HONOLULU — In conjunction with International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day, Governor Neil Abercrombie has proclaimed September 9, 2012, “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day” in Hawai‘i to help increase awareness of the risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy.
This day was chosen for the international observance so that, on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol.
According to the Institute of Medicine (1996), “Of all the substances of abuse (including cocaine, heroin and marijuana), alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus.”
Alcohol exposed pregnancies are 100 percent preventable; however, they continue to be a leading cause of fetal miscarriage and stillbirth, birth defects and a range of lifelong disorders to children. FASD includes a range of alcohol-related birth defects that may include a combination of growth deficiencies, facial abnormalities, central nervous system impairment, behavior disorders, and impaired intellectual development.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges pregnant women not to drink alcohol any time during pregnancy. According to the CDC, “There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant. There is no safe time during pregnancy to drink alcohol. There is no safe type of alcohol to drink while pregnant.”
“Many women may not realize they are pregnant and unintentionally expose their unborn child to the dangers of alcohol,” said Danette Wong Tomiyasu, Chief of the Family Health Services Division. “Almost half or 46.5 percent of all live births in Hawai‘i in 2009 and 2010 were the result of unplanned pregnancies, and research has determined that binge drinking during the first month of fetal development is especially harmful to the fetus.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 1 in 5 pregnant women report alcohol use in their first trimester. This would mean that in Hawai‘i more than 3,800 babies born each year have been exposed to alcohol. CDC estimates that the lifetime healthcare cost for one individual with FASD is at least two million dollars. It is important to educate all women of childbearing age on the dangers of alcohol use to the unborn baby and the importance of seeking prenatal care early.
HONOLULU —Governor Neil Abercrombie will serve on the National Governors Association (NGA) Health and Homeland Security Committee. The Health and Homeland Security Committee handles issues dealing with health care, particularly as they relate to Medicaid, and federal-state safety net programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance and other social services. The committee also has jurisdiction over homeland security, the National Guard and veterans’ affairs. Members of the committee ensure that the governors’ views are represented in the shaping of federal policy.
Governor Abercrombie is in North Carolina attending the Democratic Governors Association meeting as well as the Democratic National Convention. The NGA announced its committees for the 2012 – 2013 year today.
“My role on this committee is beneficial to the work that we are doing in the State of Hawai’i,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “As governors, we are uniquely positioned to influence federal legislation and regulations that affect both health care policies and the safety and security of our nation. I look forward to serving in this capacity.”
Governor Abercrombie brings to the committee the additional influence of his long-time congressional career in which he built lasting relationships. His service on the NGA Health and Homeland Security Committee will complement Governor Abercrombie’s work in his New Day Plan vision for healthcare transformation. He has also been working to strengthen his Administration’s relationship with our military forces and this committee will aid in that.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will serve as chair of the committee, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval will serve as vice chair. Other members include: Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire.
Founded in 1908, NGA is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Obama Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit www.nga.org.
HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie announced on Friday the release of more than $52.5 million for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) that will help shape Hawai’i’s future in the areas of connectivity, energy and growth, while continuing the state’s strategy of stimulating the economy and generating local jobs through prioritized CIP work.
The majority of CIP funds will go to “shovel-ready” projects on O’ahu and the Big Island, but funding for significant infrastructure projects and upgrades include Maui County and Kaua’i as well.
“Each of these projects represents an investment in the future of Hawai’i and our ability to be proactive in shaping our future as a state,” said Governor Abercrombie. “This includes planning for an underwater fiber optic cable that will move us toward achieving our Hawai’i Broadband Initiative goal of universal access to affordable, high-speed Internet by 2018. For a state as isolated as our own, high-speed Internet can be transformative, connecting families, businesses and institutions; spurring economic development and innovation; and giving current and future generations a competitive edge.”
Allotment of funds for the following priority projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:
· $43,000,000 – Honolulu International Airport, Interim Car Rental Facility, O’ahu – Financing of a short-term loan, to be paid from rental motor vehicle customer facility charge special funds provided through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ “EB-5” Immigrant Investor program, for the construction of a temporary operational area for the five “on-airport” car rental companies (the overall project will allow expansion of the existing, undersized facility to at least eight rental car companies at the airport)
· $3,500,000 – Kalaeloa East Energy Corridor, O’ahu – Planning, design and construction of an electrical distribution system between Roosevelt Road and Tripoli Road at Kalaeloa (The Hawai’i Community Development Authority will develop an energy corridor in East Kalaeloa consisting of above-ground electrical and telecommunications cable lines)
· $2,200,000 – Transpacific Cable Project, statewide – Planning to create privately-managed, shared open-access submarine fiber optic cable land stations; the project will identify potential transpacific cable landing stations, rank potential sites, support environmental assessments with cable landing developers, and complete pre-engineering studies of selected sites (The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which receives the appropriation, will enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the state Department of Defense to implement this project)
· $2,135,000 – Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) Information and Communication Services Division (ICSD) Radio Sites, statewide – Planning of health and safety improvements to support the state’s Anuenue and Hawaiian Microwave System and to expand radio communications coverage on O’ahu and Kaua’i
· $1,500,000 – Pohukaina Street Mixed-Use Transient Oriented Development Project, O’ahu – Planning for the Hawai’i Community Development Authority’s 690 Pohukaina Street Project, a mixed-use high rise condominium, two smaller residential and commercial buildings, a parking structure and civic-commercial center in Kaka’ako; the project will also be a transit-oriented development, designed to maximize access to public transportation and incorporate features to encourage transit ridership
· $248,177 – Kulani Correctional Facility, Hawai’i Island – Planning for the reactivation of the Kulani Correctional Facility
HONOLULU — Governor Neil Abercrombie has issued a proclamation to extend polling hours on Hawai’i Island only by an hour and a half today. Polling locations in the Counties of Maui, Kaua’i and Honolulu will close at the 6 p.m.; polling locations in Hawai’i County will close at 7:30 p.m.
This morning, there were multiple polling stations on Hawai’i Island that opened later than scheduled. The length of the delays varied from a few minutes in some places to more than a half hour in others, and almost an hour and a half in one location.
“The most important issue in this situation is to make sure that everyone who wants to vote can vote. By extending the poll hours, we are making that possible,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “I also want to thank all those who are working hard to assist at all polling stations across the state.”
HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $16.9 million for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) selected for their potential to immediately stimulate the economy and generate jobs for local residents.
“Each of these projects is part of a larger economic strategy that has already put our state back on track toward economic recovery,” said Governor Abercrombie. “These newly released CIP funds bring the total amount released this year to more than $440.7 million.”
In addition, the Governor has released an additional $3 million for grants-in-aid to the Public Broadcasting System Hawai’i, Hana Health Medical Center, and the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc.
Funds for the following priority projects and grants, identified by members of the state Legislature, were approved and released by the Governor:
· $3,000,000 – Waiakea High School, Hawai’i Island – Additional design and construction of an all-weather track and drainage improvements (The facility will be shared with Hilo High School, as both schools are currently using county facilities to host track and field events)
· $2,340,000 – Kahuku High and Intermediate School, O’ahu – Design and construction for drainage improvements to mitigate periodic flooding that causes the school facilities to require frequent repairs and maintenance and forces school closures
· $1,041,000 – Kaua’i High School, Kauaꞌi – Design for a new gymnasium/auditorium building, which will include a wrestling room, boys and girls locker rooms, an athletic director’s office and other support spaces
· $729,200 – McKinley High School, Oꞌahu – Revert and reallot $83,000 in education special funds for design for Building 857 renovation
· $500,000 – Manoa Elementary School, O’ahu – Resurfacing of worn play courts and replacement of aged, outdated and non-functioning play equipment
· $480,000 – Kaiser High School, O’ahu – Design for a new girl’s athletic locker room facility to meet gender equity requirements
· $480,000 – Highlands Intermediate School, O’ahu – Additional construction for renovation of the chorus classroom building
· $425,500 – Noelani Elementary School, O’ahu – Improvements to the school’s library and, to the extent of funds available, expansion of the main library space and work room, as well as creation of technology/media center
· $200,000 – Kaꞌu High and Pahala Elementary Gymnasium/Civil Defense Shelter, Hawai’i Island – Additional construction at gymnasium, which will double as an emergency Civil Defense Shelter
· $125,000 – Kaimuki High School, O’ahu – Restroom and accessibility improvements for the women’s softball field necessary to meet federal gender equity requirements
· $1,800,000 – Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaiꞌi (NELHA), Hawai’i Island – Upgrade of existing cable mooring and concrete anchoring system, which holds a 40-inch seawater pipeline system to the ocean floor, thereby extending the life of the deep seawater system for another 15-20 years
· $1,263,761 – Leꞌahi and Maluhia Hospitals, Oꞌahu – Construction bids for a parking lot project at Maluhia Hospital were lower than anticipate, so the Governor has approved reversion and reallotment for the following additional projects: $502,000 for replacement of the electrical vault and $34,000 for replacement of the heat pump at Maluhia Hospital; and $400,000 for the conversion of unused laboratories to offices at Leꞌahi Hospital
· $1,205,180 – Aloha Stadium, O’ahu – Construction to replace transformers and waterproofing improvements
· $1,025,046 – Aloha Stadium, Oꞌahu – Design and construction of various other renovation and improvement projects
· $750,000 – Villages of Leiali’i, Maui – Additional funds to complete the design of a permanent production well and pump station to serve as a potable water source for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands housing project
· $700,000 – University of Hawai’i, Moku O Lo’e (Coconut Island), O’ahu – Design and construction to demolish existing Pauley Guest House
· $500,000 – Koke’e Road, Waimea, Kaua’i – Additional construction to upgrade and resurface from mile marker 15 to the Kalalau Lookout, including drainage improvements on the roadway
· $347,561 – Maui Memorial Medical Center, Maui – Additional construction for the interior building space located under helipad, including installation of fire protection system, electrical, plumbing and mechanical infrastructure
· $27,570 – Diamond Head Health Center, Oꞌahu – A/C system improvements and related items
· $2,000,000 – Public Broadcasting System Hawai’i – Planning, design, engineering, demolition, renovation and installation of necessary equipment and related costs for the a two-story broadcast/broadband complex
· $900,000 – Hana Health Medical Center – Planning and construction for medical center expansion, schematic design, and construction documents
· $160,000 – USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc. – Replacement of a second of two air conditioning units that will be used to cool the interior of the retired battleship turned historic attraction
HONOLULU – A U.S. District Court judge today upheld Hawai’i law banning same-sex marriages. Governor Neil Abercrombie, who contended that the law violated the Constitution, released the following statement.
“I respectfully disagree and will join the Plaintiffs if they appeal this decision. To refuse individuals the right to marry on the basis of sexual orientation or gender is discrimination in light of our civil unions law. For me this is about fairness and equality.”
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