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 21, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013

Teachers and students could see reindeer racing across the sun-drenched clouds from the Ka`u High School campus before Christmas break began. Photo by Julie Williams
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA HAS ENDORSED Gov. Neil Abercrombie for a second term. The President cited Abercrombie’s fiscal stewardship of the state, investment in Hawai`i’s youth, commitment to renewable and alternative energy and efforts to improve infrastructure and housing.
Pres. Barack Obama has endorsed Gov. Neil Abercrombie
for a second term. Photo from Office of the Governor
      President Obama said, “I’ve known Gov. Abercrombie for decades, and I’ve come to appreciate him not only as a friend, but as an extraordinary public servant who has never let politics get in the way of serving the people of Hawai`i. Since taking office, Neil has brought a renewed sense of fiscal discipline to the state, cutting back on wasteful spending and making the investments necessary to grow the economy and expand opportunity. Neil has never hesitated to make tough choices, and the people of Hawai`i are better off today because of his leadership. I firmly believe that Neil deserves a second term as governor, and I look forward to continuing to work with him for years to come.”
      Abercrombie stated, “I am deeply honored and gratified by President Obama’s endorsement. I share the President’s vision of a nation and a state that improves the lives of all families and communities. I am eager and ready to continue working with him and his administration on an agenda for Hawai`i and the United States. With him I say, ‘yes we can!’”
      Abercrombie’s work with the President and the White House includes appointment to the Council of Governors to co-coordinate with the Pentagon and Secretary of Defense on the nation’s military budget and all issues involving National Guard units across the country. Obama also asked the governor to join the President’s Climate Change Task Force and make recommendations on global warming and climate change.
      To comment on or “like“ this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ATTORNEY JOHN CARROLL, A FORMER STATE LEGISLATOR, and Honolulu energy advocate Edward Wagner have filed a lawsuit against the state of Hawai`i and Gov. Neil Abercrombie seeking relief from the implementation of an agreement signed by Gov. Linda Lingle in 2008 which they say “created an ironclad control over the production and sale of electricity in the state.”
The National Honor Society and Interact members celebrated the holidays before school
vacation, which lasts through Jan. 6. Photo by Julie Williams
      In a letter to Abercrombie, Wagner, the primary plaintiff in the class action suit, questioned what he called the governor’s “failure to fulfill or even attempt to fulfill his many campaign promises and statements regarding electrical energy production, the effect of a monopolistic control over electrical production and other failures.”
      Wagner said, “You ran for governor on an energy platform in which you called out the HECO monopoly for its abuse of power and promised bold action to reign in those abuses.”
      He quotes Abercrombie as saying, “We have a regulatory system and a utility monopoly that were built for a time and public purpose that are in the past. If we do not fundamentally change our approach, we will not reach our (energy) goals.”
      Wagner asked Abercrombie to explain “why have you not rescinded the 2008 Lingle-HECO agreement, knowing full well that its only intent was and still is to support, protect and perpetuate the archaic utility monopoly and its profits to the detriment of our economy, our planet, and our residents.”
      Carroll stated, “The current grip on electrical production makes it excessively expensive for Hawai`i’s people and, like the Jones Act restrictions, current practices are in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The current effect of the 2008 Lingle agreement is to give HECO/HEI and subsidiaries virtual, unfettered control and is causing solar and geothermal production to be diminished, hampered or eliminated.
      To comment on or “like“ this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Richard Ha
“IF SUDDENLY THERE WAS REAL SCIENCE that showed harm from genetically modified organisms, I would cross that off my list and move on to the next best solution that would help our island. To date, though, there has never been any such science, not anywhere,” said Richard Ha, owner of Hamakua Country Farms, in a commentary in Civil Beat
      Regarding Mayor Billy Kenoi’s signing of Bill 113, which bans most GMO crops in Hawai`i County, Ha said he would have preferred a veto, but he supports the mayor over the County Council. “Its members have proven that they cannot separate fact from fiction, and therefore they are unqualified and unable to prepare us for the future,” Ha said.
      “Our county Council clearly does not understand farming. Councilwoman Wille likes to show how many letters she has in favor of banning GMOs, but the smaller stack from people opposing the ban was from the farmers who produce more than 90 percent of the calories grown here on the Big Island.
      “Why is she listening to the gardeners and not the farmers? There is such a difference between gardening and farming.”
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or “like“ this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AS A MARK OF RESPECT FOR THE MEMORY of Hawai`i Department of Health director Loretta Fuddy, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered that the flags of the United States and state of Hawai`i be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawai`i National Guard from sunrise to sunset today, the day of her memorial service.
Services for the late Loretta Fuddy, seen here with Gov. Neil Abercrombie, are today.
Photo from Hawai`i Children's Trust Fund
      Fuddy was appointed to the governor’s Cabinet in Dec. 2010 as deputy director of the Hawai`i Department of Health and then as its director on March 2, 2011.
      She previously served as chair of the Hawai`i Public Health Association, president of the Association of State and Territorial Public Health Social Workers, treasurer and secretary of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs and a member of the Policy Committee of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers. 
      To comment on or “like“ this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SENS. MAZIE K. HIRONO AND BRIAN SCHATZ have joined Alaska Sen. Mark Begich in introducing an amendment that would exempt Hawai`i and Alaska from an increase in air travel fees. This exemption would protect interisland flights from increased air travel fees, which would more than double from $2.50 to $5.60 in the budget compromise bill.
      “The budget deal makes tough choices, working to balance critical investments that grow our economy, ease the pain of the sequester and preserve our promises to our seniors,” Hirono said. “However, raising air travel fees ignores the disparate economic impact that increased fees and taxes on air transportation would have on non-contiguous states. In Hawai`i, residents rely on air travel to receive healthcare, connect with family and friends and conduct business. That’s why I’ve introduced this amendment with my colleagues from Hawai`i and Alaska to help maintain affordable air transportation for our constituents.
      To support her request, Hirono sent a letter to Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, before the budget deal was unveiled, noting the history of Congressional exemptions for Hawai`i air travel passengers.
      Schatz said, “We in Hawai`i are in a different situation than those on the mainland, and we often are dependent on air travel for business, health care or to visit family. Recognizing the unique position of both Hawai`i and Alaska and exempting us from increased air fees is not only fair, it is common sense.”
      To comment on or “like“ this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The Winter Fest at the Pahala school campus featured games and a
Christmas theme. Photo by Julie Williams
KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS PRESENTS a Christmas Concert today at 3 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center featuring Ka`u `Ohana Band, Ka`u Community Chorus, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, David Matson and Ben Houghton. Call 854-1540.

PAHALA PLANTATION HOUSE HOSTS a Christmas Concert by Ka`u School of the Arts tomorrow at 3 p.m. with performances by Ka`u Community Chorus, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, David Matson and Ben Houghton. Call 854-1540.

VOLCANO ART CENTER HOLDS ITS holiday celebration for keiki tomorrow at the Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Activities beginning at 3:30 p.m. include a forest music walk, yule log hunt, kanikapila `ukulele group, marshmallow roast, games, ornament decorating and lighting of the Christmas tree at 6 p.m. Call 967-8222 for more information.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline has been extended to Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2013 from the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce at kauchamber.org.

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