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

Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter Oct. 2019


Click image to view the 4-page newsletter.

Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter Sep. 2019

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Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter Aug. 2019

Click image to view the 4-page newsletter.

‘The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate: Summary for Policy Makers’ 9/24/19

Click image to view the entire report.


Press Release 25 Sep. 2019. Click image to view the entire release.

Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter July 2019

Click image to view the 4-page newsletter.

Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter June 2019

Click image to view the 4-page newsletter.

Lower-income homeowners must apply annually for tax credit

Kokua Line: Lower-income homeowners must apply annually for tax credit
By Christine Donnelly, Star-Advertiser, 9/17/19

Question: You had something about a property tax credit for low-income homeowners. I don’t recall the date or details. Must my mom file for this every year, or is it automatic? She has been ill much of the last year, and I am trying to help her with various paperwork.

Answer: Yes, this form must be submitted every year. The deadline is Sept. 30.

You are referring to Oahu’s Real Property Tax Credit for Homeowners, which applies a credit to the following year’s property taxes for lower-income homeowners whose property taxes exceed 3% of their annual income. To be eligible:

>> The combined annual income of all titleholders on the property cannot exceed $60,000.

>> None of the titleholders can own other property, in Hawaii or elsewhere.

>> The property must have a home exemption, which signifies that it is occupied by the owner.

You can download the form at or pick up a hard copy at any satellite city hall or at the city’s Treasury Division (530 S. King St., Room 115) or Tax Relief Section (715 S. King St., Room 505).

Instructions for submitting the application and supporting documents are on the form. Applications postmarked on the due date will be accepted, according to the city Department of Budget and Fiscal Services.

The value of the credit is derived by subtracting the 3% figure from the total property tax owed. So, according to the city’s example, an applicant with total annual titleholder income of $25,000 and a property tax bill of $2,500 could expect a credit of $1,750 applied to the following year’s property taxes. This is because 3% of $25,000 is $750, which is subtracted from the property tax bill of $2,500 to derive the credit amount.

We explain this because we’ve heard from other readers who mistakenly expected the tax credit to equal 3% of their income; the credit varies depending on the applicant’s income and the cost of their property taxes.

You can find more information online at, or call the city’s Real Property Tax Relief Office at 768-3205.

We’ll also note that, unlike this credit, a home exemption, once granted, is automatically applied year after year. Your mom doesn’t have to reapply for that; if she has previously qualified for the low-income property tax credit, the home exemption must already be in place.

Q: Can this get her property taxes down to zero?

A: No, the city says the amount of property taxes owed after applying the tax credit can’t be less than the minimum required property tax, which is $300.

Hawai‘i’s Changing Ocean – Free Presentation on 10/3/19

Please join us for a free public address by internationally acclaimed marine biologist Mark Hixon.

Hawai‘i’s Changing Ocean: Bounty, Threats, Solutions
Thursday, October 3, 2019
6:30 p.m.

The Royal Hawaiian Resort
Regency Ballroom
2259 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

The Hsiao Endowed Chair in Marine Biology at UH Mānoa, Mark Hixon was recognized in 2004 as the most cited scientific author on coral-reef ecology in the United States. He is an Aldo Leopold Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar and has served as chair of the Ocean Sciences Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation. His TED talks and TV and radio appearances have covered a variety of ocean issues.

Using stunning visuals, Hixon will summarize the many gifts our ocean provides us, describe human-caused threats to our coastal ecosystems, and review practical solutions he believes Hawai‘i must implement as soon as possible. Many of the dangers we face are global, yet Hixon will emphasize remedies that Hawai‘i can take within our coastal jurisdiction.

Presented by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation

Better Tomorrow Speaker Series, College of Natural Sciences, College of Social Sciences, Conservation International, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Resources Legacy Fund, Royal Hawaiian Resort, Scholars Strategy Network, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, Surfrider Foundation, Sustainable Coastlines, UH Alumni Relations, The Nature Conservancy

The Royal Hawaiian offers validated event parking: $10 self-park and $15 valet. Validation can be received at the event.

Questions? Please email

To be notified about future events in the UH Better Tomorrow Speaker Series, please click here.

HNN: ‘$32M project aimed at easing gridlock for Waianae-bound commuters’

By Jim Mendoza; HawaiiNewsNow; 08/20/19
[Read the original article and watch the video at the HNN site:]

Some relief is coming for drivers who get stuck in those afternoon bottlenecks heading into Waianae, but don’t expect it right away.

The state has $32 million to add 2.5 miles to the fifth lane it installed two years ago on Farrington Highway.

“We always talk about how Kahala gets this, and Hawaii Kai and Kailua gets all the attention, and no one cares about Waianae,” state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said.

“This is finally proof that people do care about us.”

The present length is just 1.2 miles and runs from Nānākuli Avenue to Haleakala Avenue.

Most of the day the fifth lane is used as a turnout lane, but during the afternoon rush it’s used as a contraflow lane for westbound drivers.

Ken McNamara said it makes a huge difference in his trip home.

“I’ve been living out here for 14 years now and commute every day and work in Campbell. It actually has taken about 20 minutes off my drive home every night,” he said.

Shimabukuro said the fifth lane also saves time during the morning drive.

“In the morning, it’s gotten way better. When you’re trying to leave Waianae it takes maybe 20 minutes off your commute,” she said.

She expects even more time savings when the the state Department of Transportation extends the fifth lane another 2.5 miles that will take it all the way to Hakimo Road.

“It should make a lot of difference because the traffic we got in here is one way in and one way out,” leeward coast resident Reno Freuan said.

But the improvement won’t happen overnight.

HDOT hopes to put the lane extension project out to bid by the middle of 2021.

“We would love it as soon as possible. But I appreciate and know that DOT is working as fast they can to make this happen,” Shimabukuro said.

“What’s another year?” McNamara said.

Shimabukuro said meetings will begin in October for community feedback.

“It would not have been possible without the support of the executive branch – the governor, DOT and of course the House and Senate of the legislature,” she said.

Some of the money for the project will come from the state’s surcharge on rental cars.

HDOT will also lengthen the shared-use path on the makai side of the highway and finalize pavement reconstruction and pedestrian safety measures.


**Message from Sen. Shimabukuro:

Mahalo nui loa for this strong coordinated effort between the Legislature’s Senate, House and Executive Branch to allocate $32m to improve Farrington Highway, where I had the pleasure of working closely with:

– Representative Stacelynn Eli

– Representative Cedric Gates

– Edwin Sniffen, DOT Deputy Director of Highways

– Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran

– Representative Kyle Yamashita

– Senator Donovan Dela Cruz

– Representative Sylvia Luke

– Both Senate & House Leadership

– Governor David Ige

** The length and scope of the 5th lane extension, and secondary access will be part of the Farrington Highway Corridor Study. For more information about the study, call 808-628-5861. Also, join the mailing list to be informed of meetings and updates regarding the Farrington Highway Corridor Study by clicking this link:

** Link to previous studies regarding Wai`anae Coast secondary access, Kole Kole Pass, Farrington Highway widening, and other traffic concerns:

**Link to 08/20/19 news article:

HNN (3/27/19): West Oahu Traffic Accident Prompts Another Call for Bypass Road

HNN: Crash that trapped West Oahu residents triggers another call for bypass road
By Chelsea Davis | March 26, 2019 at 11:01 PM HST – Updated March 27 at 8:43 AM

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A car crash in Ko Olina Monday night that shut down all lanes of Farrington Highway in both directions has residents and lawmakers revisiting a push for alternate routes for the Waianae Coast.

There were no major injuries. However, traffic was at a standstill for more than an hour.

“It’s starting to become more of a topic because one little accident can basically shut down the entire coastline. That’s why we’re trying to push the idea of the bypass road,” said Waianae resident Marc Paaluhi.

The state senator for the area said she would like to see a bypass road from Lualualei Naval Road to Ko Olina.

“If we can get to Ko Olina, then from there we will have a true bypass road because Campbell Estate and DOT have partnered and they’re going to make a road that goes from Ko Olina to Kapolei,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.

Shimabukuro said the legislature allocated $8 million for a bypass road, but the funding was only enough to go to Nanakuli Avenue and residents who live in the area didn’t want it.

“When the community heard these plans, understandably, there was a lot of concern because Nanakuli Avenue is one of the main arteries that goes through the Hawaiian Homestead in Nanakuli,” Shimabukuro said.

“When the reality set in that this is going to be a 24/7 road that would use the artery of Nanakuli Avenue and then connect from there to Lualualei Naval Road, the community just wasn’t quite ready for that.”

Paaluhi said roads coming down from the mountains would be a lot less invasive to the communities.

“Take a road mauka from the Kunia Plains up following the natural contour of the mountain range bringing down veins into the different communities,” said Paaluhi. “So it would be dedicated for the people who actually live out here rather than those that would just be coming to sight see or do business – they can stay on Farrington.”

Honolulu City Councilwoman for the coast said in her opinion, the solution isn’t just more roads, it is more jobs.

“I’ve seen a lot of government leaders promote spending a lot of money for traffic relief but really the most economical solution is to take advantage of the new economic opportunity zones the federal government has proposed,” said Kymberly Pine. “Create business economic centers within varies community that have difficulty times with their traffic congestion. That would tremendously help Waianae and encouraging residents from never even having to leave the coast.”

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Read the article and watch the news video at:

Harriet Bouslog Labor Scholarship Seeking UH Applicants – Deadline 4/1/19


1. Attending or plan to attend a UH System School

2. Current members of ILWU Local 142 with good standing, or related to someone who is a current or retired ILWU Local 142 member

To confirm eligibility, check the current list of employers who are part of the union:

To begin the application process go to

For more information, contact Traven Watase at (808)450-9988 or

Interest-free Down Payment Loans for Low-income 1st-time Home Buyers – 1st Come 1st Served

Interest-free down payment loans available to low-income first-time home buyers
Star-Adv: By Gordon Y.K. Pang March 19, 2019 Updated March 19, 2019 3:55pm

Interest-free down payment loans are available through the city to qualifying first-time home purchasers who are in low- and moderate income brackets.

Awardees could save thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of their mortgages and get themselves on the path to financial security, city officials said in urging the eligible to apply.

The Department of Community Services is accepting applications from applicants’ mortgage lenders for loans of up to $40,000, Community Services Director Pamela Witty-Oakland said. The agency has about $400,000 available annually in federal HOME funds for the loan program.

In the last fiscal year, the department made 21 down payment loans.

Loans are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified households, Witty-Oakland said.

Interested parties should apply through a mortgage lender after being approved for a first mortgage. Applying is free.

To qualify, an applicant need to provide 5 percent of the purchase price as a down payment and complete an approved home ownership course. A home inspection is also required.

Call the Department of Customer Services loan branch at 768-7076 for information.

Career Expo 2019 March 27 9AM-3PM Neal Blaisdell Center

Click image to go to the website.