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, March 05, 2019

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Free eye exams and reading glasses drew residents of Pāhala on Tuesday to the campus of River of Life Church in Pāhala. 
Among them were Tutu & Me families. Next: free screenings at the Pāhala school campus. Photo by Julia Neal
FREE EYE SCREENING IS COMING TO ALL STUDENTS at Pāhla Elementary, Intermediate, and Kaʻū High School in coming weeks. The crew is from Project Vision Hawaiʻi, a nonprofit organization that aims to achieve better access to healthcare for Hawaiʻi's people, with a focus on vision health. One of its three mobile units arrived in Kaʻū this week to offer free vision screenings at the Kauhaʻao Church in Waiʻōhinu and River of Life Church in Pāhala.
     Families involved with Tutu & Me program for early education took advantage of the screenings as did adult members of the community. The team photographed the eyes of individuals, with the images to be passed onto an eye doctor who will evaluate each person and create a report.
Project Vision Hawaiʻi mobile unit. Photo by Julia Neal
     Keiki were screened for color deficiencies, adults for eye diseases. Keiki received free sunglasses, adults free reading glasses.
      At the school the screening results will be accompanied by consent forms for families to allow the program to provide additional testing and free glasses to the children who need them. See projectvisionhawaii.org. For more information, call 808-282-2265.
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HAWAIʻI'S POOREST CITIZENS use a higher percentage of their income to pay taxes than middle and high income people. Hitting Hawaiʻi's poor the hardest are sales and property taxes, according to personal finance website WalletHub. A report by The Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, analyzed by WalletHub, found that sales and property taxes, plus other state and local taxes, take more money out of the pockets of Americans, as a percentage of income, in the lower- and middle-income brackets than from wealthier families.
     WalletHub's analysis revealed Hawaiʻi sales - the excise tax - impacts lowest earners most. They use 8.43 percent of their income on sales taxes. Middle class people use 5.96 percent and the highest earners use 3.31 percent on sales taxes, placing Hawaiʻi in 50th out of all the states plus Washington, D.C. for the tax burden on those with lowest incomes.
     In paying income tax, Hawaiʻi's middle earners use 3.74 percent of their income, highest earners use 5.26 percent, and those with the least earnings use 2.09 percent.
     Hawaiʻi property taxes eat up 2.42 percent of the income of lowest earners, 1.9 percent for middle, and 1.77 for highest earners.
     The report calls Hawaiʻi taxes regressive. The analysis looked at overall tax burden as a percentage of income, including adjustments for cost of living.
     In its tax burden, Hawaiʻi ranks 49th on lower income individuals and families who make up 20 percent of the population and earn at least $25,000 per year. They pay 12.94 percent of income in taxes. In its tax burden, Hawaiʻi also ranks 49th on middle income people, who make up 20 percent of the population and earn at least $50,000 a year; they pay 11.59 percent of their income on taxes. In its tax burden, Hawai`i ranks 45th on the highest income people - the top one percent, who make at least $150,000 per year. They pay 10.34 percent of their  income in taxes.
     Nationwide, the lowest-income people pay 11.4 percent of their income for taxes. Middle income people pay 9.9 percent, and the top 1 percent pay 7.4 percent.
     Read the WalletHub report here, the ITEP report here.

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BILLS BANNING STYROFOAM FOOD CONTAINERS, AND PLASTIC BOTTLES, UTENSILS, STRAWS, and more, are moving from the state Senate to the House of Representatives. The bills have passed Senate Committees on Agriculture and Environment; Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health; Judiciary; and Ways and Means.
     Senate Bill 522 SD2, cosponsored by east Kaʻū's Sen. Russell Ruderman, "Prohibits the purchase, use, sale, or distribution of plastic beverage bottles, utensils, stirring sticks, polystyrene foam containers, and straws by state and county agencies after July 1, 2021," and bans their sale through businesses selling food and beverages after July 1, 2022." The bill would also ban "distribution or sale of plastic bags after July 1, 2023." It would creates a "plastic source reduction working group to make recommendations for eliminating single-use plastic packaging." The bill would appropriate funds."
     Ruderman told the Hawaiʻi Tribune Herald, "We've already banned plastic bags and that turned out to be no big deal. There are whole countries that don't use plastic utensils… adding plastic utensils to the list of banned products sets SB522 beyond previous bills that have flirted with plastic bans, while the addition of the working group will serve as a fallback option in case the bill gets 'watered down.'"
     As president of supermarket chain Island Naturals, Ruderman, told the  Tribune Herald, that "moving society away from plastic dependency outweighs business concerns," but added that if enough places enforce similar plastic bans, then companies will adapt their own practices and switch to more sustainable packaging materials. "I'm willing to be part of that change as both a Hawaiʻi resident and a businessman."
     SB367 SD1, cosponsored by west Kaʻū's Sen. Dru Kanuha and Hilo's Sen. Kai Kahele, would "prohibit food service businesses and stores from the sale, use, or distribution of polystyrene foam containers, expanded polystyrene food service products, plastic straws, and plastic bags."
     Last year's SB2498, which would have prohibited the sale of "polystyrene foam containers and serving of prepared foods using polystyrene foam containers statewide,",and provided funding to "educate" customers about "proper disposal of nonreusable food containers and litter reduction," didn't make it through the state House of Representatives.
     Testimony tends strong both in favor and against the proposed bans.
     From environmental groups and individuals, the general message is that the bans are essential for the environment.
     Surfrider Foundation Hawai`i manager, Stuart H. Coleman, wrote, "Polystyrene food containers are one of the most littered items in our Islands. Opponents will say it's recyclable, but the fact is that less than 1 percent is ever recycled. They will also say that it's a 'litter problem,' but the San Francisco, and there was a 30 percent decrease in EPS litter within one year… Industry lobbyists will also say that phasing out polystyrene food containers and other single-use plastics will hurt small businesses, but there are many restaurants that have dropped these products and are doing just fine. In fact, the new Ocean Friendly Restaurants Hawaiʻi program has registered more than 200 restaurants that are foam-free in the last 24 months! They have also committed to only offering straws on request and not using plastic bags, plates, cups or utensils onsite…
plastics industry has been using this tactic and blaming the public for decades without producing products that are actually recyclable. An EPS foam ban was implemented in
     "During our monthly beach cleanups around the state, EPS foam products are among the top items we find every single time. In fact, as part of International Coastal Cleanup Day, 17,383 cups, plates and pieces of EPS foam were removed from Hawaiʻi's beaches in a single day on Sat., Sept. 19, 2015! But plastic straws, utensils and stirring sticks are high on the list of the most littered items that we remove from our coastal areas. That's why we need this bill, which would help reduce these litter problems and environmental issues by requiring restaurants and food service vendors to stop using toxic EPS foam containers.
     "Hawaiʻi has one of the highest per capita rates of take-out food in the country. Locals and visitors tell us they are shocked by the number of polystyrene food containers they see in restaurants and later find on the beaches. The same goes for single-use plastic straws, stirrers, and utensils. The amount of testimony for these bills was overwhelmingly in favor of reducing polystyrene food containers. Though it's tempting to be swayed by the exaggerated claims of lobbyists for a few local foam producers and distributors, these same companies already carry and distribute more eco-friendly recyclable and compostable products because they see the writing on the wall. Scientific research and public sentiment have created a compelling case against polystyrene and plastic products, and more than 110 cities and counties have already enacted successful foam bans. Polls show that most people in Hawaiʻi support banning foam food products.
Plastic Beach aka Kamilo, in Kaʻū.
Photo from fhvnp.org
     "A recent study in Science showed that plastics are a major cause of coral reef disease and decline, and our Islands are dependent on our coral reefs for seafood, ocean recreation and tourism. We appreciate that Hawaiʻi's legislators have been environmental leaders in moving forward policies like the bills to ban plastic bags and create smoke-free parks & beaches. Now, we ask you to assert that same leadership on this issue. Because polystyrene food service products and single-use plastic bags, straws, and utensils are toxic to the environment, their use should be phased out gradually. There are many affordable alternatives that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and not damaging to the environment or human health. On top of that, it will cost the counties less to clean up. The state needs a consistent policy of eliminating these and other single-use products. Protecting our land and people should be our top priority, not allowing a few companies to profit from outmoded products that harm the environment and our wildlife."
     Hawaiʻi Restaurant Association's Legislative Lead, Victor Lim, urged Senators  "to be patient with these aggressive deadlines for implementation… The food industry and their supply chains are working but the 2023 deadline is not reasonable and achievable. We do support the bills and initiatives that state that straws should be given out only upon request at full service restaurants similar to the California State law that was passed in 2018. How beverages are consumed varies greatly from the sit down restaurants to the quick service restaurants with drive-thru where many food and beverages are consumed on the go. Alternate straws made from paper, bamboo, metal are all being tested around the world with limited success due to its performance, durability, after taste, and costs. Supply chain is seeking and working towards an alternate product but will not be ready with a good alternate product by July 1, 2021.
     Hawaiʻi Food Industry Association Executive Director Lauren Zirbel, contended, the bill would "raise prices on essential items for Hawaiʻi consumers and not address the underlying causes of global marine debris or local littering and waste mismanagement. Grocery stores and other food retailers would be especially hard hit by this measure. A recent audit of polystyrene and bag bans by the City and County of Honolulu City Auditor determined that: 'Any attempt to regulate the food service industry will impact a wide segment of Honolulu residents, largely in the form of price increases passed on to customers. Some impacts to certain vulnerable classes of residents need to be closely examined to prevent unnecessary effects and harms.' The City and County of Honolulu City Auditor also determined that: 'Minimizing litter to keep our natural environment safe from harm is an important community objective. To be successful, the city should pursue comprehensive methods rather than a simplistic ban on a single kind of litter/trash that is unlikely to effectively reduce the overall amount of litter and its harm to the environment.' For these reasons we ask that this measure be held."

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FEMA YOUTH PREPAREDNESS COUNCIL applications are being accepted through Sunday, March 31, open to students in 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade who have engaged in community service, or are interested in emergency preparedness. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard encourages applicants from Hawaiʻi: "Our Hawaiʻi communities know the impact disasters can have. They also know that preparation can make all the difference."
     The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency created the Youth Preparedness Council in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The Council supports FEMA's commitment to involve America's youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage young people by taking into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions.
     Youth Council members meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives, and projects. Members also attend the annual Youth Preparedness Council Summit in Washington, D.C., meet periodically with FEMA representatives, and work to complete a number of emergency preparedness projects.
     Apply online or download the application and submit a PDF copy of the application here. Applicants must complete the application form and submit two letters of recommendation along with their academic records by March 31.

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Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
Kaʻū Trojans Spring Sports Schedule
Baseball:
Wed., March 6, 3 p.m., @Kamehameha
Sat., March 9, 1 p.m., host Kohala
Sat., March 16, 1 p.m., host Keaʻau
Thu., March 21, 3 p.m., @Waiakea
Sat., March 23, 1 p.m., host Honokaʻa
Softball:
Thu., March 7, @Kamehameha
Sat., March 9, 11 a.m., host Kohala
Mon., March 11, host Kamehameha
Wed., March 13, 5:30 p.m., host Pāhoa
Sat., March 16, 11 a.m., host Keaʻau
Wed., March 20, @Waiakea
Sat., March 23, 11 a.m., host Honokaʻa
Boys Volleyball:
Fri., March 8, 6 p.m., @Kealakehe
Tue., March 12, 6 p.m., @Makualani, Varsity
Fri., March 15, 6 p.m., host Waiakea
Tue., March 19, 6 p.m., @Kealakehe
Track:
Sat., March 9, 2 p.m., @Keaʻau
Sat., March 16, 2 p.m., @Konawaena
Sat., March 23, 9 a.m., @Waiakea

NEW and UPCOMING
KAHUKU PARK HOSTS A SPRING WREATH MAKING ARTS AND CRAFT ACTIVITY, for those 18 years old and above, on Tuesday, Mar. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon. Register through Friday, Mar. 8. Free.
     For more, contact Recreation Technician Teresa Anderson at 929-9113. Kahuku Park is located at 92-8607 Paradise Circle Mauka, Ocean View. See hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation for hours.

KAHUKU PARK HOSTS A SPRING FLOWER COLLAGE ARTS AND CRAFT ACTIVITY, for keiki ages 6 to 12 years old, on Wednesday, Mar. 13, from 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Register through Friday, Mar. 8. Free.
     For more, contact Recreation Technician Teresa Anderson at 929-9113. Kahuku Park is located at 92-8607 Paradise Circle Mauka, Ocean View. See hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation for hours.

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6
Ash Wednesday Service, Wednesday, March 6, 3p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church. 939-7000, stjudeshawaii.org

Arts and Crafts Activity: Tissue Paper Butterfly, Wednesday, March 6, 3:30-5p.m., multi-purpose room, Ka‘ū District Gym. Register keiki ages 5-12 through March 5. Free. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Hula Voices with Kumu Hula Ka‘ea Lyons and Lily Lyons, Wednesday, March 6 – 1st Wednesday, monthly – 5:30-7p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery. Desiree Moana Cruz moderates the talk story session. Free. 967-7565

Open Mic Night, Wednesday, March 6, 6-10p.m., Lava Lounge, Kīlauea Military Camp. Call 967-8365 after 4p.m. to sign up and for more details. Park entrance fees may apply. Open to KMC patrons and sponsored guests, 21+. 967-8371, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

THURSDAY, MARCH 7
Women's Support Group, Thursday, March 7 – 1st Thursday monthly – 3-4:30p.m., PARENTS Inc., Nā‘ālehu. Women welcome to drop in. Free. Lindsey Miller, 333-3460, lindsey@hawaiiparents.org

All Ages Game Nite, Thursday, March 7, 5:30-7:30p.m., Ka‘ū District Gym. Register through March 5. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Ocean View Neighborhood Watch Mtg., Thursday, March 7, 6-7p.m.Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

FRIDAY, MARCH 8
Mardi Gras Fundraising Dinner, Friday, March 8, doors open at 5:30p.m., dinner served 6-8p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church. $8/single meal, $15/couple, $20/family. 939-7000, stjudeshawaii.org

Community Dance, Friday, March 8, 7-10p.m.Cooper CenterVolcano Village. Minors allowed with supervision only. Alcohol-free event. Variety of music. Snacks provided; additional pūpū welcome. Free. 967-7800, thecoopercenter.org

SATURDAY, MARCH 9
Pancake Breakfast and Raffle, Saturday, March 9, 8-11a.m.Ocean View Community Center. To volunteer, call 939-7033, ovcahi.org

The Business of Art, Saturday, March 9, 9a.m.-4p.m.Volcano Art Center. Intensive training for artists who want to grow their business, led by Ira Ono. Fee tba. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Stained Glass Basics 2, Saturday, March 9, 9a.m.-noon, Volcano Art Center. For those with prior copper foil stained glass experience. Fee tba. volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Nā Mamo o Kāwā ʻOhana Work Day, Saturday, March 9, meet 9:30a.m., Northern Gate, Kāwā. RSVP to James Akau, jakau@nmok.org, 561-9111. nmok.orgfacebook.com/NMOK.Hawaii

Zentangle: Lava Layers with Dina Wood Kageler, Saturday, March 9, 10a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center. Returning tanglers invited to bring favorite drawing supplies; loaner supplies available. Bring snack to share. $30/VAC member, $35/non-member, plus $10 supply fee. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Hula Kahiko - Nā Kumu Hula Ka‘ea Lyons and Lily Lyons with Hālau Ka‘eaikahelelani, Saturday, March 9, 10:30-11:30a.m., hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery. Hula performance. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.com, volcanoartcenter.org

Nā Mea Hula with Kumu Kaho‘okele Crabbe - Hālauolakalani, Saturday, March 9, 11a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. Hands-on cultural demonstration. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.com, volcanoartcenter.org

MONDAY, MARCH 11
Free STD Testing, Monday, March 11 – 2nd Monday, monthly – 9a.m.-noon, Ocean View Community Center. Sponsored by Hawai‘i Department of Health. Call for appt. on different day or time. Teenagers 14+ do not need parent/guardian consent. Always confidential. Free condoms and lube. 895-4927

Medicine for the Mind: Teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, Monday, March 11 – 2nd Sunday, monthly – 3-5p.m., Volcano Art Center. Free; calabash donations welcome. Dress warmly. Patty Johnson, 345-1527

TUESDAY, MARCH 12
Hawai‘i County Council Mtgs., Tuesday, March 12 (Committees), Wednesday, March 13, (Council), Hilo. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.

Spring Wreath Making - Adults, Tuesday, March 12, 10a.m.-noon, Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. Ages 18+. Register March 4-8. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

C.E.R.T. Discovery Harbour/Nā‘ālehu, Tuesday, March 12, 4-6p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. Community Emergency Response Team info and training scenarios. Public welcome. Dina Shisler, dinashisler24@yahoo.com, 410-935-8087

The Wonderful World of Wine and Watercolor, Tuesday, March 12, 4-7p.m., Volcano Art Center. $30/VAC member, $35/non-member, plus $17 supply fee. Enjoy a sampling of several wines from Grapes, Hilo, during class. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

After Dark in the Park: Pahu Manamana o ‘Umi - Ancestral Brilliance, Tuesday, March 12, 7p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Pualani Kanahele of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation takes audience on a virtual visit to Pahu Manamana o ‘Umi, a stellar instrument positioned 7,752 feet up on the southwest slope of Mauna Loa. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/havo

ONGOING
Kauahaʻao Congregational Church Fundraising Bazaar, Saturday, March 16, 9-2 pm, just above Wong Yuen Store in Waiʻōhinu. Bazaar vendor spaces on the church lawn are $10 for 10' X 10'. Vendors are responsible for bringing all supplies, including electricity. Church members will sell kalua pig and cabbage bowls, and roast chicken with gravy bowls, as well as baked goods, produce, and crafts. Submit application with fee by Sunday, March 10; call Debbie or Walter, 928-8039, for application.

Applications for a Job to Help Kids with Healthy Eating and Living in Kaʻū are open through Friday, March 15. Full-time 11.5-month commitment from August 1, 2019 through July 15, 2020, at Pāhala Elementary School. $22,000 living stipend paid bi-weekly; $6,095 AmeriCorps Segal education award upon successful completion of service; student loan deferral or forbearance, if eligible; partial childcare reimbursement, if eligible; health insurance; ongoing training; mentorship; and professional development. Apply at foodcorps.org/apply. See the service member position description for more details. Visit foodcorps.orgFacebook page, or contact seri.niimi-burch@foodcorps.org for more information.

Niuhi-Shark Fine Art Exhibit is open daily through Sunday, March 24 at Volcano Art Center Gallery. The public is invited to hear different perspectives on the life of Kamehameha the Great and experience a visual experience of important events in Kamehameha's life from the perspective of two styles of art. The exhibit and supporting events promise paint, prose, protocol, and conversations providing cultural, historical, and educational experiences, with original paintings by Carl F. K. Pao, paired with selections from the book Kamehameha–The Rise of a King by David Kāwika Eyre, with illustrations by Brook Parker. Visit volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

Preschool Opens Doors Applications are open for the 2019-2020 school year. The Department of Human Services encourages families to apply before Friday, March 29. This program is for families seeking aid in paying for preschool. Applications, available at patchhawaii.org, received during this period will be considered for preschool participation during July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. For more information, visit bit.ly/2TolEOm or call 800-746-5620.

Five Scholarships are available from American Association of University Women-Kona: Three $2000 scholarships will go to female college-bound Kaʻū High School and West Hawaiʻi high school students. Applications must be postmarked by Monday, April 1. Two $1,000 scholarships will go to any female high school graduate or older women attending a two-year vocational program leading to a marketable skill at Palamanui Campus. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 10.  Application packets available at kona-hi.aauw.net. Contact sharonnind@aol.com.

Beginning Farmer Institute Cohort Applications open through Monday, April 15. Free training program which "prepares new producers of any age or operation type for a successful future in agriculture." Applications at nfu.org/education/beginning-farmer-institute.

Kaʻū Coffee Fest invites non-profits, clubs, cooperatives, and businesses to sign up for booths at the 11th annual Kaʻū Coffee Fest Hoʻolauleʻa on Saturday, May 4 at Pāhala Community Center. The all-day event comes with music, hula, coffee tasting, and meeting the famous Kaʻū Coffee farmers. See KauCoffeeFestival.com.
     Booth fees are $100 for food vendors; $60 for non-food items and crafts, including coffee and coffee samples; and $35 for pre-approved information displays. No campaign and other political displays. Fifty percent discounts for non-profit organizations and cooperatives selling food, crafts, and coffee. Vendors must also obtain county vendor permits costing $30 each and a Department of Health permit, if serving food. Call Gail Nagata 933-0918. Apply by Friday, April 26. Application at KauCoffeeFestival.com. Email to biokepamoses@gmail.com; mail to Brenda Iokepa-Moses, P.O. Box 208PāhalaHI 96777; or call 808-731-5409.

Applications for Paid Internship in Kaʻū for Kupu Hawai‘i and The Nature Conservancy are open. Year-long, full-time position in TNC's Hawai‘i Island Terrestrial Program stewards native forest preserves in Ka‘ū and South Kona. $1,600 monthly living allowance, before taxes; a $5,920 education award towards higher education; health care and childcare benefit, if eligible; and receiving an entry-level conservation career experience. Application at kupuhawaii.org/conservation. For more, call The Nature Conservancy, 443-5401, or call Kupu Hawai‘i, 808-735-1221.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.