Governor Abercrombie Submits Supplemental Budget to State Legislature

In compliance with Article VII, Section 9, of the Hawaii Constitution, the Abercrombie Administration today submitted its Executive Supplemental Budget for Fiscal Biennium 2013-2015 and updated Program and Financial Plan for 2013-2019 to the state Legislature.

2014 Abercrombie Budget

“The supplemental budget and plan continue responsible management of state fiscal affairs in order to build upon the $1.1 billion turnaround our state has achieved,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “At the same time, we recognize that Hawaii’s improved fiscal position allows us to better address important issues such as early learning and development, support for our seniors, environmental protection, and homelessness. The supplemental budget provides an opportunity to navigate our economic environment for the maximum benefit of the people of Hawaii.”

The administration further committed to building the financial strength of the state by outlining in the plan a strategy to recapitalize state reserves to higher than pre-recession levels.

“We have set a targeted objective to build state reserves to 10 percent of general fund revenues,” said Kalbert Young, state finance director. “These reserves will allow the state to weather future economic downturns and mitigate against cyclical public service cutbacks.”

Accordingly, the Emergency and Budget Reserve Fund will receive $50 million in fiscal year 2014. The Hurricane Reserve Trust Fund will receive $50 million in fiscal year 2014, which is in addition to the $55.5 million in general excise tax revenues transferred this fiscal year, pursuant to Act 62, SLH 2011.

Through separate legislation, the administration will also be proposing the transfer of $50 million to each fund in fiscal year 2015. The estimated balance of Hawaii’s reserves after these transfers will be more than $372 million, or 5.6 percent of projected general fund revenues in fiscal year 2015 –already more than halfway to the 10 percent target.

Simultaneously, the state’s commitment to forward fund its Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) unfunded liability begins this fiscal year with a landmark payment of $100 million and, in fiscal year 2015, a payment of $117.4 million.

The supplemental budget continues to provide stimulus to the economy while still adhering to the optimized debt profile that has been achieved through proper management of the state’s long-term debt. The budget includes funding for an additional $351.7 million in new general obligation bond-funded capital improvement projects. The state will more appropriately address much needed repair and maintenance projects by converting $187.4 million in previously approved bond-funded expenditures to general funds. The budget also proposes to fund an additional $100 million in repair and maintenance in fiscal year 2015. By directing more bond funds to long-term assets and using general funds to address immediate and short-term repair and maintenance, the state continues its more fiscally prudent management of capital improvement projects.

In addition, the budget includes the following increased support for a variety of initiatives:

Investments in Hawaii’s Children

  • More than $5.4 million additional for early learning and development initiatives, a priority of the administration. Approximately $4.4 million of that would aid the Executive Office on Early Learning in working with the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) to establish prekindergarten classes on DOE campuses, and $1 million would fund Family-Child Interaction Learning (FCIL) programs for family engagement for four-year-olds.
  • $2.5 million more proposed for Preschool Open Doors. The new voluntary program administered by the state Department of Human Services enhances access to school readiness services for 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.

Support for Seniors

  • More than $4.5 million requested for programs that support older residents, of which $4.2 million is proposed for the Kupuna Care program and $427,937 for Adult Disability Resource Centers.

Environmental Preservation

  • An additional $40 million for conservation purposes at Turtle Bay, as proposed by the Turtle Bay working group last month. The working group was established by Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR164) during the 2013 legislative session and tasked with developing a conservation action plan to explore and identify conservation alternatives for the undeveloped portions of the Turtle Bay property and surrounding lands with conservation or historic value.

Other Investments

  • $1.5 million requested for the Housing First program to assist the most vulnerable of Hawaii’s homeless.
  • Ten positions and $1 million to expand Healthcare Transformation initiatives.
  • Restoration of eight positions and an additional $188,269 for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture within the department’s pesticides program.
  • $3.1 million for Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui’s R.E.A.C.H. Initiative for afterschool programs for middle and intermediate afterschool programs
  • Approximately $33.5 million to the University of Hawaii, whose Board of Regents committed a portion of such funds towards issuance of revenue bonds for addressing much needed repair and maintenance projects. This amount represents collectively bargained salaries for the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly salaries. But, instead of paying for the salaries out of the tuition special fund, which only affects tuition rates, the funds will free up resources so that the tuition fund remains stable and assists UH’s repair and maintenance $400 million backlog.

“Although there are many priority needs that must be addressed, fiscal sustainability is essential,”Young added. “This plan will allow the state to address its priority needs while positioning itself to best handle uncertainties, such as economic slowdowns or the recent federal government shutdown, by building up our reserves and exercising continued fiscal prudence.”

The Budget in Brief is available for download from the Department of Budget and Finance website, here: http://budget.hawaii.gov/budget/

 

Bikes and Tires Being Stolen at UH Hilo

Well it looks like we have someone targeting bikes on the campus of UH Hilo:

UH Hilo Moniker

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

13-0309 (Theft)

Report Status: Pending.

Location: Resident Hall Hale Kauanoe Bike Rack.

Time Reported: Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 7:21 PM.

Incident Occured Between: 3:02 AM and 3:21 AM on Friday, December 13, 2013.

Crime Details:
A resident of Hale Kauanoe reported that bike front and rear wheels were stolen from the Hale Kauanoe bike rack. Security and HPD responded and initiated a Theft Report.

Permalink: 13-0309

13-0308 (Theft)

Report Status: Pending.

Location: Resident Hall Hale Kehau Bike Rack.

Time Reported: Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 6:21 PM.

Incident Start: Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:30 PM.

Incident End: Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 5:30 PM.

Crime Details:
A resident of Hale Kehau reported that bike seat and rear wheel were stolen from the Hale Kehau bike rack. Security and HPD responded and initiated a Theft Report.

Permalink: 13-0308

Friday, December 13th, 2013

13-0307 (Theft)

Report Status: Pending.

Location: College of Agriculture Bike Rack.

Time Reported: Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:48 PM.

Incident Start: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM.

Incident End: Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM.

Crime Details:
A bike was stolen from the College of Agriculture bike rack. Security and HPD responded and generated a theft report.

Queen’s Health Systems and North Hawaii Community Hospital Enter Into Formal Affiliation

The Queen‘s Health Systems (Queen‘s), corporate parent of The Queen‘s Medical Center (QMC), announced today that it has officially entered into an affiliation agreement with North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH).

North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawaii Community Hospital

In the agreement, NHCH will become a corporate entity under Queen‘s, similar to QMC and Molokai General Hospital.

QMC has had a clinical affiliation with NHCH since 2005.

“Founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, Queen‘s has served its mission of providing quality healthcare services for over 153 years,” said Art Ushijima, President & CEO of The Queen‘s Health Systems.  “We will now be able to dedicate ourselves to serving the people of North Hawaii with the same standard of excellence that has been the foundation of our founders‘ values and vision.”

Queen‘s, as part of its affiliation with NHCH, will work with NHCH to assess and address NHCH‘s immediate needs.

“Our priority is to create a relationship of cooperation and trust with NHCH and the people of North Hawaii,”  said Ushijima.  “Given NHCH‘s challenging financial situation, an immediate focus is to stabilize the hospital so that it may start to focus on programs and services for its growth and development—a process which was started under Ho‘okahua, NHCH‘s performance improvement program.”

The affiliation is expected to be effective January 1, 2014. Both Queen‘s and NHCH expect the transition to occur without any disruption of service to the community. The affiliation is subject to state approval.

“This affiliation represents a huge step forward in our ability to meet the healthcare needs of the community of North Hawaii and continue to deliver high quality healthcare at a reasonable cost. Having Queen‘s as our partner will improve every aspect of the hospital,”  said Bob Momsen, NHCH Board of Directors Chairman since 2008.

North Hawaii Community Hospital is a private, non-profit community hospital that serves more than 30,000 residents in North Hawaii. Located in Waimea (Kamuela), Hawaii Island, NHCH opened in May 1996. Its mission is to improve the health of the people of North Hawaii by improving access to care and providing high-quality services at a reasonable cost. NHCH is an acute-care hospital with 33 licensed beds, 24 hour emergency services, 376 employees, and 68 active physicians.

Further substance and status of the agreement are confidential.

 

2014 Waimea Ocean Film Festival Unveils Films, Filmmakers, Speakers and Special Guests

The 2014 Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film) offers an exciting lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits, receptions and morning activities, running non-stop January 2-10.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival 2014

The festival opens on January 2, with films playing simultaneously from January 2-5 at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu Theatre, HPA Gates, Parker Theatre), and showings at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i January 2-4. On January 6, the festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, where Eddie Kamae will share a few songs after the opening night film.

The festival brings over 50 films to the big screen this year, most of which are world, U.S., Hawai‘i or Big Island premieres, and all of which are exceptional. On the cultural side, the festival weaves a rich offering, with films by Eddie and Myrna Kamae about the history, culture and music of the islands, a presentation by Hula Preservation Society with historical footage and dances and discussion by hula kupuna, and the showing of the 1951 remake of the 20th Century Fox film Bird of Paradise, with an introduction by local lead Queenie Dowsett.

In this vein, KGMB’s Brother’s Cazimero shares the story of this musical duo, with producer Phil Arnone and writer Robert Pennybacker in attendance to answer questions about the film. The Voyager Exhibit features the upcoming worldwide voyage of Hokule‘a, and will include an 8×13- foot map of the world, showing Hokule‘a planned route, along with interactive exhibits about life on the canoe, and the work of National Geographic photographer Nicholas DeVore III. The exhibit opens with a blessing and ceremony at Kahilu Theatre 4 p.m. January 2. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center also joins the festival this year, with a presentation on Wayfinding, complete with star compass and a full-dome star show.

For inspiration, speaker and author Alan Cohen returns as one of the presenters in Finding Joe, to host a workshop on the Hero’s Journey. National Medal of Arts award recipient and composer Morten Lauridsen attends the festival this year along with the film about his life and work, Shining Night, and will accompany a local chorus in a performance of one or two of his pieces. And, Botso, a beautiful film about a music teacher who made his way to Morro Bay from Stalinist Georgia against all odds, is sure to warm the audience heart.

On the thought-provoking side, Hot Water, produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Don Rogers, explores the legacy of uranium mining in the west, including the possibility of our Fukushima-like event. Gasland 2, an equally compelling sequel to Academy Award-nominated Gasland, comes to the festival with director Josh Fox in attendance to talk about the film. The Last Ocean is a stunning film about the Ross Sea, and GMO OMG, Plastic Paradise, and More Than Honey all provide insight into the issues around us. For those who missed them, 2013 People’s Choice winners Chasing Ice and North of the Sun will also show one more time.

For adventure, the festival offers a heart-pounding and heart-warming selection of surf films, along with a slide presentation and exhibit by 1960s surf photographer and former Reyn’s CEO Tim McCullough. In partnership with Bruce Brown films, Ocean Film launches the 50th anniversary tour of The Endless Summer. And, local HPA graduate Alison Teal premieres the latest installments in her series Alison’s Adventures: Blue Duck Station and The Lost Island of the Firewalkers.

M. Sanjayan, an Emmy nominated news contributor and the lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, returns to the festival to share a sneak preview of a star-studded series produced by James Cameron, The Years of Living Dangerously, which will be aired on Showtime in April. Dawn Lippert, who leads the Energy Excelerator, a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR), joins the festival to talk about innovations in energy technology and investing in a clean energy future. The Crash Reel, directed by Academy Award-nominated director Lucy Walker (The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom), and currently under consideration for an Academy Award nomination, will have its Hawai‘i premiere at the festival.

Receptions include a high-octane, surf-themed opening night at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i on January 2 (1960s surf attire optional), leading into the launch of the 50th anniversary tour of The Endless Summer. The Taste of the Island January 5 at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel again features the culinary delights of many of the island’s top chefs and has grown into a festival highlight. And, new this year, the closing night reception at Four Seasons moves to Hoku Amphitheatre on January 10, for what promises to be a beautiful evening with island fare, music and film.

Selections and film synopsis from the 2014 film lineup include:

  • Alison’s Adventures: Blue Duck Station and Lost Island of the Firewalkers (USA/Alison Teal Blehert-Koehn*)
  • Botso (USA /Tom Walters*)
  • Brothers Cazimero (USA/Phil Arnone* and Robert Pennybacker*)
  • Energy Excelerator (USA/Dawn Lippert*)
  • Finding Joe (USA/Alan Cohen*)
  • Gasland 2 (USA/Josh Fox*)
  • GMO OMG (USA/Jeremy Seifert)
  • Good Morning Miyazaki (Canada/Matt Wescott)
  • Hot Water (USA/Lizabeth Rogers)
  • Jane’s Journey (Germany/Lorenz Knauer)
  • Li‘a: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man (USA/Eddie Kamae*)
  • Sons of Hawai’i (USA/Eddie Kamae*)
  • Maverick Moments (USA/Rocky Romano*)
  • More than Honey (Germany/Markus Imhoof)
  • Ocean Frontiers (USA/Karen and Ralf Meyer)
  • Paniolo O’Hawaii (USA/Edgy Lee*)
  • Paradise Found (USA/ Tom Swartwout)
  • Queenie Dowsett: Spirit a Dancer (USA/Qweenie Dowsett*)
  • Red Gold (USA/Ben Knight)
  • Sea of Rock (Germany/Sebastian Doerk)
  • Serendipity (Australia/Simon Lamb)
  • Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen (Switzerland/Morten Lauridsen*)
  • Silver of the Sea (Norway/Are Pilskog)
  • Sine Qua Non (USA/Richard Yelland)
  • Snows of the Nile (USA/Neil Losin)
  • Bud Browne’s Surfing the 50s (USA/Anna Trent Moore*)
  • The Coral Reef (Spain/Pepe San Martin)
  • The Crash Reel (USA/Lucy Walker)
  • The Last Mountain (USA/Bill Haney)
  • The Last Ocean (New Zealand/Peter Young)
  • The Questions We Ask (Canada/Bruce Kirkby)
  • What If (Germany/Sebastian Doerk)

*Filmmakers attending Ocean Film and leading a discussion

Every January, this dynamic festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture through exceptional films, talks, exhibits and activities. Films fall into the basic categories of ocean experience (such as surfing and paddling); ocean environment—including things we do on land that impact the sea; and island culture. Inspirational films are also screened.

Participants can begin the day with sunrise yoga on the beach, power up with coffee at the morning talks and then head out for a day of thought-provoking film and discussion.

The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering discounted room rates to festival pass holders from January 2-10. Starbucks awards a prize to Ocean Film attendees who complete the festival’s 20-Punch card, showing they attended 20 film or presentation blocks.

For the latest updates on films and speakers, follow the festival on Facebook, www.facebook.com/waimeaoceanfilmfestival, visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org or email info@waimeaoceanfilm.org.

The full lineup of films and the complete festival program will be available to download at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org around December 21. Festival passes can be purchased via the website or at 808-854-6095. Kama‘aina/early rates are available in advance by contacting the festival office through December 21.

Shart Attack Victim Recovering on Oahu After Being Bitten in South Pacific

The victim of a shark attack is receiving medical treatment in Oahu after the Coast Guard conducted a long range medevac from the South Pacific Monday.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Air Station Barbers Point traveled 2,386 miles to rendezvous with a fishing vessel for patient transfer. The Hercules aircrew consisted of a Kalawao Rescue in-flight care team including an emergency physician, 10 units of blood, medical supplies and medications.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Air Station Barbers Point traveled 2,386 miles to rendezvous with a fishing vessel for patient transfer. The Hercules aircrew consisted of a Kalawao Rescue in-flight care team including an emergency physician, 10 units of blood, medical supplies and medications.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center received notification Friday from the U.S. flagged vessel Friesland that a crewmember was in need of urgent medical care following a shark attack. The 35-year-old Portuguese national entered the water to untangle fishing net from a submerged object when he was attacked, suffering severe injury to his arm. The attack occurred 740 miles southeast of Tarawa Atoll in the Republic of Kiribati.

A Coast Guard flight surgeon was consulted and recommended the crew apply a tourniquet and treat for shock. An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew was launched from Air Station Barbers Point Sunday with a six member surgical team from Kalawao Rescue to conduct the medevac. Kalawao Rescue is a Hawaii-based disaster medical team that provides initial and follow-on medical response to major emergencies and disasters. They brought with them 10 units of blood, medical supplies and medications.

The Hercules flew 2,386 miles to Tarawa and waited for the patient who was flown to shore by helicopter. The patient was then transported to Oahu where he was transferred to awaiting emergency medical technicians in stable condition at Air Station Barbers Point Monday.

The Coast Guard regularly conducts long range medevac and missions across the Central and South Pacific. The HC-130H is scheduled to be replaced by the new HC-130J which will provide increased speed and mission capability to the Pacific region.

Hawaii Leads the Nation in Growing Its Ranks of Accomplished Teachers: 59 Hawaii Teachers Earn National Board Certification

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE), Kamehameha Schools and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) announced today that 59 teachers in Hawaii achieved National Board Certification this year, demonstrating that they have attained the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare students for 21st century success. Over the past three years, Hawaii has experienced the fastest growth in the number of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in the nation and now has a total of 469 NBCTs.

DOE ReleaseTo date, more than 106,000 teachers in all 50 states and around the world have achieved National Board Certification, which is considered the highest mark of accomplishment in the profession. It includes a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process similar to Board certification in fields such as medicine.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the achievement of our new NBCTs,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Their achievement is not only a testament to their hard work, determination and impact on their students’ learning, it is a reflection of Hawaii’s strong commitment to supporting all teachers in their pursuit of National Board Certification.”

The State of Hawaii Teacher Standards Board, Hawaii State Teachers Association and Kamehameha Schools provide administrative and technical support to teachers interested in seeking National Board Certification. Recently, the DOE has partnered with Kamehameha Schools to train Hawaii NBCTs to conduct the introductory training of the Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching at schools throughout the state.

“It is no small accomplishment to become Board certified,” said Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer. “It’s a strong symbol of dedication to professional excellence for one of the greatest callings on this Earth. The Danielson approach to professional development provides pathways to such excellence and it is gratifying to know that these master teachers are ready to assist their colleagues in the pursuit of their excellence as well.”

Saluting the newest class of NBCTs, Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board, said: “Achieving National Board Certification is not only a great personal achievement, it is a strong statement about a teacher’s commitment to the profession and to students and their learning. Today, only a small fraction of America’s teachers are Board certified, but to improve the global competitiveness of our students, we must ensure that every novice teacher is on a trajectory towards accomplished practice.”

The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board Chairperson, Terry Holck states, “The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board would like to congratulate the new National Board Certified Teachers who have successfully undertaken the rigorous National Board Certification process and demonstrated their content knowledge and teaching skills against the most advanced standards in the nation. We would also like to commend the teachers who renewed their National Board Certification this past year. The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board is proud of its commitment to teacher excellence by providing subsidies and support sessions to Hawaii’s teachers who elect to go through this process. Every day, these accomplished teachers are having a positive impact on students in Hawaii.”

Research has shown that NBCTs have a significant impact on student achievement and that their students outperform their peers in other classrooms. Most recently, a 2012 study by Harvard University’s Strategic Data Project found that students of NBCTs in the Los Angeles Unified School District made learning gains equivalent to an additional two months of instruction in math and one month in English language arts.

National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K-12th grades. National Board Standards are written for teachers, by teachers and accomplished teachers are represented at every level of the organization, from key staff roles to the NBPTS Board of Directors and the Certification Council, which guides policy and implementation of the certification program. This fall the National Board announced revisions to the certification process that will help ensure more students across the country have the opportunity to learn from Board-certified teachers. Learn more about the revisions here.