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, August 12, 2016

Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, Aug. 12, 2016

Renovation of the locker room at Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School's original gym will begin soon.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE LOCKER ROOM at Ka`u High & Pahala Elementary School’s original gym will be renovated.
In a letter to Principal Sharon Beck, state Public Works Administrator Duane Kashiwai said that the project “will be initiated shortly.” He said a representative from his office will contact her to set a date for a pre-construction conference regarding access, scheduling, a construction start date and any concerns.
      Architect Mitch Tamayori, of Hawai`i Department of Education’s Facilities Development Branch Standards & Quality Assurance Unit, confirmed that Hawai`i County Planning Department is currently reviewing permits for the project. DOE awarded a contract for $389,164 to Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd.
      Tamayori said a separate project to renovate the gym is also being developed.
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RACHAEL WONG, DIRECTOR of the state Department of Human Services, will leave her post at the end of the month. Current Deputy Director Pankaj Bhanot will serve as director beginning Sept. 1. His appointment is subject to Senate approval.
Pankaj Bhanot
      Bridget Holthus is being appointed as DHS deputy director effective Sept. 1. Her appointment is not subject to Senate confirmation.
      Wong will be taking some time off before pursuing opportunities in the private sector, where she can continue to be an advocate for DHS programs that contribute to the state’s public health, education, employment and housing goals.
      “I asked Rachael to be a change agent for collaboration, transparency and action, and she has done just that,” Gov. David Ige said. “Rachael was the right person to lead DHS, and there will be no disruption to the momentum built as the department focuses on implementation of the programs she envisioned. I appreciate her public service.”
      Bhanot brings 17 years of service in the department and has served as the department’s deputy twice – under Ige and from Dec. 2010 to Jan. 2012. He has experience in implementing large information technology and human services projects. Bhanot previously led a business transformation initiative that won national recognition. He is an attorney by training who has dedicated his professional life to human rights and human services.
      Holthus most recently served as research program liaison at the University of Hawai`i Cancer Center. She previously served as the deputy director of the Office of Community Services at the City & County of Honolulu, special assistant to the Attorney General, and director of philanthropic services at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. Bridget is an attorney with a certificate in public health.
      “Pankaj Bhanot has been an integral part of the DHS leadership team and is positioned to conduct a seamless transition,” Ige said. “Pankaj and Bridget will continue to work closely with director of health, Ginny Pressler, to move forward with the state’s multigenerational approach to improving health outcomes, called `Ohana Nui. They will also implement the DHS integrated information system for the entire state, a move that will accelerate the transformation of the way the department does business.”
      Kimberly Miyazawa Frank will serve as community/project development director, leading implementation of `Ohana Nui and working directly with community stakeholders. Frank has provided coaching and mentorship to organizations in Hawai`i, having previously served as executive director of the YWCA-O`ahu. She also led community engagement and human services programs as senior vice president for community development at Pulama Lana`i.
      Mark Forman joins DHS as policy director and will serve a key role in synthesizing DHS policies and programs under `Ohana Nui. Forman has worked in all three branches of state government, including the state Office of Community Services. He actively promoted improvement of health and social welfare outcomes as administrator of HMSA Foundation.
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Na`alehu Hongwanji's tai chi participants demonstrated their skills at an open house this week.
Photo by Alice Yonemitsu
NA`ALEHU HONGWANJI MISSION hosted an open house on Monday, Aug. 8 for Na`alehu Nutrition Center seniors and tai chi, yoga and meditation groups from its activities program. The event was dedicated in honor of deceased Buddhist Womens’ Association members, Marge Elwell and Gladys Yonemitsu, and all former BWA members.
Yoga teacher Stephanie Pepper led open
house attendees in seated exercises.
Photo by Alice Yonemitsu
      Guest speaker for the event was K.T. Cannon-Eger, of Puna Hongwanji. Cannon-Eger is the 2015-2016 president of Hawai`i Island United Hongwanji BWA. She is also president of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens of Hilo, which celebrates its centennial in 2017. Cannon-Eger is a retired public relations professional and landscape gardener.
      Connon-Eger gave an informative talk about the history of Lili`uokalani Gardens and shared planned activities for the centennial celebration for the next three years.                       Following Cannon-Eger’s presentation, Stephanie Pepper, who offers senior yoga classes at the hongwanji, led the group in seated yoga exercises, which participants found relaxing and fun. A demonstration by the tai chi group led by Phillip Hema was also entertaining.
      Emcee for the event was Marla McCasland.
      After the presentations, members of Na`alehu Hongwanji served refreshments. They thanked all the people who came and participated in the successful open house.
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FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, Volcano Art Center is hosting a preview exhibit. Selected artworks from the Return of `Alala: Restoring The Voice Of Hawai`i’s Native Forests competition will be on display at VAC Gallery beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 in conjunction with Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Cultural Festival and BioBlitz. Select works will be available for pre-sale purchase through a silent auction in an effort to raise funds to support the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Program and their long-term project. Bidding begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 and concludes at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28.
Return of the `Alala by Lisa Greig
Image from VAC
      VAC welcomes anyone interested in supporting the event further to join in a special Hawaiian blessing by Kumu Kaho`okele Crabbe that takes place in front of the gallery on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 3:30 p.m. Immediately following the blessing, a reception will be held at Volcano House. Live music by Keoki Kahumoku along with drinks and pupus will be available for ticket holders. Those interested in tickets can purchase them in person at VAC or at volcanoartcenter.org for $50 each. Proceeds go directly to support the ongoing `Alala release project. The evening events will end at the gallery with desserts and final bids for the artwork closing.
      The statewide multimedia art competition featuring Hawai`i’s endemic `alala will be on display at VAC Gallery from Sept. 3 to Oct. 9. Proceeds support reintroduction of the species to Hawai`i’s native forests this fall. The exhibit is open to the public and free of charge, although park entrance fees apply.
      “The response to this collaborative conservation effort has been terrific,” gallery manager Emily C. Weiss said. “Hawai`’s creative community has learned so much about this critically endangered species through outreach from the `Alala Project and the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program.”
      Entrance fees to the park are waived Aug. 25 – 28 in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.
      “Please join Volcano Art Center in supporting this unique conservation effort,” Weiss said. “The `alala has been extinct in the wild since 2002; with your support we hope that will change.”
      For more information, call 967-7565.
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PRIMARY ELECTION DAY is tomorrow. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Cooper Center in Volcano, Ka`u High School Cafeteria in Pahala, Na`alehu Elementary School, Ocean View Community Center and Miloli`i Halau.
      Ka`u voters can choose among candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. District II, state Senate District II, state Representative Districts III and V, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Hawai`i County offices on the ballot are mayor, prosecuting attorney and Council District VI.
      For more election information, call 961-8277.

Cellist Daniel Lelchuk performs in Ka`u tomorrow.
HAWAI`I INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL comes to Ka`u tomorrow. Soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, violinist Eric Silberger, cellist Daniel Lelchuk and soprano Mikayla Sager present a concert at 6 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Special guests include pianist Ian Parker.
      $25 tickets support Hawai`i Public Radio’s effort to extend signals throughout Ka`u. For priority seating, purchase tickets in advance at himusicfestival.bpt.me.

PARTICIPANTS LEARN ABOUT the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, its many forms and flower on a free, easy, one-mile walk Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      See nps.gov/havo.


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See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_August_2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.