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 19, 2015

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015

Ka`u is one of two potential areas of Hawai`i Island now with a high risk of dengue fever infection. Map from Hawai`i Department of Health
KAHUA `OLOHU MAKAHIKI GROUNDS in Na`alehu are on their way to preservation. Hawai`i County Council yesterday unanimously approved Council member Maile David’s resolution authorizing the county to negotiate purchase of the 13 acres owned by James Weatherford, who initially intended to use the property for agriculture. His plans changed when the county did an archaeological survey and found artifacts related to makahiki practices, including a bowling field. 
      The property is listed for purchase in the county Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Committee’s 2014 Annual Report for its historical significance and cultural importance. PONC funds, which come from two percent of property taxes, will be used for transaction.
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Aedes aegypti is one of two mosquito species that can transmit dengue fever.
Photo from DOH
AREAS OF KA`U FROM NEAR Punalu`u to South Point hold a high risk for potential dengue fever infection, according to Hawai`i Department of Health. A new map released yesterday shows Ka`u as a second high-risk area for the disease. South Kona was recognized as Hawai`i Islands single high-risk area until yesterday. According to DOH, “risk levels of areas where confirmed cases may have contracted the disease are determined by factors including the number of confirmed cases who reported visiting those areas, as well as observed mosquito activity.” 
      Extra protection should be taken in areas of risk. Measures include applying insect repellent; wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks; avoiding activities in areas with a lot of mosquitoes; and staying indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
      DOH today reported that confirmed cases now number 79, seven more that yesterday. Sixty-eight are Hawai`i Island residents, and 11 are visitors. “A total of 120 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria,” DOH reported.
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KA`U LAWMAKERS WANT PROFESSIONALS from the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization to assess Hawai`i Island’s dengue fever outbreak. “A very modest investment now will pay dividends long-term,” Sen. Josh Green and Rep. Richard Creagan wrote in a letter to Gov. David Ige and Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler. “The dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island is at a point where it may likely take a very significant turn for the worse,” the legislators wrote. “There are huge groups of migrant workers that can and likely will move dengue throughout the Big Island if immediate action isn’t taken.”
Hawai`i Department of Health
Directory Virginia Pressler
      Green and Creagan seek resources to communicate with Micronesian and Hispanic workers about the disease and how to protect themselves. They call for workers to have free mosquito repellent and free additional work gear to cover exposed skin. They also pursue support for workers who may lose wages because of the disease and farmers who experience decreased productivity.
      The legislators also want more local testing capacity and access to healthcare to be immediately provided in certain targeted Big Island areas, “per the collaborative recommendations of our local healthcare personnel, the DOH team and CDC/WHO recommendations,” the letter stated.
       Sen. Russell Ruderman told Bret Yager, of West Hawai`i Today, that the state’s response to the outbreak has been weak and slow. He compared it to how the state has dealt with rat lungworm disease. “Too often, the state ignores Big Island problems, but it’s a foolish approach,” Ruderman said. “Because once they are well established, they will spread to the other islands. Someone infected is going to get on a plane.”
      Green and Creagan said their constituents have described the response they have received from DOH as “demeaning, dismissive or not in tune with the culture and expectations of the Big Island. This is not what we expect to hear from the community, and we know it is not what the department leadership means to convey. However, it is a reality. …
      “Please act today to save tomorrow,” the letter concluded.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
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OUTREACH TO AGRICULTURAL WORKERS and farm owners about dengue fever is the goal of Comunidad Latina de Hawai`i, a nonprofit organization in Kailua-Kona. The hui and state Department of Health offer information in Spanish and English tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Konawaena High School cafeteria.
      “We are seeing an increase in confirmed cases of dengue within our farm worker community,” said hui President Angela Dean, “and find it imperative that we reach out to you and this community so that together as a community we may effectively combat or decrease the exposure to dengue.”
      For more information, email adean@comunidadlatinadehawaii.org.
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Gov. David Ige accepted an award on behalf of Hawai`i.
Photo from Office of the Governor
GOV. DAVID IGE ACCEPTED a $660,422 award on behalf of the state of Hawai`i from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jesus Mendoza, administrator of the Western Regional Office of the Food and Nutrition Service. The award recognizes exceptional performance by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and acknowledges exemplary work of the Department of Human Services’ Benefits, Employment and Support Services Division over the last four years to improve efficiency and effectiveness in determination of SNAP eligibility for people in Hawai`i. In fiscal year 2014, BESSD achieved a 94.4 percent timeliness rate, placing Hawai`i in the top six states for highest timeliness rates. 
      The bonus award will help further transform SNAP processes and services. Ige said this achievement is integral to his administration’s promise to deliver efficient, effective and open government.
      “This bonus award demonstrates that the state of Hawai`i SNAP eligibility team is a leader in service and performance nationwide,” Ige said. “The award is also a promise to reinvest in Hawai`i’s future, as the funds will further transform and improve the way the state of Hawai`i serves its people.”
      BESSD plans to reinvest the money from the bonus award into their processes and services. Specific plans are forthcoming, but the monies will help the BESSD achieve the DHS goals of nurturing human potential by connecting Hawai`i residents to community resources.
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Sen. Sam Slom
HAWAI`I’S REPUBLICAN PARTY disagrees with Gov. David Ige’s plan to accept Syrian refugees into the state. Earlier this week and following terrorist attacks in Paris, France on Friday, Nov. 13 which may have involved Syrian refugees, Ige said, “Hawai`i is the Aloha State, known for its tradition of welcoming all people with tolerance and mutual respect.”
      State Sen. Sam Slom is calling for Ige to reconsider his position, according to Nathan Eagle, of Civil Beat. Slom, Hawai`i’s only Republican state senator, said, “I celebrate Hawai`i’s unique Aloha Spirit, openness and sense of welcome. However, there are limits and practical realities to every stated policy.”
      Slom pointed to the state’s high cost of living and the burden the state carries in accepting Micronesian migrants. “We can be compassionate; we can extend the Aloha Spirit, but it is important to also be realistic and pragmatic with our state resources,” he said.
      Hawai`i Republican Party Chair Fritz Rohlfing said, “We feel sympathy for the refugees coming from Syria and the Middle East, but Hawai`i is still grappling with a homeless crisis that has yet to be resolved by our local politicians.”
      According to Eagle, Hawai`i GOP said it agrees with U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan’s statement that, “our nation has always been welcoming, but we cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion.”
      See civilbeat.com.
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard supports labeling of GMO food products.
U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD IS ASKING Ka`u residents to sign an online petition calling for the U.S. Senate to reject a bill pertaining to labeling GMO food products. “A challenge that exists for the people of Hawai`i and across the country is the fact that huge agribusiness corporations hide their use of GMOs and keep consumers in the dark about what’s in their food,” Gabbard said. 
      “Earlier this year, the House passed a bill that opponents call the DARK Act – Denying Americans the Right to Know. I opposed and spoke out against this bill because it would prevent states and counties from passing legislation to increase transparency. It would keep American consumers in the DARK about what’s in their food. If it becomes law, it’d be a huge win for agribusiness and a massive setback for consumers.
      “Right now, the Senate is getting ready to vote on a similarly disastrous bill, and it’s up to us to put a stop to it before it’s too late. Will you join me and add your name to tell the Senate to vote “no” on keeping Americans in the dark about what’s in their food?”
      The petition is available at go.democrataction.com/page/s/we-need-a-food-labeling-standard?source=gabbard&email.
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Handmade ornaments are available during
Christmas in the Country. Photo from VAC
VOLCANO ART CENTER’S 16th Annual Christmas in the Country opens to the public on Saturday at VAC Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Special holiday celebrations include art demonstrations, print and book signings by VAC Gallery artists, plus a selection of handcrafted decorations and gifts offered only during the holiday season. 
      Kathy Long will be signing her extensive collection of prints from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Long’s prints represent her many years of dedication to Hawai`i’s unique culture captured in paint and pastel. Her work is featured in Aloha Expressionism by Contemporary Hawai`i Artists, highlighting 50 of Hawai`i’s award-winning artists.
      Vicki Penney-Rohner also signs books and offers a painting demonstration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Well-known for her love of color and light, Penney-Rohner will also sign copies of Aloha Expressionism by Contemporary Hawai`i Artists, in which she and her work is featured.
      A members-only preview takes place tomorrow from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Joining is easy and secure at volcanoartcenter.org, or participants can purchase a one-day membership upon arrival for $15.
      Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
      Christmas in the Country events and activities are free; park entrance fees apply.
      For more information, call 967-8222.

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See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_November2015.pdf.