Guest Column — The Rest Of Steve Hirakami’s Speech

(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.  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 “unpolitician” seeking the office of Lieutenant Governor. I realize I don’t fit the description of a politician.

Steve Hirakami

I prefer to borrow my son’s first name, Pono, and be referred to as a “ponotician.” A “ponotician” 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, you’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. I’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

Guest Column — On Running For Lieutenant Governor

Steve Hirakami

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 “HAAS.”

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

Puna News — How To Be A Member Of SPACE, ‘Masked Ball’ In November, And Other Scoops


Image courtesy of Transracial

(Media release) — SPACE needs you as a member.  Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education in Kalapana Seaview Estates wants to extend its ohana with new members as well as encouraging existing members to remain up-to-date with their membership. As a new benefit to members, we will be offering advanced ticket sales to our popular events exclusively to SPACE members.  For the month of October, only SPACE Members may buy tickets to our upcoming Masked Ball.  If you are not sure whether your membership is current, please check with Jenna at (808) 965-8756 or Annual memberships are available for $25 for an individual or $45 for a family.  Memberships may be purchased at the Farmers Market, by mail, or at any SPACE event. Read more

Feature — A Good Case For Breastfeeding

Breast Is Best

No shame. Breast Is Best.


(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 can’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. 

“I can’t stop working,” Arthur said. “If I couldn’t take her to work with me, I would probably have to end up using formula.”

Sandra Rogers Fitzgerald, meanwhile, is glad she has a door to her office in the state’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.  Read more