Mililani High School Valedictorian Receives Scholarship From National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures

A Mililani High School graduate is one of just eleven students from across the U.S. selected to receive a college scholarship award from the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures (NHCSL).

Isis Usborne, a valedictorian from the MHS Class of 2014, will use the $3,000 grant to help with tuition and expenses as she enrolls at UH Manoa for the fall semester. The John S. Martinez Closing the Achievement Gap Scholarship was created in memory of the late Connecticut State Representative and former NHCSL President John S. Martinez to recognize the values most important to him – leadership, innovation, compassion and public service.

Applications for the award are accepted from high school seniors of Hispanic ethnicity who attend schools in legislative districts represented by state lawmakers who are also of Hispanic descent. Mililani High School is located in Senate District 18, represented by Senator Michelle Kidani who is of Puerto Rican descent. The school also serves students and families in the adjacent District 22, represented by Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, also of Puerto Rican descent. Both Senators are active members of the National Hispanic Caucus.

“Mililani is a diverse community where we celebrate and share each other’s heritage,” Senator Kidani said. “I encourage Hispanic students in my district to apply for this prestigious award each year, and we are so pleased to congratulate Isis for her outstanding accomplishments that easily qualified her for the Martinez scholarship.”

Isis has displayed admirable leadership, academic excellence and a passionate commitment to community. She was a Valedictorian in her graduating class with a 4.089 GPA – achieved while successfully completing six Advanced Placement classes. She received multiple honors for her academic work, including awards at district and state science and engineering fairs, and as a member of the Mililani High School We the People constitutional studies team that travelled to Washington, D.C. for national competitive events.

In her community, Isis has been a legislative intern and participated in numerous service activities – including tutoring and mentoring fellow students, campus beautification programs and events to promote health and environmental awareness. “Students like Isis who are high achievers always have a terrific support team behind them,” Senator Kidani added. “We are grateful to her dedicated teachers and mentors at Mililani High School and to her family and friends who have been with her through the last four years.”

Hawaii Island Receives $300,000 for Wastewater and Highway Improvements

Senator Malama Solomon (District 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) released the following statement on the administration’s release of nearly $300,000 for wastewater and highway capital improvement projects on Hawaii Island:

• $47,000 for transportation improvements to Queen Kaahumanu Highway at the intersection of Kawaihae Road
• $250,000 for design and construction at Waimea Baseyard Wastewater Systems

“These projects are important to the people of Hawaii Island and I’m glad the governor released the funding for these much-needed improvements.

“Although there has been delays in work at Kawaihae Road and Queen Kaahumanu Highway intersection for a variety of reasons, I’m looking forward to its completion as changes will help with the flow of trafSen.MalamaSolomon_2013Legislature_Final(Cropped)fic and address safety concerns shared by the community.

“I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I did to ensure money flowed to projects such as the quarter of a million dollars for upgrades to wastewater systems in Waimea. Making these necessary upgrades will help create a more safe and effective sewer complex through the modernization of aging sewage treatment facilities.

 

LEGISLATIVE OFFICES WILL BE CLOSED FRIDAY AS TROPICAL STORMS ISELLE AND JULIO HEAD TO OAHU

House Speaker Joseph M. Souki and Senate President Donna Mercado Kim today announced that Legislative offices will be closed on Friday, August 8, 2014.  All non-essential legislative personnel are being asked to stay at home and off the roads as tropical storms Iselle and Julio bear down on Oahu.

Employees are encouraged to take precautions for their personal safety and follow media reports for up to date information on the pending storms.

The State Capitol will also be closed on Saturday, August 9 as both house chambers will be used by the Office of Elections as its Control and Counting Center Operations.

Normal office hours are expected to resume on Monday, August 11th unless otherwise directed.

 

Lawmakers Hold Briefing on the State’s Application and Plan for Community Services Block Grant

The Hawaii State Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor and the House Committee on Labor and Public Employment will hold an informational briefing Friday to get an update on the State of Hawaii’s Application and Plan for Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) for fiscal years (FY) 2015 and 2016.

“The Community Services Block Grant provides federal funding for Hawaii to determine its goals and objectives and implement initiatives to address poverty issues,” said Senator Clayton Hee, chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. “CSBG grant funding improves the quality of life and raises the welfare of our state’s residents.”

“We rely on this federal funding to enhance the livelihood of our state,” said Representative Mark Nakashima, chair of the House Committee on Labor and Public Employment. “When we address the root causes of poverty, we can begin to plan for improvements to lessen poverty’s effect.”

The State of Hawaii’s CSBG Application and Plan for FY 2015 and 2016 was released for public comment on June 9, 2014. Federal law requires the state to post its plan and hold public hearings on the matter.

CSBG is administered federally by the Office of Community Services within the Administration of Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services and by the State of Hawaii Department of Labor’s Office of Community Services at the local level. CSBG funding is used to support efforts to assist low-income families and individuals. Funding is available to all four county Community Action Agencies including Honolulu Community Action Program, Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council, Maui Economic Opportunity, and Kauai Economic Opportunity.

The State CSBG Application and Plan for FY 2015 and 2016 is available online at: http://labor.hawaii.gov/ocs/files/2012/11/CSBG-State-Plan-2015-2016.pdf

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State Hospital Administrators Subpoenaed to Testify Before Senate Investigative Committee

The Hawaii State Senate continues its investigation into allegations of misconduct at the State Hospital on Wednesday, July 30 at 10 a.m. in Room 16 of the Hawaii State Capitol.

Scheduled to testify are the following individuals for which subpoenas were issued:

  • William May, Hawaii State Hospital Administrator
  • William Sheehan, Hawaii State Hospital Associate Administrator of Clinical Services

“We’re continuing our investigation into the Hawaii State Hospital and asking the relevant and hard-hitting questions so that we can make it a safer place for employees and patients while ensuring proper execution in employment policies practices,” said Sen. Clayton Hee, co-chair of the Senate Investigative Committee on the State Hospital. “We are also looking forward to discussing with Mr. May the future of the hospital and how he anticipates to get there.”

“We have held nine hearings thus far and each time we learn something new do about the environment of the hospital,” added committee co-chair Sen. Josh Green, who is also an emergency department physician. “As the process moves on, we’re seeing some changes and by the end of our investigation I expect to have comprehensive understanding of all its problems, from worker injuries to accusations of nepotism and mismanagement.”

Senator Clayton Hee and Senator Josh Green at the July 16, 2014 hearing of the Senate Special Investigative Committee on the Hawaii State Hospital.

The Special Investigative Committee on the State Hospital was formed during the 2014 legislative session to conduct an investigation of the workplace safety of psychiatric workers and allegations of administrative improprieties and failure to conform to established employment policies and practices at the Hawaii State Hospital. The hearings began in March to receive testimony from subpoenaed individuals and has been ongoing as senators take a wide-ranging and in-depth look at the State Hospital.

For more information on the investigative committee, please visit: http://capitol.hawaii.gov/specialcommittee.aspx?comm=hsh

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