About Town: July 4, 2020

  • Maile Melrose will be featured on Kona Historical Society’s virtual talk story event on July 13, discussing leprosy and its spread and history in the Hawaiian Islands. (Courtesy photo/KHS)

HFS Federal Credit Union grants scholarships

For the past 9 years, the HFS Federal Credit Union Scholarship Program has helped more than 50 of its credit union student members with their college expenses. Through this program, the Credit Union has awarded more than $127,000 in scholarship funds


This year, HFS has awarded 10 recipients a grand total of $25,000 — seven local high school students and three current college students each were awarded a $2,500 scholarship.

These scholarships are open to Big Island high school seniors as well as students attending any college who are current HFS Federal Credit Union members, with their own credit union accounts in good standing, and have a 3.0 cumulative GPA, or higher. Each student certifies that they will pursue (or continue to pursue) a higher education degree or certification at an accredited 2- or 4-year institution (university, college or vocational tech school) as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student.

High School Scholarship Recipients:

Nicholas Lucas – Waiakea High School Lucy Yoes – Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Sciences Jake Nishmoto – Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i Kiana Aniu – Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i Ka’ala Dietch – Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Kiani Aburamen – Waiakea High School Kylie Aurello – Honoka‘a High &Intermediate School

College Scholarship Recipients:

Silas Pelkey – Oberlin College &Conservatory Kiaria Nakamura – University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Kaley Oliveira – Hawai‘i Community College

Voter registration deadline approaching

New Hawaii voters have until Thursday, July 9, to register to vote in the 2020 Primary Election. Registered voters will automatically receive their ballot in the mail starting July 21. Voters should also check that their registration is current, so their ballot is sent to the correct address.

“As we move to elections by mail, it is important that your voter registration is up to date. Ballots must be delivered to the mailing address on file with your voter registration. It is not forwardable,” said Scott Nago, Chief Election Officer.

To register to vote in the Primary Election on Aug, 8, you must be a U.S. Citizen, Hawaii resident, and at least 18 years old. Voters can register to vote or update their voter registration online at www.elections.hawaii.gov or by submitting a Voter Registration Application to their County Elections Division.

To use the Online Voter Registration System, voters will need to log in with their Hawaii Driver License or Hawaii State ID. Otherwise, voters can fill out a paper Voter Registration Application, available at election offices, post offices, libraries, satellite city halls, and also online at elections.hawaii.gov.

On Thursday and July 9, election officials will be conducting drive-through voter registration for new voters to fill out and submit their completed Voter Registration Application from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days at the corner 744 Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo, Malama Market in Pahoa, and Safeway in Kailua-Kona.

This is the first year Hawaii will conduct elections by mail, statewide, and no traditional polling places will be established. However, Hawaii residents who miss the Thursday deadline can still register and vote in the Primary Election at a voter service center within their county from July 27 through 7 p.m. on Election Day, Aug. 8. Likewise, voters with special needs can vote in person at a voter service center.

To check your voter registration and for more information about the 2020 Elections, visit www.elections.hawaii.gov or call (808) 453-VOTE (8683) or toll free at (800) 442-VOTE.

KHS virtual talk story topic: Leprosy

The public is invited to join in Kona Historical Society’s next monthly Virtual Talk Story, 1 p.m. on July 13, on the Society’s Facebook Page and later shared on the Society’s YouTube channel, featuring Maile Melrose, a local author and historian, who will be discussing another pandemic that changed history.


Melrose will discuss leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, and how this illness rapidly spread throughout Hawaii, beginning in the early 1800s. She will also share how people who were diagnosed with leprosy were treated in Hawaii during this time period. In addition, she plans to speak about how the infectious nature and lack of treatment for the disease spurred Hawaii to introduce laws that allowed for the arrest and removal of people with leprosy to places of treatment or isolation, including to the Kalaupapa peninsula on the island of Molokai.

Melrose will highlight “Doctor Georges Phillipe Trousseau, Royal Physician,” an article written in 1991 by former Kona Historical Society historian Jean Greenwell for The Hawaiian Journal of History. The article includes a discussion about leprosy and Trousseau’s role in sending people with leprosy to Molokai.

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