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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lava Ocean Tours and other operators of boats taking visitors past the Kamokuna entry of lava into the ocean
are asking the Coast Guard to reduce the new restricted area that keeps them atleast 984 feet offshore the entry.
Photo from Lava Ocean Tours

HAWAI`I FEDERAL JUDGE DERRICK KAHALA WATSON put a preliminary injunction on President Donald Trump's travel ban on Wednesday, allowing continued arrival of refugees and residents from six Muslim-majority countries. The judge turned a temporary restraining order issued earlier this month to prevent the ban, into a preliminary injunction after hearing new arguments from Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Chin. 
       Chin opened his arguments Wednesday by saying, "We do not fault President Trump for being politically incorrect. We fault him for being constitutionally incorrect." Chin talked about Hawai`i's dependence on tourism and compared the ban to a "neon sign flashing 'Muslim ban, Muslim ban.'"
Derrick Kahala Watson is a graduate of Kamehameha
Schools, Harvard College and Harvard Law School
     Trump's federal attorney chad Readler argued that Hawai`i's contention that the ban affects students and tourism is generalized and has no effect on Hawai`i. He also asked the judge to allow the U.S. to resume the portion of the ban that would keep out refugees. Watson rejected the arguments, allowing refugees, and others with visas from the six Muslim-majority countries, to continue to arrive.
     When the Trump attorney said that since 2010 only 20 refugees from the Muslim countries have resettled in Hawai`i, the judge asked, "Is this a mathematical exercise that 20 isn't enough? What do I make of that?" When Trump's attorney noted that 20 is a small number, Watson replied "In whose judgment?"
     The preliminary injunction covers the entire United States as the case moves forward toward a permanent solution.
     After the decision, the Hawai`i Attorney General tweeted: "While we understand that the President may appeal, we believe the court’s well-reasoned decision will be affirmed.”
     Amnesty International executive director Margaret Huang issued a statement, saying,"The courts have once again clearly rejected the Muslim ban. Like the previous travel ban, the new order is indefensibly discriminatory. President Trump must abandon this failed agenda and immediately revoke the ban."
Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Chin and Gov. David Ige explain
Hawai`i's role in the Trump's travel ban case. 
    The Hawai`i Attorney General's filings argued the discriminatory intent of the President, including quotes from Trump. After the judge earlier rejected Trump's first ban, Trump came up with his second ban and said, "This is a watered down version of the first one. This is a watered down version. And let me tell you something, I think we ought to go back to the fist one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place."
     In another display of discrimination, the AG quoted Trump as saying that is was "very hard" to assimilate Muslims into Western culture.
    Stated the AG, "These discriminatory and unlawful provisions of the Executive Order have no place in Hawai`i."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Mufi Hanneman, CEO of
Hawai`i Lodging and 
Tourism Association
Photo by Julia Neal
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN HURTS TOURISM TO HAWAI`I AND ALL THE U.S., according to Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Chin and numerous travel business analysts. In a press conference earlier this month, Chin said the ban causes a "chilling effect." He said, "There are already reports that due to these executive orders and travel bans, people are less inclined to travel to the United States."
     Mufi Hanneman, President and CEO of Hawai`i Lodging and Tourism Association, and founder of the Punalu`u Sweetbread bakery and visitor stop in Ka`u, said the ban, "flies in the face of the spirit of aloha, a key reason people come to Hawai`i." About a third of the state's nearly nine million visitors a year come from foreign countries.
     Travel Wire News reported Wednesday that the travel ban and "an inhospitable political climate cold punch an $18 billion hole in tourism by international visitors over the next two years" nationwide. TWN reported that "Foreign tourism is a $250 billion-a-year business in the Untied states, and Trump's original and revised executive orders temporarily banning travel from majority Muslim countries - put on hold by federal courts - have dampened interest worldwide in visiting the United States."
     A decline in airline bookings followed travel bans announced by the Trump administration on Jan. 27 and March 6, with a decline in hotel bookings as well, reported TIN.
    Tourism Economics estimated that 4.3 million fewer international travelers will come to the U.S. in 2017 because of the bans. Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, told USA Today that “’America first’ rhetoric, which was pronounced during the campaign and Trump’s inauguration speech, is finding consistent expression in policy. On multiple fronts — diplomacy, trade, border control, visa policy — international markets are receiving a message that America is no longer a welcoming destination.”
     "The U.S. has put an unwelcome mat at our front door," said travel research executive Henry Harteveld. See more at www.travelwirenews.com

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
Kamokuna ocean entry lava flow on February 24, 2017.  Photo by J Wei/NPS
LAVA FLOW TOUR BOATS MUST STAY AT LEAST 984 FEET AWAY from the Kamokuna lava entry into the ocean, according to rules issued on Tuesday by the U.S. Coast Guard. Captains and owners of boats sailing closer can face an $88,000 fine and Class D felony. The Kamokuna Lava Delta Safety Zone was established to extend in all directions upon the ocean surface from lava coming out of the coastal cliffs in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
     The Coast Guard lists risks, including the possibility of a collapse of the growing lava bench hanging out over the ocean. Along with the unstable seacliff, the lava emits toxic gasses and shrapnel.
      Boat captains say they have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in new vessels to accommodate the growing visitor interest in the lava. They say that equipment would sit idle with their customers unable to see the lava from nearly 1,000 feet offshore. They are asking the Coast Guard to reconsider the new safety zone.
       A May 8 public meeting had been set to discuss safety but the Coast Guard announced that the safety zone was needed immediately due to the instability of the cliffs and other risks.
       Hawai`i Volcano National Park's website on Wednesday, provided warnings for hikers and bikers to the area:  "As a strong caution to visitors viewing the ocean entry (where lava meets the sea), there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses, once started, have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. This occurred most recently on December 31. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs."
     See fact sheets for additional information: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2000/fs152-00/

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Coffee Talk, Fri, Mar 31, 9:30 – 11 a.m., spotlights Footprints in the Ka`u Desert. Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. A monthly series of talks on various subjects. nps.gov/havo or 985-6011
Murder on the Nile - Performances Kilauea Theatre are through April 2 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets prices are $15 general, $12 seniors and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea'au Natural Foods, the Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo and at the door. For reservations and more information call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.