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, June 19, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, June 19, 2017

Senators Mazie Hirono and Elizabeth Warner at Hawai`i on the Hill last week, where local products from Hawai`i were shared. The two also joined together Monday in an ethics inquiry regarding White House advisor Steve Bannon.
See story below. Photo from Office of Mazie Hirono 
INCREASING ENROLLMENT AT KA`U LEARNING ACADEMY is proposed to the Windward Planning Commission for its meeting on Thursday, July 6. The request from Ka`u Learning Academy's Executive Director Kathryn Tydlacka asks to increase permitted enrollment at the public charter school from 65 students to 100 and to allow for related facility improvements to accommodate the expansion.
     The Special Permit under which the school operates on Kaulua Circle within the former Discovery Harbour Golf Course Clubhouse on 3.69 acres, classified Agriculture by the state, was originally approved for a maximum enrollment of 65 students. The school offers grades three through eight. Its mission states: "Ka'u Learning Academy will be an innovative school that holds high social and academic expectations for the children of Ka'u despite the socioeconomic challenges that exist in our community, because we believe that all students can and will learn given the right educational environment.
Ka`u Learning Academy seeks permission to increase enrollment to 100.
Photo from Ka`u Learning Academy
     "Ka'u Learning Academy recognizes that each child is an individual with unique educational needs, and we will develop and implement individual education plans that stimulate each child at his/her zone of proximal development, so that every child is engaged in learning in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment."
     The Planning Commission meeting will be held at the Aupuni Center Conference Room at 101 Pauahi Street in Hilo, with public access for testimony at the Old Na`alehu Courthouse.

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FEDERAL ETHICS LAWS AND THE WHITE HOUSE are of concern, said Sen. Mazie Hirono. She reported that she and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Edward J. Markey, and Sheldon Whitehouse sent a letter on Monday to Stefan Passantino, Designated Agency Ethics Official at the White House, requesting clarification on White House senior advisor Steve Bannon's compliance with federal ethics laws.
     "Earlier this month, we received new information from the Office of Government Ethics indicating that Steven Bannon may have violated President Trump's Executive Order on Ethics and other ethics rules via his communications with Breitbart News Network, and that the ethics waivers provided to Mr. Bannon and others may not appropriately address these matters," wrote the Senators. "Based on this new information, we are writing to you - again - to seek clarification on and understand Mr. Bannon's compliance with Executive Order 13770."
Steve Bannon. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia
     The Senators initially wrote to Passantino in April, following media reports that Bannon had discussions with his former employer Breitbart News, potentially violating the Ethics Pledge outlined in Executive Order 13770. That request, along with a similar inquiry sent directly to Bannon, went unanswered. The Senators then asked the Office of Government Ethics to provide information on the federal ethics requirements that applied to Bannon's communications with Breitbart.
     OGE's response outlined Bannon's ethics obligations, and described a retroactive waiver issued by the White House in May, allowing Bannon and other Executive Office appointees to communicate in some cases with news organizations, as "problematic" and "inconsistent with the very concept of a waiver." It also made clear that the May 31st waiver was "limited," and that Bannon was still barred from communicating with Breitbart regarding "particular matters[s] involving specific parties," indicating that Bannon may still be in violation of Executive Order 13770, said the report from Hirono.
    The Senators asked Passantino to provide additional information about the White House waiver, as well as Bannon's prior communications with Breitbart and any recusals he may have made to avoid any conflicts of interest involving his former employer, stated Hirono.

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FORCING THROUGH A BILL TO REPEAL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT had Sen. Brian Schatz planning to stay up all Monday night. He reported, "I will join fellow Democrats in taking to the Senate floor to protest the Republicans’ attempt to force through their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act."
      He declared that "Senate Republicans are rushing toward a vote by the end of the month -- and they’re planning to do it with no hearings, no women, and no Democrats involved.
       "There won’t be any opportunity to hear expert testimony or listen to healthcare providers. Instead, a group of 13 Republican men are crafting this bill in secret, without any bipartisan input. Their plan is to move so fast, we can't stop them."
Brian Schatz joined others in seizing the Seanate Floor Monday
night to protest the lack of hearings on the health care bill.
       Schatz urged his constituents to confront what he calls "legislative malpractice." He said, "It's time to light up the phones. While Democrats and I are on the floor tonight, please call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and urge them not to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act."
     Schatz said that he has "never before heard of a bill that would be jeopardized by people being able to read it. That’s how unpopular and immoral this legislation is. And it’s not hard to see why: this bill cuts Medicaid, eliminates protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and punishes women -- all to give tax breaks to the rich.
     "We have the opportunity to kill this bill, but it will take all of us working our hardest during the next week or two before Senate Republicans call a vote.      "The news cycle has been unrelenting lately – but we have a moral obligation to our families, communities and fellow citizens to step up and defend access to health care before it’s too late," Schatz insisted.
Komakakino plays Wednesday night at Kīlauea 
Visitor Center Auditorium.
       On the Senate floor, Schatz said, that once the Republican bill is posted local people everywhere will notice that "my community health center is going to get shut down....my hospital may no longer exist." He said the simple solution is for three Republicans to join the Democrats in saying "I am not voting for a bill that doesn't get a hearing. Let this thing see the light of day."

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Hawaiian Music Concert, Wed, June 21, 6:30 – 8 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Komakakino share a love of hula, Hawaiian culture and singing traditional mele (songs) in the Hawaiian language. Free; park entrance fees apply.