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, April 14, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kumu hula Stephanie Apolo with Halau Hula Kalaulani o Pu`uanahulu perform Saturday. See more below. Photo from Volcano Art Center
HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE ARE INCREASING enforcement of distracted driving this month as part of a national campaign called “U Drive U Text U Pay.”
      Distracted driving is a problem of national concern. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finds that the task of driving requires a driver’s full attention in focusing on the roadway and driving maneuvers. Any distraction that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary tasks of maneuvering the vehicle and responding to critical events increases the driver’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road or hands off the wheel.
      On July 1, 2013, the state of Hawai`i enacted law prohibiting the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle (with certain exceptions) and to specifically prohibit activities such as texting, instant messaging, gaming and emailing, which take a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road and hands off the wheel. Use of an electronic device while operating a vehicle is a $297 fine and $307 if the violation is within a school or construction zone.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

MORE THAN 250 BILLS HAVE PASSED third reading on the floor of the state Senate and will be returning to the House. Bills address areas of environmental protection, economic development, crime victim protections and water rights. Today is the crossover deadline for bills to advance at the Legislature. A majority of the bills will move into conference committees, where House and Senate conferees will convene to discuss House and Senate drafts and come to agreement on final amended versions.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY General is again partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration and state Narcotics Enforcement Division, Department of Public Safety to coordinate a prescription drug take-back event on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kona Police Station and Ka Waena Lapa`au Medical Complex at 670 Ponahawai Street in Hilo.
Safely dispose of drugs on Saturday, April 30.
      This is the DEA’s 11th National Take-Back Initiative for the state. Anyone with expired or unused prescription medications is encouraged to bring their medications to the collection sites. The service is free and anonymous – no questions asked. Tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms of medication will be accepted. New or used needles and syringes will not be accepted.
      “Tossing pills into the trash can be dangerous. The take-backs are a great way to safely dispose of prescription drugs without harming others or the environment,” said Attorney General Douglas Chin.
      Unused or expired medicine should be disposed of properly when it is no longer needed for the illness for which it was prescribed. Medicines may lose their effectiveness after the expiration date. Improper use of prescription drugs can be as dangerous as illegal drug use. Having unused and expired medicine in homes increases the risk of accidental poisoning. Homes where children or the elderly live are especially vulnerable to this danger. People may mistake one type of medicine for another type. Children may mistake medicine for candy.
      Unused or expired medicine should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet. Proper disposal helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.
      For more information, see www.dea.gov or www.ag.hawaii.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO HAILED AN AGREEMENT reached last week between the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Taiwan to facilitate its membership in U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s Global Entry Program, which will allow for expedited customs clearance for Taiwanese citizens visiting the United States and vice versa. In the absence of formal diplomatic relations, AIT and TECRO represent the U.S. and Taiwan respectively. 
U.S. Customs & Border Protection's Global Entry Program
expedites customs and immigration screening.
Photo from U.S. CBP
      “Including Taiwan in the Global Entry program will benefit America’s economy and national security,” Hirono said. “The Global Entry vetting process will allow the United States to better direct security resources to lesser known travelers, while giving participants the added convenience of expedited customs and immigration screening. Last year, Taiwanese visitors spent more than $31 million in Hawai`i, and we can only expect Taiwanese visitor arrivals and spending to grow with the increased ease provided by the Global Entry program.”
      Last October, Hirono led a bipartisan coalition of 21 senators to urge Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to approve Taiwan’s inclusion in the Global Entry program. Hawai`i Tourism Authority supports Hirono’s effort.
      “This is welcome news for Hawai`i’s tourism industry,” HTA President and CEO George Szigeti said. “We appreciate Sen. Hirono’s diligence to incorporate Taiwan into the Global Entry Program and improve the process for its travelers to visit the Hawaiian Islands. Taiwan and Hawai`i already enjoy strong cultural connections, and this program helps strengthen those ties even more by making it easier for Taiwan’s citizens to come experience and interact with the people of Hawai`i.”
      Global Entry participants must be pre-approved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment. Participants may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States. The Global Entry program allows participants to complete expedited customs and immigration procedures using self-service kiosks at over 50 airports in the U.S., Canada and select overseas locations, including Honolulu International Airport.
      Taiwan is now on course to joining Canada, Mexico, Panama, Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea as eligible for CBP’s Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY Association, Inc. holds its 19th annual Membership Meeting & Conference tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The theme is Rural Health at Work in Our Communities. Registration is closed, but interested parties may call 928-0101 for more information.

Learn to cultivate mushrooms Saturday. Image from VAC
ZACH THE MUSHROOM GUY MERMEL teaches basics of mushroom cultivation at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
      A wonder drug or just darn tasty, the humble mushroom belongs to a kingdom seldom explored. Mushrooms are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and nutrition with the added bonus of being easy to grow. Their health benefits are well known, and their ecological advantages are just now being fully realized.
      Participants learn basic fungal biology and how fungal mycelium colonizes different materials, particularly wooden logs and straw. They also discover the health benefits of different edible and medicinal fungi in Hawai`i. Attendees will gain hands-on experience inoculating their own mushroom kits as well as logs, which they can take home at the end of the day.
      Mermel encourages farmers, gardeners and homeowners seeking to incorporate the growing of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms into their lives and livelihoods to attend.
      Course fees are $40 for VAC members and $50 for non-members plus a $25 supply fee. Preregistration is required at 967-8222 or volcanoartcenter.org.

A HULA KAHIKO PERFORMANCE takes place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery’s hula platform in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Kumu hula Stephanie Apolo with Halau Hula Kalaulani o Pu`uanahulu perform. Na Mea Hula with Kumu hula Ab Valencia and members of Halau Hula Kalehuaki`eki`eika`iu begins at 11 a.m.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.
      For more information, see volcanoartcenter.org.

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