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.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, September 9, 2013

After heavy rains Saturday night, chocolate waves washed onto Green Sands Beach. Gulches flowed, and the water
turned brown from sediment running into the ocean. Photo by Shalan Crysdale
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD OPPOSES President Barack Obama’s proposed U.S. military intervention in Syria. She made her decision after returning to Washington early last week for the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the situation in Syria and attending several classified briefings with Administration officials and meetings with her colleagues in the House and Senate. 
      “I am sickened and outraged by the carnage and loss of lives caused by the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” Gabbard said. “It is with gravity that I have carefully considered all the facts, arguments and evidence and soberly weighed concerns regarding our national security and moral responsibility. As a result, I have come to the conclusion that a U.S. military strike against Syria would be a serious mistake. I will therefore vote against a resolution that authorizes the use of military force in Syria. I will also strongly urge my colleagues to do the same.
Ka`u's U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
      “The reasons behind my decision are many. Here are a few:
  • As a soldier, I understand that before taking any military action, our nation must have a clear tactical objective, a realistic strategy, the necessary resources to execute that strategy – including the support of the American people – and an exit plan. The proposed military action against Syria fails to meet any of these criteria. 
  • Presently, Syria does not present a direct security threat to the United States. Military action will undermine our national defense, as even a limited strike could very easily escalate into a regional conflict, stretching thin a military that has been at war for more than 12 years. 
  • We should learn from history; we cannot afford to be the world’s policeman. The United States should not insert itself in the midst of this civil war, which is rooted in sectarian hatred and animosity between various warring religious groups. 
      “All Americans are saddened and angered by the carnage that has resulted from the use of these chemical weapons. However, even after the many hearings and classified briefings I have attended, I am unconvinced that this military strike would eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons or prevent them from being used again. Indeed, the risk may increase, due to the possibility these weapons could fall into the hands of Syrian opposition group factions such as Al-Qaida, who we can be confident would use them without hesitation.”
      Gabbard joins Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in opposition to the plan. Sen. Mazie Hirono has yet to announce her decision.
      To comment on or “Like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HTA president and CEO Mike McCartney
“HAWAI`I’S TOURISM ECONOMY HAS DONE WELL, and we are pleased with year-over-year increases in visitor expenditures and arrivals,” said Mike McCartney, Hawai`i Tourism Authority president and CEO. Statistics from HTA show that 2012 was a record year, with 2013 arrivals up 5.5 percent and expenditures up 5.7 percent year-to-date. 
      “Our overall economy is recovering with low unemployment and a strong state budget, which is a direct result of the collective efforts of our visitor industry and goodwill from our community,” McCartney said. “In order for us to maintain this momentum, it is important that we continue to invest in our destination, and we are grateful for the renewed funding from the Hawai`i State Legislature to achieve this.
      “We must be innovative and work harder to remain price competitive, while offering a quality and authentic visitor experience that best highlights our people, place and culture.
      “We must remember that it is our collective efforts that have led to our recovery. It is important for us to continue to work together to maintain this momentum and build upon the success of our visitor industry to further Hawai`i’s economic recovery into 2014,” McCartney concluded.
      To comment on or “Like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

LATEST STATISTICS FROM HAWAI`I TOURISM AUTHORITY show activity in July. Visitors who came to Hawai`i during the month spent a total of $1.3 billion, similar to last year. 
      Total arrivals, which have shown consecutive growth since Sept. 2011, rose 4.6 percent to 757,969 visitors.
      However, these visitors spent less on a daily basis (-3.7 percent to $185 per person), and their average length of stay was slightly shorter (9.36 days, down from 9.49 days) compared to July 2012.
HTA introduced potential visitors to Punalu`u Black Sand Beach on
its website gohawaii.com.
      Arrivals by air from U.S. west increased 3.8 percent to 310,710 visitors in July, the 20th month of continuous growth. Lower daily spending (-2.7 percent to $146 per person) netted $437.8 million in total U.S. west expenditures, about the same as July 2012.
      Likewise, there was virtually no growth in total U.S. east visitor expenditures ($353.2 million) compared to last July, as increased arrivals (+5.3 percent to 177,162 visitors) were offset by lower daily spending.
      After 23 months of consecutive increases, arrivals from Japan dropped 2.9 percent to 128,363 visitors in July. These visitors spent significantly less on a daily basis (-16.5 percent to $250 per person), resulting in a 19.1 percent decline in total visitor expenditures to $197.8 million.
      In contrast, the Canadian market saw a 10.6 percent growth in total visitor expenditures (to $51.6 million), boosted by growth in arrivals (+3.3 percent to 26,237 visitors) and higher daily spending.
      Arrivals from all other markets increased 15.4 percent to 115,016 visitors, led by double-digit growth from Oceania (+37.4 percent) and other Asia (+19.9 percent) compared to July 2012. Combined total expenditures from all other visitors increased 12.6 percent to $275.1 million.
      One out-of-state cruise ship came to Hawai`i in July compared to zero out-of-state cruise ships in July 2012. Total cruise visitors (by cruise ship and by air) rose 3.1 percent.
      Total visitor expenditures increased on Hawai`i Island (+9.4 percent) compared to July 2012.
      Total air seats in July increased 3.2 percent to 995,526 seats, with double-digit growth in scheduled seats from Oceania (+42.5 percent) and Other Asia (+12.5 percent).
      See more at hawaiitourismauthority.org.
      To comment on or “Like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY IS ASKING FOODIES IN KA`U and across the state and country to nominate their favorite green restaurants for Nature’s Plate, a second annual people’s choice contest to find each area’s top green restaurant. “Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or a meat-eater, it’s a good bet the healthiest and tastiest food on your table came from nature,” said TNC executive director Suzanne Case. “From the taro lo`i that provides yummy poi to the apple bananas soaking up the sun at the farm in the country, to locally raised beef – healthy food needs a healthy planet.” 
      Nominations are open through next Monday, Sept. 16. Semifinal voting begins Tuesday, Oct. 1, and the winners will be announced Thursday, Oct. 17.
      “Some of our food-related conservation solutions in Hawai`i are among our most innovative and pragmatic,” Case said. “Whether we are working with communities to restore the He`eia ahupua`a and put poi on everyone’s plate, to helping families preserve their ranch land on Hawai`i Island, we are showing conservation and economics go hand-and-hand – and right to your plate.
      “While the contest is focused on restaurants, it’s only the start of a conversation about food, conservation and our work with farmers, fishermen, winemakers, and ranchers.”
      To vote, visit nature.org/naturesplate13 and click on Hawai`i.
      For more information, contact Case at scase@tnc.org or 808-587-6201.
      To comment on or “Like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A planning meeting for October's Ka`u Planation Days takes place
Wednesday. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U’S COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD holds a talk story at Pahala Community Center today at 6:30 p.m. Ford seeks input from her constituents regarding naming of the new gym/shelter and other issues. 

A STAFF MEMBER FROM U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD’S office visits Pahala Public & School Library Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as part of Gabbard’s districtwide constituent outreach program. The program, called Tulsi in Your Town, allows Gabbard’s local staff members in every county to assist with casework and other issues. A staff member visits Pahala on the second Wednesday of every month.
      For more information, contact Blaise De Lima at 
blaise.delima@mail.house.gov or 
(808) 987-5698.

KA`U PLANTATION DAYS ORGANIZERS hold a meeting to plan the Oct. 12 event Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. For more information, contact Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740 or dpvierra@yahoo.com.

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS VARSITY VOLLEYBALL downed Parker at home Saturday. Scores were 25-6, 25-14, 25-8. Next match for the lady Trojans is on Wednesday, hosting Christian-Liberty Academy at 6 p.m.

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