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.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013

Taiko drummers helped celebrate the Ka`u Community Lantern Floating Ceremony at Punalu`u Beach Park yesterday to honor past, present and future generations. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I RANKS BEST IN THE NATION according to The Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013, a national scorecard that analyzed 30 indicators within four dimensions.
      Hawai`i ranks in the top quartile for three of four system dimensions – Access to Affordability, Potentially Avoidable Hospital Use, and Healthy Lives. Hawai`i ranks in the second quartile for the fourth indicator, Prevention and Treatment.
      There are currently 292,000 individuals enrolled in Hawai`i Med-QUEST programs, which are administered through the Department of Human Services.
Gene Beck, Matthew Gravela and Demetrius Oliveira bring
music to the post-Thanksgiving dinner at the lantern
ceremony. Photo by Julia Neal
      “This 2013 Commonwealth Fund scorecard demonstrates that Hawai`i is on the right track to improving access to affordable health care, and the state Med-QUEST division is leading the way,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has made healthcare transformation a top priority of his administration. “Our healthcare system supports the optimum health of all state residents by providing a seamless, integrated and comprehensive healthcare system. This approach consistently demonstrates high-quality care and a commitment to cost-effectiveness. It also enhances the patient experience and engages patients in their own healthcare decisions.”
      For low-income populations whose standard of living is 200 percent of the federal poverty level, Hawai`i reported the second lowest percentage of uninsured adults, the second lowest percentage of uninsured children, and the lowest percentage of adults who went without health care in the past year due to cost.
      Hawai`i also is ranked first for the lowest rate of potentially avoidable hospital use and second for the lowest rate of potentially avoidable emergency department visits for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and first for the lowest rate of poor health related quality of life for low-income adults 18-64 years old.
      “It’s the prevention component that makes the difference,” said DHS director Patricia McManaman. “When vulnerable individuals have access to affordable and reliable medical services, they are more likely to visit their doctor on a regular basis. The Commonwealth Fund scorecard reflects the commitment of our healthcare providers to our community.”
      While Hawai`i is ranked the top state, it ranked below average on four indicators – older adult preventive care, surgical care to prevent complications, hospital 30-day mortality and hospital discharge instructions for home recovery.
      To read the complete scorecard, see commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Fund-Reports/2013/Sep/Low-Income-Scorecard.aspx.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Movie from NASA/ESA SOHO satellite shows ISON's pass
near the sun. Image courtesy of Lew Cook
THE DEATH OF COMET ISON was prematurely declared over Thanksgiving weekend, says The Ka`u Calendar’s space and stars writer Lew Cook. After the BBC reported that European Space Agency experts “called the death of the comet at about 21:30 GMI” on Thanksgiving Day, a bright light started to grow along the comet’s previously expected course, and the comet appeared to be reborn. “Wow! Comet ISON has brightened a lot in the last few hours!” Cook reported. The comet passed within one solar diameter of the surface of the sun. 
      “Telescopes saw the giant ball of ice and dust disappear behind the sun but only a dull streamer re-emerge.” The BBC reported that the center of the comet “had gone out with a whimper.” Apparently, however, the nucleus of the comet survived for awhile. Cook reported yesterday, however, that “it appears that Comet ISON has fizzled out. It appears there will be no spectacular show for December. Was the post-perihelion show the last gasp for the comet? I suspect it was,” said Cook.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON A RECENTLY RELEASED draft document for the Ka`u Community Development Plan is due two weeks from tomorrow on Monday, Dec. 16. Appendix V4C: Local Economic Development Plan Analysis is available to read at area libraries and community centers and online at kaucdp.info. The public can submit testimony using feedback forms found with the reference documents and on the website. The appendix discusses opportunities in various sectors of Ka`u’s economy, including tourism.
      “Ka`u is a natural draw to much of the visitor profile, including experience-seekers, culture-seekers, adventure-seekers, and those interested in agri-tourism, health and wellness, edu-tourism and eco-tourism. Such visitors spend $90 million per year in and around Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park,” the draft document states. “However, Ka`u currently captures very little of the economic gains from the visitor market.”
Ka`u CDP's draft Appendix V4C: Local Economic Development Plan Analysis discusses
the district's tourism sector of the economy.
      The analysis suggests that by pursuing initiatives that preserve Ka`u’s natural and cultural resources, perpetuate Ka`u’s traditions and are scaled to strengthen its sense of community, history and identity, real connections and relationships of reciprocity can be made with people from around the world who visit Ka`u.
      “Consistent with the place-based, Native Hawaiian ho`okipa model, the focus should be on:
  • Place-Based Investments in the protection, preservation, and sustainment of Ka`u’s people, culture, and natural resources; 
  • Agri-/ Eco-/ Edu-/ and Wellness Tourism; and 
  • Authentic Experiences for Repeat Visitors.
      “Such a strategy is a natural complement to other growth sectors in Ka`u, like agriculture, ecosystem services, health and wellness and the creative, education, and research sectors,” the document says.

      “At the same time, a strategy for developing a place-based visitor experience should account for the following factors:
  • Contingencies Against Unforeseen External Factors: Because Hawai`i tourism is so sensitive to external factors, any specific visitor strategy should have contingencies included in the approach. Importantly, because the ho`okipa model focuses on place-based investments and authentic experiences, any strategy will first serve the people of Ka`u and therefore benefit the community regardless of fluctuations in the visitor industry. 
  • Potential Increase in Retiree Visitors: As the population continues to age it would be reasonable to expect that the proportion of retirees as a percentage of visitors may increase, which would influence the type of experiences they expect and the associated opportunities for economic development ventures. 
  • Online Presence: To reach the discerning visitor, Ka`u will need a user-friendly online presence for computers and mobile devices.
       To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Walking off the turkey and cleaning Hwy 11 are Ocean View Community Association volunteers Gil Robinson, Mike Last, Cindy Clements and Melissa Tveter. Photo by Mo Clements
WALK THE TURKEY OFF was the event sponsored by Ocean View Community Association yesterday. OVCA takes care of a two-mile stretch along Hwy 11 and cleans it four times a year with volunteers from the community as part of a statewide Adopt-a-Highway Litter Control program. Coming up is the Ocean View Community Association annual Keiki Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m.

Participants in the lantern ceremony honored their
loved ones, including the late Keala Kailiawa.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U COMMUNITY FLOATING LANTERN CEREMONY drew people to Punalu`u Beach Park yesterday. The program, sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. in partnership with HMSA featured taiko drumming, the music of Keoki Kahumoku and kids and the music of Demetrius Oliveira, Gene Beck and Matthew Gravella. Participants built their own small rafts, each with a battery candle surrounded by paper with decorations and writings for loved ones. The lanterns floated in the tidepool near the pavillion and were retrieved at the end of the ceremony. Ka`u Rural Health Community Association President Donna Kekoa said she looks forward to the event continuing next year.

THE KA`U FARM BUREAU'S ANNUAL MEETING scheduled for Monday, Dec. 9 has been postponed until sometime in January, according to Farm Bureau members. During the annual meeting, members will elect officers for 2014. Officers for 2013 are president Chris Manfredi, vice president Phil Becker, treasurer Lorie Obra and secretary Brenda Iokepa-Moses. Farmers and businesses that work with farmers are invited to join. The Farm Bureau testifies on behalf of its members to county, state and federal government, assists with the Ka`u Coffee Festival, operates a website at kaucoffeeexchange.com, organizes education and funding opportunities for farmers and hosts speakers for public meetings. During 2013, testimony from president Chris Manfredi, representing Ka`u Farm Bureau, included opposing GMO regulations, supporting a new water line to serve farmers and ranchers in Ka`u and supporting the overall agenda of the statewide Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation for which Manfredi was a liaison to the state Legislature.
       According to the Hawai`i Farm Bureau website, for its members, the Farm Bureau offers Aloha Air Cargo discounts for ag shipments, medical and dental insurance, discounts of prescription drugs at pharmacies, vehicle insurance, banking through Hawai`i USA Federal Credit Union and the Farm Bureau Bank, a five percent discount on transpacific Hawaiian Airlines tickets when booked online, discounts on Avis and Budget rental cars and at various hotels and discounts on purchasing Chevrolet, GMC and Buick vehicles. See Hawai`i Farm Bureau Federation website at http://hfbf.org.
       Annual dues are $95 for the Ka`u Farm Bureau. The application is available at http://hfbf.org/PDF/Membership%20Application.pdf.

Hawaiian Nativity Scene presented by Dorothy Antolin. Photo by Julia Neal
VOLCANO VILLAGE ART STUDIO TOUR continues today until 4 p.m., featuring items on display and available for purchase. A drawing for pieces contributed by each artist is held at the end of the sale. Maps are available at Volcano Village businesses and at VolcanoVillageArtistsHui.com.
      For more information, call 987-3472 or email eherb@hawaii.rr.com.

HAWAIIAN NATIVITY SCENE, this one presented by Dorothy Antolin, is one of the many from around the wold on display at Na`alehu Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. this evening. The non-demoninational event, called the Creche Festival, is for everyone. It features music in an artistic setting, local creche artists, a gallery of nativities and children's rooms with costumes and activites. Yesterday's presentation featured Christmas songs played on a tuba.
      For more information, call 339-7402.

Gloria Camba encourages everyone to attend tomorrow's
concert and to keep giving to victims of the typhoon.
Photo by Julia Neal
FUNDRAISER FOR THE PHILIPPINES disaster victims of typhoon Haiyan, that destroyed Tacloban, and the Bohol earthquake is tomorrow at Hilo Civic Auditorium, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Organizing the event is Margarita Day Day Hopkins, of Hilo Visayan Club and a supporter of economic development for displaced sugar workers in Ka`u. Co-sponsoring is the county immigration office and Rose Bautista, as well as Dr. Norman Arancon and Dr. Rodney Jubilado.
      Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative president Gloria Camba said she encourages everyone to support their brothers and sisters in the Visayan districts of the Philippines, hard hit by the back-to-back disasters.
      Performing will be dancers from the Hilo Visayan Club and the Bayanihan Club of University of Hawai`i at Hilo, the Hawaiian Band, Two Souls and singers Keahi Conjugation, Kristian Lei, Lenny Castillo and Norman Arancon.
      Congress of Visayan Organizations, a nonprofit group, will use money raised to directly support victims. The organization requests a $20 donation from adults and $5 from students for admission to the fundraiser.
     To donate directly, contact Hopkins at dayday@hawaii.rr.com or 938-0474 or drop by R&G Store in Pahala or Will & Grace Store in Na`alehu.

PAHALA CHRISTMAS PARADE IS A WEEK from today on Sunday, Dec. 8. The 35th annual parade begins at 1 p.m., with Santa handing out candy to keiki and making an appearance at Ka`u Hospital. Community groups, coffee farmers, the fire department and many more join in this holiday celebration. To participate, call Eddie Andrade at 928-0808.