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.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Traditional Hawaiian blessing with maile lei opened Bay Clinic in Na`alehu for a public inspection and celebration yesterday.
Photo by Joe Febo/Hana Hou Photography
BAY CLINIC’S EXPANSION in Na`alehu opened up for public inspection and celebration yesterday. The new medical, dental and mental health center is along Hwy 11 next to the old Bay Clinic building. Bay Clinic board chair Dawn Hawkins noted that the original facility opened 17 years ago in Na`alehu in response to the shutdown of the sugar industry, which provided health care to many people. Ten years later Bay Clinic secured state, federal and private funding to expand. The name is Ka`u Family Health and Dental Center, which is able to see an additional 3,400 patients a year with a total of 8,500 additional visits.
    Bay Clinic CEO is Harold Wallace.
Bay Clinic board member Tanya Aynessazian (left), CEO Harold Wallace
and other board members meet Ka`u residents at the grand opening in
Na`alehu yesterday. Photo by Joe Febo/Hana Hou Photography
    Bay Clinic board member Raylene Moses said the new facility is “a long time coming and overdue. I am grateful that the Ka`u community will continue to have quality health care.”
     Ka`u Hawaiian Civic Club president Blossom DeSilva, a former Bay Clinic board member, said, “Because we have the community input and patients giving their comments, we have a facility designed for the people here.
      “Many community organizations in Ka`u helped by raising money locally. We are very happy.”
     Board member and past chair Tanya Aynessazian said, “My hope is that we can secure funding for transportation to bring people from Ocean View,” which recently lost its clinic with 4,000 patient visits a year. People interested in supporting this should contact Bay Clinic, she recommended.
      Bay Clinic, Inc. is a network of eight community health centers serving East Hawai`i’s families. According to its website, “We deliver quality, affordable and community-directed health care to thousands of Big Island residents regardless of insurance status. Bay Clinic provides affordable care on a sliding fee scale based upon income level. We provide primary medical care, behavioral health care and dental care to our community and work to ensure our community has accessible, affordable, and high quality health care services.
     “We care for 18,314 Big Island residents, with 71,288 visits. We are the third largest community health center network in our state and the largest private nonprofit health care provider on our island.
      Bay Clinic has adopted the Patient Centered Medical Home model of care.
      For more, see bayclinic.org.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said capital improvement projects have
strengthened the local economy.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION INITIATIVES are on Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s agenda for the 2014 Legislature, which begins Wednesday, Jan. 16. During the 2013 Legislature, Abercrombie had sought $31 million over the next two years for early learning programs, but the Legislature appropriated only $7.16 million. 
      Abercrombie discussed this and other priorities at a Chamber of Commerce of Hawai`i luncheon where he and Finance director Kalbert Young outlined the state’s fiscal situation and economic outlook. They announced that the state ended fiscal year 2013 with a positive fund balance of $844 million. The state’s positive balance marks a $1.1 billion turn-around since the governor took office.
      “Through difficult but necessary financial control measures implemented by the Abercrombie Administration in fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013, the state gradually increased its ending balances every year since the start of the administration,” according to a statement from the governor’s office. “By carefully managing the state’s financial resources, affordable and sustainable contracts were negotiated with the majority of public workers. The state was also able to recapitalize reserves for the rainy day and hurricane relief funds in the amount of $211 million, and critical government services like agricultural inspections are being restored.
      “Furthermore, $1.2 billion was expended in fiscal year 2013 for priority capital improvement projects that invest in state infrastructure and facilities while serving to strengthen the local economy and generate job opportunities (another $2.2 billion has been appropriated for fiscal year 2014). As of Oct. 2013, Hawai`i’s unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, one of the lowest in the United States, compared with the national unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.
      “We have worked diligently to stabilize and grow our economy and fiscal situation during my first three years of office,” Abercrombie said. “With additional state revenues and a positive economic outlook, we are now in a better situation to address key social and community issues like early education, environmental protection, homelessness and support for our seniors. Only with a strong economy and sound financial management can we adequately address these important issues, which require significant resources in addition to the will to do so.
      The governor told Civil Beat the carryover balance gives the state the capacity to invest in the pre-school initiative. He said he hopes the Legislature recognizes the importance of the program and provides more funding, arguing that it will be hard for lawmakers to justify going against it.
      See more at civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Po Mahina's chicks, here at 35 days old, have fledged.
Photo from Keauhou Bird Conservation Center
KEAUHOU BIRD CONSERVATION CENTER holds its annual open house next Saturday and Sunday, Dec.14 and 15. Visitors get an up-close look at some of Hawai`i’s rarest birds and learn about the facility’s avian conservation efforts. Some of the birds at the center are `Alala (Hawaiian Crow), Palila, Kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill) and Puaiohi (Small Kauai Thrush).
      Another breeding season with `alala at KBCC has flown by. Research associate Amy Kuhar reported that Po Mahina’s chicks have fledged. At around noon on day 45, the male nestling became a fledgling. The chick was perched at the ledge of the nest platform facing the nest, and he leaned a little bit too far backward, losing his balance and falling off.
      “The chick’s ungraceful dismount had us racing up to the aviary to see if he was okay,” Kuhar said. “The chick was crouched down on the ground with his feathers a little ruffled, but after a quick physical exam, we determined he wasn’t hurt but probably just a little stunned from the fall.”
      A couple of hours later that same day, the younger chick, after carefully considering the jump from the nest, opened her wings and hopped to a nearby perch.
      According to Kuhar, `alala fledglings in the wild can’t fly well for the first few weeks after fledging and spend a lot of time in the understory of the forest. This is when they are most vulnerable to predators like the `io (Hawai`i’s native hawk), cats and mongooses.
      “Our parent-reared chicks seemed to follow the same pattern,” Kuhar said. “They stayed on perches lower to the ground for the first couple of weeks, sometimes making clumsy attempts to fly before crashing and tumbling to the ground, just like a new toddler learning to walk. Po Mahina paid close attention to them, bringing food to them often. Slowly, the chicks have learned to eat on their own, and now they eagerly come down to their food pans when they are fed every morning. However, they still love to beg to Po Mahina, hoping for some free handouts.”
      The chicks will stay with Po Mahina until just before the start of next breeding season, when they will move into their own aviaries so that Po Mahina can build another nest and, hopefully, raise more chicks.
      “It has been such a great experience watching these chicks develop and being able to share this conservation story with the world. It’s another big step for the `alala in their journey back to the wild,” Kuhar said.
      Tours are at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Local artists will be selling their bird-related artwork, and there will also be a silent auction and T-shirt sale. Refreshments will be provided, and donations are welcome.
      Call 985-7218 or email kbccopenhouse@gmail.com to reserve spots for a tour.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Halau Hula O Leionalani practices for today's Makahiki at Punalu`u. Their kumu hula Debbie Ryder will move to Pahala by the end of the year to teach and work with the halau. Photo by Julia Neal
THE ANNUAL MAKAHIKI FESTIVAL takes place today and tomorrow at Punalu`u Beach Park, celebrating Hawaiian values, culture, talent and food. 

KILAUEA DRAMA AND ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK presents its free Volcano Festival Chorus Christmas Concert today at 7:30 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Park entrance fees apply.

KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS PRESENTS FALL CREATIVITY DAY tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Hall, offering batik, `ohe kapala (bamboo stamp making), dying, sewing and jewelry making workshops.
      For more information, call 854-1540.

PALM TRAIL HIKE TAKES PLACE tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit. This relatively easy, guided, 2.6-mile loop crosses scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Call 985-6011 or see nps.gov/havo.

AT FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK’S Sunday Walk in the Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thane Pratt leads an exploration of Puna Coast Trail. Free for members; non-members can join the organization in order to attend. Call 985-7373 or email admin@fhvnp.org.

Community members participate in the Pahala Christmas Parade each year. Photo by Julia Neal

PAHALA CHRISTMAS PARADE IS TOMORROW at 1 p.m. Starting at the armory on Pikake Street, the parade winds its way through town, making a stop at Ka`u Hospital.
      To participate, call Eddie Andrade at 928-0808.

FREE TRAINING TO HELP THE PUBLIC follow the 2014 State Legislature takes place Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Sponsored by the state of Hawai`i Legislative Reference Bureau’s Public Access Room, the training demystifies the state lawmaking process and demonstrates ways people can participate in the Legislature.