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, July 29, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs July 29, 2012

A report from North Hawai`i Outcomes Project shows Ka`u as the district with the highest poverty rates on the island, contributing to health challenges.
THE HEALTH PROFILE OF HAWAI`I COUNTY has improved by some measures and worsened by others, according to the recently released 2012 Community Health Profile Report. 
      The report, which can be read online at nhop.org, was put together by the North Hawai`i Outcomes Project and leads with the saying, “Community health is profoundly affected by the behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs of everyone who lives in the community.” It also says poverty contributes to health challenges and shows Ka`u as the district with the highest poverty rates on the island.
Chart from North Hawai`i Outcomes Project
shows factors that determine health.
      The study shows that confirmed child abuse cases are decreasing. Traffic deaths dropped by half during the last decade. However, diabetes rates doubled statewide, and suicide rates in this county increased, the study says. Project director, Dr. Sharon Vitousek, said that suicide rates are 20.7 deaths per 100,000 Big Island residents. This far exceeds the statewide average of 12.8 per 100,000 and slightly exceeds the nationwide average of 20 per 100,000.
      The study ties higher suicide rate on the neighbor islands to economic challenges, with 50 to 70 percent tied to alcohol, drugs and depression. The 2005 rate for suicide in Hawai`i County was five per 100,000 residents.
      Diabetes continues to be a problem, and the lack of primary care physicians may mean that some people are not getting diagnoses of diabetes early, leading to a higher rate of people being hospitalized for diabetes than in other counties. Ten percent of Big Islanders have reported a diagnosis of diabetes.
      The overall population of Hawai`i County is shown to be less healthy than the overall state, attributing the problem to “lower income per capita, more income disparity, higher smoking and binge drinking rates, higher obesity rates and significantly lower access to healthcare.”
      It suggests public policy interventions to improve education; economic development of education, science, energy and health sectors; and workforce development of the same sectors.

Ed Case
Photo by William Neal
ENDORSEMENTS FOR U.S. SENATE candidates are building. 
      Ed Case recently won the endorsement of West Hawai`i Today and also Maui News and the University of Hawai`i Professional Assembly, as well as Elevator Constructors Local 126 and Veterans in Politics International. 
Mazie Hirono
Photo by William Neal
      Mazie Hirono last week received the endorsement of U.S. House Rep. Don Young, a Republican from Alaska, drawing criticism from his party and from Hawai`i Republican senatorial candidate Linda Lingle. Hirono also has endorsements from the Honolulu Star Advertiser, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Ocean Champions, Women’s Campaign Fund and numerous unions, including AFL-CIO, Hawai`i Laborers Union, Hawai`i Government Employees Association, Hawai`i State Teachers Association, Hawai`i Firefighters Association, United Public Workers and International Longshore & Warehouse Union.
Linda Lingle supporters marched in a Fourth of July Parade.
Photo by William Neal
Linda Lingle has been endorsed by U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hawai`i Restaurant Association, State of Hawai`i Organization of Police Officers and Honolulu Fire Department Retirees. 

THE STEERING COMMITTEE of the Ka`u Agricultural Water Cooperative District is moving forward, with its subgroups coming up with articles and bylaws for managing water systems for crop and orchard irrigation and livestock. Dennis Horita, of Honolulu, is expected to send a crew soon to survey the tunnels and waterways from the old plantation water system between Kapapala, Na`alehu and Wai`ohinu. The water sources have such names as Ali`i Springs, Ha`ao Springs and Noguchi Tunnel.
      During the July meeting, the Moa`ula group members reported that they were awaiting legal review of their articles and bylaws. The Ha`ao group reported their articles and bylaws are ready for review.
       Melanie Bondera, of the Kohala Center, offered advice and direction on organizing co-ops. She shared water rules and membership agreements developed by the East Kauai Water Users’ Cooperative as examples for the regional entities. She presented a sample irrigation survey that could be distributed to members and prospective members to measure interest in the organization and willingness to contribute with time and/or finances.
       The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 9 at 4 p.m. at the ML Mac Nut Field Office. For more information, contact Jeff McCall at 928-6456.

Bradley Westervelt
COUNTY COUNCIL CANDIDATE BRADLEY WESTERVELT held two talk story events in Ka`u yesterday. He reports “a rising tide of support,” with the events being well attended. He said supporters are looking for a candidate “who is not a bureaucrat or career politician.” Among the topics discussed were the county’s landfill issue and residents’ visions of sustainability. Sustainability is one of Westervelt’s key platform topics. “We must prioritize resources toward sustainability for our economy, our environment and most importantly, the people,” he says on his website. He co-authored Resolution 167-11, the sustainable habitat resolution calling upon Public Works to create an owner option alternative building code for supporting structures on ag-zoned parcels, which passed County Council in last September. He is director and treasurer of Hawai`i Sustainable Communities Alliance. See more at bradwestervelt.com.

EARLY ABSENTEE WALK-IN VOTING begins tomorrow and runs through Thursday, Aug. 9 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include Saturday, Aug. 4. The ballot includes choices for a new County Council member, mayor, state senator and representative and U.S. senator and representative. Pahala Community Center walk-in early voting has been cancelled. Voters can cast ballots at West Hawai`i Civic Center Community Room, Waimea Community Center and Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo. Absentee voting can also be done by mail. 

SOUTHSIDE ALATEEN MEETS tomorrow and every Monday at 7 p.m. at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View. The meetings for teenagers who are affected by family members’ heavy drinking provide a safe place to talk and share experiences. For more information, call Sandy at 557-9847.