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.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ka'u News Briefs Jan. 27, 2012

A measure in the House would put a fee on all paper and plastic bags. Photo from projectgreenbag.com
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, SIERRA CLUB and Surfrider Foundation are supporting a 10-cent fee on single-use paper and plastic shopping bags. The program could raise more than $20 million year and reduce use of those bags that wind up blowing down the highway and floating in the ocean. Income would go the state Department of Land and Natural Resources for its watershed program. The ultimate goal is to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable shopping bags.
Robert Harris, Sierra Club
Hawai`i Photo by OHA
            According to Sierra Club executive director Robert Harris, who took the case to the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection yesterday, the law will not change the recently approved plastic bag ban that goes into effect in Hawai`i County next January. Some funds could initially go to merchants, who will shoulder the cost of switching from plastic to more expensive paper bags.
            Big Island Rep. Denny Coffman sponsored the House bill to charge for bags, claiming it will cause a drastic reduction of single-use bags within three years. If the incentive doesn’t reduce single-bag use by 75 percent by July 2016, the fee would rise to 25 cents a bag. The Sierra Club calculates that 10 cents a bag will reduce bag use by 50 percent. Harris said that Washington, D.C. launched such a program with a five-cent bag fee, causing a 75 to 90 percent reduction.
            Volcano resident Guy Kaulukukui, who is deputy director of the Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources, was wary about the incentives. “It’s hard to imagine that a 10-cent fee would reduce use by half,” he told the Sophie Cocke, a reporter with Civil Beat. “I think it’s much more difficult to change consumer behavior,” Kaulukukui told Civil Beat
Guy Kaulukukui, a Volcano resident. Photo from
The Kohala Center
            Some people weighing in at www.civilbeat.com suggested higher charges at the counter, with several calling for a fee of $1 per bag. In addition to funding the DLNR, the bill would provide 20 percent of the revenue to grocery stores to offset higher costs from implementing the program. The second year, the fee would go down to 10 percent. See more at civilbeat.com.

TESTING PUBLIC HOUSING APPLICANTS for drugs was shelved at the Legislature yesterday. Rep. John Mizuno noted it would cost about $43 per test and said it is unnecessary since there is already law in place allowing testing, should there be suspicion of drug use.
     According to a story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this morning, he said, “I don’t want to cut someone off and have them end up homeless.” Also shelved was a bill that would have screened participants in Temporary Aid for Needy Families. A similar law was declared unconstitutional by Florida courts. 

Kawa was placed in the public domain, in part, with money from the
Two-Percent land Fund. Photo by Julia Neal
MAYOR BILLY KENOI has signed the bill to place the Two-Percent Land Fund on the election ballot this November. The charter amendment would tighten up the process, requiring that deeds for land purchased ensure preservation of the property in perpetuity. The wording says the land shall be for “the use and enjoyment of the people of Hawai`i County and may not be sold, mortgaged, traded or transferred in any way.”
            West Hawai`i Today reported this morning that Kenoi said he supports the bill that puts two percent of property tax income into the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Fund. County Council member Brenda Ford sponsored the charter amendment to prevent the Council and mayor from changing the two-percent requirement.
            Funds were recently used to purchase lands around Kawa Bay to place them in the public domain.

KUMU LEILEHUA YUEN and Manu Josiah present 50-minute narrated demonstrations of the preparation, protocol and offering of traditional hula and chant at the hula platform in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Hands-on cultural demonstrations are offered from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the porch at Volcano Art Center Gallery. Donations are welcome, and park entrance fees apply.

A MURDER MYSTERY PLAY sponsored by Na`alehu Main Street will be performed tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Tickets for The Hurricane are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, including refreshments and heavy pupus. Call 929-7236 for tickets.

Jason Scott Lee promotes preservation of Hawai`i's
watersheds. Photo from DLNR
JASON SCOTT LEE’S documentary about preservation of Hawai`i’s watersheds airs on KHNL television tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. In The Rain Follows the Forest, Lee describes his simple lifestyle in Volcano where he farms kalo. The Rain Follows the Forest is sponsored by the state Department of Land & Natural Resources. 

IN SPORTS, Ka`u High School Girls Basketball played at home last night. In JV play, Ka`u scored 37, while Waiakea won with 56. High scorers for Ka`u were Denisha Navarro with 18 and Shyann Flores-Carvalho with 11. In varsity play, Ka`u scored 37, while Waiakea came up with 56. Ka`u varsity high scorer was Joyce Ibason with 10, as reported by Ka`u High athletic director Kalei Namohala.