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, May 22, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, May 22, 2017

Ka`u Coffee created many desserts, pupu and entrees at yesterday's Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest.
See more photos and complete results below. Photo by Julia Neal
PROTECTIONS ON AMERICANS' PRIVACY are proposed by Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Republican Rep. Scott Perry. Both founding members of the Fourth Amendment Caucus, they introduced legislation today to permanently codify privacy protection. Last month, the
Peggy Kilkenny's Ka`u Coffee Trei Chicken
Sushi Cake.  Photo by Julia Neal
     NSA announced it is ending its collection of Americans' Internet communications that merely mention identifying terms for foreign targets, but are not to or from those targets, also known as "about" surveillance. The legislation introduced today would permanently codify this policy change into law. Gabbard and Perry, both veterans of the Iraq War, also co-chair the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus.
     Said Gabbard, "For years, the NSA has been collecting phone and online communications from everyday Americans across the country, defying the rights and liberties granted to us under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The 2008 FISA Amendments, specifically Section 702, has led to massive government-led exploitation of personal privacy through the collection of American citizens' emails. We need serious reforms that balance the protection of our civil liberties and rights through our constitution, and also keep the American people safe. The NSA recently announced that they would stop collecting our emails and electronic communications under Section 702, but what is to say that it won't start up again? Our legislation will keep our country from backtracking on this progress by permanently codifying this policy change and banning this privacy-invading collection from taking place again."
     Said Perry, “The NSA recently changed policy to prohibit the collection of electronic communications sent or received by American citizens that merely mention a foreign target of surveillance. This practice has long been used as an end-around the Fourth Amendment, and we commend the NSA for aligning their collection efforts with the Constitution. The legislation ensures that this important win for the American people cannot be reversed under future administrations. I thank Congresswoman Gabbard for her continued efforts on this issue and look forward to seeing this bill move quickly.”
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Peggy Kilkenny's Ka`u Coffee Chili Cheese Enchiladas
Photo by Julia Neal    

PRES. DONALD TUMP'S ETHICS PLEDGE is called into question by a letter to the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, penned by Sen. Mazie Hirono, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Edward Markey and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. The hui requests "information about the ethics rules that Stephen Bannon, President Trump's Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor, is required to follow with regards to communications with his former employer, Breitbart News Network."
     According to the four senators, "Under federal ethics regulations and President Trump's ethics executive order, Mr. Bannon is prohibited from communicating with his former employer to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest," says a statement from the senators.
    "However, Mr. Bannon has publicly admitted to communicating with Breitbart since assuming his White House role, raising concerns about his continued interactions with his previous employer.
“It appears,” wrote the senators, “that Mr. Bannon's communications with Breitbart are in violation of the Ethics Pledge.”
     Outlined in Trump's own Executive Order 13770, the pledge bars administration appointees from participating in matters related to their former employers. Additional OGE regulations also require executive branch employees to “avoid an appearance of loss of impartiality in the performance of ... official duties.” These regulations "Mr. Bannon flouted by reportedly providing preferential access to his former employer," states Hirono and colleagues.
Jr. Miss Ka`u Coffee Calaysa Koi is one of three judges at the
Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest. Photo by Julia Neal
   The senators ask OGE to provide a comprehensive overview of "relevant laws, precedents, executive orders, and legal opinions regarding Mr. Bannon's role as Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President and his relationship and communications with Breitbart News," and whether his actions were consistent with those standards. The letter follows a previous inquiry sent last month by the senators to Mr. Bannon, asking him directly address concerns about his compliance with ethics regulation. Mr. Bannon has yet to respond, said Hirono.
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U.S. HELPING WAR VETS RETURN TO CIVILIAN LIFE is the purpose of a bill that Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono and Republican Sen. Mike Rounds introduced on Monday. Both are  members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and their Veterans To Enhance Studies Through Accessibility Act  would reimburse veterans for cost of approved tests and allow GI Bill payments to be carried forward for education. 
     Under current law, veterans are required to use a full month of their Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility to be reimbursed for licensing, certification and national tests, such as those required to be an athletic trainer, firefighter or medical technician.
Emcee Makana Kamahele and multiple Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest
winner Peggy Kilkenny. Photo by Jesse Tunison
     “Last year, over 6,000 Hawai`i students pursued their educational goals through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and many want to enter high-demand science, technology, engineering, and math careers which often require paying for various tests, professional licenses, and other credentials," said Hirono. “As a co-sponsor of the law creating the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I am proud to join Sen. Rounds in introducing this common sense bill to improve the way it reimburses these expenses for current and future generations of veterans and their families.”
      “Our veterans have made incredible sacrifices for our country, and they should be able to fully use the benefits they’ve been promised when they enter into civilian life,” said Sen. Rounds. "Our bill will make sure vets aren’t forced to exhaust a full month of GI bill benefits for a low-cost test or certification in order to pursue a successful career in a competitive job market. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to advance this legislation.”
      Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) earlier this year. It is supported by The American Legion and the Association of the United States Navy.
Melia Okimoto's Moa Kope - Ka`u Coffee Chicken
Photo by Julia Neal

THE ANNUAL KA`U COFFEE RECIPE CONTEST has announced official results from Sunday's event at Ka`u Coffee Mill:
Student Division:
     Pupu 1st - Tiare Wong Yuen with her Ka`u Coffee Infused Won Ton;
     Pupu 2nd - Melia Okimoto with her  Sweet 'n' Salty Ka`u Coffee Pops;
     Entrée 1st - Melia Okimoto with her Moa Kope ( Ka`u Coffee Chicken);
     Dessert 1st - Tiare Wong Yuen with her Ka`u Coffee Cup Cake;
     Dessert 2nd - Melia Okimoto with Ka`u Coffee Latte Cake.
Elgon Villanueva's Ka`u Coffee Garlic Furikae Wings
Photo by Julia Neal
Adult Division:
     Pupu 1st - Austin Kilkenny with his Ka`u Coffee Smoke Marlin Coffee Dip;
     Pupu 2nd - Elgon Villanueva with his Ka`u Coffee Garlic Furikake Wings;
     Pupu 3rd - Peggy Kilkenny with her Ka`u Coffee Trei Chicken Sushi Cake;
     Entree 1st - Peggy Kilkenny with her Ka`u Coffee Chili Cheese Enchiladas;
     Entree 2nd - Austin Kilkenny with his Ka`u Coffee `Ohana Comfort Beef Stew;
     Entree 3rd - Elgon Villanueva with his Ka`u Coffee Perfectly Perked Pahala Pork Tenderloin;
     Dessert 1st - Peggy Kilkenny with her  Velvety Ka`u Coffee Latte Cheesecake minis;
     Dessert 2nd - Austin Kilkenny with his Ka`u Coffee  Caramel Apple Macchiato Bars;
     Dessert 3rd - Victoria Gooderham with her Chocolate Eclairs with Ka`u Coffee Cream.
Dr. Jay Griffin, new member
of the Public Utilities Commission
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THE NEW PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEMBER is Dr. Jay Griffin. According to Gov. David Ige, Griffin will serve on the three-person Public Utilities Commission staritng in June to fill the seat left vacant by Tom Gorak.
     Ige said in a statement that he was excited to find a talented individual who has “demonstrated expertise and is aligned with our commitment to a 100 percent clean energy future.”
     Griffin, who has been active in energy policy for two decades, is an Assistant Researcher at the Hawai`i Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawai`i. He previously served as chief of policy and research for the PUC, where he led staff and consultant teams in analyzing state energy policy decisions, according to the governor’s office.
     PUC Chair Randy Iwase welcomed Griffin back to the commission, saying that the PUC has many major issues to handle, including electric rate cases and renewable energy projects. “They’re going to take a lot of work,” he said, adding that Griffin will be a great asset.
     Griffin attended Duke University and graduated in December 2000 with two degrees - a Masters in Environmental Management and a Masters in Public Policy. In 2001 he hired on as a session staff member for Mina Morita of Kaua`i, who was a State Representative at the time. Griffin also worked as an intern for her in 2003. He became a conservation organizer for the Sierra Club Hawai’i Chapter in 2001. In 2002 he was a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara before becoming an energy policy analyst at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. At Rand, Griffin worked on a strategic energy plan for Israel’s natural gas sector and an assessment of a nationwide renewable portfolio for the U.S. Improving Cost-Effectiveness and Mitigating Risks of Renewable Energy Requirements.
      Griffin received a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee Rand Graduate School.
     In 2009 Griffin became an Assistant Specialist at the Hawai`i Natural Energy Institute, working on research projects analyzing the integration of renewable energy sources into electricity grids, energy policy and energy-economic modeling.
     The Hawai`i Natural Energy Institute was established by the State Legislature in 1974. It is an independent research facility housed at the University of Hawai`i, Mānoa. For several years HNEI has worked closely with HECO to assist in the integration of higher levels of intermittent (variable) power into the grid.
     In 2012 at the request of then-PUC Chair Morita, Griffin took a leave of absence from HNEI to serve as the Chief of Policy and Research at the PUC. He returned to HNEI in July 2016.
     Griffin has won numerous awards, written for various publications and made a host of presentations relating to energy and costs.
     Griffin’s interim appointment to commission is effective June 5. It is also subject to Senate confirmation.
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