Announcements: July 20, 2021

Inaba new West Hawaii Mediation Center president

Holeka Inaba was elected July 15 as president of West Hawaii Mediation Center. He succeeds the Elizabeth Strance, a retired judge who is the current Hawaii County Corporation Counsel. Inaba is a member of the Hawaii County Councilrepresenting North Kona.


WHMC is one of two nonprofit mediation centers on Hawaii Island. Its volunteer mediators work with people whose cases touch such topics as domestic relations, neighbor disputes, commercial and private contracts, and landlord-tenant matters.

The center operates on a sliding scale basis, meaning no one is turned away based on income. Cases begin when a person asks for mediation, though the center also receives referrals from civil and family court judges who sometimes require mediation before litigation. Funding is by private benefactors, foundations, and county and state agencies.

Inaba takes the helm of WHMC as the mediation center completes an update to its Strategic Plan.

“I’m looking forward to doing our part when the state’s moratorium on evictions expires on August 6,” he said. “Our supporters have funded us generously to provide the mediation services that will be required of landlords and tenants before they will be permitted to meet in court.”

Other officer-members of the center’s executive committee are Niel Thomas, vice president; Jasmin Kiernan, secretary; and George Winchell, treasurer. Eric Paul is executive director.

AFCEA Hawaii offers scholarships, grants

The AFCEA Hawaii Chapter is offering financial assistance to the state’s top STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students. And for the second year, we will also be awarding STEM Grants to help provide support for STEM programs for Hawaii K-12 students.

“Our goal is to promote STEM and Cyber Education for all students based in Hawaii. We strongly believe in the value of STEM education from kindergarten to post-graduate levels. We have been blessed to be able to support local students through college scholarships and provide STEM Grants to teachers and organizations supporting K-12 students. We want to help build the cyber leaders and technologists of the future,” said Linda Newton, AFCEA Hawaii Chapter president

AFCEA Hawaii plans to award up to 15 scholarships to students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and cyber. Students must be enrolled in an accredited college or university either in Hawaii or on the mainland. The scholarships range from $2,000 to $5,000. Last year, the program awarded $120,500 to 41 Hawaii-based students.

All scholarships are merit based, so financial need or family income is not considered; candidates are reviewed based on academic performance, a personal essay, and a letter of reference.

Students may apply online at ScholarsApp Questions about the scholarships may also be submitted on ScholarsApp or by sending an email to Applications are due July 29.


AFCEA Hawaii STEM Teacher Grants recognize outstanding programs that immerse students in critical and creative thinking and demonstrate application through cyber, robotics, coding, website building, engineering, and other STEM programs, projects, and activities. Last year, AFCEA awarded $35,000 in grants to 24 STEM programs and projects in the state. Apply at ScholarsApp The 2021-22 season is open through July 30.

The nonprofit AFCEA Hawaii is a local chapter of AFCEA International featuring more than 800 members committed to advancing information technology, cyber, communications and electronics capabilities.

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