• Follow on Facebook

  • air-tour-kauai
  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • puako-general-store
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • 10% Off WikiFresh

  • Say When

    May 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Apr    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

  • Recent Comments

Hawaii Governor Signs Gold Star Proclamation

Hawaii Governor David Y. Ige signed a Gold Star proclamation in the governor’s ceremonial room at the state capitol on May 17. In attendance was Rear Admiral John Fuller, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, Gold star family members from all military services as well as representatives of the Navy Region Southwest Gold Star program and Navy League Honolulu Council. The gold star family program provides long-term support to surviving families of service members who die while on active duty.

Photo by Ensign Britney Duesler

According to the Region Gold Star Coordinator, Hawaii may be the first state to hold such an event this year. Gold Star families from all branches of service will be recognized.

Through the program, families may be afforded long-term assistance through coordinators offering to assist on an array of benefits and entitlements.

In Hawaii the Army and Navy have the only gold star programs in the state. Families from any service can register with either one of the gold star programs.

The gold star first made an appearance during World War I after being placed over a service flag’s blue star when a service member was killed in combat. The gold star signified the family’s pride in the loved one’s sacrifice rather than the mourning of their personal loss.

Today surviving family members are presented with a lapel pin as a sign of remembrance. The pin may feature a gold star on a purple background or a gold star surrounded by laurel leaves.

A gold star on a purple background recognizes combat related losses dating back to World War I, including service members who lose their lives while deployed in support of military operations against the enemy or during an international terrorist attack.

A gold star surrounded by laurel leaves and sprigs of oak that represent the branches of the Armed Forces. It is designated for eligible survivors of service members who lose their lives while serving honorably under circumstances not defined above.  This includes service members who lose their lives while assigned to a Reserve or National Guard unit in a drill status.

EBT Cards to Experience Downtime Monday, May 15

Individuals and families using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards may experience downtime from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Monday, May 15, 2017. Consumers are asked to avoid making transactions during these morning hours. Consumers may resume regular use of their cards after 6 a.m. on Monday.

From May 12, 2017 through May 15, 2017, the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services (DHS) will be converting its Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system from the current vendor, JPMorgan Electronic Financial Services, to a new EBT vendor, Fidelity Information Services Government Solutions.

EBT cardholders experiencing issues beyond 6 a.m. on May 15, 2017 may call the same helpline as usual at 1-888-328-4292. Limited helpline service will be available to EBT cardholders during the downtime period.

Additional Open Application Period Begins for Hawaii Preschool Open Doors Program

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has opened an additional application period for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program and encourages families to apply between May 1 and May 31, 2017.  Applications received during this period will be considered for preschool participation during July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

Click to read

This program, which currently serves more than 1,700 children statewide, provides child care subsidies to eligible low- and moderate-income families to pay preschool tuition. POD aims to provide children whose families might otherwise not be able to afford preschool the opportunity to gain essential skills to be successful in school and in life.

To qualify for the program, children must be eligible to enter kindergarten in the 2018-2019 school year (born between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013). Families are reminded that a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. Families may choose any one of the 433 State-licensed preschools. Underserved or at-risk children receive priority consideration for the POD program, and funds are limited.

Interested families may request an application beginning Monday, May 1, 2017 from the Department’s POD contractor, PATCH, by visiting or calling 791-2130 or toll free 1-800-746-5620. PATCH can also help families locate a preschool convenient for them.

Applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31, 2017 to be considered during the July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 program period. Applications should be dropped off, mailed, faxed, or emailed to the following:

PATCH – POD, 560 N. Nimitz Hwy, Suite 218, Honolulu, HI 96817, Fax: (808) 694-3066, PODAdmin@patch-hi.org

Eligibility and priorities for POD program selection are detailed online in HAR §17-799, which is available online at humanservices.hawaii.gov/admin-rules-2/admin-rules-for-programs.  For more information about other DHS programs and services, visit humanservices.hawaii.gov.

Hawaii Department of Health Publishes First LGBT Health Data Report

Today the Department of Health released the first-ever Hawaii Sexual and Gender Minority Health Report at the Building Competency in Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Youth Conference. The report reveals that, compared to heterosexual youth and adults, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth experience many early risk factors that contribute to poorer health outcomes in adulthood.

Click to view report

“We are pleased to share our current research on the health of Hawaii’s sexual and gender minority people,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, Director of Health. “The new findings will help us tailor programs to better address the health challenges of LGBT people in our State.” Over ten percent of public high school youth identify as LGB or questioning, and three percent of adults aged 18 years and older identify as LGB. An additional 5,600 adults in Hawaii identify as transgender or gender non-conforming.

Sexual and gender minority people experience discrimination and stigma, and are often victims of bullying, family rejection, and lack of acceptance. Consequently, LGB and questioning youth experience greater mental health challenges than heterosexual youth. Half of LGB youth report feeling sad or hopeless, and 60 percent report purposely hurting themselves through behaviors such as cutting or burning themselves. Each year, nearly one in three LGB youth attempt suicide.

LGB youth are also more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors that increase their risk for chronic disease and poor health outcomes later in life. One-quarter of LGB youth report that they currently smoke cigarettes, and nearly half drink alcohol. One in ten LBG youth also say they have injected illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime.

Consistent with the findings on youth, the report shows that LGB adults live with poorer health outcomes than heterosexual adults. Forty percent of LGB adults report having multiple chronic conditions, and they are twice as likely as heterosexual adults to suffer depression.

Women identifying as lesbian or bisexual also experience poorer health outcomes compared to heterosexual women. One-quarter of lesbian or bisexual women have asthma, and they are three times more likely to have a stroke. Men identifying as gay or bisexual are seven times more likely to experience abuse by a partner, and three times more likely to be a victim of rape or attempted rape.

“The report demonstrates that there is much work to be done to understand and address the unique challenges of sexual and gender minority people,” said Lola Irvin, Administrator of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division. “By improving the health of at-risk and underserved populations, we will make Hawaii a healthier, happier place for all our citizens.”

To download a copy of the report, please visit https://health.hawaii.gov/surveillance/files/2017/04/HawaiiSexualandGenderMinorityHealthReport.pdf.

Hawaii Department of Education Rolls Out SchoolCafé – Pay for School Meals Online Now

Hawaii Department of Education is rolling out a new program called SchoolCafé that will make it easier for parents to monitor and pay for their child’s school meals online and through a mobile application. The new system provides a number of features including online payments, creating auto-payments, checking account balances and setting up low balance alerts.

The new system provides a number of features for parents including online payments, creating auto-payments, checking account balances, setting up low balance alerts and is accessible online or through a mobile application. Photo Credit: Cybersoft PrimeroEdge

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is rolling out a new program called SchoolCafé that will make it easier for parents to monitor and pay for their child’s school meals online and through a mobile application. The program, which is run using PrimeroEdge school nutrition food service software, will also help cafeterias track their inventory, make purchases and reduce costs.

“The Department has spent the last two years working on bringing our food service management system into the 21st century,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This new software will allow us to streamline the experience and process for parents as well as our cafeteria staff who will be able to anticipate their inventory needs with more precision, which will help reduce costs in the long run.”

A pilot program for SchoolCafé started on Jan. 9, 2017 with schools in the Castle, Kahuku, Kailua, Kalaheo, Kaiser and Kalani complexes. The rest of the schools started transitioning in February, and all 256 campuses will be online and using the software by April 3.

The new system provides a number of features for parents including online payments, creating auto-payments, checking account balances, setting up low balance alerts and is accessible online or through a mobile application for iPhones, Android and Windows phones. A 5 percent convenience fee will be charged for payments made online and through the mobile application. Parents still have the option of paying with cash or check at their child’s school at no charge and can use SchoolCafé to check their balance.

Schools will be able to keep track of production records and can make purchases through a centralized ordering portal. Inventory will be tracked electronically, from previous purchases to pending orders. This is a change from the previous manual 5×7 index card system that schools were using for their food service programs.

“The cost savings from implementing the new program based on annual software expenses alone will be around $100,000,” shared Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “This is one less expense that schools will have to worry about since the Department will cover the cost of the software annually for all 256 public schools.”

The PrimeroEdge software cost HIDOE $870,000 and includes 18-months of service, installation and staff training. The annual cost after the 18-months will be $350,000, which will be paid for by the Department.

Photo Credit: Department of Education

A letter from HIDOE’s School Food Services Branch will be distributed next week notifying parents about this new system and where they can get more information.

Pahoa Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event Tomorrow

Bring your own automotive fluids, chemicals and poisons and other hazardous household wastes to the Pāhoa Recycling & Transfer Station collection area on March 5th, 2017. Business, farm, non-profit or government agency waste are NOT allowed. Electronic waste (e-waste) is also NOT allowed.

There will not be a concurrent collection at this event for reusable latex paints. Take your reusable latex paints to the Kea‘au Recycling & Reuse Center at the Kea‘au Recycling & Transfer Station year-round.

Customers should pack their items in spill-proof containers and be careful when transporting them to the event. When at the event please remain in your vehicle in line until authorized personnel come to unload your vehicle. For your safety and the safety of those around you please do not walk your hazardous materials over to the authorized personnel in the restricted area, this precaution is to prevent spillage, accidents and ensure fairness to those already waiting in line. Mahalo for your kōkua.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication (including language interpreting) or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in this event should contact Chris at 961-8554 as soon as possible, but no later February 17, 2017.

For full details on what materials are and are not accepted please visit our Household Hazardous Waste page.

EPA Conducting Pesticide Poisoning Training in Hawaii

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced upcoming trainings for health care workers on how to recognize and treat pesticide poisonings. The classes will be conducted by the Migrant Clinicians Network, with co-sponsors Hawaii Department of Health, the Hawaii Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and Hawaii Emergency Physicians Associated, with funding from the EPA.

“Quick and accurate identification of pesticide poisoning is important to provide immediate patient care,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “These workshops will provide health care workers with the tools they need in such critical situations.”

The trainings are accredited courses that will focus on key decision points in the diagnosis of pesticide exposures and will highlight the usefulness of the EPA publication, “Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisoning, 6th edition”. Copies will be provided to all participants. Through interactive case studies, this training will illustrate effective recognition and treatment of patients who may have been exposed to pesticides.

“The Department of Health is grateful for the partnerships that came together to bring this specialized medical training to the healthcare communities on Kauai and Oahu,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, Director of the Hawaii Department of Health. “We urge health care professionals to take advantage of this important learning opportunity, and expect to see more offered in this area.”

The classes will be held:

Kauai – March 6, at 9:30 am and 1 pm at the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, 4643 Waimea Canyon Drive, Waimea, HI, Conference Room AB. For more information and registration on the Kauai classes please contact Julie Sommers, (808) 338-9474 – jsommers@hhsc.org or Cheryl Tennberg, ctennberg@hhsc.org

Oahu – March 7, at 9:30 am at the AFFES Building, 919 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI, 5th floor Conference Room. For more information and registration on the Oahu class please contact Amy K. Liebman, (512) 579-4535, aliebman@migrantclinician.org or Fenix Grange, (808) 586-4248, fenix.grange@doh.hawaii.gov

Martin Luther King Report: Hawaii Is 2017’s Most Racially Integrated State

With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day around the corner and 46 percent of U.S. voters expecting Donald Trump’s presidential triumph to result in worse race relations, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s States with the Most Racial Progress.

Click to see full list

To measure America’s progress in harmonizing racial groups, WalletHub’s analysts measured the gaps between blacks and whites in 16 key indicators of equality and integration for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data set ranges from “median annual income ” to “standardized test scores” to “voter turnout.”

This report examines the differences between only blacks and whites in light of the high-profile police-brutality incidents that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement to end segregation and discrimination against blacks.

Racial Integration* in Hawaii (1=Most Integrated, 25=Avg.)

  • 1st – Median Annual Income Gap
  • 2nd – Labor-Force Participation Rate Gap
  • 7th – Unemployment Rate Gap
  • 23rd – Homeownership Rate Gap
  • 1st – Poverty Rate Gap
  • 1st – Business Ownership Rate Gap
  • 1st – Gap in % of Residents with at Least a High School Diploma
  • 1st – Standardized-Test Scores Gap

*All of the above comparisons refer to the gaps between whites and blacks, according to the most recent available data.

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-most-and-least-racial-progress/18428/

Hawaii Women’s March: January 21, Day After Inauguration

The day after the inauguration of the new President of the United States, Hawaii, other states and at least seven countries will hold marches in solidarity with the Women’s March at the Capitol in Washington D.C. These non-partisan events are focused on the protection of women’s rights, safety, health and families. In Hawaii, there will be five marches: on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and two on Hawaii Island (Hilo and Kona). Several thousand are expected at the Oahu March.

The marches on the Hawaiian Islands will be the closing events for those across the United States. Families, friends and allies interested in supporting human rights and social justice will take part.

WHO: All Hawaii residents and visitors are invited to participate
WHEN: January 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m. March start 10 a.m.
WHERE: Hawaii State Capitol (Ewa side), 415 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu. Rally to follow. Brown bag lunch. Download march route map.

“We are sending a message to the new administration on its first day in office,” said Amy Monk, Oahu Womens March co-chair. “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized and threatened many of us. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear. We will move forward in solidarity with all individuals, our partners, and our allies who are committed to empowering women and strengthening communities.”

Participating organizations: AF3IRM, Ceeds of Peace, Friends of Hawaii Commission on the Status of Women, Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights, Hawaii State AFL-CIO, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, Pretty Peacock Productions, Pride@Work-Hawaii, and The AiKea Movement of Unite Here! Local 5.

Co-chairs of Oahu Women’s March: Della Au Belatti, Khara Jabola, Amy M onk, Essence Malaya Jane Kaiulani Sylvester, Morgen Trube, and Elizabeth “Annie” Valentin. Additional co-chairs to be announced.

Route for the march: Start on the Ewa grounds of the State Capitol along Richards Street, left onto South King Street, left up Alapai Street, left onto South Beretania Street, and ending in the Capitol Rotunda.

Donations for O‘ahu’s Women’s March can be made: https://womensmarchoahu.wordpress.com/support/

If your group or organization would like to participate in the march as a team, please contact co-chair Amy Monk at amonk20@yahoo.com.

If your group or organization would like to have a table or participate in the rally program, please contact co-chair Della Au Belatti at Honoluluwomensmarch@gmail.com.

For more information about how to support or participate in the Women’s Marches in Hawaii, please email Honoluluwomensmarch@gmail.com.

The Women’s March movement began when Teresa Shook of Maui took to Facebook the night after the election and began inviting friends to join her in a march on Washington. She awoke the next day to more than 40,000 people expressing interest in the event.

Call for Applications for the Water Security Advisory Group

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is accepting applications for membership on the Water Security Advisory Group established in Act 172, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016. The Chairperson of DLNR will review the applications and select individuals that are deemed qualified to serve on the Water Security Advisory Group per the requirements of Act 172.

hb2040Act 172 requires that members of the Water Security Advisory Group be comprised of the manager and chief engineer of the board of water supply of each county or their designee, the deputy director for water resource management of the DLNR, and the following individuals:

  1. A member with knowledge of agricultural water storage and delivery systems;
  2. A member of a private landowning entity that actively partners with a watershed partnership;
  3. A member with knowledge, experience, and expertise in the area of Hawaiian cultural practices; and
  4. A member representing a conservation organization.

The Water Security Advisory Group shall advise the DLNR on the priority of all proposals for projects or programs submitted by public or private agencies or organizations to increase water security in the State and recommend high-priority programs for the award of matching funds established through Act 172.

Water Security Advisory Group members shall serve without compensation until June 30, 2018.

Interested persons are encouraged to submit a resume, cover letter, and 3 letters of reference that outline the applicant’s qualifications to serve on the Water Security Advisory Group.

Applications and resumes should be postmarked no later than December 23, 2016 and may be sent to:

Water Security Advisory Group

Commission on Water Resource Management

1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 227

Honolulu, HI 96813

Act 172 may be viewed or downloaded at:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/GM1274_.PDF

Eight Big Island Police Officers Honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Eight Big Island police officers were honored this week by Mothers Against Drunk Driving-Hawaiʻi, in cooperation with Big Island Toyota, for their efforts and dedication this year to the fight against drunk and drugged driving.

Chief Harry Kubojiri congratulates East Hawaiʻi Officers Gregg Karonis, Bryson Miyose, Jacob Obermiller and Erhard Autrata.

Chief Harry Kubojiri congratulates East Hawaiʻi Officers Gregg Karonis, Bryson Miyose, Jacob Obermiller and Erhard Autrata.

On Monday (November 21) four East Hawaiʻi officers were honored at a luncheon at the Hilo Yacht Club. They were Hāmākua Patrol Officer Gregg Karonis for four DUI arrests, Puna Patrol Officer Bryson Miyose for 22 DUI arrests, South Hilo Patrol Officer Jacob Obermiller for 25 DUI arrests and Area I Traffic Enforcement Unit Officer Erhard Autrata for 43 DUI arrests.

Major Mitchell Kanehailua congratulates West Hawaiʻi Officers Adam Roberg, Kimo Keliipaakaua, Chandler Nacino and Severo Ines.

Major Mitchell Kanehailua congratulates West Hawaiʻi Officers Adam Roberg, Kimo Keliipaakaua, Chandler Nacino and Severo Ines.

On Tuesday (November 22) four West Hawaiʻi officers were honored at a luncheon at Fumi’s Kitchen in Kailua-Kona. They were South Kohala Patrol Officer Severo Ines for five DUI arrests, Kona Patrol Officer Chandler Nacino for 12 DUI arrests, Kona Patrol Officer Adam Roberg for 21 DUI arrests and Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua for 24 DUI arrests.

This year, MADD-Hawaiʻi, co-sponsored by Servco Pacific/Toyota Hawaii, reinstated their police recognition awards by recognizing officers throughout the state for their efforts to reduce deaths and injuries on our roadways from impaired drivers.

Island Air Increasing Checked Baggage Fees

Starting Tuesday, November 15, Island Air customers who are not enrolled in the airline’s Island Miles program will see an increase of $10 in their checked baggage fees.

island-airThe new baggage fees for non-members will be $25 for the first checked bag, $35 for the second checked bag, and $35 for each additional checked bag. For Island Miles members, fees will be $15 for the first bag, $20 for the second bag and $35 for each additional bag.

  Tickets Issued on or before November 14 Tickets Issued on or after November 15
Non-members
Tickets Issued on or after November 15
Island Miles Members
Carry On  Free Free Free
1st Checked Bag  $15 $25 $15
2nd Checked Bag  $25 $35 $20
Additional checked bag  $35 $35 $35

To become an Island Miles member, visit www.islandair.com/island-miles. Island Miles members can enjoy benefits such as mileage rewards, fast rewards, flexible rewards, sharable rewards, lower baggage fees and priority boarding. There is no cost to join the Island Miles program and members will also receive monthly email updates on specials and promotions.

For more information, visit www.islandair.com or call (800) 388-1105.

About Island Air

Island Air is the value leader in the Hawaiian Islands, offering 238 convenient flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island. The affordable alternative for interisland travel, Island Air’s 64-seat ATR-72 aircraft are able to provide captivating aerial views of Hawai‘i’s remarkable landscapes. Founded in 1980 as Princeville Airways, the company was renamed Island Air in 1992 and has been proudly serving the islands of Hawai‘i for more than 35 years.

For more information about Island Air or to make a reservation, visit www.islandair.com or call (800) 652-6541. Let us know how we are doing on Yelp or TripAdvisor or just stay connected by liking Island Air on Facebook at www.facebook.com/islandairhawaii, or follow @IslandAirHawaii on Twitter and @IslandAir_Hawaii on Instagram.

West Hawaii Forum – Hawaii’s Climate Change Challenge

How prepared is Hawai’i for the climate changes now underway that affect our daily lives?climate-changeSea level rise, super storms, flooding of shoreline and low lying island areas, erratic and decreasing trade winds, declining rainfall, warming temperatures with agricultural consequences, impacts to Hawaii’s marine ecosystem and fisheries; and the list of impacts goes on.

Don’t miss this all important November 17th forum from 6pm – 8pm at the West Hawaii Civic Center, Council Chambers. For more details visit: http://www.westhawaiiforum.org/event/hawaiis‐climate‐change‐challenge/

Forum Presenters

  • Bruce S. Anderson, PhD., DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) Administrator
  • Henry Curtis, Executive Director, Life of the Land
  • Abby G. Frazier, Ph.D., Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (PICSC)
  • Scott Glenn, AICP, Director, State of Hawaiʻi Office of Environmental Quality Control

Forum Moderator

  • Bill Bugbee, Director, Community Enterprises

Join the Community on Thursday, November 17th, as experts explain the challenges that Climate Change poses and the near-term actions Hawai’i County and the state may take.

3.7 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake struck the Volcano area of the Big Island today.

37-volcanoThis follows the 3.6 magnitude earthquake that shook the same area of the Big Island yesterday.

Hawaii State Judiciary Celebrates Pro Bono Week

The National Pro Bono Week Celebration, from October 23- 29,  focuses attention on the legal work that lawyers do free of charge to increase access to justice for all.  The Hawaii State Judiciary has been ranked among the top three states in the country for access to justice initiatives and volunteer attorneys play a critical role by assisting individuals who cannot afford an attorney.

judiciaryOne way that attorneys volunteer is through the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Access to Justice Rooms and Self-Help centers in courthouses statewide.  Since January of this year, more than 2,600 people have been assisted with civil legal issues thanks to the work of these volunteer attorneys.

“Many individuals in our community have critical questions about how to better navigate the legal system,” said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald.  “For example, how to request a temporary restraining order, address landlord-tenant disputes, or handle issues impacting their family like adoption, child custody, and divorce.  These volunteer attorneys provide Hawaii residents with a great service by sharing their time, expertise, and professionalism.”

To thank the volunteer attorneys, the Hawaii State Judiciary will be participating in series of events planned during National Pro Bono Week and through the duration of the year:

Monday, October 24, 2016- Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (VLSH) launched a new service called “Hawaii Online Pro bono,” and is part of the American Bar Association Free Legal Answers national project.  Hawaii Online Pro bono (HOP) allows income-qualifying residents to simply register and post a question on a secured website (Hawaii.Freelegalanswers.org) where it will be reviewed and responded to by a volunteer attorney who is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association.

“The goal of HOP is to provide an additional tool for individuals who cannot afford an attorney,” said Michelle Acosta, Executive Director of VLSH. “This free service enhances options for rural residents to ‘HOP’ on to the website anytime to seek answers to basic legal questions and get high quality responses that will help them better understand their situation and assess their options.”

VLSH hopes that the public will take advantage of this free service and is also encouraging more local lawyers to volunteer.  All interested attorneys should contact VLSH.  Once registered, attorneys can “HOP” on anytime, login from anywhere, choose a question to respond to, and then research and write the answer.

“We applaud Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii for its efforts on making this service available at our fingertips, for lawyers and the public alike,” said Justice Simeon R. Acoba, Access to Justice Commission Chair.  “The practice of law is a magnificent privilege, one that is meant to be rendered for the betterment of all – especially the needy and disadvantaged who are often the most underrepresented.  We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our civil legal service providers and volunteer attorneys and are grateful for this week to recognize their contributions to our community.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 (MAUI) – Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald attended a Maui County Bar Association Luncheon to thank the attorneys who volunteer at the Self-Help Center at Hoapili Hale.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 4:00pm- The Hawaii State Judiciary will be honoring volunteer attorneys at the 2016 Pro Bono Celebration at the Hawaii Supreme Court Courtroom.  The Pro Bono Celebration is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission with the support of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and the Hawai‘i State Bar Foundation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 (KAUAI) – Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald will be attending a Kauai Bar Association Coffee Hour to thank the attorneys who volunteer at the Self Help Center at the Puuhonua Kaulike Building (the Kauai Judiciary Complex).

Friday, December 2, 2016 (HILO, HAWAII ISLAND) – Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald will be attending a Hawaii County Bar Association Luncheon to thank the attorneys who volunteer at the Self-Help Center at Hale Kaulike (Hilo Circuit Court).

Friday, December 9, 2016 (KONA, HAWAII ISLAND) – Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald will be attending a West Hawaii Bar Association Luncheon to thank the volunteer attorneys who volunteer at the Self-Help Center at the Keakealani Building (Kona Circuit Court).

For more information about the Self-Help Centers and Access to Justice Rooms, please visit the Hawaii State Judiciary’s website at www.courts.state.hi.us.  To request photos or more information on any of these scheduled events, please contact the Communications & Community Relations Office at 539-4909.

3.6 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of the Big Island

A 3.4 3,6 (updated) magnitude earthquake shook the Volcano area of the Big Island at 10:37 this morning.

34-volcano-1026No tsunami was generated from this quake and no damage has been reported.

Kids Halloween Party Moved to Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it has moved the Halloween Hilo Kids Party from Pana‘ewa Park to Edith Kanaka‘ole Multi-Purpose Stadium located at 350 Kalanikoa Street in Hilo.

halloween-partyOpen to all ages, the free event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 31.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the venue change might cause and thanks the public for its understanding to utilize a different venue with more parking to accommodate the large number of participants.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or Jason.Armstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Flash Flood Warning for the Big Island

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HONOLULU HAS ISSUED A FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR THE ISLAND OF HAWAII IN HAWAII COUNTY UNTIL 8:00 PM HST.

Flash Flood WarningAT 4:52 PM HST…RADAR AND RAIN GAGES INDICATED THAT HEAVY RAIN IS  PERSISTING OVER THE SLOPES IN THE SOUTH KOHALA AND NORTH KONA  DISTRICTS. GULCHES CROSSING HIGHWAY 190 BETWEEN PUUANAHULU AND WAIMEA WERE AT RISK OF OVERFLOWING. SOME OF THESE GULCHES ALSO  FLOW NEAR WAIKOLOA VILLAGE AND INTO PUAKO. RAINFALL MAY CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL MORE HOURS.

LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  • WAIKOLOA VILLAGE
  • PUAKO
  • PUUANAHULU
  • POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA
  • POHAKULOA CAMP
  • WAIKII
  • MAUNA LANI
  • WAIKOLOA BEACH

THIS WARNING MAY NEED TO BE EXTENDED BEYOND 8:00 PM HST IF HEAVY RAIN PERSISTS.  THIS FLASH FLOOD WARNING REPLACES THE PREVIOUSLY ISSUED FLOOD ADVISORY THAT WAS IN EFFECT FOR PORTIONS OF THE ISLAND OF HAWAII IN HAWAII COUNTY

Vacation, Leave/Comp Time Urged for State Employees in Anticipation Obama Traffic

Gov. David Ige is urging state department directors to be liberal in granting state employees vacation, leave and compensatory time to leave work early Wednesday afternoon.

President Barack Obama's motorcade leaves his rental home, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, in Kailua, Hawaii, en route to the gym, during the Obama family vacation. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Barack Obama’s motorcade leaves his rental home, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, in Kailua, Hawaii, en route to the gym, during the Obama family vacation. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Barack Obama’s arrival in Honolulu on Aug. 31, will result in significant closures of major thoroughfares and surface streets in the later afternoon and early evening, as the president is transported to scheduled engagements related to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress.

The governor is asking directors to grant vacation, leave and compensatory time as operations permit, to relieve traffic congestion on O‘ahu’s roadways and to allow thousands of state workers to meet their family commitments.

All state offices will remain open during regular business hours.

Hawai‘i Awarded Nearly $4 Million in Federal Grants to Study Alternative Transportation Funding Methods

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded $3.998 million in competitive grant funding to the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) as part of the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program. The grant will allow the HDOT Highways Division to study and explore alternative methods of funding state and county transportation systems in the future.

Surface Transportation“Trends toward more fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars have a significant impact on transportation funding in Hawaiʻi because of our current reliance on the gas tax as a transportation funding mechanism,” said Gov. David Ige. “While I encourage the move away from fossil fuels as part of our commitment to a clean energy future, the resulting lower consumption reduces the funds available for highways projects. Moving forward, we need to explore new ways to fund our state highway system. We are thankful for FHWA’s commitment to help Hawaiʻi confront this challenge.”

HDOT Highways Division plans to use the $3.998 million grant to study alternatives to the gas tax by working with county and state officials and stakeholders to design new systems to obtain highways funding. These systems will then be tested with Hawaiʻi residents and visitors. One example of an alternative funding mechanism is road maintenance fees based on the number of miles driven, similar to how electric or water utilities are metered.

“Our goal is to design a system for highways funding that is fair, transparent, and easy to use for the public,” said Ford Fuchigami, director, Hawai‘i Department of Transportation. “We will continue to work toward creating a sustainable funding source for the many projects we have, to address the care and maintenance of Hawaiʻi roads.”

Dwindling gas tax revenues is a national problem. Congress created the grant program so that states can study alternatives that will help the federal government restore solvency to the Federal Highway Trust Fund. For Federal Fiscal Year 2016, a total of $15 million in STSFA funds were granted to states on a competitive basis.