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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013

Ka`u photographer Peter Anderson captured this image of lava flowing into the ocean yesterday morning. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Tim Orr presents a free program about Kilauea's ongoing 30-year eruption this evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House.
IN HIS THIRD STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS, Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday outlined plans to maximize the state’s sound fiscal footing and improving economy by focusing on business innovation, food and energy security and early childhood education. 
      “Two years ago, our administration had just taken office amidst an extremely difficult fiscal and economic outlook,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “But as a result of our collaborative efforts, shared sacrifice and judicious administrative action, we have made clear progress and are again looking at a healthy positive balance. Now, we must move from the status quo and provide for future generations of Hawai`i.”
Gov. Neil Abercrombie presented his 2013 State of the State address
yesterday. Photos from Office of the Governor
      Abercrombie has asked Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui to take a lead role in expediting investment in the state’s economy via construction, repair and maintenance projects and public/private ventures. “These long-range investments, including capital improvement projects, have already helped to stimulate the island economy and generate local jobs while improving public infrastructure and facilities,” Abercrombie said.
      The governor proposed the HI Growth Initiative, an investment program focused on building a “vibrant environment for innovation that supports entrepreneurial high-growth businesses and creates high-wage jobs.” The program would engage with the private sector to startup and grow creative and innovative companies.
      Abercrombie also proposed aggressive promotion of state agency purchases of Hawai`i agricultural products to provide a consistent and regular market for goods. He said the administration will also work to increase access to capital for local farmers and ranchers by expanding the state Department of Agriculture’s loan programs.
      The governor also highlighted the potential of minimum wage earners to provide an immediate infusion of dollars into the economy, announcing that he will propose a bill to increase the minimum wage by $1.50 to $8.75 beginning in January 2014. “Everyone is worthy of their labor,” he said. “Industry and corporations do not lack for support in these halls. Neither should those who work the hardest for the least return.”
       In the area of energy, the governor proposed embarking on a clear path toward increased use of liquefied natural gas, as well as the establishment of the Hawai`i Refinery Task Force to serve as a collaboration of government energy industries and utilities to immediately work on short-term and long-term findings and recommendations.
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, seated at right, has a lead role in expediting
investment in the state's economy.
      “LNG will reduce energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint because the resource is abundant, available, and the technology exists for us to use it now,” he said. “Our state, our residents, our constituents, our businesses and communities need relief. To do nothing puts everyone in the state at risk.”
      Additionally, a new financing mechanism administered by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, would be developed to help residents, businesses and organizations take advantage of energy options.
      To maintain the state’s current fiscal stability and outlook, the governor proposed recapitalizing the Hawai`i Hurricane Relief Fund and Rainy Day Fund and, as detailed in the administration’s 2013-2015 fiscal biennium budget presented last month, proposed addressing long-term liabilities by budgeting $100 million starting next fiscal year, with plans to continue to pursue payment in the coming years.
      The governor reaffirmed his commitment to giving keiki opportunity for school success and a strong early childhood education program. “Leaving our keiki unprepared for elementary school puts them at a crippling disadvantage in terms of being able to meet the demands the future will make on them,” he said. The administration has included $32.5 million for the Executive Office on Early Learning in the biennium budget for a school readiness program.
      The governor also proposed addressing Hawai`i’s aging population. “As we look to the future, we must never forget where we came from and to whom we owe our gratitude,” he added, announcing that he will be asking the Legislature to increase the Kupuna Care budget by $4.2 million and make it permanent.
      “Those who came before us sacrificed to help build our state and create the foundation upon which we stand today,” he said. “By being part of the permanent base for the Department of Health and the Executive Office on Aging, we can allow programs to properly plan and rely upon a steady stream of funding. This should be seen as an investment that will pay immediate dividends as the aging population of Hawai`i both grows in numbers and lives longer.”
      To read the entire State of the State address, see http://governor.hawaii.gov/2013-state-of-the-state.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE has elected Hawai`i Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to be vice chair of the party for the next four years. “I see this as a great opportunity to let Hawai`i’s voice be heard on a national platform and to play a leadership role in bringing people together in communities all across the country, as we work toward our common goal of serving the people and building a brighter future for our country,” said Gabbard.
      “Congresswoman Gabbard’s story is an inspiration, and her dedication to public service showcases the best of our party’s values,” said DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “I look forward to serving with her both in the House of Representatives and as an officer at the DNC.”

HWY 11 IS CLOSED IN BOTH DIRECTIONS due to a head-on collision near mile-marker 54. Traffic Division Sgt. Christopher Gali reports that a car crossed the center line, hit a pickup truck, and the truck caught on fire. Four people died at the scene, and a young boy was airlifted to Kona Community Hospital. The highway is expected to be closed for several hours during investigation.

Lava entering the ocean yesterday morning. Photo by Peter Anderson
THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY of Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Eruption is the topic at Pahala Plantation House this evening. Showing photos and videos of the ongoing eruption, Tim Orr, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist, reviews highlights from the past 30 years and talks about recent developments on Kilauea’s East Rift Zone. During its first three years, spectacular lava fountains spewed episodically from Pu`u `O`o vent. Since then, nearly continuous lava effusion has built a vast plain of pahoehoe lava that stretches from the volcano’s rift zone to the sea. Although the eruption has been relatively quiet during the past year, with mostly steady, but unusually weak activity, it has produced some dramatic lava flows in past years. 
      The program is part of Volcano Awareness Month and begins at 6:30 p.m. Depending on interest, more programs may come to Ka`u in the future. Call 928-9811 for more information.
The Directory 2013 includes contact
information for Ka`u's public officials

A COMMUNITY ACCESS MEETING with Hawai`i Police Department takes place Friday from noon to 2 p.m. at Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano Village. The public can discuss police-related concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in Volcano and Puna.
      The Volcano event continues district community meetings which are rotated throughout the Big Island’s police districts. To help police commanders focus on specific community concerns, participation is limited to persons who live or work in the immediate area.
      Those interested in participating but unable to attend may e-mail their concerns or comments to copsysop@hawaiipolice.com. For more information, call Acting Captain Reed Mahuna at 965-2716.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE holds a general membership meeting Friday at 4 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. The Directory 2013 will be distributed. See kauchamber.org.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN SIGN UP for a conflict resolution workshop sponsored by Ku`ikahi Mediation Center Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hawai`i Community College in Building 388, Room 103. Kimberly Dark facilitates the session about understanding and practicing the skill of reframing contentious, position-based statements into neutral language. The skills can be used at home as well as in the workplace, schools, associations, meetings and more.
       Tuition is $50. To register, contact Ku`ikahi Mediation Center executive director Julie Mitchell at 935-7844 x 116 or julie@hawaiimediation.org.