/tri-2012-hawaii-report.pdf

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

“Our yearly analysis of chemicals being used by industry helps residents understand which chemicals are used in their neighborhoods,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This year we have enhanced our fact sheet system to aid in getting TRI information about specific locations.”

New for this year is an updated fact sheet system that allows users to explore customized data. Scroll down at the link www.epa.gov/tri to enter your zip code, city, or county, and the new tool will create a fact sheet to show you toxic releases near you.

The annual TRI report provides citizens with critical information about their communities. The TRI Program collects data on certain toxic chemical releases to the air, water, and land, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities by facilities across the country.

The TRI data reports are submitted annually to EPA, states, and tribes by facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste. Many of the releases from facilities that are subject to TRI reporting are regulated under other EPA program requirements designed to limit harm to human health and the environment.

Release data alone are not sufficient to determine exposure or to calculate potential risks to human health and the environment. TRI data, in conjunction with other information, such as the toxicity of the chemical, the release medium (e.g., air), and site-specific conditions, may be used to evaluate exposures from releases of toxic chemicals.