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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I. See more below. Photo from the Royal Order
A NEW ONLINE PORTAL LETS CONSUMERS see how Hawai`i restaurants and other food service organizations fare in food safety inspections, starting with O`ahu inspection data. Past neighbor island inspections will be uploaded by the end of the year. Going forward, all inspection reports from all islands will be posted in near real-time, depending upon availability of secure, wireless access.
      Access to data from food safety inspection reports, complete with descriptions of violations, gives consumers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at food safety and sanitation practices at food outlets they frequent.
      “We’re taking transparency to an entirely new level,” said Peter Oshiro, who manages Hawai`i Department of Health’s food safety inspection program. “Information from the inspection reports empowers consumers and informs their choices.”
      The online portal, which has taken nearly a year to develop and refine, is a companion component to the DOH’s placard program, which it began as part of the state’s Food Safety Code adopted in 2014. Under the placard program, food outlets are given a green, yellow or red placards and are required to post them in visible locations at their entrances. The color-coded placards indicate whether a food establishment has passed its health inspection, received a conditional pass or has been closed due to permit suspension. Restaurants are fined for not posting them.
Peter Oshiro
      “Data from the inspection reports give consumers the details behind the green, yellow or red placards, which many have become accustomed to seeing near the entrances of restaurants or other places that serve food,” Oshiro said. “Our observant inspectors are capturing every detail for their reports using established science-based criteria. With this degree of disclosure, we believe the online reports will make restaurants and other food service organizations pay closer attention to their food safety and sanitation practices.”
      Just as the publicly posted placards provide an incentive for restaurants and other food service organizations to rectify any food-handling or other safety issues, the publicly available data from the inspection reports are expected to motivate restaurants to take a closer look at their own practices since these reports become a permanent, historical record accessible to the public.
      “About 25 percent of the locations we inspect receive a yellow card. We hope to see this rate steadily decline with this new website,” Oshiro said. “We can now show what a bad inspection looks like on a public site. This should be a great catalyst for the industry to improve their food safety practices and make internal quality control a priority before our inspections.”
      More than 10,000 food establishments statewide prepare or serve food and require a Department of Health permit to operate their business, with roughly 1,800 on Hawai`i Island. This includes restaurants, hotels, caterers, food warehouses, markets, convenience stores, lunch wagons, push carts and institutional kitchens for healthcare facilities, schools, adult and child day care centers and prisons.
      The Hawai`i restaurant inspection website is at http://hi.healthinspections.us/hawaii.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HO`OMALU KA`U, THE NONPROFIT that is planning Ka`u Heritage Center, applied for $16,000 in county funding for its Saving Ka`u Kupuna Life Histories program, under the direction of the organization's president and contact person Lehua Lopez-Mau. Hawai`i County Council’s Human Services & Social Services Committee recommended $3,500 for the project. The committee will discuss these and other recommendations at its meeting on Tuesday, April 19.
Ho`omalu Ka`u plans a Ka`u Heritage Center near Ocean View and a
program to record storytelling sessions by Ka`u kupuna.
Photo by Shalan Crysdale
  The budget includes professional fees, operations, supplies, advertising and liability insurance to conduct 12 interviews, capturing life histories in digital video, according to the application. Complete interviews would be archived at Ka`u Heritage Center, with a copy given to each family. Ho`omalu Ka`u’s grant application also includes plans to record “for archival purposes” six storytelling sessions at county parks in Ka`u where “kupuna living and working in Ka`u over the last 70-plus years” could bring their "photos, household things, and artifacts from their old plantation, ranching and farming days."
      “Kupuna (elders), born and raised in Ka`u, or living here for more than 30 years, are rapidly passing away,” the grant application states. “Their memories of a unique, bygone Hawaiian era, encompassing almost all of the 20th century, need to be preserved for future generations.”
      Last year the organization received $3,000 in county funding.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Mazie Hirono spoke on the Senate floor
to mark Equal Pay Day.
Image from Office of Sen. Hirono
SEN MAZIE HIRONO MARKED Equal Pay Day today by introducing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Opportunities Act, legislation that would improve inclusion of women, minorities and people with disabilities in STEM careers. Equal Pay Day marks the day in 2016 when, on average, women’s wages catch up to what men earned in 2015.
      “It’s unacceptable that we are more than 100 days into 2016, but women’s salaries are only now catching up with what men made last year,” Hirono said. “While the gender pay gap affects women across all fields, women in STEM careers continue to face barriers that can limit their opportunities for employment and equal pay. The STEM Opportunities Act takes a comprehensive approach to combatting factors that limit the advancement of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM. For America to remain competitive in a 21st century economy, we must break down barriers for working women through passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and the STEM Opportunities Act.”
      Hirono also took to the Senate floor to mark Equal Pay Day and highlight disparities in STEM fields. For example, at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa in school year 2014-2015, men earned more than five times the number of computer science bachelor’s degrees and three times as many bachelor’s degrees in the College of Engineering as women.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD INTRODUCED a House resolution yesterday celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Hawai`i’s oldest royal order organization. King Kamehameha V established the Royal Order on April 11, 1865 to honor the legacy of his grandfather, King Kamehameha I, to defend the Kingdom of Hawai`i’s sovereignty and to preserve the culture and traditions of the Native Hawaiian people.
      “For 150 years, the Royal Order of Kamehameha has honored the legacy of Hawai`i’s King Kamehameha I, as well as helped to cultivate and perpetuate the culture, traditions and practices of Native Hawaiians,” Gabbard said. “Today, the Royal Order continues to honor its namesake and fulfill its mission of uplifting our communities by supporting and empowering the Native Hawaiian people. I urge my colleagues to join me in congratulating The Royal Order of Kamehameha I on 150 years of service and celebrating the legacy of this unique cultural and historical treasure.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Jeff Peterson returns to Ka`u today.
JEFF PETERSON HELPS PAHALA Public & School Library celebrate National Library Week today at 5:30 p.m. The 45-minute program is suitable for all ages. Young children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver.
      For more information, call 928-2015.

RECOVERY AND RELEASE OF `ALALA, the Hawaiian crow, is the topic this evening at After Dark in the Park. The program begins a 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Ka`u Scenic Byway Committee’s meeting Thursday at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. Chair Rich Morrow said he hopes to have an update on lava flow date signs to be placed along Hwy 11.

KEN GOODRICH PRESENTS an exploration of light, sound and spirit during Into the Light on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. $5 donations are appreciated.
      Call 967-8222 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April_2016.pdf.