About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs August 8, 2011

Rep. Bob Herkes, at right, may see his constituency change if reapportionment plans that cut Ka`u in half go forward.
Photo by Julia Neal

STATE REPRESENTATIVE BOB HERKES said Sunday that he is definitely running for re-election, but for which House district? He is not sure. Herkes lives in Ka`u, in the Volcano golf course subdivision and has represented Ka`u from Ocean View to Volcano for many years. However, a proposed reapportionment scheme threatens to cut the Ka`u district in half, and Herkes’ residence would be located in a district aligned more with Puna. 
The latest reapportionment map
changes the boundaries of Ka`u's
Representative district.
     Herkes said he hopes the reapportionment committee will move the proposed line to the actual district border between Ka`u and Puna, which would leave him running again to represent all of the people of Ka`u. 
     Some Ocean View residents are organizing opposition to the proposal in fear of losing Herkes as their representative. Among Herkes’ accomplishments for the area are creation of the South Kona Wilderness Area, a new medical mobile van for South Kona and Ka`u, and a new well for Ocean View. A reapportionment hearing will be held on Sept. 13 in Hilo and Sept. 14 in Kona. 

THE FRIENDS OF BOB HERKES election committee received $1,750 in campaign contributions so far this year, leaving the representative with $40,000 of cash on hand for election spending. Donations ranged from $250 to $500. Among the contributors were seed company Monsanto Hawai`i, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawai`i Citizen Rights, and Associa, a community association management company. 

Sen. Gil Kahele
SENATOR GIL KAHELE’S campaign committee has collected almost $20,000 in contributions so far this year, according to the Campaign Spending Commission’s website. The Commission reports the senator has $12,700 on hand for his re-election campaign and owes $4,350 in loans. The Friends of Gil Kahele committee received donations ranging from $150 to $2,000. 
     Among contributors were the Hawai`i Association of Realtors, CEO of Hawaiian Telcom Eric K. Yeaman, the United Public Workers Union, and president and CEO of Mele Associates Melvin H. Chiogioji. Chiogioji is also co-founder and president of `Aina Koa Pono, a biomass and biofuel developer that plans to construct a refinery between Pahala and Wood Valley and a farm between Pahala and Na`alehu.

John A. Burns School of Medicine
helps keep track of the number of
doctors in Hawai`i.
THE BIG ISLAND is 174 doctors short - the largest number of physician shortages in the state, according to a report in Pacific Business News based on the Hawai`i Physicians Workforce Assessment. Maui is short 107 doctors, Kaua`i 47 and Lanai and Moloka`i both are five doctors short. According to JABSOM data, O`ahu needs 331 more doctors. While O`ahu has the highest total shortage, it is the lowest per person in the state. Regarding specialties, more neurosurgeons, pediatric cardiologists, general surgeons and infectious disease specialists are needed statewide, the PBN report states. 

Russell Kokubun
RUSSELL KOKUBUN, chair of the state Board of Agriculture, is asking Safeway stores to be forthright with the Hawaiian coffees it sells on the mainland by listing how much of the coffee blend is actually from Hawai`i and how much of the blend is from some other country. While Safeway is only selling a Kona blend on the mainland, its practices could eventually affect Ka`u, where coffee name recognition is growing. Kokubun sent a letter to Safeway asking it to voluntarily comply with the law that is already in place in Hawai`i, requiring the blending percentages to be on the labels. Kona coffee farmers have called for a boycott of Safeway stores until the supermarket complies. 

Pasha says new rules will make interisland
shipping difficult.
A NEW STATE LAW HARMS INTERISLAND OCEAN TRANSPORT COMPETITION, says the head of Pasha Hawai`i Transport Lines. In a Pacific Business News report by Curtis Lum, George Pasha claims that the law “raises the bar so high for any kind of outside competition that competition will basically be eliminated. Not just Pasha, anybody in that particular trade” by restricting the Public Utilities Commission’s power to grant transport cargo licenses between the islands. This comes after the PUC issued the company an interim license that allows its ships to service Maui and Hilo but forego stopping at ports deemed unprofitable, such as Moloka`i, Lanai and Kawaihae on the Big Island. Critics, however, viewed it unfair that other companies like Young Brothers Ltd. were required to serve unprofitable destinations while Pasha did not. Pasha claims that its only vessel is too large to service the smaller ports.

MICHELLE WALL-O’CONNOR SHARES THE ART of Lomilomi on the lanai of Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon.