Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
NASA is hosting 150 people from around the world and will provide them with a behind-the-scenes perspective to share with their followers via the social networking service Twitter. Bass is the only “tweep” from Hawaii going to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to NASA, attendees will be coming from 38 states, the District of Columbia, Australia, Canada, Chile, England, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand and the Philippines; all were selected randomly from more than 2,700 online registrations. Attendees are responsible for their own travel.
Twitter users can follow Bass’s tweets at www.twitter.com/dani_bass.
In addition, Bass created her own website at http://www.imuanahoku.com/, especially for schools and classrooms to follow the launch, and for those who are not on Twitter.
“I’m excited and honored to be representing Hawaii at this historic event,” said Bass. “This will be the last launch and flight of the space shuttle Discovery, the oldest orbiter of the shuttle fleet. I’ve always been interested in flying and in the NASA program, and I’m grateful for this incredible opportunity. I’ll be tweeting and updating my website all weekend.”
Reporters interested in interviewing Tweetup attendees should contact Stephanie Schierholz at 202-358-4997 or Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to NASA Media Advisory: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/oct/HQ_M10-146_Tweet_Credentials.html
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
George Vonner came to Hawaii in early October expecting to live with a relative and find work. Once he was able to save some money, he planned to get his own place and ultimately bring his wife to the islands from California. When his living arrangements fell through, George found himself on the streets and homeless.
While waiting for help, he slept at a bus stop on a piece of cardboard in Iwilei. He got his meals and a place to shower from the Institute for Human Services and the River of Life.
A few weeks ago, he went to the State Library main branch on King Street to look for resources that might be able to help him. He walked over to the State Capitol where he was talking to a legislative staffer when Senator Brickwood Galuteria stopped to talk. Sen. Galuteria suggested he call Partners in Care.
Pam Menter with Partners in Care joined forces with Tisha Woytenko at Help the Hawaii Homeless, and together they reviewed George's case. Tisha said she knew that George was a good candidate to receive assistance for family reunification, and she called Rep. John Mizuno.
Rep. Mizuno agreed to donate $100 of his personal money toward a ticket, and Tisha was able to find a good rate with Alaska Airlines for $263. Together, the $180 from George's wife Charlene, and the $100 from Rep. Mizuno, they had enough money to send George home with a little left over for food while at the airport.
Rep. Mizuno, Pam Menter and Tisha Woytenko all believe that family reunification can work with the proper screening. George is the 5th person who has been helped through private donations and a ticket back home. He plans to pursue work as a court clerk or court officer as he has a degree in criminal justice. According to Tisha, she has 25 people on the list requesting assistance in going home.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
When: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 11:00 a.m.
Where: State Capitol, Room 436
Background: This is the second time that Rep. Mizuno has contributed his own money to help a homeless person get back to family on the mainland. Last summer, Mizuno helped Gregory Reese go home to Seattle, Washington.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Mr. Kalapa urged a "No" vote on the constitutional amendment which gives the legislature the option, if there is a budget surplus for two years in a row, to provide a tax refund or deposit the surplus into a rainy day fund.
The Oshiro/Chong letter appeared today as follows:
Let Legislature control surplus
Regarding the constitutional amendment question on the general election ballot, we disagree with Lowell Kalapa ("Don't let Legislature keep budget surplus, keep refunds instead," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 21) and urge voters to vote "Yes." This is the amendment that would allow the Legislature a choice, given the situation, to put surplus funds into a rainy day fund or to provide a refund to the taxpayers.
If the state had a $1 million surplus, I think that most people would rather see the money used for good causes such as education or the homeless rather than get a $1 tax refund. One dollar might buy you a cup of coffee, but collectively, those dollars could add up to avoid teacher furloughs or restore agriculture and food safety inspectors. Right now, the Legislature does not have a choice and is mandated to give back a return, even if it is only $1 per taxpayer.
Vote yes. It's the prudent, logical and fiscally responsible thing to do.
Rep. Marcus Oshiro House Finance chairman;
Rep. Pono Chong Majority whip
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
One of the recipients is one of our very own! Congratulations Rep. K. Mark Takai! In 2002, Rep. Takai discovered an obscure provision that has since helped to secure over $40 million in federal impact aid for the Dept. of Education. Rep. Takai also created a free internet-based program, Student Online Achievement Resources –SOAR, for Hawaii's children. This website focuses on math, reading and language arts.
Tofi Mika, Jr. co-founded a music and mentoring program called "Hope through music" that works with at-risk youth of public housing and a non-profit called "About Aloha without Borders," which helps needy youth in Cambodia and the Philippines. Both use music, art and photography to inspire and motivate children. Nominated by Joanne Tachibana.
Hawaii Electric Company has been a visionary youth and family leader in Hawaii, establishing the Astronaut "Lacy Veach Day of Discovery" to share the history and education of Astronaut Lacy Veach and the importance of caring for the precious islands. HECO has also initiated the Hawaii Robotics program, which led to Hawaii teams winning international championships and elevates Hawaii's youth in life skills, team work, problem solving, critical thinking and time management. Nominated by Art Kimura.
Project D.A.T.E. provides a series of social service fairs, offering free transportation for families coming from shelters around the island, to allow children to enjoy games, storytelling, and activities. It partners with service providers to assist the parents with housing information, employment and medical services. The organization also provides onsite children care and computer classes for education and employment purposes to properly assist the homeless. Project D.A.T.E. creates a positive support service through their friendship, guidance and support to help needy children and their families achieve independence. Nominated by Wenona Harris.
Margarette Pang is the founder of Dyslexia Tutoring Center of Hawaii, which provides essential skill services to children with dyslexia. The focus is on building self-esteem by working on easing the difficulty of reading, spelling, and handwriting for children with dyslexia. Nominated by Rep. Sharon Har.
Hawaii Youth Services Network is a coalition of youth-service organizations that works to improve the well-being of youth and strengthen families and communities by providing leadership. HYSN recently secured a $5 million grant to work on Teen Pregnancy Prevention. Nominated by Jaque Kelley-Uyeoka.
Adopt–A-School Program – The Hawaii Jaycees are the organizers of Adopt-a-School, a statewide effort to bring needed attention and resources to Hawaii's schools. Since its inception in 2008, 12 schools were helped, in 2009 the number schools helped increased to 40, and in 2010 over 70 school improvement projects were planned. Participating organizations include civic clubs, local business, faith-based groups and non-profits working with a school's improvement wish list. Nominated by Sen. Norman Sakamoto.
Waikiki Health Center and Hale Kipa's Youth Outreach Program is a local non-profit sponsored by Waikiki Health Center and Hale Kipa. It is a drop-in center for homeless, runaway and street youth, which offers free meals, hot showers, clothing, internet access for employment and education, hygiene supplies and GED classes, vocational skills, job searching, and housing referrals. Nominated by Kiana Rivera.
Mary Vorsino is Honolulu Star Advertiser journalist and reporter. She is a well-respected and high-profile news reporter who has touched the lives of many in Hawaii with her empathy and passion, especially when featuring stories directly affecting Hawaii's youth on issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, violent crimes, healthcare, education, and safety issues for Hawaii's Keiki. Mary's stories are captivating and educational and displays compassion yet remains objective. Nominated by Alika Malabey.
Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Malakie has been the Senior Army Instructor for Kealakehe JROTC for the last 15 years. Under Lt. Colonel Malakie's direction, his cadets continue to secure scholarships to colleges nationwide. As a Scout Leader, Lt. Malakie received the District Award of Honor and the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award in the Aloha Council spanning the Pacific. For Boy Scouts, only 2% become Eagle Scouts, yet 95% of the Boy Scouts under Lt. Malakie's guidance become Eagle Scouts. Nominated by Rep. Cindy Evans.
Melanie Bailey is a mother of a public school student and an advocate for education. In the pass legislative session, Melanie was instrumental in passing HB2486, which mandates the days of school per year and gradually increases the hours of instructional time per day to be deemed in line with the rest of the nation. Nominated by Zsuzsa Bakonyi-Rodgers.
Melinda Mullis is a small business owner of Orange Roc, a marketing company based in Hawaii. Melinda donates her time and expertise to the Missing Child Center-Hawaii and created the Friends of the Missing Child Center-Hawaii website as a one-stop shop for information on missing children. Melinda also revised the Keiki ID Kit to maximize information about a child in the event that child goes missing. Nominated by Charlene Takeno.
2010 Outstanding Parent Friendly Business Award - Maui Family Support Service, Inc.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Rep. Mizuno and Senator Suzanne Chun-Oakland marching
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Kauai lawmakers urge residents to learn more about the proposed humpback whale sanctuary management plan from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and to provide comments by October 16th.
Representative James Kunane Tokioka - House District 15, Representative Roland Sagum - House District 16, and Senator Ronald Kouchi Senate District 7, said in an email update that while they "support the protection and preservation of our endangered marine species, it is our position that any enlargement of the scope of the sanctuary's 'marine resources' should not include the closure of any fishing areas or the creation of any 'no take zones'..."
On Tuesday, October 5th, more than 300 residents, fishermen and ocean users attended a meeting at Kauai Community College regarding the proposed management plan. NOAA currently plans to explore increasing the scope of the management plan to include other "marine resources" in addition to humpback whales.
The Kauai lawmakers noted that there are numerous Federal, State and County laws that protect endangered marine species, and that the proposed increase in scope could lead to the limitation and/or cessation of ocean activities that many Kauai residents enjoy and may not be related to preserving humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, other marine mammals or the protection and repopulation of reef fish.
You may provide comments using the form provided from the fishermen. Click here to download.
Learn more about the Management Plan Review process, including how to submit comments directly to NOAA on the NOAA website. All comments must be received by October 16, 2010.
Comments may be submitted by the following methods:
Via telephone: (888) 559-4253 ex. 267
Via fax: (808) 397-2650
Via email: email@example.com
Via mail: Management Plan Review Coordinator, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, 6600 Kalanianaole Highway, Suite 301, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825.
If you have questions, you may call the following for assistance:
Amy at Representative Tokioka's office: toll free 274-3141 ext. 66270
Melanie at Representative Sagum's office: toll free 274-3141 ext. 66280
Mark at Senator Kouchi's office: toll free 274-3141 ext. 66030
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Capitol staffers watched quietly and respectfully from the floors above. These are some photos taken by the House Majority Staff Office.
Scott Caan and Hawaii Five O crew member
Protest Scene along Beretania Street
Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan take a break with crew member and furry friend
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Hawaii voters will decide on two state ballot questions on November 2nd. Both are constitutional amendments.