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.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Sept. 30, 2013

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is one of 401 National Park Service facilities subject to closure if the federal
government shuts down. Photo from HVNP facebook page

IF CONGRESS CAN’T AGREE ON A BUDGET BILL or a short-term resolution to fund the federal government before tomorrow, all 401 national park sites, including Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, would be shuttered. 
      In the event of a government shutdown, the National Park Service will take all necessary steps to close and secure national park facilities and grounds, according to John Garder, Budget & Appropriations Legislative representative. Day use visitors will be instructed to leave the park immediately. Wherever possible, park roads will be closed, and access will be denied. National and regional offices and support centers will be closed and secured, except where they are needed to support excepted personnel. These steps will be enacted as quickly as possible while still ensuring visitor and employee safety as well as the integrity of park resources.
      A shutdown would put nearly 87 percent of Park Service employees — more than 21,000 staff members — indefinitely out of their jobs.
      National parks are powerful economic engines, supporting $31 billion in private-sector spending annually. According to the Department of the Interior, the last government shutdown in 1995-1996 cost local businesses $14 million per day. A current analysis indicates the actual impact on businesses now could be closer to $30 million per day. Every federal dollar invested in national parks generates ten dollars in economic activity. National parks also mean good jobs around the country. The National Park Service employs approximately 20,000 people, and national parks support 252,000 private-sector jobs.
      Closing parks would not only deprive visitors of an experience of a lifetime, it would also prevent the park staff from monitoring and maintaining natural and historic resources throughout the park system, Garder said. Staff biologists, ecologists, and other resource professionals work to rid our parks of invasive species and to protect the threatened and endangered species that call our national parks home. Other staff members monitor grounds to prevent vandalism, illegal dumping, and other detrimental activities. While a shutdown would allow for the most critical staff to remain, much of this work would be severely hampered by a government shutdown.
      Citizens can urge members of Congress to avert a shutdown and support full funding for the Park Service by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking to speak with their representatives. A list of representatives is available at National Parks Conservation Association’s website, npca.org.

Sen. Mazie Hirono
KA`U’S U.S. SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, through her campaign committee, released statements this morning regarding the congressional standoff and pointed to the next elections. 
      “In the last several days, we’ve had some pretty stark reminders about why it’s so important to defend our Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.
      “If Republicans win back the Senate in the 2014 elections, the kind of dangerous stunts the GOP-controlled House has pulled – like threatening to shut down the government over Obamacare – will become commonplace. And people like tea party demagogue Ted Cruz could become part of Senate leadership.
      “Republicans only need to pick up six seats to take the majority – and they’re looking at two races particularly closely: Sen. Mary Landrieu’s in Louisiana and Sen. Kay Hagan’s in North Carolina.”

Sen. Brian Schatz
KA`U’S U.S. SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ said, “A government shutdown would harm the people of Hawai‘i, and it is irresponsible for unbending and intransigent Tea Party Republicans to continue to hold our economy hostage so that they can get their way. Enough is enough. While the Continuing Resolution is not perfect, it will keep the government from shutting down. We must now work to pass a budget that removes damaging sequestration cuts and represents the priorities of working families.” 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD voted against the House bill with the riders that include delaying Obamacare. She said that “this bill maintains harmful, across-the-board budget cuts and includes amendments which will not pass the Senate or get the President’s signature. We need a reasonable, workable solution, not partisan games that will hurt hard-working families all across Hawai`i and our country.” 
      To comment on or “like” these stories, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL’S PUBLIC SAFETY & Mass Transit Committee continues its discussion about banning genetically modified organisms tomorrow at 1 p.m.
      Other committees meeting tomorrow are Finance at 8:30 a.m. and Planning at 9:30 a.m.
      The full Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. All meetings take place at Council Chambers in Hilo.
      Ka`u residents can participate in the meetings via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center. Agendas, available at hawaiicounty.gov, state that public testimony has been completed on topics before the Public Safety & Mass Transit and Planning Committees.
      To comment on or “like” these stories, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Russell Ruderman
A RECENT STORY IN CIVIL BEAT QUESTIONING whether the cutting down of 100 GMO papaya trees in Puna was an act of “ecoterrorism” brought comments about the situation farmers find themselves in when it comes to GMO crops. 
      Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman said, “There has never been a bit of evidence to link GMO activists with these crimes. We all know farmers are to be supported, not targeted. No one has advocated such actions.
      “This implication without evidence casts an unfair shadow on those of us trying to regulate GMOs.”
      When one commenter said Council member Brenda Ford’s bill called for farmers to cut down GMO trees, another pointed out that Ford expected that her bill would be amended to exempt papaya, and the commenter said, “This act of vandalism has nothing to do with the bills before the Council.”
      Several commenters questioned writer Sophie Cocke’s use of the term ecoterrorism to describe the act of vandalism. Eco-terrorism is a bit of a sensationalist term, said one. Another asked, “This act of vandalism does nothing to promote the interests of the anti-GMO activists, so why would they do this?”
      See more at civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or “like” these stories, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

EVENTS AT HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK tomorrow are scheduled unless the park is closed due to a government shutdown.

Large Earthquakes in Hawai`i is the topic at After Dark in the Park
tomorrow. Photo from NPS
KA`U RESIDENT DICK HERSHBERGER brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life during A Walk into the Past. Programs begin at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center and then visit the Whitney Vault.
      WES THELEN, A SEISMOLOGIST WITH USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, presents an overview of damaging earthquakes in Hawai`i, including current theories on why they occur and what to know about future large earthquakes at After Dark in the Park tomorrow. He also talks about Hawai`i’s first Great ShakeOut, an earthquake drill on Thursday, Oct. 17, how to join the global effort to increase awareness of earthquake hazards and how to minimize their risks.
      The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.

KA`U DEFEATED KOHALA in girls high school volleyball Saturday night 25-17, 25-20 and 25-15. Ka`u ranks third in the Division II Big Island Interscholastic Federation girls volleyball standings with game wins and losses to date: Hawai`i Preparatory Academy 9-17; Konawaena 8-2; Ka`u 5-5; Pahoa 4-6; Kohala 4-7; East-Pac 3-6; Honoka`a 2-8; Laupahoehoe 1-8; Parker 1-10; and Makua Lani 0-10. The next Trojan girls volleyball games are on Wednesday evening, Oct. 2 when Ka`u hosts Waiakea.