|Think Local First is a new campaign to encourage everyone to by local beef and other ag products. Photo by Julia Neal|
HAWAI`I COUNTY RESIDENTS can do a lot to improve health through healthy eating and healthy living, according to a national study called County Health Rankings. The county ranks Hawai`i County higher than the other islands in premature deaths, and these can be correlated with more people smoking, more obesity, more drinking and less access to health care than the other islands.
|Smoking is one if the major health risks on the Big Island.|
Image by David Hegarty
The violent crime rate is lower than the other islands. However, deaths from traffic accidents on this island are the highest in the state. One thing better about the island is more access to recreational areas. Also, the state has a higher rate of residents covered by health insurance than the rest of the country. All of this data can be seen at countyhealthrankings.org.
SPEAKING OF HEALTH, economic health was the target of a group of economists, business representatives and county and nonprofit organization representatives who met yesterday at the county building in Hilo. They want to come up with strategies on how to encourage residents and visitors to purchase local food and locally made products to help rev up the engine of the island’s economy. Some of the suggestions included promotions and tax incentives to buy local first, creating a sense of mission and pride for food sovereignty for the island, and incentivizing schools, hospitals and other organizations to serve food grown by local farmers. A Think Local First Action Committee was organized and will come up with a plan for the island. The project is sponsored by the Hawai`i Alliance for a Local Economy. See bigisle.sustainhawaii.org.
|Logo for Ka`u School of the Arts|
KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS has come up with a website at kauarts.org. On the website are sections on events, classes, gallery and projects, and the front page feature is the school's Spring Fling coming up on April 30 at Punalu`u Bake Shop. See kauarts.org.
THE KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL can also be followed on the Internet, on its blog, twitter, Facebook, Flickr and at kaucoffeefest.org. See photos of all the Miss Ka`u Coffee candidates and updates on both the pageant to be held Saturday, April 23 at Ka`u High School Gym and the Ka`u Coffee Festival on the weekend of May 14 and 15.
THE U.S. SMALL BUSINESS Administration is offering low interest rate loans to victims of the March 11 tsumani. An SBA office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until April 26 in Kona.
|Brian DeLima represents the Big Island|
on the new Board of Education.
BRIAN DELIMA is the new Board of Education member for the Big Island, appointed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. He is an attorney and former member of the Hawai`i County Council. He is appointed for two years. The chair of the new statewide school board is Don Horner, the chair and CEO of First Hawaiian Bank. The Department of Education has an operating budget of $1.7 billion. The electorate voted last November to allow the governor to name the school board members rather than to elect them. Hawai`i has the only statewide school board in the country.
THE KA`U VARSITY VOLLEYBALL boys have defeated Christian Liberty Academy in a three-game sweep at the Ka`u High gym. Set scores were 25-14, 25-16 and 25-19. Senior Tyler Navarro-Villa slammed six kills. Freshman Larry Al-Navarro, sophomore Donald Garo Jr., and senior Marcus Grace all put in four kills each.
HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND holds a Ka`u beach cleanup this Saturday. The volunteers meets at Wai`ohinu park at 7:45 a.m. to caravan to the site. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 769-7629.