Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 2175 (Act 56), a measure that allows the University of Hawaii (UH) College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel crop research program. The industrial hemp bill has been supported for years by State Rep. Cynthia Thielen and Senator Sam Slom.
Act 56 authorizes the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp in accordance with requirements established by the federal Agriculture Act of 2014, which allows higher education institutions and state departments of agriculture to conduct industrial hemp research.
Act 56, which takes effect July 1, requires the state Department of Agriculture to certify the industrial hemp seed stock and verify that plants grown are not marijuana. The program will be limited to one test site. It also states that the dean of the UH CTAHR must submit a final report, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature prior to start of the 2016 legislative session.
State Rep. Cynthia Thielen and Senator Sam Slom at the Governor’s office in their hemp shirts.
The Hawaii State Senate recognized the outstanding teachers and students of the Niu Valley Middle School Band during a floor presentation held at the opening of the regular Senate Session on Friday, March 28. More than 100 students and teachers in the music program attended the floor session, where Senator Sam Slom led the formal presentation with the help of Senator Laura Thielen, who spoke about the American School Band Directors Association.
Senator Thielen also introduced Brendon Burns, interim Principal; former Principal Justin Mew (now Principal of Kaiser High School); Kent Miyashiro, International Baccalaureate Coordinator of the school; Zachary Morita, music director; and Wayne Fanning, music teacher in the program.
Senator Slom introduced Kylie Nakano (clarinet), Dylan Poon (trombone), Dylan Wacksman (saxophone), Reina Yamashita (French Horn) and Cobe Yoshino (bassoon), who represented the student band members seated on the floor. The rest of the band sat in the Senate Gallery after performing for a half-hour concert prior to the floor session in the State Capitol’s atrium.
The Niu Valley Middle School Band was selected to perform at the prestigious American School Band Directors Association’s (ASBDA) National Conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Nearly 90 students and over 20 adults will travel to the conference in July to premier a new work by the world-renowned composer and conductor Brian Balmages.
Top photo: Members of Niu Valley Middle School Band pose with State Senators and Niu Valley music faculty and staff in this group picture taken after Senator Slom presented the band with a certificate commemorating their accomplishment. Photo courtesy Senate Communications Office. Additional photos below this text were taken by Noelani Bonifacio and Jerry Stanfield.
Article republished from text extracted from the Kuliouou Neighborhood Board #2 Report issued monthly by Senator Slom.
Good news for education! The musical philosophy underlying the unique curriculum at Niu Valley Middle School is proving to be highly successful. Just this year, the Concert Band was selected to perform at the prestigious American School Band Directors Association’s (ASBDA) National Conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Nearly 90 students and over 20 adults will travel to the conference in July to premier a new work by the world-renowned composer and conductor Brian Balmages.
This is not the first time the band has been so honored. In 2011 they were invited to perform at the ASBDA regional conference in Denver, Colorado. The school actually provides its 420 students enrolled in music with three different performing groups: Band (260 students), Orchestra (70), and Polynesian Music (90). All ensembles perform regularly every year, at events ranging from the Governor’s Inauguration and special community events to concerts at local care homes, shopping centers, and other schools.
The school’s disciplined, motivated students usually go on to participate in high school and college music programs. Some have even pursued music as a career. The Hawaii State Senate will recognize the outstanding teachers and students of the Niu Valley Middle School music program during its regular Session on Friday, March 28th.
Award-Winner Kimberly Uehisa
Student Kimberly Uehisa found a personal challenge in a quote by soldier Travis Manion—“If not me, then who?”–while attending a special summer program at the US Naval Academy. Kimberly was moved to found a service club at her school, Island Pacific Academy, with the support of the Travis Manion Foundation.
For her efforts and service to her community, Kimberly Uehisa has been recognized as a 2014 Distinguished Finalist by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. At the beginning of her junior year, she took every step necessary to launch her service club during opening week activities at Island Pacific Academy, managing to secure the commitment of 25 of her peers. She now organizes care drives and park clean-ups to honor the memory of the heroic soldier whose question changed her life.
Kimberly Uehisa is also an active member of her school’s Interact service club and a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. In recognition of her Prudential Award and all her contributions to her school and community, she will be presented with a special certificate by the Hawaii State Senate on Tuesday, March 25th.
Matthew Lawrence, a teacher at Waikiki Elementary School for 13 years, was selected as Hawaii’s 2014 Teacher of the Year by MetLife/NASSP, and Vice Principal Celia Main-Anakalea of Kaimuki Middle School won the Hawaii Middle School Principal of the Year Award.
For their outstanding accomplishments, the Hawaii State Senate recognized both with certificates during Education Week, March 17th through March 21st. Matthew Lawrence was commended for providing his students with educational experiences that encourage creativity and higher-level thinking skills in math and science, two subjects often considered difficult. Vice Principal Celia Main-Anakalea was recognized for seven years of collaborative leadership and curricula advancements, as well as her support of family involvement and community organizations at Kaimuki Middle School.