Update 6/21/21: Makaha Bridge, Free Wi-Fi


In response to community concerns, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) plans to apply for a RAISE grant for the Makaha Surfing Beach highway realignment project, which would move the highway further mauka behind the canoe halau and bathroom. DOT estimates that the realignment will cost approximately $75m. They will hopefully know if the grant is approved by around the end of the year.

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SA/AP (5/12/21): Emergency program to give people $50 off internet bill

By Star-Advertiser/Associated Press, 5 May 2021

Americans can begin applying for $50 off their monthly internet bill today as part of an emergency government program to keep people connected during the pandemic.

The $3.2 billion program is part of the $900 billion December pandemic-relief package. The government is increasing spending on broadband as the pandemic made stark that millions of Americans did not have access to, and could not afford, broadband at a time when jobs, school and health care was moving online.

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SA (5/12/21): Hawaii food support program for women, infants, and children gets boost in benefits

By Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser, 12 May 2021

Hawaii is offering more financial relief to families through a temporary increase in cash value benefits for its Women, Infants, and Children Program this summer.

The federally funded program provides Hawaii residents that are pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, or mothers of children under age 5 with access to food, nutrition education and support.

With a boost from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the cash value benefit for WIC will increase to $35 for first-use dates during the months of June, July, August, and September.

They can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables at authorized vendors. WIC recipients will also continue to receive milk, cereal, juice, whole grains, beans, peanut butter, and baby food as part of their monthly benefits.

“This pandemic has been incredibly hard on Hawaii families,” said Melanie Murakami, DOH’s Branch Chief, WIC Services, in a news release. “The temporary increase of $35 will allow families to maximize WIC benefits and continue to include more fruits and vegetables into their daily meals while helping ease the extra financial stress they had to endure this past year.”

To learn more about the Hawaii WIC Program, visit health.hawaii.gov/wic.

KITV4: Oahu’s vehicle ‘recon’ inspection program close to shutting down

Senator Maile Shimabukuro: Great news, SB57, which I introduced, should be heading to the Governor for approval next week.  Here is it the latest update:

by Brenton Awa, KITV4 News, Wednesday, 21 April 2021, 3:02 PM HST

According to the State Department of Transportation, current crash data indicates reconstructed vehicles do not pose a safety problem on Hawaii’s roads.

Starting next year, more lifted trucks, dropped cars, and other modified vehicles could be back on Oahu’s roads.

Wednesday, Senate and House committee members passed SB57 which would put an end to Honolulu’s Recon inspection program through 2025.

According to the State Department of Transportation (DOT), current crash data indicates reconstructed vehicles do not pose a safety problem on Hawaii’s roads.

The DOT is also facing limited staff who do not have the training needed to properly inspect these types of vehicles.

The measure would also keep the current Street Rod exemption for vehicles older than 1968 which allows those cars to undergo a less stringent safety inspection.

Lawmakers in both the house and senate are expected to follow the committee’s recommendation to send the bill to Governor David Ige to be signed into law.

The repeal would begin next year and run through at least 2025.


View the KITV news video story here: https://www.kitv.com/story/43723221/oahus-vehicle-recon-inspection-program-close-to-shutting-down

Please Support Surfer Lucy Jarrard’s Olympics Dream

Surfer Lucy Jarrard from Nanakuli

From Senator Shimabukuro: Lucy Jarrard – We’re soooo proud of you !!!!
🏄🏽‍♀️Surfer Lucy Jarrard from Nanakuli aspiring to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics 🏆
GoFundMe Link and Website:

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KITV4: Lawmakers push to end ‘recon’ inspections of modified vehicles 2/23/21

[Note: The following article, published by KITV4 on 23 Feb. 2021, is about a bill, SB57, introduced by Senator Shimabukuro, to eliminate the Reconstructed car inspection requirement.]

O’ahu’s “Recon” inspection program could be coming to an end.

State senators are pushing to eliminate the special inspection requirement for modified vehicles.

The State Department of Transportation supports the call and testified that current crash data indicate reconstructed vehicles do not pose a safety problem on Hawaii’s roads.

According to the HDOT, its staff also lack the expertise needed to properly inspect these types of vehicles. The measure would keep the current “street rod” exemption for vehicles older than 1968 which allows those vehicles to undergo a less stringent safety inspection.

SB57 also has support from the Honolulu Police Department.

The bill passed its final Senate committee Tuesday.

It’s a full senate vote away from being sent to the House to be voted on by representatives.

PBS Hawai’i Insights: Hawaiian Home Lands 2/18/21

Senator Maile Shimabukuro and the International Hospitality Center 2/3/21

Senator Maile Shimabukuro shares her legislative focus for 2021, with an emphasis on traffic, education, unemployment benefits, a surfing village, etc.

SA: DOT to install speed tables on Farrington Hwy 2/14/21

Department of Transportation moved by pedestrian deaths to install speed tables on Farrington Highway
By Rosemarie Bernardo, Star-Advertiser, 2/14/21 Updated 11:40 pm

The state Department of Transportation completed installation of two new raised crosswalks, including one at the intersection of Farrington Highway and Laumania Avenue. Photo by Craig T. Kojima / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Area lawmakers are applauding the state Department of Transportation for installing two new raised crosswalks on Farrington Highway at the entrance of Nanakuli to increase pedestrian safety.

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said the community appreciates the efforts DOT has made to the make the community safer. Shimabukuro’s district includes Kalaeloa, Nanakuli, Waianae and Makaha.

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SA: Amendments give HHL 5 years to determine casino future 2/11/21 & 2/12/21

* * * * * * * Feb. 12 version * * * * * * *

Hawaiian Home Lands Commission might have 5 years to rule on gambling
By Dan Nakaso Today [12 Feb. 2021] Updated 12:11 am

The Hawaiian Home Lands Commission would have until Dec. 31, 2026 — more than five years — to figure out whether gambling is the best way to generate badly needed funds to clear the backlog of more than 28,000 Native Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries, under a revised bill scheduled to go back before the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

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KHON2: Lawmakers consider gambling to help Native Hawaiians 2/11/21

Boerger: ‘Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus outlines 2021 policy priorities’

Emily Boerger, “Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus outlines 2021 policy priorities,” State of Reform, 27 Jan. 2021.

The Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC) will push for bills to improve women’s health, address violence against women, and support women in the workplace during the 2021 legislative session. The caucus reviewed this year’s legislative package at a virtual breakfast meeting on Wednesday.

The bill package include two bills aimed at preventing violence against women. House Bill 563/Senate Bill 826 would prohibit a convicted sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of a former victim or that victim’s immediate family members. It would require the offender to receive approval from the Attorney General prior to a change in address.

Senator Maile Shimabukuro, who introduced the senate version of the bill, says the bill came by request of one of her constituents. This constituent and her family had endured years of abuse from the father of the children in the family. From prison, the father threatened the family, saying upon his release he would kill them.

“She, in desperation, requested that this bill be introduced,” said Shimabukuro.

She says that as of 2018, six other states have passed similar legislation.

“I really hope that Hawaii can be added to this list to provide much needed protection to victims and their families,” she added.

The other bill, HB 566/SB 829, would add coercive control to the offense of abuse of family or household members as a petty misdemeanor.  Continue reading

Kama’āina (Child of the Land): Award-Winning LGBTQ Short Film about Teenage Homelessness

Synopsis: After suffering abuse from her stepfather, a queer sixteen-year-old must navigate life on the streets, until she eventually finds refuge at the Pu’uhonua o Wai’anae––Hawaiʻi’s largest organized homeless encampment.

Kama’āina (Child of the Land)
Directed by Kimi Howl Lee

“With its picturesque beachy landscapes, the Hawaiian archipelago is at the forefront of many minds as a desired location for a dream vacation. However, with one of the highest homeless rates per capita in the US, as well as one of the highest rates of homeless youth, life for the residents of the islands can be quite different from the one that tourists encounter. In Kama’āina (Child of the Land), writer/director Kimi Howl Lee takes us to Wai’anae, a predominantly native corner of the Oahu island, where influencers rarely venture. Following Mahina, a young woman who had to flee her abusive household, Lee’s thought-provoking and insightful 17-minute film offers a sensitive and authentic approach to chronicling the unfortunate reality and resilience of many LGBTQIA teens.

The motivation for Lee’s film comes from a personal place. As a teenager, spending her summer in Oahu, the director had a fling with a local boy that she came to realize was living out of his car. “Having been romantically involved with someone my age – who was ostensibly homeless – remains one of the most profound, thought-provoking experiences of my life.” she tells us while dwelling on the inspiration behind her film.

Being confronted by this hidden side of the island led her on a journey of self-reflection, sparking a will to shed light on the harsh poverty and homeless crisis, that eventually materialized into the story for Kama’āina. By centering the story around a teenager, the narrative is deepened with a coming-of-age layer. Allowing the situation to be explored with both innocence and understanding, while giving depth to Mahina, the main character, and increasing the audience’s emotional engagement.

Despite how tragic and traumatic the life experience of some of these kids can be, Lee does not use it to serve her narrative by fetishizing poverty. Instead, opting for a realistic process, she cast mostly homeless, first-time actors, including the outstanding and magnetic lead Malia Kamalani – whose life story is the basis for Kamaʻāina. Having permission to shoot in the community adds an extra, essential layer of authenticity to the film and ultimately draws the audience further into her emotive narrative.

Re-enacting her own experiences (to some extent), Malia Kamalani feels like a natural in front of the camera. Portraying a complex, compelling character with a strong personality, she plays the role with perfect subtlety, never pushing for an overly dramatic reaction. Lee captures slight but defining moments from her day to build her character, which Kamalani then injects with a rare sensibility.

The emotional release at the end Kamaʻāina came as somewhat of a surprise, as Lee doesn’t push forcefully on the emotional trigger throughout the film. Cleverly using the contrast between the location and the trauma her character has endured to highlight the unjust situation (both in the film and in real-life), it was the emotional climax of her facing the water, that had me turn on the waterworks.

Kamaʻāina was an official selection at Outfest Fusion and won Best LGBTQ+ Short at the Palm Springs ShortFest ahead of its online release under the Nowness flagship. Kimi Howl Lee was selected for Film Independent’s 2019 Episodic Lab, she is currently a story editor on Netflix’s Locke & Key and was recently staffed on Amazon’s upcoming and (very much) awaited The Expatriates.’ – S/W Curator, Céline Roustan

Cast & Crew:

Malia Kamalani Soon – Mahina
Aria Alexander – Cashier
Twinkle Borge – Twinkle
Nainoa Brown-Kahananui – Nainoa
Sabina Friedman-Seitz – Shayla
Alex Suvusa – Alex

Scott Ray – Cinematographer
Evita Yup Zhoe – Editor
Austin Lau – Gaffer
Elliana Moore – 1s AC
Aubrey Woodiwiss – Colorist
Briana Brackett – Assistant Colorist
Colin Lee – Location Manager
Michael Alemania – Composer
Miya Colleen Lee – 1st AD
Kiki Matsu – Prop Master
Nick Hallbisback – Sound Recordist
Aidan Reynolds – Sound Mixer
Alex Vazelakis – Music Supervisor
Keila Roberts – Graphic Designer

Special Thanks:
Justyn Ah Chong
Mac Arvee Lopez Blue
Walea L. Constantinau
Richard Hamasaki
Jennifer Dang
Annie Li
Adam Luafalemana-Fuiava
Queenie Marcello-Filo
James Pakele
Loretta Soon
Sight and Sound Studios
Erin Uchida
City and Country of Honolulu

Music in this video
Learn more
Song: Lost My Mind
Artist: Lil Wop
Album: Wopavelli 2
Licensed to YouTube by: EMPIRE, Create Music Group, Inc. (on behalf of Bases Loaded Records); LatinAutorPerf, Abramus Digital, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., Create Music Publishing, LatinAutor, and 3 Music Rights Societies
Song: Phenomenon
Artist: Odie
Album: Analogue
Licensed to YouTube by: EMPIRE (on behalf of Unité Recordings / EMPIRE); ASCAP, Sony ATV Publishing, and 6 Music Rights Societies

SA: Raised Crosswalks on Farrington Hwy in Nanakuli

Raised crosswalks to be installed on Farrington Highway in Nanakuli, speed limit reduced to 30 mph
By Star-Advertiser Staff, 7 Jan. 2021

A raised crosswalk on Kalihi Street. Photo courtesy of State Dept. of Transportation

State transportation officials said today that two new, raised pedestrian crossings — also known as speed tables — will be installed on Farrington Highway in Nanakuli in response to two recent, deadly collisions there.

The raised pedestrian crossings, which are intended to make pedestrians more visible and slow drivers down, will be installed at the T-intersection before Piliokahi Avenue and at the highway’s intersection with Laumania Avenue.

Work will begin nightly between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. this Monday, and continue through Thursday of next week.

Lanes on the highway will be closed in each direction between Piliokahi Avenue and Laumania Avenue to allow for the installation of the raised crosswalk across the roadway. One lane in each direction will remain open at all times.

Both raised crosswalks are expected to be completed by Friday morning, weather permitting.

Additional closures will be needed for permanent striping of the crosswalks, which must be done afterwards so paint will adhere properly to new asphalt.

The raised crosswalks to promote pedestrian safety by improving the visibility of pedestrians and providing drivers a physical reminder to reduce their speeds as they enter a residential area, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

Officials said at the same time, the speed limit on Farrington Highway between the vicinity of Tracks Beach Park after the Kahe Power Station and Haleakala Avenue will be reduced from 35 mph to 30 mph, while advisory speeds over the raised crosswalks will be 25 mph.

The state previously installed raised crosswalks on Farrington Highway at Ala Walua Street, the Waianae High School exit, Alawa Place, and Maiuu Road, as well as on Pali Highway in the Nuuanu area.

HDOT will collect speed data at the sites to determine how effective the speed tables are at slowing drivers in the area.

Additional information:
HNN: Ben Gutierrez, “New raised crosswalk slows down traffic in Kalihi and more are on the way,” 21 May 2020.

Kana Walsh: High Schooler Works Toward Changing the World

By Leslie Cranford (“TTU K-12 High Schooler Works Toward Changing the World, Part 2 of 2,” Texas Tech U Newsletter, 11 Nov. 2020).

In the September issue of “Wherever You Are” TTU K‑12 introduced you to Kana Walsh. Here’s the rest of her story, but we’re certain she’ll be doing and creating more exciting things in the future!

Kana Walsh spends much of her time involved in projects to make the world a better place. One of them is advocating for the Day of the Girl, recognized globally each year on Oct. 11. The other is taking part in Model United Nations competitions in the U.S. and in Geneva, Switzerland.

Kana is an American Red Cross National Outreach Coordinator.

Without a flexible school situation, Kana says she would not have the free time to pursue endeavors that are important to her.  Continue reading

Library of Congress 2021 Junior Fellows Summer Internship – Deadline 11/30/20

Nov. 17, 2020

Press contact: Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322, demc@loc.gov
Public contact: Junior Fellows Summer Internship Program, juniorfellows@loc.gov

Library Seeks Applicants for the 2021 Junior Fellows Summer Internship Program

The Library of Congress is seeking applicants for its next Junior Fellows Summer Internship Program, which will run from May 24 – July 30, 2021. This 10-week paid internship is open to undergraduate and graduate students interested in learning and conducting research at the largest library in the world. For the second year in a row, the internship will be conducted virtually.

The deadline to apply is Monday, November 30, 2020. Students can learn more information or apply to the program by visiting loc.gov/item/internships/junior-fellows-program/Continue reading

Season’s Greetings from Maile & Keani

Season’s Greetings from Maile, Keani, and ‘ohana. Photo courtesy of Westside Stories. Click image to enlarge.

Keala Nunuha Named a Complex Area Teacher of the Year 2021

Keala Nunuha, Nānāikapono Elementary, Nānākuli-Waiʻanae Complex Hawaii DOE 2021 State Teacher of the Year

Keala Nunuha: “I want to impact students the same way my elementary teachers impacted me. There is no greater way to show my gratitude for them and their work but to show how much I am #PublicSchoolProud by continuing to educate the children of Nanaikapono Elementary School.”

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will celebrate its 15 Complex Area Teachers of the Year and the Charter School Teacher of the Year in a virtual ceremony Friday. During the event, one outstanding educator will be named HIDOE’s 2021 Hawaii State Teacher of the Year and will go on to represent Hawai‘i in the National Teacher of the Year Program. The winner will also receive awards by Servco Pacific and Hawaiian Electric Co.

What: 2021 State Teacher of the Year Virtual Award Ceremony
Where: Hawaii State Department of Education Facebook Live
When: Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, at 3 p.m

SA: ‘Affordable rentals for Hawaiians to rise in Moiliili’

By Andrew Gomes, 10/5/20

A 23-story apartment tower is slated to rise on the former Stadium Bowl-O-Drome site in Moiliili, providing affordable rentals for 277 Native Hawaiian households.

The plan was recently selected by the state Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands, which owns the 1.9-acre site at 820 Isenberg St. and last year solicited proposals from private developers to produce what would be the agency’s first high-rise rental housing project serving beneficiaries.

DHHL determined that a partnership between local homebuilder Stanford Carr Development and contractor Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. offered the best plan over four other competing proposals.  Continue reading

Rent Assistance for Those at Risk of Eviction

Rent Relief & Housing Assistance Program

Are you a renter experiencing a reduction of income and now facing eviction as a result of COVID-19? This program may be for you. For eligible renters:

Monthly rent payments of up to $2,000 per household residing in the City and County of Honolulu, or $1,500 per household residing in the Counties of Hawaii, Maui or Kauai.

Any applicable financial counseling and assistance with rent payment plans or rent negotiation.

Applications for assistance are currently being accepted for rent payments due between August 1 and December 28, 2020.

The Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program will end on December 28, 2020.

Residents in HPHA public housing or Section 8 program are not eligible.

Purpose: The purpose of the State of Hawaii’s Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program is to provide assistance to renters who have experienced or are facing a reduction in income because of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and are at risk of eviction. The program provides renters with monthly rent, as well as financial counseling. Funded by a portion of the Federal CARES Act, the program is administered by nonprofit partners Catholic Charities Hawaii and Aloha United Way.


RRHAP FAQs 9.8.20 KM – HHFDC Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program FAQs (as of September 4, 2020)

RRHAP news release 9.8.20 KM – Governor Ige Announces Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program

HHFDCflyer-r11 – Has Your Income Been Impacted by COVID-19? You May Be Eligible for Rent Relief

HHFDC_Support Letter Template 9.5.20KM – [MS Word Document] HHFDC Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program Support Letter Template to get the word out (as of September 4, 2020)

Program Overview 9.8.20 KM – Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program: Overview