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, June 11, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, June 11, 2015

Pa`u riders and horses bedecked in lei, like these during Merrie Monarch, are popular in many Hawai`i parades, including ones celebrating Kamehameha Day today. Photo by Julia Neal
TODAY IS KAMEHAMEHA DAY, a public holiday celebrating the life of the king who unified all the Hawaiian Islands from the Big Island to Ni`ihau in the decades just before arrival of missionaries. Kamehameha I formally established the Hawaiian Kingdom as an internationally recognized government in 1810. During his reign from 1795 to 1818, fur traders and merchants, picking up local sandalwood on their way to markets in China, stopped in Hawai`i on their sailing ships. Pineapple and coffee crops were introduced.
King Kamehameha statue in the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Julia Neal
      Kamehameha’s great-grandson Kamehameha V established the holiday in 1871, and Kamehameha Day quickly grew to include such events as carnivals, horse and foot races, parades featuring pa`u riders – the flower-bedecked horseback contingents representing each island – hula competitions and ho`olaule`a. The holiday continued as Hawai`i became a part of the U.S. It was one of the first holidays to be written into law when Hawai`i became a state in 1959.
      There are four statues of Kamehameha, one in Hilo, another in Kapa`au, a third in Honolulu and a fourth in the U.S. Capitol visitor center in Washington, D.C. All are the sites of lei ceremonies each year on Kamehameha Day.
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KA`U'S STATE REP. RICHARD ONISHI, who serves as vice chair on the House Agriculture Committee, applauded Hawai`i State Legislature for passing a key bill that he introduced. HB 850 appropriates funds for four additional extension agents administered by the University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, with one position in each county.
      Extension personnel provide various services ranging from individual consultations, educational workshops and short courses on relevant subjects, including agriculture, home economics, family living, 4-H and other youth activities, nutrition and health. “These much needed agents provide direct help to farmers with information, assistance and research on issues affecting farms,” Onishi said.
      Onishi also supported the Legislature’s increase in funding for Hawai`i Invasive Species Council, which will receive $8 million for the next two fiscal years. He said he is working to get that funding to the Big Island to help with albizia eradication and to create a little fire ant pilot project that would help homeowners to combat the pests.
      Onishi encouraged his constituents to contact him, saying “I appreciate and value your input because it allows me to see issues from many different perspectives.”
      Contact him at 808-586-6120 or reponishi@capitol.hawaii.gov.
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Henry Yang
THIRTY METER TELESCOPE PARTNERS yesterday announced plans to support education of students in Hawai`i. Henry T. Yang, chair of TMT’s International Observatory Board, said universities involved with TMT plan to establish scholarships, summer internships, graduate program fellowships and research assistantships in the areas of science and technology for Hawai`i’s students. 
       The announcement followed Gov. David Ige’s request last month that TMT increase its support of Native Hawaiian students interested in science and technology through admission to and scholarships at its partner institutions, with priority given to Hawai`i Island students and then to students statewide. “Young people need to reach for the stars, literally and figuratively,” Ige said.
       “TMT and our partners support the governor’s vision,” Yang said. “Caltech and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences have pledged their support, and we will work within each university’s curriculum and requirements to establish educational programs that fulfill the governor’s vision. More of our partner universities are considering establishing similar programs to host Native Hawaiian students from Hawai`i Island and elsewhere in the state.”
       Yang said the Department of Astronomy at the University of Tokyo and the Department of Astronomical Science at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, affiliated with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, are encouraging applications from Hawai`i for graduate studies. NAOJ’s Subaru Telescope has been offering job and internship opportunities to UH students in its various activities and has agreed to collaborate with UH-Hilo on its graduate program in astronomy.
       “As our plan evolves and develops over the next few weeks and months,” Yang said, “we anticipate and foresee that within a few years, a significant number of Native Hawaiians will not only gain educational experiences at prominent universities in our partner countries, but also return to Hawai`i to carry on the Hawaiian tradition of scientific exploration, technological innovation and environmental sustainability, for the betterment of Hawai`i and all of humanity on Earth.”
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Corey Rosenlee
RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT ISSUES including Hawai`i’s low teacher pay, teacher turnover, lack of air conditioning in schools and educational inequities are some priorities of the newly elected president of Hawai`i State Teachers Association. 
      “We have to see the fight for good schools as a civil rights fight,” Corey Rosenlee told Jessica Terrell, of Civil Beat. “If you see it as a civil rights movement, then you use civil rights strategies.”
      Rosenlee also said he wants teachers to have a larger presence in proposing legislation.
      “Too often teachers voices are not heard,” Rosenlee told Terrell. “We want to make sure that when we make public policy decisions about education, people hear about how it is going to impact teachers and students.”
      Rosenlee said his job will be finding out what teachers’ priorities are and engaging them in the process before suggesting future actions. “I want to take it step by step,” Rosenlee said. “I don’t want to move too fast for my own board, and I don’t want to move too fast for our teachers, either.”
      On Hawai`i News Now, Rosenlee said public schools are underfunded, and that paying teachers the lowest salaries in country and testing students more without better teachers won’t solve the problem. He talked about other places like Singapore, which incentivized top college graduates to go into teaching with high pay and other benefits.
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New tipping fees on businesses will fund expansion of greenwaste recycling
facilities to more county transfer stations like the one in Wai`ohinu.
Photo from Hawai`i Zero Waste
HAWAI`I COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT will begin charging a new tipping fee on July 1 to businesses that drop off greenwaste at recycling facilities in West Hawai`i and East Hawai`i. Revenue will help finance an expansion of greenwaste recycling services across the island. 
      The new fee will not affect residential customers with self-hauled greenwaste from their private residential property. Residential customers will continue to be allowed to drop off greenwaste free of charge at seven locations around the island.
      The county currently pays more than $1.8 million a year to recycle greenwaste into mulch that is then distributed free to the community. The new tipping fee is expected to raise more than $500,000 a year to help finance an expansion of organics recycling services islandwide, including establishing new greenwaste drop-off locations at additional transfer stations.
      Hawai`i County Council established the fee in 2005, but county administration delayed imposing the fee during the recession.
      Free mulch and free assisted mechanical loading will remain available to both residents and businesses at the West Hawai`i and East Hawai`i Organics Facilities.
      For more information, see HawaiiZeroWaste.org.
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SEVENTH ANNUAL VOLCANO POTTERY SALE begins tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. 
      In addition to the sale, there will be an exhibit of new work by each potter, and the public is invited to bid for these pieces in a silent auction. Demonstrations of throwing on the potter’s wheel take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      Call 985-8530 or email ron@ryhpottery.com for more information.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Ka`u Scenic Byway Committee’s meeting today at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church.
      For more information, email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net.