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.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, June 5, 2015

A talk story session about Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's draft general management plan, wilderness study and environmental impact statement is coming up next week. NPS Photo by Jay Robinson
WINDWARD PLANNING COMMISSION has approved HOVE Road Maintenance Corp.’s petition to intervene in hearings about expansion of mining activities in Ocean View, according to Nancy Cook Lauer, of West Hawai`i Today. The board, which manages roads in Ocean View, will provide evidence and question witnesses regarding proposals to expand quarrying of cinder and rock.
Jill Raznov
      Peter Dahlberg, an engineer who represents Arrow of Oregon and David and Laura Rodrigues, told Cook Lauer HOVE Road Maintenance Corp. is “asking for a lot of expensive tests that are not relevant to the mining activity.’
      The organization collects assessments from property owners to maintain 157 miles of private roads in the subdivision. According to Cook Lauer, it can also assess heavy trucks $1,000 per vehicle annually to use the roads there.
      Dahlberg also said the companies have agreed to setbacks from roads and other safety measures, “but they aren’t enough for the road company.”
      Jill Raznov, a Hilo attorney representing the road company, said it needs to be able to set parameters to help regulate the mining companies’ activity. “These must be mandated and required to ensure the safety of life and property,” Raznov said. “We’re talking about a history of noncompliance.”
      David Rodrigues told Cook Lauer, “We are willing to work with Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Road Maintenance Corp. for a fair assessment.”
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
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THE STATE OF HAWAI`I IS TAKING STEPS to ensure a smooth transition for individuals seeking health care insurance in the November 2015 Open Enrollment following closure of Hawai`i Health Connector.
      The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services informed the Connector last week that federal funds were no longer available to support its long-term operations. Hawai`i Health Connector, a private nonprofit entity, has been unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations.
      Viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents. Hawai`i has a high rate of insured residents due to employer-based health care coverage and Medicaid program expansions.
      “The state is working with the Connector and CMS to determine what functions can be transitioned to state oversight to ensure compliance with the Affordable Care Act by the next Open Enrollment,” said Gov. David Ige.
      Hawai`i Health Connector’s consumer support operations will continue to assist with November Open Enrollment.
      Based on ongoing discussions with the state and the Connector, CMS has agreed to provide limited funds for the transition so that Hawai`i can maintain a Supported State-based Marketplace. The amount of CMS transition funds has yet to be determined.
      “The state remains committed to offering health care coverage through the Prepaid Health Care Act as it has for the past 40 years,” Ige said. “The state continues to provide millions of dollars to serve 300,000 Hawai`i adults and children who receive health care coverage through Medicaid.”
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HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF LAND & Natural Resource’s Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands will lead development of a statewide Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Report in coordination with the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee. ICAC, which is tasked with delivering the SLR Report to the Legislature by the end of 2017, held its first meeting on Wednesday. 
      OCCL Administrator Sam Lemmo said, “The SLR Report will serve as the framework to address other climate-related threats and climate change adaptation priorities, ultimately leading to a Climate Adaptation Plan for the state, which will be prepared by the state Office of Planning. Over the next two and a half years we will meet regularly, engage climate change experts and keep the citizens of Hawai`i informed of our progress and recommendations to combat the negative impacts of sea level rise and other climate change threats.” 
      DLNR Chair Suzanne Case, who co-chairs ICAC with the director of the state Office of Planning, said, “The work of the ICAC is among the highest priority work we will do over the next few years. Beach erosion, drought, coral bleaching and rising ocean temperatures are already having measurable impacts on Hawai`i and are expected to accelerate in coming years. These threats include impacts to our host culture, including impacts to coastal artifacts and structures and reduced availability of traditional food sources and subsistence fisheries.”
Sen. Brian Schatz
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U.S. SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ, A MEMBER of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, introduced the School Building Fairness Act of 2015, legislation that would provide federal grants to states and local school districts to help them build, repair and renovate school facilities. 
      “When students are in a safe, well-maintained school environment, it improves their ability to learn and gives them a better shot at success. Today, a majority of our public schools in Hawai`i and across the country are in disrepair. It’s unacceptable,” Schatz said. “My bill invests in our students, giving states and local school districts the resources to build better schools and better futures for every student.”
      In 2014, a report found that a majority of public schools in the country were in need of modernization or repair with the estimated cost totaling $197 billion nationwide. Today, despite the clear need and poor conditions of many public schools, federal funding is usually not available for school facilities.
      The School Building Fairness Act is supported by U.S. Green Building Council, Rebuild America’s Schools, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, North America’s Building Trades Unions, AFL-CIO, Californians for School Facilities and Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
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THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO A TALK STORY session about the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park draft general management plan, wilderness study and environmental impact statement at Kilauea Visitor Center June 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In addition, a formal wilderness hearing will be held during this meeting to receive comments specific to the wilderness study. Park representatives will answer questions and take comments. 
      General management plans are intended to be long-term documents that establish and articulate a management philosophy and framework for decision-making and problem-solving in national parks. In the 548-page document, three alternatives for Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park are presented for review. Each alternative offers a different approach to protecting and managing park resources, using facilities and providing a range of access and visitor experiences to meet the needs of local residents, off-island visitors and students of all ages. These alternatives were developed with the intent to include and celebrate Native Hawaiian values such as malama `aina (nourishing and taking care of the land) and kuleana (responsibility).
      These alternatives are the result of five years of public scoping and comment, interdisciplinary research, field assessments, stakeholder discussions and Native Hawaiian consultation and are based upon the park’s purpose and significance, issues that need to be addressed, legal mandates and public comments provided on preliminary alternatives.

      To review the DGMP/WS/EIS and provide comments online, see parkplanning.nps.gov/havogmp. Comments can also be mailed to Superintendent, Attn: DGMP/WS/EIS, PO Box 52, Hawai`i National Park, HI 96718-0052. The public comment period is open through June 30.
Punalu`u Bake Shop's cookie kitchen
opens tomorrow.
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PUNALU`U BAKE SHOP COOKIE KITCHEN Grand Opening is tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Na`alehu, featuring entertainment and food. Call 929-7343 for more information.

THE QUEST FOR LIQUID LIGHT: Going with the Flow opens tomorrow. The exhibit features fine art photography by G. Brad Lewis. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Opening reception is tomorrow at 5 p.m.