Little fire ant survey covers Mililani Mauka

The state Department of Agriculture is surveying a Mili­lani neighborhood after six homes were confirmed to have little fire ant infestations.

“We’re out here … to do a survey of the larger neighborhood to see if there’s any more houses,” Rob Curtiss, acting manager for the department’s pest control branch, said Friday. “We suspect that there’s already more houses we’re going to add to the list.”

There are about 125 houses around the 95-1000 block of Auina Street in the Mili­lani Mauka neighborhood that the department has identified as high priority for the survey, which includes using peanut butter sticks to attract ants so they can be identified.

Janelle Saneishi, department spokes­woman, said the survey crews discovered the infestation was larger than anticipated, additionally covering the gully area behind the houses and over to the next set of houses across it.

“An infestation would be easily defined as any detectable population,” Curtiss said. “So if we drop a bait and we find little fire ants, we can pretty safely say there is an infestation.”

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Chimpanzee escape prompts review of zoo exhibit

Chimpanzees at the Hono­lulu Zoo will be kept in a pen near their sleeping quarters until an investigation is done into how one of the primates escaped from the exhibit for a short time Tuesday.

Zoo staff was conducting an audit Wednesday on the exhibit where a 15-year-old chimpanzee, Puiwa, managed to escape.

According to Zoo Director Jeffrey Wilkinson, Puiwa was discovered about 4 p.m. outside the exhibit by a visitor. A perimeter was formed with zoo personnel to keep the male chimpanzee contained, and visitors were escorted to a secure area.

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Broken water main closes upper campus

A water main that broke this afternoon has closed UH’s upper campus, according to a university announcement.

Campus may remain closed Friday due to the break’s effect on air conditioning and water service on campus, an email from UH Mānoa Communications.

At the time of the announcement, the break was already affecting air conditioning and water infrastructure at student housing complexes on campus.

According to Wayne Tello, superintendent for the Board of Water Supply, the water on campus is still safe to drink although the water pressure is weak. But, if the water doesn’t get better soon, the campus might not have water. Air conditioning on campus could also be affected, he said, if they are connected to the 20 inch water main.

Some buildings on UH’s upper campus are also experiencing problems with those systems, according to the email.

Earlier in the afternoon, the break in front of the School of Hawaiian Knowledge closed Dole Street in both directions. Tello said he expects the board to continue its work on the water main throughout the night, during which, at least one side of the area on Dole Street is expected to remain closed.

The cause of the main break won’t be known until the board starts digging, Tello said.

“I do know we’re going to have to cut out a section of the pipe,” he said.

News Editor Noelle Fujii contributed to this article.

Honolulu Zoo auditing exhibit after chimpanzee escape

The Honolulu Zoo is investigating how the 15-year-old chimpanzee Puiwa escaped Tuesday afternoon from the chimp exhibit.

Puiwa was discovered outside of the exhibit by a visitor shortly after 4 p.m, said zoo director Jeffrey Wilkinson. The zoo’s capture team set a perimeter with its personnel to keep the male chimpanzee contained and a crowd-control team escorted visitors to a secure area.

Puiwa was sedated using a tranquilizer gun and returned to his exhibit shortly before 5 p.m.

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Advising, internships focuses of CSS reform

Published on June 23, 2014.
Published on June 23, 2014.

An initiative in UH Mānoa’s College of Social Sciences is trying to improve advising services for students, administrators say.

Over the course of this summer, CSS faculty and staff will transition to a system that the college says will put students in the center of academic advising that will serve their specific needs as they make their way through the college.

“The goal of the HUB initiative is to provide students with information about all the learning opportunities – inside and outside the classroom – that the College of Social Sciences has to offer in an accessible and student-centered approach,” Louise Kubo, director for Engaged Student Learning, said. “The college is strongly committed to providing students with transformative learning experiences to prepare them for their future academic and professional careers.”

According to Denise Konan, dean of the college, the initiative hopes to integrate general education and major degree advising and better align academic advising with mentoring and other co-curricular opportunities.

She said the college is in the process of reorganizing the Arts and Sciences Advising Center with the HUB.

“We will be making a ‘soft launch’ of the initiative in the fall,” Konan said. “Initially, the HUB will be a ‘virtual’ effort as we are still identifying options for a new physical home, which will take time and involve renovations.”


According to Konan, the college, which is comprised of 12 academic programs, is a significant part of the student body, providing one-fifth of student semester hours, majors and degrees on campus.

“The college is dedicated to providing students with a vibrant academic climate that affords exciting, intense interaction among students and faculty as they address fundamental questions about human behavior and the workings of local, national and international political, social, economic and cultural institutions,” she said.

An experience such as this results in a student-centered environment that supports outstanding scholarship through internships as well as active and service learning approaches to teaching, she said.

“Students are the center of all that we do in the college,” Konan said, adding that the college is seeking student input to better tailor its academic services to its majors.


The HUB initiative will place students at the center of dedicated branches of advising, according to its website.

The branches include General Academic Advising, Student Engagement Advising, Departmental Advising, Recruitment Advising and Career Advising.

Kubo said the Office of Student Engagement serves as a gateway for students who seek opportunities that will enable them to apply classroom learning to the outside world. As director of the office, she supports current programs and develops new ones by working with other HUB members and departments in the college.

“We provide administrative support for the Mānoa Political Internship program which is open to all UH Mānoa students as well as internships in specific departments,” she said. “We are also in the process of developing a database of students who have participated in engagement activities such as internships.”

According to Konan, the design of the HUB was guided by a May 2013 Student Academic Services Task Force Report, which found several issues in the current advising system that need to be addressed. Some issues included the inconsistency of the quality of faculty advising across the departments, the difficulty in understanding the core requirements and how advising is fragmented between three systems of advising.

Konan said the college’s first effort is to implement staffing.

“By reassigning several advisors from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences Student Academic Services unit, in addition to targeted new recruitment, the foundation for our CSS HUB will be established,” she said.

If needed, additional staff will be put in place if resources are available.

Konan said early explorations on methods to best communicate with students about the initiative include a redesigned website, the possible use of social media and student-produced multimedia projects. Research and student surveys are currently being conducted.

“We are very keen to get ideas from students on how to best establish open channels of communication regarding the HUB, as well as listen to their thoughts regarding what can be done to better meet their academic and co-curricular needs at CSS,” Konan said, adding that she can be reached at


This past April, the college sent out a survey to its students to gather input.  More than 38 percent of students who received it responded.

“The survey was very important to me as it will serve to document our baseline starting point,” Konan said. “The intention was to design a survey instrument that will let us track our progress over time as the HUB takes shape. We are also interested in the impact of our academic programs on student learning. All in all, our faculty and staff will benefit greatly from the input of the survey.”

The college is now designing an alumni survey to find out how graduates’ experiences on campus and in the college contributed to their current career and life success.

Family flourishes after battling abuse

In celebration of National Reunification Month, an Oahu family once severed by substance abuse was honored Friday for reuniting and flourishing after more than a decade apart.

In 1996, Vivian Kim-Seu struggled with substance abuse and lost four daughters to the state’s foster care system, resulting in the girls spending much of their childhood in the system. While Kim-Seu underwent treatment, she was in a relationship with her now-husband Randy Kim-Seu, who tackled his own substance abuse problems.

Vivian Kim-Seu graduated from the state Family Court Drug Program on Nov. 15, 2012, and married Randy Kim-Seu a month later. The couple has also been reunited with the girls.

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67th annual book sale fills McKinley

The Friends of the Library of Hawaii’s massive 67th annual book sale, which gets underway Saturday at McKinley High School, features a new section dubbed “Curious Books” that spotlights quirky and fun titles as well as first editions and tattered yet compelling reads.

“They are books that might not have made it into our collectibles because they might not be in the best shape, but they are fascinating books,” said Friends Executive Director Byrde Cestare.

Among the section’s titles: “Tooth Imprints and a Corn Dog,” “The Twinkies Cookbook” and “Fart Proudly,” a collection of Benjamin Franklin’s satirical and humorous essays.

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