The student newspaper of Honolulu Community College
Ka La: Honolulu Community College Campus Newspaper

Crafting makana in the Hawaiian Center

Hawaiian Center members are cleaning salt to give as makana. Scoops are crushed with a card and separated from sand and dirt. The finished product will be wrapped in bags and given out. Although this was started since last summer, there is still much more to be cleaned.

Workers begin elevator replacement

Employees from the General Contracting Company Sumo Builders are starting repairs/replacement on the Kumupali Building (Building 2). Currently, they are building a “staging zone” around an elevator as a safety precaution. Repairs are scheduled from today until the end of November.

Act gives over 1.8 million for Hawai’i Promise Program

Community college students may receive more financial aid from an approximated 1.8 million dollar fund allocation. The Legislature appropriated a budget that includes grant funding for UH’s Hawai’i Promise program, helping students with various tuition and expense costs. Funding from grants will cover all tuition, transportation, fees and supply costs as needed. The Federal government, utilizing Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), will determine student levels of need.

The Promise Program (HB 1594) was initially conceived as an Administration Bill in the 2017 Legislature. Representative Justin Woodson, (former) House Chair of Education, introduced it in January. However, Legislature did not pass it. The Program is now being pushed as an item in the state budget.

Private citizens, college faculty, and continuing college students alike strongly advocated HB 1594 in previous public hearings. The House Committee on Higher Education unanimously passed it unamended with no objections on February 22nd. Regardless of, it did not completely move through the legislative process in late-April.

Judy Sokei, who works for Representative Woodson, said, “…by the time HB 1594 [passed] the senate, it underwent several changes…” One of these changes was that, instead of funding covering the Promise Program for 4 years, it covers it for 2. The program since then had moved under the General Appropriations Act of 2017. Doing so would mitigate the “risk [of] going to the governor and being vetoed.”

The Appropriations Act passed its final hearing in House on May 2nd and awaits the Governor’s greenlight. The bill includes allocation of $1,829,000-per-year for the Promise Program in 2018 and 2019.

UH Chief Financial Officer Kalbert Young says, “…it is still a very good thing that the Legislature provided explicit funding…” He explained that even if the Promise Program passed as a bill, funding would not be guaranteed.

John Morton, UH Vice-President for Community Colleges, said that the 1.8 million is in the University’s operating budget. Because of this, “typically…the funding remains in the budget without further action,” so it is secured.
Morton also said, “UH will establish the program formally within the executive policy on tuition,” since Legislature did not dictate specifics. Furthermore, he believes Legislature will help expand the funding if the Promise Program grows in demand.

By Chris Garcia
Ka La staff writer

Kawaii Kon 2017

When thousands of people with elaborate, colorful costumes, funky hair and intense makeup pour into the Hawaii Convention Center, it can only mean one thing: Kawaii Kon is here. Kawaii Kon is an annual 3-day celebration of Japanese culture, anime, and pop culture held in at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. This year’s Kawaii Kon’s 13th anniversary took place on April 7-9 and had over 10,000 attendees.
The rise of anime in the United States is seen through the popularity of mainstream children’s TV cartoons such as “Sailor Moon,” “Dragon Ball Z” and “Pokémon.” There are anime-influenced movies, too, most notably the recent Disney animated feature Big Hero 6.
For many attendees, Anime Expo is a time to show off costumes celebrating their favorite characters and each costume takes several months to complete. The cosplay environment at Kawaii Kon might be fun and lighthearted, but there’s a competitive aspect with the annual cosplay contest.
Cosplay is just one of the many activities that attendees can engage in. Kawaii Kon offers shopping for collectibles, independent art vendors, speaking panels and autograph sessions from anime voice actors, videogames testing, tabletop games, theaters for new movie releases and music concerts.
One of this year’s biggest attractions was the Sword Art Online movie screening, which recently debuted in select theaters across North America. What made it even more special was that the Sword Art Online movie screening was hosted by the North American debut of Kannae Ito, Japanese voice of Yui from “Sword Art Online”. Also in attendance were Zach Callison and Deedee Magno Hall, both voice actors in the “Steven Universe” cartoon.
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