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, November 21, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013

A Ka`u Community Floating Lantern Ceremony to honor deceased loved ones will be held Saturday, Nov. 30 at Punalu`u Beach, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Photo by Julia Neal
QUALITIES OF RURAL COMMUNITIES gain recognition today, Nov. 21, National Rural Health Day. Ka`u Rural Health Community Association is honored for its contributions with a certificate from the Hawai`i State Legislature. The message says that, at their best, “rural communities possess a strong sense of unity where everyone has a voice, people know each other, listen to and respect each other and work together for the greater good. Rural communities are fueled by the creative energy of their community leaders – everyday people willing to step forward, share and implement a vision and drive changes that benefit their neighbors.”
      The statement notes that “rural doesn’t necessarily mean ‘remote’ – diverse economic, cultural and recreational opportunities abound in rural communities.” It also states that the main emphasis of rural health care has always been providing affordable, holistic, primary care – a model to follow as health care transitions to a wellness/prevention-based system with rural hospitals, clinics, centers and “healthcare practices that are the economic foundation of their communities and are typically the largest employers that ensure a healthy workforce.”
      The statement says that “rural communities are locations where physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists, dental hygienists, licensed social workers and other practitioners have the unique opportunity to establish their own practices and provide quality healthcare services.” It says that “addressing the shortage of healthcare providers is one of the greatest health issues – and one of the greatest economic issues – facing rural communities today.”
      The message from the state Legislature mentions the Affordable Care Act, saying that, though it “may make health care more affordable for rural communities, it doesn’t necessarily make it more accessible – fragile infrastructures and geographic barriers must be addressed in order to ensure that basic healthcare needs are met.”
      The Legislature’s statement says that “healthcare needs of rural residents are as unique as the communities in which they live; those needs cannot be addressed by utilizing a generic ‘one size fits all’ approach – programs and policies must be flexible enough to allow rural communities to identify and address the unique needs of their residents.”
      The legislators applaud Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. and Hawai`i Island Rural Health Community Association in their efforts to “play a critical role by leading efforts to help Hawai`i Island rural communities address their unique healthcare needs.” They congratulate the organizations’ many dedicated community leaders and partners who “continue to volunteer their time, energy, and resources to ensure the health and well-being of Hawai`i Island’s rural communities.”
      For more on National Rural Health Day, see celebratepowerofrural.org.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

State Senate Ag Committee chair
Clarence Nishihara
State House Ag Committee chair
Jessica Wooley
STATE PRE-EMPTION OF COUNTY LAWS is likely to become an issue in the GMO debate, according to a story in Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
      At question is whether recently passed bills in Hawai`i and Kaua`i Counties regarding genetically modified organisms are compatible with existing state and federal laws.
      State Sen. Clarence Nishihara, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he would likely propose a state pre-emption bill during the next legislative session in January if Gov. Neil Abercrombie does not act before then.
      The Star-Advertiser also reports state Rep. Jessica Wooley, chair of the House Agriculture Committee saying, “I would not support pre-emption unless we had some significant guarantees in place for all the people who have been so concerned about this issue.” 
      In a statement, Christine Hirasa, an Abercrombie spokesperson, said, “The governor recognizes and respects the passionate views expressed on this subject. The administration supports local farmers who are vital to Hawai`i’s long-term sustainability and is working to expand our agriculture industry.
      “Any decisions to impose additional regulations above and beyond those already established by federal regulatory agencies should be based on proven science. The administration will continue to work toward a regulatory structure that protects and balances the needs of farmers, Hawai`i’s agricultural industry and the people of Hawai`i.”
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

442nd members from Ka`u, Iwao Yonemitsu (l)
and Toku Nakano. Photo by Julia Neal
NONAGENARIAN IWAO YONEMITSU, A 442ND VET, shared his World War II experience with students at Ka`u High school this week. Yonemitsu, 90, and a resident of Na`alehu, told one of several classes that “war is not something you want to get into. War should be a last resort.” When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Yonemitsu had traveled from his Ka`u home to attend college at University of Hawai`i Manoa. He served in the ROTC. “At U.H., it was required,” he said.
      After the Japanese attacked, his ROTC unit joined the Hawai`i Territorial Guard to protect Honolulu. “After six weeks, however, those of Japanese descent were asked to leave,” Yonemitsu noted.
      He left O`ahu for Hawai`i Island and landed a job at the sugar company. Just six months later, volunteers for World War II were called, and he and other Japanese Americans signed up to show their loyalty to the U.S. and their personal identity as Americans. During the war he served in Europe and became a Buck Sergeant with three stripes. The 442nd, comprised of Japanese Americans, was the most decorated during the war, and Yonemitsu has received numerous honors, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2011. He said war was much different then. “We didn’t have to contend with IEDs and enemy behind our backs,” like in the more recent Middle East wars. 
      Yonemitsu told the students that he learned a lot about the world and America when traveling in the military. In southern states like Mississippi, he witnessed racial discrimination and learned about the practice of sharecropping and restrooms with signs White and Colored. During the war, 45 of the 250 members of his company in the 442nd were killed. He said he knew 25 of them. “Negotiate before you go into battle,” he advised the young people.
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KA`U RESIDENTS CAN JOIN VOLCANO ART CENTER and attend Christmas in the Country’s opening event tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Events for members also take place earlier in the day tomorrow at VAC’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. The VAC Programs Sneak Preview exhibit showcases artists who will teach workshops and classes in the upcoming year. Also, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., adults and children can take in free art activities, including Make Your Own Holiday Card and Paint the Volcano, in Hale Ho`omana Education Building.
      The celebration continues on Saturday at VAC Gallery beginning at 9 a.m. with the annual wreath exhibit, unique handmade ornaments for sale, demonstrations by well known local artists, book and print signings and a visit by Santa Claus.
      Volcano artist Dietrich Varez and author David Eyre sign their books and prints on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nancee Cline joins them from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to signing her book, Queen Emma’s Church in Kealakekua, Crossroads of Culture.
      Caren Loebel-Fried demonstrates block carving and printing on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. She will also sign and personalize her books and prints.
      In advance of Volcano Art Center’s 40th anniversary in 2014, a limited edition poster has been created that features a dramatic photo of the active Halema`ma`u crater by architect and photographer Boone Morrison. Morrison signs posters at VAC Gallery on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Posters are available for purchase.
      All activities and demos are free of charge; park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 967-7565.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT meets at Royal Hawaiian Orchards Macadamia Field Office today at 4 p.m. For more information, call Jeff McCall at 928-6456.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND SPONSORS A KA`U COAST CLEANUP Saturday. Volunteers meet at 7:45 a.m. at Wai`ohinu Park to carpool to Kamilo Beach. HWF is looking for people with four-wheel-drive vehicles to transport volunteers. Register with coordinator Megan Lamson at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

The first 100 to sign up will receive lanterns to
decorate with the names of loved ones.
Photo by Julia Neal
ST. JUDE’S CHURCH AT PARADISE CIRCLE AND KEAKA in Ocean View hosts events this weekend. Saturday is the church’s annual plant sale fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. There will also be baked goods, coffee, books, gourmet mustards and slightly used items for sale.
      An interfaith service of thanksgiving takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. with speakers from the Christian Science church, the Tibetan Buddhist Mission, Wood Valley and Shepherds from Ka`u. All are welcome to share in this non-denominational service and bring some food to share.

A FLOATING LANTERN CEREMONY in waters off Punalu`u Beach Park will light up the tidepools on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. has announced. The ceremony is called the Ka`u Community Floating Lantern Ceremony, Honoring Past, Present and Future Generations. The ceremony will be accompanied by a Community Thanksgiving Potluck, Taiko drummers, music and cultural dance, followed by the lantern release. Floating lanterns for inscribing messages and decorating will be provided to the first 100 registrants. Pre-registrations are being taken. Call Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc., which is co-sponsoring the Floating Lantern Ceremony with health insurer HMSA, at 928-0101. Sign up at the Ka`u Resource & Distance Learning Center. The first Floating Lantern Ceremony in recent years, sponsored by the same organizations, was held on Nov. 26, 2011.

HAWAI`I HONEY FESTIVAL IS SATURDAY at Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring the fourth annual statewide Hawai`i Natural Honey Challenge, beekeeping demonstrations, music and food. See hawaiihoneyfestival.com.

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

ALSO SEE KAUCALENDAR.COM AND FACEBOOK.COM/KAUCALENDAR.