Pahoa High and Intermediate to Get New $3.5 Million Dollar Expansion On Gymnasium

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $65.6 million to the state Department of Education (DOE) for capital improvement projects (CIP) that will improve dozens of public schools across the state, while adding local jobs and enhance economic conditions.

“Including the $62.4 million released for DOE projects last week, my administration has now announced the release of more than $600 million dollars for education improvements,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This is an investment in our keiki and our strengthening economy.”

Kaiser High School Head Football Coach Rich Miano said, “This project will have an immediate impact on four schools that use Kaiser’s athletic facilities as their home venue. It will also benefit the whole state of Hawaii because we will be able to host a variety of events including Special Olympics and NFL combines.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$25,850,000 – King Kekaulike High New Auditorium, Maui – Construction funds for an auditorium to complete previously-initiated design work. The school currently uses its cafeteria stage and student dining area for performing arts and assembly-type functions. The new auditorium will be a standalone structure and will provide support for performing arts and music programs at the school.

$15,000,000 – Farrington High Campus Modernization (Phase 1), Oahu – Design and construction funds to implement Phase 1 of the school’s campus modernization project. The project will start with upgrades to athletic facilities and include a new synthetic track and field and a new locker/shower facility. Future phases will replace the backlog of repair and maintenance projects associated with a master rehabilitation plan of the entire campus.

$5,000,000 – Kawananakoa Middle Auditorium, Oahu – Design and construction funds to renovate the school’s auditorium to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, building and fire codes, along with modernization of the facility as a performing arts center.

$4,850,000 – Kaiser High Girls Athletic Locker Room, Oahu – Design and construction funds for new athletic and locker and shower facilities for female students to meet gender equality requirements at the school. There is currently only a physical education (PE) locker room for female students.

Pahoa's New Gym

$3,500,000 – Pahoa High and Intermediate Gym, Hawaii Island – Design and construction funds for renovations and expansion of the school’s gymnasium to include a wrestling and locker/showers room.

$3,000,000 – East Kapolei Middle, Oahu – Design funds for a new school to address projected needs in the Kapolei area, which is currently served by Ilima Intermediate, Ewa Makai Middle and Kapolei Middle. By completing this school in the near future, a reduction in student enrollment will allow Kapolei Middle to transition off its current multi-track schedule.

$1,000,000 – Pearl City Elementary Electrical Upgrades, Oahu – Design and construction funds to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs at the school. Electrical work includes upgrading electrical transformers and panels, telecommunication systems, electrical outlets and data ports.

$1,000,000 – Campbell High Electrical Upgrades, Oahu – Design and construction funds to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs at the school. Electrical work includes upgrading electrical transformers and panels, telecommunication systems, electrical outlets and data ports.

$880,000 – Honowai Elementary New Classroom Building, Oahu – Design funds for a building with eight classrooms, restrooms, a faculty workroom and custodial closets.

$700,000 – Mauka Lani Elementary Electrical Upgrades, Oahu – Design and construction funds to address various electrical and related site work to provide for current and future technology needs at the school. Electrical work includes upgrading electrical transformers and panels, telecommunication systems, electrical outlets and data ports.

$755,000 – Waipahu High Track & Field Facility Improvements, Oahu – This project will start the design phase of a new synthetic track and field surface at the school. An old cinder track and grass field presently exists, and this project will allow for a competition track venue in the Leeward District, which presently has none.

$550,000 – Pearl City High Track & Field Facility Improvements, Oahu – This project will start the design phase of a new synthetic track and field surface at the school. An old cinder track and grass field presently exists, and this project will allow for a competition track venue in the Leeward District, which presently has none.

$550,000 – Niu Valley Middle New Classrooms, Oahu – Design funds for four new classrooms to support the “International Baccalaureate Middle Year” (IBMY) program at the school. Niu Valley is an accredited IBMY school and all of its students are required to take a second language.

$550,000 – Kohala High Architectural Barrier Removal, Hawaii Island – Construction funds to complete architectural barrier removal at school and provide program accessibility for the disabled in accordance with federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

$500,000 – Hilo Intermediate New PE Locker Room and Renovations, Hawaii Island – Design funds to replace and renovate the PE locker room and shower facilities at the school.

$475,000 – Kanoelani Elementary New Portable Classroom, Oahu – Design, equipment and construction funds for a portable classroom to address school enrollment (approximately 800 students/year), which has required moving a kindergarten class into a teachers’ workroom due to lack of space.

$450,000 – Kaiser High Track & Field Facility Improvements, Oahu – This project will start the design phase of a new synthetic track and field surface at the school to replace the aged synthetic track and grass field and also provide related improvements for facility maintenance and support.

$400,000 – Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate New Science, Technology & Media Building, Oahu – Design funds for a new building. Classroom building on campus, built in the early 1950s through 1962, do not meet standards relating to science, technology or media education.

$200,000 – Waipahu High Campus Retaining Wall, Oahu – Design and construction funds for a retaining wall behind Buildings C to Q in order to alleviate ground movement affecting these buildings. The project may also include landscaping and related improvements adjacent to the planned retaining wall.

$175,000 – Waikele Elementary Play Courts Resurfacing and New Playground Installation, Oahu – This project is to resurface the basketball court and replace aged, outdated and non-functioning play equipment in order to provide age appropriate pre-kindergarten playground equipment.

$120,000 – Pearl City Highlands Elementary Building G Administration Expansion and Renovation, Oahu – Design funds for additional administration space in Building G, which currently has an administration space deficit of more than 60 percent compared to the size of a typical elementary school.

$75,000 – Lahaina Intermediate Pedestrian Safety Improvements, Maui – Design funds addressing issues such as safe crosswalk placement, an island for pedestrians within the wide driveway and improvements for proper drainage.

$70,000 – Nuuanu Elementary Walkway Roof Repair and Renovation, Oahu – Construction funds for repairs and renovation of the walkway roof from between the administration building and the covered play court. The school has regular rainfall and this has resulted in some parts of the covered walkway to sag.

$2,500 – Moanalua High Auditorium/Performing Arts Center, Oahu – Additional construction funds for a rehearsal hall/band room and instructional support spaces.

Pahoa Round-A-Bout to Cost an Estimated $4.8 Million

The Highway 130 round-a-bout that will be going in soon in Pahoa at the Malama Market intersection went out to bid on March 6th and the bidding ended with Isemoto Construction putting in the lowest bid.

The Planned Pahoa round-a-bout.

The Planned Pahoa round-a-bout

Former blogger Aaron Stene said, “The bid result has to be verified and awarded. Then the HDOT has to give a Notice to Proceed. That’s when the clock starts for Isemoto to begin work. This may take a couple months to work though.”

Nan, Inc. and Jas W. Glover also submitted bids, however Isemoto was the lowest bidder at $4,819,150.00.

Isemoto Bid

Governor Names Jessica Wooley as Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced that subject to her confirmation by the state Senate, he has appointed Jessica Wooley to serve as the state’s Director of Environmental Control. In addition to serving as the head of the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC), Wooley will serve the Governor in an advisory capacity on all matters relating to environmental quality control.

Jessica Wooley

Jessica Wooley

“Jessica is knowledgeable and experienced in issues pertaining to the environment, water resources, agriculture and land use,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Her legal and public service background will be a great asset in protecting Hawaii’s fragile environment. Her energy and commitment to the issues involved with the OEQC is a big plus for Hawaii.”

“Today I am announcing that, if confirmed, I will be leaving the Hawaii State Legislature to work as the OEQC Director,” Jessica Wooley said. “As a public servant, I see this as a tremendous opportunity to have a greater impact. I will be honored to work with the Governor and his administration as we continually work to make sure our environment is resilient and able to support the public interest and all of Hawaii’s policy goals. We must always keep in mind that our very economy, our health and our safety depend on our ability to care for our environmental resources.”

Elected in 2008, Wooley currently represents District 48 (Kahaluu-Ahuimanu-Kaneohe) in the state House, serving as chair of the Agriculture Committee. Previously, she was an attorney at Legal Aid, an economist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Deputy Attorney General under Governors Ben Cayetano and Linda Lingle.

Wooley earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, along with a master’s degree in agricultural and resource economics and a Juris Doctor from the University of California Berkeley.

Big Island Chocolate Fest Seeks Culinary Participants

Organizers of the third Big Island Chocolate Festival are looking for culinary participants to share sweet and savory tastes at the event’s gala on Saturday, May 3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. Last year’s event sold out and 500-plus attendees are expected this year.

Big Island Chocolate FestivalParticipating chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners can also enter the free culinary competition, vying in a variety of judged categories, plus people’s choice. “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torrres, Food Network celebrity from New York City, will lead the team of celebrity judges. Other celebrity chocolatiers participating in the festival include Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona Chocolates Asia-Pacific and Donald Wressell of Guittard.

The two-day chocolate decadence opens Friday, May 2 with farm/factory tours at the Kona Soap Company in Keauhou and a culinary competition between students from Hawai’i, Maui and O’ahu. Public culinary and agriculture-themed, hands-on seminars and demonstrations are Saturday at The Fairmont Orchid. Fun culminates 6-10 p.m. May 3 with the festival gala in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom.

Chocolate Festival

Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures, live entertainment, dancing and a silent auction. Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup at

Pre-sale tickets are $75 and will be $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Buy tickets and find event details online at Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Fest

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that includes a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit

Video: Collapse of the Pu’u ‘O ‘o Crater Floor on March 5th

Video showing the collapse of the Pu’u ‘O ‘o crater floor on March 5th, 2011. The video starts at 4 am and ends at 11 pm. The floor of the crater dropped about 115 meters (377 ft) in just a few hours.


University of Hawaii Partners on $5.3 Million Cyberinfrastructure Award

The University of Hawai‘i (UH) is one of the founding partners of a new initiative led by Clemson University to enable a national network of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Education Facilitators (ACI-REFs) that will broaden the research and education impacts of advanced computing resources at campuses across the country.
UH LogoAdvanced cyberinfrastructure refers to high-performance computing systems, massive data storage systems, and visualization environments, all linked together by software and high-performance networks to enable human collaborations that improve education and research productivity and enable breakthroughs not otherwise possible.

The National Science Foundation awarded the group $5.3 million over two years to broaden cyberinfrastructure education and outreach through this network. Besides Clemson and UH, the other collaborating institutions are the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Wisconsin, and Harvard University.

The project, called the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure – Research and Educational Facilitation: Campus-Based Computational Research Support, is a consortium that brings together education and research institutions that are committed to the vision of advancing scientific discovery by creating a national network of advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitators.  UH will be able to hire two advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitators for two years under the initial project grant.

“The University of Hawai‘i is delighted to be working with Clemson and our other partners to develop this innovative consortium,” said David Lassner, the Interim President at the University of Hawai‘i.  “Data-intensive science and engineering is a major thrust for the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative (HI2), and the advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitator capability that will be supported is exactly what we need to help many of our gifted faculty and students take their scholarship to the next level by leveraging local and national cyberinfrastructure and collaborations.”

Working together in a coordinated effort, the consortium is dedicated to the adoption of models and strategies that will leverage the expertise and experiences of its members to maximize the impact of investment in research computing and related cyberinfrastructure technologies. The project staff will be located on the six collaborating campuses.  They will be fully embedded in their local technology support environments so they can both extend the reach and impact of the campus as well as make national research computing infrastructure available for local students and faculty.

Gwen Jacobs, UH Director of Cyberinfrastructure in Information Technology Services, will lead UH participation in the project.   She will be working with faculty throughout the UH System to identify opportunities where local and national cyberinfrastructure assets can advance UH research and innovation.  Jacobs said, “UH is an international research leader in astronomy, earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences, and biomedical research – all disciplines that generate massive amounts of data.  With access to a wealth of computational resources and professional expertise, UH researchers will be able to apply new methods in big data analytics to their research programs, speeding scientific discovery and innovation and creating new educational opportunities for UH students.”

The consortium is forging a nationwide alliance of educators to empower local campus researchers to be more effective users of advanced cyberinfrastructure.  In particular, the project seeks to work with scholars and faculty members who traditionally have not benefitted from the power of high-performance computing but who recognize that their research requires access to more computational power than can be provided by their desktop machines.

“This project complements and magnifies the work we have underway to establish our first university-wide high-performance computing cluster,” said Vassilis Syrmos, UH Vice President for Research and Innovation.

That high-performance computing cluster will be located in UH’s new $41-million Information Technology Center.  Interim Vice President for Information Technology Steve Smith said “The new high-performance computing cluster is the first initiative that will leverage the capabilities of our state-of-the-art Information Technology Center to advance research and innovation at UH.  This project couldn’t have moved forward without the new building.”

The national project team will be led by Jim Bottum, the Chief Information Officer at Clemson with a leadership team that includes co-principal investigator Gwen Jacobs of UH, and lead scientists from each institution.   The steering committee includes Glenn Ricart, Chief Technology Officer of the US Ignite Project; Greg Monaco, Director for Research and Cyberinfrastructure Initiatives at the Great Plains Network; and John Towns, the principal investigator of the NSF-funded national scale XSEDE high-performance computing program. Miron Livny, Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin and principal investigator of the NSF-funded Open Science Grid will also serve on the project’s steering committee and serve as the Chief Scientist for the project.

Mayor Kenoi on the GMO Issue

Big Island Mayor Kenoi is quoted as saying the following about the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) lawsuits that are currently floating around the state in Hawaii Business Magazine:

Mayor Kenoi at the APEC Conference

Mayor Kenoi at the APEC Conference

“GMO has been very important and beneficial to our cut-flower, orchid, anthurium and nursery industry. The science research has been cutting-edge and we’ve seen a lot of innovation and creativity, and certainly in our papaya industry, the importance of research is well-known for maintaining, growing and protecting its viability.

I still don’t believe GMO is the issue facing agriculture – it’s water and access to land and how we can grow our next generation of farmers. GMO has taken a lot of energy and emphasis away from more important issues like these. Another important issue is access to markets, making it easier for farmers to overcome regulatory hurdles, reducing our dependence on imported food and providing real food security.

My message to the Council and the community is…”

You can read the rest of his message and other mayor’s thoughts on the issue here: “Talk Story with Neighbor Island Mayors”

Big Island Police Renewing their Quest in Identifying Hilo Bank Robber

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for the public’s help in identifying a suspect wanted for the attempted robbery of a bank in Hilo in January.

Seen this guy?

Seen this guy?

Just before 6 p.m. on January 10, police responded to a reported robbery attempt at the Territorial Savings Bank branch on Makaʻala Street in Hilo. Responding officers learned that at about 5:53 p.m., a lone male had entered the bank and produced a note demanding money. He fled the bank without any money and was last seen running toward Pōhaku Street. No one was injured during the robbery attempt.

The suspect was described as a Caucasian, in his mid-to-late 20s, about 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-2, about 185 to 200 pounds with short wavy black hair and facial acne. He was last seen wearing a blue-and-black striped pullover, jeans, and black shoes with red laces.

Bank Robber 2
The suspect appears to be the same individual who entered the bank earlier in the day to inquire about banking there.

Police recovered bank surveillance video and still images.

Police ask anyone with information on this incident or who may know the identity of the suspect to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 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.

Big Island Police Seeking Information on Attempted Waiakea Villas Robbery

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about an attempted robbery that occurred in Hilo on October 31, 2013.

At about 8 p.m. on that date, police responded to the Waiākea Villas after receiving a report from a 49-year-old Hilo man that while walking in the complex toward his vehicle in the parking lot, he was accosted by a man who brandished a weapon and demanded money. After the victim refused the demand, the suspect fled the area. The victim was not injured in the robbery attempt.

Composite sketch

Composite sketch

The suspect is described as a local male in his late 20s, about 5-foot-10, about 200 pounds with a light mustache. He was wearing a black T-shirt, dark shorts and a cap embroidered with the words “BJ Penn.”

Police released a composite drawing of the suspect with hope that someone will recognize him. Anyone who may know the identity of the suspect or who has any information on this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or to contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or

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.

Man Arrested After 75-Year-Old Woman Awakes to Man in Her Apartment

A 20-year-old man faces an assortment of criminal charges following a burglary early Tuesday (March 4) in Kealakekua.

HPDBadgeAt 4:36 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a report of a burglary in progress at an apartment complex on Kiloa Road.

A 75-year-old woman reported that she awoke to find an unknown man in a green hooded sweatshirt rummaging though items in her apartment. After the suspect ran from the apartment, the victim discovered that her purse had been removed from her truck.

Responding officers saw a man wearing clothing matching the description of the suspect and detained him. Further investigation linked him to the burglary.

John Small of Captain Cook was arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation. Police recovered property belonging to the victim and other property that had been removed from another vehicle at the same apartment complex. They also recovered 4.9 grams of marijuana.

Wednesday afternoon (March 5), detectives charged Small with first-degree burglary, two counts of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, two counts of theft, and one count each of theft of a credit card, unauthorized possession of personal information and promoting a detrimental drug. His bail was set at $68,000.

He remained at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance on Thursday (March 6).

UH Hilo Presents Miss Saigon

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Department presents Miss Saigon, the award-winning musical written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, opening April 10th at 7:30 p.m. for a two- weekend run at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Miss Saigon

A cast of 37 performers and conductor Armando Mendoza bring to life the story of an American G.I. who experiences war’s emotional choices when he falls in love with a Vietnamese girl just as Saigon is besieged by the North Vietnamese.

Advanced student choreographers and directors have joined faculty choreographer Celeste Staton and stage director Jackie Pualani Johnson to create several dances and scenes. They include Dance majors Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki and Kawai Soares, who devised original choreography for The Fall of Saigon and The Heat is on in Saigon, two iconic numbers that set the backdrop of the war.

The dances feature College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management faculty member Norman Arancon as The Engineer; Rachel Edwards, a Performing Arts Department Senior in her final semester as a music concentration major as Kim; community member Scott Wuscher as the American GI; and UH Hilo students Lilinoe Kauahikaua, Angeline Jara, Bailey Woolridge, and Kanoho-Kalahiki as the working girls of the Dreamland Bar: Gigi, Mimi, Yvette and Yvonne.

Miss Saigon also marks the full-scale musical debut of Performing Arts graduate Kimo Apaka and senior Denyse Woo-Ockerman, who completed the University’s stage directing course and will stage several songs in the production.

Tickets are available by calling 932-7490 or can be purchased online at

For more information, contact Professor Johnson at 932-7491 or email

Big Island Police Officer Named State of Hawaii D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year

Officer Denise Smith-Erickson has earned the statewide distinction of State of Hawaiʻi D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year for 2013.

Chief Harry Kubojiri presents a plaque to Officer Denise Smith-Erickson, State of Hawaiʻi D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year.

Chief Harry Kubojiri presents a plaque to Officer Denise Smith-Erickson, State of Hawaiʻi D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year.

Smith-Erickson, a 14-year veteran of the Hawaiʻi Police Department, is a Community Policing officer in the South Kohala District. Among her responsibilities is Drug Awareness Resistance Education for schoolchildren. Her D.A.R.E. presentations go beyond lecturing to include one-on-one interaction and individual counseling.

Lieutenant Juergen Canda, who nominated Smith-Erickson for the honor, said her performance as a D.A.R.E. officer has been “resoundingly successful.” He noted that Smith-Erickson expanded D.A.R.E. services in West Hawaiʻi by adding the program to Waikoloa Intermediate School and and by enhancing the effectiveness of D.A.R.E. by speaking to parents to provide support and student counseling.

Smith-Erickson’s past assignments included work on the Vice Section’s Airport Task Force. In nomination papers, Canda said her drug expertise and her “aggressive drug related interdiction” have contributed to the decline in crime in South Kohala.

“Officer Smith-Erickson’s performance has been exemplary, and her professionalism, dedication and genuine care in the service of these programs have increased the effectiveness of D.A.R.E. and relationships with the students and community immeasurably,” Canda wrote. “She is a model officer and her outstanding accomplishments reflect credit upon herself and the Hawaiʻi Police Department.”

The award was announced at the 2014 State of Hawaiʻi Biennial D.A.R.E. Conference at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu on February 27.

National Pharmacy Organization Awards UH Hilo Pharmacy Dean Top Research Honor

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has selected John M. Pezzuto, dean of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, to receive their top research award.

Dr. John M. Pezzuto

Dr. John M. Pezzuto

Pezzuto receives the 2014 Volwiler Research Achievement Award for his outstanding research and contributions to the field of natural product drug discovery. The award will be announced in July at the 2014 Annual Meeting in Grapevine, Texas, and will be published in Academic Pharmacy Now and on the AACP website.

“It is a tremendous honor, and I am very grateful for being recognized by the AACP in this manner,” Pezzuto said. “Over the years I have had the privilege of working with many fine colleagues, students, postdocs and visiting scholars. We continue to hope our hard work will make a difference for future generations.”

As Founding Dean of the UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy created in 2007, Pezzuto leads approximately 100 faculty and staff to educate and train students for careers in pharmacy.

After 35 years in academia, he has amassed more than 500 publications, is the co-inventor of several patents, the editor of four books, a member of more than 10 editorial boards of international journals, and the editor-in-chief of Pharmaceutical Biology. He is widely known for identifying the cancer-prevention aspects of resveratrol, a chemical found in grapes and grape products. Primarily noted for working in the area of natural products, he has been an administrator and researcher in pharmacy and drug discovery.

Pezzuto received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rutgers University and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University). He was the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Cancer Institute and performed two years of postdoctoral work in the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I have been witness to John’s work for many years, and have been impressed with the intensity that he displays when pursuing his research,” said Lucinda Maine, AACP executive vice president and CEO. “His research is world renowned and has the potential to affect the health of millions not only now but in the future.”

The Volwiler Research Achievement Award was established as the research prize in academic pharmacy to honor the late Ernest H. Volwiler, former president and research director of Abbott Laboratories. According to AACP, “the intent of the Award is to recognize annually an individual within the ranks of pharmacy education recognized by his or her peers as one of the leading research workers in a given area of the pharmaceutical and clinical sciences, pharmacy practice and the social and administrative
sciences, and for outstanding contributions to the respective disciplines.”

Pezzuto joins a highly distinguished group of researchers who have received this award since it was introduced in 1977.

Hawaii State Department of Education Announces Historic Sustainable Energy Program

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is embarking on a multiyear effort to harness sustainable energy and modernize campuses while expanding real-world educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

DOE ReleaseYesterday, the DOE announced it has selected Chevron Energy Solutions to help lead implementation of the five-year sustainable energy program, to be called Ka Hei.

The name Ka Hei comes from a specific type of snare used by the Hawaiian god Maui to capture the sun, according to Hawaiian tradition. The DOE’s Hawaiian Language Immersion Program educational specialists provided the name for this ambitious program.

Ka Hei will include the installation of sustainable energy generation equipment in all public schools statewide, positioning the DOE among the state’s foremost environmental stewards.

Another meaning of Ka Hei is, “to absorb as knowledge or skill.” As an extension of facility upgrades, Ka Hei will feature educational opportunities to engage students and staff in energy awareness and STEM. Components of the program include living laboratories, energy conservation hands-on learning, green energy simulators, STEM career exposure and student school contests. Students will receive real-time data on clean energy systems, creating relevant lessons about real-world scenarios.

Educational, environmental and financial benefits of Ka Hei will extend well beyond the five-year plan. The initiative will help boost student achievement in STEM while enhancing the financial stability of the DOE through the implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy and other sustainability projects.

“Ka Hei offers exciting opportunities on a number of levels, from educating our students about a multitude of energy components and workforce opportunities to strengthening communities and partnerships in the state’s energy sustainability goals,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Additionally, Ka Hei is a critical pillar of the DOE’s Strategic Plan to enhance learning opportunities in the growing fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We look forward to our partnership with Chevron Energy Solutions in shaping curricula for our schools and collaboration with our utility companies in exploring all that this program has to offer.”

Speaking at a press conference today at Kaimuki High, one of several DOE campuses currently powered partly by rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, Matayoshi reinforced the DOE’s commitment to Hawaii’s sustainable future. In 2011, the DOE began a pilot program to install PV systems at four Oahu high schools. The pilot expanded a year later to include 28 more schools on Oahu, and all 15 on Kauai. Building on the success of the pilot, which now includes a total of 47 schools on Oahu and Kauai, the DOE’s Office of School Facilities and Support Services is rolling out the Ka Hei program.

Ka Hei Phase I will begin implementation of renewable energy integration at three schools – one each on Maui, Hawaii Island and Oahu. As schools become more self sufficient, they can add additional value to the integrated electric grid of the future. The DOE will be a pioneer among the nation’s school districts by demonstrating the commitment and capability to becoming self-reliant for energy needs.

Brian Kealoha, regional manager for Chevron Energy Solutions, said, “Ka Hei is a comprehensive program that goes well beyond a traditional facilities improvement project but rather, focuses on driving broad-based impacts and results for the Department of Education and the communities which it serves.”

The DOE and Chevron Energy Solutions are working with Hawaiian Electric Company to find solutions to anticipated limitations on distributed generation on some neighborhood circuits.

“Hawaiian Electric Company is at the cutting edge of integrating utility-scale and customer-sited renewable energy generation and our collaboration with the Department of Education and Chevron Energy Solutions is key to ensuring that our future generations understand and act upon the importance of energy sustainability in our island state,” said Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Dick Rosenblum.

The overarching goals for Ka Hei are:

· Reduce energy consumption and cost at all 255 DOE schools;
· Build a diverse portfolio of new, clean, and on-site energy generation;
· Implement aggressive energy efficiency and conservation measures including demand response;
· Support the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative goals and the DOE’s goal of 90 percent clean energy by 2040; and
· Leverage this transformation to create educational opportunities and stimulate the economy through employment of local expertise and labor.

Kaimuki High administrators today demonstrated the school’s data dashboard showing real-time feeds of its energy system. Kaimuki High, in partnership with the Office of Naval Research, will integrate renewable energy efforts into its curriculum beginning fall 2014 with the debut of a STEM Academy. Kaimuki’s STEM Academy is part of the school’s Wall-to-Wall Academies, featuring college-style classes providing personalized education as well as college and career preparation for students. The STEM Academy will focus on the engineering design process.

“Kaimuki High is not only doing its share to heighten the awareness of energy efficiency and sustainability but we are also raising the bar of student learning in STEM subjects and career pathways,” said Wade Araki, principal. “We are very excited about expanding our pilot efforts and the department’s partnerships going forward to shape our curriculum into real-world application.”

DOE Digital Curriculum Expands Learning, Teaching Opportunities Access Learning – Now Deployed to All Eight Pilot Schools

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) updated House and Senate education committees on the progress of a digital curriculum pilot program launched in summer 2013 at eight public schools. The pilot provides the DOE necessary insight into the impact of technology on teaching and learning, while laying the groundwork for next steps toward technology integration into curriculum and schools.

Hawaii DOE educators used their computers to join the Access Learning legislative briefing via video conferencing. Clockwise, from top right: Moanalua Middle Principal Lisa Nagamine, Pahoa Elementary Principal Michelle Payne-Arakaki, and Keaau Elemenatry Principal Chad Keone Farias.

Hawaii DOE educators used their computers to join the Access Learning legislative briefing via video conferencing. Clockwise, from top right: Moanalua Middle Principal Lisa Nagamine, Pahoa Elementary Principal Michelle Payne-Arakaki, and Keaau Elemenatry Principal Chad Keone Farias.

Last legislative session, lawmakers approved $8.2 million for the DOE to implement a Hawaii Common Core digital curriculum pilot in the 2013-14 school year. This pilot became known simply as Access Learning.

The funds covered costs for computers for teachers and students, technical support, professional development, and also helped offset expenses associated with curriculum and implementation. Schools have partnered with county police departments to safeguard the computers, all of which are equipped with advanced security tracking software.

Access Learning has allowed educators and students to explore innovative digital lessons that go beyond textbooks and classroom walls.

For example, Keaau Elementary yesterday conducted a virtual field trip to Honolulu Zoo with University of Hawaii Laboratory School students. A UH Lab student wore a Google Glass to capture and stream video feeds of the zoo to the laptops of Keaau students. Children from both schools will now partner to produce videos and other projects about birds they saw at the zoo.

At Moanalua Middle, principal Lisa Nagamine says Access Learning has been instrumental to engage students more deeply in their education. Her school’s band students, for instance, have used technology to better visualize and create music, study composers and build connections with their music.

Moanalua Middle students using laptops during a musical lesson.

Moanalua Middle students using laptops during a musical lesson.

Mililani Waena Principal Dale Castro says his school is focusing on fostering engagement and inquiry by connecting instruction to real-life applications.

Access Learning has also been adopted at Mililani Mauka, Nanaikapono, Pahoa and Nanakuli elementary schools, and Nanakuli High and Intermediate.

Meanwhile, teachers piloting Access Learning widely agree the technology holds tremendous potential to help them save time, organize lessons, collaborate with peers and expand learning opportunities, according to preliminary data.

A baseline evaluation study of data collected in October 2013 shows that administrators, teachers and technology coordinators believe the program brings an exciting and important opportunity for students. Among the findings:

· Technology allows educators to more efficiently communicate with colleagues, develop and present lessons.
· Integrating technology in instruction can benefit all students – from high-needs to high-achieving children – by providing greater access to learning.
· Teachers say computers will help them tailor instruction to specific student needs, potentially boosting engagement and achievement.
The report also listed a number of implementation challenges such as the need to provide educators more time, individualized training and support – all areas the DOE continues to address.

“We are pleased and encouraged with the initial success of the program,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Access Learning has truly raised excitement among students and educators, opening doors to new, relevant and original learning opportunities.”

The Legislature is considering a $600,000 supplemental budget that would allow for professional development and technology support services that schools have identified as areas of need.

Learn more about Access Learning at

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. Visit to learn more about the Department, its goals and vision for success.

Local Artist Files Amended Complaint Alleging Multiple New Charges and Cause in Copyright Infringement Case

Kailua Kona Hawaii based Tiki Shark Art Incorporated v/s California based Cafe Press – i.e. “David v/s Goliath”.

Brad holding his original art piece "Forbidden Island".

Brad holding his original art piece “Forbidden Island”.

Tiki Shark Art Incorporated has filed, in Honolulu Federal Court a “Amended Complaint” alleging multiple new charges and causes  in this high profile “seminal” copyright infringement case that is making history.

The company has also made a major change in its legal representation, the Florida based Law Firm of Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property Law Group has recently withdrawn from this case.

More details can be found in the new complaint and court records + Press Releases scheduled to come out week of March 10, 2014.