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, February 13, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Feb. 13, 2013

Jennifer Losalio and Sara Kamibayashi are new staff members at Na`alehu Public Library, allowing Debbie
Wong Yuen to return to Pahala Public & School Library four days a week.
PAHALA PUBLIC & SCHOOL LIBRARY has resumed hours, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Wi-Fi and free Internet access to all those with a library card, as well as use of four desktop and 24 laptop computers.
      The library also offers free Microsoft HI Tech Academy classes online and the new Gale Cengage Learning program Ed2Go, with access to free instructor-linked online classes. Courses range from accounting to Excel, Creating Web Pages, learning to be a Medical assistant, Assisting Aging Parents and Parenting to Algebra, Business Finance, Chemistry and Writing. Students can also prepare to take the ACT/SAT exams.
      Debbie Wong Yuen, who has managed both libraries, said filling two vacant positions at Na`alehu Public Library allows her to return to Pahala. She explained that for almost two years, Na`alehu and Pahala Public & School Library suffered a staffing shortage when two of three permanent library personnel retired, leaving one permanent employee.
      Though Pahala Library is larger and adjacent to Ka`u High School and intermediate and elementary schools, Na`alehu has been the more often used library in recent years. During the staff shortage, Pahala Public & School Library was affected by intermittent closures, with hours reduced to opening only on Mondays. Wong Yuen said public and school libraries can be operated only by permanent workers. She thanked those who offered to substitute and volunteer, “and for everyone’s patience during the days both libraries were affected with closures.” During the time without additional permanent staff, she kept the Na`alehu library open.
Pahala Library is open again four days a week, with four computers,
24 laptops and Internet for the public, as well as free online classes.
Photo by Julia Neal
      With Na`alehu Library now fully staffed, Wong Yuen, a Library Technician/Branch Manager, said the goal at Pahala is to extend the open days from Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays to five days a week with longer hours.
      While library cards are free to Hawai`i residents, non-residents have an option of a three-month card for $10 or a five-year card for $25. To replace a lost library card, the fee is $5.
      The library also has an extensive collection of DVDs which can be borrowed for one week with a $1 fee for each DVD. Also in the collection are many audiobooks, CDs and the latest adult fiction bestsellers. The public can browse the online catalog for any materials available in the Hawai`i State Public Library System and request for them to be brought to Pahala free of charge. Those with an e-Reader or iphone can download audiobooks through two e-book services: Overdrive and OneClickDigital.
      Wong Yuen said she encourages the community, teachers and students to make use of the many free services the library offers. “We need to show the State Librarian and the legislators that you want your public and school library to stay open. How can you help? By coming to your library often, checking out materials (books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, audiobooks) and using the computers. This will make a difference in the future of the library.”
      She also invited the public to stop by Na`alehu Public Library “and welcome on board Sara Kamibayashi, the new Librarian/Branch Manager, and Jennifer ‘Jen’ Losalio, the new Library Assistant, who will be happy to help you. Please thank them for accepting the positions that filled the two vacancies, which now allows Pahala Public & School Library to operate once again,” Wong Yuen said.

SHOCKED BY THE MURDER OF TWO WOMEN in Hilo yesterday, many Ka`u residents wondered what went wrong with a young man who spent time during his youth here. He went to school in Ka`u, and his late mother worked at a local school. Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto, 34, who most recently lived in Hilo, is in custody, suspected of murdering his girlfriend and her mother on Monday night at a Hilo home on Leilani Street. Pahala residents who knew the family said the victims are reported to be Elaine Ahu, 69, and her daughter Rhonda Ahu, 45. Police reported two children were found in the home, unharmed.
      Police ask for anyone with clues or evidence regarding this tragedy to get in touch with Detective Ernest Matsumoto at 961-2379 or ematsumoto@co.hawaii.hi.us. Information can also be given to Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or jfield@co.hawaii.hi.us. Those wanting to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and could receive a reward of up to $1,000.

Colleen Hanabusa
PRES. BARACK OBAMA gave his State of the Union Address for 2013 yesterday, calling for increasing revenues to balance the budget, cutting loopholes for large corporations and investing in education, particularly science and math, to help the U.S. remain competitive in world markets. 
      Civil Beat reports reactions from Hawai`i’s members in the U.S. Congress.
      Sen. Mazie K. Hirono: “As the President mentioned in his speech, expanding access to early childhood education is one of the smartest things we can do as a nation to ensure our economic future. Study after study has shown that early childhood education leads to increased educational achievement and employability later in life.”
      U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa: “We know that sequestration is the time bomb in the middle of the room; we need to defuse it now. There’s no doubt that the President appreciates the seriousness of the situation and is looking for a balanced approach to addressing the problem in an effective way. But deficit reduction alone is not a plan for economic growth. I’m anxious to look at the President’s Plan for a strong middle class and a strong America.”
David Chang
      U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz: “While we’ve made progress to get our economy back on track, the President’s commitment to a thriving clean energy economy ensures that we will get people back to work and continue to address climate change, the most urgent challenge of our generation.”
      U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: “I have long called for an end the war in Afghanistan and to bring our troops home as quickly and safely as possible. It is crucial not only to end this protracted war, but that we refocus on more pressing threats to our national security.”
      David Chang, Hawai`i Republican Party chairman: “President Obama’s State of the Union Address did not seriously address the most pressing issues Americans face: job creation and the economy. With 7.9 percent unemployment rate, $16.5 trillion national debt, a negative growth rate the last three months of 2012, and over 1,300 days without a budget from the United States Senate, it is time to get our fiscal house in order.”
      See more at www.civilbeat.com.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
SEQUESTRATION was the topic of yesterday’s speech by Ka`u’s new member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard. Wearing a maile lei, she addressed the U.S. House of Representatives, saying: “I rise today to speak about the devastating sequestration cuts that are set to take effect unless we, Congress, act by March 1. If these arbitrary, across-the-board cuts are allowed to occur, our military, our national security, and our communities will suffer. Hawai`i is one of the top ten states that will take the biggest hit. We have already seen these anticipated cuts playing out at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard, where 133 apprentices will not be hired and 30 temporary workers will lose their jobs. This is affecting real people, their families, as well as our military’s readiness. Times are tough, and we must all share in the sacrifice, but we cannot do so at the expense of our military readiness or on the backs of our middle-class families, seniors, and children.”
      Across the board cuts are already planned by federal agencies in Hawai`i from air traffic controllers to National Marine Fisheries to contractors at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the completion of Saddle Road improvements.

VALUE-ADDED AND SPECIALTY FOODS consultant Lou Cooperhouse presents “Food Business Basics: Getting Started and Finding Your Niche in the Specialty Foods Business” at Pahala Community Center Wednesday, March 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cooperhouse is the president of Food Spectrum, LLC, a management consulting company with expertise in business innovation and incubation.
      The workshop is designed for farmers seeking to develop their raw product into a value-added product and bring it to market, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs interested in diversifying their revenue streams with specialty food products, and established producers looking to take their food businesses to the next level. The Kohala Center and University of Hawai`i Maui College are sponsoring and facilitating the workshop, which is made possible by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program grant. The East Hawai`i Community Development Corporation is providing additional support.
Lou Cooperhouse
      Following Cooperhouse’s three-hour workshop, Nicole Milne, Agricultural Business Development specialist at The Kohala Center, presents two one-hour sessions focused on financial resources available to Hawai`i farmers and strategies for marketing agricultural products.
      Registration is $35 per participant in advance, and includes access to all three workshops and lunch. Participants may register online at laulimacenter.org/foodbasics.html or by calling 443-2755. Registration at the door is on a space-available basis for $50 per participant with lunch subject to availability.
      Cooperhouse will also conduct 30-minute one-on-one consulting sessions each afternoon with pre-selected workshop participants. Registrants interested in the one-on-one consultations must complete and submit a brief application by Friday, March 1. It is available for download at laulimacenter.org/pdf/FBB_Consult_App.pdf.
      Applicants will be notified by March 8 whether or not they are selected for the consultations, which are being offered at no additional charge.
      “Lou Cooperhouse’s workshops will prepare island agricultural producers and culinary entrepreneurs to enter the specialty foods industry,” Milne said. “These workshops will help participants understand the specialty foods marketplace, distribution channels and current and emerging food industry trends, while also helping them define their target audiences, unique selling propositions, and the importance of business and strategic planning.”
      More workshops are scheduled at Hawai`i TechWorks in Hilo Monday, March 11, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, March 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North Hawai`i Education and Research Center in Honoka`a.

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village hosts Valentine Jazz Club tomorrow at 7 p.m., featuring the Brandon Shannon Trio plus a comedy skit by Angie Libadisos and VAC CEO Tanya Aynessazian. Admission is $5. Call 967-8222 for more information. 

KA`U GOLF GROUP’S sixth annual golf tournament benefiting Ka`u Hospital takes place Friday. Entry fee of $75 includes golf cart and lunch. Register with Ron Young at 929-8390 or youngron19582@yahoo.com.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.