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.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, March 20, 2017

Sen. Mazie Hirono testified on Monday during the U.S. Senate hearing concerning the lifetime
confirmation of President Donald Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, 
Judge Neil Gorsuch. She sits next to Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut. 
THE SUPREME COURT NOMINATION HEARING IN THE U.S. SENATE on Monday drew testimony from Hawai`i Sen. Mazie Hirono, a member of the Judiciary Committee. She said the hearing for President Donald Trump’s choice of Neil Gorsuch for the lifetime position “is about more than considering a nominee for the Supreme Court. It’s about the future of our country. It’s about the tens of millions of people who work hard every day, play by the rules, but don’t get ahead. It’s about the working poor who are one paycheck away from being on the street. It’s about Muslim Americans who are victims in a renewed wave of hate crimes asking for protection from the courts. It’s about women having the choice of what to do with their bodies- our bodies. It’s about LGBTQ Americans who want the same rights as everyone else.”
Supreme Court nominee Neil
Gorsuch. Photo from Wikipedia 
   Hirono said she entered "into public service to help these people. And my questions over the coming days will draw on their experience as well as my own. My story might be unique for a United States Senator, but it is a story that is similar to millions of people in our country.” She talked about the time when her mother brought Hirono and her brothers to this country as children from Japan when she was eight years of age. “There were no religious tests to determine who could immigrate to this country. There were no language requirements. You didn’t need any special skills. If President Eisenhower pursued the same policies President Trump would like to, it's very possible I would not be here today.”
     Hirono said, “I always knew I wanted to give back to my state and my country but never thought politics would be the path that I would choose. But the Vietnam War opened my eyes to how public service could create social change.” She said she joined campus protests and “questioned why we were sending so many young men to die in a far off country. A small group of us decided that in order for things to change we needed to do much more than protest. Many of us ran for office because we needed to take a seat at the table to be able to fight - help make lives better. That’s why I’m here today.”
    She said that thousands of people have contacted her in the last few months, deeply worried about their families, their kids and the future of the country under the Trump administration. Hirono said she has also received concerns about the nomination of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
   Hirono said that during her meeting with Gorsuch, she was pleased that he said the “purpose of Article Three of the Constitution was to protect the rights of the minority through access to the courts.” She said, however, that in reviewing his decisions she found he “rarely seemed to find in favor of the little guy.” She pointed to a case in which a company fired an employee who faced the choice between operating his vehicle in an unsafe manner or freezing to death in his truck. The judge sided with the company.
     She pointed to Gorsuch decisions she interpreted as making it more difficult for families with special needs children "to get the help they needed as the law intended." She said she was troubled by seeing Gorsuch viewing corporations as people, and choosing corporations over individuals who have suffered “real life harm.”
     Testified Hirono, “President Trump made it very clear that he had a series of litmus tests for his Supreme Court nominee.” She named: overturning Rowe v Wade, denying women access to health care on the basis of religious freedom and upholding a decision on guns, “which the NRA believes prevents Congress, states or local governments from passing common sense gun safety legislation. Each of these tests would have a profound impact on the lives of every American,” said Hirono.
     She said she concludes that Gorsuch meets the Trump litmus tests. She addressed Gorsuch: “In our courtesy meeting, you said to you have a heart. So Judge Gorsuch, we need to know what’s in your heart. We need to understand how you will grapple with the number of important questions the court will be asked to consider in the years ahead. Will the court protect the rights of working people and our middle class or side with corporations who want to dismantle organized labor in America? Will the court uphold the woman’s Constitutional right to choose or upend decades of legal precedents to overturn Roe V Wade? Will the court protect free and fair elections by stopping unfettered campaign spending or allow corporations and the ultra rich to hijack our democracy with dark money? Will the court protect the right to vote for all Americans or allow states to use voter fraud as an excuse to disenfranchise vulnerable communities.? Will the court protect our lands, water, our earth or gut decades of environmental regulations? Will the court protect access to our justice system or slam the courthouse door to all but the wealthiest among us?”
     Hirono pointed out that the “Supreme Court does not just interpret our laws. The Supreme Court shapes our society. Will we be just? Will we be fair? Will America be a land of exclusivity for the few or the land of opportunity of the many? Will we be the compassionate and tolerant America that embraced my mother, my brothers and me many decades ago?”
    She said the "Supreme Court vacancy isn’t just another position we must fill in our federal judiciary. A Supreme court vacancy is a solemn obligation we must fulfill for our future generations.”
Kazu Suenobu was known for his generous
gifts of home grown food to many people.
Photo by Peter Volpe
    The hearings continue on Tuesday.

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YOSHIKAZU SUENOBU will be honored on Tuesday, March 21 at Na`alehu United Methodist Church with visitation at 9 a.m. and services at 10 a.m. with burial at noon at Hawai`i Veterans Cemetery No 2 in Hilo. He was born on April 20, 1930 in Puna.
     Suenobu died peacefully and unexpectedly at home on Feb. 21 at the age of 86.  Known as "Kazu," Suenobu was beloved by the Ka`u community as a friendly, generous gentleman and retired science teacher at Ka`u High School who shared the knowledge and abundance of his gardens with many people and volunteered for many activities. 
    He was married to Joyce, who came to Hawai`i from the mainland as a young teacher after seeing an ad in a teachers' magazine for a job here. She met Kazu and they became known for their welcoming attitudes toward strangers in the community, often inviting newcomers to their home for food and festivities, lawn games and sessions of singing and Joyce playing the piano. They joined with other school teachers in the community who helped each other construct log homes for their families in Pahala.         
     Kazu was known for accompanying Joyce to many church services of different faiths throughout Ka`u where she played the piano. He remained active through his life with church and supporting Ka`u Hospital. He was one of Pahala's regular walking seniors, waving to friends as he exercised almost daily throughout the village.
     Suenobu was a Korean War veteran and also taught at the former Waiakea Kai School. He served as a scout master. 
     Suenobu is survived by his wife Joyce Suenobu, of Pahala; son Andrew Suenobu and his wife Yumiko, of Honolulu; sister Anne Shino of Sandy, Utah and numerous nieces and nephews.

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Make Hū Kukui, Wed, Mar 22, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Help revive the practice of making and playing the traditional Hawaiian top. Free; Park entrance fees apply.

Exploring Tunnel Books, Sat, Mar 25, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Participants take a trip down the rabbit hole with Charlene Asato. $35/$32 VAC members plus $10 material fee. 967-8222

Ecstatic Dance, Sat, Mar 25, 2 – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Participants discover a dynamic way to work out and meditate with Jo Caron. $15 or $20 at the door. 967-8222

Mongolian BBQ, Sat, Mar 25, 5 – 8 p.m., in the Crater Rim Café, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Pick what you want for $.85 per ounce from an array of veggies and proteins. Call 967-8356 for more details. KMC is open to all authorized KMC patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.