Thursday, June 28, 2012

Red Cross Introduces App for iPhones and Androids

As part of their lifesaving mission, the Red Cross now has a cool new Red Cross First Aid App for iPhones and Androids. It gives you instant step by step instructions and video on how to respond to the most common first aid emergencies like when someone is bleeding, choking, or unconscious.  It also tells you what to do in a disaster like hurricanes and earthquakes.  Here’s a youtube video to show how it works:

The Red Cross also offers a free National Shelter System App for iPhones that shows the location of all open Red Cross shelters throughout the country.  The app not only maps the location of a shelter, but also shows current capacity and population. To download the app, users can visit the Apple store and search "American Red Cross shelters."  Here’s youtube video to show how it works:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ground Breaking Held for UHH Hilo Dormitories

Ground breaking ceremonies where held for the University of Hawaii at Hilo University Village Phase One Dormitories.   This project located on 33 acres fronting the university's main enterance on Kawili Street will feature 300 student housing units in apartment and suite-style residence halls.

"The new units are the first to be built on campus since 1989, and are being financed by $32 million appropriation of G.O. and revenue bonds approved during the 2011 legislative session," said Representative Mark Nakashima, Vice Chair of the House Higher Education Committee.  "It is our hope that these dormitories will expand the opportunities for students on the Big Island, as well as those from throughout the state, nation and internationally." 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kids State Dinner

Let's Move! the First Lady's initiative to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation is looking for parents or legal guardians of creative kid chefs from all over the country to submit their child's recipe for a healthy and nutritious lunch.   Follow the link below for more details.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Saddle Road Connector Road Planned

The Saddle Road alignment will bring the new terminus about 6 miles south of the current Waikoloa Junction on the Mamalahoa Highway.  The Connector road will continue the Saddle Road from the Mamalahoa Highway to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway.  There are three proposed routes Green, Purple and Red all ending at a new site south of the current Waikoloa Junction. 
Construction on the Saddle Road extension would extend the cross-island link from its current terminus on Mamalahoa Highway to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway with construction beginning as soon as 2017 based on an proposed environmental impact statement notice.  The connector is the last phase of a major overhaul of the Saddle Road that began in the mid-1990s.

The current Saddle Road realignment will move the junction about six miles closer to Kailua-Kona to Mile Marker 14 south of Wailoloa Road.  This is part of a major realignment project that will provide a much shorter, faster and safer route between East and West Hawaii.  Kirkland Construction was awarded a $33.7 million contract and will have until June 2013 to complete the 9.6 miles of earthwork  Construction on the realignment began late last year.

Once completed, this project will have a profound impact on the communities and economy of the Big Island.  Excursions that would have taken the better half of a day will now be completed in a little over and hour which is normal under Big Island standards.
-Rep Mark Nakashima

Monday, June 11, 2012

Evening with Martha Minow

I had the opportunity recently to spend an evening with Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School who spoke on the topic of Education and Equality:  Pursuing Justice in Societies of Difference.

Martha Minow is a celebrated legal scholar in the fields of human rights, social advocacy, and education policy. She has written extensively on the wide-ranging legacy of school desegregation in the civil rights era, and she offers fresh insights on some of the leading education debates of our time, from charter schools and privatization to affirmative action and Hawaiian-only education programs.

Dean Minow spoke on a broad range of topics but one of the things that she shared was the fact that while the Supreme Court did away with quotas based on race, they left open the opportunity to provide assistance based to socio-economic status.  Socio-economic status is a major indicator of for educational success and in many cases, those in the lower socio-economic levels also tend to be minorities.  As such, assistance based on socio-economic status would have the effect of providing assistance to those that need it most while also providing support in general to minority populations.

Dean Minow also spoke briefly on the importance of early childhood education which is an area that the State of Hawaii has been working for the past several years to find a solution.  The current system of Junior Kindergarten for late born students in the public schools is not applied equally across the board, and the Department of Education is ill equipted to provide the necessary support for pre-Kindergarten students.  There is a task force currently in place to identify a state solution for the educational services available to pre-kindergarten students at this critical state of language and social development.

The evening was hosted by Governor Neil Abercrombie and Dr. Nancy Caraway at historic Washington Place.