Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Pāhala Senior Center Garden is next to newly renovated senior housing, which is available for applicants.
See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
MITCH ROTH WILL RUN FOR MAYOR IN 2020. The elected county Prosecuting Attorney - known for his neighborhood meetings on safety in Ocean View and his community building programs - made the announcement Tuesday night in Hilo at Liliuokalani Park & Gardens. Roth's campaign released a statement, saying:
     "It would be my honor to serve Hawai‘i Island as mayor. Our island is a jewel in both diversity and shared values. We have opportunities to harness those values into a model for sustainable living, economic stability, and fostering growth in culturally appropriate ways that attract our children home.
     "Over and over, it's proven that the first step to problem solving — and community building — is to bring the right people to the table," Roth said.
     Government doesn't need to do everything, Roth said; government can be the convener, identifying likely partners and providing framework for solutions.
Mayoral candidate Mitch Roth and his wife Noriko, from an
earlier campaign for prosecutor. Photo from Roth Facebook
     "Years ago, I asked myself what my major definite purpose in life is. My answer is simple and solid — to improve the quality of life for my family and my community."
     Roth, an early adopter of the community justice method of problem solving, has traveled around the United States teaching community policing to law enforcement and community members for a Community Policing Institute under the U.S. Department of Justice. He was one of the first community-oriented prosecutors in the nation, the first in Honolulu, and then on Hawai‘i Island, said a statement from his campaign organization.
     Roth has served as the elected Hawai‘i County Prosecuting Attorney since 2012. He served as a deputy prosecutor, staring in 1993, first in Honolulu and then Hawaiʻi Island. One of his first initiatives on Hawai‘i Island was to help launch the Pāhoa Weed and Seed community improvement initiative, which became a national model.
Mitch Roth bowing his head during the launch of his mayoral campaign.
Photo from Big Island Video News
     "Applying community-focused principles at the prosecutor's office, we've built programs to help victims, help reduce juvenile crime by 50 percent, started the first restorative justice program in a prosecutor's office, helped start a Veterans Treatment Court, heightened the attention on sexual assault and domestic violence, and in each step, brought stakeholders to the table as partners," said Roth.
     Roth asked Pomai Bartolome to serve as his campaign chair. She is a graduate of St. Joseph's and Hawaiʻi Community College where she served as president of the student government. She is now completing her liberal arts degree. Bartolome is an active community member. She owns and operates Dream Hawaiʻi Studio, a talent enhancement program, which allows youth an opportunity to build character through performing arts. She is a radio personality, wife, and mother.
Pomai Bartolome, Campaign Manager for Mitch Roth.
Photo from Big Island Video News
     Roth is a founding member of the Hawai‘i Island Visitor Aloha Society (VASH); the community Coalition for Neighborhood Safety; NexTech, which creates STEM opportunities for youth; and has helped bring the Citizens Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to Hawai‘i Island. He is dedicated to helping young people achieve their goals. Roth is a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island, and of Camp Agape Big Island, a four-day camp for children of incarcerated parents.
     Roth is married to Noriko Yamada Roth and they have three adult children who all graduated from Waiakea High School.

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SENIOR HOUSING IN PĀHALA, operated by the state Hawaiʻi Housing Authority, is nearly renovated and is open for applicants. By the time renovations are completed, there will be 24 units - 16 studio and eight one-bedroom for those 62 and older, and those of any age with disabilities.
     Rent is 30 percent of income. A person whose only income is $800 from social security, for example, would pay $240 a month including electricity and water. The highest rent, including electricity and water, is a flat rate of $865 for studios and $1,018 for one bedroom units.
Newly renovated senior housing units are available in Pāhala.
Photo by Julia Neal
     The renovation opens up units and gives Kaʻū residents a good chance to acquire senior housing locally. In the past, senior housing has been in short supply, with local seniors placed elsewhere on the island and a waiting list of two to five years.
     To apply, call Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority at 933-0474.
     The Pāhala senior housing is in walking distance of the post office, bank, rural heath clinic, library, pharmacy, hospital, swimming pool, gym, two food stores, and several churches and community centers.
     The housing comes with parking lots and the county provides senior transportation to reach medical appointments, shop, and attend events.
     The housing is adjacent to the Pāhala Senior Center, where the County of Hawaiʻi's Nutrition Program offers $3 meals on weekdays for anyone 60 and older at 10:30 a.m. Sign up for meals by calling Julie Pasquale, Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
     The Pāhala Senior Center Garden is on the grounds for growing food and is cared for by residents and other volunteers.
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Pāhala Senior Center, where weekday meals are served, next to senior
housing. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAIʻI IS NAMED BEST PLACE TO RETIRE in some reports. When rated by the cost of living, however, Hawaiʻi rates as the worst state to retire. Pacific Business News reported this morning on an analysis by, saying that those with $100,000 to live on would only last about 14 months. The second most expensive retirement place is California, where $100,000 would last about 18 months, and New York, about 19 months.
     Pacific Business News reports that an earlier analysis rated Hawaiʻi high for retirees, based on low crime rates, excellent weather, culture, and wellness. states that in Hawaiʻi, retirees spend $85,243 a year and would need over $2 million to retire here. The most affordable state is Mississippi, where a retiree can live for $38,435 a year. Other states deemed affordable by are Oklahoma and Michigan. See Read Pacific Business News.

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JESSIE MARQUES IS THE ALOHA STATE'S COMMUNITY STAR, as winner of the 2019 National Rural Health Day award. The Pāhala resident is founder of Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association.
Papaya, bananas, and other food at the senior garden.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Gregg Kishaba, Rural Communities Health Coordinator for the Hawaiʻi State Office of Primary Care and Rural Health in the state Department of Health, said:
     "For over 20 years, Jessie has continuously fought for equitable access to health care services and programs in her community. But make no mistake; it was an undertaking that many would likely decline.
     "In 1996, Jessie was asked by a physician and nursing staff to help prevent the closure of the local (Kaʻū) hospital. Not only did she say yes to the request, but she also served as the volunteer organizer for the Grassroots Coalition to preserve access to quality health care for the community of roughly 1,700 residents.
Taro and fruit trees at the garden next to Pāhala senior housing.
Photo by Julia Neal
     "By 1998, Jessie mobilized the community and created Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association, the first - and at the time, only - Rural Health Community Association in the United States. By establishing KRHCA, she built the needed infrastructure to leverage sparse resources, while enabling local, state, and federal funding to reach her small rural community located in the southern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi.
     "Throughout the years, Jessie served as a volunteer on the Association's board of directors, both as president and secretary, and later was asked to take on the role of executive director. A few of the many milestones for KRHCA made possible through her efforts include establishing a resource and distance learning center, and launching the first Kaʻū Rural Health Academy, a training demonstration project that focuses on health education, research opportunities, and economic sustainability. She also partnered with the Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association (independent licensee of Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association) on a telemedicine pilot by installing a health kiosk that virtually links patients with a physician."
     After her nomination, Marques said, "I am sincerely humbled, but this nomination belongs to all those who helped me understand the importance of being involved in civic engagement, volunteerism, policy and decision making, leadership, and advocating for rural underserved communities."

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Trojan Girls Basketball Team, with coach Cy Lopez, recently hosted its annual Kaʻū High School Food Drive and
Preseason Tournament. Photo by Jennifer Makuakane
The Trojan ladies at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home.
Photo by Jennifer Makuakane
KAʻŪ TROJANS GIRLS BASKETBALL worked their pre season with community service, with assistance from Coach Cy Lopez and Assistant Coach Jennifer Makuakane. On Nov. 10, the girls volunteered at the Hilo Veterans Day parade, assisting veterans from Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. On Nov. 29 and 30, they hosted an islandwide basketball tournament and food drive for Hawaiʻi Food Bank at Kaʻū District Gym.
     Trojans Sports Update:
     Trojans Girls Basketball hosted the first game of the season Monday, taking on Waiakea Warriors. The Junior Varsity team faced the larger school, but finished with Warriors winning, 43 to 4. Kaʻū scored two points in the second and two in the fourth quarter.
     The Girls Basketball Varsity team fared better, finishing with 17 to Hilo's 67 points. Kaʻū scored 7 in the first quarter, 4 in the second, 2 in the third, and 4 in the fourth. Trojan Marilou Manantan made 7 of the points, CeAndrea Silva-Kamei 5, Kaohinani Grace scored 4, and Shania Silva made 1.
The Trojans Girls Basketball team at the Hilo Veterans Day Parade.
Photo by Jennifer Makuakane
     Both the Trojans Boys and Girls Soccer teams hosted the Warriors in the first soccer games of the season on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Hilo Boys won their game with ten points, the Girls with 12. Kaʻū did not score. On Saturday, Dec. 7, both teams hosted Kamehameha. Both games ended in a shut out for Kaʻū, 9 to 0. Yesterday at Hilo, both teams lost to the larger school, again not scoring.
     Other winter sports, swimming and wrestling, completed meets on Saturday.
     See the full Trojans Winter Schedule for the 2019-2020 school year in yesterday's Kaʻū News Briefs. A shortened version will appear in daily blog posts until the season is over.
Kaʻū Trojans Girls Basketball team volunteered at the Hilo Veterans Day parade, assisting  Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. 
Photo by Trojans Girls Basketball Assistant Coach Jennifer Makuakane
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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
See monthly and weekly Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, and Meditation at

2019-2020 Kaʻū Winter Sports Schedule

Girls Basketball
Fri., Dec. 13 @Keaʻau
Mon., Dec. 16 host Pāhoa JV/Christian Liberty
Tue., Jan. 7 @Kohala

Boys Basketball
Wed., Dec. 18 host Keaʻau
Sat., Dec. 21 @St. Joseph
Sat., Dec. 28 host Kohala
Fri., Jan. 3 host HPA
Sat., Jan. 4 host Pāhoa

Sat., Dec. 14 @Hilo
Sat., Jan. 4 @Waiakea

Sat., Dec. 14 Boys @Makualani
Mon., Dec. 16 Girls host HPA, 3pm
Wed., Dec. 18, @Keaʻau
Sat., Dec. 21 Boys host Christian Liberty, 3pm
Mon., Dec. 23 Boys host Kohala, 3pm
Sat., Jan. 4 Girls host Honokaʻa, 3pm
Mon., Jan. 6 @HPA

Sat., Dec. 14 @Kona Community Aquatic Center
Sat., Jan. 4 @Kamehameha

Christmas Coloring Contest Entry Deadline, Thursday, Dec. 12, 6p.m., Ka‘ū District Gym. Registration is closed. Grades Pre-K to 6. 928-3102,

Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka‘ū, Thursday, Dec. 12, 6:30p.m.United Methodist Church, Nā‘ālehu. Pres. Berkeley Yoshida, 747-0197

Hawai‘i Disability Legal Services, Friday, Dec. 13, 9a.m.-noonOcean View Community Center. Free disability legal services provided by Hawai‘i Legal Aid. 939-7033,

Nā Mamo o Kāwā Community Access Day, Saturday, Dec. 14, gates open 6a.m.-6p.m., Kāwā. All cars must park at end of road fronting Kāwā Flats. Dogs must be on leash. No driving through fish pond. 557-1433,

Pancake Breakfast and Raffle, Saturday, Dec. 14, 8-11a.m., Ocean View Community Center. To volunteer, call 939-7033,

Guided Hike On A 60 Year Old Lava Lake, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10a.m.-2p.m.Kīlauea Iki Overlook, HVNP. Organized by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Moderate to challenging 2.4 mile (one way) hike. $80/person. Register online. Park entrance fees may apply. 985-7373,

Holidays at Kahuku: Hawaiian-Made Craft Fair, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10a.m.-3p.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free entry. Entertainment, food, shave ice.

Ocean View Keiki Christmas with St. Jude's Christmas Celebration, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10a.m-2p.m., Kahuku Park and lower parking lot of St. Jude's.

Zentangle Artist Inspired Workshop with Lydia Meneses, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center. Creative tangle techniques inspired by Gustav Klimt and Keith Haring. Art supplies provided. Open to all levels. No experience required. Potluck, bring snack to share. $30/VAC member, $35/non-member, plus $15 supply fee. 967-8222,

Hula Kahiko - Kumu Kapuaikapoliopele Ka‘au‘a with Unuokeahi and Unuiti, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10:30-11:30a.m., hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery. Hula performance. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222,

Nā Mea Hula with Kumu Hula Moses Kaho‘okele Crabbe, Saturday, Dec. 14, 11a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. Hands-on cultural demonstration. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222,

Jazz in the Forest: Christmas Jazz, Saturday, Dec. 14, 5:30p.m.Volcano Art Center. Featuring Jean Pierre Thoma & the Jazztones with Jeannine Guillory-Kane performing classics of the holiday season. Ticket are $20/VAC member, $25/non-member. Purchase tickets online through Jan. 13, VAC Admin Office or VAC Gallery. Pūpū, wine, and beer available for purchase. 967-8222,

Christmas Lighting Parade, Saturday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m., along Hwy. 11, from Nā‘ālehu Elementary School to Nā‘ālehu Community Center. Refreshments to follow at Community Center. Ka‘ū Roping & Riding Association. Participants sign waiver by 5p.m. at school.

Soul Town Band, Saturday, Dec. 14, 7-10p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge, in HVNP. $5 cover charge. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.

Volcano Chorus: 25th Annual Holiday Concert, Saturday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Theater, in HVNP. Free; donations accepted. Park entrance fees may apply. 982-7344,

3rd Annual Hawai‘i Bird Conservation Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 15, Volcano Golf and Country Club to Boy Scouts' Kīlauea Camp. Funds raised support endemic birds of Hawai‘i through the Hawai‘i Forest Institute for the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest in Volcano. Race registration closed. Donations welcome; donors of over $100 invited to behind the scene tour of Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, 10a.m.-noon, Saturday, Dec. 14.

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua, Sunday, Dec. 15, 9:30-11a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, easy one-mile walk.

Hawai‘i County Council Mtgs., Tuesday, Dec. 17 (Committees), Wednesday, Dec. 18, (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at

Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment: Ti Leaf Lei Making with Jelena Clay, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 11a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. Pre-registration required; class size limited. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222,

After Dark in the Park: Holiday Concert, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 7-8p.m.Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Acclaimed Hawai‘i musician and recording artist Randy Lorenzo and upcoming vocalist Jennie Kaneshiro. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6011,

Ocean View Community Association Board of Directors Mtg., Wednesday, Dec. 18, 12:30-1:30p.m.Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033,

Family Reading Night, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 6-7p.m.,Nā‘ālehu Elementary School Cafeteria. Family reading time plus make and take activities; snacks provided.

Holiday Ornament Registration, through Dec. 16, Kahuku Park. Program takes place Wednesday, Dec. 18, 3-4p.m. Ages 6-14. 929-9113,

Christmas in the Country featuring 20th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, daily, through Dec. 31, Volcano Art Center Gallery. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-7565,

T-Ball and Coach Pitch Baseball League: Ocean View Team - Mondays and Wednesdays, Kahuku Park. Nā‘ālehu Team - Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nā‘ālehu Park. Pāhala Team (seeking coaches) - attend Nā‘ālehu practice. T-Ball, 3:30-4:30pm, ages 5-6. Coach Pitch, 4:30-6p.m., ages 7-8. Programs take place through April 16. Wear cleats or tennis shoes, bring a glove if possible. Extras gloves available for use. All skills and genders welcome. $35 per teammate. See Ka‘ū Youth Baseball on Facebook. Josh or Elizabeth Crook, 345-0511

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See or call 808-938-1088.

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