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, October 10, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013

Jackie Aprin gives free flu shots and free health exams at the HMSA van for the public at Ka`u High School in Pahala
and St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U AS A SPACEPORT LOCATION came up again as representatives of the defense and space travel industries converged on O`ahu this week to meet with state and NASA officials. According to a story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the interested parties gathered “in hopes of lighting a booster rocket under Hawai`i’s small but growing aerospace industry. There was futuristic talk of helping to colonize Mars and launching private spaceships during a news conference kicking off the Hawai`i Aerospace Summit on Monday, but officials insisted it wasn’t just pie-in-the-sky dreaming or the unrealistic fantasy of sci-fi geeks and space nerds,” reported Star-Advertiser writer Timothy Hurley.
Song K. Choi Photo from University of Hawai`i
      Hurley quoted Song K. Choi, from University of Hawai`i College of Engineering, saying, “Hawai`i is in a unique position to take off,” with hundreds of engineers desiring aerospace employment.
      Also bolstering the space industry is a new agreement between state aerospace development offices in Hawai`i and Alaska, which “pledged to make the Pacific a focus of aerospace development,” the Star-Advertiser story said. The island of Kodiak was mentioned as a possible satellite launch location. Ka`u was mentioned as having a history tied to space. The story reports that “Hawai`i island played host to the training of astronauts in the Apollo lunar missions. And while UH, the U.S. military and a number of companies have conducted aerospace-related research and development here for decades, an attempt to launch space rockets on Hawai`i Island at Ka`u in the ’80s and early ’90s failed to materialize despite assistance from the now-defunct state Office of Space Industry.”
      The Star-Advertiser reported Hawai`i Office of Aerospace Development director Jim Crisafulli saying, “Unfortunately, economics and politics were not aligned.”
      The article reported that industry officials, speaking at a news conference, “gushed about Hawai`i’s potential. They said the state is ideally suited for aerospace activities because of its mid-Pacific location, its scientific and engineering expertise and long-standing ties with the Asia-Pacific community. In addition, they said, Hawai`i’s relatively close locale near the equator and its moon- and Mars-like terrain offer a particular advantage.”
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Coffee standards are on the agenda today at 5 p.m. at Pahala
Community Center. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
A COFFEE STANDARDS PUBLIC HEARING is today at 5 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The state Department of Agriculture is holding the hearing to take input on proposed revisions to rules and regulations on coffee production and selling. The rules involve accurate grading and description of place of origin, establishing a definition of natural coffee as well as a Hawai`i Natural Prime Grade standard, and establishing recordkeeping requirements to help reduce theft and fraud. Also expected to be discussed is the ownership of the name Ka`u Coffee, which is the only major coffee origin name that is not under stewardship of the state.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

COMMON CORE IS THE NEW PROGRAM to bring up standards at schools in Ka`u and all through Hawai`i’s public school system. Focusing on math and language arts, Common Core has been implemented in 46 states and Washington, D.C., and Common Core testing will begin in the 2014-15 school year.
     Common Core has been described as setting standards easy to understand but rigorous. The National Education Association Center for Great Public Schools director came to Hawai`i this week and spoke to Hawai`i Business Roundtable yesterday. Bill Raabe said, according to a story in this morning’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, that “Common Core was a state-led effort to really put in place the kinds of standards that we want to use to ensure students are ready for college, if that’s their choice, or their careers, or both — to have our public schools system in a place where it’s preparing all kids for success.”
      Preparing teachers to work with Common Core and the students is key, said Raabe. “Developing the standards themselves was the easy part. Ensuring that teachers are prepared, the curriculum is right for teaching to the standards, the assessments are testing what’s being taught, ensuring that we’re taking what we’re learning from the assessments and designing meaningful professional development — all of that is an important piece.”
     In tandem with Common Core will be linking student testing and teacher performance to pay, teacher ratings and consequences. According to the Star-Advertiser story, teachers union chief Al Nagasako expressed some concern: “What Common Core does is it provides us a template, some targets that are clear: This is what all of our teachers need to be able to do. It also brings to light the fact that you’ve got teachers that are not qualified or not ready yet to teach at that level,” he said, adding that “we’re not about holding on to bad teachers.”
      Nagasako said teachers will need more professional development assistance “to get our teachers up to par to be able to teach at that high level.” More professional development days for teachers were added into the union contract for teachers this year.
      See more at staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Bobby Jean Leithead Todd
QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT CHIEF are tied up in court, where Ka`u County Council member Brenda Ford has brought a case, contending that the position should be held by a person whose background fits the requirements of the law. 
      Ford filed suit after the appointment of former planning director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd to the head the department of Environmental Management. While she has been both county planning and environmental management director in the past, she has a law degree instead of an engineering or related degree, which is required through a county charter amendment approved in the 2010 general election. The vote to establish educational requirements for the position was 34,109 to 9,787.
      When Mayor Billy Kenoi appointed Leithead Todd to run Environmental Management, Ford and Council members Karen Eoff, of North Kona, and Margaret Wille, of Kohala, voted no, based on the requirement, they said.
      The county asked to intervene in the case to defend Leithead Todd, but Third Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra denied county participation in the case, according to a story by Nancy Cook Lauer in this morning’s West Hawai`i Today. See more at westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HMSA Medical Van is open to the public each week, either in
Ocean View or Pahala. Photo from HMSA
FREE HEALTH EXAMS ARE AVAILABLE today in the HMSA Medical Van at St. Jude’s Church in Ocean View until 4 p.m. and again next Monday, Oct. 14, Tuesday, Oct. 15 and Thursday, Oct. 17. The HMSA Medical Van will also be in Pahala on the school grounds near the band room on Monday, Oct. 21, Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Thursday, Oct. 24, as well as Monday, Oct. 28, Tuesday, Oct. 29 and Thursday, Oct. 31. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to free exams for the public, nurse practitioner Jackie Aprin offers free physicals for school athletes and free flu shots.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

IN SPORTS, KA`U HIGH TROJANS BEAT THE KEA`AU COUGARS last night at home in girls volleyball. The varsity team, under coach Joshua Ortega, won in four sets, 20-25, 25-17, 25-15 and 25-15.
      Jayvee also won in three sets, 25-15, 19-25 and 15-12, under coach Otis Salmo. This Saturday, Oct. 12, Ka`u hosts Makua Lani at 10 a.m. It will be senior game, honoring team members graduating in 2014.
      In Air Riflery, Kamrie Koi qualified for the Individual Championship this Saturday in Kona at 10 a.m.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

DAUGHTERS OF FIRE, the novel by Volcano resident Tom Peek, is on the road starting with events in Portland, Oregon this evening and traveling to Seattle, Vancouver, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Detroit and Ann Arbor, and the San Francisco Bay area. The book has many connections to Ka`u, including fictional accounts of places and people, one of them a Native Hawaiian archaeologist from Pahala. See the schedule of book events on the tour at daughtersoffire.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

A JURIED ART EXHIBIT CELEBRATING Hawai`i’s tea industry opens tomorrow at Volcano Art Center’s Rainforest Gallery in Volcano Village. Entitled HI Tea, the exhibit in collaboration with Tea Hawai`i & Co.’s first annual Community Cup Tour is open daily through Sunday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S NI`AULANI CAMPUS in Volcano Village also hosts a monthly Pottery Sale Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., when four Hawai`i Island potters sell their wares. Call 985-8530 or see ryhpottery.com.

KA`U PLANTATION DAYS is Saturday, with a parade at 9 a.m. on Maile and Huapala Streets in Pahala followed by an opening pule by Kahu Debbie Wong Yuen. The event includes displays and activities by organizations representing many ethnic groups. Na`alehu Hongwanji, Hawaiian Civic Club, Pahala Seniors, Friends of the Library, Hawaiian groups with music, hula, arts, crafts and dance, Puerto Rican heritage and music are among the offerings. 
      Hula Halau O Leionalani, under the direction of kumu hula Debbie Ryder, will perform along with Demetrius Oliviera.
      Also performing will be kachi kachi band El Leo, with Ka`u’s state senator, Russell Ruderman.
      The event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pahala Plantation Manager’s House is sponsored by the Ka`u Multicultural Society. Call Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740.