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, December 31, 2016

Ka`u News Briefs, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016

Kilauea Military Camp offers a New Year's Eve Toast until midnight and a brunch on New Years Day. See more below.
Photo from Kilauea Military Camp
NEW YEAR'S DAY MARKS A HIKE IN MINIMUM WAGES for anyone working in Hawai`i. The new minimum wage will be $9.25 an hour, with another hike on Jan. 1, 2018 to $10.10. The increases, over time were put in motion by the 2014 Hawai`i Legislature when the minimum was at $7.25. It went to $7.75 on Jan. 1, 2015 and $8.50 on Jan. 1, 2016. Next year ends the series of minimum wage increases and new legislation would be needed to continue minimum wage hikes.
       According to a story in this morning's Honolulu Star Advertiser, "The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations advocated for the increases partly on the premise that low-wage workers would spend most or all of the resulting additional income and stimulate economic activity, including more job creation."
Altres staffing reminds employers that the minimum wage increases tomorrow.
      With unemployment at 3 percent in Hawai`i, "higher pay for largely entry-level jobs is expected to bubble up to more skilled jobs as employers face pressure to keep higher-paid positions competitive," states the Advertiser. The paper pointed out that minimum wage employees earn far less than most of the workforce in Honolulu. "A full-time worker at a minimum-wage job would earn $19,240 a year. That's about one-fourth of the $70,400 annual median income for a single person in Honolulu last year."
      The Advertiser story also pointed to the Hawai`i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, which testified during wage-increase hearings that "thousands of low-income workers would benefit from higher minimum wages, especially given that the cost of living here is almost 60 percent more than the national average. Peter Mattson, a representative of nonprofit Partners in Care, said in written testimony that higher wages would help people escape poverty and homelessness. Patricia McManaman, director of the state Department of Human Services, said in 2014 that the four annual minimum wage steps were the right thing to do: 'It’s time for Hawai`i to ensure that (the) poorest of our wage workers can at least support their most basic needs.'” 
     See more at www.honolulu-advertiser.com.

Sen. Mazie Hirono
U.S. SENATORS ELIZABETH WARREN AND MAZIE HIRONO are teammates, according to a statement from Warren, issued on New Year's Eve:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren issued a statement saying
she and Mazie Hieono will stand up to
Donald Trump.   
     "There's only one way we're going to stop Donald Trump: By standing together. All of us. That's why I'm proud to stand alongside my friend, Sen. Mazie Hirono. Hard-working families in Hawai`i and all across the country can count on Mazie and me to fight for them in the U.S. Senate, every single day -- and to stand up to Donald Trump's dangerous policies that threaten America.
     "Mazie is one of my closest allies in the Senate, said Warren, calling on Hawai`i residents to look ahead toward Hirono's reelection.
     "Mazie and I both arrived in the Senate in 2013 at the start of President Obama’s second term. Since then, we've been allies on issue after issue -- fighting to advance comprehensive immigration reform, defend Obamacare, protect women's health, raise the minimum wage, and ensure equal rights for all Americans. And we're going to keep up that fight, with your help.
     "Over the past eight years, our country has made incredible progress. We have boosted the economy with more than 15 million new jobs, delivered quality, affordable healthcare to more than 17 million Americans, and fought to defend civil liberties for countless more.
     "But too many Americans still feel like the system is rigged for the millionaires and billionaires and giant corporations – and as Donald Trump prepares to take office (as much as it pains me to say that), that feeling will only get worse. All our progress hangs in the balance. We must fight to protect what we have won, and must fight our way forward," stated Warren.
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SEN. JOSHUA BOOTH GREEN, who represents west Ka`u into Kona in the Hawai`i Legislature, issued a News Year's Eve message this morning: "I want to wish you all a happy, healthy and safe New Year!"
    Looking toward the opening of the Legislature in January, he said, "As chair of the Human Services Committee, I will be focused on protecting our state's safety net. This includes addressing the homelessness crisis, increasing our capacity to help people who suffer with addiction and mental illness, and beginning the debate on implementing a living wage of $15/hr for Hawai`i's people."
    Considering federal government, with Donald Trump as President, Green said, "It is no secret that the new administration in Washington has a very different view of critical American programs like Social Security, Medicare and the stability of our healthcare system than many of us are accustomed to.  
      "I will do all that I can, using my experience as both a practicing physician and legislator, to fight for the survival of programs that make America strong and compassionate. Going forward, I will bring new ideas to the table for debate, so that Hawai`i can lead the nation on key emerging policy challenges."
     Green invites everyone to a Talk Story session on Jan. 5 at King Kamehameha Hotel in Kona from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. "so that I can continue to hear what is most important to you and your families."
      During the 2017 Hawai`i Legislature, Green will be located at the Hawai`i State Capitol, Room 407, 415 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96813. Email josh@joshgreen.org.
      Reviewing more than a decade of work in the legislature, Green said online,
    “Working together over the last 11 years, we have achieved extraordinary results for our community with over $1 billion committed to improve roads, schools, and hospitals in West Hawai`i, including:

 $90 million to begin building and ultimately complete a Kona Judiciary Complex, which will house 230 full-time employees and make our local justice system safer and efficient; 

over $20 million to build the new West Hawai`i Community College Campus at Palamanui, which will allow our students to pursue higher education at home and serve as an important educational resource for our entire community; 

over $150 million to expand Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway and other critical roads in the region, meant to decrease fatal, tragic accidents and long waits on the road,; and over $75 million annually from the Hospital Sustainability Act which we created together, to strengthen all of Hawai`i’s hospitals, including Kona Community Hospital, Ka`u Hospital, and North Hawai`i Community Hospital (now partnered with Queens Hospital, bringing more specialists to our Island).

At your urging I have sponsored important new laws to care for Hawai`i's children, such as the 2015 mandates for insurance to cover autism and surgery for children with cleft palate. No state is more compassionate in its commitment to children's health needs now, and in 2014 we were named the healthiest state in the nation.”
      Concerning sustainability, Green said, “We have fought side by side against powerful special interests to protect our environment and I've supported renewable energy at every turn possible.

 All of these new projects and initiatives will create jobs, stimulate our economy, build our community and protect those who need us most to advocate for them for years to come. 

I am positive we will keep working together to achieve even greater results in the coming years, to make all of Hawai`i an even better place to live. Of course there is always more work to do.

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CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY is ongoing through the holidays at Volcano Art Center in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

VOTE FOR THE BEST DECORATED Kilauea Military Camp cottage through the holidays.

NEW YEAR'S DAY BRUNCH is this Sunday, Jan. 1 at Kilauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Cafe. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply 967-0835.