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.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

Ocean View community members and Habitat for Humanity representatives join Jeff Helfenbein during the blessing of his home. Photos from Habitat for Humanity
RADIATION MONITORING WOULD BE IMPLEMENTED as a pilot project by the state Department of Health if Senate Bill 3049, introduced by Ka‘u Senators Josh Green and Russell Ruderman and championed by Pahala resident Sara Witt, passes the 2014 state Legislature. The program would measure and monitor radiation levels in items such as food, dairy products, rainwater, aquifers and drainage ditches that may be susceptible to increased radiation levels due to the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Department of Health would post periodic reports on its website of those radiation levels and their significance to the state. The project would begin July 1 and end June 30, 2019. The bill passed first reading on Jan. 23 and was referred to several committees. Witt said she is hoping that a hearing will be held on the measure. 
      The companion House Bill 2600 was introduced by Reps. Richard Creagan and Faye Hanohano at the request of Witt.
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President Barack Obama gave his fifth
State of the Union address yesterday.
MEMBERS OF KA`U’S U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION have responded to President Barack Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers. During his State of the Union address yesterday, Obama said he wants an increase to $10.10 per hour. “The President took a positive step toward addressing the vast and growing trend of (income) inequality, and I welcome his proposals that will support job creation and encourage opportunities for growth and entrepreneurship,” said Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. 
      Sen. Brian Schatz said, “Tonight, we heard a real commitment from President Obama to reversing income inequality. Helping those who are stretched thin is even more important in Hawai‘i, where so many of our families struggle with the high cost of living. People who work hard and play by the rules should be able to get ahead.
      “I’ve been working with a group of my colleagues, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, to urge President Obama to use his authority to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers. I was glad he answered that call tonight. We need to do more on this issue and raise the minimum wage for all workers. That’s why I’m pushing legislation in the Senate to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers.”  
     Regarding wages, Schatz added, “There is a real wage gap for too many workers. And in Hawai‘i, women still make 83 cents for every dollar a man makes. That’s unacceptable. We need to strengthen our laws to ensure equal pay for equal work.”
      Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “The executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers will help families in Hawai‘i, including those who wash dishes and serve food on our military bases. However, we must not stop there. Today, the real value of the minimum wage is roughly the same as what it was in the 1950s. This is particularly tough in states like Hawai`i, where the cost of living is high.”
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“GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE also responded to President Obama’s call for an increase in the minimum wage: “As I stated in last week’s State of the State address, a hard-working sector in Hawai`i has gone seven years without seeing their wages rise. I applaud the President’s proposal to increase the minimum wage for all federal employees.”
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A mortgage deed through sweat equity and help from Habitat for Humanity gives
Ocean View resident Jeff Helfenbein a home of his own.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY WEST HAWAI‘I and veteran Jeff Helfenbein worked together to make home ownership for Helfenbein a reality in Ocean View. Habitat and Helfenbein recently held a blessing of his new home and completion of Habitat’s twentieth dwelling in West Hawai‘i. 
      Attending were volunteers who helped work on the house and provided food during the building, along with neighbors, family, friends and Habitat staff, including executive director Pat Hurney.
      Helfenbein has lived on the island for some 30 years and now has his own home. Deacon Sandy Honnold blessed the home, walking through each room with Helfenbein. The new homeowner worked alongside Habitat staff and volunteers on the construction of his home since May 2013. As part of the Habitat model, he fulfilled his required 500 sweat equity hours, highlighting the partnership.
      Habitat is preparing to build in Kona, Waikoloa and Na‘po‘opo‘o and completing repair work in Waimea in 2014. Many volunteers, food donations, and helping hands will be needed.
      The organization is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Its mission is to empower families and build community and hope through home ownership opportunities for low-income families. Serving the entire west side of the Big Island, Habitat works in partnership with families in need to build and repair decent, affordable housing. The houses are sold to partner families at no profit and with no interest charged.
      Granted affiliation with Habitat for Humanity International in 2002, Habitat West Hawai‘i is a volunteer-driven organization with seven full-time staff members. The home-building projects are undertaken by a committed group of local community volunteers who are provided leadership by site managers experienced in construction. The board of directors, comprised of 12 members, provides overall leadership to the affiliate. Funding comes from individual, foundation, agency and corporate donations, as well as from ReStore profits.
       To learn more or become involved in upcoming projects, contact Erin Stephens, Community Relations coordinator, at vista@habitatwesthawaii.org or 331-8010.
      See habitatwesthawaii.org or twitter.com/habitatwestHI.

KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS EAST HAWAIʻI RESOURCE CENTER will be conducting a one-stop-shop assistance in Kaʻu for students who want to pursue education beyond high school and families who want help with summer program applications and more information about resources. Center representatives will be available on Tuesdays, Feb. 11 and March 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Naʻalehu United Methodist Church, directly across from Naʻalehu Post Office. 
      Services include help with admission applications for summer programs, financial aid and scholarship services, Hoʻoulu Hawaiian Data Center forms and general information about Kamehameha Schools programs and resources.
      For more information, call Nikki or Noelani at 935-0116.
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MISS KA`U COFFEE PAGEANT APPLICATIONS are due Friday, Feb. 7. All candidates must live in the district of Ka`u. As of May 4, Miss Ka`u Coffee candidates must be 16 to 24 years old, and Miss Ka`u Peaberry candidates must be 7 – 9 years old. 
      Pick up and return applications at R&G Store in Pahala, Will & Grace Store in Na`alehu or Coffee Grinds in Ocean View.
      A mandatory meeting for all candidates is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. at Punalu`u Bake Shop pavilion.
      For more information, call Gloria Camba at 928-8558 or Nalani Parlin at 217-6893.
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Ecstatic Dance teacher Jo Caron
Photo from VAC
VOLUNTEERS MEET AT KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Saturday to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. The Stewardships at the Summit program is ongoing, with more scheduled each Friday in February. Park entrance fees apply. 

JO CARON INVITES KA`U RESIDENTS TO ECSTATIC DANCE Saturday at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Participants explore the Five Rhythms – Flowing-Staccato-Chaos-Lyrical-Stillness – during a two-hour practice guided by music that ignites creativity, connection, personal awareness and healing. Fees are $25 or $10 VAC members. 
      For more, call Caron at 443-6993. 

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline is this Friday, Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2014 ONLINE. For a page-turning version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf. For a pdf version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.