HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie today appointed Maria E. Zielinski as deputy director of the state Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS). Ms. Zielinski’s official start date is September 4, 2012.
“Maria is a great addition and will be an invaluable asset as we continue to transform the way state government runs its financial business,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “She has the right background and is highly recommended. I know my financial team and DAGS staff are eager to have her aboard.”
Budget and Finance Director Kalbert Young worked with Ms. Zielinski when he served as the finance director for the County of Maui. Director Young will be working closely with Ms. Zielinski as part of her role involves overseeing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
“Maria has a significant background as a finance executive and will be integral in our efforts to build up finance operations,” noted Director Young. “It will be good to have her on our team.”
Ms. Zielinski, 59, has 30 years of extensive financial management experience in non-profit, local government, banking, financial services, commercial property acquisition and development, labor union, agriculture and consumer food commodity production industries. Since 2010, she has served as the Accounting System Administrator for the County of Maui. Prior to that, she was the Director and Chief Financial Officer for the California School Employees Association. Ms. Zielinski also served as the Chief Financial Officer for Haleakala Ranch and Haleakala Properties, Inc. as well as Chief Financial Officer of Baldwin Pacific Properties.
She is a certified public accountant in the State of New York and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Hawai’i Society of Certified Public Accountants, New York Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Government Financial Officers Association.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve this Administration utilizing my skills and experience,” stated Ms. Zielinski. “I look forward to working with the DAGS team as well as all other functional areas to help fulfill the Governor’s vision and objectives.”
A graduate of the City University of New York Brooklyn College, she holds a bachelor’s degree accounting and biology.
As of noon, today, the brushfire at Pu’ukoli’i in West Maui was classified as 100 percent contained. Maui Fire Department officials say the blaze is not yet officially extinguisehd. Crews remain on the scene monitoring and dousing hot spots as they are discovered.
HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie today ordered that all national and Hawai’i flags at all State offices and agencies as well as the Hawai’i National Guard are to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset tomorrow, July 31, 2012, as a mark of respect for the memory of former State Representative John Justin Medeiros.
Former Representative Medeiros served the Kailua district in the State House of Representatives from 1971 to 1988. He served as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1968 and chairman of the O’ahu Advisory Council from 1969 to 1970. He also served as a member of the Hawai’i State Boxing Commission.
“John devoted himself to serving his community and he set an example of courage and perseverance,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family.”
A brushfire in the upscale nighborhood off Pu’ukoli’i Road in Ka’anapali came within 50 feet of townhomes last night.
The fire was 50 percent contained at 8:45 p.m. Sunday with crews planning to remain onscene monitoring and mopping up throughout the night. Approximately 42 fire fighters working on the fireground. Revised acreage involved is now 30 acres instead of the 50 acres reported earlier.
No cause determined as of yet. No injuries reported. No damages reported.
Johnathan B. Namauleg was being held in custody at the Wailuku Police Station with bail set at $20,110. Police arrested the 18 year-old Kahului man after witnesses say he tried to set the traditional Hale constructed at Hoaloha Park next to Hawaiian Canoe Club.
Maui Police Department spokesman Lt. Wayne Ibarra confirmed Saturday that Namauleg was arrested and charged in connection with the canoe hale fire, but he provided no other details about what led police to make the arrest.
Witnesses told police they saw a man in his late teens using a cigarette lighter to ignite the roof covering of the hale, which was built using Native Hawaiian plants and timber by a hui of volunteers under the direction of “Uncle” Francis Sinenci.
The fire was reported at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and was extinguished by 9 p.m. Fire officials said about 100 square feet of the structure was damaged before the fire was brought under control by a fire sprinkler system – the only “modern” element of the traditional structure.
Damage to the hale was estimated at $2,000, and partial damage to a new outrigger canoe was put at $1,000.
HONOLULU — The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) today approved a new boating rule that requires boat operators to complete a boating safety course to operate a power driven vessel in state waters.
Testimony in support of the rule was received from long-time boaters as well as from boating safety instructors from the Hawai‘i Sail and Power Squadron. They emphasized the need for better informed boaters in Hawai‘i to prevent accidents and fatalities as population and congestion on the ocean increases, and the importance of understanding how to behave around protected marine species.
“There are more of us in the ocean today,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “It is increasingly more crowded as people are diving and paddling farther from shore. We are experiencing more and more fatal accidents in our waters.
“It’s the right time to raise awareness about the growth of the number of people using our waters to recreate and make sure everyone operating a vessel understands the rules of the road. The department is working diligently to create an education requirement that improves safety for the entire ocean-user community yet is simple and reasonable for all boaters to comply with.”
Seasoned boaters will be able to take equivalency exams if they feel they already understand the standard rules of the road. For new boaters, an online course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) takes just 3-4 hours of instruction to complete. Costs for these courses vary; however, one free course is currently available that would satisfy the proposed requirement.
Persons wanting more detailed instruction can take a classroom course from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or the local U.S. Power Squadron organizations. These classes require, on average, a 12-hour commitment but provide the student with much more practical knowledge that can make a difference in emergency situations.
A NASBLA-approved boating safety course, especially a formal classroom course, can provide the student with a wealth of practical information that would take years for the average boater to gain from experience, but in a very short period of time. Statistics have shown that mandatory boating safety education has greatly reduced recreational boating fatality rates in states that have had the requirement the longest.
Aila added: “Nationally, many states have experienced that boating education not only save lives, it also reduces accidents. And if fewer vessels run aground, that’s less we expend to remove them from our nearshore areas.”
The Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has paid out in excess of $860,000 in the last 10 years to remove boats that ran aground or sank in state waters.
“This does not include the damage to our coral reefs from vessels running aground and the littering of our shorelines with the debris from battered boats,” Aila said. “Completion of a safety education course benefits everybody because it means improved safety, and less marine debris and hazardous materials in our waters and marine life.”
The new rule will:
-require a vessel operator to successfully complete a NASBLA and state approved boating safety course to legally operate a motor vessel;
-require anyone operating a motor vessel who is under 16 years old to be accompanied and supervised by an adult 21 years or older who holds the required boater safety education certificate;
-establish a fine between $50 and $1,000 for violators;-exempt those possessing a valid license to operate a vessel issued for maritime personnel by the U.S. Coast Guard;
-exempt operators of vessels in Hawai‘i’s waters who voyage here from outside the state and remain in state waters less than 60 calendar days;
-exempt vessel renters (for the contract period) who receive a safety briefing from the boat livery operator that is approved (for content) by the state; and
-go into effect 24 months after the rule is signed by the Governor.
There is an exemption for vessels powered with motors under 10 horsepower and rental boats as long as the operator receives a safety briefing approved by the state.
The new rule, as Title 13, Section13-244-15.5, HAR, Operation of Power Driven Vessels, gives DOBOR two years to develop and prepare NASBLA- and state-approved boating safety courses before it takes effect. Although one online course is already available, the division’s goal is to foster development of numerous fully approved on-line and classroom courses as well as a home-study course within a year’s time so the public will have choices and ample time to comply with the rule.
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