Lieutenant Governor Tsutsui’s New Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge Initiative

At a press conference held at 10:00 a.m. today, Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui announced his plan to develop a new initiative geared towards enhancing the learning experience of intermediate and middle school students throughout the State.

“The Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge will endeavor to provide a comprehensive social and educational foundation that will enrich the lives of intermediate/middle school students throughout the State through exposure to a broad base of programs and activities, outside of regular instructional hours,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui.  “The scope of the program will span academic enrichment, arts and culture, and sports and will be designed to help prepare the students for high school, college, the workforce, their communities and beyond.”

Lt. Governor Tsutsui at the press Conference

Lt. Governor Tsutsui at the press Conference

Studies indicate that students between the grades of 6th and 8th are often left on their own during the hours immediately following the conclusion of school.  Furthermore, studies also show that crimes committed by or against juveniles occur with greater frequency on schools days and roughly between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Efforts to increase or improve school attendance, behavior and coursework have proved key indicators in whether a middle school student will graduate.  Keeping our keiki engaged in school and positive activities that will enhance their learning experience will help them succeed in school and in life.

“The Hawaii State Department of Education welcomes opportunities to work with community partners to provide enrichment activities for our middle-school students,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Department of Education.   “This is a significant time in a young person’s life, and initiatives such as this help our keiki stay in school and succeed.”

Effective and positive after-school programs provide not only an educational benefit to students but also a social value to the overall community by reducing juvenile crime.  The State has long focused on providing after-school programs to our State’s elementary and high school students; however, successful programs for intermediate/middle school students have been sporadic and decentralized.  In October 2012, the Department of Education (DOE) introduced the Intermediate Athletics Pilot program, to be piloted in the Zones of School Innovation (ZSI) in the Nanakuli-Waianae complex, and the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa complex on Hawaii Island.  Through partnership with generous community donors, the DOE introduced several sports for boys and girls last fall to several campuses.  All intermediate school athletes are required to maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) to participate.

While programs like these will make a difference in the lives of our students, because there is currently no comprehensive program to provide intermediate/middle schools with the support and guidance to implement these effective and positive after-school programs statewide, the Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge will work with the organizations currently utilizing successful platforms at the various intermediate/middle schools throughout the State, with the goal of bringing these programs under one umbrella organizational structure.

Board of Education member Keith Amemiya, Washington Middle School All-Stars member Macey Honjiyo, and Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi.

Board of Education member Keith Amemiya, Washington Middle School All-Stars member Macey Honjiyo, and Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi.

Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge will start immediately after-school and is intended to be a comprehensive and structured statewide program to fill the gap of youth activities available to students between the 6th and 8th grade.  Programs offered will be from three general categories—academic enrichment, arts and culture, and sports.  Currently, the majority of existing intermediate/middle school programs is supported by unpredictable federal funding, a more reliable source of funding would provide greater stability for the programs, as well as greater participation.  Accordingly, using a community based approach the program will seek to utilize available federal and state funds, while also partnering with the schools, parents and the private sector to provide funding and resources to facilitate the program’s success.   The partnership with these stakeholders will ensure that the after-school programs will be well established in their respective communities and will likely be financially viable for the long-term.

Program goals include:
·        Continuing the Department of Education’s vision of utilizing a school-community network approach to engage community-wide support and responsibility for our intermediate/middle school students’ education, health and well-being.
·        Providing students at all intermediate/middle schools within the State, the opportunity to participate in before- or after-school programs that will enrich and encourage student growth in academics, personal responsibility and maturity, creativity and the development of social skills.
·        Reducing the number of student dropouts by providing a seamless transition of after-school programs that promote student participation in school related functions from elementary through high school.
·        Providing health, fitness, educational and social enrichment opportunities to intermediate/middle school students.

Department of Health Clean Air Branch Issues Notices of Violations and Orders Against 5 Local Companies

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Air Branch has issued Notices of Violations and Orders against: Huapala Senior Care, R.H.S. Lee, Inc.; Island Commodities Corporation; Road and Highway Builders, LLC; and Kalealoa Partners, L.P. for air permit and pollution violations. The violations were either self-reported, or discovered during an inspection or records review.

Department of Health

The DOH Clean Air Branch (CAB) protects the people and environment of Hawaii by monitoring air quality and regulating businesses that release pollutants into the air.

CAB reviews and approves air permits, evaluates and enforces state and federal air standards, conducts inspections, and investigates reported incidents related to outdoor air quality.

Through the air permit process, the DOH ensures companies comply with state and federal emission standards to minimize air pollution impacts on the public.

In general, penalties are assessed on violators to remove any economic benefit they may have gained from their noncompliance and put them in a worse situation than those who comply with the law.

All fines are paid into a revolving special fund used to prevent or minimize damage to the environment.

Parties have the right to request a hearing to contest DOH orders.

The following companies were cited:

1. Huapala Senior Care (Huapala), for visible fugitive dust generated without reasonable precautions being taken on February 11, 2012. Huapala is building a care home facility at 2649 Huapala Street, Oahu and a penalty of $2,500 has been paid for the violation

2. R.H.S. Lee, Inc., for failing to conduct a 2001 performance test on their crushing and screening plants. RHS Lee operates a 250 ton per hour Extec impact crushing plant and a 280 ton per hour screening plant at various locations on Oahu.  A penalty of $3,100 has been paid for the violation.

3. Island Commodities Corporation (ICC), for various air permit violations discovered during an annual inspect ion conducted on July 20, 2012. ICC operates a meat rendering plant located at 91-269 Olai Street, Campbell Industrial Park, Oahu.  A penalty of $3,500 has been assessedfor the violations and a consent order is being negotiated.

4. Road and Highway Builders, LLC (RHB), for failing to take reasonable precautions to control fugitive dust from their asphalt plant on June 6, 2012.   RHB operates a 400 ton per hour portable drum mix asphalt plant in Campbell Industrial Park, Oahu.  The violation was discovered by DOH staff during an unrelated surveillance near the facility and a penalty of $4,800 has been paid for the violation.

5. Kalaeloa Partners, L.P. (KP), for exceeding their particulate matter 3-hour rolling average permit limit of 80 pounds per hour. On May 11, 2012, KP conducted their test on the combustion turbine #1 and the particulate matter 3-hour rolling average was 93 pounds per hour.  The exceedence was self-reported and a penalty of $2,900 has been paid for the violation

American Cancer Society Announces 100th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser

The American Cancer Society – Hawai’i Island announced today that it will hold “Hope Gala – Hawaii” on March 30, 2013, at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Kohala Coast, in celebration of the organization’s 100th birthday. The event will raise funds to save more lives through local patient programs and services, cutting-edge research, education and advocacy.

Hope Gala

“We all know someone whose life has been touched by cancer,” said Maile Lincoln-Carvalho, Community Manager of Income Development, ACS-Hawaii Island. “We also know how much courage, strength and determination it takes to deal with this disease. Hope Gala – Hawaii celebrates not only our century-long fight to cure cancer but the indomitable spirit of those who have struggled to survive it.”

Hope Gala – Hawaii is planned as a “Hawaii-elegant” evening of dining, entertainment, a silent and live auction, fun-filled mystery gift boxes and recognition of special donors and sponsors who support local patient programs and services on Hawaii Island. Most importantly, however, it will honor the lives of survivors and the memory of those who have succumbed to the disease.

Starting February 15, individual tickets ($100 per person) and reserved tables for 10 ($1,250) may be purchased by calling the ACS-Hawaii Office at 808-935-0025. Individual and corporate sponsorships and auction items are welcomed.

For more information about the event or sponsorship details, please contact Maile Lincoln-Carvalho at 808-895-3168 or at

Hawaii State Senate Encouraging Citizens to Get Informed, Get Involved and Get Connected

The Hawaii State Senate is encouraging citizens to continuously get informed, get involved and get connected.


There are many resources available on the web that citizens can access right at their fingertips.

Social Media

Get connected with the Senate and Senate Majority on our various Social Media platforms including: Majority Caucus Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube. Some of the platforms you can connect with the Senate include:

Twitter: The Hawaii Senate currently has five Twitter accounts: @HawaiiSenate and four Committee Twitter accounts; @HI_Senate_TEC, @HI_Senate_CPN, @HI_Senate_WAM, and @HI_Senate_EDU.  To follow any or all of the Hawaii Senate twitter accounts, simply go to the specified account and click the “Follow.”

Hawaii Senate Majority Facebook “Like” Page: The Hawaii Senate Majority Facebook page is open to the public and features the work of the Senate Majority and its members. The page includes photos, videos, press releases, and more. You can view the Majority Facebook page at:

Hawaii Senate Majority Website: A link to the Hawaii Senate Majority Caucus website ( can be found on the Senate page of the Hawaii State Legislature’s website.   You can stay abreast of Senate Majority messages, press releases, and activities.

Official Senator Accounts: You may have noticed social media icons next to a handful of Senators’ photos on the member selection page of the Hawaii Senate Website as well as their member page. These members are among the first Senators to have official Senator social media accounts.

Other Information Venues

Hawaii State Legislature’s Website: The Hawaii State Legislature’s website ( is the key portal for those wishing to get informed and involved in the legislative process.  Some of the information and features of the site include: contact information for current members of the Senate and House of Representatives, bill and resolution text and current status information, a list of upcoming committee hearings, informational briefings, status updates of bills, resolutions, committee reports, vetoes, acts, and other documents. There is also a way to submit testimony online.

Public Access Room: The Legislature’s Public Access Room (PAR) is located on the fourth floor of the State Capitol, with knowledgeable and friendly staff to assist and educate citizens about participating in the legislative process.  Staff assistance is available in person (Room 401, State Capitol Building), by phone (808) 587-0478, and by email (


Hawaii County Department of Public Works Notifications

Mooheau Park

South Hilo: Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal parking lot closed Monday & Tuesday, March 18-19

The County of Hawai‘i, Department of Public Works, Traffic Division staff will stripe the parking lot at the  Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal on Monday and Tuesday.  They will close the parking lot late Sunday night in preparation for the roadwork.  The parking lot will remain closed until Tuesday at 5:00 PM, when it reopens.

Resurfacing Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal and the parking lot is scheduled for completion Friday, March 15.  The parking lot will open Friday after 5:00 PM and remain open Saturday, closing late Sunday night.

Kona: Trees trimming along Māmalahoa Highway March 18-22

The County of Hawai‘i Highway Maintenance Division  staff will trim trees in North and South Kona along Māmalahoa Highway beginning Monday, March 18 through Friday, March 22.

Alternating lane closures between the hours of 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM., begin at St John’s Church Rd in Kealakekua, in South Kona and end in Honalo, North Kona.

Motorists are asked to use the Māmalahoa Bypass Highway to avoid delays in Kainaliu and Honalo.

Roadwork is weather permitting.


Councilman Ilagan’s Statement About Yesterday’s Puna Geothermal Venture Steam Release

At approximately 4 p.m. on March 13, Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), tripped off line and experienced a steam release. The steam was released through the plant’s Emergency Steam Release System, which abates hydrogen sulfide emissions.


Council Member Greggor Ilagan of District 4, went directly from Hilo’s County Council Meeting to the PGV site in Puna Wednesday afternoon. Council Member Ilagan discussed the plant’s steam release with staff of PGV, which included Operation Manager, William E. Wiebe, and Plant Manager Cliff Townsend.

“Everyone worked together quickly and effectively. PGV’s safety mechanisms were put into action immediately, the public was notified, and the appropriate authorities took action. I feel it’s better to be overly cautious than unprepared” said Council Member Ilagan.

PGV staff monitored the facility and surrounding area throughout the late afternoon and into the evening. The Fire Department’s personnel also assisted in these efforts. “Everything went well…precautionary procedures were implemented early on. The community did a great job. Those that were concerned chose to leave and seek information,” said Darryl Oliveira, Director of Civil Defense.

The Pahoa Community Center, with direction from the Department of Parks and Recreation, opened their doors for those who preferred to remain outside of the area. According to Ken Nagasawa, Director of the Pahoa Community Center, “just one” couple arrived in the evening after the center had been notified to “stand down,” at approximately 6:45 p.m.

The Hawaiian Electric Light Company (HELCO), released a statement at 6:45 p.m. on March 13, which explained that power to 20,095 customers in the Waikoloa, Waika, Kailua, Kaloko, Captain Cook, Kuakini, Waiakea Uka and lower Puna, which included the PGV plant, was interrupted when HELCO’s transmission line tripped open. The PGV plant tripped off line following HELCO’s power interruption. HELCO continues to investigate the exact cause of the event.

“I’d like to thank Civil Defense, Fire Department, Department of Parks and Recreation, and staff of the Pahoa Community Center for their swift execution of contingency plans.” Council Member Ilagan continued, “To the residents of Puna and Hawai’i County, thank you for maintaining calm with Aloha, during this event.”


Free Presentation – The Changing Face of Healthcare

Improving the Doctor-Patient Relationship on the Big Island using Cozeva

A free opportunity to learn about Cozeva—a new patient-doctor communication system being used in doctors’ offices throughout Hawaii–is taking place at Tutu’s House in Waimea, the next in a series of lectures offered by the Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC).

Tutus House

Tutus House

On Wednesday, March 27, from 6:30-7:30 pm, , the focus on the changing face of healthcare in Hawaii will look at Cozeva, a new way of engaging patients in their own healthcare.  Scott Nakagawa, Program Manager, will demonstrate how a free online service, Cozeva, can help individuals and families improve their healthcare. “It’s so important that we understand how the healthcare environment is changing and the various elements that are falling into place to support the wellness of ourselves and those we care about,” Nakagawa said.

Attendees can sign up using computers at Tutu’s House or bring a smart phone or laptop computer with them, to get one-on-one training in using Cozeva for themselves or their family.

“Throughout Hawaii Island, health care providers have been changing their practices to improve the quality of health care available to us all.  You have a role to play in this evolution and understanding your role can help you reap the benefits,” said Tutu’s House spokeswoman, Michelle Medeiros.

[HIBC was formed in connection with a Federal grant awarded to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, with a mission to improve healthcare in Hawaii County using health information technology. To learn more about HIBC, visit its website,]