Star-Adv: ‘Congress OKs Filipino WWII Vets Medal’

Rosemarie Bernardo, “Congress OKs Filipino WWII vets medal,” Star-Advertiser, 1 Dec. 2016.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously voted to pass a measure that honors Filipino and Filipino-American World War II veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian award by Congress.

“It’s an honor,” said Lucio Sanico of Kapolei, who served as private first-class in the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army. “I’m glad they start to recognize Filipino soldiers.”

The bill authorizing the Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act recognizes more than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers who fought alongside the United States in the war. Today, there are 15,000 to 18,000 surviving members who reside in the United States and Philippines.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduced companion bills, pushing for the long-awaited recognition of Filipino soldiers. The House’s passage of the measure follows that of the Senate, which voted to approve it in July.

The measure now goes to President Barack Obama.

Over the past decade, Congress bestowed eligibility of the medal to other minority military units including the Tuskegee Airmen in 2006; Navajo Code Talkers in 2008; Women Airforce Service Pilots in 2009; Japanese-American soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service, in 2010; Montford Point Marines, the first African-­Americans to serve in the Marine Corps, in 2011; and the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, the only Hispanic military unit in the Korean War, with a majority of the soldiers from Puerto Rico, in 2014.  Continue reading

HCA Now Recruiting: Community Program Coordinator at Kula no na Po`e Hawai’i

Local nonprofits, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) & Kula no na Po’e Hawai’i (KNNPH), has opened an opportunity for a AmeriCorps Vista position to support the expansion of its services and products.

HCA is a 501c3 nonprofit HUD-certified housing counseling agency and Native community development financial institution that builds the capacity of low- and moderate-income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians. The organization fulfills its mission by providing training/technical assistance, group workshops, individualized counseling, and financial products to assist low and moderate-income Hawaii residents to secure and sustain affordable housing and financial or economic goals. All HCA staff are certified through Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Neighbor Works America, the premier training institute for HUD-certified trainers and counselors.

Kula no na Po’e Hawai’i (KNNPH) is also a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides educational activities for members of the Hawaiian Homestead communities of Papakolea, Kewalo, and Kalawahine Streamside. KNNPH was formed in 1992 by a group of concerned community women who wanted to improve the educational skills of area children and strengthen relationships between parents and the school system. Over the years, the educational vision of KNNPH has broadened to offer trainings and activities that focus not only on the education of the community, but also on the importance of good health. Selected examples of these programs include wellness clinics, education and social programs for youth, nutrition, exercise, traditional Hawaiian healing classes, literacy fairs, and family strengthening workshops.  Continue reading

Siren and Emergency Alert System Test Dec. 1, 2016 at 11:45am

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency monthly test of the statewide outdoor siren warning system, coordinated with the test of the live audio broadcast segment of the Emergency Alert System, is scheduled for Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 11:45 a.m.

The siren test is a steady one minute tone on all sirens. The steady tone is used to alert the public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life and property. Besides natural hazards, the Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war.

Contact your county civil defense/emergency management agency to report siren operations issues:

  • Hawaii: (808) 935-0031
  • Maui: (808) 270-7285
  • City and County of Honolulu: (808) 723-8960
  • Kauai: (808) 241-1800

Oahu residents in areas surrounding Campbell Industrial Park, Honokai Hale, Makakilo, Kapolei Regional Park, Kapolei Golf Course, and the Coast Guard Station at Kalaeloa may also hear a “whooping” tone following the Siren Test. This “whooping” tone is a test of the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) siren warning group that will be activated in the event of a HAZMAT incident. Contact the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management at (808) 723-8960 for more information on the HAZMAT Incident outdoor siren warning test.

When the siren signal is sounded in your area, tune to any local radio or television station for emergency information and instructions broadcast by emergency management agencies. Participating stations will carry a detailed explanation of what the sirens mean, as well as other related information, during the monthly test.

Tests of outdoor warning sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously, normally on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaii’s broadcasting industry. Emergency management and disaster preparedness information is located in the front section of telephone directories in all counties.