Little Shop of Horrors at the Hilo Palace Theater

Little Shop of Horrors at the Hilo Palace Theater

The White House – “The American Jobs Act: Impact for Hawaii”

Click banner to read the bill

The American people understand that the economic crisis and the deep recession weren’t created overnight and won’t be solved overnight. The economic security of the middle class has been under attack for decades. That’s why President Obama believes we need to do more than just recover from this economic crisis – we need to rebuild the economy the American way, based on balance, fairness, and the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street. We can work together to create the jobs of the future by helping small business entrepreneurs, by investing in education, and by making things the world buys. The President understands that to restore an American economy that’s built to last we cannot afford to outsource American jobs and encourage reckless financial deals that put middle class security at risk.

American Jobs Act

To create jobs, the President unveiled the American Jobs Act – nearly all of which is made up of ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans, and that Congress should pass right away to get the economy moving now. The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. And it would do so without adding a dime to the deficit.

The American Jobs Act has five components:

1. Tax Cuts to Help America’s Small Businesses Hire and Grow

  • The President’s plan will cut the payroll tax in half to 3.1% for employers on the first $5 million in wages, providing broad tax relief to all businesses but targeting it to the 98 percent of firms with wages below this level. In Hawaii, 30,000 firms will receive a payroll tax cut under the American Jobs Act.

2. Putting Workers Back on the Job While Rebuilding and Modernizing America

  • The President’s plan includes $50 billion in immediate investments for highways, transit, rail and aviation, helping to modernize an infrastructure that now receives a grade of “D” from the American Society of Civil Engineers and putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job. Of the investments for highway and transit modernization projects, the President’s plan will make immediate investments of at least $174,900,000 in Hawaii that could support a minimum of approximately 2,300 local jobs.
  • The President is proposing to invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more and keeping cops and firefighters on the job. These funds would help states and localities avoid and reverse layoffs now, and will provide $122,300,000 in funds to Hawaii to support up to 1,500 educator and first responder jobs.
  • The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st century needs. Hawaii will receive $82,200,000 in funding to support as many as 1,100 jobs.
  • The President is proposing to invest $15 billion in a national effort to put construction workers on the job rehabilitating and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses. Hawaii could receive about $20,000,000 to revitalize and refurbish local communities, in addition to funds that would be available through a competitive application.
  • The President’s plan proposes $5 billion of investments for facilities modernization needs at community colleges. Investment in modernizing community colleges fills a key resource gap, and ensures these local, bedrock education institutions have the facilities and equipment to address current workforce demands in today’s highly technical and growing fields. Hawaii could receive $18,900,000 in funding in the next fiscal year for its community colleges.

3. Pathways Back to Work for Americans Looking for Jobs

  • Drawing on the best ideas of both parties and the most innovative states, the President is proposing the most sweeping reforms to the unemployment insurance (UI) system in 40 years help those without jobs transition to the workplace. This could help put the 17,000 long-term unemployed workers in Hawaii back to work.
  • Alongside these reforms, the President is reiterating his call to extend unemployment insurance, preventing 2,800 people looking for work in Hawaii from losing their benefits in just the first 6 weeks. And, across the country, the number saved from losing benefits would triple by the end of the year.
  • The President is proposing a new Pathways Back to Work Fund to provide hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults with opportunities to work and to achieve needed training in growth industries. Pathways Back to Work could place 400 adults and 1,000 youths in jobs in Hawaii.

4. Tax Relief for Every American Worker and Family

  • The President’s plan will expand the payroll tax cut passed last December by cutting workers payroll taxes in half next year. A typical household in Hawaii, with a median income of around $56,000, will receive a tax cut of around $1,740.

5. Fully Paid for as Part of the President’s Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan

  • To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target. The President will, in the coming days, release a detailed plan that will show how we can do that while achieving the additional deficit reduction necessary to meet the President’s broader goal of stabilizing our debt as a share of the economy.

Mayor Kenoi at the Counties of Hawaii Sister Cities Summit

Hawaii’s four counties hosted a sister-cities summit last week over on Oahu, bringing together Hawaii’s sister-city partners from around the world to discuss collaborative opportunities in economic development, clean energy, international trade, business, educational exchange and cross-cultural understanding.

The Counties of Hawaii

The Sister-Cities Summit is being held in conjunction with the 2011 Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo (APCESE). 

Sister Cities Summit (Darryl Watanabe Photography)

Like Hawaii’s four counties, many of the visiting sister-cities are focused on reducing their dependence on oil and creating clean-energy economies. 

Sister Cities Summit (Darryl Watanabe Photography)

Mayor Kenoi at the Sister Cities Summit (Darryl Watanabe Photography)

APCESE will provide visiting sister-cities delegates with opportunities to learn about the ambitious and innovative clean-energy initiatives underway in Hawaii as well as to establish partnerships with Hawaii businesses and government agencies to collaborate on clean-energy generation and smart-grid infrastructure development.

Sister Cities Summit (Darryl Watanabe Photography)

Sister Cities Summit (Darryl Watanabe Photography)

These sister-city relationships being acknowledged are an internationally accepted standard upon which closer economic, business and cultural exchanges between two foreign cities are promoted.



Delegates at the Sister Cities Conference (Photo by Darryl Watanabe)

Delegates at the Sister Cities Conference (Photo by Darryl Watanabe)

The City & County of Honolulu, County of Hawaii, County of Kauai, County of Maui welcome the visiting delegations:

  • Baguio, Philippines
  • Chengdu, China
  • Ehime Prefecture, Japan
  • Goyang, South Korea
  • Haikou, China
  • Incheon, South Korea
  • Iwaki City, Japan
  • Laoag City, Philippines
  • Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
  • Nagaoka City, Japan
  • Ormoc City, Philippines
  • Rabat, Morocco
  • Zhongshan, China
  • *Observers from Taiwan
Sister Cities Summit (Photo by Darryl Wattanabe)

Sister Cities Summit (Photo by Darryl Wattanabe)

Topics on the agenda are not only relevant to this global movement but vital to businesses and organizations with an interest in the transformation to a clean energy future such as:

  • International and domestic public policy affecting the renewable energy field
  • Outlook of market demand for renewable energy technology domestically and in the Asia Pacific region
  • Emerging industry development, economics, and competition of renewable energy projects in a global economy
  • Latest in renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency developments including market demand projections
  • Financing and investment opportunities
  • Expo and tradeshow showcasing clean energy technologies, equipment, services
Mayor Kenoi at the Sister Cities Summit (Darryl Watanabe Photography)

Mayor Kenoi Gives a Shaka at the Sister Cities Summit (Darryl Watanabe Photography)

Lt. Governor Brian Schatz as Acting Governor Releases Statement on President Obamas Deficit Reduction Plan

Today, President Obama unveiled his plan to further reduce the nation’s deficit in addition to the American Jobs Act. Some of the potential impact from the American Jobs Act on Hawai’i includes:

  • 30,000 small businesses to receive a payroll tax cut
  • $174.9 million for highway and transit modernization projects for about 2,300 local jobs
  • $122.3 million to support 1,500 educator and first responder jobs
  • $82.2 million to improve school infrastructure that will support 1,100 jobs
  • 17,000 long-term unemployed workers to go back to work by reforming the unemployment insurance system

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, who is Acting Governor, today released the following statement:

“In Hawai’i, we share President Obama’s approach in his plan to reduce the nation’s deficit – getting people back to work by creating jobs and investing in our priorities, like education and healthcare, all while living within our means. It is clear that we need to all work together and do our part now to grow a sustainable economy for future generations.”

For more information on the American Jobs Act and the impact on Hawai’i, visit:


Ulu Questions Answered at Breadfruit Festival

Breadfruti Institute

Your questions about growing ‘Ulu (breadfruit) answered by Ian Cole, Collection Manager and Curator for the Breadfruit Institute:

  • What growing conditions are necessary to grow breadfruit? (Soil, light, space in the landscape, elevation)
  • What are the cultural needs of breadfruit? (pruning, fertilization, harvesting)
  • What are the main pests of breadfruit and their impact on the crop?

This workshop is part of an educational program about breadfruit leading up to the Breadfruit Festival 2011 on September 24.

Presentation by:  Ian Cole, Collection Manager and Curator for the Breadfruit Institute at Kahanu Garden in Hana, Maui, who will present an introduction to growing breadfruit in the home garden.

Cost: FREE

Sponsored by: West Hawaii Master Gardeners Assoc., UH Extension Agency, Hawai’ian Homegrown Food Network, & the Breadfruit Institute

Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and East Hawaii Receive Grants for Veterans Cemeteries

The State of Hawaii will receive a federal grant totaling $1,591,789 for veterans cemeteries on the neighbor islands announced Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), and Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) today.

East Hawaii Veterans Cemetery

East Hawaii Veterans Cemetery

“Our veterans dedicated their lives to serve our country in times of need.  Without their sacrifices, we would not be able to enjoy the rights and freedoms we do today.  We honor the actions of these brave men and women through the continued upkeep and preservation of these memorial parks,” said Senator Akaka, former Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Veterans Services have worked hard to ensure these cemeteries are worthy of those who rest there, and these funds will help them continue their important work.”

The funds will be used toward the expansion and improvement of the Kauai Veterans Cemetery, Lanai Veterans Cemetery, Molokai Veterans Cemetery, and East Hawaii Veterans Cemetery.

“I am very pleased that we continue to invest in the expansion, maintenance and appearance of these memorial parks that serve as the final resting place for our fallen heroes.  These parks provide families and loved ones a place to convene to honor the memory of our brave veterans.  Maintaining clean, safe, and dignified memorial parks for those brave enough to put on the uniform and defend our great nation is the very least we can do to honor their sacrifice,” said Senator Inouye.

“This funding helps us honor our veterans and their families for their years of service and sacrifice,” said Congresswoman Mazie Hirono. “Their final resting place should be a lasting tribute to the men and women who defended our country.”

UH Study – Maggots Heal Diabetes Wounds

Ok… UH Scientist discover another strange finding… maggots help cure diabetes:

Maggot therapy succeeded in healing the wounds of diabetic patients where modern medicine could not. This study showed the possible application of maggots as a remedy for severe ulcers, said a Bloomberg report.

Maggots help diabetes wounds

A Thai nurse removes a bag of maggots from a patient's wound at a hospital in Bangkok.

 According to Lawrence Eron, Associate Professor at the University of the Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu and author of the report, medical-grade fly larvae placed on the sores of diabetic patients helped close the wounds of 21 of the 27 patients. He added that some of the wounds have been open for five years…

More here: Study: Maggots Heal Diabetes Wounds

OCEANS 11 Conference Kicks Off at the Hilton Waikoloa Village

Hawai`i’s Big Island will be the site of the international OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona conference sponsored by the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and the Oceanic Engineering Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (OES/IEEE).

The Oceans 11 Conference

The theme for this year’s conference is Oceans of Opportunity: International Cooperation and Partnerships Across the Pacific. OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona will be held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawai`i, September 19-22, 2011. Conference registration is now open at

The conference is the major international forum for scientists, engineers, and responsible ocean users to present the latest research results, ideas, developments, and applications in Oceanic Engineering and Marine Technology. Hawai`i’s conference will feature tutorials on special interest topics, a comprehensive technical program of lectures and presentations, a student program, and a large oceans technology trade show with products from over 80 companies. Attendees will include a world-wide collection of experts in the field, educators, and students.

The last time Hawai`i hosted this conference was in 2001 in Honolulu, Hawai`i. More than 2,000 attendees are expected to participate this year, says Conference Chairperson and Director of the Hawai`i Undersea Research Laboratory at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, John Wiltshire, Ph.D. The conference committee has already received over 700 abstracts from around the world, the greatest number in the history of the conference. The conference is expected to pump about $5 million into the Big Island economy.

The Oceans 11 Conference

Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi is serving as an Honorary Co-Chair along with the Dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawai`i, Brian Taylor, Ph.D. “OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona focuses on ocean technology but we also cover a wide range of topics, including biological oceanography, aquaculture and marine geophysics,” says Dr. Wiltshire. “This year’s program emphasizes international  cooperation and includes a large number of Chinese presenters, as well as the bulk of the abstracts (94) from the International Symposium on Underwater Technology 2011 (UT11), which had to be cancelled because of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.” A complete list of abstract topics is available at

Among the Workshops offered include Local Tsunami Detection, Assesment and Warning Guidance with Donna Kocak and Eddie Bernard; LGEOSS Workshop XLII with Francoise Pearlman; and Partnerships Across the Pacific: Ocean Technology Collaborations with Government, Academia and Industry with Michael J. Larkin.


Makai side of the NEHLA plant

A special tour of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai`i Authority (NELHA) will be offered as an optional activity to conference attendees. At NELHA’s 870-acre site on the Big Island, various organizations explore opportunities for alternative energy production, solar-based energy techniques, aquaculture, marine biotechnology, and coldwater agriculture systems. NELHA is a sustainable, net-zero energy multi-use facility that engages in various distributed and renewable energy research, generation, development, demonstration, education, and outreach activities.

Exhibitors in the OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona trade show include leading ocean technology and engineering companies from around the world. For information on how your company can exhibit at OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona, contact Exhibits Chair, Ty Aldinger, at

Floor Plan

Nearly 100 organizations have already committed to participating the Kona event. According to Aldinger, “Hosting this event provides a unique opportunity for Hawai`i companies to showcase their expertise and technology to the industry leaders in ocean science and engineering. In addition to the obvious local recognition, it will certainly open the door to international sales opportunities.”

Tutorials in full and half-day presentations meant to complement the technical program of the OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona conference will be offered on a wide variety of oceanographic subject matter, from Hyperspectral Imaging to How to improve your Federal Proposals by understanding DoD Processes. Other tutorial subjects include: AUV Technology and Application Basics, Acoustic Seabed Classification with Multibeam and Sidescan Images, and Model Testing and Simulation Techniques for Wave Energy Converters, among others.

Tutorials are conducted under the auspices of the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and participants may be eligible for Continuing Education Certificates. For more information about the Tutorial program and associated fees to participate, e-mail

One of the missions of OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona is to foster and encourage participation by undergraduate and postgraduate engineering or science students enrolled in degree programs at accredited university or engineering schools around the world. Students are encouraged to attend the conference for the purpose of interacting with leading technical experts and to actively network for contacts for future employment opportunities.

The OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona Student Poster Competition has been a long-standing opportunity for students to be recognized by submitting a 500-800 word abstract. The posters are judged by experts in the respective fields, given awards and displayed during the conference. Students who were accepted for the Poster Program will receive a travel allowance, complimentary registration, and will have their work included in the IEEE Xplore digital library.

This year’s OCEANS conference will also host a free Educator’s day on Saturday, August 20, with full and half day curricula for upper elementary to high school teachers. Among the subjects offered to educators will be classes on how to teach a variety of ocean-related topics, including Corals and Climate Change, Sound in the Sea, Ocean Exploration, among others. Teachers interested in participating should register at:

Early-bird registration to attend OCEANS ’11 MTS/IEEE Kona is now being accepted through August 1, 2011. After August 1, rates increase. Registration is available in a variety of categories, from Life/Emeritus member to Student non-members with participant fees varying accordingly. Registration is also available for single day participation or the full conference from September 19-22, 2011. For complete conference registration information, visit the website at