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, October 04, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014

Ka`u resident Joe Iacuzzo, here with a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, presents a talk about America's fossil history at Pahala Public & School Library on Oct. 15. Photo from Joe Iacuzzo
“ALL PARTIES REMAIN COMMITTED to exploring a workable solution to this problem,” Sen. Brian Schatz said regarding rebuilding Chain of Craters Road so Puna residents can get to Ka`u and other parts of the island if Hwy 130 gets covered by lava. West Hawai`i Today reported that Schatz plans to visit Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Friday and meet with park and county officials. While park Superintendent Cindy Orlando maintains that a one-lane road meets the requirements for an emergency evacuation route, county officials want the road to have two lanes.
As lava creeps toward Hwy 130, Hawai`i's elected officials in Washington
are working to have Chain of Craters Road be rebuilt with two lanes.
Map from USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
      According to the story, Schatz said he is working closely with Mayor Billy Kenoi, the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on the issue.
      Sen. Mazie Hirono’s office said she is speaking with the federal Highway Administration and National Park Service about the issue.
      Park officials refer to road as an emergency evacuation route, but Hawai`i County Department of Emergency Management Director Darryl Oliveira said that “evacuation implies it’s a one-way direction and we are telling people to leave. I think what the community members shared is people would like to stay if it poses no imminent harm and safety concerns. And, for too many of them, they don’t have a choice; they just can’t pick up and leave.”
      As of this morning, lava from a breakout above the flow front had reached the front and was was 1.9 miles from Pahoa Village Road.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Brenda Ford
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL’S FINANCE COMMITTEE has voted in favor of proposed changes to property tax exemptions. Bill 292 would require a person applying for an exemption from the real property tax rate on a principal home to file a Hawai`i State Income Tax Return as a full-year resident for each fiscal year that the exemption is sought. 
      Bill 294 would increase from $40,000 to $60,000 the property value subject to total exemption from real property taxes and would increase by the same amounts the exemption that can be applied to properties valued in excess of $60,000.
      Ka`u’s council member Brenda Ford had questions about Bill 294 prior to the Finance Committee meeting, as reported in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. “While the intent is probably OK, this is going to lower the revenue coming into the county,” Ford said. “If it was net neutral, it might be different. It’s not.” Ford first voted kanalua on the measure, then changed her vote to yes.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES offered views on genetically modified organisms and pesticides during a debate on KITV Tuesday evening. Civil Beat reporter Chad Blair asked: “If elected governor, would you support restrictions on GMOs? Where do you stand on pesticide use? And how do you feel about labeling?”
Duke Aiona
      Republican Duke Aiona said, “It is a very emotional and divisive issue right now in regards to the counties. I believe that labeling — people knowing what’s in the food, what’s in the ground — is very important. In regards to pesticides, I believe if it is an issue in regards to monitoring and regulation, then obviously our Department of Health has to do a better job than what it’s doing right now. But I’m not sure that it’s really is the exact, the real problem, in regards to this whole genre of issues that are before the counties right now. I think it’s really a matter of not being as well educated as everyone should be. I think with the latest commercials that we see right now and the Maui initiative is educating people both ways. I’ve heard it both ways. And so, it’s something that obviously everyone has to be a part of in the discussion, and when the ultimate decision is finally made, it’s whether or not it’s going to help us — it’s going to be beneficial to us in regards to our health and well-being — and of course, the economic toll that it’s going to take on the farmers, on the vendors and everyone else.”
Mufi Hannemann
      Independent Mufi Hannemann said, “I’ve long maintained that the Department of Agriculture is the Rodney Dangerfield of state departments. Cuts to that department that were condoned by Sen. Ige and the Lingle-Aiona administration would not happen under a Hannemann administration. So let’s look at the three questions that were asked. Based on the science, I’m OK with GMO continuing to be part of what we have here in Hawai`i because I really believe we would see a dramatic drop in agricultural crops. However, pesticide drift is something that we need to do a better job of, and we need to empower the Department of Agriculture, working with the counties, to ensure that the pesticides that we use and the drift is curtailed to a great degree. Thirdly, I also believe that when it comes to labeling, it should be a national policy. I’m OK with labeling, but I think it should be done across the board, and it should be a mandate from Washington, D.C., as opposed to local or state municipalities doing that.”
David Ige
      Democrat David Ige said, “Yes, I do believe that as governor I would assure that we protect the health and safety of our communities. That would be Job One. We need to regulate pesticide use. We need to know what is being applied, where it’s being applied and ensure that it’s being applied safely. That is a core function of state government, and I would ensure that that happens. In terms of labeling, I do believe that labeling is a federal issue. I strongly encourage the federal government and the FDA to set standards so our people know what’s in the food they’re buying. And then thirdly, in terms of the GMOs, I really do believe and support all farmers. We have so much agriculture land that is not in production. We need to support them, whatever their method, whatever they’re planting.”
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE FINAL KA`U PLANTATION DAYS planning meeting is Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center. Residents continue planning for the event a week from today on Saturday, Oct 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
      For more information, call Darlyne Vierra at 640-8740.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN NA`ALEHU AND PAHALA offer free programs for the public three weeks in a row this month. 
      Ka`u Learning Academy co-founder Joe Iacuzzo, the official Hawai`i representative for the National Park Service’s National Fossil Day, will present a talk titled Thomas Jefferson to Johnson Space Center: America’s Fossil History at Pahala Public & School Library on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 3:30 p.m.
      In 2008, Iacuzzo was the project manager for a team of scientists who worked at NASA to study the most complete dinosaur fossil ever discovered. The incredible advances in science that allowed for the NASA research were set in motion by a host of early American scientists, including Jefferson, who was an avid fossil collector who was trying to understand the prehistoric past of the new United States. “The evolution of how we understand prehistoric life and the technologies available to researchers would make Jefferson's head spin!” Iacuzzo said.
Anna Peach presents the Pumpkin Primer
in Pahala on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Photo from squashandawe.com
      Iacuzzo worked for six years on Jurassic Park at Universal Pictures and co-produced an award-winning dinosaur documentary film for Discovery Channel. He has been involved with numerous dinosaur discoveries and is the most widely read dinosaur science writer in the world. This event is sponsored by the National Park Services.
      The Pumpkin Primer shows how to use heirloom squash to outsmart melon fly and pickle worm in Hawai`i. Kamuela farmer Anna Peach of Squash and Awe farm presents a talk about her sustainable farming methods. A seventh-generation farmer, Peach decided to look to history for a solution to Hawai`i’s commercial crop failure. She shares information about no-till farming, interplanting with native plants, seed saving and making natural fertilizers from restaurant scrap.
      See her farm at squashandawe.com.
      Programs are in Na`alehu Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m. and in Pahala Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m.
      There will be another special program for the Hawai`i State Public Library System’s statewide fall Children & Teens Program at the end of October. Pahala Library will host internationally renowned storyteller Diane Ferlatte, a native from New Orleans, on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. The program title is Haunted Bayou-Ghostly Tales: Spirits Have Souls, Too.”

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See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.