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, March 04, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, March 4, 2016

More severe drought conditions like these in 2012 may come to Ka`u, which is currently in a moderate drought,
according to the National Weather Service, which released its report yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
THE DROUGHT IS BACK, the National Weather Service announced yesterday, declaring a “severe drought” in some places on the Big Island and Maui and “moderate drought” in Ka`u. On grazing lands near South Point in Ka`u, ranchers “have been reporting very poor pasture conditions,” the report said. Kapapala ranchers told The Ka`u Calendar newspaper that rainfall has been low in their pastures between Pahala and Volcano.
     The report mentioned that coffee farmers, mainly in the Kona area, have reported “a largely dormant crop due to the lack of rainfall.” It also noted recent brush fires on the island, which are more frequent during times of drought.
The tan area that includes Ka`u
is in moderate drought, the darker
areas in severe drought.
Map from National Weather Service
     The National Weather Service stated, “residents on water catchment systems have been hauling water, either themselves or by hiring a hauling service to fill their tanks for basic needs.”
     Kevin Kodama, hydrologist for the regional office of the National Weather Service, predicted that drought will spread and worsen through summer. He pointed to a strong El Nino event leading to dry weather, following a period of wet weather. A record low of rainfall was set in January, with most places experiencing less than 50 percent of the normal precipitation, some areas receiving less than 10 percent of normal. The National Weather Service is predicting lower than median rainfall through spring and above median temperatures attained this summer. Kodama said to look toward October for relief of dry and hotter weather conditions.
     “El Nino will likely weaken and transition to enso-neutral conditions during the spring or early summer of 2016 with a possible transition to La Nina conditions in the fall,” the report stated.
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE TERM LIMIT BILL BY SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN in the state Legislature was shelved yesterday. The senator said Tuesday at a public meeting in Pahala that it could take many years for such a bill to pass, but he keeps pushing for term limits for the Legislature where career politicians accumulate a lot of favors and “walk around with votes in their pocket.” Ruderman said that he recently attended a conference on leadership on the mainland where attendees discussed the success of term limits, which are in place for most state Legislatures around the country. They also discussed referendum, which allows citizens to bring their own initiatives to the ballot box. He said that it became clear that both of these would help Hawai`i move toward a more democratic Legislature where voters, rather than lobbyists and long-term legislators have more say. 
Sen. Ruseell Ruderman, who marched in Na`alehu's Independence Day Parade,
supports 12-year term limits for state legislators. Photo by Peter Anderson
     The state Senator who shelved the bill in Hawai`i was Gilbert Keith-Agaran, chair of the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee. Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported this morning that Keith-Agaran said that term limits are unnecessary since “we already have term limits in the sense that we have elections every two years (for members of the state House of Representatives) and every four years (for state senators) and there’s been fair turnover… . If the public and the voters are unhappy with their representatives, they have the option of voting them out.” Ruderman’s bill would have set the term limits to 12 years, longer than in many states.
     During his Ka`u meeting, Ruderman said that once legislators are in office they often hold the position for many years. He said that political action committees and lobbyists are a “severe corruption to our democracy,” in particular influencing longtime legislators. “It is sort of a rigged deal. Once you are in there, you can stay there. The situation becomes calcified, people getting their way forever.” Several members of the public attending the Ka`u meeting said they would submit online testimony in favor of the term limits. Ka`u High School students weighed in on their desire to participate in government.
     Ruderman, himself a businessman with a chain of food stores, said that in states where there are term limits, they don't have legislators who are career politicians -  “aside from citizens.” He said legislators should be from the community, “take a term and go back into the community."
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FORMER MAYOR HARRY KIM will run again after sitting out for four years and then losing to his protégé and current Mayor Billy Kenoi by less than 1,500 votes. As mayor for two terms beginning the year 2000, Kim was known for his refusal to take any favors, going as far as declining to dine at a credit union dinner where he was speaking. He earned the nickname “Honest Harry.” Before
Mayoral candidate Harry Kim, again.
Photo from Harry Kim campaign
becoming mayor, Kim was Civil Defense director for Hawai`i County for 16 years. His voice was famous for his radio updates on lava flows, storms, fires, floods and other natural disaster threats.
     In his 2000 run for mayor, Kim limited donations to his campaign to $10.
     Kim was born in Kea`au, educated at `Ola`a and Hilo High Schools. He attended college at University of Hawai`i-Hilo and Southern Oregon University, where he graduated. He served as a medic in the U.S. Army and taught school and coached on this island.
     Other candidates are Jefferson Gourley; former Council Chairman Pete Hoffmann; videographer and founder of the former KAHU community radio station in Pahala, Wendell Ka`ehu`ae`a; former County Managing Director Wally Lau; Shannon McCandless; and Eric Weinhert.
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Randy Kurohara
NEW COUNTY MANAGING DIRECTOR is Randy Kurohara, following the resignation of Wally Lau, who announced his candidacy for mayor. Kurohara, 53, served as head of the county Department of Research & Development from 2000 to 2012 when he became deputy managing directory for Hawai`i County after being appointed by Mayor Billy Kenoi who also appointed him for the new job. Yesterday, the County Council approved the new position with praise for his work.
      Kurohara graduated from University of Hawai`i at Manoa with a degree in marketing. His business and community achievements are many, including owner of graphic arts and custom apparel company Creative Arts Hawai`i, and owner of Parker Ranch Store and Aloha Grown. He has served as a board member of Hilo Medical Center and East Hawai`i Regional board for Hawai`i Health System Corp., board member and past president of Rotary Club of South Hilo, director and past president of Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Hawai`i, board member of Hawai`i Island Chamber of Commerce and board member of Hawai`i Island United Way.
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NATIONAL PARKS TRAVELING QUILT Exhibit opens today at Volcano House Great Room in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Quilts created by Fiber Works, a group of textile artists from the Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska area will be on display through Sunday, March 27.
One quilt celebrating Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park will be gifted to park after the traveling exhibits final stop. Free; park entrance fees apply. See nps.gov/havo.

ZEKE ISRAEL DEMONSTRATES hand building with clay on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The demo is in association with the gallery’s currentSightlines exhibit of works by members of Volcano Village Artists Hui.
Free; park entrance fees apply.

PARTICIPANTS DISCOVER HAWAIIAN goddesses Hi`iaka and Pele and the natural phenomena they represent on a moderate, one-mile walk. Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers the free program Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

ALTOGETHER: WE ARE ONE will be Tuesday, March 8 at Hawai`i Nature Retreat in Wood Valley. The website describes the event as “a journey of exploration, expansion and focus of the energy that flows through us all, creating a golden grid of love and light across the island of Hawai`i to usher in a new age of civilization.”  See altogetherweareone.com or facebook.com/events/142146472838551.