Costs force MEO out of senior chore service

Interim group to run program until county can secure new provider

May 30, 2011
By LEE IMADA – News Editor , The Maui News

WAILUKU – Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. will be giving up its county contract on June 30 for elderly homemaker and chore services, a program the agency has run virtually nonstop since the mid-1970s.

There will be no interruption of services to elderly clients, who receive help with their household chores, home maintenance and laundry with the goal of keeping them independent and living in their homes.

Hale Mahaolu, which already offers personal care services, will pick up the program in the interim, until the county can contract with a new provider, a news release said.

MEO, a private nonprofit Community Action Agency, decided to relinquish the Homemaker and Chore Services contact because of financial shortfalls in the program. The agency lost about $40,000 this contract year on the $153,645 contract, said Debbie Cabebe, chief programs officer.

“MEO has a long history of providing chore services on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai,” said Lyn McNeff, MEO chief executive officer. “We have much aloha for our clients.

“Unfortunately, the cost of running the program continues to exceed the cost reimbursement. It is with sadness that we have determined it is no longer feasible for MEO to provide this service.”

Article contributed by The Maui News. To read the Full Article please click here

Helping veterans after service takes teamwork

Na Moku Ola

May 30, 2011
By Paul Laub , For The Maui News

The wars continue, and veterans are made every day. We, the people, live securely because of these men and women.

George Orwell once said: “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us.”

These rough men and now women did not start out that way. They were sweet babies in their mother’s arms who grew up to take up the responsibility for our safety. They “all paid some and some paid all.”

On Memorial Day, we pay homage to those who gave their “all.” However, there is the rest of the year.

Many veterans are still paying through the injuries that they suffered during their service. Even those not injured pay when they come back and reintegrate into the “normal” society they left behind.

The rate of general unemployment is 9 percent; for veterans it is 11 percent. Jobless veterans may call Donn Mitsuyuki of the Department of Labor at 984-2091. He has jobs.

Other veterans who are having reintegration or other problems should contact Tamickco Jackson of the state Office of Veteran Services at 873-3145.

Reintegration, like the rest of life, is a team effort. This is really important. Those veterans having trouble with reintegration should join a church, get involved with the community or volunteer with sports programs, the food bank or any of the many local organizations. Through this interaction with others, veterans will be able to ease themselves back into society.

Want to start a home-based business? Help make it possible by getting into the political process. Our County Council will be taking up this issue. The WWII returning veterans changed this state by becoming involved. Today’s veterans can get involved too.

* Paul Laub is president of the Maui County Veterans Council. Na Moku Ola means “The Islands of Life,” with special focus on Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe and the ideals of health and vigor we pursue.

Article contributed by The Maui News.  For more great articles and to get caught up on Maui  island news visit their website, CLICK HERE

Hawaii Youth Services Network and Social Services Budget Crisis

Hawaii Youth Services Network encourages YOU to watch this important program on Island Insights (PBS) next Thursday.  Please call or e-mail your questions and comments to the show.  Tell Dan Boylan and PBS viewers how the budget crisis affects your clients and the important services you provide.

Insights on PBS Hawaii: Thursday, June 2 at 7:30 pm
Social Services Budget Crisis

The 2011 Legislative session ended with a balanced budget, but is the safety net intact for those who depend on the state’s social services agencies and the non-profit service sector? Advocates for programs that include assistance to needy families, mental health support, the elderly and the prevention of domestic violence contend that the severe budget cuts are shortsighted without enough thought given to the long-term consequences.

Joining host Dan Boylan will be a group of community advocates who will discuss and rate this year’s legislative decisions and the impact on the well-being of our community. The guests are: Jan Dill, CEO of Partners in Development; David Derauf, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Kokua Kalihi Valley; Jerry Rauckhorst, CEO of Catholic Charities; and Alex Santiago, Executive Director of PHOCUSED (Protecting Hawaii’s Ohana, Children, UnderServed, Elderly and Disabled).

Tune in, call in and join the discussion!
E-mail your questions ahead of time to: 

insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Follow the live Thursday Night discussion and add your comments on the PBS Hawaii Twitter page:


View conversations from previous episodes in our PBS Hawaii Video Forum.

If you miss the Thursday program, each week’s episode is rebroadcast
on Fridays at 10:00 pm, and you can also listen to an audio rebroadcast Sunday
mornings at 6:00 am on both KUMU 94.7 FM and KPOI 97.5 FM.

 

Judith F. Clark

Executive Director

Hawaii Youth Services Network

677 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 702

Honolulu, HI 96813

808-531-2198 phone

808-534-1199 fax

jclark@hysn.org

Project Clean with Honolulu Police Department on June 4

Health Providers Talk Collaboration

May 24, 2011

In a historic move, the island’s health care providers gathered last week to discuss how to co-exist peacefully.

The meeting – the first of many – was called by the Department of Health (DOH), stemming from concerns over duplication of services between Molokai General Hospital (MGH) and the Molokai Community Health Center (MCHC).

The assembly at Kulana `Oiwi, attended by residents and public and private health care providers alike, discussed both the strengths and weaknesses of Molokai’s health care. The issue at the heart of the meeting was availability of services and how to best serve the community. Cora Schnackenberg, a resident who attended last week’s meeting, said insurance dictates where many residents can go to for health care, and a variety of services is a benefit for residents.

“We gotta stop cutting throats,” she said. “You can’t monopolize [health care], we gotta work together.”

DOH officials called the meeting to begin forming a comprehensive health care plan among the island’s providers, creating an inventory of services to find any gaps that need filling, as well as to ensure that business is fair for all.

The Positive

MGH’s emergency facilities are not only a necessity, but also offer a high quality of service, as many attendees mentioned. Although Molokai has limited specialist services, such as the lack of an on-island eye doctor, residents do have chemotherapy, dialysis and women’s health available among many other services at MGH.

Matt Yamashita, a MCHC board member, pointed out that Molokai has excellent doctors “across the board.” Others applauded the island’s only pharmacy, Molokai Drugs, a family-run business that provides more than just prescription drugs.

One attendee mentioned Molokai’s growing professional development in the medical field, such as Wai Ola `O Hina, where local students can learn therapy services and find employment on-island.

Among the attendees were MGH and MCHC, representatives from Na Pu`uwai, Veterans Affairs, Hospice Hawaii, Liberty Dialysis and private care providers Chris Chow and Mary Hoffman.

The Negative
Those at the meeting agreed that Molokai’s main challenge with health care is access to services – geographically, socially, culturally and economically.

Yolanda Tanielu, parent co-chair of Molokai Community Children’s Council and whose daughter is in special education, said not only is there no transitional period from special education to adult mental health services, but the mental health facilities here are currently inadequate.

“I don’t give a s*** about your competition, I just want services for my child,” she said to the table of professionals. “It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality…[but] on Molokai, what we get is what we get.”

Joe Lapilio, the meeting’s Department of Health (DOH) facilitator, said budget cutbacks are effective statewide and show no signs of abating. DOH provides the island’s mental health services, school health aid and public health nurses.

Duplication vs. Options
While many believe variety of health care available on the island is positive, others say that is Molokai’s demise.

“Molokai is notorious for [having] turf issues for years,” said Jane Lee, MGH trustee and a co-founder of Na Pu`uwai. “I’d like to [get] rid of duplication services – its wasting money.”

Although many areas on Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui have island-wide health plans, Molokai’s plan was initiated after the duplication issue arose last year between MGH and MCHC – and a $1 million state grant was withheld from MCHC for building renovations until the issue was resolved. MCHC and MGH both provide primary care, but MCHC Executive Director Desiree Puhi said in a past interview that MGH’s emergency services, internal medicine, and women’s health are not in competition with MCHC’s pediatrician and dental services.

Loretta Fuddy, director of the DOH, said until the plan is formally implemented, the state will not release the second half of the grant.

“We’d like to make sure the resources on-island are used to the best capacity,” she said. “We look at high need areas, develop community health plans and cooperate with the facilities there, to leverage additional federal dollars.”

Judy Caparida, a co-founder of MCHC, said politics are getting in the way of Molokai’s needs.

“If [a health care organization] is going to give us service, that’s that we need,” she said.

While the first meeting was held to begin an inventory of Molokai’s health care options and needs, officials will be holding the next meeting for more of the public to join in the discussion. The public is encouraged to attend the next meeting on June 1, at Kalanianaole Hall at 6 p.m.

(MCHC recently received an additional $500,000 grant for their new facility, not to be confused with their original grant, appropriated in 2009).

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Hearing

May 30, 2011

(Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) — Ka Waihona o ka Naauao (KWON) is located on the Wai`anae Coast, the western side of the island of O`ahu. The Wai.anae community, as many Native American communities, has experienced rampant alcohol, sexual and substance abuse, early teen pregnancy, a large percentage of Native Hawaiians incarcerated, and the disintegration of family and Native Hawaiian values due to the above listed social maladies. The mission of Ka Waihona o ka Na`auao is to create socially responsible, resilient and resourceful young men and women by providing an environment of academic excellence, social confidence and cultural awareness. Because of this, KWON embraces a curriculum that is both academically rigorous and culturally sensitive.
KWON houses opened ten years ago in an educationally altered chicken coop with 60 students in grades kindergarten through three. Currently, there are 572 students in 24 classrooms in grades kindergarten through eight on a traditional school campus. Of our students, 93% are Native Hawaiian and 62% are economically disadvantaged. Each class has an educational assistant in addition to a classroom teacher which allows for a lower student-teacher ratio and more effective classroom management. KWON provides a core curriculum of language arts, social studies, science, and math along with resource courses that include music, art, language, physical education, and culture.

The school is in good standing with the No Child Left Behind federal mandate and has made Annual Yearly Progress for four of the last six years. KWON.s founder formed the school with the strong belief that education is the most effective way to remedy the maladies of a community. This belief is at the heart of the school.s efforts to foster a more community inclusive form of education, an integrated curriculum, and an academically rigorous educational experience, along with measurable outcomes set at the highest standard. KWON offers a schooling experience that is a viable alternative to the existing conventional public school model. KWON is structured to be responsive to the learning styles, cultural values, and future desires of the families of the community. It emphasizes a caring, collaborative environment for all persons within the school community. This includes students, teachers, parents, staff, volunteers, and community members who, together, implement an effective and relevant educational experience.

KWON is founded on its Na Mea Waiwai or Core Values: Ho.ihi (respect), Kuleana (responsibility), Malama (safety), Ha.aha.a (humility), Lokahi (unity), and Ho.omau (perseverance). A set of posters displaying these school values is displayed in every room on campus to allow for easy reference and frequent discussion. The exposure and substantive support by the faculty to make these values a part of everyday lessons and behavior expectations is integral to the school.s approach to education and ultimately the school.s mission. Students participate in a host of cultural activities throughout the school year. These include honoring the native rulers of the past at the Royal Mausoleum (burial place), displaying their knowledge in a cultural show for the community, participating in a day of festivities which include activities ancient Hawaiians conducted on a daily basis for survival, weekly hula classes, daily Hawaiian language classes for middle school students, and a daily schoolwide protocol that includes a variety of Native Hawaiian chants and songs including Hawaii Ponoi, our state song.

KWON exposes students to native Hawaiian values and offers them opportunities to participate in a culture which is beneficial to their social maturation. The combination of a cultural component and an intensely rigorous academic curriculum provides the students with a solid base that allows for a social mobility that is often not a reality for native Hawaiians. Education, whether it be cultural or academic, plays a vital role in nurturing and sustaining our native people.

KWON.s Hawaii State Assessment scores have steadily improved since the school.s first taking of the HSA in 2005. In the most recent state assessment data (2009), where 300 is passing, KWON scored a 303 in reading and a 288 in math. This is an improvement from 296 in reading and 280 in math in 2008. KWON was able to meet AYP this year and is now in School Improvement Year One, Good Standing, due to the consistent gains in each class and grade level, especially in mathematics. This is remarkable considering only one other public school in the district met AYP. The surrounding community.s schools house eight of the 10 lowest scoring schools in the state. The schools in the same district have consistently struggled to make gains on state tests. In SY 2009-10, KWON met the school.s goals set in SY 2008-09. KWON moved 10% of students in each reading standard up to higher standard by moving 8 Students move from Well Below standard to Approaching standard, 6 Students move from Approaching standard to Meets standard, and 11 Students move from Meets standard to Exceeds standard. We were also able to move 10% of students in each math standard up to higher standard by moving 12 Students move from Well Below standard to Approaching standard, 7 Students move from Approaching standard to Meets standard, and 6 Students move from Meets standard to Exceeds standard. All teachers use the same assessments and are using the data from those assessments to drive instruction.

KWON implements Guided Reading Groups and Literature and Inquiry Circles in grades Kindergarten through eight. KWON supports these Guided Reading Groups and Literature and Inquiry Circles with a number of Big Books, Shared Reading Kits, Internet Sources through SmartBoards and other technology rich sources, the Accelerated Reader Program (a daily progress monitoring software assessment for monitoring the practice of reading), STAR Reading (standardized computer adaptive assessment) from Renaissance Learning (which works hand in hand with Neo IIs and Notebook software), A to Z Readers (materials to teach guided reading, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, reading fluency, alphabet, and vocabulary through professionally developed downloadable leveled books, lesson plans, worksheets, and reading assessments), Leveled Reading Libraries for grade levels K-8, and many Hawaiian culture books, which assist in teaching our curriculum.s cultural component.

All teachers, parents, and students sign an annual school compact and middle school parents stay in close contact with instructional staff through the TeacherEase program. The middle school implements Teacherease, which systematized our 7th and 8th grade classrooms through standards-based lesson plans, curriculum mapping, gradebooks, report cards, and parent communication/access. The website enhances teacher collaboration and improves communication between administrators, teachers, parents, and students. We also use the portion of the system that provides demographics, attendance, and scheduling assistance. The various supports for KWON students include the following: in class technology tutoring through Accelerated Reading and Math, Reading Fluency Software, skill specific online programs, daily grade updates and communication with parents, counseling services, and Title I and IDEA support. Kindergarten through sixth grade employs a Standards Based report card.

During instruction, lower elementary teachers focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, and differentiation with pre-decodable and decodable books. KWON employs Small Group Instruction through Guided and Shared Reading on a daily basis. Teachers also use listening centers, Author.s Chair, and Reader.s and Writer.s Theatre daily as another teaching strategy that easily allows for differentiation. Literature and Inquiry Circles are used for focused critical thinking sessions to introduce and break down new material and allow students to learn from one another through collaborative groups. Middle and upper elementary teachers create project-based, interdisciplinary, independent research projects in order to promote non-fiction reading and writing, internet familiarity, and independent work. Science, math and reading journals are conducted daily in classrooms. Students also work in small groups using strategies such as role playing, think/pair/share, and jigsawing.

Teachers differentiate using multi-sensory, multiple intelligence lessons in order to engage each student in the classroom. Teachers also differentiate according to student ability using skill specific work they have created or by using differentiated items provided by KWON.s curricular programs. Formative assessments are employed frequently in the form of self-assessment and goal setting, peer assessments, observations, reviews, summarizing, and exit cards.

KWON uses software and online programs such as Lexia, My Reading Coach, Reading Plus, and Fluent Reading Trainer as supplemental supports for students in order to instruct in a differentiated, skill-specific format. These programs are scientifically proven and data driven allowing students to be frequently assessed and support students until mastery. Teachers are able to access assessments and further drive instruction through worksheets and 1:1 or small group instruction. The programs are designed to support students experiencing difficulty with reading. In addition, low achieving students participate in one-to-one sessions with teachers and educational assistants using skill specific, leveled readers, computer programs, and manipulatives. During the summer prior to kindergarteners beginning school at KWON, students attend a mandatory session in which teachers assess students and meet with parents in order to introduce the entire family to KWON.s expectations.

Singapore Math is implemented in grades kindergarten through eight as a core math curriculum. Singapore Math.s method of teaching mathematics is based on textbooks from the national curriculum of Singapore. It is based primarily on time-tested traditional mathematics instruction methods. Singapore Math frequently uses word problems and the strategies towards solving them, rather than repetitive drilling. Singapore Math also frequently uses models in teaching problem-solving (a form of pre-algebra) rather than the trial-and-error methods. This method is a problem solving strategy which simplifies the list of 11 or more problem solving skills suggested by the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

KWON supplements the curriculum with Accelerated Reading and Accelerated Math which are research-based computer programs that produce high gains in reading and math for students of different achievement levels in all grades. The program creates custom-designed practice assignments for students based on a computerized diagnostic test, scores their work, and reports the results immediately. The classroom teacher is then able to work with individual students on their particular skill strengths and weaknesses. Students work at their own individual levels and are given practice time to achieve proficiency. Teachers set realistic, achievable math goals with students for optimum growth using this program. Teacher use program reports and feedback for planning instruction, diagnosis of student needs, and also to provide information for parents.

KWON.s technology rich supports include MacBooks, listening centers, Samsung doc cameras, I-Pod Touch System, MacBooks, Elmos, Ipads, Neo II Boards, and SmartBoard Techonology. The programs are used for reading & math instruction which increases test scores through multi-sensory literacy and math comprehension strategies, vocabulary and language development, and repeated reading/math practice. Programs are scientifically proven, skill specific, differentiated, and current, best practice.

KWON uses a three tiered RTI model. Tier I consists of general education (curricula, grading, and testing). KWON concentrates on Tier II which is an individualized, intervention level. Tier III is an intensive, skill specific intervention designed for each student. This includes Title I, Special Education, and one to one sessions conducted with teachers. All students participating in Tier II and III are monitored to ensure students’ progress over time and close the achievement gap with their peers.

Highly Qualified Status of Instructional Staff 32 of the 33 instructional staff are licensed and Highly Qualified. The last teacher is currently in the process of finishing her State Approved Teacher Education Program (SATEP) and completing her Praxis tests in order to obtain licensure and is scheduled to obtain her license by the end of SY10-11. 50% of KWON teachers hold graduate degrees in education from schools such as Gonzaga, Chaminade, and the University of Hawaii.

KWON.s environment molds students. early experiences through native educators who understand and pass on all that is good in our native, cultural value system. The school has purposefully sought out highly qualified, Native Hawaiian educators who come from the community. Of the school.s faculty members, 63% have advanced degrees, and 20 of 41 members of the staff are graduates of the Kamehameha Schools, a private school exclusively for Native Hawaiians which is difficult to gain acceptance from. KWON thrives on the premise that this type of role modeling empowers the student body to believe that they can achieve and that all things are possible.

Professional Development Activities All KWON Professional Development (PD) activities are geared toward the increase of effective instruction. The focus of PDs at KWON is enrichment, differentiation, and skill specific instruction that is scientifically proven and data driven.

Cultural workshops connect our staff and students to the wealth of ancestral knowledge available to us. The cultural workshops also enrich the relationships among our staff and students through the focus on our Na Mea Waiwai (core values: respect, responsibility, safety, humility, unity and perseverance). Activities such as creating kikepa (Hawaiian garb), kahili (Hawaiian version of a flag), and learning new aoli (Hawaiian songs) are conducted on a consistent basis. Historical background, personal and academic connections, and staff unity are always at the forefront of all cultural workshop activities.

KWON teachers attend Kamehameha Schools. professional development days in order to learn and implement new strategies in their classrooms. KWON teachers attended an I Teach K Conference, Singapore Math Training Conference and a Differentiation Conference for which all teachers completed a collaborative project and presented statistical and anecdotal results reflecting the worth of attending the conference. All strategies and trainings are conducted within the framework of student achievement in order to close the achievement gap and increase academic achievement.

All teachers participate in Professional Learning Communities on a weekly basis. These communities work toward (1) recognizing a need (with a focus on leadership training), (2) organizing for change (with a focus on leadership and infrastructure), (3) working on the building blocks (with a focus on infrastructure, school philosophy, and vision), (4) moving as a whole school (with a focus on the standards based change process), (5) sharing results within a professional learning community (with the focus on assessment results), (6) implementing the curriculum (with a focus on teacher-developed curriculum guides), and (7) engaging students and families (with the focus on portfolios, student self-assessment, and goal setting). Initially, the communities. meeting topics began with an assessment (by way of surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews, along with data collection) of three components of our school: infrastructure, classroom practices, and student outcomes. According to the results of the assessment, consistent professional development workshops were created and conducted. These workshops cover topics such as standards-based education, formative assessment to inform instruction, and the employment of instructional strategies across the schoolwide curriculum, all in the context of Professional Learning Communities. These communities are created and fostered not only to affect change through a partnership among the teachers but to sustain that change through grassroots involvement. We are continuing the growing process of refining our school curriculum, benchmarks, and anchor pieces for each benchmark. The communities also determine the expectations for each grade level through specific methodologies that are scientifically-proven to be effective. Through these Professional Learning Communities, teachers who are effective/knowledgeable in different areas instruct other teachers through professional workshops. These Grade Level PLCs also function as the teacher mentoring program through consistent meetings that discuss each teacher.s strengths and needs in order to allow seasoned and beginning teachers to learn from one another. These learning communities allow teachers to receive the support they need to improve their classroom practices and give them adequate time to work together, both scientifically-proven necessities for classroom success.

KWON has an extensive Support Services System that supports underperforming students with skill specific, individually designed instruction. The support system provides current, best practice reading and math strategies in the following areas: sustaining improved reading outcomes through phonics interventions, data analysis/data driven instruction from formative and summative assessments in order to target core reading and math strands for increased test results, RTI/Tier III reading interventions, teaching creatively to increase standardized test scores, metacognitive and multi-sensory interventions, motivating reluctant learners, and the use of technology in the classroom. KWON.s closed circuit television plays professional development DVDs that contain Best New Practices and innovative teaching strategies for teacher utilization on a consistent basis. KWON also continues to build a professional development library available for the KWON staff in the Curriculum Room. This room houses texts, CD.s, and DVD.s that equip teachers with current strategies and methods that engage students in order to increase student achievement.

KWON also offers Apple Institutes for Mac Software and Internet Programs Training for instructional staff. Training is for Apple Software and Internet Programs for supplemental, differentiated, skill specific, data driven reading and math instruction in the form of project based digital storytelling which increases test scores through multi-sensory literacy and math comprehension strategies, vocabulary and language development, and repeated reading/math practice. These PD days cover best instructional strategies by instructing teachers in how to best use the programs for differentiating for each student using skill specific software and internet reading and math programs.

Partnerships and Collaboration Kamehameha Schools-Kamehameha Schools. Ho.olako Like Program as well as Kamehameha Elementary School (KES) supports KWON by financially supporting the school.s initiatives and providing the staff with opportunities for professional development (teacher trainings at the KES campus on literacy, conferences for Math and English Teachers, and workshops concerning topics such as differentiation). The Public Education Division of the Kamehameha Schools supports KWON through a longitudinal study that will track the long term effects of KWON.s educational efforts through High School and beyond. This will help KWON address academic strengths and/or weaknesses that appear later in our students. academic career. KS also donated $5000 in cultural books for our Backpack Program to begin in SY 10-11.

Hawaii Association of Independent Schools is partnering with KWON to assist in the process of accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. KWON began the process in SY 11-12.

Na Lei Na’auao Native Hawaiian Charter School Alliance-KWON is a member of the Na Lei Na.auao which offers support among 12 Native Hawaiian Charter Schools.

Hawaii Charter School Network-The 31 charter school network provides opportunities for KWON to learn from other charter schools throughout the islands.

University of Hawai’i at Manoa, College of Education, Center on Disability Studies-Collaborates with KWON through the financial support of four free after school reading and math tutoring programs. These four programs focus on reading and math fluency. Currently, 200 of the 572 students at KWON attend these programs on a daily basis.

Hawaii State Teachers Association-Supports the teachers of KWON through union labor representatives that keep the staff aware of changing state laws that affect teachers.

Department of Education-Provides Financial Management Services for payroll, SPED services and trainings, as well as counseling referrals that require Department of Health involvement.

University of Hawaii Curriculum Research Development Group-Provides core science curriculum (DASH) PDERI (Professional Development and Educational Research Institute) provides opportunities for professional development for our staff.

Alu Like collaborates with KWON by donating hundreds of books to build our school library.

Office of Hawaiian Affairs financially supports KWON through grants that allow for our free bus service.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands agreed to a minimal cost, 30 year lease agreement with KWON to ensure KWON.s long term support and success.

Disney granted KWON a 2500 sq. ft. playground and a 1000 sq. ft garden in the 2010-11 school year. Disney continues to support KWON through additional grants and school visits from Mickey and Minnie.

HeadStart applications are distributed during the school year for siblings of students to encourage pre-school attendance.

Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center, The Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE), Parents and Children Together (PACT), and Families for R.E.A.L. (the State Student Support Services Program) are all resourced as needed.

OHA Funds Mo`omomi Restoration Project

Community Contributed by Bill Garnett

The Kauhale program of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has helped fund the continuation of the papa he`e nalu (surfboard) coastal forest restoration project at Mo`omomi. The roots of this project come from the vision of Wade Lee and Ed Misaki, to preserve the yellow seeded wiliwili  after the well-known tree at Mo`omomi died.

Wiliwili trees are known for their bright red or orange flowers that bloom on leafless trees in the late summer early fall. “When the wiliwili flowers the sharks bite” is an `olelo that refers to the sharks coming in close to shore to mate during that season. The name wiliwili refers to the twisting of the mature seedpods that reveal the red or rarely, in the case of Mo`omomi, yellow seeds.

The kahuna la`au lapa`au used the flowers of the wiliwili for medicine; the ash from the wood was a dye; and most famously the extra light wood was used for fishnet floats, the iama of small canoe and papa he`e nalu surfboards for the ali`i.

The best way to work on preserving this important heritage tree was to undertake a small-scale coastal dry forest restoration trial at the site, utilizing a mix of native Hawaiian grasses, vines, shrubs and the trees. Both `ohe makai and wiliwili woods are known to have been used by Hawaiians to make traditional papa he`e nalu. We have gotten off to a great start by working with local school and family groups.

To see more about the project and see and hear from Molokai High School students interviewed during a planting day at Mo`omomi, check out the new Outside Hawaii show on OC16 or check our website www.wiliwilihawaiianplants.org, where groups can sign up to help replant the wiliwili forest.

Ultimately, we hope to grow enough wiliwili and `ohe makai trees to be able to harvest small amount of wood. Then we will  be looking to one of the kumu revitalizing traditional surfboard construction around the state or one of their students, for guidance in  making the first Papahe`enalu made on this island in decades.

We are happy to have received funding to continue part of this project, and thank the OHA trustees for their support.

Contributed by Molokai Dispatch

The Molokai Planning Commission Vacancies

The Molokai Planning Commission (MoPC) serves a vital role in the community as the gatekeeper for development and construction that could potentially cause harm to the environment or encourage local businesses to thrive. There is currently one vacancy on this volunteer commission, and another vacancy anticipated.

DeGray Vanderbilt had been nominated in April by Mayor Arakawa to serve on the MoPC. Vanderbilt withdrew his name, however, just as the County Council voted to approve his appointment. Several community members, including members of the Molokai Chamber of Commerce, had offered testimony in opposition of his nomination, primarily because of concerns over his residency. Vanderbilt, who has previously served on the MoPC for five years, said via email that he withdrew his name because “I didn’t want to compromise the integrity of the Commission by allowing the Chamber to cast dispersions on one of its members.”

Vanderbilt said he originally applied for the position when he heard about the vacancy and that the commission was having trouble getting quorum to hold meetings. Five of the nine commission members are required to be present for quorum and legal voting.

“I just wanted to help out if I could,” Vanderbilt said.

Mike Molina, executive assistant to the mayor, who also oversees boards and commissions, said there are seven other applicants for the opening as of last week.

Molina said a second vacancy is anticipated, as a commission member has been absent from meetings for some time and has not responded to calls.

“In the event a member does not respond, the council can replace him,” said Molina, adding that in this case, the process will likely begin in the next month.

The names of the seven applicants are confidential until the mayor makes his selection recommendation, according to Molina. He said the vacancies will be filled as soon as possible, hopefully by mid- to late June.

Anyone can apply at any time to become a member of the MoPC, according to current commission Chairperson Mikiala Pescaia. The application stays on file with the county for two years, and when a vacancy comes up, the mayor will pick a nomination to be approved by the County Council.

Molina said applicants much be a resident of Molokai and be available to attend the twice-monthly meetings. He added that preference is given to those with prior community experience or land use planning knowledge.

Those wishing to apply may call Molina at (808) 270-8211 with any questions. The application may be downloaded from the county website then mailed or faxed to the county.

Molokai Anti-Wind Group Forms

I Aloha Molokai (IAM) News Release

The acronym IAM represents “I Aloha Molokai,” a newly formed working group comprised of Molokai residents opposed to the proposal to develop a 200 megawatt industrial scale wind power plant to serve the energy needs of Oahu. IAM’s mission is to share information, as well as educate the general public to the potential impacts of the project. This is a grassroots effort to raise awareness and provide balance as the developer and proponents of the project move forward in their attempt to persuade the island community to support the project.

IAM is fortunate and pleased to announce that on June 2 at 6 p.m. at the Kulana `Oiwi Halau, Robin Kaye from Friends of Lanai (FOL) will be sharing the “Lanai Wind Fall Out” video and their experience with the Big Wind and undersea cable project. IAM invites the public to join us to talk story and learn how others are proactively engaged in mitigating efforts to challenge the Big Wind and Undersea Cable project.

Numerous testimonies, letters printed in the local paper and a recent voting survey reveal major concerns and opposition to the proposed project.  IAM stands firm on the position that the cultural, social, economic and environmental impacts far outweigh the benefits and opportunities of the project. “NO DEAL” is worth sacrificing our integrity and island for.

IAM is not against renewable energy or the state’s mandate to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuel. We support having a fair process that will allow the community to influence the direction and outcome of the project and seek collectively other options and solutions that may help Molokai as well as Hawaii become less dependent on the importation of fossil fuels.

IAM hopes to emerge as a coordinated and unified voice representative of Molokai’s position on the project. This would also include opportunities to build relationships and alliances with others in as well as outside of Molokai that share similar concerns. IAM’s intent is to keep the community informed on the group’s activities and progress. We encourage all who are apprehensive about the project to join our efforts as well.  For more information or questions please contact (808) 336-1061.

Mahalo from IAM founders, Halona Kaopuiki, Mike and Peggy Bond, Kanohowailuku Helm, and Cora Schnackenberg.

Contributed by Molokai Dispatch

Honoring Our Veterans and Volunteers – The Story of WW II Veteran Zane Schlemmer

In honor of Memorial Day, the Office of the Governor has released the following story.  Click here to watch the video titled Honoring Our Veterans and Volunteers – The Story of WW II Veteran Zane Schlemmer.

Zane Schlemmer was a high school graduate, watching a movie at a theater in his hometown of Canton, Ohio, when he learned that Pearl Harbor was bombed on Dec. 7, 1941.

It was then that Zane decided he would enlist in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper. He jumped from a plane on D-Day in Normandy, France; was later injured and hospitalized in Germany before getting wounded again in the Battle of the Bulge. And for his service, Zane has been honored by President Barack Obama and has a street and museum named after him in France.

Now at 86 years old, Zane — a World War II veteran and Kaneohe resident — continues to serve the public by volunteering every day at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.

“The VA (Veterans Affairs) took care of me and I was so grateful that I decided I would come back after I retired and that I would work here for them as a volunteer,” Zane said. “The VA has been so very, very good to me. I owe them a lot.”

The Hawaii State Office of Veterans Services works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to have volunteers help in serving veterans. Two volunteers regularly work in the Office of Veterans Services in Tripler Hospital and three others work at the cemetery. Many of them are veterans themselves.

“It’s veterans helping veterans,” said Gregory Jackson, OVS Director. “The volunteers are a critical part of our office … If we didn’t have our volunteers, we couldn’t operate to provide services to the veterans.”

As a part of his everyday duties, Zane answers the phone and manages the front desk at the cemetery. One of his largest projects and accomplishments includes organizing a wall of 800 bronze name plates of fallen veterans.

“By working, it keeps me mentally alert. It keeps me operating,” Zane said. “I looked around and I’m 86 now and I don’t see anybody that I’d want to trade places with. I look forward to going there every day. It’s a good life.”