Department of Education Releases Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) has announced its policy for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Copies of the policy are available at public schools.

Children from households with income at or below the following levels are eligible for free or reduced-price meals:

INCOME CHART:  Effective July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014 Income Chart for Free and Reduced Lunches

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out one application and return it to the school where the child is enrolled or complete an online application via Applications for the current school year (2013-2014) will be accepted beginning July 1, 2013. The application information will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials.

For the DOE to determine eligibility, households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) must list the child’s name, date of birth, grade, school code, SNAP or TANF case number, and the signature and name of an adult household member. Households not receiving SNAP or TANF must list: 1) the names of all household members; 2) the amount of income received by each person, how often the income is received and the source of the income; 3) the name and social security number of either parent/guardian who is the primary wage earner or the adult household member who signs the form or writes the word “none” if neither adult household member has a social security number; and 4) the signature of an adult household member.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, the DOE will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians may discuss a decision on an application with the reviewing official on an informal basis. Parents or guardians may also request a formal appeal hearing on a decision either orally or in writing to:

Name of Hearing Official: Glenna Owens, DOE School Food Services Director
Address: 1106 Koko Head Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816

Phone Number: (808) 733-8414 or toll-free 1-800-441-4845

In certain cases, foster children are also eligible for school meal benefits. Households wishing to apply for meal benefits on behalf of foster children should contact the school for more information.

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only to determine eligibility and verify data.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Big Island Police Searching for 15-Year-Old Kona Girl Missing Since May

The Hawai´i Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a 15-year-old Kona teen.

Reina Aldorasi

Reina Aldorasi

Reina Aldorasi was last seen on Monday (May 27, 2013) at about 2:55 p.m. in Kailua-Kona and may possibly be in the Hawaii Ocean View Estates.

Aldorasi is 5’04” tall, weighing about 115 pounds, with dark brown hair, and was last seen wearing gray sweat pants with “PHAT” letters in pink and a gray t-shirt with “KAU HIGH” in maroon letters going across the front and also having a black hoodie.

Police ask that anyone with information on Aldorasi’s whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Robert Sakata at 326-4646 ext. 276.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Governor Abercrombie Sends Notice of Intent to Veto 9 Bills

After reviewing 293 measures passed by the 2013 Hawaii State Legislature, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today notified legislators of his intent to veto nine bills.


As required by the State of Hawaii Constitution, the Governor must provide 10 working days’ notice for any measures that he may veto by July 9, 2013.  As such, these bills are still under consideration and further review.

“I greatly respect the legislative process and the work of individual legislators in forming public policy,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This past session resulted in meaningful measures that will ultimately benefit the people of Hawaii. However, there may be difficulty in implementing some of these bills as they are currently written, and there are other measures that require further consideration.”

The following bills are on the Governor’s intent-to-veto notice:

  • HB763 (Relating to the State Building Code)
  • SB1265 (Relating to Contracts)
  • HB619 (Relating to Feral Birds)
  • HB988 (Relating to Native Wildlife)
  • HB424 (Relating to Timeshare Conveyances)
  • HB654 (Relating to Nursing)
  • HB1130 (Relating to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation)
  • SB3 (Relating to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs)
  • SB68 (Relating to Sentencing)

Most of these bills are potentially objectionable because of concerns, raised by state departments or agencies, reflected in testimonies provided during the hearing process. The purpose of the notice is to allow sufficient time for the Governor to give additional consideration, have further discussions and inquiries, and conduct deeper analysis before he makes his final decision.

In addition, the Governor notified the Legislature of his plan to line-item veto SB909 (Relating to Making Appropriations for Collective Bargaining Cost Items). Specifically, the Governor will use his line-item authority to veto the funding of the bill associated with the rejected Bargaining Unit 13 settlement offer.

To date, Gov. Abercrombie has signed more than 172 measures into law. The Governor continues to review legislative bills that he must either veto or sign into law by July 9, 2013, or allow them to become law without his signature.


Saddle Road Resurfacing at the 9.4 – Mile Marker

The County of Hawaii will close and resurface the eastbound (Hilo bound) lane of Saddle Road at the 9.4-mile marker on Wednesday, June 26.    Saddle Road Closure

Special off duty officers will direct traffic during the roadwork scheduled to begin at 7:00 AM.  Roadwork is scheduled to end 3:30 PM, but may be extended to end later to complete the job in one day.

Kona Brewing Company Announces Summer Sweepstakes

Everyone’s got a summer bucket list, especially Kona beer fans, who will likely take their Kona brews to the beach, pool, hiking and paddling on their local lakes and rivers this summer. Starting on June 24, 2013, fans of Kona Brewing Company are invited to share their summer fun photos by posting them at the Kona Brewing Summer Bucket List sweepstakes. One grand prize winner will, in turn, be treated to an endless summer of bucket list activities in the surf, sun, and sand in Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Kona Bucket List

Click for more information

The Kona Brewing Summer Bucket List sweepstakes centers around a “bucket list” of activities where participants are encouraged to document summer activities photographically for the next ten weeks of summer. Each photo posted will result in one entry, so the more times entered, up to 10 total possible entries per person, the better the odds of winning. Participants are encouraged to post photos corresponding to the following summer dates and themes:

  • June 24            Water (sports) – One with the water
  • July 1            Music – Good vibrations
  • July 8             Barefeet – Barefootin’ off the beaten path
  • July 15             Relaxing – Stone cold chillin’
  • July 22            Food – Local Grinds
  • July 29            Happy Hour – Pau Hana
  • August 5            Sunset – Summer sunset
  • August 12            Hiking – Enjoying the wide open
  • August 19            Biking – Pedal power
  • August 26            Party – Party time

The grand prize winner will not only receive travel vouchers and six nights at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, but will also win a full bucket list of activities as part of the grand prize package. The winning package includes guided tours for snorkeling, hiking and cycling, tickets to the famous Island Breeze luau, a Body Glove sunset cruise, massage for two and of course, dinner and tour at Kona Brewing Company’s flagship brewery and pub.

“I think it’s cool that our Kona Summer Bucket List helps Kona’s mainland fans document their summer fun, and one lucky winner gets to experience what we get to do everyday here in Kona,” said company president Mattson Davis. “We know our fans are active and this bucket list sweepstakes is a simple and engaging way for them to capture and share their active pursuits. If summer finds you in a boat or on a board, post that photo. If you’re sharing beers at happy hour, enjoying the summer sun setting, or simply relaxing in your rubber slippers, capture it, post it and you’re entered to win. I’m stoked to see what our fans are doing this summer!”

Food Producers, Agricultural Educators Invited to Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Local food producers are invited to display and sample their product at the 18th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival on Friday, Oct. 4 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Mealani Sign

The state’s premiere ag showcase again offers an opportunity for Hawai‘i farmers, ranchers and food producers to hookup with attendees during the 6-8 p.m. Taste.

The Agriculture Festival provides a venue for food producers to present their products to participating chefs and attendees. The event is also open for agricultural and sustainability-themed organizations to present informational displays.

Producers and ag-related educational organizations interested in participating may contact Deanna Young at 808-747-7200 or The signup deadline is August 18.

Taste headlines 36 statewide chefs who dazzle diners using various cuts of forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of island fruits, vegetables and other farm products. Also on tap is a 3 p.m. culinary activity, “Grass Fed Beef Cooking 101,” presented by Hubert Des Marias, executive chef at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

Ticket info is available at or phone 808-969-8228. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Jeri Moniz at 808-960-8411 no later than Sept. 4. Follow Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Facebook or on Twitter, #TasteHI.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit

Governor Abercrombie Signs School Readiness Bill

Names New Early Learning Director for Implementation Phase

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed Senate Bill 1093, a significant first step to transform early education in Hawaii and ensure that all island keiki have access to preschool.

Governor Abercrombie Signs School Readiness Bill Names New Early Learning Director for Implementation Phase

Governor Abercrombie Signs School Readiness Bill
Names New Early Learning Director for Implementation Phase

“In my 2013 State of the State, I described any failure to address early learning development as one of our state’s greatest unfunded liabilities; this bill breaks from the status quo and provides our first down payment on ensuring Hawaii’s keiki are prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “No other piece of legislation this year was more important. I firmly believe that giving keiki a strong early childhood education foundation is the best, most effective way to empower their success in life.”

Gov. Abercrombie also announced the appointment of GG Weisenfed, Ed.D, as director of the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL). Weisenfeld will take over for Terry Lock, the state’s former early childhood coordinator who the Governor appointed as director when the office was first established. Lock has accepted a position with the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Education, where she will focus on the professional and leadership development of current and future early childhood educators.

“Terry joined my administration in 2011 and has been a steadfast leader for our youngest citizens,” the Governor said. “She and her team have made significant progress and established a strong foundation for early learning and development in Hawaii, including completing the strategic plan ‘Taking Action for Hawaii’s Children.’ As we enter this next phase of implementation, it means a great deal to me that Terry recommended GG to lead our efforts forward.”

A key component of the Governor’s legislative package, SB1093 (enacted as Act 151) establishes the Preschool Open Doors Program as the statewide school readiness program administered by the state Department of Human Services. The new voluntary program will provide access to school readiness services that address children’s physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development. The program will serve 4-year-old children, with priority extended to underserved or at-risk keiki, and those who are not eligible to attend public school kindergarten in the school year they turn 5 because their birth date occurs after the kindergarten eligibility date.

The bill also requires each provider to conduct school readiness assessments, give priority to children from low- and moderate-income families, and prepare children for school through either English or Hawaiian language.

The measure includes appropriations of $720,000 in fiscal year 2013 and $440,000 in fiscal year 2014 to fund three temporary positions and contract services, as well as an additional $6 million for program subsidies in fiscal year 2014.

About the New Director
Weisenfeld was most recently the director of the Hawaii P-3 Initiative at the University of Hawaii, where she aligned policies and programs between the early childhood community and the state Department of Education through researching and leading the development of the Hawaii’s Early Learning and Development Standards (HELDS). As an early childhood research specialist at the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii, Weisenfeld facilitated the creation of a research-based design and implementation plan for a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for early childhood programs in Hawaii.

Weisenfeld has established herself as a champion of early learning, publishing numerous works on the issue. She honed her skills in New York’s early education system and has served in positions ranging from early childhood classroom teacher, to director of childhood services (including Head Start and Early Head Start), to assistant professor of education.

‘Ōlelo Hosts ‘GMO Week’ of One-Hour Shows on Genetically Modified Organisms – Big Island to Simulcast on Nā Leo ʻO Hawaiʻi

‘Ōlelo Community Media has gathered people from both sides of the GMO (genetically modified organisms) debate for four nights of signature programming that aims to delve more deeply into this often divisive issue.



“The subject of GMOs is clearly one that many people in our community feel passionately about,” says Roy Amemiya, president & CEO of ‘Ōlelo. “We hope that GMO Week will help all of us gain a better understanding of both the pros and cons of GMO so that our community can create solutions that are in the best interest of Hawai‘i.”

Nā Leo ʻO Hawaiʻi will be simulcasting ‘Ōlelo’s pre-recorded and live shows debating the topic of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) June 24-27 at 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Channel 54.

Shows regularly scheduled on Channel 54 on Nā Leo ʻO Hawaiʻi, such as Astrology with Rollin Frost and Aloha Chapel will air on Channel 53. Program listings can be found at

GMO Week launches on Monday, June 24 and continues through Thursday, June 27, running from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. each night. The ‘Ōlelo signature productions will air on Oahu on ‘Ōlelo Channel O‘AHU 55.

Because Neighbor Island interest in GMOs is so great, the shows will be also available during the same times on all of the Neighbor Islands through Channel 54, thanks to the local community access providers Akakū in Maui County, Nā Leo ʻO Hawaiʻi on the Big Island and Hō‘ike Kauai.

The shows will also available for online viewing through ‘ŌleloNet On Demand by visiting

Monday, June 24 and Tuesday, June 25

GMO Week starts with two pre-recorded shows from panels that convened earlier this month. The June 25 show will present a continuation of what airs on June 24. On the first night, 30 minutes of programming from the pro-GMO panel will be presented first, followed by 30 minutes from the anti-GMO panel. On the second night, the order will switch, with 30 minutes from the anti-GMO panel to air first, followed by the pro-GMO panel.

Chad Blair of Honolulu Civil Beat served as the moderator for a pro-GMO panel that featured Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, director of the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo; Dean Okimoto, owner of Nalo Farms and president of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; and Adolph Helm, project manager for Dow AgriSciences’ Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i Mycogen Seeds, and the Seeds and Traits Research and Development Project, as well as a board member of the Hawai‘i Crop Improvement Association.

Beth-Ann Kozlovich of Hawai‘i Public Radio served as the moderator for the anti-GMO panel. That panel featured Walter Ritte, manager and teacher at Keawenui Fishpond and Learning Center of Moloka‘i; Gary Hooser, Kaua‘i County councilmember and chair of the Agriculture and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee; and Scott Cooney, an adjunct professor of sustainability at the Shidler College of Business at UH Manoa.

Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27

In an ‘Ōlelo first, the public statewide is encouraged to participate in two live discussions on GMOs through live tweets or pre-submitted comments by phone. Questions or comments by phone should be submitted by calling 834.5303 no later than 4 p.m. on June 27. To submit questions via Twitter, the community is asked to use the hashtag #olelogmo. The ‘Ōlelo web page on this topic is

Questions submitted by the community will be among those discussed by the gathered experts.

The pro-GMO position in both live shows will be represented by the individuals who participated in the pre-recorded panel earlier this month: Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, Dean Okimoto and Adolph Helm.

The anti-GMO position in the June 26 and June 27 live ‘Olelo shows will be represented by the following:

Wednesday, June 26: Dr. William Steiner, dean of the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management; Dr. Hector Valenzuela, professor and crop extension specialist at the UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture; and Councilmember Gary Hooser of Kaua‘i.

Thursday, June 27: Dr. Steiner and Councilmember Hooser will be joined by Bill Freese, science policy analyst with the non-profit Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C.

‘Ōlelo hopes to air similar week-long signature productions three to four times each year to explore other important community issues in depth.

For more information, visit

DLNR, NOAA Request Assistance From Boaters To Report Dead Floating Whales

To Report Dead Floating Whales Notify USCG channel 16 or NOAA Marine Mammal Hotline at: 1-888-256-9840

Each year, approximately one to four sperm whale carcasses drift ashore in Hawaii, particularly in May and August. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) are asking boaters to notify authorities immediately if they see a dead whale floating at sea.

This whale washed up on the Puna Coastline last year.

This whale washed up on the Puna Coastline last year.

Data also suggests they are coming in to Hawaiian waters from east and north directions, which results in most carcasses landing on the windward side of islands.

“Early reporting allows us to locate, then tow a floating carcass away from the islands,” said David Schofield, NOAA’s Regional Marine Mammal Health and Response Program manager.  “This is often much easier and less expensive than removing it once it comes aground on a shoreline or reef.”

“It is critical that we do our best to keep these whales out at sea to avoid attracting large tiger sharks close to shore,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.

“Fishing is also good around these carcasses, and by notifying DLNR and NOAA early we can take the necessary steps to tow the carcass back out to sea, which can extend these opportunities and benefit public safety,” added Aila.

“We know that sperm whales are the deepest diving and one of the largest ranging of all cetaceans, but we still don’t know why we see these stranding peaks in the summer,” said Schofield.  “It could have something to do with migration patterns, but scientists still have a lot to learn.”

“Although summer is peak season for sperm whale carcasses, other large whale carcasses, like humpbacks, make their way to shore throughout the year,” added Aila.

To report a floating whale or any marine mammal incident, call USCG channel 16 or the NOAA marine mammal hotline at: 1-888-256-9840.

What Does “Aloha” Mean to You?

Could you use a year’s worth of free gas?

Aloha Petroleum invites you to participate in the “Capturing Aloha” video contest. The Grand Prize is one year’s worth of free gas!

Aloha Petroleum Contest

What do we mean by “Capturing Aloha”?

Aloha is the most popular Hawaiian word known and spoken around the world.  It’s used in greetings and farewells, and in expressing love. But the word holds an even deeper meaning for those of us who call Hawaii home – it’s a way of life.  We call it the Aloha Spirit and it’s about living and treating each other with love, respect, kindness and appreciation.

We show Aloha to others everyday and in many ways. What does Aloha mean to you and how do you share it with others? Tell us your story of aloha in a short video, which can be as creative, funny, personal and inspiring as you like.

Here is how the contest works:

  • Make a short video (30-60 seconds) that captures the meaning of aloha
  • Submit it to the Facebook contest app by July 29:
  • Urge your friends and fans to vote for your video during the voting period
  • The top 10 videos with the most votes will move into a final judging round
  • A panel of judges will award the following based on relevance, creativity and basic technical guidelines:
  1. Grand prize: Gas for one year ($2,600 value)
  2. First runner-up: Gas for six months ($1,300 value)
  3. Second runner-up: Gas for three months ($650 value)
  4. Honorable Mentions (2): Gas for one month ($220 value)

Visit the contest tab on Facebook for complete details:


If you have any questions, please contact the contest administrator, Becker Communications, by email at, or by phone at 808-533-4165.