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, November 21, 2015

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015

Palm Trail hike tomorrow at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park crosses the 1868 lava flow. See more below. Photo from NPS
KA`U HAS THREE OF HAWAI`I COUNTY’S 88 confirmed cases of dengue fever as of yesterday, according to a map released by Hawai`i County Civil Defense. The map also shows four more cases in Ka`u that are under investigation. Four cases are in the Na`alehu area, and three are in Ocean View.
Three of Hawai`i County's 88 confirmed dengue fever cases
are in Ka`u. Map from Hawai`i County Civil Defense
      At an informational meeting with Hawai`i lawmakers yesterday, state Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler said Lyle Petersen, the director of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control, “verified that they would not send out a team. As far as boots on the ground, we’re better off with local folks who know the community than a team from the mainland.”
      Hawai`i County Civil Defense Chief Darryl Oliveira told legislators that schools are chosen for spraying based on proximity of confirmed and suspected dengue cases instead of whether or not they are in high-risk areas. “Ideally, we would like to treat all campuses,” Oliveira said.
      Ocean View Community Association vice president Sandi Alexander told Bret Yager, of West Hawai`i Today, that several Ocean View residents have likely contracted the disease but have declined medical help. “We have offered money from the community center, if they can’t afford,” she said. “We’ve even offered to drive them to public health in Na`alehu — no takers. I believe they are afraid because they don’t really understand this issue and may be afraid to find out. We have had no one come back to the community center after our offers. We now have fliers and pamphlets also in Marshallese that we will be distributing.”
      An informational meeting about dengue fever is scheduled at Ocean View Community Center on Friday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. There will be handouts, fliers and pamphlets available, including those in Marshallese.
      “I think there is a very good chance we can stop this if we pull from our values,” state epidemiologist Sarah Park told lawmakers. “I’m asking everyone to try to get the word out to everyone.” She urged residents to discuss dengue with their neighbors and friends.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
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Maile David
“THIS PROPERTY IS VERY SIGNIFICANT in our cultural history, and it is worth preserving,” Ka`u’s County Council member Maile David said in reference to Kahua `Olohu Makahiki Grounds in Na`alehu. The council on Wednesday unanimously approved David’s resolution for the county to negotiate the purchase from willing sellers James and Elizabeth Weatherford. 
      Responding to council member Aaron Chung’s request, David investigated the Weatherfords’ interests in the property and involvement in creating the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Committee, whose funds would be used in the transaction. David found that James Weatherford began working for then council member Bob Jacobson after the creation of PONC. “I think we have cleared up any concern, in my mind, that there is any perception of any special interest of the Weatherfords and this property,” David said.
      James Weatherford testified that they bought the property in 2008 as an investment in agricultural land. Later, the county contacted them regarding purchasing the land as part of a wastewater treatment facility. Pipes would be run across the parcel to the facility.
      Elizabeth Weatherford addressed concerns brought up by Na`alehu resident Jerry Warren. She said that county personnel told them pipes would go across the property, not contain a facility, as Warren suggested. She also said the ag tax exemption on the property that Warren mentioned has been rescinded as of this year.
      “This is the beginning of the makahiki season, the perfect time to make makahiki observances possible in that area,” she said. “I would love to see that (property) become used for those sorts of purposes.” 
      Richard Abbett, of Ocean View, also testified in favor of preserving the parcel. “This piece of property is a key piece of property,” he said.
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Jeff Kissel
HAWAI`I HEALTH CONNECTOR’S Executive Committee voted on Thursday, Nov. 19 to recommend to its Board of Directors to accelerate the transition of remaining functions of the Connector to state authority. The Connector’s ongoing financial challenges forced the state to accelerate the transition beginning this Dec. 1. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services determined that Hawai`i was not in compliance with certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. One of the provisions required the Connector to be financially self-sustaining beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
      The governor and state cabinet officials, in consultation with Connector leadership, agreed that this transition was in the best interest of Hawai`i residents because the state has already transitioned to the federal marketplace – healthcare.gov – for enrollment of individuals during this current open enrollment. Open enrollment began on Nov. 1 and concludes on Jan. 31, 2016.
      This open enrollment is for Hawai`i residents not eligible for health insurance through their employer or not enrolled in a government insurance program. Individuals seeking insurance are encouraged to enroll by Dec. 15 to ensure that their coverage begins on Jan 1. Individuals who are currently enrolled in ACA plans will need to re-enroll through healthcare.gov.
      “Through the leadership of several members of my cabinet, the state has collaborated with federal officials to facilitate this transition so that we can work toward restoring compliance with ACA. I especially appreciate the diligence of the Connector’s volunteer board of directors … ,” Gov. David Ige said.
      “Due to Hawai`i’s long history of health care coverage through the Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974, the rate of uninsured individuals has been amongst the lowest in the nation,” Hawai`i Health Connector Executive Director Jeff Kissel said. “The Connector was established to reach out to uninsured Hawai`i residents who were not covered under the Prepaid Health Care Act or government health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. We believe we were successful in reaching many of these previously uninsured individuals. Hawai`i residents will still be able to continue to access affordable health care coverage through healthcare.gov.”
      The final board vote is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 25.
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Donna Masaniai hosts I Ola Na `Aina Momona's Holiday Open House at her
Pahala home. Photo by Julia Neal
I OLA NA `AINA MOMONA, based in Ka`u to create land security and economic stability for farmers, will host a public Holiday Open House on Friday, Dec. 11 at the home of Donna Masaniai, 96-3196 Maile St., Pahala from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Board members are Gail Kalani, Mike Klungless, Malian Lahe, and Masaniai. 
      The nonprofit was formed in response to the foreclosure of 5,880 acres of farmland in Ka`u, where many tenant farmers produce coffee and beef for market, according to a statement from the organization.
      “While some industries, like the real estate industry, enjoy the high profits that come from expensive land in Hawai`i, the agricultural industry suffers. At the same time, Hawai`i is faced with the unsustainability of importing food, fertilizer and fuel from the mainland,” the statement from I Ola says.
      “In order to make their businesses financially sustainable, farmers need to be able to charge more for their product, while improving their soil with inexpensive, locally available nutrients and reducing the money spent on fuel and land” according to I Ola Na `Aina Momona.
      “Not only that, but Hawai`i needs to support its mahi`ai because we need local food security. I Ola Na `Aina Momona is a 501(c)3 corporation whose goal is to coalesce support for the talented farmers who live in Ka`u, and empower them to exert their talents on behalf of the entire State of Hawai`i."
      All are welcome to attend the Holiday Open House. Coffee and holiday cookies will be served. Questions can be directed to Malian Lahey at 503-575-9098 or malian@kauspecialtycoffee.com.
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KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park offers its Palm Trail Hike tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop trail provides one of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.
      See nps.gov/havo.

KAHIKAHEALANI WIGHT SIGNS HER BOOK Rainforest Pu`uhonua tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of Volcano Art Center’s Christmas in the Country celebration. The memoir tells the story of five years spent living in a Hawaiian rainforest in the 1980s.
      The event at VAC Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is free; park entrance fees apply.

KRHCAI's Floating Lantern Celebration is a week from today. Photo from KRHCAI
FLOATING LANTERN CELEBRATION is a week from today on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Punalu`u Beach Park. Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. sponsors the fifth annual event with taiko drummers, a qigong demonstration, hula halau, local musicians and a powerpoint presentation dedicated to loved ones, friends, family and caregivers. 
      Call 928-0101 Monday through Friday for more information.


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