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.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ka`u News Briefs Dec. 27, 2012

Brian Schatz (right) has assumed the U.S. Senate seat of the late Dan Inouye. Schatz came to Pahala Plantation House in 2010 after being elected lieutenant governor and is shown here, left to right, with state agriculture chief Russell Kokubun, state labor chief Dwight Takamine and the man who appointed him to the U.S. Senate, Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Photo by Julia Neal
BRIAN SCHATZ became a U.S. senator this morning, chosen yesterday by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to replace the late Sen. Daniel Inouye. Schatz flew with Pres. Barack Obama overnight on Air Force One to Washington, D.C. and took the oath this morning with Vice Pres. Joe Biden. 
      Schatz, at age 40, will be the second youngest U.S. senator when the 2013 U.S. Congress convenes. He takes the place of Inouye, who became senator at age 38 and served Hawai`i for more than 50 years in Washington. Inouye was 88 years of age when he died last week after a career that led him to chair the most powerful financial committees and to become President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate, third in line to the Presidency.
New U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, 40, rallied the Democrats on Nov. 5, election eve
2012 at Hilo Bandstand.  Photo by Julia Neal
      During the Schatz swearing in ceremony, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Inouye “an institution unto himself.” Sen. Dan Akaka also praised Inouye, saying, “Inouye will always be a legend in Hawai`i. He will never be replaced.” Akaka said Inouye touched people in Hawai`i and across the country. Akaka also welcomed Schatz to the job, saying, “I thank Brian for volunteering for this incredible responsibility. He only learned of his appointment yesterday and did not have any time to spare…. We need him here.” Akaka talked about problems, which he said were created by Congress, “the looming spending cuts and tax increases, known as the fiscal cliff.” Akaka said the problem “must be fixed in the next five days. Thank you, Brian for accepting this challenge.”
      Akaka urged the Hawai`i delegation to pull together, saying that during his 36 years in Congress, the Islands’ senators and members of Congress were always unified.
      Schatz, who has served as Lt. Governor with Gov. Neil Abercrombie, was chosen to replace Inouye by Abercrombie himself after the Hawai`i Democratic Party nominated three contenders, Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, state Department of Land & Natural Resources deputy director Esther Kia`aina and Schatz. In a statement issued yesterday, the governor said, “I asked how best could we ensure that Hawai`i remains strong in the long run, rebuilding the seniority of our Congressional delegation in Washington…. I made this decision with the full confidence that Brian’s appointment is in the best interest of the party, the state of Hawai`i and the nation.” Political analysts said that Democrats may have wanted to keep Hanabusa in her congressional seat as she has important committee assignments. Another possibility, moving Hanabusa from the U.S. House of Representatives to the Senate, would have led to a special election with her open seat giving Republicans, including former Gov. Linda Lingle and Charles Djou, a chance at taking away a U.S. House seat from the Democrats.
Vice Pres. Joe Biden swore in Sen. Brian Schatz today.
Image from Hawai`i News Now
      Both Akaka and Reid reviewed Schatz’s background after the swearing in. It includes growing up in Hawai`i as the son of Dr. Irwin and Mrs. Barbara Schatz, surfing and graduating from Punahou School (also the alma mater of Obama), as well as serving for eight years as CEO of the human services organization Helping Hands Hawai`i and four terms in the state House of Representatives. Said Reid, Schatz “served until just a few minutes ago,” as lieutenant governor of Hawai`i and will now build on the experience of the five decades that Inouye served in the Senate. Akaka said he welcomes Schatz “with much Aloha Pumehana.”
      Akaka called Schatz “a leader for Hawai`i’s present and future.” He predicted that the young senator “will be an outspoken supporter of our troops and veterans and a defender of our environment.” He predicted that Schatz will be “a strong, progressive voice” on such issues as climate change, expanding renewable energy, protecting Hawai`i’s natural resources and native Hawaiian rights. He urged Schatz to “speak up and seek justice for those who cannot speak up for themselves.”
      On the tarmac of Andrews Air Force Base this morning after Air Force One landed, Schatz, who chaired Obama’s first campaign in Hawai`i for the presidency, told a pool reporter that he looks forward to working with the President. He said that during the flight last night, “We had a brief chat. We’re anxious to get to work and see what we can do to try to avert the fiscal cliff, and I’ll be looking forward to supporting the administration’s priorities.”
Sen. Dan Akaka at a Democratic
Party rally in Hilo. Photo by Julia Neal
      Atlantic magazine today outlined some parallels between Obama and Schatz. Both attended Punahou. Both went to college in Los Angeles, Obama to Occidental and Schatz to Pomona. Schatz studied abroad in Kenya, birthplace of Obama’s father. Both worked in community organizing after college. Both entered the U.S. Senate at a young age, Schatz at 40 and Obama at 44. See more of Atlantic’s Schatz analysis at http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/12/who-is-brian-schatz-the-new-us-senator-from-hawaii/266652.

SEN. DAN AKAKA received words of praise from U.S. Senate President Harry Reid this morning after the swearing in of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz to fill the vacancy left by the late Sen. Dan Inouye. Reid said Akaka, who is retiring from the Senate, is the kindest, gentlest person he has every served with. He said Akaka’s welcoming of Schatz to the Senate was typical. “Never a word about you – always about somebody else,” Reid told Akaka. “You are a wonderful human being and have been a great senator.” Reid encouraged Schatz to follow Akaka’s example.

Kathryn Matayoshi
HAWAI`I STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION will administer college and career readiness assessments to all middle and high school students statewide in grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 beginning in spring. With the testing, DOE will be able to comprehensively collect and examine college and career readiness data in reading, mathematics, science and English. “By 2018, Hawai`i will rank 10th in the nation in jobs requiring postsecondary degrees,” said superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are setting a high bar for achievement and delivering optimal tools and resources to accelerate our students’ trajectory toward college and career readiness. All high school graduates must complete a rigorous course of study and be prepared to successfully pursue their dreams, aspirations and goals.” 
      Starting in April, more than 50,000 students annually will take the ACT PLAN test in grades 8 and 9, the EXPLORE exam in grade 10 and the ACT assessment in grade 11. The new ACT College and Career Readiness System is benchmarked to both the expectations of higher education institutions and workforce. It is also designed to help students plan for future education opportunities and explore careers based on their skills, interests and ambitions.
      For more information about ACT, visit act.org.

WITH HELP FROM KA`U RESIDENTS, Hawai`i Wildlife fund could win $5,000 to support its Ka`u Coast Cleanup efforts next year. Subaru Hawai`i’s Share the Love Facebook contest continues until Monday, Dec. 31. Log onto facebook.com/SubaruHI and vote for Hawai`i Wildlife Fund by clicking once on HWF’s logo and then another time on the blue VOTE button. 
      HWF’s first Ka`u Beach Cleanup for 2013 is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 12. Sign up with Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

WITH AN 81 PERCENT INCREASE IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES compared to this time last year, Hawai`i Police Department is continuing DUI roadblocks and patrols islandwide.
      So far this year, there have been 38 traffic fatalities compared with 21 during the same period last year. Twenty-eight of the fatalities were related to drugs, alcohol or a combination of both. During the week of Dec. 17 through Dec. 23, Hawai`i Island police arrested 33 motorists for drunk driving.

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES CONTINUE at Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Visitors can vote for their favorite of the decorated cottages through Dec. 31. Ballots for the Holiday Challenge are available at the front desk, café, general store and recreation lodge.
      KMC brings in the New Year with a party from 8 p.m. to midnight Monday at the Lava Lounge. Call 967-8365.
      Crater Rim Café offers New Year’s Day buffet from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Menu items include roast turkey, braised beef, ono picatta, mushroom and leek pot pie, soup, salad bar, desserts and beverages. The price is $24.95 and $12 for children 6 to 11.
      KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.