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, February 23, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

Ka`u High School students are invited to compete int he Kaha Ki`i Congressional Art Contest. The deadline is March 6. See story below.

STANDING ROCK PROTESTERS in North Dakota were mostly gone when authorities moved in Wednesday afternoon and arrested about ten of those who stayed behind. After a seven-month protest that gained the support of Ka`u's congresswoman Tuslsi Gabbard, who visited there in early December with military veterans, the occupation appeared to be over. Gabbard tweeted on Feb. 5, "The Dakota Access Pipeline threatens precious water resources and the balance of life. I #StandwithStandingRock."
     Thousands of people visited Standing Rock over the past year to support the Sioux Indian opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline being built to carry oil across federal land, near Sioux clean water sources. 
     As the remaining hundreds left, some of the Standing Rock supporters burned structures they had used for housing there since last summer. As the armed forces approached, about 150 supporters joined arms and marched out of the camp playing drums and singing. Authorities offered a bus ride to Bismarck, dry clothing, food, hotel rooms and free bus tickets to leave town. Some protesters moved onto private lands to set up new camps.
     Army Corps of Engineers spokespersons said that heavy snows would likely cause flooding and would have endangered those staying.    
     Dallas Goldrich, of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said that most of those protesters were "common people who have stood up in defense of the water and to protect sacred sites." He noted that the Standing Rock campers weathered three blizzards and were asking for more time to clean up the camp before leaving.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined the Sioux at Standing Rock last December.
     The pipeline issue remains active in congress and in federal court. Earthjustice, which has worked on water rights cases for native Hawaiians, filed a motion on Feb. 14 in federal court to set aside President  Donald "Trump's pipeline reversal." A statement from Earthjustice said the motion charges the Trump administration with circumventing law and ignoring treaty rights. The motion asks whether National Environmental Policy Act requirements have been met and whether the Army Corps of Engineers' actions violate the Sioux tribe's treaty rights. 
     The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, David Archambault II, said, “President Trump claims he has not received ‘a single phone call’ opposing this widely criticized project. Millions of people have raised their voices against this dangerous project.” He also said: “The drinking water of millions of Americans is now at risk. We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration.”
     On Feb. 8, the Trump Administration granted an easement allowing the pipeline to be constructed under the Missouri River, a half mile upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. It reverses an earlier decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to withhold the easement while the agency completed an environmental review of alternate pipeline routes and the Tribe’s treaty rights. 
   "The environmental review, referred to as an environmental impact statement, has been wrongfully terminated mid-process," stated Earthjustice. "The lawsuit challenges the Corps’ hasty and unexplained departure from its previous decision, and explains how the Corps ignored the Tribe’s treaty rights and seeks to destroy culturally significant and sacred sites. It also explains how the Corps violated federal statutes requiring close environmental analysis of significant and controversial agency action."
      Jane Hasselman, Earthjustice attorney representing the tribe, said: “In this arbitrary and capricious reversal of course, the Trump Administration is circumventing the law: wholly disregarding the treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux and ignoring the legally required environmental review. It isn't the 1800s anymore—the U.S. government must keep its promises to the Standing Rock Sioux and reject rather than embrace dangerous projects that undercut Treaties.” The pipeline is expected to be completed in three months by Texas company Energy Transfer Partners.

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Megan Lamson of Hawai`i Wildlife Fund delivers
testimony supporting reduction of styrofoam food
containers. Image from Big Island Video News

REDUCTION OF STYROFOAM CONTAINERS in Hawai`i County received supportive testimony Tuesday from Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, which has faced foam and plastics in the millions of pounds of trash it has cleaned up off the Ka`u Coast for many years. Megan Lamson, representing the Wildlife Fund, and also President of Ka Ohana O Honu`apo, testified in support of reducing polystyrene foam food containers because "science documents it endangers our health, environment and marine life." She also listed the "economic nearsightedness" of keeping styrofoam, and "strong community support coupled with common sense."   
      She said polystyrene has adverse health effects, does not biodegrade and "will last in our landfills indefinitely, despite their intended design to be used for less than an hour." 
     She contended that a "2 penny to 25 cent difference cost in a foam alternative product is just the bottom line for vendors. We really need to think about the end life of these products in our landfills, along our roads and eventually in our oceans. Foam food containers are costing taxpayers millions of dollars in cleanup costs."
     The Hawai`i state Department of Transportation produced a trash reduction plan in 2016 and "showed styrofoam was one of the top contributors in the waste stream along our highways. They even suggested a styrofoam ban ordinance," said Lamson. She also noted that many restaurants and Suisan Fish Market have made the switch from styrofoam.
     "We live on an island and should not be importing or creating things that we cannot dispose of properly," said Lamson.
     The Hawai`i County Council's Committee on Environmental Protection voted in favor of the bill which moves on to the full County Council. Ka`u's council member Maile David cast her vote of support, along with council members Karen Eoff, Eileen O`Hara, Valerie Poindexter and Jennifer Ruggles. If the five continue to support it, it will likely pass the full council. A related bill failed the council in 2016 before elections put new council members in office.
     The bill focuses on food vendors, prohibiting them from using polystryene containers to dispense prepared food, starting July 1, 2018 to give them time to use inventory. Exceptions in the ban would be made for emergencies approved by the Mayor. Not included would be reusable ice chests and coolers made of foam. See a film on the meeting at www.bigislandvideonews.com.

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2017 KAHA KI`I Congressional Art Competition is accepting submissions through Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. The contest is open to Hawaiʻi high school artists in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Ka`u. The winning artwork is displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol, along with winning artwork from all participating districts around the country. The deadline to submit an entry is March 6.      
     All entries most be two dimensional; no larger than 28 inches by 29 inches by 4 inches thick; weigh no more than 15 lbs; and be original in concept, design and execution, not violating U.S. copyright laws.     
     Winning artwork is also featured on the U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Art Competition page. See http://bit.ly/2lCCWtt

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KA`U KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK, beating Pahoa 19 to 7 in Trojan girls softball on Wednesday. The pitching starter was Le Chun Galban Kin, followed by Sheri Freitas who took over in the second inning to finish the game. Analei Emmsely hit a triple with two runs batted in. Chaunalisa Velez hit a tripple with one run batted in and Mari Carlos hit a single.

Ocean View Community Development Corp. meeting, Fri, Feb 24, 5 p.m., Hawaiian Ranchos office.

Japanese Internment on Hawai`i Island is the subject of the first Coffee Talk at Kahuku, Friday, Feb. 24 at 9:30 a.m., Kahuku Unit Visitor Center at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Dr. Jade Moniz-Nakamua leads the talk on Japanese held at Kilauea Military Camp during World War II. Free.

Sanctuary Ocean Count, Sat, Feb 25, 8 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., various coastal locations, several in Ka`u. Participants count humpback whales and record their behaviors. Registration required.  See hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov or 725-5923.
Ka`u Hospital invites the public to a community input meeting this Saturday.
Photo by Julia Neal

Ka`u Hospital Community Input Meeting, Sat, Feb 25, 1:30 p.m. at the hospital. Kurt Corbin, Chair of the East Hawai`i Regional Board of the Hawai`i Hospital System Corp, which oversees the hospital and clinic operations, said that "Personal conversations and dialogue with our community stakeholders are absolutely essential in helping guide the decisions that the Regional Board must make." Board members and administrators will be on hand and a financial overview and future outlook will be presented. For more information, contact Terry Larson, Regional Board Secretary at 932-3103.

Love the Arts
: Singin’ in the Rainforest, Sat, Feb 25, 5 – 9 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. The annual fundraiser features one-of-a-kind umbrellas painted by Hawai‘i Island artists. Fine wine, a luxurious gourmet buffet, spirited Hawaiian music and live and silent auctions. 967-8222Soil and Composting class at Ka`u Farm School on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Earth Matters Farm on the corner of South Point Road and Kama`oa Roa`oa Road, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Special guests include Rep. Richard Creagan, Chair of the Agriculture Committee of the state House of Representatives and Melanie Willich, Director of the Young Farmers Program at Kohala Center. Free, sponsored by Kohala Center and Hawai`i Farmers Union United. Donations accepted. RSVP to kaufarmschool@gmail.com or call 808-721-6977

Palm Trail Hike, Sun, Feb 26, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit. This free, moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop trail provides one of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.

HOVE Road Maintenance board of directors meeting, Tue, Feb 28, 10 a.m., St. Jude’s Church. 929-9910

Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tue, Feb 28, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View.