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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Sept. 11, 2012

Iginition Interlock devices to prevent drunken driving could come standard in all vehicles in about a decade, says candidate for county prosecutor Mitch Roth. Photo from insurance.org

OCEAN VIEW COMMUITY ASSOCIATION hosted a talk story with County Prosecuting Attorney candidate Mitch Roth and County Council District 6 candidate Brenda Ford last night. Concerned citizens of Ocean View talked about policing, drunken driving, roads, trash and water. Roth noted that crime plunged in Ocean View after police busted a drug house. The court forced the occupants to leave the property, banned them from within two blocks of the house and sent many of them to jail for drug dealing. He talked about the importance of the community working with police, particularly since only two officers are on duty at any one time in Ka`u, which is larger than the entire island of O`ahu.
      Roth and Ford said they have worked together on numerous public safety initiatives and want to do more. Among topics brought up by community members were the possibility of requiring repeat drunken drivers to allow antabuse – a drug that makes people violently ill if they drink alcohol – to be implanted under their skin. Some people said a court-ordered implant could be consider an invasion of personal freedom and others said that it would be a choice as an offender does not have to drive at all. A woman who said she drives to Kona five days a week and comes home to Ka`u from work at 10 p.m. presented the idea of the antabuse implant and says she comes across many drunken drivers.
     
 Roth praised the interlock system that is placed in the cars of DUI offenders, requiring them to use a breathalyzer and said that it has prevented drunken drivers from operating vehicles 11,000 times in Hawai`i. Roth said that he thinks that auto manufacturers, in about a decade, will make the interlock system standard in cars.    He noted that the state of Hawai`i has the highest alcohol fatality rate in the nation and that the Big Island and Kaua`i have the highest in the state. Roth said he would like offenders to pay more for their crimes in ways that hurt their pocketbooks and their habits: “Take away cars and money and toys and it is more upsetting to drug dealers than going to jail. They are used to going to jail,” said Roth. 
      Another initiative, brought up by Don Nitsche of Ocean View, is the roving safe house. He said it has previously helped battered families. The safe house moved around so that the abuser couldn’t find it. He indicated he would like the program to be reinstated. Nitsche also urged that cars being towed and people arrested and taken to jail whenever a drunken driver is encountered. Roth explained that the police officer could not wait hours for a tow truck when there is other important policing at hand.

Photo from breathalyzer.net
  Roth, who said that he is the only one running for prosecutor who now works in the prosecutor’s office, said he also wants to help get cases through the justice system more quickly. He said that cases are often bogged down because investigators and prosecutors want to have every piece of evidence on hand before filing charges and this can take years. He said he would like to beef up the work done by the investigators working for the prosecutors, who are separate from the investigators working for the police department. He noted that the state of Hawai`i has the highest alcohol fatality rate in the nation and that the Big Island and Kaua`i have the highest in the state. Roth said he would like offenders to pay more for their crimes in ways that hurt their pocketbooks and their habits: “Take away cars and money and toys and it is more upsetting to drug dealers than going to jail. They are used to going to jail,” said Roth.
      Another initiative, brought up by Don Nitsche of Ocean View, is the roving safe house. He said it has previously helped battered families. The safe house moved around so that the abuser couldn’t find it. He indicated he would like the program to be reinstated. Nitsche also urged that cars being towed and people arrested and taken to jail whenever a drunken driver is encountered. Roth explained that the police officer could not wait hours for a tow truck when there is other important policing at hand.
      Roth, who said that he is the only one running for prosecutor who now works in the prosecutor’s office, said he also wants to help get cases through the justice system more quickly. He said that cases are often bogged down because investigators and prosecutors want to have every piece of evidence on hand before filing charges and this can take years. He said he would like to beef up the work done by the investigators working for the prosecutors, who are separate from the investigators working for the police department.

COUNTY COUNCIL CONTENDER BRENDA FORD told participants at last night’s community talk story in Ocean View that, should she be elected to represent District 6, she would be only one of three veteran council members. Six of the incoming nine county council members will be new to the job. She said it is up to the veterans – the next would be her fourth term – to help the freshmen learn the process. She said her most important lesson is being fiscally prudent. She said, “I am not fiscally conservative. I am fiscally prudent.”
     She gave an example of being “willing to bond” for the Ocean View and Volcano transfer stations, if that is what it takes to get them built. “I will introduce legislation to get bonds to get them done.” She also said she supports a second back up well for Ocean View and possibly a well for Miloli`i. She said Miloli`i needs gunnite water tanks to help fight fires so that the fire department does not have to haul water tankers full of water down the long Miloli`i road.
      Ford also said she supports a special fund that will allow the fire chief to buy vehicles. “The chief begs and borrows all over the country,” getting them from other fire departments that are retiring their fleet for new equipment.
      Roth and Ford talked about agricultural theft and newly passed legislation that requires vendors to document the source of their agricultural products, from vegetables to coffee. They said that documentation not only helps prevent a health crisis when there is a problem with disease stemming from a particular farm or poor handling by processors, but also reduces theft and fraud.
      Ford said she also wants stronger “truth in labeling” for Hawai`i agriculture. “People are using the Hawai`i name and putting next to nothing in the package that says Hawai`i.” 

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT TESTIMONY on proposed rules to govern the new Public Land Development Corp., which would allow more private sector economic development on state owned lands, is this Friday. Comments can be emailed to joy.y.kimura@hawaii.gov and randal.y.ikeda@hawaii.gov. The PLDC has oversight from the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Edmund C. Olson at his Ka`u Coffee Mill says the old C. Brewer Wainaku Executive Center in Hilo will have a Ka`u
Coffee Shop. Photo from Richard Ha
KA`U COFFEE will enjoy a new promotional venue in Hilo soon with the opening of the Ka`u Coffee Shop, according to Edmund C. Olson who closed on the purchase of the old C. Brewer Wainaku Executive Center yesterday. Olson said his plan includes the Ka`u Coffee shop, along with restaurants, a boutique hotel and art galleries to make the waterfront property a popular local and visitor destination. The 11,800 square acre venue is the renovation of an old sugar building by the late Doc Buyers who was president of C. Brewer. Buyers moved his offices from Honolulu to Hilo as C. Brewer was scaling down its business. Buyer’s family more recently leased the property to the University of Hawai`i College of Pharmacy and ML Macadamia. The college has already moved its offices and ML will move as renovations take place.
      Olson said he purchased the building for $7.7 million. It includes 12 acres, and a walking overpass above Hwy 11 to a 1.5 acre parking lot. It includes 3,000 feet of shoreline, spectacular views of Hilo Bay and a waterfall on a small black sand beach. Weddings and other events are in Olson’s plans for the property.

KA`U FARM BUREAU announced today it is hosting a lender fair this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Pahala Community Center. Attendees will hear a brief presentation and meet with representatives from Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Services. Ka`u Farm Bureau President Chris Manfredi says, "Our hope is that by accessing resources made available by these agencies, producers may find ways to maximize their profits." Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Manfredi at 929-9550.

REGISTERING FOR MOLD CERAMICS, for grades 4 through 8, must be completed before this Thursday for those who want to attend. The classes, held at Pahala Community Center from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., start Thursday, Sept. 20, and end Thursday, Oct. 25. There is a fee for supplies. For more, call Nona at 928-3102.

A RED CROSS VOLUNTEER MEETING is hosted Thursday, 7 p.m., in Ocean View at the H.O.V.E. Road Maintenance Corp. office. The meeting is geared towards current volunteers and those interested in becoming volunteers. For more, call Hannah Uribes at 929-9953.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND hosts a beach clean up at Kamilo a week from today, Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All volunteers will meet at Wai`ohinu Park on Hwy 11 near mile marker 65 at 7:45 a.m. and are asked to bring sturdy shoes, bag lunch, sun and wind protection, plenty of drinks and four-wheel-drive vehicles if possible. HWF will supply cleanup materials. Those interested can contact Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

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