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.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Kaʻū News Briefs, Friday, September 13, 2019

Pāʻauʻau Gluch on Aug. 25, 2018. The flooding was attributed to Hurricane Lane. Photo by Julia Neal
PĀʻAUʻAU GULCH, which raged in the year 2000, its floodwater smashing through the Highway 11 bridge and ripping up the road at Pāhala, is the subject of new planning for flood management. The County Council last week funded a study of Hawaiʻi Island streams to help design flood management systems – such as bridges, culverts, and levees. The program, under a cooperative effort by U.S. Geological Survey and Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works, received $46,672 from the county to continue the program, through September 2020.
     The council heard from Director of Public Works David Yamamoto said the continued research is important due to the unpredictability of flooding. The study began in 2006. He said the amount is part of a $60,000 fund for USGS to study eight streams on Hawaiʻi Island. Pāʻauʻau Gulch is one of those streams. He said next year, the information gathered by the study will be used to "decide where the focus should be directed" in future efforts.
Topographical map of Pāhala, showing Pāʻauʻau Gluch
and the monitoring station location. USGS map
    Yamamoto said information from the study has also been used by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to track and respond to major storms, and by Federal Environmental Management Administration – in its flood insurance studies, which affects insurance rates for property owners.
     Last August saw the worst flooding of the gulch in the last 6 years, when the stream flow rate went from the average normal of about 1.5 cubic feet per second to peaking at 270 cfs on Aug. 25, 2018, due to Hurricane Lane.

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THREATS OF DEATH AND HARM TO GOV. DAVID IGE AND OTHERS were reported in a press conference today. Ige denounced threats and hate speak against those on both sides of the  Thirty Meter Telescope issue.
     Hundreds to sometimes thousands of Protectors of Maunakea gather around the Maunakea Access Road, which goes to the summit, to prevent construction trucks from reaching the TMT site. The encampment is in its 61st day. In the meantime, protest marches have been held on several islands and elsewhere, while smaller groups stand in support of building, on Maunakea, the largest telescope on the planet.
     Ige urged understanding between opposing groups. "Today's press conference is not about whether TMT should be built, or how this situation will be solved… (It's) about how we speak to one another, and how we treat one another while we work toward this path of resolution. As governor of the state of Hawaiʻi, I'm calling on everyone responsible for these examples of cyberbullying and hateful speech to stop – immediately. Personal attacks and threats of violence have no place in America –  and certainly no place here, in Hawaiʻi. For those who claim to be protesting Hawaiian values, to resort to these tactics, is disappointing, irresponsible, and very painful for me to see."
     He said he has also seen comments of "terrible and racist things" about protesters online. "I completely denounce these kinds of horrible attacks against those opposed to TMT." He said that "whatever happens with this project, those kinds of postings are not acceptable here. They don't represent who we are, and I urge the public to completely reject them… Hawaiʻi deserves better."
Gov. David Ige, in green, speaks about harmful language being used, mostly online, from both sides of the Thirty
Meter Telescope stalemate. He is joined by Department of Hawaiian Homelands Director William Aila Jr., Department
of Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda, and Attorney General Claire Connors. Image from the governor's office
     In a Facebook post yesterday, Ige took up the issue of a Hawaiian flag that was cut with a saw when law enforcement officers took down an unpermitted building in the protester's encampment. The governor said Hawaiʻi law enforcement officers "serve proudly under the state flag, and they would never intentionally damage it. Last week, protesters used screws to attach the state flag to plywood and then nailed additional pieces of wood over the flag to block entry to an unauthorized structure on Mauna Kea. The screw heads were stripped to prevent removal of the flag with a screwdriver. As they do in their jobs every day, they decided to move quickly in a difficult situation, and in this case, a state flag was damaged in the process.
     "Protester tactics such as putting the flag across an entrance, then claiming officers didn't respect it and crying 'assault' and 'attack' as they are peacefully doing their jobs, were designed to interfere unfairly with law enforcement activities and produce an unnecessary reaction.
     "I am working very hard to resolve the issues on Mauna Kea while ensuring the safety of all. Law enforcement actions have been and will continue to be focused on safety and security. #GovSetsItStraightMaunakea #TMT #Maunakea"
     Hawaiʻi Attorney General Claire Connors said officials are "concerned about some of the language" seen in online posts, especially since the demolition. She said the comments have "created a consistent and repeated narrative that we believe falsely characterizes law enforcement" as "out to get" or "harm" TMT protesters or others "that they are sworn to protect."
     Connors gave examples – one from the alert that came from the encampment at Puʻuhuluhulu where the group asked for support from possible impending law enforcement action – which uses the language "excessive force" and "punish and suppress our people." She said that Hawaiʻi officers address law breaking appropriately, and that "that is not excessive force." She said the arrests in July of 38 people, mostly kūpuna, were carried out respectfully and "with utmost care, as much as they could under the circumstances."
Examples of online posts generating concern among officials, relating to the TMT protest.
  Image from the governor's office
     She also pointed to a $5,000 reward for the name of the "guy who cut the flag." Connors said placing "a bounty" on the head of a law enforcement officer for "doing his job in an untenable situation" is "disturbing and deeply concerning – it's dangerous." She also said other state employees or those associated with TMT have "been targeted" with phrases such as "A traitor to his people," and "Time for the Hawaiians to start assassinating these terrorists," and threats of kidnapping. Some threats, said Connors, included the picture, name, phone number, and other personal information. She also said at least one state employee received a voice message, which included a wish for the death of the employee.
     Connors said investigation and prosecution of any threats or actions are on a case by case basis.
     Department of Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said that, as public officials, those giving the press conference were prepared for "a certain amount of public criticism that will be directed" at them. He said that a post like the one offering a reward, against a law enforcement officer and public servant, who "day in and day out, puts his life on the line, is shameful, and should not be condoned... no employee should be targeted for doing their job."
     Department of Hawaiian Homelands Director William Aila Jr. said the fear of public officials is that "someone will be incited by this negative rhetoric" to attack a public employee or their family.
     See the press conference at facebook.com/GovernorDavidIge/videos/678576249287616.

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NO TSUNAMI THREAT from a 5.4 magnitude earthquake near Tonga today at 2:25 p.m., states Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

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A SCHOOL SHOOTING SAFETY AND PREPAREDNESS ACT was introduced yesterday into congress by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, Lucy McBath (GA-06), and Jahana Hayes (CT-05). The bill would create a federal definition for "school shooting," to avoid subjective reporting.
     The bill would require the Secretary of Education, Department of Justice, and Department of Health and Human Services, to publish annual reports on indicators of school crime. The reports would cover the number of shootings, number of people killed, demographics of shooters and victims, motivation of shooters, types of firearms and ammunition used, how the firearm was acquired, and more.
Students outside Kaʻū High and Pāhala Elementary School on March 14, 2018, holding signs in solidarity with a 
nationwide protest against gun violence. Photo from Kaʻū High
      The bill would also track information on the existence or absence of safety and prevention measures at the time of the shooting, such as building designs, communication and response plans, and more.
     Said Gabbard, "Classrooms should be a safe place where parents can have peace of mind that their children will be safe and free to learn. This legislation will help us to gather objective data to better understand how we can come together to prevent the tragedy of mass shootings occurring in our schools."
     Said McBath, "Any instance of gun violence in a school is unacceptable, and it is our duty to protect our nation's children and do all we can to stop school shootings. We can all work together to establish reporting requirements, be honest about this crisis, and stand up for future generations. Our bill will measure this horrible problem so that Americans can solve it together."
     Said Hayes, "This bill begins to address a serious problem born of inaction. We can't manage a problem that we have not measured. It is critical that we gather as much information as possible to prevent future school shootings."
     The Act is supported by Everytown for Gun Safety.
     Gabbard is an advocate for common sense gun violence prevention policy – including state grant funds for evidence-based school safety programs. She supports the establishment of universal background checks, banning bump stocks and assault weapons, and measures to prevent 3D printing of guns.

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SHOULD NOAA EMPLOYEES BE AFRAID OF THE PRESIDENT? Sen. Mazie Hirono and 13 Senate Democrats wrote to U.S. Department of Commerce Inspector General Peggy Gustafson, asking whether Commerce Department officials threatened to fire National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration employees for "contradicting the President's false assertions about the projected path of Hurricane Dorian."
     NOAA operates the Central Pacific Center in Honolulu and the National Hurricane Center which keep track of and issues forecasts about major storms, especially hurricanes.
     The senators write that reports indicate officials at NOAA warned employees "against contradicting the President, regardless of the veracity of his statements and the negative impact they may have." In their letter, the senators denounced "the administration's repeated attempts to censor, withhold, and undermine science for partisan political gain at the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."
     On Sept. 1, Pres. Trump tweeted about Hurricane Dorian, warning that beyond Florida, "South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated by the storm."
     Birmingham National Weather Service tweeted that the hurricane would remain too far east for Alabama to be impacted. The Washington Post reported that an agency-wide directive issued later that day "was interpreted as a warning to NOAA staff against contradicting the President."
     On Sept. 4, The Washington Post also reported that a second directive, "warning scientists and meteorologists not to speak out" was handed down, after Trump showed a map "modified to support his claims that Alabama had been in the hurricane's path," states the letter. On Sept. 6, NOAA officials released a statement, attributed to an unnamed spokesperson, that supported the President's claim that Alabama had been at risk.
     The senators wrote, "Scientists within the federal government work for the American people, not for private industry or the President's personal vanity. Individuals and families across the country rely on weather forecasting to determine everything from what they wear each day to the decision to evacuate a home during extreme weather events. As deadly extreme weather becomes more and more common, maintaining public trust in these reports becomes increasingly important. Agency officials should not be sacrificing trustworthy weather reporting for political gain."
     The senators requested information about the circumstances surrounding the past week's events within NOAA, including: Did department officials, who are not subject matter experts, suppress or alter – or are they actively suppressing or altering – scientific products or communications? Were department officials pressured or directed by the White House to take the actions reported or to overrule career staff, and are any of those actions illegal? Did department officials take actions that affect NOAA's "ability to fulfill its mission to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources?"
     The full text of the letter to Inspector General Gustafson is available here.

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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
2019 Kaʻū High School Athletics Schedule through September
See khpes.org/athletics-home for details and updates

Football, Division II:
Sat., Sept. 14, 11 a.m., Kaʻū hosts Kohala
Thu., Sept. 19, 7 p.m., Pāhoa hosts Kaʻū

Girls Volleyball, Kaʻū District Gym:
Tue., Sept. 17, 6 p.m., Waiakea hosts Kaʻū
Thu., Sept. 19, 6 p.m., Keaʻau hosts Kaʻū
Tue., Sept. 24, 6 p.m., Makualani hosts Kaʻū
Fri., Sept. 27, 6 p.m., Kaʻū hosts HPA

Cross Country:
Sat., Sept. 21, 10 a.m., @Kealakehe
Sat., Sept. 28, 10 a.m., @Keaʻau

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.

Macadamia Nut Pest Workshop, Saturday, Sept. 14, 9-11:30a.m., Ka‘ū Coffee Mill. Alyssa Cho, CTAHR, presents. Learn to manage pests in the orchard, with a focus on macadamia felted coccid - applications for use of application equipment on eligible farms after training. Free event, snack provided. Limited space, registration required. 430-1876, bigislandmacnut@gmail.com

Birth of Kahuku, Saturday, Sept. 14, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, easy-to-moderate hike. nps.gov/havo

Nā Mamo o Kāwā ʻOhana Work Day, Saturday, Sept. 14, meet 9:30a.m., Northern Gate, Kāwā. RSVP to James Akau, jakau@nmok.org, 561-9111. Bring a water bottle, lunch, closed toed shoes, long sleeved t-shirt, and pants. Tools, gloves, water, and light refreshments provided. nmok.orgfacebook.com/NMOK.Hawaii

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

Zentangle Knot Work Celtic Inspired with Ellen O‘Dunn, Saturday, Sept. 14, 10a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. All art supplies provided - returning students encouraged to bring favorite supplies. Experience with Zentangle recommended by not necessary. Potluck. $30/VAC member, $35/non-member, plus $10 supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Soul Town band performance, Saturday, Sept. 14, 7-10p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge, in HVNP. $5 cover charge. Open to all patrons, with Terms of Service. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

People and Land of Kahuku, Sunday, Sept. 15, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate, 2.5 mile hike over rugged terrain. nps.gov/havo

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

Registration Open: Painting, Tuesday, Sept. 17-23, Kahuku ParkHawaiian Ocean View Estates. Program for ages 6-12 takes place Tuesday, Sept. 24, 12:45-3:30p.m. Free. 939-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Mobile Spay & Neuter Waggin', Saturday, Sept. 17, 7:30a.m.-4p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. Low income pet parents and those with limited transportation qualify for mobile spay/neuter service. Free. Surgery by phone appointment only. Hawai‘i Island Humane Society, 796-0107, hihs.org

New Discoveries in Hawai‘i Lava Tubes, Tuesday, Sept. 17, Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Cave biologist and UH associate professor Dr. Megan Porter introduces the unique community of lava tube animals found on the island. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/havo

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

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Community Mtg., asking for input from Kaʻū residents on what Kaʻū needs, happens Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center. Agenda TBA. oha.org

Kanaka Tree in Concert, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7p.m.Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Hawaiian music. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6101, nps.gov/havo

Registration Open: Colorful Craft, Thursday, Sept. 19-24, Ka‘ū District Gym multipurpose room. Program for grades K-8, takes place Wednesday, Sept. 25, 3:30-5p.m. Free. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Exhibit - Nani Ka ‘Ikena by Volcano local photographer Jesse Tunison, daily through Sunday, Sept. 15, 9a.m.-5p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery. Nani Ka ʻIkena, that which is seen is beautiful, features vibrant colors and crisp, wide vistas which highlight the character and drama of Hawaiʻi Island’s landscape. The collection of ten photographs were captured over the past decade by Tunison and also document the dynamic changes which have occurred in such a short period of time. "While the landscape has changed the beauty has endured." Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-7565, volcanoartcenter.org

6th Annual Ka‘ū Coffee Trail Run Registration, webscorer.com/register?raceid=166020. 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon races through mac nut and coffee fields along slopes of Ka‘ū starting at 7a.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, Ka‘ū Coffee Mill. Sponsored by Ka‘ū Coffee Mill and ‘O Ka‘ū Kākou. okaukakou.orgkaucoffeemill.com

Tutoring for Kaʻū Hugh & Pāhala Elementary is Available to All Students of the school, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Grades Kindergarten-2nd will be in room 3; grades 3-6 will be in room 6 on Mondays, room 11 on Tuesdays through Thursdays; middle school students, will be in building Q; and high school students will be in room M-101 in the science building. Contact khpes.org or 808-313-4100 for more.

Nationwide 2019 Congressional App Challenge submissions from middle and high schoolers are open through Nov. 1. Submit to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, CongressionalAppChallenge.us, apps "designed to promote innovation and engagement in computer science." All skill levels, all devices and platforms, and all programming languages, accepted. 

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