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, November 06, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014

Meeting in the middle of lava covering Chain of Craters Road, crews finished the first phase of rebuilding the emergency route connecting Lower Puna residents to Ka`u and the rest of the island. Photo from National Park Service
STATE SENATORS REPRESENTING KA`U have been named to key positions, according to the reorganization announced Wednesday. Sen. Josh Green, who serves east Ka`u and Kona, is Floor Leader of the Hawai`i state Senate for the first time and Chair of its Committee on Health. Sen. Russell Ruderman, who serves east Ka`u and Puna, is chair of the Hawai`i Senate Committee on Agriculture. Senator Gil Kahele, who served Ka`u and now serves Hilo, is Caucus Leader and Chair of the Senate’s Committee on Tourism & International Affairs.
East Ka`u's state Sen. Josh Green is Floor Leader and Chair of Health Committee.
Photo from Sen. Green
      Continuing as the only doctor in the Senate, Green said last night that he will focus on solving the Hawai`i Health Systems Corp. challenge to stabilize the safety net for health care. HHSC operates Ka`u, Hilo, Kona and other mostly rural hospitals in Hawai`i as a quasi-state-funded health system. Green said he sees the state creating a partnership with nonprofits already established in Hawai`i. “Both Kaiser and Hawai`i Pacific Health (Straub) are interested in Maui,” said Green.
      Legislation must pass to allow these partnership, he said, noting that the legislative process will delve into whether the whole system or just part of the system will be operated by one or more of the nonprofits. “In time, now that Queens has developed a presence with Kaua`i, Queens may have more engagement with Big Island hospitals,” Green said.
     The Health Chair said that he will work on incentives to bring doctors and nurses to every corner of the state where there is a shortage. He also promised to focus on treatment for those who are addicted to drugs and to prevent drug overdoses by decreasing the amount of narcotics in the community.
      Green stated that 80 percent of all narcotics in the world are consumed by Americans and that much of the consumption is through prescriptions.
      The senator said that as Floor Leader he will have a role in all referrals to committees. “The Floor Leader digs deep into the process to determine which bills have priority,” Green said. He said he promises to focus on real debate and making sure that important bills aren’t left on the side to die without being heard.
      Regarding Ruderman being named Chair of Ag, Green recalled that he and Ruderman co-sponsored the GMO regulation package, including measures on labeling and use of pesticides, which came before the last Legislature. With Green as Health Chair and Ruderman as Ag Chair, they have an opportunity to bring these issues into the forefront for research, debate and decision-making, Green said. “I am very happy to see my colleague as Ag Chair, where he can lead us on issues related to GMO, pesticides and many priorities such as the cottage food industry. He plans to do a lot to help small, local farmers,” Green said.
Sen. Russell Ruderman, at Mo`oheau Bandstand in Hilo the night before the election
with Democratic Party of Hawai`i County Chair David Tarnas, has been named
Chair of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture. Photo by Julia Neal
      Ruderman said, “I am very excited about being Chair of the Ag Committee. I plan to listen and study every point of view without excluding any. I hope to make progress on local food issues, such as cottage foods, supporting small farms and diversified agriculture.” He said he also plans to address coffee labeling issues including truth in labeling and minimum blend requirements in the 2015 Legislature.
      Regarding election results on Tuesday, Ruderman said that he is proud of Hawai`i for resisting the power of outside money to defeat such bills as the GMO moratorium on Maui and the money targeted to defeat Hawai`i County Council member Margaret Wille, who authored GMO bills on this island.
    Senate President Donna Mercado Kim talked about the overall leadership of the Senate the day after the election. “This is a strong leadership team that will waste no time in preparing for the upcoming legislative session.”
     Senate Vice President is Will Espero, and Majority Leader is J. Kalani English. Other leaders in the Senate are Majority Whip Brian Taniguchi; Policy Leader Les Ihara, Jr.; Chair of Ways & Means Jill Tokuda; Vice Chair of Ways & Means Ron Kouchi; Chair of Judiciary & Labor Gil Keith-Agaran; Chair of Consumer Protection Roz Baker; Chair of Hawaiian Affairs Maile Shimabukuro; Chair of Education Michelle Kidani; Chair of Economic Development & Technology Glenn Wakai; Chair of Water & Land Laura Thielen; Chair of Human Services and Housing Suzanne Chun-Oakland; Chair of Higher Education & the Arts Brian Taniguchi; Chair of Government Operations Donovan Dele Cruz; Chair of Public Safety, Intergovernmental & Military Affairs Will Espero; and Chair of Transportation Clarence Nisihara.
      “Our state continues to face a number of fiscal challenges, and the Senate Majority stands ready to work with both the House and the Ige administration to address these issues and help Hawai`i families,” said Sen. Tokuda.
More voters cast ballots at Cooper Center in Volcano that other polling places.
Photo from advocacy.britannica.com
      For more on the legislative process, biographies of legislators, calendar and to testify on various bills when the 2015 Legislature opens in mid-January, see www.capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOTER TURNOUT WAS 47.7 PERCENT FOR HAWAI`I ISLAND in Tuesday’s General Election, with turnout ranging from 55.4 percent to 41.7 in precincts from Volcano through Ka`u and Miloli`i. The precinct in Volcano showed the most voting, and Ocean View the least. Pahala was second highest with 48.8 percent. Na`alehu was third with 46.5 percent, and Miloli`i was fourth, with 43 percent. 
      Here is how gubernatorial candidates did in each precinct with percentages of votes cast:
      Winning the governorship, David Ige earned the highest percentage in Miloli`i with 56.5 percent of votes. He got 56.3 percent in Volcano, 52.3 in Pahala, 47.7 percent in Na`alehu and 44.4 percent in Ocean View.
      Duke Aiona had the highest at Ocean View with 32.5 percent. His next highest was in Na`alehu at 28.6 percent, followed by Volcano, 28.2 percent; Miloli`i, 25.7 percent; and Pahala, 24.6 percent.
      In Pahala, 21 percent of those registered voted for Mufi Hannemann. He received 20.2 percent in Na`alehu, 15.8 percent in Ocean View, 12.2 percent in Miloli`i and 11.3 percent in Volcano.
      Jeff Davis received 6.9 percent of votes in Ocean View and 3.8 percent in Volcano. He got less that one percent of votes in the other three precincts.
      See more local election results in tomorrow’s Ka`u News Briefs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Mayor Billy Kenoi, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando
and Hawai`i County Department of Public Works Director Warren Lee celebrate
completion of the first phase of rebuilding Chain of Craters Road.
Photo from NPS
SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE on Chain of Craters Road since work began in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park on Oct. 24. Yesterday, crews working from each end met in the middle. This completes the rough grade of the road. Work will now begin on crushing excavated material for the road bed. The finished road will be a gravel-surfaced, 22-foot-wide, two-lane road. The road is scheduled to be completed in the next 30-45 days, weather and construction conditions permitting. 
      Lower Puna residents will be able to access the route after the lava has crossed Hwy 130 and Railroad Avenue and the National Park Service has determined that the road is safe for vehicles. The emergency access route will not be open to the public or park visitors. Residents will receive a free window decal for access through the park.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS tomorrow at 9 a.m. All meetings take place at Council Chambers in Hilo. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.

KA`U RESIDENT WHO WANT TO ATTEND `Ohana Day on Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park should register by this Saturday, Nov. 8 to be included in the free-lunch count.
      Recently returned from serving as an apprentice navigator aboard Hokule`a, Hilo-native Celeste Manuia Ha`o recounts her epic return to Faleapuna, her village of Samoa. Guided by the waves, winds, stars, and Ka Panana Hoku, the Hawaiian Star Compass, she navigated her way home using knowledge of Hawaiian ancestors. Participants discover how, whether on sea or on land, they, too, can orient themselves and never be lost.
      Call 985-6019 to register.

Dennis Kamakahi played for the hula of Erin Cole, of Ocean View, for
last year's opening concert. Photo by Julia Neal
THE CARRIAGE HOUSE AT PAHALA PLANTATION HOUSE is the site of an `ukulele build reunion Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All who have built `ukulele over the years through the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies programs in conjunction with Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, Ko Aloha `Ukulele and Pāhala Plantation Cottages are invited. Reservations for the `ukulele build have closed, but alumni are invited to bring their `ukulele for tune-ups, repairs and restringing. 

A CONCERT SPONSORED BY THE CENTER for Hawaiian Music Studies celebrates the life of the late Dennis Kamakahi this Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House.
      Sponsored by the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies, the concert and kani ka pila with `ohana features John Keawe, Diana Aki, Martin Pahinui, Ben Ka`iwi, Dennis’ son David Kamakahi, Keoki Kahumoku, Peter deAquino, Kai Ho`opi`i, the Abrigo `Ohana, Katy Rexford, Rion Schmidt and more. Donations will be accepted.

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