New Graduation Requirements for KSBE Students

Parents of students at Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate (KSBE) students received an email from Vice President of Education Dr. Holoua Stender, notifying them of new graduation requirements that would begin with the class of 2022.

A new set of unified high school graduation requirements for all three campuses was recently approved by the Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees. These new requirements will enable Kamehameha Schools students across the three campuses to have access to comparable and consistent educational experiences, founded on the achievement of the E Ola. Learner Outcomes which will assist each student to grow toward realizing his/her full potential as good and industrious global citizens and servant leaders.

“I am sincerely grateful to nā Poʻo Kumu (principals) and nā Poʻo Kula (headmasters) from Hawai‘i, Kapālama and Maui for their incredible work in creating our first-ever set of Kamehameha Schools graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2022,” said Education Vice President Dr. Holoua Stender.

The new graduation requirements will begin with next year’s incoming freshmen class (2022). Students in the classes of 2021, 2020 and 2019 will continue to follow the requirements set forth prior to the new tri-campus graduation requirements.

The new requirements are categorized into three areas:

  • Nā Papa ‘Ikoi (core courses)
  • Nā Papa Mauli (electives)
  • Nā Mauli Hiwa (non-credit courses).

*Language requirement includes two years of Hawaiian language (Hawaiian 1 and Hawaiian 2). Students who pass a tri-campus proficiency test for Hawaiian 1 may earn placement in Hawaiian 2. Students who pass a tri-campus proficiency test for Hawaiian 2 may earn placement in Hawaiian 3. Students who attain proficiency in Hawaiian 2 via assessment, or by completing the Hawaiian 2 course, may choose to enroll in Hawaiian, or another language (e.g., Japanese, Spanish, etc.) and complete at least two years of their selected language to fulfill the language requirement.

As a part of Nā Papa ‘Ikoi and Nā Papa Mauli, students will earn 26 core and elective credits. In addition, all students will be required to take two years of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language).

Stender stated:

“This emphasis on ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi conveys Kamehameha’s commitment to cultivating a strong Hawaiian identity, which we believe provides a competitive advantage for our haumāna and graduates.

For the Nā Mauli Hiwa requirement, students will participate in school-based activities which foster character development, cultural identity, college and career readiness, safety, health and well-being, and servant leadership. A notable component in this new educational experience is a culminating senior capstone project demonstrating how E Ola! Learner Outcomes become embodied in student-centered, personalized projects which enable haumāna to become local and global leaders, who are culturally engaged and play significant roles in creating strong ʻohana and communities throughout ka pae ʻāina o Hawai`i and beyond.

The approved requirements align Kamehameha to other independent schools, while also acknowledging emerging trends in college acceptance requirements. As haumāna explore their options for college and career, they will be confident knowing that Kamehameha Schools has prepared them with rigorous and relevant courses of study. Haumāna wil be equipped with skills, knowledge and values through our Hawaiian culture-based program of study which will prepare them with a unique growth mindset for learning and leadership in the complex global society of today.

Our kumu, administrators and operations staff continue to put their hearts and souls into creating wonderful and enriching educational experiences for your keiki. As always, I am grateful for their dedication to our haumāna and to all of you, for fulfilling the sacred mission that Ke Ali‘i Pauahi set forth for us 130 years ago.

Our campus staff will continue to discuss and review these new graduation requirements among their colleagues, department heads, and campus leaders, and will work diligently to prepare our haumāna as we take this important step forward.

More information will be forthcoming about the Hawaiian language proficiency assessment for incoming freshmen and their senior capstone project. This information will be sent out by your student’s campus. The new requirements and frequently asked questions are available online if you would like to see more. If you have other questions about the new requirements, please call your son’s/daughter’s counselor or the high school principal’s office.”

$3 Million in Improvements Slated for Honoka‘a High & Intermediate

Hawai`i State Senator Lorraine Inouye. Senate Communications photo.

Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige released $3 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding for Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School.

Allocated has been $1.5 million to provide covered walkways that will connect various buildings at Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School. This project will also improve cross-campus mobility while improving sidewalk ADA ramps and access. Another $1.5 million will finance the design and construction of new restroom facilities at the school’s auditorium.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye (District 4: Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) championed to secure the funds which was approved in the 2016 and 2017 Legislative Sessions.

“Honoka‘a High and Intermediate is a school that carries a substantial responsibility in educating a huge number of students, so I’m thrilled that my colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor recognized the needs of the campus,” said Sen. Inouye. “I’m proud and happy students and staff at the school will soon have a healthier and safer environment to learn.”

Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School was founded in 1889 and is located in the center of Honoka‘a Town on the Hāmākua Coast of the Island of Hawai‘i. The Honoka‘a complex is unique in that it is the only high school in the state that is fed by a kindergarten to eighth grade public conversion charter school (Waimea Middle), a kindergarten to sixth grade elementary school (Honoka‘a Elementary) and a kindergarten to ninth grade elementary and intermediate school (Pa‘auilo Elementary & Intermediate), serving students from as far as Kawaihae through ‘Ō‘ōkala, about a 40 mile reach.

State VEX Championships Scheduled Jan. 13-14, 2018

The Hawaiian Electric Companies Hawaii State VEX Championships are scheduled Jan. 13-14, 2018 at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus gymnasium with more than 140 elementary, middle and high school teams from around the state competing for 25 qualification slots at the VEX World Championships in St. Louis, Kentucky this April. The state VEX Championships are free to the public.

Na Paniolo, a robotics team from Kohala High, took home the Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship, photo credit: Art Kimura

On Saturday, opening ceremonies for the VEX EDR (middle and high school teams) will begin at 8:45 a.m. with qualification matches starting at 9 a.m. through 12:45 p.m. Elimination matches will start at 1:45 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Of the total 47 teams competing, only five will advance to the VEX Worlds.

Competing schools in the VEX EDR include Highlands Intermediate, Hilo High, Island Pacific Academy (Kapolei), Kaiser, Kalani, Kamehameha Schools, Kapolei Middle, Keaau High, Kealakehe High, King Kekaulike, Konawaena High, Kohala High, Lokelani Intermediate, Maryknoll High, Maui High, Mililani High, Mid-Pacific Institute, Moanalua High, Molokai High, Pearl City High, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Joseph, Saint Louis, Stevenson Middle, Waiakea Intermediate, Waialua High & Intermediate and Waipahu High. Circuit Breakers, Island Robotics and 808 Robotics Homeschool also will compete.

On Sunday, opening ceremonies for the VEX IQ championships will begin at 8:30 a.m. with concurrent qualification matches starting at 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on separate fields for elementary and middle school teams. Afternoon matches begin at 1 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 3:45 p.m. The VEX IQ elementary championships will advance 11 of 46 teams to the VEX Worlds while the VEX IQ middle school championships will advance 9 of 45 teams.

Competing elementary schools are: Aliamanu, August Ahrens, Ewa Beach, Hawaii Technology Academy, Holualoa, Huaikalani School for Girls, Kaunakakai, Keaau, Konawaena, Kualapuu, Lihikai, Manana, Manoa, Maryknoll, Mililani, Moanalua, Nuuanu, Pearl City Highlands, Pomaikai, Princess Nahienaena, Pukalani, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Joseph and Waimalu. Mechaneers Robotics Club, BSA Aloha Council Troop 32, Manoa RoBlocks, Moanalua Pack 9 Cub Scout and Pack 33 Manoa-Kapiolani District Aloha Council also are entered.

Competing middle schools are: Akaula, Hanalani Schools, Hawaii Technology Academy, Hilo Intermediate, Ilima Intermediate, Island Pacific Academy, Kamehameha, Kapolei, Keaau, Konawaena, Lokelani Intermediate, Maryknoll, Mid-Pacific Institute, Mililani, Molokai, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Louis, St. John Vianney, Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, Waiakea Intermediate and Waialua. Cornerstone Engineering Robotics, Girl Scouts Troop 254, KalamaBotics (Makawao) and Phoenixbots (Mililani) also are registered.

UH Hilo College of Business and Economics Dean’s List Fall 2017

The following students in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Business and Economics made the Dean’s List for fall 2017:

Shiela Mae Sagun Almazan, Sheng Paul Ang, Desiree Rosalita Ashley, Jeryl Dadulla Bautista, Courtney Ann Aiko Inone Brock, Marson Nicolas Cabay, Charlene Mae Corotan, Elijah J.O.A. Cruz, Andrew Nalu Dawrs, Jhoanne A. Domingo, Allison Leilani Dupre, Lindsay Baker Emerson, Cyanne Malia Meihoong Fernandez, Manuel M. Fernandez, Gabriel Adam Fry, Christine Joy Halabas Galdones, Francine Andrei Bautista Gallego, Darcy Malia Gaylord, David Scott Graehler, Yan Ying Huang, Jeongwon Hwang, Nicole Kaleiokamalamalama Ignacio, Chelsey Kimiko Ikeda,

Janine Makanalani Iseri, Juvette Kamaka’ala Kahawaii, Pilialoha Jean Kailiawa, Zoe Ayaka Kimura, Momoko Koizumi, Polina I. Kozinskiy, Sinailetulaga Trude Kulberg, Thomas Weston Lindsey III, Samantha June Lord, Kainoa Abram Lyman, Victoria Magana Ledesma, Seth Thomas Master, Evan James Merrier, Tailani Morse, Austin Masaki Nakamura, Puanani Amina Nakamura-Jones, Attok David Nashon, Wyatt John Nelson, Brandon Kenta Okimoto, Lynda Naomi Ono, Minami Osawa, Cortney Gail Sachiyo Oshiro, Jazzle Ann Paraiso, Kahiau Raymond Tatsumi Peralta,

Jaye Leah Plumb, Alyssa Marie Reinking, Alicia Chanes Rodriguez, Marvin Joubin Rositzki, Kyungmin Ryu, Nicole Yukiko Saito, Shelby Blue Steele, Garnett Gani Stone Jr., Jaron Takeo Sugimoto, Adam Robert Swope, Nolan Anthony Cruz Taianao, Jubylen Godoy Teehee, Calvin Daishi Uemura, Onosa`i Va`a, Sienna Lynn Wareham, Thomas Edward Warren III, Travis Keoni Winters, YingYan Sun Wong, Kristen Michie Yagi, Tahiya Zaman and Yuye Zhao.

HCFCU 2018 Scholarship Program to Award 8 Scholarships

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is excited to announce its 2018 Scholarship Program will be accepting applications starting January 2, 2018.

Eight deserving Hawaii Islanders will each receive $2,500, totaling $20,000 given in scholarships, to help support their transition to higher education.  HCFCU has provided scholarships to Hawaii Island students for more than 32 years.

Each scholarship is named after an HCFCU volunteer or manager who made important contributions to the organization.

Five of the scholarships — Peter Hirata Scholarship, Albert Akana Scholarship, Katsumasa Tomita Scholarship, Frank Ishii Scholarship, and Mitsugi Inaba scholarship — are awarded to students based on need, academic achievement, career goals, and extracurricular activities.

The John Y. Iwane scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior that meets all the criteria mentioned above with plans to enter an agriculture-related field of study.

The Michael Asam Scholarship will be awarded to a senior who actively participates in an HCFCU sponsored Student Credit Union as a teller or as a Student Credit Union Board member.

The Yasunori Deguchi Scholarship will be awarded to a post-graduate on Hawaii Island, currently attending college or going back to college.

Eligibility Requirements

HCFCU’s Scholarships are open to our Hawaii Island communities. You do not have to be a member of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union. You must meet at least one of the following requirements to be eligible to apply.

  • Graduating senior from any Island of Hawaii high school and planning to attend a post-secondary college or four-year college during next school year as a full-time student(post-secondary college, vocational, technical – with a minimum two-year curriculum); or
  • A posthigh school graduate on Hawaii Island who is either currently attending, or going back to, a post-secondary college or four-year college as a full-time student (post-secondary college, vocational, technical – with a minimum two-year curriculum).

Submission Requirements

The following is required in order to complete your application.

  • Academic Record
  • Non-Academic/Extra-Curricular Activities
  • Career Goals & Educational Plans
  • Financial Need -Verified EFC signed off by counselor. FAFSA will need to be completed. (not required for post-graduates returning to college)

Interested applicants may fill out an application online at HCFCU’s website, www.hicommfcu.com. The online application streamlines the process and allows the applicants to save their work and complete it at a later date.

Applications and all required information must be received by April 2, 2018 to be considered.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, federally insured financial institution owned by its 40,000 members. HCFCU’s branches are located in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala, along with Student Credit Unions in Kealakehe, Kohala and Konawaena High Schools. In 2018, HCFCU will open its first-ever branch in East Hawaii in Hilo. In addition to complete checking and savings services,

HCFCU provides service-minded financial professionals to help facilitate mortgage, land, construction, small business, educational, personal and auto loans; drive up tellers; credit and debit cards with rewards; online and mobile banking; investment services and youth programs. HCFCU also supports numerous Hawaii Island non-profit organizations and community events. Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents.

UH Hilo College of Pharmacy Names Fall 2017 Dean’s List

The following students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy have been named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2017 semester:

Class of 2021
Clifford Agcaoili, Trang Bui, Aileen Bulatao, Brandon Chagami, Thai Dinh, Lauren Domingo, Sean Domingo, Angina El, Justin Fujiwara, Tailai Guan, Taylor Hiraga, Jake Hoctor, Feng Ming Huang, Jenna James, Patsylynn Jetley, Melody Keshavarz, John-Michael Kimhan, Da Hai Lee, QiXin Li, Kimberly Lin, Noelle Lovesy, Brittany Luna, Christian Macaspac, Josephine McDonald, Shane-Earl Naeole, Nu Nguyen, Lan Thi Hoang Nguyen, Destinee Ogas, Kimo Okamoto, Rebecca Oshiro, Calvin Ostler, Jaymee-Rae Pang, Elaine Phan, Henry Quach, Tiana Ramos, Tiana Ramos, Norlyn Ranchez, Sera Shimizu, Maysyvelle Sistoza, Johnson Siu, James Soe, Fumiko Steiger, Melissa Ann Tyndale, Christian Villalta, Donald Waddell

Class of 2020
Brandi Chun, Joshua Dillon, Jensine Melody Domingo, Amelia Furlan, Jhoana Paula Gonzales, Taylor Hori, Kamala Lizama, Tracy Lopez, Mary Lui, Jarin Miyamoto, Tony Moua, Stacey Nguyen, Brent Ocker, Tyler Peterson, Felix Rasgo, Robyn Rector, Taumie Richie, Shaina Saiki, Reid Shimada, Samantha Texeira, Jared Toba, Johnny Tran, Kelsey Trujillo, Thi Hong Vo, Stacie Waiamau

Class of 2019
Sydney Barney, Deniz Bicakci, Athena Borhauer, Rene-Scott Chavez, Torrence Ching, Katrina Downey, Samantha Gonzalez, Cathlyn Goo, Leigh Heffner, Faith Hicks, Vance Hill, Preston Ho, Stacy Huynh, Gurinder Kaur, Logan Kostur, San Ly, Kate Malasig, Jennifer Nguyen, Thu Nguyen, Kelsey Noetzelmann, Kara Paulachak, David Pham, Gam Phan, Rachel Randall, Lindsey Reinholz, Desiree Shouse, Clement Tran Tang, Shannon Trinh, Nicholas Tsoi, Ashley Uehara, Nancy Wong, Veronica Wong, Krystin Yasay, Carrie Yeung

Hawaii Gets Federal Nod on ESSA Plan, Approval Expected Soon

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) this morning received encouraging feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) following a review of its State plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). USED officials gave the indication for “ultimate approval of the plan” during a call with HIDOE officials.

“We had a great discussion with federal education officials who determined that Hawaii is well on its way for approval once we make minor adjustments to our consolidated plan,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “The State plan is a culmination of a community effort and it’s rewarding to see that the USED recognizes Hawaii’s effort and commitment to providing equitable and accessible education.”

ESSA is a reauthorization of the federal education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It replaces the prior reauthorization, most commonly known as No Child Left Behind.

Following the Hawaii State Board of Education approval, the Superintendent and Governor David Ige submitted the signed state’s ESSA plan to USED in September 2017. The Hawaii ESSA plan is designed to support HIDOE’s Strategic Plan objectives, which provides common direction for public schools to empower students in their learning.

“I’m pleased to learn that we are close to getting our ESSA plan approved,” said BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto. “The plan reflects our collective commitment to providing a well-rounded education for all students.”

HIDOE is making the necessary adjustments where further clarification is being sought on student supports that are already in place. Once the non-substantial changes are made, Superintendent Kishimoto will send the State plan to the USED for final approval.

For information on the state plan, visit http://bit.ly/HIDOE-ESSAfaqs.

Click to read

Read the USED Hawaii State plan interim feedback letter here.

UH Hilo Chancellor Search Begins

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor Search Advisory Committee has been appointed, and the committee will begin meeting immediately. A local, national and international search will be opened with the assistance of a professional firm, and the committee hopes to begin screening applicants and nominees by the end of February 2018.

The committee will conduct confidential video interviews of the most promising candidates, and the committee plans to host on-campus visits by the finalists in late April to ensure that students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders are able to meet the finalists and provide input.

UH President David Lassner will receive input from the committee and stakeholders and will then present a recommendation for appointment to the Board of Regents. The start date of the new chancellor will be determined based on the availability of the selectee.

“The next chancellor will be critical in strengthening UH Hilo’s unique position in the state and beyond,” said Lassner. “UH Hilo is enriched by an amazing natural environment for learning and research, a deep grounding in Native Hawaiian language, culture and community, and remarkable faculty and student diversity—all enveloped by the warmth of the welcoming Hilo community. The next chancellor must lead the campus vigorously forward to serve Hawaiʻi Island and the state as a vital part of the UH System with a spirit of innovation and collaboration in order to adapt to the changing environment for higher education in Hawaiʻi and across the nation.”

The 16-member search advisory committee includes representation from UH Hilo faculty, students, staff, the Hanakahi Native Hawaiian council and community leaders. All committee members share a common commitment to the future of UH Hilo.

Co-Chairs

  • Farrah-Marie Gomes, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UH Hilo
  • Vassilis Syrmos, Vice President for Research and Innovation, UH System

Committee members

  • Diane Barrett, Chair and Professor, School of Education, UH Hilo
  • Philippe Binder, Professor of Physics, Natural Sciences Division, UH Hilo
  • Lois Fujiyoshi, Executive Director of Budget and Business Management, UH Hilo
  • Kerri Inglis, Chair of Social Sciences Division and Professor of Hawaiian and Pacific History, UH Hilo
  • Gerald De Mello, Retired Director of University Relations, UH Hilo
  • Carolyn Ma, Dean of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy and Associate Professor, UH Hilo
  • M. Kāhealani Naeʻole-Wong, Poʻo Kula (Head of School), Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi Campus
  • Joni Onishi, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Hawaiʻi Community College
  • Sherrie Padilla, Enrollment Services Manager and Director of Financial Aid, UH Hilo
  • Isaac Pang, Graduate Student in Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, UH Hilo
  • Kaleihiʻiikapoli Rapoza, Interim Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, UH Hilo
  • Jennifer Stotter, Director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, UH Hilo
  • Misaki Takabayashi, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor, UH Hilo
  • Victoria Taomia, Vice President of UH Hilo Student Association

Applications Open for 2018-2019 Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), a program of Papa Ola Lōkahi (POL), is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications from students in health care and allied health professions for the 2018-2019 academic year. The deadline to apply online is March 18, 2018.

Awards are provided to students enrolled or enrolling full-time in an accredited college in Hawai‘i or the continental U.S. Benefits include tuition, other school related expenses, and a monthly stipend. Upon completion of the degree and required training and licensure, the recipient shall serve two to four years of full-time employment in designated medically underserved sites in Hawai‘i.

“Our applicants all demonstrate that they are exceptional college students,” asserts NHHSP director Keaulana Holt. “The ideal applicant will also understand the needs of their communities and be willing to apply their training and skills to improve the well-being back home.”

Applications are being accepted from students in clinical psychology, dentistry, dental hygiene, dietetics, marriage & family therapy, nursing, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physician’s assistant, public health and social work.

Last years recipients

Nine scholarships were awarded earlier this year. More than 275 scholarship awards have been made in almost 20 different health and behavioral health disciplines since 1991.

“The success of this grow-your-own program is that the scholars and alumni all contribute to improving the health of the lāhui.” POL executive director Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels says proudly. “Even better, they are becoming the leaders in our lāhui. We’re nurturing Hawaiians to serve Hawaiians.”

The entire application process is online. For more information about the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program visit our website at www.nhhsp.org.

STUDY: 94% of the Rats in Hilo Are Infected With Rat Lungworm Disease

A University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo research group supported by Hawai‘i Island legislators is urging more control measures be taken to lower the risks of the spread of rat lungworm (RLW) disease.

UH Hilo Rat Lungworm Lab

Findings of a study headed by the Rat Lungworm Working Group at the UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) are described in a paper entitled “High prevalence of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (rat lungworm) on eastern Hawai‘i Island: a closer look at life cycle traits and patterns of infection in wild rats” published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Our study showed almost 94 percent of the rats in the Hilo area are infected with RLW,” said Susan Jarvi, director of the working group who has been researching the progress of the disease for more than six years.

More than 30 other countries report data on RLW, including Australia, Brazil, Thailand and China. Jarvi suggests that due to the lack of diagnostic tools and difficulty in diagnosis, the disease may be underreported. Her group has been adding to the scientific evidence that gives legislators in Hawai‘i the proof they need to become more involved.

“Hawai‘i is able to take the lead globally on assessing the effects of this debilitating disease thanks to this scientific evidence from UH Hilo,” said Senator Kai Kahele, who represents Hawai‘i Senate District 1, which includes Hilo. “The first step in conquering a threat is in knowing the enemy. We can get ahead of the terrifying risks, but these results certainly show the urgency for more research.”

RLW disease is a parasitic infection that reproduces in rats and is transferred to slugs and snails, which can, if ingested intentionally or not, infect people. While symptoms can be mild and flu-like, there have been cases that have resulted in long-term disability and even death.

“UH Hilo continues to support Dr. Jarvi’s efforts to safeguard public health through her research on the system of this disease,” noted UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai. “We are exploring alternatives with state agencies that will continue to fund this important research, which reflects our commitment to help maintain the health of the community.”

Researchers in this study examined a total of 545 wild rats from multiple sites in the South Hilo District of east Hawai‘i Island. Through evaluation of multiple stages and locations of development of the infection with A. cantonensis, they were able to determine prevalence, and examine patterns of infection. The purpose was to determine how these data can be used to improve risk assessment and guide research development to better prevent and control human infection.

“Defeating this threat to our islands is essential to perpetuating our way of life,” said Representative Chris Todd, who represents Hilo in the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives. “I believe in the research being done at UH Hilo; their work will help us ensure a healthy future for our keiki – we, as a legislature, need to do more to support their mission.”

DKICP and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation – Medical Research supported research in this study. Authors were from DKICP: Jarvi, Stefano Quarta, Steven Jacquier, Kathleen Howe, Deniz Bicakci, Crystal Dasalla, Noelle Lovesy, Kirsten Snook and Robert McHugh; and Chris N. Niebuhr from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service’s National Wildlife Research Center, Hawai‘i Field Station in Hilo.

“The clear and present danger of this difficult-to-eradicate disease warrants increased measures to control its spread in both snails, slugs and rodents,” Jarvi said. “Only by deliberate management can we hope to protect human and animal populations.”

Hawaii Supreme Court Holds Oral Argument at Castle High School

The Hawaii Supreme Court held oral argument today at Castle High School with about 200 Oahu high school students in attendance.

Students from Castle, Farrington, McKinley, and Mililani high schools and Le Jardin Academy participated in the Judiciary’s Courts in the Community outreach program. They prepared to watch the oral argument by working through a curriculum developed by the Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center and the Students for Public Outreach and Civic Education of the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law. Attorneys from the Hawaii State Bar Association also volunteered their time to visit classrooms to assist in preparing students for the argument.

The case heard at Castle, CC vs. DD, is a parentage case involving a former same sex married couple. The issue is whether Appellant has a legal parent/child relationship with the child born to Appellee during the marriage.

The goal of Courts in the Community is to enhance students’ understanding of the Judiciary’s role in government and its function in resolving disputes in a democratic society. The Hawaii Supreme Court convenes in schools to hear oral argument in actual cases pending before the court. Since the program’s inception in 2012, 56 schools and about 3,900 students have participated. This is the 11th oral argument under this program.

“Our Courts in the Community program enables students to discover how our judicial system operates in practice,” said Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “Through this experience, we hope that the students realize the judicial process is designed to get to the truth by carefully considering both sides of the case. That understanding of the rule of law is vital to the future of our democracy.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the teachers, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, and the volunteer attorneys who helped make this happen. These invaluable partnerships are what make the program a success,” added Chief Justice Recktenwald.

The Hawaii State Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation generously provided the students with lunches and transportation to and from their schools.

“The Hawaii State Bar Association would like to thank and congratulate the many dedicated teachers, volunteer attorneys, school and court administrators, and especially the students, who together made the Hawaii Courts in the Community Supreme Court session at Castle High School such an overwhelming success,” said Howard Luke, president-elect of the Hawaii State Bar Association. “The attorneys arguing each side of the many unique, challenging issues presented in this case set the stage for a very spirited question-and-answer session following the Court proceedings.

“It was especially encouraging to see how well prepared and thoroughly engaged the students were, as demonstrated by their very thoughtful, relevant questions to the justices. We are grateful for this wonderful opportunity made possible by our Hawaii Supreme Court,” added Luke.

Oral argument was followed by two separate question-and-answer sessions for the students – one with the attorneys and another with justices.

Hasinger Leaving UH Institute of Astronomy for the European Space Agency

University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) Director Günther Hasinger is leaving UH to be the next director of science at the European Space Agency (ESA), Europe’s equivalent to NASA. He will be responsible for the definition, planning and execution of ESA’s science program, which includes working with member countries and international partners like the United States. Hasinger has been with the university since 2011.

Günther Hasinger

“I am extremely honored to have been part of the IfA ʻohana and to have worked with such a talented and dedicated group of people,” said Hasinger, who will be based in Spain and will be closer to his family, including his first grandchild. “I look forward to future partnerships between ESA, NASA and the ground-based observatories, especially those here in Hawaiʻi.”

UH will name an interim director for IfA and begin the search for a new director.

During his tenure, Hasinger led the institute during the ongoing TMT process and regularly represented the university during the proceedings. He also oversaw many significant advances at IfA. The Pan-STARRS1 telescope on Haleakalā, Maui, came into full operation, eventually producing the world’s foremost sky survey, and becoming the world leader in the detection of asteroids, comets and near-Earth objects.

Hasinger also helped shepherd the transfer to UH of the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Maunakea. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, also on Haleakalā, drew close to completion during his tenure.

Lasting changes to IfA’s education and outreach programs were also made under his leadership. The institute and the UH Mānoa College of Natural Sciences developed a new undergraduate degree program, offering a BA in astronomy and a BS in astrophysics. IfA also worked with the Maunakea observatory community to significantly expand public outreach, including development of the Maunakea Scholars program. IfA now organizes more than 200 events annually, reaching 25,000 people across the state.

For more information, visit: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/

Get on Board Initiative Saves State Approximately $13 Million

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and TransPar have saved the state approximately $13 million annually through the Get on Board student transportation initiative.

Photo Credit: Department of Education

From 2013 to 2017, Hawaii public schools’ student bus transportation system underwent a comprehensive transformation, including the development of new procurement methods and contract models. Another key milestone for the four-year project involved incorporating new technology and the implementation of computerized routing software, GPS mapping and tracking, and the addition of video cameras to all school buses.

“We’ve successfully revamped our school bus transportation system during the four-year pilot program by using industry best practices to deliver economical, efficient and effective student transportation services,” said Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “Through this pilot program, we’ve substantially reduced the annual cost of public school bus transportation services statewide by approximately $13 million.”

What started as a pilot project for 32 Central Oahu schools in 2013, has now grown and expanded statewide. During Phase 2, the program provided student bus transportation to all schools on Oahu, the Big Island and Molokai. Earlier this year, HIDOE successfully implemented the final phase of its Get on Board initiative with the awarding of new contracts on Maui and Kauai for the 2017-18 school year.

Now that the rollout has been completed, HIDOE and TransPar are focused on establishing the systems and process that support continuous improvement and sustainability. By using the technology acquired and process improvements implemented in the Get on Board initiative, the most efficient level of service continues to be provided to students.

“Despite the unexpected bus driver shortage that our bus contractors faced in August 2017, we worked with the schools and contractors to restore bus service as quickly as we could,” said Carlson. “As we look ahead and plan for the future, we’ll continue to assess the system on a daily basis, and improve service, safety and efficiency with TransPar’s guidance. We’re also exploring new ways to make our bus transportation system easier for students and their parents.”

For more information about Get on Board, please click here.

Public Schools Shine During Computer Science Education Week Festivities

Schools across the state joined nationwide celebrations of Computer Science Education with more than 170 events over the past week – from an Hour of Code at Kailua Elementary to a family friendly event hosted by Daniel K. Inouye Elementary that featured coding activities, robot obstacle courses and much more.

Schools across the state joined nationwide celebrations of Computer Science Education.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

“It’s wonderful to see students and teachers get excited about Computer Science education, not just during this Computer Science Education Week but year-round,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “We’ve been working on advancing Computer Science curriculum as part of our Strategic Plan. We look forward to presenting our plans before the Board of Education on implementation across cross-disciplinary fields such as Math, Science, STEM, Advanced Placement and Career and Technical Education.”

In support of the Department’s efforts in developing rigorous K-12 computer science standards, Governor David Ige yesterday added his name along with other governors to the Governors Partnership for K-12 Computer Science.

Computer science (CS) education is tied to the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) Strategic Plan and implementation strategies. Earlier this year, HIDOE’s Office of Curriculum Instruction and Student Support met with the Hawaii State Student Council to get their perspective on a CS education rollout effort.  The CS activities rolled out this week across the state is a reflection of the teacher collaboration taking place as well as raising opportunities for students to voice the importance of digital learning.

“We know that the workforce’s top jobs are in need of kids who are educated in computer science,” said Sarah Milianta-Laffin, seventh grade teacher, Ilima Intermediate. “If we’re going to get to that place, we have to get kids excited about it – we have to be their cheerleaders because we’re teaching them about a world that we haven’t been taught about ourselves.”

Many schools are incorporating courses in coding, which has been well received by students.

“Coding is a superpower,” explained Mitchell Togiai, seventh grader at Ilima Intermediate. “In the world that we live in today where technology is everywhere, it’s really important to learn how to code.”

Capping off CS Week

This evening, Superintendent Kishimoto and members of her leadership team will be attending a close out event – Momilani Elementary’s third annual CS for ALL Night. Due to the popularity of the annual festivity, the event is taking place at neighboring Pearl City High School. It will feature hands on activities connected to concepts in computer science such as computing systems, networks and the Internet, as well as algorithms and programming.

Big Island schools participating were:

  • Chiefess Kapiolani El
  • Honaunau El
  • Honokaa El
  • Kahakai El
  • Kealakehe El
  • Kealakehe High
  • Kealakehe Inter
  • Keaau El
  • Keonepoko El
  • Konawaena El
  • Mt. View El
  • Naalehu El
  • Waikoloa El & Middle
  • Waimea El

Approximately 600 Attend ‘Pearl Harbor Youth Day’

In remembrance of the Pearl Harbor attack 76 years ago, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor once again sponsored Pearl Harbor Youth Day, December 9, from 10 am – 2 pm with free admission for students up to age 18. Approximately 600 attended the event. This year’s theme, “Celebrating the Pearl Harbor Child” focused on those who witnessed the attack as children and lived through the war years in Hawaii.

Visitors heard first-person accounts from former Pearl Harbor children such as Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson, award-winning author. The new Mattel American Girl Doll “Nanea Mitchell,” based in part on Ms. Nicholson’s experiences, was featured through a variety of activities that provided insight into the lives of those who were in Hawaii during the 1940s. Two “Nanea” dolls were given away during the day, compliments of American Girl.

Other highlights included a scavenger hunt, swing dancing, the ever popular open cockpits of some of the Museum’s most iconic aircraft, machine shop riveting with “Rosie the Riveter,” lei making, hula lessons, and costumed interpreters representing historic characters.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in the winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Hawaii Public Schools Serve Local Grass-Fed Beef in December

This month, Hawaii public schools are serving locally raised, grass-fed beef in its hamburger patties. Elementary and middle school students will be served teri hamburger steak, while high school students will enjoy teri loco moco lunches.

High school students will enjoy teri loco moco lunches (pictured above), while elementary and middle school students will be served teri hamburger steak.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

This is part of the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) effort to include more fresh local agriculture in student meals. It is made possible through a joint partnership with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, the State Department of Agriculture, the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council.

“This is a great step forward in providing healthy options in our meal program and working with partners to make these opportunities possible,” said Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. “We appreciate the support of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council. Their partnership allows our students to understand the connection and importance of local agriculture.”

In 2015, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui spearheaded a partnership effort called, “Farm to School” (also known as ‘Aina Pono), with HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center to increase local food in school lunches using products from the local community.

The Farm to School Initiative addresses the supply and demand issues surrounding the purchasing of local food for our State school cafeterias. The Initiative also aims to systematically increase state purchasing of local food for our school menus as well as connect our keiki with the ‘āina (land) through their food, using products from the local agricultural community.

“This initiative is a major game-changer in the way we are feeding our kids in schools. Along with changing what our keiki eat, we are serving them food made with local, fresh ingredients,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui. “This is a win-win for our students because they eat healthier, and for our farmers and ranchers because we are supporting our local agricultural industry.”

Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which HIDOE has now adopted as its own. In addition to school gardens, nutrition, agriculture, health and food education, ‘Aina Pono has expanded to include test kitchens, meal programs, menu planning and efforts to include more fresh local agriculture in student meals.

Tomorrow: Kona Choral Society Youth Choruses – “Let Your Light Shine”

The Kona Choral Society Youth Choruses invites the public to a free concert tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 8th at 5:30 p.m.

Come enjoy the voices of three youth choruses as they present “Let Your Light Shine.”

Children from grades K-12 join together for this festive concert under the direction of Wendy Buzby, Youth Director.

Hale Halawai is located at 75-5760 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona.

Discovery of New Twin Planets Could Solve Mystery

Scientists are getting closer to the answer of how did the largest planets get to be so large, thanks to the recent discovery of twin planets by a University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy (UH IFA) team led by graduate student Samuel Grunblatt.

Upper left: Schematic of the K2-132 system on the main sequence. Lower left: Schematic of the K2-132 system now. The host star has become redder and larger, irradiating the planet more and thus causing it to expand. Sizes not to scale. Main panel: Gas giant planet K2-132b expands as its host star evolves into a red giant. The energy from the host star is transferred from the planet’s surface to its deep interior, causing turbulence and deep mixing in the planetary atmosphere. The planet orbits its star every nine days and is located about 2000 light years away from us in the constellation Virgo. PC: Karen Teramura, UH IFA

Gas giant planets are primarily made out of hydrogen and helium, and are at least four times the diameter of Earth. Gas giant planets that orbit close to their host stars are known as “hot Jupiters.”

These planets have masses similar to Jupiter and Saturn, but tend to be much larger—some are puffed up to sizes even larger than the smallest stars.

The unusually large sizes of these planets are likely related to heat flowing in and out of their atmospheres, and several theories have been developed to explain this process.

“However, since we don’t have millions of years to see how a particular planetary system evolves, planet inflation theories have been difficult to prove or disprove,” said Grunblatt.

To solve this issue, Grunblatt searched through data collected by NASA’s K2 Mission to hunt for hot Jupiters orbiting red giant stars. These stars, which are in the late stages of their lives, become themselves significantly larger over their companion planet’s lifetime. Following a theory put forth by Eric Lopez of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, hot Jupiters orbiting red giant stars should be highly inflated if direct energy input from the host star is the dominant process inflating planets.

The search has now revealed two planets, each orbiting their host star with a period of approximately nine days. Using stellar oscillations to precisely calculate the radii of both the stars and planets, the team found that the planets are 30 percent larger than Jupiter.

Observations using the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea on Hawai‘i Island also showed that, despite their large sizes, the planets were only half as massive as Jupiter. Remarkably, the two planets are near twins in terms of their orbital periods, radii and masses.

Using models to track the evolution of the planets and their stars over time, the team calculated the planets’ efficiency at absorbing heat from the star and transferring it to their deep interiors, causing the whole planet to expand in size and decrease in density. Their findings show that these planets likely needed the increased radiation from the red giant star to inflate, but the amount of radiation absorbed was also lower than expected.

It is risky to attempt to reach strong conclusions with only two examples. But these results begin to rule out some explanations of planet inflation, and are consistent with a scenario where planets are directly inflated by the heat from their host stars. The mounting scientific evidence seems to suggest that stellar radiation alone can directly alter the size and density of a planet.

The Sun will eventually become a red giant star, so it’s important to quantify the effect its evolution will have on the rest of the Solar System. “Studying how stellar evolution affects planets is a new frontier, both in other solar systems as well as our own,” said Grunblatt. “With a better idea of how planets respond to these changes, we can start to determine how the Sun’s evolution will affect the atmosphere, oceans, and life here on Earth.”

The search for gas giant planets around red giant stars continues since additional systems could conclusively distinguish between planet inflation scenarios. Grunblatt and his team have been awarded time with the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope to measure the sizes of these twin planets more accurately. In addition, the search for planets around red giants with the NASA K2 Mission will continue for at least another year, and NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), launching in 2018, will observe hundreds of thousands of red giants across the entire sky.

“Seeing double with K2: Testing re-inflation with two remarkably similar planets orbiting red giant branch stars” has been published in November 27th edition of The Astronomical Journal as and is available online.

UH Researchers Discover New Fish – The Marianna Snailfish

The ocean’s deepest fish doesn’t look like it could survive in harsh conditions thousands of feet below the surface. Instead of giant teeth and a menacing frame, the fishes that roam the deepest parts of the ocean are small, translucent, bereft of scales — and highly adept at living where few other organisms can.

A specimen of the new species, Mariana snailfish. Credit: Mackenzie Gerringer, UW and UH.

Meet the deepest fish in the ocean, a new species named the Mariana snailfish by an international team of researchers, including scientists from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), that discovered it. The Mariana snailfish (Pseudoliparis swirei) thrives at depths of up to about 8,000 meters (26,200 feet) along the Mariana Trench near Guam. The team published a paper describing the new species this week in the journal Zootaxa.

“This is the deepest fish that’s been collected from the ocean floor, and we’re very excited to have an official name,” said lead author Mackenzie Gerringer, graduate student at SOEST at the time of this work and current postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories. “They don’t look very robust or strong for living in such an extreme environment, but they are extremely successful.”

Snailfish are found at many different depths in marine waters around the world. In deep water, they cluster together in groups and feed on tiny crustaceans and shrimp using suction from their mouths to gulp prey. Very little is known about how these fish can live under intense water pressure; the pressure at those depths is similar to an elephant standing on your thumb.

This new species appears to dominate parts of the Mariana Trench, the deepest stretch of ocean in the world that is located in the western Pacific Ocean. During research trips in 2014 and 2017 aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor, scientists collected 37 specimens of the new species from depths of about 6,900 meters (22,600 feet) to 8,000 meters (26,200 feet) along the trench. DNA analysis and 3-D scanning to analyze skeletal and tissue structures helped researchers determine they had found a new species.

Since then, a research team from Japan has recorded footage of the fish swimming at depths of 8,178 meters (26,830 feet), the deepest sighting so far.

“Snailfishes have adapted to go deeper than other fish and can live in the deep trenches. Here they are free of predators, and the funnel shape of the trench means there’s much more food,” said co-author Thomas Linley of Newcastle University. “There are lots of invertebrate prey and the snailfish are the top predator. They are active and look very well-fed.”

A handful of researchers have explored the Mariana Trench, but very few comprehensive surveys of the trench and its inhabitants have been completed because of its depth and location, Gerringer explained. These research trips involved dropping traps with cameras down to the bottom of the trench. It can take four hours for a trap to sink to the bottom.

After waiting an additional 12 to 24 hours, the researchers sent an acoustic signal to the trap, which then released weights and rose to the surface with the help of flotation. That allowed scientists to catch fish specimens and take video footage of life at the bottom of the ocean.

“There are a lot of surprises waiting,” Gerringer said. “It’s amazing to see what lives there. We think of it as a harsh environment because it’s extreme for us, but there’s a whole group of organisms that are very happy down there.”

The Mariana snailfish’s location was its most distinguishing characteristic, but researchers also saw a number of differences in physiology and body structure that made it clear they had found a new species. With the help of a CT scanner at the UW’s Friday Harbor Labs, the researchers could look in close digital detail to study elements of the fish.

The authors, including SOEST oceanography faculty Jeffrey Drazen and Erica Goetze, acknowledge the broad collaboration needed for deep-sea science, particularly in this discovery, and decided the new fish’s scientific name should reflect that collaborative effort. The fish is named after a sailor, Herbert Swire, an officer on the HMS Challenger expedition in the late 1800s that first discovered the Mariana Trench, and in recognition of the critical role of crew members on board research vessels.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, Schmidt Ocean Institute and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland.

Department of Health Conducts TB Testing at Lihikai Elementary School

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is notifying the parents of students and staff members of Lihikai Elementary School on Maui of possible exposure to tuberculosis (TB) at the school. An informational session for affected families and employees will be held next week. Precautionary TB testing will be offered to roughly 80 individuals who may have had exposure.

“The risk of catching TB from someone at school is very low,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacNeill, chief of the DOH Tuberculosis Branch. “TB is not as contagious as many other illnesses such as colds or the flu. Testing may help us find others with early, noncontagious TB and gives us the opportunity to prevent TB for those who might have been exposed. The school screening is an extra measure of safety, and everyone who may have been exposed is being notified.”

DOH conducted an extensive investigation and evaluation of potential contacts and possible exposure immediately after being notified of the active TB case at the end of October. Information on the individual and their case is confidential and protected by law. DOH will be testing only those persons with regular close contact to the patient, and all student families and school employees are receiving a letter describing the situation and whether testing is recommended.

Informational meetings will be held in the cafeteria at Lihikai Elementary School to give families and employees the opportunity to ask questions and discuss their concerns. Meetings will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 2:30 p.m. for school employees, and at 6 p.m. for families and the general public. TB screening at the school is scheduled to begin on Monday, Nov. 27.

TB is a disease that is commonly seen in the lungs and can be spread from person-to- person through the air with close, continuous contact. When a person with active TB disease in the lung or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings, tiny drops containing M. tuberculosis may be spread into the air. If another person inhales these drops, there is a chance that they may become infected with TB. Two forms of TB exist, both of which are treatable and curable:

  1. Latent TB infection – when a person has TB bacteria in their body but the body’s immune system is protecting them and they are not sick. Someone with latent TB infection cannot spread the infection to other people.
  2. Active TB disease – when a person becomes sick with TB because their immune system can no longer protect them from active TB infection. Someone with active TB disease may be able to spread the infection to other people.

For more information on tuberculosis or TB testing, please call the DOH Hawaii Tuberculosis Control Program at 832-5731 or visit http://health.hawaii.gov/tb/.

The Tuberculosis Control Program works to reduce the incidence of TB in the state by providing effective prevention, detection, treatment, and educational services. The program offers diagnosis and treatment of TB; ensures that all cases and suspected cases of TB are identified and appropriate therapy is provided; and provides preventive therapy for patients at high risk of developing TB disease including contacts of active cases, persons who are HIV positive, and those with evidence of untreated TB. Through its clinics located in four counties, the program conducts direct TB services including chest X-ray, sputum smear and culture for mycobacteria, tuberculin skin testing, treatment with anti-tuberculosis therapy, and directly observed therapy.