(Editor’s note: Steve Hirakami, a lieutenant governor candidate, was among those at UH-Hilo last night who participated in the forum and debates cosponsored by the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii, the Hawaii Island Board of Realtors, the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, the Hawaii Island Contractors Association and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Â He wasn’t able to get completely through his speech due to timing, so it is being published here as an effort to generate community dialogue on the issues presented.)
Aloha, My name is Steve Hirakami and I am the â€œunpoliticianâ€ seeking the office of Lieutenant Governor. I realize I donâ€™t fit the description of a politician.
I prefer to borrow my sonâ€™s first name, Pono, and be referred to as a â€œponotician.â€ A â€œponoticianâ€ is someone who works to make things right in the State of Hawaii. Speaking of making things right, everyone in this election is talking about education reform. Well, youâ€™re looking at a person that was an active participant in education reform as part of a team that started a charter school in Pahoa, Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science, and provided an educational choice in Puna. Iâ€™m glad that I am speaking before a Hawaii Island audience because you all can understand how difficult it is to start anything in Pahoa, much less a public school. Read more
By Steve Hirakami
Aloha, I have been living on Hawaii Island for 36 years in the Kalapana area. I came here to surf the magical breaks of Kalapana, especially Drainpipes, Left Point, Kaimu, and Smashface. I fell in love with Kalapana and have made it my home. I have been involved in education for the past 16 years and the last ten as the founder and director of Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science Public Charter School, affectionately known simply as â€œHAAS.â€
We have pioneered a new beginning in education: giving decision-making back to the community, parents, and students. We have gone through many growing pains, but find ourselves ten years later as compassionate creators of a better world. Our students are actively involved in community service and exist in a non-violent, caring environment. Read more
(Media release) â€”Â SPACE needs you as a member. Â Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education inÂ Kalapana Seaview Estates wants toÂ extend its ohana with newÂ members as well as encouraging existing members to remain up-to-date withÂ their membership.Â As a new benefit to members, we will be offering advanced ticket sales toÂ our popular events exclusively to SPACE members.Â For the month ofÂ October, only SPACE Members may buy tickets to our upcoming Masked Ball.Â If you are not sure whether your membership isÂ current, please check with Jenna at (808) 965-8756 or email@example.com).Â Annual memberships are available for $25 for an individual or $45 for aÂ family.Â Memberships may be purchased at the Farmers Market, by mail, orÂ at any SPACE event. Read more
(A version of this story appeared in the Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009 edition of Big Island Weekly.)
School started this week and breastfeeding mother Shanna Ireland Arthur canâ€™t be more grateful that the public charter school in which she teaches has allowed her to bring her 2-month-old baby to work.Â
â€œI canâ€™t stop working,â€ Arthur said. â€œIf I couldnâ€™t take her to work with me, I would probably have to end up using formula.â€
Sandra Rogers Fitzgerald, meanwhile, is glad she has a door to her office in the stateâ€™s Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind Division, allowing her the privacy to pump milk for her one-year-old boy who stays at home with her husband and 4-year-old son.
While Arthur and Fitzgerald are a testament to the notion that you can continue to breastfeed as a working mother, they realize they are defying the odds.Â Read more