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.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hawai`i has the highest homeless rate in the U.S. per capita, with a highest percentage among
Hawaiians, Pacific islanders and people escaping the mainland to live in paradise. See story below.

THE HAWAI`I CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION has joined members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in a lawsuit against President Trump to enforce the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The suit deals with gifts or benefits that the President, or other Administration officials, might receive from foreign governments and businesses. The lawsuit would give Congress the authority to vote on, and approve, any foreign emoluments on a case-by-case basis.
     “The American people deserve a president who is a servant leader who they can trust to represent the people’s interests, rather than his or her own. Those who voted for President Trump took him at his word - that having accumulated enough of his own personal wealth, he would be solely focused on serving the American people," said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
    “It is paramount that President Trump divest himself from his properties, especially those abroad, so Americans can trust that this Administration’s foreign policy decisions are not being influenced by the President’s investments. We need to be assured, for example, that U.S.-Saudi policy is not being influenced by a Trump resort or other investments in that country, rather it is crafted to serve the best interests of the American people. If President Trump does the right thing by seeking and receiving appropriate congressional approval, stops accepting financial benefits from foreign government officials, and divests himself from his properties, I will withdraw my support from this lawsuit. The people of this country deserve transparency and confidence that the President is acting on their behalf,” she said.

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Dr. Josh Green brings attention to Hawai`i having the highest homeless
rate per capita in the country.  He calls it a medical condition and wants
doctors to write prescriptions for housing.
HOMELESSNESS: "No other issue is currently as pressing in Hawai`i," said West Ka`u state Senator Josh Green today. He released a statement on the topic:
     Statewide, "We have the highest rate of homelessness per capita in the nation with 505 out of every 100,000 residents without housing: a total of about 8,000 people. Here, we have the highest life expectancy in the country, yet the average life expectancy of our homeless individuals is 51. People afflicted with mental illness and addiction suffer on our streets. Families with children live in tent cities under constant threat of upheaval. Unsafe and unsanitary conditions lead to health complications that put over a billion dollar strain on our already limited Medicaid resources. This is a public health crisis. This is a humanitarian crisis. This is an economic crisis. 
     "Compassionately and effectively tackling the moral, economic, and societal issues that all must be addressed to solve our states homelessness crisis will require innovation, collaboration, and, above all else, determination. As a doctor and as a senator, know that I will continue to seek out new ideas and approaches, and will continue this fight in the legislature,the emergency room, and in our communities."
While most homelessness is in urban O`ahu, remote places are 
where homeless people retreat as streets and parks are cleared.
     For local residents to view, Green provided links to television specials from PBS and BBC and said they are only "two of the most recent examples of the national and international media covering our homeless epidemic. The nation and the world have taken notice of our struggles and our steadfast efforts to combat them. With their eyes upon us, I am confident that not only can we succeed, but we can also set a shining example for other communities struggling with homelessness. We will continue to tirelessly move forward together with innovation, collaboration, compassion, and, of course, with aloha. We will not rest until we have seen tangible, positive change."
     Green advocates to accept homelessness as a medical condition and says providing housing would save taxpayer money at the emergency rooms and hospital wards. He says that doctors should be able to write prescriptions for housing homeless people and that health insurance should cover it.
    While his bills are yet to pass the state legislature, he is working with insurance companies to help save them money, he says.
     View the BBC's Homeless in Hawai`i and the PBS feature Hawai`i's Homeless.

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A TELEPHONE TOWN HALL MEETING ON HURRICANE AND DISASTER PREPAREDENESS, next Monday, June 26 at 4 p.m., will give the public access to talk with Hawai`i Civil Defense manager Talmidge Magno, and statewide  Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi.
Hurricane Madeline and Lester did little damage but led to opening shelters,
 and closing Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, beach parks and other venues in
late August, 2016. Image from NOAA
     Civil Defense managers from the other islands and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is sponsoring the meeting, will join and as they answer questions from the community, discuss the forecast for the upcoming hurricane season, and review new recommendations that Hawaiʻi residents prepare an “emergency kit” with a minimum of 14 days of food, water and other supplies. Hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30.
     “We are so fortunate to live in Hawaiʻi, but we have some seasonal disasters that are unique to our islands, and it’s important to be prepared. With hurricane season kicking off this month and running through November, I’m hosting a telephone town hall meeting with emergency management leaders in each of our counties to talk about how Hawaiʻi families can prepare and stay safe,” said Gabbard.
      To receive a reminder call to join this event on Monday June 26 at 4 p.m.: Text "TULSI" to 828282, or go to vekeo.com/reptulsigabbard and enter name, phone number and email and receive a confirmation email. Click "Verify" in the confirmation email in order to complete registration.
     To dial in to the call at the time of the event, call 888-476-4187 at 4 p.m. on Monday June 26.

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Coffee farms looked like rice paddies when Iselle flooded
Wood Valley in 2014. Photo by Anne Celeste
CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER predicts a normal to above-normal hurricane season through Nov. 30, predicting five to eight tropical cyclones. This is the first season that Ka`u Regional Gym serves as the area's disaster shelter. The hurricane season outlook includes a possible transition to a weak El Nino and prediction for near-or above-average ocean temperatures in the main hurricane formation region, and near-or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region. Gerry Bell, PhD., NOAA;s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center, said,  "If El Nino develops, it may become strong enough to produce an above-normal season."

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ASTRONOMY ON THE BIG ISLAND makes one discovery after another. One of the latest, through Keck Observatory, was presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in Austin, Texas.
     The presenter was Trent Duput, a graduate of the Institute for Astronomy at University of Hawai`i at Manoa.  “When we look up and see the stars shining at night, we are seeing only part of the story,” said Dupuy. "Not everything that could be a star ‘makes it,’ and figuring out why this process sometimes fails is just as important as understanding when it succeeds.”
     Dupuy, the lead author of the study, and co-author Michael Liu of the University of Hawai`i found that an object must weigh at least 70 times the mass of Jupiter in order to start hydrogen fusion and achieve star-status. If it weighs less, the star does not ignite and becomes a brown dwarf instead.
     How did they reach that conclusion? The two studied 31 faint brown dwarf binaries (pairs of these objects that orbit each other) using W. M. Keck Observatory’s Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system to collect ultra-sharp images of them, and track their orbital motions using high-precision observations.

This animation shows several of the binaries from this study, each orbiting around its center of mass, which is
marked by an x. Colors indicate surface temperatures, from warmest to coolest: gold, red, magenta, or
blue. The background image is a map of the entire sky visible from Hawaii and a silhouette of Maunakea, home
to Keck Observatory and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope where this study was conducted over the past
decade. Each binary is shown roughly where it is located on the night sky. The actual sizes of these orbits
on the sky are very small (about one billionth the area covered by an "x"), but the orbit sizes shown in the animation
are accurate relative to each other. The animation is also in extreme fast-forward, where every one second in
the animation corresponds to approximately two years of real time. Animation by T. Dupuy and K. Teramura, PSISC

     “We have been working on this since Keck Observatory’s LGS AO first revolutionized ground-based astronomy a decade ago,” said Dupuy.  “Keck is the only observatory that has been doing this consistently for over 10 years. That long-running, high-quality data from the laser system is at the core of this project.”The result of the decade-long observing program is the first large sample of brown dwarf masses.
    “It’s the synergy between Keck Observatory and CFHT that really gets us the full power of the results,” said Dupuy.
     Their goal was to measure the masses of the objects in these binaries, since mass defines the boundary between stars and brown dwarfs.
     The research team also used the Hubble Space Telescope to obtain the extremely sharp images needed to distinguish the light from each object in the pair. However, the price of such zoomed-in, high-resolution images from Hubble and Keck Observatory is that there is no reference frame to identify the center of mass. Wide-field images from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) containing hundreds of stars provided the reference grid needed to measure the center of mass for every binary.

     “As they say, good things come to those who wait. While we’ve had many interesting brown dwarf results over the past 10 years, this large sample of masses is the big payoff. These measurements will be fundamental to understanding both brown dwarfs and stars for a very long time,” said Liu.

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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.