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.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs March 25, 2012

Some Punalu`u condos are rented by out-of-state owners. Photo from Expedia
MAKING OUT-OF-STATE OWNERS of vacation rentals contract with a realtor or broker in order to rent them out is a bill still alive at the Hawai`i Legislature. It has drawn the ire of many owners, who claim they pay transient accommodations and general excise taxes to the state and should not be forced to give part of their income to a realtor. Realtors are claiming they can help the state better secure the taxes.
      The bill to require out-of-state owners to hire agents was all but dead until last week when it bolted back to life in the Senate Tourism Committee. The original bill to require agent involvement was initiated by Sen. Josh Green, set to become Ka`u’s senator from Kona to Honu`apo if he wins the next election. In the Senate Tourism Committee, only Sam Slom and Gil Kahele voted with reservations to let the bill move forward for further discussion. The rest of the committee voted for it, without reservations.
      A website has been launched to oppose the bill by a group called Rental By Owner Awareness Association. See http://rboaa.org.
      See a story on this issue at www.civilbeat.com.

POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES that indirectly support candidates without giving them money cannot be limited by the Hawai`i Campaign Spending Commission in the amount of contributions they receive, a federal judge ruled last week in Honolulu. According to a Civil Beat story, U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright “made permanent a preliminary injunction he imposed in 2010, ruling that limiting contributions to independent-expenditure-only committees was unconstitutional.” 
      Civil Beat reported that Campaign Spending Commission general counsel Gary Kam predicted the ruling will stand. “The commission has since begun to track independent-expenditure-only committees to better monitor contributions and expenses” wrote Civil Beat reporter Nanea Kalani. The Political Action Groups are legally known as “independent-expenditure-only committees.” The five that have registered in Hawai`i as of March 20 are: A Better Hawai`i PAC, Hawai`i Solutions, Kaua`i Women’s Caucus, MADPAC and Save Paradise.
      Civil Beat reports that A Better Hawai`i is led by Christopher Racine, who gave the maximum allowed donations to the Neil Abercrombie and Brian Schatz gubernatorial campaigns. Save Paradise is led by Steven Sue, whose company built the Ben Cayetano campaign website for his bid to become Honolulu’s next mayor. Both PACs list the same treasurer. MADPAC Hawai`i also supports Cayetano, Civil Beat reports.
      According to Civil Beat, “These groups can support or attack candidates through advertising, mailings and other means so long as they operate independently of the candidate. They can accept unlimited contributions and spend unlimited amounts. Groups cannot qualify if they make any direct contributions to candidates.” See more at www.civilbeat.com.

Sen. Gil Kahele (right), next to Alan Wong, establishing the bee sanctuary. Photos from UH-Hilo
SEN. GIL KAHELE AND CHEF ALAN WONG celebrated the campaign to save honeybees on Friday as the state Legislature honored Wong with a resolution for his Adopt a Beehive program. The program is operated by University of Hawai`i-Hilo and gives participants the opportunity to sponsor beehive care at the campus. The program was prompted by the rapid decrease of bee populations in nature and on farms, creating concern about the future of food for wildlife and humans.
Beekeepers at UH-Hilo
      Says Wong, “Bees are responsible for 90 percent of the world’s food supply whether directly pollinating fruits and vegetables or indirectly pollinating something cattle might eat.” Wong quoted Albert Einstein: “If the bees were to disappear from the face of the earth, we have seven years to live. That's how important they are.”
      Kahele said that “without the honeybee here - just imagine that - if they stopped, bzzzz, you know, pollinating a lot of the vegetables the farmers would be in deep hurt.”
      Wong said the U.H. program brings awareness and education to the community to help reverse the trend because “the bees are disappearing.” See the Adopt A Beehive program at http://www.uhfoundation.org/donor_resources/giving_opportunities/adopt_a_beehive_gallery.aspx.

THE 4.9 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE that hit Honomu, north of Hilo, yesterday at 10:47 a.m. was felt throughout Ka`u and all the way to Maui and O`ahu. The same area was rocked with a 6.2 quake that left $5.6 million in damages and more than 15 injured people in 1973. Yesterday’s quake, however, left no reported damage or injuries.

Transportation is offered for vets' medical appointments.
THE DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS Kona Chapter Seven offers transportation for veterans from the south side of the Big Island to and from their VA scheduled medical appointments. The vehicle runs daily and picks up passengers at homes at any location from Na`alehu and South Point to Honaunau and return. Three days notice before the appointment is required, and appointments should be scheduled in the morning if possible. For rides, call 756-1350 and leave a message. 

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK ranger John Stallman discusses the natural history and conservation of Hawai`i’s ancient native palms at After Dark in the Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. $2 donations support park programs, and park entrance fees apply.

MEMBERS OF `AHA PUHALA O PUNA teach participants how to weave lauhala bracelets from the lau (leaves) of the hala (pandanus) tree on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon on the lanai of Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The event is free, and park entrance fees apply.