‘Hawaii Promise’ Scholarships Available for Community College Students

Star-Advertiser 2 June 2018, “Scholarship opens doors to community colleges for students” by Susan Essoyan

Hawaii Promise, a “last-dollar” scholarship that aims to remove cost as a barrier to attending community college, became a permanent program when Gov. David Ige signed it into law Friday.

Launched last fall, Hawaii Promise helped 1,500 students at a cost of $2.2 million in the last academic year and is projected to benefit another 500 in the coming year.

Student Kelley Caitano, who is from Hawaii island and is working his way through Honolulu Community College with help from Hawaii Promise, expressed his thanks at the bill signing, held on his campus.

“The scholarship itself helped me not focus on the payments I had to make, but on school itself, so it actually took a big load off of my shoulders,” said Caitano, who is in the Computing, Electronics and Networking Technology program.

Aimed at local residents, Hawaii Promise funds are awarded to students in need after they receive public and private scholarships and grants, such as federal Pell grants. Legislators set aside $1.8 million for the program in its first year, and the community colleges dipped into their operating reserves to reach students with unmet needs. The average award was $1,200.

“Hawaii Promise is a program to fill the gap between what a family can afford and the actual cost of a community college here in Hawaii,” Ige said Friday. “For many of our students, the barriers to college aren’t necessarily academic. The biggest barrier is the cost of tuition, fees, books and loan obligations.”

House Bill 2501, CD 1, codified the program in law and added an additional $700,000 at the university’s request, bringing the total to $2.5 million over the biennium. It will allow community colleges to draw in more prospective students who believe they can’t afford college.

“We can get out there now and say, ‘This promise is for you — please come!’” said John Morton, vice president for community colleges.

Hawaii Promise funds may apply to any unmet direct educational costs, including tuition, educational fees and the cost of books, supplies and transport between the student’s home and campus.

For Aukai Rieman, a father of four who lives in Nanakuli, the transportation subsidy through Hawaii Promise made a big difference. He commuted to Honolulu Community College to earn his associate’s degree in Hawaiian studies and plans to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa and major in biology with hopes of doing research on ciguatera, the fish toxin.

“I want to help not just Native Hawaiians, but all people,” he said.

State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said Hawaii Promise should help boost enrollment at community colleges, which has slipped in recent years. “Where better to start than our community colleges, the colleges that are in our neighborhoods where we grew up?” she said. “We all win when this happens.”

Students must qualify for in-state tuition and enroll in one of the seven UH community colleges at least half time to be eligible for Hawaii Promise. The scholarship doesn’t require a separate application, but students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

To learn more about Hawaii Promise, call the university at 956-8753 or email uhsfao@hawaii.edu.

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Capitol Website New Testimony Submission Webpage

Please see the announcement below regarding improvements to the submission webpage for the 2018 Legislative Session:

Aloha,

We are excited to announce that we have made improvements to our testimony submission webpage for the 2018 Legislative Session! Listed below are a few of the changes we’d like to highlight. If you anticipate submitting testimony to the Legislature this year, you may want to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the new user interface.

  • The option for typing your testimony directly on the webpage (text box) now uses rich text so you have more formatting options.
  • You now have the ability to save your work in the text box and continue at another time.  You may continue to make changes to the text box until you submit your testimony.
  • We’ve increased the size limitation of the attachments accepted.  Instead of 10MB, you can now attach files as large as 20MB.
    • Please note that attachments will not be saved and must be uploaded at the time of submittal.
  • Users may now either type their testimony using the text box, or submit their testimony in an attachment, not both.
  • You will be able to see a history of your submitted and pending testimony, and from that list there will be quick links to the measure’s status and the hearing notice.
  • Since you can easily see your previously submitted testimony on the webpage, the confirmation e-mail has been eliminated.
  • To preserve the integrity of the legislative process, and to improve on the security of our system, each user may submit one piece testimony for each bill per hearing.

Please email any questions about the new testimony submission webpage to webmaster@capitol.hawaii.gov

Mahalo!

Public Review and Comment: 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Draft #21 – Deadline 2/7/18

Aloha CAC Representative,

The Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OahuMPO) is releasing the public draft of the FFYs 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Revision #21 for public and intergovernmental review.

The public draft may be viewed on our website at: http://www.oahumpo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Draft-OahuMPO-TIP-FFYs-2015-2018-Revision-21.pdf

The Federal Fiscal Years 2015-2018 TIP is the current four-year programming document that lists regionally-significant, short-term transportation projects that will be undertaken on Oahu. Because Revision #21 involves major changes to projects in the TIP, we are soliciting public comments. For more information about the TIP, please visit the TIP webpage: http://www.oahumpo.org/plans-and-programs/transportation-improvement-program-tip/.

Your review and comments on this draft will be greatly appreciated. Please submit comments via mail, email, or in the form under “Public Review and Comment” on the TIP webpage by February 7, 2018. Mailed or emailed comments may be submitted to:

OahuMPO
707 Richards Street, Suite 200
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Email: OahuMPO@OahuMPO.org

Mahalo,
Kiana Otsuka
Oʻahu Metropolitan Planning Organization
707 Richards Street, Suite 200
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96813
Phone: (808) 586-2305
Fax: (808) 587-2018
Email: Kiana.Otsuka@oahumpo.org
Website: http://www.oahumpo.org

Lawmakers want to give sex abuse victims from decades past the chance to file suit

By: Lynn Kawano (Hawai`i News Now; 01/24/18)

…Hawaii lawmakers want to give more abuse victims the chance to come forward and file civil lawsuits, no matter how much time has passed.

Bills introduced in both the House and Senate failed last session, but a national movement to expose abusers and the high profile case against Kamehameha Schools could add momentum for the legislation.

Representative Linda Ichiyama and Senator Maile Shimabukuro introduced companion bills which would extend the window for lawsuits despite the statute of limitations.

“What we’re learning from data and research about trauma and what happens to a person’s brain when they undergo trauma is that they’re not ready to bring suits until much later,” says Ichiyama, “I think we need to adjust policies to reflect that research now that we know.”

More than a hundred victims came forward between 2012 and 2016, a four-year window that was opened for old sex abuse cases.  Most of the cases involved catholic church priests and a psychiatrist who molested boys while they attended Kamehameha Schools.

Shimabukuro says national movements like the “#MeToo” campaign have also highlighted the need for victims to stand up and expose abusers.

“Less and less people are having shame for something that happened to them that wasn’t their fault,” says Shimabukuro.

Attorney General Doug Chin testified about similar bills last session warning lawmakers that reopening the window could be costly for his office to defend if the state is sued, but Chin says he does support the new proposals. “Legislators pointed out there weren’t that many cases that were brought against the state even when the window was open.”

Another bill introduced would make it a felony for teachers and doctors, so called ‘mandatory reporters’ who don’t take action if they have knowledge of sex assault.  That bill, H.B. 2429, directly mentions Kamehameha Schools and the cover up that allowed psychiatrist Dr. Robert Browne to continue molesting Kamehameha students for decades.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

http://m.hawaiinewsnow.com/hawaiinewsnow/db/330510/content/A5UkvhFa 

Ulua Lagoon 4 Sand Reclamation & Beautification Work 2018: Jan. 18-Feb 17

Appended is an information sheet on the sand and maintenance work to be done on Ko Olina’s Ulua Lagoon 4 from January 18th to February 17th, or upon sooner completion. Wanted to make sure you were informed. The work will be done using best practices, will be completed as quickly as possible, is scheduled now during the off-peak season, and when done, will result in a better beach experience for all to enjoy. Thank you, Ken Williams

Click image for original PDF.

Turn Lane on Farrington Highway Complete; Contraflow to Continue Utilizing New Lane

Source: KITV.com 01/10/18

…thousands of drivers that commute in and out of the Leeward Coast can expect a smoother drive through Nanakuli. The State Department of Transportation is scheduled to open an additional lane on Farrington Highway.

Gridlock traffic in and out of West O’ahu is typical in the morning and then again in the afternoons.

Nanakuli resident Demont Conner is one of many here that gets caught up in the rush. He says the extra lane cant come soon enough.

“This is the west side and there’s only one way in and one way out. We’re grateful for this new lane getting ready to open up. We really need it to be done,” said Conner.

The lane is aimed at helping ease east and west bound traffic.

Right now, drivers headed townbound only have access to one lane in the afternoons which has led to major backups. The added lane will now give townbound drivers access to two lanes. It also gives drivers trying to turn off of Farrington a way out.

“All those people that are looking to turn left on Haleakala and Nanakuli Avenues will have a dedicated area to stay. So it’s important because all those people going straight behind them will be able to continue going straight without having to wait for that car turning left to find an opening and go,” DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara explained.

That’s welcome news for April Longoria who’s used to dealing with big backlogs on her way home to Aiea.

“If anybody is trying to turn left or right, if they’re waiting for that opportunity to turn you’re going to get stuck there waiting for them to turn. And if you’re a few cars behind you’re waiting a while,” Longoria said.

DOT says the addition will cut the afternoon drive out of Nanakuli for many from an hour down to 15 minutes.

The $16 million project took DOT crews about three years to complete- after the department ran into a number of delays, part of it having to do with existing utility work underground.

Senator Maile Shimabukuro who helped rustle up funding for the project says her district deserves this much needed addition. She plans to rally behind even more traffic improvement projects this legislative session.

“We do hear the community, a lot of people say, ‘It’s great you’re improving Farrington, thank you very much but we also need a [parallel] route,'” Sen. Shimabukuro said.

DOT says the new lane will also allow DOT to keep the westbound contraflow going in the afternoons. But to complete the new lane by Tuesday Dot’s cancelling the westbound contraflow Thursday and Friday.

http://www.kitv.com/story/37240558/dot-to-open-extra-lane-on-farrington-highway-in-nanakuli

[Note: DOT opened the new turn lane on 01/11/18]

Hearings 2018 for Construction of Photovoltaic Utility in Kalaeloa: 1/18-19, 3/13

Click image to view the original in PDF.

20171213-Public-Hearing-Notice-20171213-Aloha-Solar-EF-II