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.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Feb. 8, 2013

An $8,000 contribution from Subaru Hawai`i to Hawai`i Wildlife Fund will support the nonprofit's Ka`u Coast Cleanups and sea turtle recovery projects. Photo from HWF
STATE SENATOR JOSH GREEN, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and an emergency room physician on Big Island, has proposed what he describes as the strongest mental health screening in the country, not only for purchasing firearms, but for using them.
Sen. Josh Green
      Today at 1:35 p.m., the Senate Committee on Health will hear SB 932, which would prohibit anyone diagnosed by a mental health professional as a danger to themselves or others, or who makes deadly threats toward specific persons, from possessing or purchasing firearms. It would also create a reporting system and list to be accessed by law enforcement, mental health professionals and gun dealers.
      “After the nightmares at Newtown and Aurora, Virginia Tech and Columbine, we have come to a point where we must do everything possible to prevent future tragedies,” Green said. “There are more than 13,000 homicides by guns every year in our country and 17,000 suicides by guns. If we can prevent even a fraction of these tragedies by requiring better mental health screening and reporting and by providing law enforcement, health professionals and gun dealers with better information, we will have taken an important step toward making Hawai`i safer for our children and more free from deadly gun violence.”
      Several states including California and New York have passed similar measures, but Green said he believes SB 932 goes even further to ensure guns are kept out of the hands of those diagnosed as a danger to themselves or others.

Sen. Malama Solomon
AIR FARES COULD BE REGULATED by the Public Utilities Commission if Bill 451 passes the state Senate and House of Representatives. The Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection is hearing the bill today in the state Capitol. 
      The idea of the bill is to make airfare more affordable for local consumers, since going from one place to another in this state, whether for commerce or pleasure, usually requires an airplane. Air service in Hawai`i provides the same service as interstate highways on the mainland. Currently, air carriers are exempt from regulation by the PUC.
      Big Island Sen. Malama Solomon introduced the bill and encourages residents to submit testimony. “Local residents have limited options when it comes to interisland travel. Due to the fact that Hawai`i’s residents have very few options, the state needs to assure that local families have affordable airfare rates for family visits and emergencies,” said Solomon, who represents District 4, Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona. Testimony may be emailed, indicating SB451, if less than five pages in length, to the Committee at CPNTestimony@Capitol.hawaii.gov.

SCIENCE CAMPS OF AMERICA has announced that its inaugural science camp for teens will take place in Ka`u this summer, and some scholarships will be available for Hawai`i students. 
      The first session, Land and Sea, is June 22 - July 1. Campers will examine volcanoes, geology, beaches, reefs and the ocean. The second session, Air and Space, is July 1-10. Topics include the atmosphere, weather systems, climate change and innovative technologies being developed to address the ever-changing world.
      Students will stay at Pahala Plantation House & Cottages. Founder Michael Richards, of O`ahu, explained: “Science Camp of America’s mission is to provide fun, intense science experiences to inspire future generations to better understand our universe.
      “The idea is to get the kids outside and into the field to experience science. Each day we will jump into the vans and head out to learn about our world. One day we might be examining lava flows, the next we might be helping reforest former ranch land, the next we might be stargazing from Mauna Kea. Being in the field, accompanied by science teachers and scientists, campers will not only absorb a tremendous amount of knowledge, they will also have an idea of what it’s like to be a scientist.”
      Science Camps of America chose the Big Island “for its unique and incredible environment, climate, geology, and people,” said Richards. He described this island as “a science lab unto itself, with active volcanoes, one of the tallest mountains in the world, home to incredibly sophisticated astronomy facilities and natural energy laboratories, eleven of thirteen global climate zones and a native cultural heritage of discovery and innovation. This thriving scientific community is a great resource. One of the goals stated in the Hawai`i County General Plan is to ‘Promote and develop the island of Hawai`i into a unique scientific and cultural model.’ I look forward to making Science Camps of America a contributor to that goal,” he said.
     Dr. Floyd McCoy, the organization’s director for education, was raised on the Big Island. A Harvard Ph.D. and Fulbright Scholar, he is professor of geology and oceanography at the University of Hawai`i’s Windward campus on O`ahu.
      Richards founded a software business in Hawai`i in 1983 and sold it in 2010. “That opened up a great opportunity for me to start this camp. I love science, and I love watching kids learn science. I am so encouraged by the excitement young people show for science and technology. With Science Camp, we hope to help science teachers everywhere deepen that excitement by putting teens in the field to experience great science first-hand.”
      Science Camps of America is a Hawai`i-based non-profit corporation, currently awaiting 501(c)3 approval. Richards said that his organization is hosting “one of only a very few new summer camps opening in the U.S. and is one of only a handful of camps for high school students interested in experiencing science and nature.”
      Richards also announced the Fred Hendy Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will allow qualified students from Hawai`i to attend one of the camp’s 2013 camp sessions. Details about applying for this and other scholarships may be found on the camp’s website (http://ScienceCampsAmerica.com). Details about making a donation to the scholarship fund, or to the camp fund, may also be found online. 

Subaru Hawai`i officials present a check to Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
representatives, including president Hannah Bernard,
 second from right. Photo from HWF
FOR THE SECOND YEAR, Subaru Hawai`i donated a percentage of its profits in 2012 to Hawai`i Wildlife Fund through its Share The Love event, which ended Dec. 31. For every new or demo 2013 vehicle purchased during the promotion period, Subaru Hawai`i donated $250 to HWF and four other local charities.
 As a result of the 2012 Share the Love event, Subaru Hawai`i donated a total of $8,000 to Hawai`i Wildlife Fund. HWF will use the funds from Subaru for projects like its Marine Debris Removal and Sea Turtle Recovery projects. “Hawai`i Wildlife Fund's multiple, ongoing conservation projects will benefit from Subaru Hawai`i’s generosity and the publicity of the Share the Love campaign,” said HWF president Hannah Bernard. “We hope that other businesses recognize the importance of giving back to the community, so we can all work together to protect our natural resources and make Hawai`i a better place to live.”

ST. JUDE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH in Ocean View holds its Mardi Gras celebration tonight, Friday at 6:30 p.m. with food, music and dancing. Tickets are $12 for one or $20 for two, with proceeds going to renew the Philippines Mission. Call 939-7555 for more information and tickets.

FUNDRAISING FOR KA`U HOSPITAL’S emergency room by the Red Hat Ladies of Ka`u and Ka Lae Quilters continues tomorrow at 8 a.m. at Punalu`u Beach Park pavilion. Contributions are welcome. Call Barbara Beatty at 929-9072.

PEOPLE AND LAND OF KAHUKU, a guided hike, takes place tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain focuses on the area’s human history. Call 985-6011 for more information.

IN SPORTS, KA`U HIGH takes on Waiakea in wrestling tomorrow at 10 a.m. For all high school athletes, free physicals can be taken on Mondays and Wednesdays at the medical mobile van located near the band room on the Ka`u campus.