Help your community: Work for the U.S. Census Bureau!

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently hiring for the 2020 Census. The positions are temporary with varying pay ranges. For Census Takers in Honolulu County, Hawaii, the pay starts at $18.00 per hour.

By working for the Census Bureau, our community has a special opportunity to help make the 2020 Census an accurate and complete count. There are so many reasons our nation needs to be counted completely and accurately. The count happens every 10 years with the decennial census, which influences how more than $675 billion from more than 100 federal programs are distributed to states and localities each year. Here’s some of what the census numbers effect:

  • Medicaid.
  • School lunch programs.
  • Community development grants.
  • Road and school construction.
  • Medical services.
  • Business locations.

If you’re interested in a job, please visit the Census Bureau job site to apply. You’ll also be able to see descriptions and frequently asked questions at 2020census.gov/jobs.

UH News: ‘Native Hawaiian and African American smokers have high risk of lung cancer’ (2/6/19)

by Nana Ohkawa
University of Hawaiʻi News
6 Feb. 2019

University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center studies show Native Hawaiian and African American smokers have a higher risk of acquiring lung cancer than smokers of other ethnic/racial groups.

The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that for the same amount of smoking, Native Hawaiians and African Americans have twice the risk of getting lung cancer than Japanese Americans and Latinos, with the risk of Caucasian smokers being intermediate. This new analysis of almost 5,000 cases in the Multi-ethnic Cohort Study shows major differences in the risk of lung cancer among smokers from various ethnic/racial groups.

The findings also suggest that the higher risk of lung cancer for African American smokers and lower risk for Japanese American smokers are due to differences in smoking intensity (the amount of nicotine and tobacco carcinogens inhaled from each cigarette). However, the increased risk for Native Hawaiian smokers remains unexplained.

“It is still not clear why these striking ethnic disparities exist in the risk of lung cancer,” said Loïc Le Marchand, principal investigator and UH Cancer Center epidemiologist. “By better understanding differences in the way people smoke and the biological changes that lead to lung cancer, we hope to help reduce ethnic/racial disparities in the occurrence of this deadly disease.”

Native Hawaiians have the highest rate of lung cancer in Hawaiʻi

In Hawaiʻi, Native Hawaiians have the highest rate of lung cancer compared to other ethnic groups. In 2016, Hawaiʻi State Department of Health statistics reported an overall smoking rate in Hawaiʻi of 14 percent; however, 27 percent of Native Hawaiians were smokers.

“Native Hawaiians should particularly be advised to not start smoking or to quit if they are still smoking. We know that smoking is a major cause of lung cancer in all populations and that avoiding smoking lowers one’s risk of lung cancer substantially. Smoking causes 90 percent of all lung cancers and increases the risk of many other types of cancer and chronic conditions,” said Le Marchand.

In order to understand the ethnic/racial disparities linked to lung cancer, UH Cancer Center researchers have initiated a new study and seek to recruit 300 volunteers of Japanese, Caucasian or Hawaiian ancestry who are current cigarette smokers. The objectives are to identify biomarkers in blood and urine that are associated with lung cancer risk and to improve understanding of the mechanisms underlying the risk.

HPR: ‘Legislature Seeks to Reform OHA Elections’

By Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi, HPR Reporter
Hawaii Public Radio, 2/6/19

State lawmakers are seeking to change the way Hawaiʻi votes for trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has more.

[Listen to the 2:34 voice recording at HPR]

Hawaiʻi state legislators have taken the first step toward overhauling the elections process for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees. The Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee started with campaign funding and the way candidatesʻ names are listed on the ballots.

“Right now, all OHA candidates can get is $1,500 in public funding for a statewide race, which you know candidates have felt is very unfair,” says Waiʻanae Senator Maile Shimabukuro, who chairs the committee. “When you look at the Lieutenant Governor who gets, I think it’s like $100,000 each race, it’s a dramatic difference.”

Senate Bill 728 seeks to increase the amount of public funding available to OHA candidates. It’s a measure supported by current OHA Trustee Keliʻi Akina.

“Each trustee, unlike a legislator, actually has to campaign on each and every island,” says Akina, “Therefore it would only be fair that they are able to raise an amount of money that allows them to do that.”

The bill passed out of committee with amendments that increase the amount to $42,000 per election year but only after candidates raise a minimum of $5,000.

Another bill proposed to place the names on a ballot in a random order, rather than alphabetical order. Something OHA beneficiary Kauʻi Pratt-Aquino hopes will allow candidates to move beyond name recognition.

“Itʻs no secret that a candidate with their last name starting with the letter A has an advantage over every other candidate in the race. And that has not have to do with merit at all,” says Pratt-Aquino, “What these bills try to do is put candidates on equal footing.”

Former OHA candidate Sam Wilder King II sees it as an opportunity to combat low voter participation in OHA races.

“The point is that when you randomize it there’s going to be a bunch of people who are still going to vote for the first name on the ballot even if it starts with Z,” says King, “They’re still gonna vote for the first name on the ballot. It’s just that now everybody will get the same number of apathy votes and then the actual active votes will decide the election.”

That issue is covered by Senate Bill 729 – which passed out of committee as is. Shimabukuro says it has a good chance of becoming law because it doesnʻt require any funding to implement. Former OHA candidate Esther Kiaʻāina testified in support of the legislature’s efforts.

“All of these tools cumulatively would be helpful in just providing, one, equity for candidates that run for OHA and better vetting for the electorate,” says Kiaʻāina.

Two bills calling for trustee term limits were deferred by the committee. Shimabukuro called the measure “controversial” but worthy of discussion.