Senate committee to take up scholarship ‘promise’ bill

The state Senate Committee on Higher Education will discuss a bill on Tuesday that will assist with college finances. Dubbed Senate Bill 1162, the measure would establish the “Hawai’i’s Promise Program,” which would award “last-dollar scholarships” to help students cover tuition, fees, books, supplies and transportation for qualifiers. It has already passed the state House, but senators will discuss their proposed amendments to the bill.
Last month the House passed the bill with “none voting no,” but with amendments. These included, but were not limited to requirements that students maintenan a 2.5 grade point average and a 24-credit minimum to maintain the scholarship; extending the effective date to July 1st, 2050; and requiring students’ enrollment in a UH undergraduate or non-graduate certificate program to qualify for the program.
House also offered to the Committee on Finance the option of “appropriating $11,560,000 to establish and implement the program.”
Around 60 total testimonies were submitted and posted on the Hawaii State Legislature site. All of the testifiers supported the House version and urged the bill’s passing. Supporters of the bill mainly argued that the bill would help those of lower income complete college to better themselves and the community.
Djojeanne Simon, a Leeward Community College student, graduated from Waipahu High School with honors but fears an inability to “continue due to college costs.” Filemon Evangel Lancelot C. Lagon III, a military serviceman attending LCC, said “…younger generation students also would not have to worry…as they are more focused on studying” at colleges. Private citizen Davelyn Quijano argues that “our economy will not grow healthily if…income inequality persists.” Quijano believes scholarships to be a means to rectify income inequality.
The Senate version of the bill wants to have UH students be eligible for scholarship consideration “for a maximum of 8 semesters.” Another proposal is that 2-year and 4-year colleges be separated into their own categories for appropriation of Hawaii Promise Program funds. Senate also will discuss “inserting language that clarifies” community college students have to meet “different scholarship requirements” than students in non-community college campuses.
But perhaps the largest change is the allocation of money to specific colleges.
Although the Senate Ways and Means Committee recommended $13,587,000 to be given to the program, they are considering the funds to be distributed to UH Manoa, UH Hilo, UH West Oahu, and “the community colleges.” Of the 4 stated previously, UH Manoa would receive the most in Senate proposals – $9,387,000 (about 69%).
“The community colleges” would receive $ 1,829,000 (about 13%). There is also no clear statement saying if the community college fund will be split evenly among the campuses under this jurisdiction.
The hearing is scheduled Tuesday, March 21 in the State Capitol (in conference room 414) at 1:15 pm. It is open to anyone wishing to attend.
By Chris Garcia, Ka La staff writer

Celebrate Persiaʻs “New Day” at HonCC

The Honolulu CC library is planning a celebration of Nowruz, the Persian holiday marking a new year, on Wednesday, March 22.

Students, faculty and others are invited to participate in the spirit of Nowruz, or New Day, which of thanking Mother Nature for giving us life and the means to sustain its core values.

Activities on Wednesday will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday with activities include learning about Persian culture.

At 10 a.m. there will be a panel discussion on topics including setting the traditional new year haft-seen table, the Peace Corps in 1960s Iran, opening the doors to Shangri-la, traveling & teaching in Iran today.

The activities will be in the Loui Room on the second floor of Building 2 on campus.

Loʻi Kalo park project needs volunteers

first-day-11-12kHonCC automotive instructor Robert Silva is inviting staff, faculty and students to participate in a community service project from 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Lo’i kalo park in Kapalama. Silva and others have been working to restore the natural spring in the park.
The entrance to the park is on the makai side of School Street right past (diamond head bound) the Mexican Restaurant.

Summer conservation internships applications available

pipes-logoThe Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) is now accepting applicationsfor Summer 2017. The program links undergraduate students to projects with mentors who are professionals in the fields of conservation, natural resources and sustainability in Hawai’i. Interns will participate in a 4-day orientation and 10-week guided research experience to complete a project based on their interests and their mentor’s work. The results of their projects will be presented at an end-of-summer symposium.
The program is open to all students students with a passion for and connection to our region’s island resources, including Native Hawaiians, kama’āina, and Native Pacific Islanders. and brings together students from diverse backgrounds and fields to network and support each other through their internships.
For more information about PIPES and to apply, please visit their website: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/uhintern/

Hawai’i – “endangered species capital of the world”

Photographs by Susan Middleton and David Liittschwager from “Remains of a Rainbow: Rare Plants and Animals of Hawai’i”

By Jeff Yamauchi
Ka Lā staff writer

On the main ground floor of the Hawai’i Convention Center, the photographic exhibit of Hawai’i’s endangered flora and fauna showcases the fragility and unique diversity. The running theme of the IUCN World Conservation Congress is the loss of biodiversity, and the prime example of loss and endangered species is unfortunately in Hawai’i. In “Remains of a Rainbow: Rare Plants and Animals of Hawai’i,” Susan Middleton’s and David Liittschwager’s remarkable photographs highlights the individual and inherent beauty that words and statistics can never really capture. These gorgeous oversized images naturally raise a plea for conservation and protecting what biodiversity remains in perpetuity. The alarming rate of species extinction in Hawai’i and elsewhere is great cause for concern.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the captivating photographs of Hawai’i’s endangered biota make sure to spend some time before it ends today, September 9th.

For Susan Middleton’s interview about her exhibit go to: http://thegreenleaf.staradvertiserblogs.com/2016/08/28/iucn-spotlight-remains-of-a-rainbow/

For a comprehensive assessment of threatened and endangered species in Hawai’i go to:
http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/hbs1.html