Native Hawaiians Overrepresented in Special Ed

According to C. L. Haliniak, Native Hawaiians are overrepresented in DOE Special Education classes.1 Native Hawaiian (NH) students make up 26% of the public school population, but they represent 39.1% of SE students. In raw numbers, that’s 6,649 NHs in SE.

Click image to view a PDF of the publication. The section on Special Ed begins on page 6.

NHs are nearly twice as likely (14.6% vs 8.3%) to end up in SE as non-NHs. NH boys are twice as likely to be in SE than NH girls (19.2% vs 9.6%). The long-term impact for these thousands of students is poverty. “For those students in special education who are able to obtain employment after graduation, they are more likely to have entry-level jobs with lower wage earnings and limited opportunities for promotions” (6).

Hawaiian-immersion schools and programs are a response to the poor performance of NH students in public schools. The assumption is that non-NH teacher ethnicity and non-NH language/culture are key contributing factors. In the coming years, national and state statistics (e.g., NAEPDOE, and UH stats) should be able to confirm this assumption.
1 Haliniak, C.L. (2017). A Native Hawaiian Focus on the Hawaiʻi Public School System, SY2015. (Hoʻonaʻauao (Education) Fact Sheet, Vol. 2017, No.1). Honolulu, HI: Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Research Division, Special Projects.

HONU — mobile tent camp for homeless

HONU program — short-term mobile tent camp for homeless — is ‘wildly successful’
By William Cole
Star-Advertiser 12/28/19

Video by William Cole and Dennis Oda. Honolulu police said a mobile shelter program for homeless set up two weeks ago in Waipahu Cultural Garden Park has been very successful.

A unique city, state and police homelessness pilot program using inflatable tents at Waipahu Cultural Garden Park and offering short-term shelter 24 hours a day has been a big success in its first two weeks, the Honolulu Police Department said Friday.

The HONU (Homeless Outreach and Navigation for Unsheltered Persons) effort will move every 90 days, with two such camps expected to eventually operate simultaneously, officials said. Continue reading

Library of Congress Seeks Applicants for the 2020 Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program: Deadline 12/20/19

Library of Congress Seeks Applicants for the 2020 Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program

The Library of Congress is seeking applicants for its 2020 Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program. This is a 10-week paid fellowship for undergraduate and graduate students interested in learning more about the work done at the largest library in the world.  For more information or to apply for the program, visit The deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 20.  

Continue reading

KHON2 (11/20/19): Waianae Speed Bump Complaints

Sara Mattison, “Vehicles Having Trouble Getting Over Steep Raised Crosswalks in Waianae” (KHON2, 20 Nov. 2019). “Transportation Department officials tell us the raised crosswalks are steeper than what they wanted to build. They say they used an old topographic survey on file instead of doing a new one to get more information for that area.”

Senator Shimabukuro: “I did hear there was an accident involving a military vehicle that had slowed down because of the speed bump, and then somebody crashed into them. It’s a lesson learned, and I know that the DOT has the best intentions. I’m so glad that they did what they did because we’ve needed something drastic to happen in this community. The pedestrian fatalities are still out of control.”

Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter Oct. 2019 (Part 2)

Click image for the 4-page newsletter in PDF.


LUC Votes to Close Waimanalo Gulch Landfill by March 2, 2028

Hawaii Land Use Commission allows Waimanalo Gulch landfill to continue until 2028
By Gordon Y.K. Pang, Star-Adv, 11 Oct. 2019

The city will need to close the contentious Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill at Kahe Point by March 2, 2028, under a permit granted by the state Land Use Commission Thursday by a 6-2 vote.

While the city will be able to expand and extend the life of the landfill by nearly nine years, it had asked to be given until the landfill “reaches capacity” instead of a set closure date.

The Honolulu Planning Commission, earlier this year, recommended that the LUC approve a permit allowing the landfill to stay open until it reaches capacity so the LUC’s decision is a victory for those who wanted to ensure that the new permit included a definitive closure deadline.

Attorneys for the parties must now submit their own “findings of fact and conclusions of law” by Oct. 18, from which LUC staff will craft a draft final decision for the commission to act on by Oct. 31. The commission still may decide to change the wording to their liking before the final vote.

For years critics have argued that a string of mayors and city councils have done little to keep the city’s promise to the West Oahu community to close the 30-year old landfill and instead have been taking steps to prevent its shutdown.

The application for the special-use permit actually was filed in 2009 but has been bouncing between the LUC, the Planning Commission and the courts without resolution.

The Ko Olina Community Association and state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro (D, Kalaeloa-Waianae-Makaha) have sought to shut down the facility while a separate effort to do the same was sought by former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who preceded Shimabukuro as the area’s state senator. Both have been designated intervenors in the case.  Continue reading

KOCA & Sen. Shimabukuro Object to Waimanalo Gulch Plan

State Land Use Commission to Consider City Landfill Closure
By Ashley Mizuo, HPR, 10/9/19

The Hawaii Land Use Commission is taking up the issue of closing the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill, Oahu’s only municipal solid waste refuse dump.

In 2009, the commission voted to eliminate solid waste from the landfill by July 31, 2012. However, when 2012 came around, the Hawaii Supreme Court overturned the decision.

The high court cited the Honolulu Planning Commission’s evaluation outlining the continuing need to deposit solid waste in the landfill after the 2012 date.

The question of whether to close the city-operated landfill has been debated ever since.

In June, the city’s planning commission approved a permit for Waimanalo Gulch to stay open until it reaches capacity, with no firm deadline in place for closure. The decision added the conditions to the permit that required the city to find an alternative landfill location by December 31, 2022.

However, some community members near the landfill want a firm closing deadline set for the facility.

The Ko Olina Community Association and state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro have objected to the Planning Commission’s decision. In a summary of objections, they asserted that “the Landfill has harmed public health, safety and welfare.”

KOCA and Shimabukuro want to see the landfill completely closed by March 2, 2027.

Last week, the state Office of Planning, which conducts research for the Land Use Commission, recommended the panel approve the city’s permit request.  Continue reading