|Pahala Preschool & Council Chair Dominic Yagong joined the Christmas Parade|
WHILE NO TSUNAMI was expected to reach Hawai`i after a 7.3 earthquake hit Vanuatu in the South Pacific before daybreak this morning, Hawai`i Civil Defense said that some coastal areas could “experience small non-destructive sea level changes and strong and unusual currents lasting up to several hours,” beginning at 10:51 a.m. this morning. Swimmers are urged to take care. The epicenter of the quake was some 15 miles below the ocean floor, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, GOVERNOR NEIL ABERCROMBIE has given the people of Hawai`i a team to help solve the state’s problems. This new hui will oversee policy initiatives and legislative issues:
Wendy Clerinx is the governor’s new Policy Director. She became Abercrombie’s Legislative Director in congress and worked on many issues, including the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, and renewable energy. Clerinx grew up in Hilo and graduated from Waiakea High School. She holds a BS in economics, a BA in political science from Santa Clara University, and a law degree from George Washington University.
Another new Abercrombie team member is Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, who served most recently Executive Director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education, which aims to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education. She also worked for GEAR UP Hawai’i, a federal program at UH to increase access for low-income students to attend higher education. She worked for the RAND Corporation; the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania; and at Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring. She graduated from Moanalua High School, Pomona College, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and University of Southern California.
|Gov. Neil Abercrombie at Pahala Plantation House for inauguration ceremonies|
Another policy and legislative advisor is Michael Ng, who worked as Budget Chief for the state House of Representative. He also served as Budget Analyst for the Senate Ways and Means Committee. An Iolani High School graduate, Ng received his Bachelor's degree in Engineering & Applied Science from California Institute of Technology.
Also, Debbie Shimizu - she has been Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers, Hawai’i Chapter since 1991. She graduated from Whittier College in California and earned a Master's degree in social work from University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. She worked for Easter Seal Society, Mental Health Association, Army Community Services and the UH School of Social Work.
THE RENEWABLE ENERGY OUTLOOK FOR Hawai`i received positive news just before Christmas with renewal of a program that supports commercial alternative energy initiatives, including geothermal and solar. It was attached to a federal tax bill that passed congress last week. It covers 30 percent of costs, encouraging investment in alternative energy. The program had been set to expire on Dec. 31.
THE HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT is reminding people in Ka`u to sign up to receive HPD traffic advisories, emergency notices and police alerts by cell phone and email. Police chief Harry Kubojiri said he wants the community to receive notification as quickly as possible. Sign up by going to hawaiipolice.com.
IF YOU STILL NEED A CHRISTMAS MEAL - in Volcano – Kilauea Military Camp serves Christmas brunch until 3:30 p.m. In Na`alehu, Shaka’s is open for a Christmas buffet until 6 p.m. and Hana Hou is open until 8 p.m. with special Christmas adult and keiki menus.