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.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs Nov. 3, 2011

Ka`u High School buildings fit in with the architecture of the historic Pahala village.

EIGHTEEN MONTHS is the amount of time allotted to complete the $17.9 million federally certified Ka`u Gymnasium & Disaster Shelter. Council member Brittany Smart says she will notify the community as soon as the request for proposals goes out for design and construction bids. Smart told Big Island Video News that the county will “own” the design, which will be presented by the construction firms bidding on the project. She said the design will be “cookie cuttered” so that it could be used for other shelter/gyms around the island. 
The old gym will be maintained for sports and other community activities.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Smart also described the location for the Ka`u gym and shelter as on “state land in front of the school.” Citizens have written to state and county officials asking for the design to fit into the historic village and to take into consideration distance to homes and preservation of the open green on the schools grounds when finalizing the site for the project. Smart said the structure will require an Environmental Impact Statement.

THE COUNTY BUILDING CODE drew more concern from citizens yesterday at its ninth hearing on the proposed new building code, Bill 270. According to a Nancy Cook Lauer story in West Hawai`i Today, “In almost six hours of testimony, more than 60 residents pleaded with the Hawai`i County Council not to make them install expensive retrofits to their currently unpermitted homes or face up to $1,000 in fines and/or 30 days in jail for each day of violation.” Some worried they would be required to install double-paned glass windows and double-walled construction when building or remodeling their homes. Representatives of the building and planning departments explained that dwellings without heating or air conditioning do not need double walls or double window panes. However, there are many elements that the Council plans to review, and it voted 8 – 0 to reconsider,” West Hawai`i Today reported.

A SUSTAINABLE HABITAT ORDINANCE, which would loosen building code requirements for some dwellings on agricultural lands, is also before the Council. There is disagreement between state and county attorneys on whether the county has the authority to make the local building code less stringent than the state code. However, Council member Angel Pilago, who introduced the bill, is urging the Council to move forward.

Pres. Barack Obama signs off on the Congressional Gold
Medal with Sen. Daniel Inouye and Rep. Mazie Hirono
witnessing.  Photo from Office of Re. Hirono
KA`U’S NISEI WORLD WAR II VETERANS received their Congressional Gold Medals yesterday in Washington, D.C. Tokuichi Nakano and Iwao Yonemitsu were members of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team along with Sen. Daniel Inouye, who also received the Gold Medal and delivered the remarks. He recalled: “Nearly 70 years ago, Pearl Harbor, a naval base in Hawai`i, was bombed by the Japanese, and everything changed. Soon thereafter, the government of the United States issued a directive designating all Japanese citizens of this nation and immigrants as 4-C. 4-C was the designation for an ‘enemy alien.’ 
     “We, gathered here, were designated ‘enemy aliens’ of the United States. However, we did not sit by and do nothing. We petitioned the government to give us the opportunity to demonstrate our love of country and our patriotism. That opportunity was granted, and thousands of men rushed to the draft boards to volunteer for military service.” 
Sen. Daniel Inouye and other Nisei received the Congressional
Gold Medal yesterday.  Photo from Office of Sen. Inouye
     When the 442nd returned to Hawai`i, they “found themselves declared to be members of the most decorated military unit in the history of the United States. Seventy years ago we were enemy aliens, but today, this great nation honors us in this special ceremony. We, gathered here this morning, are all proud Americans, and grateful to our nation for giving us the opportunity to serve our nation as loyal and patriotic citizens.”
     Sen. Dan Akaka said the medal is “not only celebrating their heroism and sacrifice, but perpetuating the legacy and courage of these brave soldiers for the next generation of Americans.”
The Congressional Gold Medal says Nisei Soldiers of
World War II and Go for Broke. On the back is a
traditional Hawaiian helmet and taro leaf among
other symbols.  Image from the U.S. Mint
     Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono also attended the ceremonies in D.C. and said,
 “Nearly 60 Nisei made the trip to D.C., many of whom are over 90 years old, showing the deep connection they have with each other, their military service, and their country. Their willingness to ‘Go for Broke’ set a legendary standard of service.”

MATH & READING SCORES ARE IMPROVING in Hawai`i, according to nationwide student achievement assessments released this week. While Hawai`i scores lower than the national average overall, fourth-grade reading improved by three points, and eighth-grade reading improved two points. Fourth-grade math improved three points, and eighth-grade math improved by two points. Hawai`i was the only state to show such improvement.

THE FARM BILL has been approved by the U.S. Senate. This secured funding for 2012 for Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and similar agencies. It also includes funding for Commerce, Justice, Science, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
     The Senate Appropriations Committee chair is Daniel Inouye, who said the bills are focused on a number of basic priorities: job creation, public safety, nutrition, housing, and transportation. It is bipartisan, fiscally responsible, and reflects the input of senators on both sides of the aisle.”

Gail Kalani and Melani Camba serve Bank of Hawai`i
customers in Pahala.  Photo by Julia Neal
BANK OF HAWAI`I has earned the highest possible rating from the Federal Reserve Board for its performance under the Community Reinvestment Act. This act requires federally insured deposit-taking institutions to support borrowing needs of all the communities where they do business, including low- and moderate-income areas. 
     The evaluation pointed to Bankoh’s efforts to serve the need for affordable housing targeted to low- and moderate-income individuals and families.

BIG ISLAND HOSPITALS are receiving new phone numbers this month. All phone numbers for Hawai`i Health Systems Corp.’s hospitals and clinics in the East Hawai`i region will be changing throughout the month as a new PBX phone system is installed.
     The new numbers are: Hilo Medical Center, effective Nov. 7, 932-3000; Hale Ho`ola Hamakua, effective Nov. 14, 932-4100; Ka`u Hospital, effective Nov. 21, 932-4200; Ka`u Rural Health Clinic, 932-4205.

William Aila, Jr.
SEN. GIL KAHELE co-sponsors public Listening Sessions with representatives of the Department of Land & Natural Resources tomorrow and Saturday. The DLNR administration team, including chairperson William J. Aila, Jr., first deputy and Volcano resident Guy H. Kaulukukui, and water deputy Bill M. Tam, is visiting Hawai`i Island to hear community comments, questions, and concerns regarding topics under the department’s jurisdiction. 
     Also attending will be members of the state Senate Committee on Water, Land and Housing, including chair Donovan Dela Cruz and vice chair Malama Solomon.
     The Hilo meeting will be tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Waiakea High School Cafeteria, and the Kona meeting will be Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Konawaena High School Cafeteria in Kealakekua.

THE FALL FLING ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR is set for this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Punalu`u Bake Shop. Local artists offer their arts for holiday shopping, and entertainment is scheduled throughout the day. Call 929-8694 for more information.

HALAU HULA KA NO`EAU, with kumu hula Keikilani Curnan and Liana Aviero, perform hula kahiko on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the hula platform overlooking Kilauea Crater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Cultural demonstrations take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery. Park entrance fees apply.