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, July 31, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs, Thursday, July 31, 2014

Berta Miranda clutches her Bible, fearing her coffee farm was obliterated during the 2012 fires around Pahala. Fortunately
 she was spared. Photo by William Neal
FUNDING IS AVAILABLE FOR FIRE PREVENTION projects in Ka`u, according to Elizabeth Pickett, Executive Director of Hawai`i Wildlife Management Organization. At a presentation about wildland fires given at Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School this week, Pickett said residents and groups can come up with ideas and apply for funding with a match in volunteer time. One idea she mentioned was chipping of waste to reduce vegetation. An idea brought up at the meeting was using fire resistant plants to beautify and protect the east entrance to Pahala, where a fire in 2012 jumped mauka over Hwy 11 and marched up Kamani Street to threaten Ka`u Hospital.
Firefighters spray retardant to
protect entrance to Pahala town.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Percentage-wise compared to every other state, at least as much, and perhaps more, land burns in Hawai`i every year. Between 2002 and 2011, Hawai`i experienced 900 wildland fire ignitions per year, and 17,000 acres burned per year. Also, the number of large fires is increasing along with their intensity. While in such places as California, the natural maturation and renewal of the wildlands can be through range fires, Hawai`i's native plants are not built to reproduce after fires.
      One quarter of state land in Hawai`i is now covered in nonnative grasses that are prone to fire, Pickett said. These grasses grow during rainy seasons, then dry out during dry periods and create fuel for wildfires. They also crowd out seedlings of native plants that are less fire-prone. Fire prone grasses can even become a problem in areas fenced off from ungulates to protect native species.
      Pickett and her colleague Pablo Beimler focused on the organization’s Ready, Set, Go Wildland Fire Action Guide, with information about saving lives and property through advanced planning.
The 2012 fires around Pahala threatened the hospital and homes, burning
macadamia orchards, some coffee lands and pasture. Photo by Julia Neal

     Preparing property for fire threat includes landscaping and limiting access points where fire can enter homes. Creating defensible space around homes involves removing dead and dying vegetation within 100 feet of homes and managing vegetation where fire could jump from grass to shrubs to trees.
      Windows are the most vulnerable entry points, Beimler said, because they break from heat of fires. He suggested remove shrubbery from under windows or cutting it low and maintaining it well. Screening lattice below houses will help prevent the embers from blowing through the pukas.
      Securing any point that is vulnerable to embers is also important, he said. Gutter guards and vents covers with openings one-quarter inch or less prevent embers from entering. Enclosing eaves also prevents embers from landing in rafters, where they can easily ignite lumber.
      During a wildland fire, being aware of the situation and changing conditions is crucial. The HWMO personnel emphasized that smoke, wind and fire conditions can change rapidly and residents need to have and evacuation plan. “Find out where you should go, and leave early,” they said.
      HWMO is planning a Ka`u Fire Preparedness meeting in November when experts will update a list of community concerns, priorities and project ideas.
      Established in 2002, HVMO is the only nonprofit organization in Hawai`i that focuses specifically on wildfire prevention, preparedness and mitigation projects. It was started by fire chiefs, fire captains, land owners, land managers and conservationists. See more about it and the Ready, Set, Go program at hawaiiwildfire.org.  To comment on or like this story, go tofacebook.com/kaucalendar.

Range fire swept to the shore from macadamia orchards below Pahala in 2012. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
WALK IN VOTING CONTINUES IN KA`U TODAY at Pahala Community Center from 9 a.m until noon and 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays through Thursday, Aug. 7. On Saturday, Aug. 9, the Primary Election will take place at local polling places: Miloli‘i Halau, Ocean View Community Center, Nā‘ālehu Elementary School Cafeteria, Ka‘ū High & Pāhala Elementary School Cafeteria and Cooper Center in Volcano. Polls are open on election days from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Maile David campaigned yesterday in Pahala with her supporters.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Registered Ka‘ū voters cast ballots for the following offices in the primary election: U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives District Two, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, state Senate District Three, state House of Representatives Districts Three and Five, Office of Hawaiian Affairs At-Large Trustees and Hawai‘i County Council District Six. Sample ballots are available at hawaii.gov/elections.
     On the ballot for Hawai‘i County Council District Six are Richard Abbett, of Ocean View; Maile Medeiros David, of Captain Cook; and Jim Wilson, of Volcano. 
     On the ballot for state Senate District Three are incumbent Josh Green, of Kailua-Kona, and Michael Last, of Nā‘ālehu.
      State House of Representatives District Three candidates are Bill Dickson, of Mountain View; Fred Fogel, of Volcano; and incumbent Richard Onishi, of Hilo.
Richard Abbett runs in the primary for council and Dave Bateman, along with
 Jon Lalanne and Randy Ruis, takes on the winner of the House Democratic
primary contest between Bucky Leslie and Richard Creagan.  Photo by Julia Neal
   Incumbent state Rep. Richard Creagan, of Nā‘ālehu, faces a challenge in the primary by fellow Democrat Gene “Bucky” Leslie, of Holualoa, in state House District Five. The winner goes on to the general election to face Republican Dave Bateman, of Holualoa, Libertarian Jon Lalanne and nonpartisan Randy Ruis, both of Ocean View.
   Creagan said that during the League of Women Voters forum, he talked about his goals for the next legislative session, should he be elected. They include working on health care, integrating affordable health care with prepaid health care and getting a new hospital for Kona. He said one issue is the possible privatization of the Ka‘ū, Hilo and Kona Hospitals. Creagan said he and others support privatization but only if the company is Hawai‘i-based and unionized. He said that the private, mainland company that proposed taking over the system of Hawai‘i Health Systems Corp. clinics and hospitals statewide is non-union and its “anti-union rhetoric can be found on its website.”
       Creagan said another concern is that an outside hospital corporation could close Ka‘ū Hospital. “The safety net hospitals such as Ka‘ū and Kohala have to be preserved. One of the fears of bringing in the outside organizations is that they might want to shut them down.”
       Creagan said that a more agreeable merger would be with a hospital like Queens Medical System, based on O‘ahu. Queens is already unionized and would not have a problem preserving the union jobs at Ka‘ū, Hilo and Kona, he said.
        During the forum, Creagan, a physician, brought up the medical marijuana issue, saying he supports the expansion of indications for medical marijuana. He said later that he sees it as important especially in the case of veterans with post traumatic stress disorder. “Marijuana can be very helpful. It is approved for PTSD in five or six other states,” he told The Ka‘ū Calendar newspaper. Creagan is on the House task force to study setting up dispensaries for medical marijuana.
Incumbent Richard Creagan is on the ballot for the state House for West Ka`u,
incumbent Richard Onishi for East Ka`u. Photo by Julia Neal
       A topic with consensus of apparently all the candidates is labeling of GMO foods. Creagan said that among the candidates, there are some differences, such as whether the federal government should take the lead on the issue – with federal proposals initiated by Ka‘ū’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Creagan said that in addition to federal measures, Hawai‘i should lead and establish a state requirement. “Hawai‘i should lead, not follow, but in the future the federal government should do it, too.”
         Creagan said after the forum that one important issue not discussed was public funding for elections. He said that he supports public funding, but it is hard to pass at the Legislature because it does not favor incumbents. He said he will continue to push for it. “Our experience on the Big Island showed the power of public funding, brought more candidates out, allowed them to really compete with the big money interests. That is why Brittany Smart was able to win against candidates supported by big money. Brittany (Smart), Maile (Medeiros David) and Brenda (Ford) were able to get over $30,000 in funding.” Their campaigns for County Council brought out local issues and built awareness in the public, with Maile Medeiros David well recognized as she competes for County Council this year following two races with public funding. There is no public funding for any political positions in Hawai‘i this year, he noted.
            Leslie said he wants to have a fresh approach to campaigning. He emphasized how his ‘ohana approach influences his way of getting things done.
            Leslie said he wants to listen to constituents’ thoughts, concerns and ideas, “finding productive ways of working together as we strive and sometimes struggle to accommodate the change in our history.”
             Leslie mentioned his experience as president of the Hawai‘i Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs and said he and the club have written and sent bills and resolutions to the Legislature that have passed.  He said his top priority in the Legislature would be “working with other people” and referred to the Legislature as an “elected ‘ohana.” He said, “Working together, we’ll get much more done than we can (individually). Together we can; together as one.” 
Bucky Leslie, a Democrat, is running in the primary against Richard
Creagan for the west Ka`u House seat. Photo by Nalani Parlin
             Regarding education, Leslie said educational opportunities for everyone – keiki and kūpuna – are important. He said, “The system is not working with us” and suggested reinstating programs “issued many years ago. Revise them and bring them back to the table.” He also said, “We need people who leave for education to come back.”
             On the topic of health, Leslie said he thinks Kona Hospital is adequate but that more doctors and nurses are needed.
              Leslie said he wants to “bring balance to the Legislature.” He characterized balance of working with legislators as “knowing how we can get things done.” He said the Legislature has “cut this balance off, that balance off” regarding bills that get modified to the point that they are no longer recognizable.
             When asked how he would make Hawai‘i a more attractive state to do business in, Leslie answered, “How do they balance?” He again stressed his ‘ohana approach to how to work on the issue.
             Regarding labeling of GMOs, Leslie said, “We should stand up and say ‘let’s go for it – let’s label this.’” Pointing to the audience, he said, “It’s all about you; it’s not about us.”
             When asked about legalized gambling in Hawai‘i, Leslie said he had previously written a resolution for the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs supporting gambling, but that he now doesn’t support it and wants more education about it.
             In closing, Leslie stressed his desire to “continue to work with our people here and bring home a plate of wonderful things.” To comment on or like this story, go tofacebook.com/kaucalendar.

SUNSET HULA TOMORROW AT 6 P.M. graces the kahua hula (platform) near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. This month’s event features Manu Josiah and Leilehua Yuen, who are known for their blending of storytelling, science, chant and hula to create a journey through Hawaiian history and culture. Some of their students join them for an evening of traditional chant and hula. Free; park entrance fees apply.

ZENTANGLE: THE BASICS are taught Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. This pre-requisite for subsequent Zentangle classes provides a foundation in the philosophy, ceremony and benefits of tangling. $40 VAC members/$45 nonmembers. Call 967-8222 to register.



See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A tour at Kilauea Military Camp yesterday highlighted its history as an internment camp where Hawai`i Island Japanese Americans were detained during the first five months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Photos by Ron Johnson 
SIGNAGE AT SITES USED FOR INTERNMENT of Japanese Americans at Kilauea Military Camp during World War II is being developed, according to Laura Schuster, Chief of Cultural Resources Division for Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The signs will commemorate KMC’s history as a temporary internment camp of Japanese Issei, first generation immigrants, and Nissei, second generation. Schuster announced the effort during a tour of the facilities yesterday.
Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura, with red backpack, shows historic photos outside
KMC's Recreation Hall which served as barracks for detainees during WWII.
      HVNP archaeologist Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura and archive technician Geoffrey Mowrer led tours of KMC’s facilities where more than 100 Hawai`i Island residents were detained during the first five months following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The first detainees arrived at KMC on the afternoon of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. Beginning on Feb. 20, 1942, they began to be transferred to other internment camps on O`ahu and the mainland. More continued to arrive, and the last left KMC on May 7, 1942.
      The current Recreation Center housed the internees in a room 100 feet long by 50 feet wide. Internees came from a Custodial Detention List, created by the FBI prior to the outbreak of war with Japan, of citizens, enemy aliens and foreign nationals who were considered dangerous. The list focused on businessmen, consular agents, Japanese language school teachers and principals, Buddhist and Shinto priests and those who had Japanese military service or who were deemed to have extreme nationalistic sentiments and were therefore considered a danger to American security. According to written accounts of detainee Yoshio Hoshida that Moniz-Nakamura shared, the common thing among he and seven other men picked up at the same time was their participation in an organization that promoted judo and other Japanese self-defense arts. 
      While at KMC, detainees were confined to their barracks and were marched to the adjacent mess hall, now Crater Rim Café, for meals. Guards on foot surrounded them. Also, a bell tower that stood in front of the mess hall was converted to a guard tower, on top of which a machine-gun position was erected. The men were allowed outside one hour per day, when the would play basketball and throw balls to each other, and the older men would sit on benches in the sun. Their averages ages were from 50 to 60 years old.
Filmmaker Ryan Kawamoto, HVNP Cultural Resources chief Laura
Schuster and Carole Hayashino, of Japanese Cultural Center of
Hawai`i, joined the Kilauea Military Camp tour yesterday.
      During their detention at KMC, some of the Japanese Americans got to visit family members once. On Feb. 15 and 16 of 1942, families traveled to KMC for three-hour visits. The first day, families were allowed into the barracks. On the second day, however, because of an infraction that happened the day before, families had to view their loved ones through wire mesh across the porch.
      Filmmaker Ryan Kawamoto and Carole Hayashino, president and director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai`i, presented screenings of The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai`i before and after the tours. Hayashino said the center is working to find ways to memorialize WWII internment sites throughout Hawai`i. When the film was made, 13 sites were known. There are now 17 known sites, with three on Hawai`i Island.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANIES ARE PROPOSING programs to provide customers more options for saving on their electric bills while supporting adoption of more clean energy, reducing the use of more expensive fossil-fueled generation and relieving stress on the electric grid. The programs are outlined in the utilities’ Integrated Demand Response Portfolio Plan filed with the Public Utilities Commission yesterday.
      The plan lays out new and enhanced “demand response” programs for residential, commercial, industrial and water pumping customers. Under the programs, customers receive financial incentives for shifting energy use to certain times of the day or voluntarily allowing the output of certain appliances or equipment to be adjusted if necessary to help maintain reliable service for island grids.
      Traditionally, when demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day, utilities have focused on meeting that demand by adjusting the supply of power. This becomes more challenging as variable renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar, continue to increase. The possibility of power outages increases when these resources suddenly stop producing power. Demand response programs allow utilities to adjust demand to help maintain the balance between customer use (demand) and generation (supply).
      Also, according to HECO, demand response programs can be a more cost-effective option than using energy storage or oil-fired generation to balance demand and supply.
      In addition, by offering lower or higher prices during certain times of the day, some demand response programs encourage customers to shift energy use to specific times, such as when solar and wind systems are producing the most power. This can maximize use of wind and solar power that might otherwise be wasted.
      “Demand response programs are a win-win for our customers and the environment,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate planning and business development. “With demand response, customers get financial rewards that lower their monthly bills. We reduce the use of more expensive generators to meet electricity needs. And together we can unlock the potential for more low-cost renewable energy.”
      To help enroll customers, Hawaiian Electric Companies plan to work with independent companies that also have experience implementing demand response. This includes coordinating with Hawai`i Energy, the PUC-appointed public benefits fund administrator that manages energy efficiency programs, including rebates for solar water heating and energy efficient appliances.
      Subject to review and approval by the PUC, existing programs will be revised and new ones developed and rolled out in 2015.
      The new demand response portfolio complements the use of large-scale energy storage as another way to support clean energy while maintaining reliable service. HECO recently issued a request for proposals for large-scale energy storage and is currently reviewing bids.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Map from DLNR/DFW
HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES is seeking new projects for the Hawai`i Forest Legacy Program to protect important working forest lands from the threat of conversion to non-forest uses. The U.S. Forest Service-funded Forest Legacy Program, administered through DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, welcomes applications for conservation acquisition assistance.
      Hawai`i Forest Legacy Program works with private landowners, conservation nonprofit groups, the counties and other state agencies to promote sustainable, healthy forests.
      DFW is also currently working on projects that will protect an additional 5,000 acres of important forested watershed lands through the establishment of conservation easements.
      A conservation easement allow a landowner to retain ownership of the restricted title to their property while providing permanent protection from development or unsustainable uses, providing landowners with an alternative to selling their land to development companies. While entering into a conservation easement is voluntary, restrictions are binding to all future owners in perpetuity.
      Hawai`i Forest Legacy Program has identified forest lands throughout the state as important and in need of permanent protection, complementing the state’s broader watershed initiative, The Rain Follows the Forest. See dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/lap/forest-legacy.
      The Hawai`i program accepts both fee title and conservation easement acquisitions. Fee title acquisitions are voluntary and can provide landowners with the knowledge that their property will be managed and owned in perpetuity by the state.
      The deadline for the next round of applications is Wednesday, Aug. 20. Applications can be found at the website above and should be submitted to Irene Sprecher by email at Irene.M.Sprecher@Hawaii.gov. Landowners and nonprofits entities who are interested in participating in the Forest Legacy Program are encouraged to contact Sprecher at 808-587-4167 or by email to discuss their property and interest in the program.

Manu Josiah and Leilehua Yuen present Sunset Hula Friday. Photo from VAC
EARLY WALK-IN VOTING CONTINUES AT PAHALA COMMUNITY CENTER weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. through Thursday, Aug. 7.  

SUNSET HULA BEGINS AT 6 P.M. ON FRIDAY at the kahua hula (platform) near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. This month’s event features Manu Josiah and Leilehua Yuen, who are known for their blending of storytelling, science, chant and hula to create a journey through Hawaiian history and culture. Some of their students join them for an evening of traditional chant and hula. Free; park entrance fees apply.

ZENTANGLE: THE BASICS TAKES PLACE Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. This pre-requisite for subsequent Zentangle classes provides a foundation in the philosophy, ceremony and benefits of tangling. $40 VAC members/$45 nonmembers. Call 967-8222 to register.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gubernatorial candidate Sen. David Ige meet with Ka`u residents in Pahala yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
SEN. DAVID IGE WANTS TO BRING A NEW STYLE of leadership to the governor’s office, he told Ka`u voters at a coffee hour in Pahala yesterday held at the home of Marion Villanueva. Hoping to win the Democratic primary election to unseat Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Aug. 9, Ige said his leadership is based on being open and honest, listening to all views and “doing the right thing the right way.”
      Pahala resident Bobby Gomes asked Ige about “constant threats” of benefits for kupuna being taken away by the state. “The state pushes us around,” he said. Ige, chair of the state Senate Ways & Means Committee, said he would not let the governor balance the budget on the backs of kupuna and retirees. He said he and the state Legislature fought Gov. Neil Abercrombie “tooth and nail” when the governor proposed taxing pensions.
      Ige also said that, under his leadership, the Legislature focused on making sure trust funds for state pensions and health insurance are in good financial shape.
Sen. David Ige Photo by Ron Johnson
      Regarding a new law requiring some board and commission members to provide financial disclosure, Ige said it is in the public’s interest.
      In his opinion, recent resignations of members following approval of the law “demonstrate why we need financial disclosure.” In some cases, he said, boards and commissions have become about special interests rather than public service. The financial disclosure, which is the same as required of other public servants, will allow communities to “keep and eye on them.” He said he is confident that many qualified citizens will be willing to “serve and disclose.”
      “Public education is the great equalizer,” Ige said. It is “the gateway and creator of opportunities.” He criticized the Department and Board of Education for their “one size fits all” approach and said "those closest to the children are the most qualified to decide what’s best for them.”
      Equity and access are Ige’s concerns regarding the question of whether taxpayer dollars should go to private preschools. While he is not in favor of it, “My personal view is it’s the community’s decision,” he said. He pointed out that private preschools are usually not in communities that need them and that every child should have an equal opportunity for early education. “Are the private preschools willing to operate as public schools?” he asked.
      Growing food and energy crops is another priority for Ige. He said the state needs to commit 200,000 acres to farming, with food being the primary focus. “Ag can be a thriving industry,” he said. He supports small family farms and organic farming.
      Ige also expressed interest in trying to help with the issue of land security for Ka`u Coffee farmers, who could possibly lose the land where their award-winning coffee is grown. Many of the farmers’ leases on land provided after sugar production ceased about 18 years ago have expired, and the land is currently up for sale. He said he will talk to some of the farmers in the near future.
      Regarding biofuel production, Pahala resident Lynn Hamilton told Ige, “One of our biggest concerns is the cost of energy.” She told Ige that a biofuel project here would have resulted in higher electric rates. Ige said, “I couldn’t get that project,” but that he recently met a farmer who is producing biofuel that he says is cheaper.
      Protecting the environment is another priority, said Ige. Pahala resident Peter Volpe said, “The legislators ought to appreciate what we have here in Hawai`i” in regard to invasive species. Ige responded that the lack of invasive species control is about “a lack of leadership” from the governor. He said the Legislature has supported funding for more inspectors at points of entry and other programs for the last four years and is frustrated that implementation has taken so long.
      He discussed little fire ants and said a protocol is in place to treat colonies once they are identified.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dan Brinkman
DAN BRINKMAN IS INTERIM REPLACEMENT AS CEO of Hawai`i Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawai`i Region, reports Pacific Business News. He replaces Howard Ainsley, whose resignation is effective Aug. 9. 
      Brinkman said he is interested in becoming the permanent CEO. “But I also feel strongly that the organization should look and see who is out there and who best fits,” he told reporter Matt Tuohy.
      Brinkman joined Hilo Medical Center in 2007 as the chief nurse executive and became regional chief operating officer in early 2014. He came from Vanderbilt University’s Medical Center, where he was an assistant administrator of interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery.
      He has an associate’s degree in nursing from Pikes Peak Community College, a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Augusta State College in Georgia and a master’s degree in public administration from University of Colorado.
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE THIRTY METER TELESCOPE IS BEGINNING ITS construction phase on Hawai`i Island, following last Friday’s approval of a sublease by Hawai`i Board of Land and Natural Resources. Contingent on that decision, TMT’s International Observatory Board of Directors recently approved the initial phase of construction, with activities near the summit of Mauna Kea scheduled to start later this year.
      Initial construction activities will include grading the site in preparation for future building work, enabling a site dedication ceremony in October. A statement from the TMT organization said it is committed to work within a plan for responsible development on Mauna Kea created by the Office of Mauna Kea Management.
      “TMT has worked for many years to design an unprecedented telescope, but also to work with the community to incorporate respect for Mauna Kea in our stewardship,” said Gary Sanders, Project Manager for TMT. “It is an honor and a privilege to now begin building our next-generation observatory in so special a place.”
      TMT will now make its first annual contribution to The Hawai`i Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund, a program that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math education across grades K-12, secondary and post-secondary education. Over the life of the TMT lease on Mauna Kea, TMT will give $1 million per year to the THINK Fund.
Thirty Meter Telescope is beginning its construction phase.
Photo from tmt.org
      In the construction sector, TMT will create about 300 full-time construction jobs. TMT has committed to the hiring of union workers for these positions. Looking further ahead, during operations, TMT will have a staff of about 120-140, which will be drawn as much as possible from Hawai`i Island’s available labor pool. A workforce pipeline program in the meantime will also educate and train island residents for jobs with TMT, as well as other observatories and high-tech industries.
      “The start of construction of TMT is great news for Hawai`i Island residents,” said Sandra Dawson, TMT’s Manager of Hawai`i Community Affairs. “We are proud to be a good citizen of the community as we all work toward building a revolutionary astronomical instrument.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THIS FRIDAY, AUG. 1 IS THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT comments regarding newly proposed Agricultural Worker Protection Standard rules.
      The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued proposed changes to the WPS to increase protections from pesticide exposure for the nation’s agricultural workers and their families. See epa.gov/oppfead1/safety/workers/proposed/index.html.
      The Western Integrated Pest Management Center recognizes the importance of stakeholder input on this issue and the need to convey the opinions of growers, pest managers and other stakeholders in the West to federal decision-makers.
      To facilitate this input, the Center developed a survey for stakeholders to respond to the major proposed changes. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete.
      To access the survey, see surveymonkey.com/s/K2ZG3ZD.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Army Signal Corps Formation at Kilauea Military camp in the 1940's.
Photo from NPS
THE FORMER WORLD WAR II DETENTION SITE at Kilauea Military Camp is today’s topic of a tour and screenings of the documentary, The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai`i.
      Showings of the documentary are at 1 p.m. at KMC’s Lava Lounge and 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. A one-hour tour begins at 2:30 p.m.
      The tours and film screenings are free. No registration is required. For tours, participants meet at KMC’s check-in area at near the flagpole. Park entrance fees apply.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT HAS SET DATES for August. Volunteers meet at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails on Fridays, Aug 1, 15 and 29 and Saturday, Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Free; park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, July 28, 2014

Hawai`i Wildlife Fund begins its Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach program on Hawai`i Island this fall with activities to introduce topics like ocean circulation, marine ecology and human impacts. Photo by Megan Lamson/HWF
INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATORS FOR PROTECTION of small farms, farm workers and the public from pesticides, GMOs and the taking over of small farms by corporate interests spoke at Pahala Community Center last night. The event was sponsored by Hawai`i Center for Food Safety; Pesticide Action Network, North America; Pesticide Action Network, Asia and the Pacific; The Ceres Trust; and Hawai`i Seed. The second of two presentations on the Big Island will be this evening at University of Hawai`i-Hilo in Room 1 at Wentworth Hall.
      Dr. Romero Quijano, a medical doctor, talked about his research as a physician into the causes of cancers, birth defects and other ailments where massive pesticide use, including aerial spraying, has blanketed farms and farmer housing. Much of his work has been done in the Philippines, his native country, and other Asian locales on banana, palm oil and other plantations, where protective gear and regulations are not as strictly enforced as in the U.S.
      However, he contended that pesticides everywhere get into the air and water and affect not only people nearby but the entire planet. He said that the highest concentration of pesticides in the breast milk of mothers is in the Arctic, far away from where it is sprayed.
      He talked about the need for public health officials, planners and physicians to look at health as the balance of the entire person, from their exposure to pesticides, to their living conditions, family and work stress and access to clean water. Giving people drugs when they show up with an illness is not the way to practice medicine, he said, and reported that studies of physicians show that they tend to be influenced more and more by pharmaceutical companies the longer they are out of medical school.
Dr. Romeo Quijano spoke on farm issues at Pahala Community Center yesterday.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Regarding genetically engineered or genetically modified organisms, Quijano contended that the GMO material can spread into the environment and that microbes that cause human disease can take up the resistance bred into the GMOs and make them more resistant to antibiotics and other treatments.
      He said that he takes issue with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approving of GMO crops as “substantially equivalent” when they look like the food that they are mimicking. He said that would be like saying two people are the same person because they have one nose and two eyes. He called the FDA approvals unscientific and called for use of the precautionary principle, to make sure food is safe before being marketed.
      Regarding land security for small farmers and the analysis of food production via large plantations versus small farms, Quijano said some analysts do not include the cost of mass-scale agriculture when it comes to pesticide illnesses, poor health in the community and environmental degradation. He gave examples of a mining project and a palm oil plantation destroying native forests, leaving the indigenous local people without their traditional source of food. “Of course they become less healthy” when their land, their food source and their way of living is disrupted, he said.
      Gilbert Sape spoke about community organizing and said that such issues need to be discussed not only on the United Nations level, where he is a negotiator, but at the local level. He talked about U.N. efforts on the Food Security committee of the Food & Agricultural Organization. He talked about the idea of responsible agricultural investments, which he said are difficult to negotiate. Sape said he also works on rights to the land and reported on indigenous Asian people going to court and proving their family has been using lands for many generations in order to be able to stay on land and farm in their traditional ways.
      Quijano talked about a small village where, he said, pesticides led to many cancers and deformities. He contended that it was organizing of the villagers that led to an eventual ban, almost worldwide, on a pesticide. He said he has been sued by a plantation where he was documenting the pesticide risks. It was painful; it cost him money, but, he said, it gave the cause more publicity and helped win the case.
      See more at www.panap.net, www.panna.org and www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
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Richard Abbett spoke on environmental issues at Saturday's candidate
forum in Volcano. Photo by Nalani Parlin
COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT SIX CANDIDATE RICHARD ABBETT, of Ocean View, discussed his work on environmental issues at Volcano Rotary Club’s forum held Saturday. He spoke of experience on the mainland working with water quality and wildlife as it relates to issues in Hawai`i, where he worked on nearshore water and reef issues. He said that in the Pacific Northwest, he was amazed at how salmon went from prolific to almost an endangered species. He said he operated a hunting and fishing outfit when the salmon habitat collapsed, damaging his business. He said he volunteered for Trout Unlimited, which took up the salmon issue, and became a lobbyist for the issue in the state of Washington and in Washington, D.C. He said he was involved in negotiations during the Salmon Wars in the late 1990s when Canada wouldn’t let American fishing boats travel through Canadian waters to reach Alaska for the wild salmon harvest there. 
Maile Medeiros David is one of three candidates vying for
County Council District Six. Photo by Julia Neal
      Abbett said he successfully worked to remove pesticides from waters where salmon spawn, achieving clearance of pesticides from 80 percent of the topical area of the state of Washington, then reaching into Oregon with the same project.
      He said that Hawai`i is 20 years behind some places on the mainland in setting policy and carrying out plans to protect resources. He said it takes community building, planning for 20 years ahead of time.
      Abbett promoted his idea of a green industry park, which, he said, would create three to four times the number of family-wage jobs than building an incinerator to get rid of the island’s waste stream. He said that transfer stations should change to commodity centers, and more of them should be sited around the island. Such places would have trash sorting and offer space to businesses that would make mulch and compost as well as recycle and upcycle building materials, metals, plastics and other discarded items, creating jobs. He said management of waste should include more education and outreach.
Jim Wilson will join the other two County Council District Six
candidates at a forum at Ocean View Ocean View Community
Center on next Monday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. Photo by Julia Neal
      Abbett also said he would support commercial garbage pickup operations that would be allowed to take trash and recyclables to local transfer stations rather than driving them to Hilo or Kona. The other two candidates also said they support legislation to allow the practice.
      See yesterday’s Ka`u News Briefs for forum coverage of Maile Medeiros David and Saturday’s for Jim Wilson.
      The three candidates meet at another forum Monday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center.
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WALK-IN VOTING BEGAN TODAY at Pahala Community Center. Registered Ka`u residents can vote weekdays through Thursday, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
      The primary election is Saturday, Aug. 9.

HWF works with Ka`u's Imi Pono No Ka `Aina to
float microplastic debris from sand at Kamilo Point.
Photo by Megan Lamson/HWF
HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND BEGINS ITS MARINE DEBRIS Keiki Education & Outreach program on Hawai`i Island this fall. MDKEO brings two marine science mentors into 20 different elementary schools to introduce topics like ocean circulation, marine ecology and human impacts like marine debris. Mentors work with Hawai`i Island teachers to coordinate relevant student activities that meet the math and science benchmarks and Common Core standards for the state of Hawai`i Department of Education in grades from kindergarten to five. These in-class lectures conclude with student presentations of potential solutions to reduce marine debris here in Hawai`i and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Basin. The program culminates with a family Beach Cleanup Day at local marine debris hubs including Ka`u’s Kamilo Point. 
      The program began with financial support from an HWF T-shirt fundraiser and will now be sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program.
      For more information or to sign up a classroom, contact Catherine at spina.HWF@gmail.com. For more information about volunteering for the next Ka`u Coast cleanup event, contact Megan Lamson at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com or 769-7629. Find additional resources and details about HWF’s ongoing conservation projects at wildhawaii.org.
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GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE DAVID IGE COMES TO KA`U today for a talk story session at the Pahala home of Marion Villanueva at 4 p.m. The address is 96-1174 Holei Street, on the corner of Pikake Street. Ige, Finance chair of the state Senate, is challenging sitting governor Neil Abercrombie for the Democratic Party nomination in the Aug. 9 primary election.

THE FORMER WORLD WAR II DETENTION SITE at Kilauea Military Camp is tomorrow’s topic of tours and screenings of the documentary, The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai`i.
      One-hour tours begin at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Showings of the documentary are at 1 p.m. at KMC’s Lava Lounge and 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium.
      The tours and film screenings are free. No registration is required. For tours, participants meet at KMC’s check-in area at near the flagpole. Park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.