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Newswatch

For Friday, April 29, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:

Cindy Ellen Russell / crussell@staradvertiser.comHyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa employees Mark Aka­mine and Tom Celli collected a donation from Gary Sullivan along Kalakaua Avenue yesterday. The Hyatt was working in partnership with the Salvation Army to raise money for the relief effort for survivors of last month's earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The hotel pledged to match up to $2,500 of the amount raised.

Neighborhood board votes go online

Honolulu is hiring a company called Everyone Counts to help it run this year's neighborhood board elections.

Voters will be able to cast their ballots online. Those without Internet access will be able to vote via telephone or at Hono­lulu Hale and Kapolei Hale.

The city said yesterday it is working with Everyone Counts to create and distribute individual pass codes to voters via mail. Voters will be mailed the secure code around Tuesday, the day voting begins.

Ballots may be cast starting Tuesday at midnight through May 20 at 11:59 p.m.

The digital ballot can be found at the Neighborhood Commission's website.

Everyone Counts says votes are securely cast and counted through the use of military-grade encryption technology.

Learn about host-family program at Maui meetings

A program that will invite Japa­nese residents displaced in the March 11 Tohoku disasters to live temporarily with host families in Hawaii has scheduled informational meetings on Maui.

The Aloha Initiative will hold meetings Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Kahu­lui Hongwanji Mission social hall and Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Door of Faith Church to provide information to prospective host families on all islands. 

The project is headed by the Japa­nese Cultural Society of Maui.

More than 130 families throughout Hawaii have signed up to serve as host families, and more than $150,000 in pledges has been received to help defray the transportation and insurance costs. Guests from Japan are expected to stay about three months. 

To sign up to volunteer, visit www.AlohaInitiative.com, call 280-1299 (Maui) or email Lynn Araki-Regan at lynn@alohainitiative.com.

Aloha Initiative co-founder Keith Regan of Wai­luku, the Rev. Jeffrey Soga of Kahu­lui and Roy Tomi­naga of Hono­lulu returned from the Tohoku region April 22 after meeting with government and nonprofit organization leaders. Media exposure in Japan has resulted in many Japa­nese citizens inquiring about the Aloha Initiative, the group said in a news release.

Punahou first-graders link studies and fundraising

The first-grade class at Punahou School raised $1,647 for American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. More than two dozen of the students gathered at Hawaii National Bank’s main branch Tuesday to present the money for the “Aloha for Japan” campaign.

The first-graders raised the money by creating posters and campaigning throughout the school, collecting donations in large plastic containers. Special studies on earthquakes, tsunamis and Japan were added to their curriculum.

The “Aloha for Japan” campaign is a coordinated statewide effort among Hawaii’s financial institutions, community groups, businesses and others which has raised more than $3 million to assist with emergency aid in the wake of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Isle Safeway stores collect $17,000 in aid campaign

With the help of its customers and employees, Safeway has raised more than $17,000 in Hawaii for Japan disaster relief.

Safeway launched a fundraising campaign in all 19 stores throughout the islands and had collected donations at checkout stands since March 18. Safeway matched all Hawaii employee donations, and the Safeway Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Safeway Inc., made an additional contribution of $100,000.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity and outpouring of donations from our customers and our employees,” said George Glukfeld, Safeway Hawaii district manager. 

Hawaiian Airlines pilots give $14,500 to Red Cross

Hawaiian Airlines pilots and their union have donated more than $14,000 to victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

The Air Line Pilots Association said Hawaiian Airlines pilots donated $9,500, and the union contributed an additional $5,000.

A check was presented to the Hawaii chapter of the Red Cross. 

Hawaiian Airlines Capt. Rick Baldwin, who organized the fundraising effort in two weeks, says many at the airline have ties to Japan.

The pilots have previously donated $15,000 in 2009 for typhoon victims in the Philippines and Indonesia.

May day is lei day

The 84th annual Lei Day Celebration, sponsored by the City and County of Hono­lulu, will take place Sunday from

9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand. The Lei Day court will be presented at 11 a.m. Lei contest entries will be displayed at 12:30 p.m., and live music will be played throughout the day.






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