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.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Ka‘ū News Brief Sunday, April 1, 2018

Egg hunt around the flagpole this morning at Kaʻū Military Camp parade ground. The Easter event was open to
locals and visitors. Photo by Eric DeJesus
A VACATION RENTAL ADVOCACY GROUP URGES OWNERS TO TURN IN TESTIMONY ASAP to the Hawaiʻi Legislature. Rental by Owner Awareness Association released a statement of concern about SB2963 and HB2605; the House bill is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, April 3, by the House Ways and Means Committee.
     According to the RBOAA, the bill would require owners to provide proof of compliance with all zoning, land use, and tax laws. Violations of any tax or zoning laws would result in a $25,000 fine if not responded to within seven days. The bill would provide for seizure of the property and all income earned from operating a vacation rental with violations.
     Counties could change the zoning to declare a property to be ineligible for vacation rentals and then seize the property if the owner were to continue using it for vacation rentals. Such vacation rental companies as AirBnb and Homeaway would be required to immediately cease doing business with any owner who isn't compliant with all regulations.
     The bill originally included language creating a felony for non-compliance, but it was changed to a $25,000 fine.
     The bill would make agencies like AirBnB jointly responsible for collecting the Transient Accommodations Taxes. If one party would fail to pay taxes correctly, both rental company and owner would be liable. Counties would be allowed access to information that normally requires at least a subpoena, including 1099 information - "The State Department of Tax is, by federal law, strictly forbidden to release this information to anyone," states RBOAA.
     House committees were slow in considering the bill. However, the Senate has rewritten the bill twice and it now goes to hearing on Tuesday.
     RBOAA also reports that "On the Big Island, the County Council was considering a regulatory framework around vacation rentals on the island. The proposal hit a bit of an obstacle, but in general, the proposals were fair and balanced. Not perfect, but a good starting point. Hopefully the proposals come back for further reasoned discussion." See an update on the proposed county ordinance in an upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs.
     A call to action from RBOAA: "Please, sometime before 10 a.m., Hawaiian time, April 2, 2018, go to https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx. You will need to sign in / create a sign in, and then enter HB2605. At the very least, click on the button which says Oppose. If you want to write any comments, you can say you support the testimony provided by RBOOA or you can write any comment you want. Please keep it polite!"

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LOWER ELECTRIC BILLS for Hawaiʻi Island residential customers are on the horizon, if the Public Utilities Commission approves a rate adjustment proposal from Hawaiʻi Electric Light Co.
     The proposal would lower the typical bill for a residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours by $4.97 a month. As of 2017, the utility reported the average rate for a residential customer was 34.20 cents per kilowatt hour, nearly six cents higher than O‘ahu, and 3.56 cents higher than Maui.
     The effective date of the new rate will be determined by the Commission. Changes in federal tax law reduced Hawaiʻi Electric Light's corporate tax bill, HELCO reports.
     In January, the company announced it planned to pass on the savings to customers, saying it was reviewing the impact of the new tax law, and an updated rate adjustment proposal would be filed when the amount to be returned to customers was calculated. The proposed amount reflects the full year of tax savings. The company made similar rate reductions in 1987 and 1989, following changes to federal tax law.

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Lt. Gov. Doug Chin
     "I support Senate Bill 2990, S.D.2, H.D. 1 to chart a path for Hawai‘i's future where every ‘ohana and every worker will have the opportunity, and the financial security, to take time off from work to care for a loved one. In this measure, the Hawai‘i State Legislature can affirm and renew our state's commitment to economic justice for working families.
     "Hawai‘i's high cost of living means too many of our working families are just surviving instead of thriving. We see families faced with the heartbreaking choice between taking care of themselves or their loved ones and economic ruin.  We can – and we must – do better. Not just for today, but for the next generation of innovators, doctors, and scientists who will benefit from parents having the choice to take time off from work to put their ‘ohana first."
     Senate Bill 2990 - also supported by Gov. David Ige, and several unions and nonprofits - would make it so that all employees in Hawai‘i have access to leave benefits when they need to provide care for a family member: the birth or adoption of a child, or a spouse or parent with a serious health condition. Amendments were added by the House Finance Committee, but have not yet been published.
     The federal Family and Medical Leave Act already provides for 12 weeks of unpaid leave under these circumstances, for companies with 50 or more employees, with Hawai‘i adding a four-week extension for those who work at companies with 100 or more employees.

David Shulkin was fired by Pres.
Trump, drawing concern from
Sen. Mazie Hirono.
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SEN. MAZIE HIRONO HAS REACTED TO THE FIRING OF THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS last week. Pres. Donald Trump fired David Shulkin and nominated White House physician, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, to replace him.
     Last June, Trump promised that Shulkin, would have a long tenure. Referring to his reality TV line, "You're Fired," the President remarked, "We'll never have to use those words on our David. We will never use those words on you. That's for sure."
The White House Doctor, Adm.
Ronny Jackson, is Trump's nominee
to head the VA.
     Hirono stated, "The chaos continues in the White House with the continuous shuffling of cabinet secretaries, the latest being Secretary of Veterans' Affairs David Shulkin. The Department of Veterans' Affairs is an agency already rocked by scandals and reports of infighting, and I had hoped that Secretary Shulkin would have brought the kind of stability and commitment necessary to improve services that our veterans deserve and earned."
     Hirono said the new nominee "has led a distinguished military career, but I am concerned about how his lack of management experience will impact his ability to lead our government's second largest agency - with more than 350,000 employees and a nearly $200 billion annual budget. I am also concerned about whether Admiral Jackson will be a rubber stamp for the President's desire to privatize VA health care.
     "Admiral Jackson deserves an opportunity to address these concerns directly. As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I look forward to reviewing his qualifications, hearing how he plans to address the specific needs of Hawaiʻi veterans, and will hold him to a commitment to strengthen - not privatize - the VA."
     According to a Trump quote recorded by NPR, Robert Wilkie of the Department of Defense will serve as acting secretary of the VA.
Basketful of colored eggs at KMC hunt
this morning. Photo by Eric DeJesus
     Jackson presided over Trump's first presidential physical, during which he gave the president a clean bill of health. Jackson has been with the White House medical unit since 2006, having served the Bush and Obama families. He specializes in emergency medicine.
     Jackson's nomination requires confirmation by the Senate in order for him to take the position.

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MANY EASTER SERVICES AND GATHERINGS were held throughout Kaʻū today, including a morning Easter egg hunt around the flagpole at Kilauea Military Camp. KMC invited the public and its guests to join in the fun, including keiki receiving prizes for finding the most eggs. KMC also offered up an Easter dinner. 

     From Sand to Snow, which teaches attendees about sensory activities for toddlers and preschoolers, is offered from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
     Creating Supportive Environments II, which teaches attendees about developing strategies that support children's positive social behavior, is offered from noon to 3 p.m.
     Both classes are for adults only with no childcare provided. Those interested in attending are asked to sign up in advance by contacting Rochelle Hall, PATCH, at 238-3472. A $5 refundable registration deposit fee is required.
     For more details about the classes and other opportunities through PATCH, visit patchhawaii.org. For more details about P.A.R.E.N.T.s, Inc., visit hawaiiparents.org.

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.

Print edition of The Ka‘ū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Ka‘ū, from Miloli‘i through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com.
Girls Softball: Monday, Apr 2, @ Kohala
   Saturday, Apr 7, Hawai‘i Prep @ Ka‘ū
   Monday, Apr 9, @ Pāhoa
   Wednesday, Apr 11 @ KSH
   Saturday, Apr 14, Kea‘au @ Ka‘ū
Boys Volleyball: Tuesday, Apr 3, @ Waiakea
   Wednesday, Apr 11, Kea‘au @ Ka‘ū
   Friday, Apr 13, Honoka‘a @ Ka‘ū
   Monday, Apr 16, @ Hilo
   Friday, Apr 20, Parker @ Ka‘ū

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.

LAST DAY TO ENTER SLOGAN/MOTTO CONTEST: Pāhala Public & School Library continues the contest through tomorrow, Mon, Apr 2. Submit ideas to Nā‘ālehu or Pāhala Library. $55 grand prize awarded on Fri, Apr 13. Friends of Ka‘ū Libraries President Sandra Demouruelle, naalehutheatre@yahoo.com, 929-9244

EASTER EGG HUNT, Mon, Apr 2, noon, Flyin' Hawaiian Coffee, CU Hawai‘i lawn, Nā‘ālehu. Judy Knapp, 640-4712

OCEAN VIEW VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT MEETING, Mon, Apr 2, 4 - 6 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

SPECIAL MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL EVENTS, Tue, Wed, Thu, Apr 3, 4 & 5, 11 - 1 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Honoring 55th Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. Hawaiian cultural demonstrations, live music. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes' ‘Ike Hana No‘eau "Experience the Skillful Work" workshops. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/HAVO

DISCOVERY HARBOUR VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT MEETINGS & TRAININGS, Tue, Apr 3 & 24, 4 - 6 p.m., Apr 17, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

KAʻŪ COFFEE GROWERS MEETING, Tue, Apr 3, 6 - 8 p.m., Pāhala Community Center.

HOW THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WORKS, Tue, Apr 3, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Dr. Nathan Becker, Senior Oceanographer describes PTWC operations. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/HAVO

ADVOCATS, Wed, Apr 4, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Free Cat Spay & Neuter Clinic. 895-9283

OPEN MIC NIGHT, Wed, Apr 4, 6 - 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Singers, Bands, Comedians, etc. 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. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

VETERAN'S CENTER & VA MEDICAL SERVICES, Apr 5 & 19, Thu, 8:30 - noon, Ocean View Community Center. No appointment needed to visit w/ VA counselor & benefit specialist. Matthew, 329-0574, ovcahi.org

OCEAN VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH MEETING, Thu, Apr 5, 6 - 7 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

FROM SAND TO SNOW - PATCH class, Fri, Apr 6, 8 - 11 am, P.A.R.E.N.T.S., Inc., office in Nā‘ālehu. Learn about sensory activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Class for adults only. No childcare provided. $5 refundable registration deposit fee. Sign-up in advance with PATCH, Rochelle Hall 238-3472. patchhawaii.org

CREATING SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS II - PATCH class, Fri, Apr 6, noon - 3 pm, P.A.R.E.N.T.S., Inc., office in Nā‘ālehu. Learn about developing strategies that support children’s positive social behavior. Class for adults only. No childcare provided. $5 refundable registration deposit fee. Sign-up in advance with PATCH, Rochelle Hall 238-3472. patchhawaii.org

OCEAN VIEW C.E.R.T. TRAINING, Sat, Apr 7, 14, 21 & 28, 8:15 - 5 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Hawai’i County Civil Defense Agency Community Emergency Response Team training. Free, limited seating, open to public. Bill Hanson, 937-2181. Pre-register online, certkau.eventbrite.com

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT, Apr 7, 13, 21 (fee-free day), & 27, 8:45 a.m., meet Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Volunteers help remove invasive, non-native, plant species. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/HAVO

HI‘IAKA & PELE, Sat, Apr 7, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Discover the Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent on this free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/HAVO

HAWAI‘I DEMOCRATIC PRE-CONVENTION MEETING, Sat, Apr 7, 11 - 3 p.m., Waimea Elementary School cafeteria. hawaiidemocrats.org

PALM TRAIL, Sun, Apr 8, 9:30 - 12:30 p.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Moderately difficult, 2.6-mile loop traverses scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. nps.gov/HAVO

HAM RADIO POTLUCK PICNIC, Sun, Apr 8, noon - 2 p.m., Manukā State Park. Anyone interested in learning about ham radio is welcome to attend. View sites.google.com/site/southpointartc or sites.google.com/view/southhawaiiares/home. Rick Ward, 938-3058

MASS TRANSIT MASTER PLAN PUBLIC HEARING, Sun, Apr 8, 3 - 5 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Meeting regarding public transit and paratransit system on the Big Island. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

ONE COMMUNITY AND ONE PARENT REPRESENTATIVE are sought by Nāʻālehu Elementary School Community Council. Nominations will be accepted from April 2 through April 16 at 3 p.m. The community representative will serve a two-year term for school year 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. The parent representative will serve a one-year term for school year 2018-19. The parent rep cannot be a Nāʻālehu Elementary School employee.
     The campaign for the positions starts April 16. Voting is April 30 through May 11. Those interested, contact Leilani Rodrigues at 313-4020 or pcnc@naalehu.org, or name and number at the main office line, by calling 313-4000.

TŪTŪ AND ME OFFERS HOME VISITS to those with keiki zero to five years old: home visits to aid with helpful parenting tips and strategies, educational resources, and a compassionate listening ear. Home visits are free, last 1.5 hours, two to four times a month, for a total of 12 visits, and snacks are provided. For info and to register, call Linda Bong 646-9634.

VOLCANO ART CENTER GALLERY PRESENTS HO’OKU’I I NĀ KIKO, Connecting the Dots, by Natalie Mahina Jensen and Lucia Tarall. "A curated collection of photographs, paintings, sculptures, and feather work items deliver a sublime message, connecting the viewer artistically with the provenance of the design." Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Saturday, Mar. 31, to Sunday, May 6. volcanoartcenter.org or 967-8222

KAʻŪ COFFEE RECIPE CONTEST registration is open through Friday, April 20, limit one entry per category, per contestant. Recipes will be judged Sunday, April 29, 11 a.m., at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill. Youth and adult submissions judged separately. Categories are pūpū, entrée, and dessert; all recipes must be made with (any) Ka‘ū Coffee. Entry info at kaucoffeemill.com or kaucoffeefestival.com, or call 808-928-0550. Entry forms can also be found at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill or Mizuno Market; forms below. Email for info/questions sales@kaucoffeemill.com.

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