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UH Hilo Receives $2.7 Million to Fund “Ohana Heroes Project” – $100 For Families With at Least One Child

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Houston have teamed up in a $2.7 million Department of Defense-funded research project to determine the effects of deployment on military families.

Ohana Heroes Project
“The ultimate goal of this project is to better understand the effects of military deployment on family functioning in order to develop and guide support programs for these families,” noted Dr. Charmaine Higa-McMillan, an associate professor of psychology at UH Hilo and principal investigator for the `Ohana Heroes Project at the UH Hilo site. Co-principal investigators in this multisite grant are professors Deborah Beidel at the University of Central Florida and Candice Alfano at the University of Houston.

“Parental deployment creates significant stress for both the deployed parent and the family left behind. Although significant numbers of U.S. combat forces in Iraq and Afghanistan will be returning over the next year, there are still thousands of troops deployed across the globe across all service branches, including each branch’s reserve component and the National Guard,” she added. “Unique to the current conflicts, families of deployed troops face increasing distress as a result of repeated and lengthening deployments.”

In addition to interviews and surveys, the research builds on past research by examining biological markers of stress such as stress hormones and disrupted sleep patterns as well as examining whether the non-deployed parent’s distress impacts the child’s psychosocial and academic functioning. Also unique to this study is the use of civilian families and non-deployed military families as control groups.

The `Ohana Heroes Project is looking for all types of families on Hawaiʻi Island and O`ahu with at least one child. Families will complete interviews with study staff and hard copy surveys. Non-invasive physical measures of stress (salivary cortisol and movement watches) will also be obtained over the course of one week. Estimated time to complete the project is four to five hours. Compensation for participation is $100 cash.

For more information, visit http://ohanaheroes.com/, email contact@ohanaheroes.com, or call (808) 933-3861 (Hawaiʻi Island) or (808) 365-4624 (O`ahu).

 

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx on Jobs, the Economy, GMO-Labeling, and Education.

Speaking to a large crowd at the Hilo Woman’s Club this evening, 2ndCongressional District Candidate Bob Marx addressed a variety of issues including Jobs and the Economy, GMO-Labeling, and Education.

On education, Mr. Marx responded to the first question of a young woman in the audience who asked about the burden of her student loans: “New college graduates begin their careers with an average of $35,000 in student loan debt, in addition to any family repayment obligations or credit card debt they may have incurred. They face unemployment rates in the low teens, and most federally-backed student loans, like the popular Stafford program, come knocking on their doors immediately upon graduation and cannot be discharged or forgiven even through bankruptcy filing. And this Republican Congress is threatening to double the rates? That’s preposterous.”

“The near economic future for almost all college students will, unfortunately, be limited by the burden of the student loan repayment. How can we ask our kids and working families to put themselves through this?”  Marx asked, rhetorically.

Mr. Marx explained that many of the new graduates today have education debt higher than the cost of a modest home:  “That’s crazy,” he said, “the size of the debt has enormous future effects on the ability to get an affordable loan for a car to get to work or for a home to live in. To get a very low rate on a loan today, creditors look at one thing: debt-to-income ratio over an extended period. Are you good for it? They ask. Well, I think our young people and those who want to get back to work are good for it, and we should be there to help them out.”

Of course, it’s not just the college graduate who is getting hit. Many people on unemployment have seen their jobs evaporate and are left with unmarketable, less demanded skills that they once relied on for their livelihoods and well-being.

Marx responded, “If someone is out of work and has the drive to work, even in a new trade—like learning how to be a radiology lab tech, for example—then I think we, the same government and business that outsourced their last job to China or India, should be happy to contribute.”

For many young people, the overall cost of a college or university education can be managed or reduced by utilizing the Community College system for their lower division coursework and then transferring to a four-year College or University. Marx told the group, “I put myself through college working part-time and through Law School working full-time, so I know it can be done!”

When asked by a member of the audience if there was “a way out of the student-loan trap,” Marx said: “First of all, I don’t see it as a trap. True, for most, there is a financial obligation undertaken to get a higher education, and as with any large debt it may limit your future borrowing until it has been repaid. But the value of a four-year degree or a two-year certification program far outweighs the short-term burden. There is no greater investment an individual can make—or a country for that matter— than on education.”

Bob Marx restated his promise: “I will, as your Representative, work with every member of the Congress, regardless of ideology, to increase funding for and improve access to higher education and continual re-training for all Americans.”

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx on the Honolulu Rail Project

Bob Marx, the lone neighbor island candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District, calls the proposed Honolulu Rail Project (HART) irresponsible.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

Speaking to a group of students near the University of Hawai‘i – Hilo, Marx stated: “I stand with former Governor Cayetano in his opposition to the proposed Honolulu Rail Project. Increasing the debt for Honolulu and writing it off on rural Oahu, the neighbor islands, and our future generations is not only fiscally irresponsible but impractical.”

According to newly released Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Services, Hawai‘i ranks first in the amount of debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product and second in debt per capita: almost $8000 for every man, woman and child in the state.

“As usual, the City of Honolulu will again ask the rest of the State to pick up its tab on bloated spending projects. Importing steel from Europe will not create jobs for Hawai‘i. Working class people on Oahu have been hit hard enough already by the economic downturn, and raising taxes on them is not the solution. As a small business owner, I know the devastating effect that even a 1/2 percent excise tax increase can have on a business.”

General excise taxes are paid by businesses on gross receipts, not on revenue. Therefore, even businesses that are losing money would be asked to pay more. Documents presented by former Governor Cayetano and his supporters at a press conference yesterday outlined the questionable nature of the project’s proposed job creation statistics.

And just how will a Honolulu rail project help citizens living on the neighbor islands and the rest of Oahu? “Former Mayor Hannemann already hit rural Oahu with a 1/2 percent tax increase to fund Honolulu projects, and then abandoned them to pursue his political ambitions. It’s no secret where his priorities lie,” Marx added.

A lawsuit filed in 2011 by former Governor Cayetano and Hawai‘i’s Thousand Friends states that the city’s jobs forecasts are very misleading. Marx agrees, saying: “The lack of foresight for this project rests not on the hands of Mayor Carlisle but on his predecessor. Mayor Carlisle has been forced to make tough decisions, including reducing Police, Flood Control, and Erosion Protection budgets.

“This was Mufi’s project, and was poorly handled from the onset. Now he wants the voters of Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District to give him the reigns to mismanage the neighbor islands as well.”

Bob Marx is a Democratic Candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District.