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, November 30, 2017

Ka‘ū News Briefs Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Mauna Loa Weather station, at 11,141 feet in altitude, experienced heavy snow Thursday as flood warnings
were issued at lower elevations in Ka`u and around the island. File Photo from Mauna Loa Observatory
U.S. SENATOR MAZIE HIRONO ANNOUNCED HER NO VOTE on the tax reform bill in Congress on Thursday, saying that it would hurt the middle class and the poor and further enrich the wealthy. The voting was expected to go into Friday morning.
     “Rather than crafting a tax plan that would actually help middle class families, Donald Trump and the Republican Party have decided to screw them over instead,” she stated.
     Hirono highlighted the Senate bill’s focus on "providing substantial tax relief to corporations and wealthy individuals at the expense of working families and investments that benefit communities in Hawai`i and nationwide. While not yet law, buried in the House and Senate Republicans’ massive and rushed tax legislation are provisions that have already created uncertainty and impacted the construction of Hawai`i hospitals and other important infrastructure projects," said a statement from her office.
Sen. Mazie Hirono testified claimed the tax cut plan will
take away health care and put middle class and
poor people at additional risk.
     Hirono said, “It’s hard to understand how Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress could in good conscience cut a program that saves lives to finance tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.” She predicted negative impacts to Hawai`i in "little-known provisions of the Republican tax plan" on such programs as Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.
     In her speech before the U.S. Senate on Thursday, she said, "Mr. President, the Republican tax plan we are debating today is a sham. It is a solution in search of a problem. The President and his allies in Congress are bound and determined to give the richest people in our country and large corporations huge tax cuts. The theory, certainly not reality, is that these huge tax cuts will magically trickle down to create a fantastic, incredible, tremendous economy. The fact that this theory has been thoroughly discredited and in reality shown to be false is of little concern to them.
     "What exactly, then, is the problem this bill is supposed to address? Corporations and the richest 1 percent of people in our country are doing just fine. They certainly don’t need any more goodies. Over the past ten years, corporate profits have grown exponentially. More wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1percent than at any time since the Great Depression.
Hirono said that the tax bill includes a measure to prohibit state and
local governments form issuing private activity bonds, which have
helped such institutions as Kapi`olani Medical Center.
     "Groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claim this bill will spur new investment and help workers. What world are they living in? Corporations have sheltered $2.6 trillion dollars off shore to avoid paying taxes. This is money they could already be using to create jobs, build factories, or raise employee wages. Not happening, and won’t happen. These people and corporations do not need more money and profits. On the other hand, middle class families have seen stagnant wage growth for nearly 20 years."
     Hirono testified that "Health care continues to be a political football, with the President sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and Congressional efforts to repeal the law. The cost of a college education is increasingly out of reach for working people. The list goes on.
     "But rather than crafting a tax plan that would actually help middle class families, Donald Trump and the Republican Party have decided to screw them over instead. All to give rich people and corporations huge tax cuts they do not need. In Hawai`i, we have a word to describe what’s happening here. This is shibai, or B.S."
Hirono predicted that 13 million will lose their health care with
the elimination of the individual mandate to have health insurance,
proposed through the tax cut bill. She said health care premiums
 will increase significantly.
     She said the Senate has had "little time to debate the devastating impact of this massive bill. But even in the short amount of time we’ve had, it’s clear how many of the major provisions in this bill would harm working people.
     "For example, this bill eliminates the individual mandate for health care, which is just another way to repeal the Affordable Care Act. How many bites out of this repeal apple are the Republicans going to take? Thirteen million people will lose their health insurance. Premiums for everyone else would increase significantly every year. Do they think that these millions of people will not notice what’s happening to them? I don’t think so.
     "This bill eliminates the state and local tax deduction that thousands of taxpayers in Hawai`i count on. These tax giveaways to the rich will force states to make huge and painful cuts to public education, essential social services, and infrastructure investment.
     "But the devastating impact of this bill is not limited to the parts everyone’s heard about. This Republican tax scam has a number of obscure provisions that are already having or will cause real harm.
     "The House bill, for example, eliminates the ability of state and local governments to issue private activity bonds. This kind of bond certainly isn’t something you’re likely to hear about on Morning Joe or Wolf Blitzer, but they are very important. Through private activity bonds, the federal government allows states and local governments to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance certain kinds of projects that help our communities.
     "State and local governments routinely issue private activity bonds to construct public housing, develop mass transit, or construct new schools and hospitals. The Republican tax bill hasn’t even passed Congress yet, but the mere threat of eliminating private activity bonds is already having a profoundly negative impact on Hawai`i and communities across the country."
     Hirono said that hospitals across Hawai`i have used private activity bonds to finance much-needed expansions of service. With the help of private activity bonds, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu recently finished construction of its 40,000 square foot Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is available for use by infants transferred from Kaʻū.
Hirono said in her Senate speech Wednesday that Midecare could
be cut by $25 billion with the proposed tax cut plan.
     Michael Robinson, Kapiolani’s Vice President of Government Relations and Community Affairs, said private activity bonds could literally mean the difference between life and death for Hawai`i residents. In a letter to Hirono, he wrote, “It’s difficult to understand why Congress is considering eliminating private activity bonds when this method of financing has been essential in providing non-profit hospitals the resources to provide care to the patients they serve."
     Hirono also testified, "If this bill passes before the end of this calendar year, it could trigger $136 billion in mandatory cuts to essential programs, including $25 billion in cuts to Medicare." Hirono said that she and two other Senators have introduced an amendment that would automatically undo the corporate tax cut if these cuts to Medicare happen.
     "If we’re serious about a tax plan that will help middle class families in a meaningful way, we need to kill this terrible bill and start over," concluded Hirono in her testimony before the U.S. Senate.

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KA‘Ū LEARNING ACADEMY was given 30 days on Tuesday to reply to  a "notice of prospect of revocation" of its Public Charter School Charter. The state Public Charter School Commission alleged issues with accounting practices, financial procedures and labor laws. KLA's managing director, Joe Iacuzzo attended the meeting in Honolulu and described the 95-student school, grades three through seven, as academically strong. He said that accounting issues were "basic, minor clerical errors." He said the school has a clean 2017 audit. "There isn't any fraud.....nothing off by tens of thousands of dollars." He pointed to KLA's accomplishments "with our children and families down there in Ka`u," according to a story in Wednesday's Hawai`i Tribune Herald.
     Hawai`i Academy of Arts and Science director Steve Hirakami testified in favor of continuing KLA's charter, saying that KLA's issues are "minuscule" compared to those faced by HAAS when it first started.
      The Charter School Commission also voted to withhold the school's next payment from Department of Education funding that goes to Charter Schools according to the number of students enrolled. However, essential operational expenses will be provided, the commission decided.
     After KLA responds to the commission's notice, and should KLA ask for a hearing, the Charter School Commission will set a hearing date. To determine the fate of KLA, the commission has 30 days after the school's response or 30 days after the hearing. KLA could appeal any final decision to revoke the charter.
Ka`u Learning Academy opened its doors in 2015 at the
old Discovery Harbour Golf Course Clubhouse.
Photo from KLA
    Irregularities described in the audit included: "Funds for bill payments were disbursed with no approval by an appropriate level of authority; reimbursements for personal travel costs and payment for a utility bill for school management were made to KLA following the close of the fiscal year; and lack of documentation for 12 charges made on the school debit account could not provide support for the disbursement of school funds." The audit also stated that employee bonuses were given outside of payroll, and that educational assistants were paid as independent contractors.
      The accounting firm Carbonara CPAs and Management Group, which conducted the audit, made recommendations to correct irregularities and KLA responded with plans to come into compliance.
     According to the Charter School Commission, parents of KLA students  and the KLA staff will be notified of the situation this week. Public schools, Nā‘ālehu Elementary and Pāhala Elementary and Middle School would be required to accommodate the area students should KLA eventually close.
     The school audit and KLA's response can be read online.


GILLIGANS NIGHT WILL BENEFIT KA‘Ū LEARNING ACADEMY this Saturday, Dec. 2, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gilligans Night is sponsored by The Innovation for Education Foundation. The location is the Charter School campus at the old Discovery Harbour Golf Course Clubhouse.
     Live music, pizza, chicken Parmesean and meatballs and pasta will be served, along with live music, beer and wine.
      All proceeds benefit Kaʻū Learning Academy. The Innovation for Education Foundation is a 501c3 public charity. See kaulearning.com and on Facebook.

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LIGHTS AND DECORATIONS OF THE STONE AND WOODEN COTTAGES at Kīlauea Military Camp are open for outdoor strolling within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park through Friday, Jan. 1.
Vote on the best decorated cottage.  Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-8371 or visit kilaueamilitarycamp.com.
A Christmas past cabin decoration at KMC. The
contest is on again this year. Photo from KMC

ALOHA FRIDAY: ‘Ukulele with Wes Awana is Friday, Dec. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Volcano Art Center Gallery Porch in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The free event features family-friendly lessons on ‘ukulele. Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-7565 or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

FIVE STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT events in which volunteers help remove invasive non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park take place this December. The first event is Friday, Dec. 1, with remaining events taking place Dec. 7, 15, 23, and 30. Volunteers should meet leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 8:45 a.m. Free; park entrance fees apply. Fore more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

HI‘IAKA & PELE, a free, moderate, one-mile walk through the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, takes place Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Discover the Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent. For more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

VOLCANO FESTIVAL CHORUS hosts The Wonder of Christmas concert this Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 pm at KMC's Kilauea Theater. The 25-member chorus, under direction of Roch Jones, will be accompanied by Walter Greenwood. Also joining the chorus will be Cheryl Shine on flute and piccolo, and Gillen Kauakahi on recorder.
     The Carols of Gathering by Joseph Martin will open the show and a medley of White Christmas and Happy Holiday by Irving Berlin will close the show. The program is varied and includes a spiritual Have You Heard the News?, an African Alleluia, an Irish Carol, and madrigals, All The Town Be Merry and Throw Open The Shutters. Popular carols Do You Hear What I Hear?, Ring, Christmas Bells and Pie Jesu are also featured. Admission is free; however, donations will be accepted.

JOIN RANGERS FOR A GUIDED HIKE, REALMS AND DIVISIONS OF KAHUKU, on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Experience the sense of place that evolves at the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on the Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku. Explore the realms and divisions of the traditional Hawaiian classification system at Kahuku. Bring a snack for the “talk story” segment of this hike.

TWO EIGHT WEEK SUNDAY CLAY - HIGH FIRE! SESSIONS with Erik Wold at Volcano Art Center start Sunday, Dec. 3, and continue through Feb. 4. The morning session takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the afternoon session from 2:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. No class will be held Dec. 24 or 31. The cost per Volcano Art Center member is $185, or $200 for each non-member, plus a $15 materials fee. The course includes six pounds of clay, including glazing and firing, with additional clay available for purchase. For more details, visit volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-7565.

HAM RADIO OPERATORS POTLUCK PICNIC is Sunday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at  Manukā Park. All American Radio Emergency Service members, anyone interested in learning how to operate a ham radio and families are invited to attend. For more, call Dennis Smith at 989-3028.

JOIN A GUIDED HIKE ALONG THE PALM TRAIL in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The hike will also be offered on Dec. 23. Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures.
     For more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

HAWAI‘I COUNTY COUNCIL MEETS MONDAY, Dec. 4, for committee meetings and Tuesday, Dec. 5, and Wednesday, Dec. 20, for Council meetings. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.
Mt. Rainier in the Cascade Volcanoes, which are the
topic of After Dark in the Park on Tuesday.
Photo by Samuel Kerr

OCEAN VIEW VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT MEETS Monday, Dec. 4, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Ocean View Community Center. For more, call 939-7033.

KA‘Ū COFFEE GROWERS COOPERATIVE MEETS TUESDAY, Dec. 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center.

DISCOVERY HARBOUR VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT MEETS Tuesday, Dec.  5, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Hall. For more, call 929-9576 or visit discoveryharbour.net.

CASCADE VOLCANOES BENEATH A SOLAR ECLIPSE is the After Dark in the Park talk that for Tuesday, Dec. 5, starting at 7 p.m. in the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
     Learn about the volcanoes of the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon - how often they erupt and why they can be more dangerous that volcanoes in Hawai’i. Park rangers share their stories of their adventures while visiting these majestic mountains during the total solar eclipse. Free, park entrance fees apply. For more see nps.gov/HAVO.

REGISTER KEIKI, GRADES K-8, UNTIL TUESDAY, DEC. 5, for a Mason Jar Lover Wreath Craft class planned for Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center. For more call Nona Makuakane or Elijah Navarro at 928-3102 or visit hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation.

OPEN MIC NIGHT is Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Kīlauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m. to sign up. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests 21 years and older. Park entrance fees apply. Visit kilaueamilitarycamp.com for more details.

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Pahala Filipino Club President Hilaria Panglao in a past Pahala
Christmas Parade. This year's parade is Dec. 10
Photo by Julia Neal

ENTRIES FOR PĀHALA CHRISTMAS PARADE are welcomed. It is set for Sunday, Dec. 10, with participants touring the streets of Pāhala and winding up at the Holy Rosary Church on Pikake Street for treats and more entertainment. Produced by Eddie Andrade and family along with Mary Jane Balio for 39 years, the parade features Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus greeting parade goers with a Ho Ho Ho and throwing candies to the keiki. It features community groups, musicians, churches, businesses and schools, along with the Miss Ka‘ū Coffee court, walking and riding on floats, trucks and classic vehicles.
     The parade starts at 1 p.m. at the old Pāhala Armory and stops at houses throughout the village, making a stop for the staff and long-term care residents at Ka‘ū Hospital before arriving at the Catholic Church.
     Parade participants should start lining up by 12:30 p.m. To be involved - there are no entry fees for participants - call the Andrades at 928-0808.
     Sponsors of the parade also include the Edmund C. Olson Trust II.

CU HAWAI‘I FEDERAL CREDIT UNION OFFERS EMPLOYMENT as a Member Service Representative in Nā‘ālehu. CU Hawai‘i seeks energetic individuals for full time positions who enjoy working with people and can provide professional, courteous and efficient service to valued members.
     The ideal candidate must be service oriented and possess good communication and computer skills. Cash handling and customer service experience is preferred. Must be able to work Saturdays. CU Hawai‘i offers medical, drug, dental, vision and retirement benefits.
     Email, mail or fax application to: Attn: Human Resources, 476 Hinano Street Hilo, HI 96720, Fax: (808) 935-7793. Applications can be found online at cuhawaii.com/careers.html.