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Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023

Community members are invited to set up apprenticeships, internships, shadowing and other educational career path
opportunities for students in Kaʻū through the high school's new Career Academies. Photo by Julia Neal

CREATION OF CAREER ACADEMIES AT KAʻŪ HIGH & PAHALA ELEMENTARY were explained at last week's onboarding reception on the school campus. A slogan for the program is "Design. Innovate. Kokua. Malama."
    Leaders, including Academy Director 'Aina Akamu, explained that teams of teachers work across several academic and technical subjects, grouping students in cohorts for these classes that follow a program of study. In addition, businesses and other community entities are invited to offer internships and other work and learning opportunities through the academies.
    The academy leaders invited representatives of Ka'u businesses, non-profits and agencies to become involved, to offer opportunities for students to work, through cooperation with the school. Possibilities include programs that pay the students to work in the community.
   Members of the public are invited to sign up to serve on the advisory board. The advisory board helps to identify a sequential set of experiential components that show students the applications of academic subjects to the career and college field and deliver work-based learning experiences, like shadowing, community service, mentoring, internships and apprenticeships.

Agri-preneurship is one of the career academy paths
at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary. Photo by Julia Neal

    Why is Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary transitioning to the Career Academies? According to the presentation, student voice is important. "We want to hear and reflect the values, opinions, beliefs, perspectives, languages and cultural backgrounds of students in the school. Teachers will utilize instructional approaches and techniques that are based on student choices, interests, passions and ambitions." The transition is to a career academy school design that "provides an effective, research-based k-12 articulated model that is planful in how they use time, curriculum, pedagogy, pathways, community partners, supports, decision-making collaboratives and student products based on a specific college and career approach."

    The plan is for the school to transition through teacher collaboration. "Quality school designs that meet the needs of all students is possible through powerful teacher collaboratives that are data-informed and allow for deep discussions about curriculum quality that leads to timely curriculum and support adjustments based on student performance data."
    The plan also offers students participation in community engagement opportunities, including, field trips, hiking, community service such as beach clean-ups, fishing, cultural activities such as makahiki, and work-based learning opportunities with local farms, food establishments, stores, hospitals, clinics, design labs, businesses and community partners. "These partnerships will be a resource to support student learning, engagement and success," says the plan.
    In addition, numerous college courses are offered and students can earn many higher education credits before graduating from high school, giving them a head start at colleges and universities.
To find out more and to help out with the advisory board, apprenticeships and other student career opportunities, see www.khpes.org, bit.ly/KHPESGLL and bit.ly/KGLLIRD21.

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IKAIKA ANDERSON WITHDREW HIS NOMINATION FOR CHAIR OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS on Wednesday. It follows Tuesday's vote by the state Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, which recommended to reject the Anderson nomination by Gov. Josh Green, who said Anderson will continue at the post until he identifies another nominee.
    In Anderson's nomination paper, Green wrote: “Ikaika has an extensive history as a public servant in

Ikaika Anderson during grueling hearing Tuesday on his nomination to head
 Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands. On Wednesday, he withdrew his nomination.
 Photo from Hawai'i Public Radio
our State, including serving on the Honolulu City Council from May 2009 through September 2020, and serving as its Chair from May 2019 through September 2020. While on the Council, he helped to establish Hui Mahiʻai ʻAina, a tiny-home communal village that offered shelter and wrap-around services to our homeless population in Waimānalo, Oʻahu. Since the announcement of his nomination as chairperson, Ikaika has been traveling across the State, speaking and engaging directly with beneficiaries and stakeholders to pursue solutions as the department continues to address the ongoing issues facing our Native Hawaiian communities.”
    Among others who supported Anderson were former Gov. Neil Abercrombie, former Gov. John Waihe'e and former state Sen. Malama Solomon. Former Hawaiian Home Lands Chair William Aila opposed Anderson's nomination, focusing on the issue of how to best use $600 million funding to implement the DHHL Strategic plan, including putting more housing on Hawaiian Home Lands.
    The governor held the press conference where Anderson withdrew his nomination. Green objected to the negative outcome of Tuesday's vote in the committee where support for Anderson was two to one, but the process was described as grueling and the vote was to reject the nomination. The governor said, "People deserve to be treated well. There should be no bullying. There should be no stones thrown in glass houses." Green also said, "We were all sent here to do a job. To help people. In this case, it was to help build houses for the Hawaiian community, and I can't think of anybody who was better poised to do that. We need to change the culture of state government. We need to be more considerate of people.” 

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HAWAI'I HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST HEPATITIS B DEATH RATES IN THE NATION, according to a report from the state Department of Health. Also high are deaths from liver cancer. The Hawaiʻi Hepatitis B Mortality and Liver Cancer report analyzed mortality data from 2000 to 2020 in order to guide local efforts to improve liver health and reduce preventable deaths.
    The report was the first comprehensive analysis of hepatitis B and liver cancer death data for Hawaiʻi. The most important findings from the report include:
    Hawaiʻi has one of the highest hepatitis B death rates nationwide. In 2019, the rate for Hawaiʻi (1.17 per 100,000) was almost three times the national rate (0.42 per 100,000).Hepatitis B death rates were higher among Asian and Pacific Islander (API) residents in Hawaiʻi. Rates for API residents were 1.2 to 1.4 times the rate of the state average.
  Liver cancer death rates in Hawaiʻi were consistently higher than the national average, with Hawaiʻi rates 1.1 to 1.8 times national rates. This overall trend was driven by higher rates among male and API residents, compared to the rest of the state.
    The report makes recommendations to reduce the burden of hepatitis B and liver cancer mortality, including additional research and reporting; improved data collection and sharing; and increased screening and immunizations, especially for API communities in Hawaiʻi.
    "The findings of this report reiterate the importance of eliminating hepatitis B infection in Hawaiʻi through increased screening and immunizations," said state Health Director Dr. Kenneth Fink. "Deaths from hepatitis B are preventable, and we can reduce deaths statewide and improve health equity by ongoing commitment to culturally appropriate partnerships with the local Asian and Pacific Islander communities that are most affected."
    The development of this report was the result of a multi-sector collaboration between DOH and external partners, including Hep Free Hawaiʻi, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Hepatitis B Foundation. To read the report and related materials, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/harmreduction/new-hep-b-mortality-article/.
    For local hepatitis B screening and immunization resources, visit www.hepfreehawaii.org.
    This report aligns with Hep Free 2030, the statewide strategy to eliminate viral hepatitis in Hawaiʻi by 2030, which was developed by DOH in collaboration with Hep Free Hawaiʻi and over 160 community stakeholders. For more information on hepatitis elimination efforts in Hawaiʻi, visit www.hepfreehawaii.org/hep-free-2030

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FIFTEEN MOTORISTS WERE ARRESTED FOR DUI, during the week of Feb. 6  through Feb. 12.

Hawai‘i Island police made the arrests for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Six of the drivers were involved in a traffic collision. One of the drivers was under the age of 21. So far this year, there have been 130 DUI arrests compared with 127 during the same period last year, an increase of 2.4 percent
    After a review of all updated crashes, Traffic Services found 114 major collisions so far this year compared with 89 during the same period last year, an increase of 28.1 percent.
    To date, there have been 4 fatal crashes, resulting in 5 fatalities, compared with 5 fatal crashes, resulting in 7 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 20 percent for fatal crashes, and 28.6 percent for fatalities.
   Police promise that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

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A REMINDER TO TAKE HAWAI'I POLICE DEPARTMENT'S COMMUNITY SATISFACTION SURVEY has been sent out by Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz. It is open through 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28. HPD conducts the survey every two years as part of its national accreditation process.
Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz asks the public
to take the survey to give feedback. 
       “At the most basic level, our job in the police department is to help the public feel safe,” said Moszkowicz. “The only way we can gauge our success and identify areas for improvement, is to solicit feedback from the community. It is only through honest communication that we have any hope of continuing to improve the department and the community.” 
    The anonymous survey is available on the department’s website www.hawaiipolice.com and can be accessed directly at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HPD2023.
    The HPD statement says, "Knowing that our department’s effectiveness is ultimately determined by the confidence and cooperation of the community we serve, the survey includes both multiple-choice questions and an opportunity to make individual comments that will aid us in determining the police department’s strengths and weaknesses. By comparing the results of this year’s survey with the results of past surveys, the department can gauge where it has improved and where it needs further improvement."

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St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View. Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.

Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in the upper lot only. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.