Posts Blog

Hawaii Red Cross honors volunteers and community heroes

A special group of people were celebrated with high honors in Waikiki. 
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) –

A special group of people were celebrated with high honors in Waikiki.

On Saturday the Hawaii Red Cross hosted its 2017 Centennial Heroes Breakfast at the Waikiki Beach Marriott.

Volunteers were recognized for their courageous and selfless acts to help the agency’s mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering.

Governor David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell helped with the tribute.

Among the honorees was the founder of the Hawaii Red Cross, Alfred L. Castle.

Some volunteers have been serving for decades.

“Its just part of life, you do something and you do it because you want to, you think it’s the right thing to do,” said LeBurta Atherton, who was honored as this year’s Red Cross centennial hero.

“Like LeBurta Atherton, she is 100 years young, I cannot believe that she was a Gray Lady during World War II and she’s been with us ever since,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, the American Red Cross Pacific Islands Region CEO.

Volunteer of the Year awards went to Kerri Scott, Elaine Olson, Anthony Colombo and Bob Robertson.

Community heroes included Ken Lee, posthumously, and Maggie Edwards.

Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum and Shawn Ching served as the emcees for the event.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

Hawaii composting company seeks $4 million compensation

Hawaiian Earth Recycling plans to seek more than $4 million to cover expenses incurred under its contract with Hawaii County regarding the county’s organic waste diversion program if Mayor Harry Kim goes through with…

HILO, Hawaii (AP) – Hawaiian Earth Recycling plans to seek more than $4 million to cover expenses incurred under its contract with Hawaii County regarding the county’s organic waste diversion program if Mayor Harry Kim goes through with terminating the agreement.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported (http://bit.ly/2mTxUqV) that the company notified county officials about its plans in a letter on Wednesday.

Kim announced last month that the service agreement for mulching operations and construction of a $10 composting facility would end June 30. He cited concerns about cost and logistical issues.

The contract allows Hawaiian Earth Recycling to seek reimbursement for some of its expenses if the agreement is terminated.

Kim says he stands by his decision to cancel the agreement.

The County Council will discuss the matter this week.

Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Trump seeks Congress’ help on wiretap claim; FBI disputes it

In a series of morning tweets Saturday, Trump suggested Obama was behind a politically motivated plot to upend his campaign but offered no evidentiary support.
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE

Associated Press

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – President Donald Trump turned to Congress on Sunday for help finding evidence to support his unsubstantiated claim that former President Barack Obama had Trump’s telephones tapped during the election. Obama’s intelligence chief said no such action was ever carried out, and a U.S. official said the FBI has asked the Justice Department to dispute the allegation.

Republican leaders of Congress appeared willing to honor the president’s request, but the move has potential risks for the president, particularly if the House and Senate intelligence committees unearth damaging information about Trump, his aides or his associates.

Trump claimed in a series of tweets without evidence Saturday that his predecessor had tried to undermine him by tapping the telephones at Trump Tower, the New York skyscraper where Trump based his campaign and transition operations, and maintains a home.

Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said nothing matching Trump’s claims had taken place.

“Absolutely, I can deny it,” said Clapper, who left government when Trump took office in January. Other representatives for the former president also denied Trump’s allegation.

The FBI has asked the Justice Department to dispute Trump’s allegations, a U.S. official told The Associated Press on Sunday. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the request by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

No such statement has been issued by the Justice Department. DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment Sunday, and an FBI spokesman also did not comment.

The New York Times reported that senior American officials say FBI Director James Comey has argued that the claim must be corrected by the Justice Department because it falsely insinuates that the FBI broke the law.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said without elaborating Sunday that Trump’s instruction to Congress was based on “very troubling” reports “concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election.” Spicer did not respond to inquiries about the reports he cited in announcing the request.

Spicer said the White House wants the congressional committees to “exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.” He said there would be no further comment until the investigations are completed, a statement that House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi took offense to and likened to autocratic behavior.

“It’s called a wrap-up smear. You make up something. Then you have the press write about it. And then you say, everybody is writing about this charge. It’s a tool of an authoritarian,” Pelosi said.

Spicer’s chief deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said she thinks Trump is “going off of information that he’s seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential.”

Josh Earnest, who was Obama’s press secretary, said presidents do not have authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of American citizens, as Trump has alleged was done to him. FBI investigators and Justice Department officials must seek a federal judge’s approval for such a step.

Earnest accused Trump of leveling the allegations to distract from the attention being given to campaign-season contacts by Trump aides with a Russian official, including campaign adviser Jeff Sessions before he resigned from the Senate to become attorney general. The FBI is investigating those contacts, as is Congress.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement that the panel “will follow the evidence where it leads, and we will continue to be guided by the intelligence and facts as we compile our findings.”

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that the committee “will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party’s campaign officials or surrogates.”

The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said Trump was following “a deeply disturbing pattern of distraction, distortion and downright fabrication.”

The office of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., referred questions to Nunes, while a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said McConnell would not tell the Senate committee how to do its work.

Trump said in the tweets that he had “just found out” about being wiretapped, though it was unclear whether he was referring to having found out through a briefing, a conversation or a media report. The president in the past has tweeted about unsubstantiated and provocative reports he reads on blogs or conservative websites.

The tweets stood out, given the gravity of the charge and the strikingly personal attack on the former president. Trump spoke as recently as last month about how much he likes Obama and how much they get along, despite their differences.

“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” he tweeted, misspelling ‘tap.’

Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said Saturday that a “cardinal rule” of the Obama administration was not to interfere in Justice Department investigations, which are supposed to be conducted free of outside or political influence.

Lewis said neither Obama nor any White House official had ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” Lewis said.

Trump used a similar approach with his unsupported claims of massive voter fraud that he said caused him to lose the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton. He eventually said he wanted to launch a “major” investigation to find the 3 million to 5 million votes he claims were cast illegally. Congressional leaders were cool to the idea – a costly and time-consuming effort.

Trump has been trailed for months by questions about his campaign’s ties to Russia. Compounding the situation is the U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia interfered with the election to help Trump triumph over Hillary Clinton, along with disclosures about his aides’ contacts with a Russian official.

Clapper appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sanders and Earnest were on ABC’s “This Week,” Pelosi commented on CNN’s “State of the Union” and Cotton was on “Fox News Sunday.”

___

Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow Darlene Superville at http://twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Work furlough inmate arrested after failing to return to facility

Extended furlough inmate Alpha Iuli is back behind bars after failing to return to the Women’s Community Correctional Center for days earlier.
KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

Extended furlough inmate Alpha Iuli is back behind bars after failing to return to the Women’s Community Correctional Center four days earlier.

Iuli was arrested Saturday in the Kailua area.

Iuli was serving time for a theft charge. An escape charge will be added to her record.

Officials say Iuli is a community custody inmate on extended furlough with pass privileges. Community Custody is the lowest custody level. Inmates in the extended furlough program live and work outside of the facility but must check in at various times throughout the month.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Structure fire in Anahola displaces residents

Flames cause extensive damage to a home in Anahola forcing three residents to find another place to stay. 
ANAHOLA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) –

Flames cause extensive damage to a home in Anahola forcing three residents to find another place to stay.

The first sparked on Hakuaina Road shortly after 8 o’clock Friday night.

Authorities say the flames started in the living room and spread to other areas.

No one was home at the time and no injuries were reported.

Damage to the three-bedroom house is estimated at $300,000.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Flip the script: Cursive sees revival in school instruction

Cursive writing is returning to schools across the country after years of taking a backseat to keyboarding.
By KAREN MATTHEWS

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Cursive writing is looping back into style in schools across the country after a generation of students who know only keyboarding, texting and printing out their words longhand.

Alabama and Louisiana passed laws in 2016 mandating cursive proficiency in public schools, the latest of 14 states that require cursive. And last fall, the 1.1 million-student New York City schools, the nation’s largest public school system, encouraged the teaching of cursive to students, generally in the third grade.

“It’s definitely not necessary but I think it’s, like, cool to have it,” said Emily Ma, a 17-year-old senior at New York City’s academically rigorous Stuyvesant High School who was never taught cursive in school and had to learn it on her own.

Penmanship proponents say writing words in an unbroken line of swooshing l’s and three-humped m’s is just a faster, easier way of taking notes. Others say students should be able to understand documents written in cursive, such as, say, a letter from Grandma. And still more say it’s just a good life skill to have, especially when it comes to signing your name.

That was where New York state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis drew the line on the cursive generation gap, when she encountered an 18-year-old at a voter registration event who printed out his name in block letters.

“I said to him, ‘No, you have to sign here,'” Malliotakis said. “And he said, ‘That is my signature. I never learned script.'”

Malliotakis, a Republican from the New York City borough of Staten Island, took her concerns to city education officials and found a receptive audience.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina distributed a handbook on teaching cursive writing in September and is encouraging principals to use it. It cites research suggesting that fluent cursive helps students master writing tasks such as spelling and sentence construction because they don’t have to think as much about forming letters.

Malliotakis also noted that students who can’t read cursive will never be able to read historical documents. “If an American student cannot read the Declaration of Independence, that is sad.”

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when cursive writing began to fall out of favor. But cursive instruction was in decline long before 2010, when most states adopted the Common Core curriculum standards, which say nothing about handwriting.

Some script skeptics question the advantage of cursive writing over printing and wonder whether teaching it takes away from other valuable instruction.

Anne Trubek, author of “The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting,” said schools should not require cursive mastery any more than they should require all children to play a musical instrument.

“I think students would all benefit from learning the piano,” she said, “but I don’t think schools should require all students take piano lessons.”

At P.S. 166 in Queens, Principal Jessica Geller said there was never a formal decision over the years to banish the teaching of cursive. “We just got busy with the addition of technology, and we started focusing on computers,” she said.

Third-graders at the school beamed as they prepared for a cursive lesson this past week. The 8-year-olds got their markers out, straightened their posture and flexed their wrists. Then it was “swoosh, curl, swoosh, curl,” as teacher Christine Weltner guided the students in writing linked-together c’s and a’s.

Norzim Lama said he prefers cursive writing to printing “’cause it looks fancy.” Camille Santos said cursive is “actually like doodling a little bit.”

Added Araceli Lazaro: “It’s a really fascinating way to write, and I really think that everybody should learn about writing in script.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Television production closes Downtown roads

Bishop and Merchant Street in Downtown Honolulu will be closed from 5 a.m. till 8 p.m. Sunday for a television production crew filming in the area. 
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

Bishop and Merchant Street in Downtown Honolulu will be closed from 5 a.m. till 8 p.m. Sunday for a television production crew filming in the area.

Lane closures to support the filming will occur on S. King Street and on Queen Street near Bishop Street, but those streets will remain open to vehicular traffic.

During this time, TheBus routes 4, 6, 55, 56, 57, 57A, 65, & E will be routed off of Bishop Street to Nuuanu Avenue.

Merchant Street will be closed from Bethel Street to Alakea Street.

· A contra-flow lane from the Bethel Street intersection will allow access to the Pioneer Plaza and Bank of Hawaii garages.

· Access to the First Hawaiian Bank garage will be allowed from Alakea Street

· Bethel Street and Alakea Street will remain open to normal vehicular traffic.

Bishop Street will be closed from Beretania Street to Queen Street from 5 a.m. to noon, and from South King Street to Queen Street from noon to 8 p.m.

· A contra-flow lane from Beretaina to Hotel Street will allow access to the parking garages in the area.

· Bishop Street between Hotel Street and S King Street will be open to Local Traffic Only for access to impacted garages

On Queen Street, one of two Ewa-bound lanes will be closed from Bishop Street to Fort Street Mall.

On S. King Street, two of five travel lanes will be closed between Fort Street Mall and Bishop Street.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area if possible, take alternate routes and anticipate delays.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

U.S. Coast Guard seeks help in identifying owner of adrift Kayak on Maui

The U.S. Coast Guard wants the public’s help in identifying the owner of an orange, unmanned kayak found Sunday off McGregor Point on Maui.
MAALAEA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) –

The U.S. Coast Guard wants the public’s help in identifying the owner of an orange, unmanned kayak found Sunday off McGregor Point on Maui.

At 7:14 a.m., watchstanders from the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received notification from a good samaritan that they had come across an adrift kayak.

Sector Honolulu issued an urgent marine information broadcast notice to mariners and launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui to conduct a search of the area.

There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600.

The Coast Guard offers free “If Found” decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program.

The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Flurry of small earthquakes occur on Kilauea Volcano

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reported a flurry of small earthquakes on Kilauea Volcano’s upper East Rift Zone just before 6 a.m. Sunday.
KILAUEA VOLCANO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) –

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reported a flurry of small earthquakes on Kilauea Volcano’s upper East Rift Zone just before 6 a.m. Sunday.

The earthquakes were concentrated about three to four miles southeast of Kilauea’s summit in an area between Hiiaka and Kookoolau Craters on the Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The sequence consisted of 31 earthquakes over a period of about 42 minutes. The eight largest events had magnitudes ranging from 1.7 to 3.9 and depths of about one to two miles beneath the surface.

At least six of the earthquakes were felt on the Island of Hawaii, primarily in the Kau and Puna Districts.

The USGS “Did you feel it?” website received more than 30 felt reports within an hour of the largest earthquake, which occurred at 6:13 a.m. Weak to light shaking, with maximum Intensity of IV, has been reported. At that intensity, damage to buildings or structures is not expected.

Experts said the size and location of Sunday morning’s earthquake sequence suggest a source that may be related to the ongoing pressurized magma storage system beneath the Kilauea summit area.

According to Tina Neal, HVO Scientist-in-Charge, the earthquakes caused no significant changes in Kilauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions. No changes in deformation or ground surface cracks were observed in the area.

For more information on recent earthquakes in Hawaii and Kilauea eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.