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Monday, July 22, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs July 21, 2024

Hawai'i Volcanoes 40th Annual Cultural Festival
Lori Lei Katahara, on 'ukulele, who taught generations of hula in Kaʻū with her Shirakawa hula studio, sings with Dane Sesson on bass and Gene Akamu on guitar at the 40th Annual Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival on Saturday. Staged at the Kahuku Unit, it featured food, song, dance, cultural practices and participation by the public. It was sponsored by Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai'i Pacific Parks Association and Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
See more in upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs.  Photos by Sara Espaniola

JILL TOKUDA HAD THIS TO SAY ABOUT PRES. JOE BIDEN'S DEPARTURE FROM HIS CAMPAIGN AND KAMALA HARRIS RUNNING FOR THE PRESIDENCY. Tokuda,   Kaʻū's Congresswoman, said, "President Biden has been a remarkable leader, guiding our nation through some of its most challenging times and making investments that will benefit generations to come. We owe a great deal of gratitude to him for his bold leadership and steadfast commitment to making life better for all Americans."I will never forget when he came to Maui following the devastating fires that destroyed Lahaina. He committed the full weight and force of the federal government behind our recovery efforts, but what really struck me was the way he genuinely connected with our people. He held their hands, he listened, and he gave people hope. Just last week, when I spoke with him, he again asked about Maui and how the administration could help. He has always been there for us and is a true friend to Hawai'i. It took great courage to do what he has done, and it is an example of how Joe Biden always puts country first. I have nothing but the sincerest aloha for him.
    "I join President Biden in fully endorsing Kamala Harris to be our Democratic nominee for President of the United States. I was with Vice President Harris when she spoke at our Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Presidential Town Hall in Philadelphia last week. For our Asian American Native
Kamala Harris at an Asian Pacific Islander American Vote Presidential Town Hall last week with Kaʻū's Congresswoman, Rep. Jill Tokuda. Harris received Tokuda's endorsement for the U.S. presidency on Sunday. Photo from APIA
Hawaiian Pacific Islander community, she made clear that she is one of us, she hears us, and she will empower us. Through her leadership and action, we have seen that she has always been ready and able to step up to lead this country as its commander-in-chief. I am one hundred percent behind her. "We must now come together and fight to defend our democracy and the very basic values of equality, justice, and freedom. The threat of a Trump-Vance presidency and Project 2025 is real. We need Kamala Harris as President to provide the strong leadership necessary in this moment to protect our democracy, restore our rights, and ensure a brighter future for Hawaiʻi and all Americans."

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    Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “Like millions of Americans, I’m extremely grateful for Joe Biden’s service to our country over the past five decades, and his leadership over the last four years.
“After four years of utter chaos, President Biden led our country back from the pandemic and into the strongest economic recovery in a century. Under his leadership, Democrats passed landmark legislation to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, support our veterans, combat the climate crisis, and invest billions in communities throughout Hawai'i and across our country.
    "His foreign policy leadership has been exemplary, helping to restore our country’s image on the world stage, strengthen NATO, and marshal international support for Ukraine. As the only person to have defeated Donald Trump, President Biden understands as well as anybody how high the stakes are this November, and I respect his decision to pass the baton.” Biden has a little under six months left of his
President and First Lady Joe and Jill Biden with Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, visit
 the scene of the Lahaina wildfire devastation last August and promising federal assistance.

Photo from CSPAN
    Hirono also endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris to become the next President of the United States. “Working alongside the President, Vice President Harris has played a critical role in the progress we’ve made, and has shown herself ready to lead our party moving forward. In the Senate, I saw firsthand what a fierce, committed, and effective champion Kamala is for the American people. I’m proud to call Vice President Harris a friend and colleague, and I look forward to doing everything in my power to get her elected to the White House, so we can continue building on the progress of the last four years,” said Hirono
    Sen Brian Schatz said, “For over 50 years, Joe Biden has been a selfless patriot and dedicated public servant who’s given everything to the country he so dearly loves. As a senator, vice president, and now president, he has spent most of his life working to make people’s lives better and the world safer. Today, yet again, he has put the country before himself, making the best choice for the American people in this uniquely consequential moment. For that, and for his lifetime of service, we should all be deeply grateful.
    “It’s not an overstatement to say Joe Biden has been and is the most consequential president of our lifetime. His legislative accomplishments speak for themselves and will endure for generations to come. He took the biggest climate action in human history. He cut the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and made our communities safer by passing long-overdue gun reform. He’s also revitalized our nation’s infrastructure and strengthened our alliances around the world.”
"There’s no question Americans today are better off because of Joe Biden,” said Schatz.

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GOV. JOSH GREEN REACTED TO PRES. JOE BIDEN'S EXIT FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ON SUNDAY: “President Biden and his family have made this decision, which I said all along was his and theirs to make. I have no doubt that it was a difficult decision and in this, I thank him again for his selfless leadership.”
    “On behalf of the state of Hawaiʻi, especially the residents of Maui, I express our forever-gratitude to President Biden for granting wildfire disaster relief within an unprecedented six hours of our making the request in a time of our people’s deepest need.”
    Green had planned to co-host a Biden-Harris fundraiser on Martha's Vineyard this week.

5,500 in the mail, 2,000 on the streets Volcano to Miloli'i
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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs July 20, 2024


Pacific Islands Cousins Meet for Hula
    Halau Hula O Leionalani joined dancers from Huahine and Turereura in Tahiti and E-Suite 
from Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday at Ke Ola Pu'uhonua in Nāʻālehu for a free public event organized by Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder. The next free event at Ke Ola, produced by Ryder, is a  Back to School concert with Wehilei at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 28.
                                                Photo by Brenda Iokepa-Moses

KAʻŪ COFFEE SHOWED OFF ITS QUALITY at Hawai'i Coffee Association's 15th Annual Cupping Competition this weekend. The cupping was held during the annual conference and meeting of the HCA at Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu.
    In the Kaʻū District competition, Miranda's Farms took first with a score of 85.63 for its parchment-
The Miranda family took first in cupping competition for the Ka'u District.
Photo from Miranda's Farms
dried Geisha. Rusty's Hawaiian Farm took second with 85.42 for its fruit-dried Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon. Kaʻū Coffee Mill, LLC took third with 84.55 for its pulp-dried Red Bourbon.
    In the Commercial Division, Kaʻū Coffee Mill, LLC took third in the state with 81.63 points for its pulp-dried Typica. Second was a tie between Mauka Meadows, Mountain with 82.63 for its parchment-dried Typica and Kopiko Farm with 82.63 for its parchment-dried Red Bourbon. First went to Hula Daddy Kona Coffee with 84.29 for its parchment-dried Typica.
    In the Creative Division, Miranda's Farms took ninth with 85.63 for it parchment-dried Geisha and Rusty's Hawaiian Farm took tenth with 85.42 with its fruit-dried Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon. First in Creative was Geisha Kona Coffee with 87.83 for its fruit-dried Geisha. Second was Monarch Coffee Farm, of Kona, with 87.40 for its parchment-dried Geisha.
    Other Kaʻū Coffee farms that participated with scores above 80 were A Coffee Farm, Elepoki, Aroma Coffee Farm, Green Turtle Estate Coffee Farm, Navarro Farms, LLC, R&G Farms/ Ka'u Royal, JN Coffee Farm and DMCA Coffee Farm.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF HAWAI'I ISSUED A STATEMENT WITH A "PROFOUND CONCERN" following Donald Trump's speech this week at the 2024 Republican National Convention. Hawai'i's Democratic Party called the speech "a troubling display of incoherence, falsehoods, and his alignment with undemocratic principles, highlighting the urgent need for responsible leadership."    
    Donald Trump’s speech at the RNC Thursday "was both chaotic and troubling,” said Derek Turbin, Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i. “For an unheard of 93-minutes, Trump rambled without presenting a clear vision for our country’s future. Instead, despite his claims of ‘changing’ due to the events of last Saturday, he continued his baseless attacks on prominent figures such as Nancy Pelosi and President Biden.”
    The Democratic Party statement said that "Adding to the confusion, Trump referenced the fictional character Hannibal Lecter and praised North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. These bizarre inclusions emphasized the unhinged nature of his remarks and highlighted his troubling admiration for foreign powers and dictators, which runs counter to our democratic values." 
     Hawai'i's Democratic Party reported that "Following the conclusion of Trump’s speech, fact checkers identified 22 false statements made, which ranged from economic distortions to outright lies about his record and that of his opponents. These falsehoods were promptly debunked, reflecting his concerning pattern of misinformation and falsehoods."
    Turbin said, “The speech not only demonstrated Trump’s lack of coherent leadership but also highlighted the dangerous path he advocates In these critical times, we need to rally behind the vision of progress and inclusivity championed by the Biden-Harris administration. We must reject the regressive policies and false narratives propagated by Trump and the Republican Party.”
    The Democratic Party of Hawai’i stated that it "reaffirms its commitment to protecting our democracy and urges all to strongly consider the impact the upcoming election will have on our country’s future."

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Gov. Josh Green said Pres. Biden was fit during their visit to the
Lahaina fire devastation. Photo from The Hill
GOV. JOSH GREEN SUPPORTS THE CONTINUED CANDIDACY OF PRES. JOE BIDEN while U.S. Congressman Ed Case, former Hawai'i Governors Neil Abercrombie, John Waihee and Ben Cayetano recommended that Biden cease his campaign, following accusations that he is unfit to serve a second term.
    Green said that Biden was "quite sharp" at the recent NATO summit, and top shape when he came to Lahaina to promise aid to victims of fire, holding up well in hot weather while meeting hundreds of people. Green, who is a physician, told The Hill: “Look, an 81-year-old gentleman is going to have moments where they skip a word, where they feel exhausted — that was the case when we had Ronald Reagan (R) as president, and he went on to two terms that are viewed as particularly successful by many.”
    Green is scheduled to co-host a Biden-Harris campaign fundraiser July 29 in Martha's Vineyard on the mainland. The other co-host is television celebrity David Letterman.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

5,500 in the mail, 2,000 on the streets Volcano to Miloli'i
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Friday, July 19, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs July 19, 2024

Pahala Elderly is one of two affordable housing projects in Ka'u. There are none listed as 
in the pipeline. Photo from Hawai'i County

TRACK AND FIND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON THIS ISLAND is the call from  County of Hawaiʻi, with the launch of a new online tool to help residents track and find affordable housing projects. In Kaʻū there are two existing affordable projects - for the aged and disabled. Kaʻū and South Kona are the only two Districts with no new affordable housing in the pipeline according to the Dashboard.
    The aim of the County of Hawaiʻi Affordable Housing Dashboard is to provide a user-friendly interface where residents can easily view details such as project location and income limits, as well as status updates for the over 8,100 units in the affordable housing pipeline and thousands of existing rental units. "This information is crucial for residents interested in understanding the availability and accessibility of housing options within their communities," says a statement from the county.
    One of two projects listed in Kaʻū as affordable housing is Pahala Elderly senior housing with 24 units for those applicants for housing with up to 80 percent of the Average Medium Income. Operated by Hawai'i Public Housing, units are available to income-qualified seniors ages 63 years and older. Applicant household income "must not exceed the limits provided by the property manager," says the description on the dashboard. To apply, contact 808-333-0474. It shows no units available.
Weinberg Hale Kupaa, for Special Needs residents is one of two 
affordable housing projects in Ka'u listed by the County.
    The other affordable housing in Kaʻū listed on the Dashboard is Weinberg Hale Kupaa, with five units of Special Needs Housing. The apartments are subsidized by the federal government Housing & Urban Development Agency. Residents usually pay 30 percent of their income for rent.  It is located at 94-6733 Kamaoa Road near Na'alehu. The property manager is Steadfast Housing Development Corp, with contact number 808-828-7171
    "Our commitment to enhancing housing opportunities for all residents of Hawaiʻi Island is unwavering. This new online tool reflects our dedication to transparency and accountability, ensuring that residents have the information they need to participate in the dialogue about housing development in our County," said Housing Administrator Susan Kunz.
    The landing page of the two-page dashboard presents an affordable housing overview of the County's existing affordable housing units and projects planned for future development. Drop-down menus allow the user to choose the data they want to see for each property. The second page uses graphics to present additional project metrics in a clear and simplified way.
    Explore the County of Hawaiʻi Affordable Housing Dashboard by clicking here.
    Built entirely in-house by staff from the Department of Information Technology and Office of Housing and Community Development, the County of Hawaiʻi Affordable Housing Dashboard utilizes an array of information provided by various County and State agencies and non-profit and for-profit developer partners.
    Future phases will incorporate additional data that will provide the opportunity for more detailed conversation with the community regarding affordable housing to support residents as the County works to build a stronger, vibrant community where all can work and play, and thrive together.
    "Our team has worked tirelessly to fulfill our promise of creating affordable housing opportunities for local families," said Mayor Mitch Roth. "This dashboard showcases our progress, increasing the housing pipeline from just over 1,200 homes to over 8,100. We hope residents use this technology to track our
projects, learn about nearby opportunities, and, most importantly, hold us accountable for ensuring that our keiki can thrive and succeed for generations to come."
   According to the 2019 Hawai'i Housing Planning Study, the County of Hawai'i needed to add 10,796 affordable housing units by 2025 to meet the community's needs.
    Since taking office in late 2020, Roth's administration through the Office of Housing and Community Development has worked with partner developers to increase the number of units in the affordable housing pipeline from about 1,200 units to over 8,100 units. By the end of 2024, the administration will have overseen the completion of over 500 affordable housing units for local families.
    The County of Hawaiʻi Office of Housing and Community Development is responsible for the planning, administration, and operation of all County of Hawai'i housing programs. Its mission is to provide for the development of viable communities through decent housing, suitable living environments and expanded economic opportunities.
    More information on the Office of Housing and Community Development and its programs can be found online at www.housing.hawaiicounty.gov. To receive news alerts and OHCD's quarterly newsletter, click here. Also connect with OHCD on Facebook and Instagram.

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Michelle Galimba

THE TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS BILL is the main focus of County Council member Michelle Galimba's recent newsletter. She notes that the Council is considering and amending Bill 121. A number of amendments that addressed concerns passed the Policy Committee on Planning, Land Use, and 
Development. Some amendments clarified language but many addressed substantive concerns, such as the need for a notarized affidavit of meeting health, safety and code requirements. Instead of the notarized affidavit, a simple declaration will be required. Find the amendments put forward by co-author Council Chair Heather Kimball at https://www.hawaiicountytar.com/
    At the end of its meeting, the Policy Committee on Planning, Land Use and Development postponed further consideration of Bill 121 until Aug. 20, when more amendments will be taken up. Galimba advised her constituents "Please do let me know if you have specific concerns that can be addressed by amendments to Bill 121. This is an important piece of legislation and we want to hear your feedback and to answer any questions you may have. As always please do not hesitate to contact us at the District 6 office!."

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5,500 in the mail, 2,000 on the streets Volcano to Miloli'i
 See www.kaunews.com