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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ship and submarine repairing and building for the military could become a much bigger industry in Hawai`i,
if plans to increase the U.S. military fleet from 305 to 355 go through, says Sen. Mazie Hirono, who
advises to balance military and domestic needs.  See story below.
Photo from Ship Repair Association of Hawai`i

THE MUSIC PROGRAM AT THE VOLCANO SCHOOL OF ARTS & SCIENCES has received an outpouring of aloha and generous support of Volcano community members and businesses, following the theft of instruments and sound equipment in May.
     In addition to many donations of instruments, community members gave nearly $6,000 to the music program. The Volcano Winery, in partnership with Grand to Grand Ultra, gifted the school with a check for $1,500 for the purchase of new instruments and sound equipment. The Volcano Art Center also donated $1,000 for the school’s music program.
Nearly $6,000 has been raised to support the music program at
Volcano School of Arts & Sciences following theft of
music instruments. Photo from Volcano School
     Music and the arts are not just extra-curricular at Volcano School. They "are an important part of the learning process through arts integration and creative expression," said a statement from the school.
     "Students and staff are deeply appreciative of the tremendous generosity of The Volcano Winery, Grand to Grand Ultra, the Volcano Art Center, and the many individuals who donated instruments, equipment, and money to support the music program. Students and staff express our heartfelt thanks for the incredible community support that provided a very happy outcome to an unfortunate incident."
      Volcano School is a PreK-8 public charter school. Call 808-985-9800 to inquire about enrollment for the 2017-2018 school-year. Visit www.volcanoschool.net to learn more about the school. Save the date.
     The Volcano Winery will sponsor the Harvest Festival fundraiser for Volcano School again on Sept. 10. Tickets go on sale soon.

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THE U.S. SENATE HEALTH CARE proposal, released on Thursday, drew quick response from Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz. Among Hirono's tweets:
     "#Trumpcare would hurt Americans living with illnesses like #kidneycancer. As @POTUS says, that's mean. #kidneycancerday. Breakthroughs in research wouldn't be able to exist w/out an + in funding. We must ensure programs get backing to get off the ground."
     Hirono also tweeted, "In Hawai`i, we have a word for what Senate Republicans are doing with #Trumpcare. It's shibai- or as it's more widely known, B.S. #Trumpcare guts Medicaid and eliminates Medicaid expansion, depriving millions of Americans access to this critical program. Millions of people in this country are very concerned about what this bill does." #msactivist @maziehirono."
     Another Hirono tweet, "To Americans living with serious and chronic diseases, #Trumpcare sends a simple message: you're on your own."
      Schatz said he read the bill right after it came out Thursday morning and went on CNN. He said that the Senate health bill isn't "less mean" than the House bill, which Trump called "Mean." Schaz said that the Senate bill drafted by a few Republican senators behind closed doors, "actually went totally in the opposite direction. They cut Medicaid really deeply. They basically change the nature of the Medicaid  program and make massive cuts....specifically for the purpose of giving a tax cut of about $800 billion dollars to the wealthiest Americans. There is no reason to make a wealth transfer from regular people to rich people but this is what they are are doing in this bill." 
     Schatz told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Democrats are willing to work in a bipartisan process to improve the existing Affordable Care Act.
     Schatz tweeted: "Forgot to mention that the tax on tanning salons is repealed in the Senate bill. Sigh;" and "Hey Republicans don't listen to me. But ignore AARP at your peril." He referred to the AARP, which Thursday, called on the Senate to reject the health bill. Also calling for rejection was the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and many other health professional organizations.

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An AARP image for citizens standing for health care.
Image from AARP
AARP RESPONDED TO THE HEALTH CARE BILL released Thursday by the U.S. Senate.
     Wrote AARP: "This new Senate bill was crafted in secrecy behind closed doors without a single hearing or open debate—and it shows. The Senate bill would hit millions of Americans with higher costs and result in less coverage for them. AARP is adamantly opposed to the Age Tax, which would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more for coverage than everyone else while reducing tax credits that help make insurance more affordable.
     “AARP is also deeply concerned that the Senate bill cuts Medicaid funding that would strip health coverage from millions of low-income and vulnerable Americans who depend on the coverage, including 17 million poor seniors and children and adults with disabilities. The proposed Medicaid cuts would leave millions, including our most vulnerable seniors, at risk of losing the care they need and erode seniors’ ability to live in their homes and communities.
     “The Senate bill also cuts funding for Medicare which weakens the programs ability to pay benefits and leaves the door wide open to benefit cuts and Medicare vouchers. AARP has long opposed proposals that cut benefits or weaken Medicare.
     “As we did with all 435 Members of the House of Representatives, AARP will also hold all 100 Senators accountable for their votes on this harmful health care bill. Our members care deeply about their health care and have told us repeatedly that they want to know where their elected officials stand. We strongly urge the Senate to reject this bill.”

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SEN. MAZIE HIRONO WILL UNDERGO SURGERY next week and announced Thursday that her Stage Four cancer for which one of her kidney's was recently removed,  is less aggressive than originally thought, enabling surgeons to remove part of her seventh rib which also has a tumor. "The Senator expects a full recovery," said a statement from her office.
Sen. Mazie Hirono points to Pres. Donald Trump calling the Republican
 health care proposals "Mean."  Photo from Office of Mazie Hirono
     In an interview with KITV newswoman Paula Akana, the broadcaster asked Hirono, "The cancer was found during a routine physical in preparation for eye surgery. It showed up on an x-ray. This with a 69-year-old woman who was last hospitalized when she was 17. Did you, when you look back now, have any kind of symptoms?"
     Hirono replied, "Yes, I did, but I ignored them. I have a tumor on my seventh rib, and for a while I felt this weird kind of a tightness sensation, a bit of pain. I just thought it was a muscle spasm or something and I ignored it. I’m just glad that my cancer was caught early enough because if it weren't for that exam that I mentioned to you I’d still be walking around thinking everything was fine when everything wasn't fine."
     Akana commented on Hirono's energy and work ethic. "Don't expect it to slow her down. It was hard to keep up with the Senator as she walked the capitol going from conference calls to chambers to news conferences. The Energizer Bunny clearly loves what she does. And she isn’t retiring anytime soon."
     Said Hirono: "There's work to do. I’ve been privileged to do what I do for over 30 years and I believe that there is justice. So it keeps me going and I have work to do."
    Akana reported that top on Hirono's list is immigration reform and health care. "Hirono says her experience has now made health care a personal battle."
     Said Hirono: "I just thought that major health issues happen to other people but this really taught me one thing: it can happen to any one of us. All of us- one diagnosis from a major illness. So as we sit here debating health care, it’s even more important that people have the health care that they need."
     The surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday at Georgetown University Hospital. Hirono will be hospitalized for a day or two, and said will be back at work as soon as possible.

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Pearl Harbor Shipyard and other repair and maintenance facilities would
become more important and expand to handle an increase from 308 to 355
military ships proposed by the new federal administration.
BALANCING MILITARY INVESTMENT WITH  DOMESTIC PROGRAMS is important, said Sen. Mazie  Hirono,  Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee. She said on Wednesday that she has heard from Navy leadership on the Navy’s shipbuilding plan and operational needs, including the goal of increasing submarines and major surface combatant force levels from the previously projected need of 308 ships to 355. "While investments in our national security are essential, Senator Hirono reminded her colleagues of the need to balance military investments with critical domestic programs," said a statement from her office.
      “We all learned a lesson in 2013 when sequester was allowed to take effect—in fact, some in our industrial base are still working through the aftermath of that fiasco,” said Hirono. “Yet here we are, six years later, living under the caps, and in fear of sequestration. Funding for critical programs, both defense and non-defense, is not an either or proposition. We cannot enact the priorities and programs discussed today until we lift the caps and eliminate the fear of sequester.”
Hawai`i shipyards are strategically placed to build and make repairs
for the Pacific Fleet.
      Under current policy, the Navy plans to base 60 percent of its ships in the Asia-Pacific region. The new total of 355 ships would equate to an estimated increase of about 28 ships in the region. These additional ships would require increases in the number of sailors, infrastructure, and the capacity of shipyards. Meeting these needs would require new job-creating investments in Hawai`i, including to support Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, which continues to play a vital role in keeping the Pacific fleet ready for action, said the Hirono statement.
       As part of Hirono’s concern about protecting Hawai`i, Alaska and the continental U.S. from long-range missiles, she also asked questions about the ship radar tested Air and Missile Defense Radar. This radar has been tested at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.
      This hearing was one of a series of committee hearings to consider the Fiscal Year 2018 defense budget request and drafting of the National Defense Authorization Act, legislation that sets Department of Defense funding levels and policy each year.

Weave a Small Decorative Fish, Fri, June 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participants use nui (coconut fronds). Free.

Stained Glass II: Panel Lamp, Sat – Sun, June 24 – July 8, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Claudia McCall teaches students how to create their own stained glass table lamp. $150/$135 VAC members; $15 supply fee. 967-8222

Nature & Culture: An Unseverable Relationship (He Pilina Wehena ‘Ole), Sat, June 24, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Palm Trail hikers visit a place where catastrophic change & subsequent restoration can be observed. Free. nps.gov/havo