Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, April 6, 2016

`O Ka`u Kakou applied for a county grant for its annual Ka`u Coffee Trail Run, which begins at Ka`u Coffee Mill and winds through coffee orchards, pastures and forests with runners from Ka`u and as far away as Japan and Europe. Photo by Taylor's Treasures Photography
CONTROLLING MOSQUITOES that transmit dengue fever and Zika is a priority in Hawai`i Senate’s budget. The budget calls for 33 new vector control positions in the state Department of Health. Sen. Jill Tokuda, chair of the Ways & Means Committee, told Associated Press reporter Cathy Bussewitz that the action would restore pre-recession levels of staffing.
Dr. Virginia Pressler
      State Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler told Bussewitz, “I can’t emphasize enough our vector control needs to control Zika.”
      Yesterday, DOH reported that there have been no new cases of dengue fever confirmed on Hawai`i Island since March 23 and that no cases are potentially infectious to mosquitoes.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U COFFEE TRAIL RUN is one event for which `O Ka`u Kakou is seeking funding from the Hawai`i County. The County Council’s Human Services & Social Services Committee has submitted its recommendations for funding of nonprofit organizations’ grant requests for Fiscal Year 2016-17.
      In an application from Director Wayne Kawachi and Secretary Nadine Ebert, OKK requested $11,000 for its annual Ka`u Coffee Trail Run, which it described as “an international event, drawing runners from all over the United States as well as Japan and Europe … promoting Ka`u as an international destination as well as promoting the coffee industry. Additionally, the event provides a day of outdoor physical activity for the whole family by encouraging family registration.” The group expects 250 runners to participate this year, up from 170 in 2015. Last year, 100 volunteers worked 10 hours each on the event, OKK reported. Food is provided for all racers and volunteers.
      OKK’s budget for the event, which is the same as last year’s, includes $1,400 for professional fees, $3,500 for operations, $5,500 for supplies and $600 for equipment. The county committee recommended $3,750 for the program, compared to last year’s $5,000.
OKK Director Wayne Kawachi
Photo by Julia Neal
      OKK also applied for a grant to continue its sanitation program in Ka`u. The nonprofit has provided portable toilets at South Point and the Punalu`u boat ramp for four years. “Lacking restrooms at these well visited locations, many people choose to pollute the natural environment and spoil the beauty for others,” the application states. OKK has also provided portable restrooms at Ka`u Plantation Days and its annual Keiki Fishing Tournament. It is seeking $9,000 for operations to continue to provide this service, and the county recommended $5,500 in funding, up from $5,000 last year. According to its application, OKK last year received a grant of $3,500 from Hawai`i Tourism Authority to supplement the county grant for what it considers one of its most important programs, but finds that “it is hard to get additional support for this less glamorous program.”
      The Human Services & Social Services Committee will consider recommendations for these and more OKK programs, as well as those of more nonprofits, at its meeting on Tuesday, April 19.
      See future Ka`u Calendar News Briefs for more on grant applications from OKK and other Ka`u nonprofits.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION has secured a $100,000 grant to develop a detailed career readiness action plan, an essential step to expanding economic opportunity for young people in Ka`u and across the state.
      “This grant will go a long way in building upon the various partnership projects that are focused on preparing our students for the workforce,” Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “We’re seeing positive results throughout our high schools as students create their path toward college and careers. Partnerships and grants like this are essential in our efforts, and we’re excited to expand on our collective initiatives to help students achieve their goals.”
Kathryn Matayoshi
      Hawai`i is among 24 states and the District of Columbia to receive a New Skills for Youth grant that includes expert technical assistance to perform a diagnostic assessment of their career preparation system and prepare for implementation of a new action plan. The grants are one piece of a $75 million, five-year initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase, in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers and Advance CTE, aimed at increasing economic opportunity for young people by strengthening career-focused education, starting in high school and ending with post-secondary degrees or credentials aligned with business needs.
      The grant enables DOE to begin a rigorous needs assessment to determine program strengths and necessary improvements. With that baseline set, a new three-year career readiness action plan will be developed to set goals and targets toward providing students equitable access to career pathway opportunities, along with identification and allocation of resources.
      “States across the country are adjusting their career readiness programs to ensure they adequately prepare students for their next step after graduation,” said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO. “States have seized this grant opportunity to pursue bold plans for pathways that will put kids on a course for success after high school and beyond.”
      According to CCSSO, only about half of young Americans have a meaningful post-secondary credential that enables them to compete for good jobs, and the U.S. youth unemployment rate is more than double the national rate.
      “We must address the youth career crisis, and it starts in our schools,” said Chauncy Lennon, Head of Workforce Initiatives at JP Morgan Chase. “These grants kick-start an effort to ensure career and technical education systems are better aligned with the needs of business and leaders throughout states are committed to tackling youth employment.”
      In 2015, Hawai`i’s youth unemployment rate for ages 16 to 19 was 13 percent. For ages 20 to 24, the unemployment rate was seven percent, compared to Hawai`i’s overall rate of 3.7 percent for its entire labor force.
      A growing number of Hawai`i’s public high school students are taking college-level courses and earning dual credits – for both high school and college – before they graduate from the 12th grade, according to a College and Career Readiness Report, released by Hawai`i P-20 Partnerships for Education.
      Hawai`i will be eligible to apply for a phase two grant opportunity, which will require it to demonstrate the commitment and capacity to execute the action plans developed in its first phase.
      This grant opportunity builds on CCSSO’s Career Readiness Initiative, launched in 2015 to help close the country’s skills gap. It is guided by recommendations made in Opportunities and Options, a report of CCSSO’s Career Readiness Task Force.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

IN SPORTS, KA`U boys volleyball teams hosted Hilo High yesterday. Junior varsity and varsity teams both lost in two games, with varsity scores of 10-25 and 22-25.
      The softball team hosted Kealakehe on Monday, losing 3-17. The team plays its senior game against HPA today at 3 p.m. 
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

JEFF PETERSON RETURNS TO KA`U, presenting two programs at Ka`u libraries. The slack key artist has contributed to two Grammy Award-winning recordings and has been honored with five Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
      Programs celebrating National Library week are this Friday at 2 p.m. at Na`alehu Public Library and Tuesday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Public & School Library.
Randy Lee teaches lei making tomorrow.
Photo from VAC
      The 45-minute programs are suitable for all ages. Young children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver.
      For more information, call 939-2442 or 933-8888.

MASTER LEI MAKER Randy Lee shares his art at this week’s Aloha Friday cultural demonstration. Lee will be at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. He uses a variety of natural materials to fashion lei from the freshest fern, leaves and flowers that he personally gathers from the rain forests of Pana`ewa.
      See volcanoartcenter.org.


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April_2016.pdf.

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