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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Raising the minimum wage has been a long term struggle at the Hawaiʻi Legislature and a goal of HAPA and
Hawaiʻi Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice. Photo from hiappleseed.org

INCREASING MINIMUM WAGE IN HAWAIʻI is the goal of HAPA, the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action, and Gary Hooser, its Executive Director and a former state Senator. Hooser released this editorial, published this week in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, to The Kaʻū Calendar:
     Every Hawaiʻi legislator will receive a pay raise starting January 2021. Likewise, the governor, the lieutenant governor, all state judges, and most top executives in state government will receive substantial pay raises. Minimum wage workers will get nothing.
     Legislators accepted their own pay raise with one hand, while blocking a raise for low-income workers with the other. Multiple hearings were held on House Bill 1191 during the 2019 session. Thousands of people from all walks of life testified in support. Many took off from work and others paid to fly in from the Neighbor Islands. Countless hours were spent, waiting patiently for their name to be called, to offer heartfelt and compelling testimony.
     As a result, HB 1191 was amended to increase Hawaiʻi's minimum wage to $15 per hour (phased in), and ultimately made it to the final conference committee. But the state House then pulled the plug: The excuse given was that a provision intended to help business was 'possibly flawed' and there was not enough time remaining in the session to fix it.
     Rather than pass a strong, reasonable minimum-wage measure phasing in a $15 per hour wage over several years, the joint House/Senate conference committee swallowed the poison pill provided to them by the business community and killed the entire measure.
      Rather than pass the bill, they chose to pass the buck, doing nothing for another year. The consequences of this decision are devastating to Hawaiʻi's working families, who will never catch up on the lost year. Some stats: $17.50 per hour (approximately) is a "subsistence" wage for a single person without children. This means a person needs $17.50 an hour to simply survive, show numbers from the state Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. 48 percent of Hawaiʻi residents are either already living in poverty or one paycheck away from being on the streets, according to the ALICE Report. Hawaiʻi leads the nation in the number of houseless, per capita, says the U.S. Government Council on Homelessness.
     With January 2020 opening the second year of the Legislature's biennium session, legislators could simply, if they so choose, pick up bills exactly where they were left off at the end of the 2019 session.
Image from livingwagehawaii.com
     HB 1191 HD1 SD2, increasing Hawaiʻi's minimum wage to $15, remains stuck in conference committee purgatory. Upon the start of the 2020 session, with the concurrence of Senate/House leadership, the committee could schedule a hearing, amend the bill as needed, and pass it to the floor for a full vote. In two weeks, by the end of January, it could be done. There's no reason to force thousands of citizens to jump through the hoops of multiple hearings in the House and Senate, to take off work, arrange childcare, and incur the cost of traveling interisland - only to end up in exactly the same place.
     Legislators have had many months since the close of the 2019 session to work out the kinks, to meet with stakeholders, staff, and the administration. They could, and should, have already come to agreement on a clean bill, one that can be passed promptly upon the opening of the 2020 Legislature.
     Regarding potential negative economic impacts of raising the minimum wage, the data is unequivocal: There is no credible research correlating elevated levels of unemployment, bankruptcy, or inflation when wage increases are phased in gradually.
     While not a living wage, or even a subsistence wage, $15 represents a strong step in the right direction. If tied to annual cost-of-living adjustments and future modest incremental increases, eventually a true living wage would be achieved.
     Imagine that: A future where every Hawaiʻi resident who works a 40 hour week can afford a dry, safe place to live, three meals a day, and basic health care.
     See more at Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action.

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EXPANDING COMMERCIAL LENDING FOR VETERANS is the goal of a bill introduced today by Sen. Mazie Hirono and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK). The Veterans Members Business Loan Act, S. 2834, would further enable veteran business owners and entrepreneurs through local credit unions, by exempting current caps on member business lending. The bill covers loans made to veterans who served on active duty and were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. There are approximately 11,000 veteran-owned businesses in Hawaiʻi.
     The bill is the companion to similar legislation introduced earlier this year in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Hawaiʻi Credit Union League and the Credit Union National Association support the legislation, stated a release from Hirono.
     Said Hirono, "Veteran business owners and entrepreneurs play an important role in Hawaiʻi's economy. The Veterans Members Business Loan Act will help to help make entrepreneurship an
option for more veterans as they transition back to civilian life, or give established veteran-owned businesses access to capital to grow and create more local jobs. I thank my colleague, Senator Sullivan, for working with me to introduce this important legislation as we mark Veterans and Military Families Month."
     Said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, "This bipartisan bill will make it easier for America's veterans to access credit and invest in their future and their communities. Credit unions proudly serve tens of millions of active duty and veteran members and fully support veteran entrepreneurs and their families."
      Said HCUL President Dennis Tanimoto, "Hirono has been a long-time credit union member herself, as well as a strong supporter of credit unions and the role they play in their members' lives. She is also a member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services who recognizes the importance of the military in our national security and the economy. Timing of this bill she is cosponsoring is especially fitting since it coincides with Veterans Day. The bill helps to ensure veterans of access to affordable loans and other services from nonprofit financial cooperatives known as credit unions."
     Last week, Hirono cosponsored a resolution to recognize National Veterans Small Business Week in the United States. The resolution passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
     Said Sullivan, "Our veterans have sacrificed so much to serve our country and it is important that they are afforded every opportunity to succeed after leaving the military. Service members develop broad expertise across numerous areas while in the military, learning skills that can provide tremendous value to the economy. This bill eliminates common barriers of entry for veteran entrepreneurs to ensure they have access to the capital and resources they need to establish businesses and succeed in their ventures."
     As a member of the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Hirono has been an advocate for veteran business owners and entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, Senator Hirono and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) reintroduced the Veterans Small Business Export Promotion Act, which would waive upfront guarantee fees for veterans participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration's export promotion programs.

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Maria Miranda, loaned her crown to a little astronaut-princess "so she could represent," while spreading the word about
Kaʻū Coffee in Taiwan. Photo from Miranda
MARIA MIRANDA, of Discovery Harbour, has been traveling throughout Taiwan in November promoting Kaʻū Coffee in stores called RT-Mart. From Taiwan, she reported that RT-Mart is called a hyper-market, a combination of food, bakery, and Costco-type offerings in stores across Asia.
Maria Miranda, representing
Kaʻū Coffee in Taiwan.
Photo from Miranda
     She said she is learning some of the language, and enjoys the people and the culture. She will be attending the Taiwan International Coffee Show this weekend, along with other representatives of Hawaiʻi Coffee who traveled from Kaʻū. Her family's Miranda's Coffee will also be featured at the show.
     Miranda served as the 2015 Miss Kaʻū Coffee.

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CHRISTMAS IN KAHUKU, presented by Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Highway 11 at mile marker 70.5. This second annual event is free and open to the public. Music all day featuring the Shootz band playing rock & roll and motown, the Queen of Opera, D’Andrea Pelletier, and a surprise guest performing Hawaiian music.
     Crafters from Kaʻū and beyond will sell locally made items: jewelry, pottery, holiday decorations, and more. Hawaiʻi Pacific Park's Association's Book store will be open and providing many unique Park-associated books and items.
     Food will be available for purchase by Volcano House. Friend's will be selling shave ice, drinks, chips, and logo merchandise, with proceeds supporting park projects and educational programs.
     Crafters may apply for this event – $20 booth fee – by visiting fhvnp.org, emailing admin@fhvnp.org, or calling (808) 985-7373. Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is a non-profit 501(c) 3, operating under a formal philanthropic partnership agreement with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

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THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS, the 26th Annual Winter Concert Presented by Volcano Festival Chorus will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m. at KMC's Kilauea Theater. The 25-member chorus is under the direction of Roch Jones, with accompaniment by Melanie Oldfather. Also joining the chorus will be Cheryl Shine on flute.
    This year's concert features both sacred and secular music. Many of the chorus' favorites are being performed. The Carols of Gathering by Joseph Martin will open the program, which is varied and includes a number of tunes with classical music themes, as well as variations on familiar Christmas carols. Popular carols Do You Hear What I Hear?, Have You Heard The News, and a medley of songs about angels titled Angels Sing Glory! are featured. The choir will perform some of their past favorites: African Alleluia, Ding, Dong! Merrily on High, and the politically incorrect version of Baby, It's Cold Outside. An audience sing-along is included.
     The chorus, started 1994 by renowned music director Camille Almy, is now sponsored by the Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network. This the 26th concert that is presented as a gift to the Volcano community as a mahalo for their support of KDEN.
     Please attend this evening of holiday music in the cool air of Volcano. Admission is free; however, donations will be gratefully accepted. Park entrance fees may apply. For more information, call 982-7344.

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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
See monthly and weekly Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, and Meditation at kaucalendar.com.

Nā Pa‘ani Hula, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 10a.m.-noon, outside Hale Noa o Kīlauea, across from Volcano Art Center Gallery, HVNP. Hula practitioner Amy Kaʻawaloa demonstrates the instruments used to provide rhythmic structure to hula. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo/

Trail Less Traveled, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 10a.m.-noon, Devastation Trail parking lot, HVNP. Moderate, 2 mile, two hour roundtrip hike. $40/person. Register online. Family friendly. Organized by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. 985-7373, admin@fhvnp.org, fhvnp.org

Birding at Kīpukapuaulu, Thursday, Nov. 14, 8-10a.m., Kīpukapuaulu - Bird Park - parking lot, HVNP. Led by retired USGS Biologist Nic Sherma. Two hour birding tour. $40/person. Register online. Organized by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. 985-7373, admin@fhvnp.org, fhvnp.org

‘Alalā Project Update, Thursday, Nov. 14, 6:30-8p.m., Volcano Art Center. $5 donation suggested. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka‘ū, Thursday, Nov. 14, 6:30p.m., United Methodist Church, Nā‘ālehu. Pres. Berkeley Yoshida, 747-0197

Health Insurance Sign-Up, Friday, Nov. 15, 10a.m.-3p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Small Group Kama‘oa Cleanup, Saturday, Nov. 16. Limited space available. Contact to be added to waitlist. 769-7629, mattieHWF@gmail.com, or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.comwildhawaii.org

Mobile Spay & Neuter Waggin', Saturday, Nov. 16, 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

Art Fair, Saturday, Nov. 16, 8a.m.-3p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Hand-crafted and locally produced items on display and for sale by Ka‘ū artists and craftspeople. DeeDee, 785-1158

Fundraising Bazaar, Saturday, Nov. 16, 9a.m.-2p.m., Kauaha‘ao Congregational Church, Wai‘ōhinu. Free entry. Hot lunches and baked goods for sale. Vendor booths. Debbie Wong Yuen, 928-8039

Free Haircut Day, Saturday, Nov. 16, 9a.m.-1p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church. Kady and Drew Foster. 12 slots available. Also, Free Shower Day and The Big Island Giving Tree will hand out clothes and items like razors and toothbrushes. 939-7000, stjudeshawaii.org

Nature & Culture, Saturday, Nov. 16, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate hike, approx. 2 miles. nps.gov/havo

Guided Hike On A 60 Year Old Lava Lake, Saturday, Nov. 16, 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, admin@fhvnp.orgfhvnp.org

Mixed Media Encaustic with Mary Milelzcik, Saturday, Nov. 16, 10a.m.-3p.m., Volcano Art Center. $55/VAC member, $60/non-member, plus $30 supply fee. Supplies provided. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Ocean View C.E.R.T. Mtg., Saturday, Nov. 16, 10a.m.-1p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Community Emergency Response Team monthly meeting and training. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Hula Kahiko - Kumu Ha‘amauliola Aiona with haumana (students) of Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Public Charter School, Saturday, Nov. 16, 10:30-11:30a.m., hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery. Hula performance. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.comvolcanoartcenter.org

Nā Mea Hula with Wes Awana, Saturday, Nov. 16, 11a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. Hands-on cultural demonstration. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.comvolcanoartcenter.org

Hi‘iaka & Pele, Sunday, Nov. 17, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

P&R T-Ball League Registration, Nov. 18 - Jan. 6, Kahuku Park. Ages 5-6. Athletic shoes required. Program takes place Jan. 13 - Apr. 16, day and time TBA. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Nature Wreath Registration, Nov. 18-25, program takes place Tuesday, Nov. 26, 3-4p.m. Ages 6-14. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Scholastic Book Fair, Tuesday, Nov. 19, Open to public: 7:30-8a.m. and 2:07-3:30p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2:07-7p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 21, 7:30a.m.-3:30-p.m.; and Friday, Nov. 22, 7:30a.m.-2p.m., Nā‘ālehu Elementary School Library.

Hawai‘i County Council Mtgs., Tuesday, Nov. 19 (Committees), Wednesday, Nov. 18, (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov

Cultural Understanding through Art and the Environment: Ti Leaf Lei Making with Jelena Clay, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 11a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center. Pre-registration required; class size limited. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

West Hawai‘i Master Gardeners Program Accepting Applications through Friday, Nov. 15cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/whmgprogram/HOME/West-Hawaii. Classes take place Jan. 14 - April 17, 2020, every Tuesday, 9a.m.-noon. $200/person.

P&R Track & Field Practice Registration, through Wednesday, Nov. 20Kahuku Park. Ages 6-14. Athletic shoes required. Program takes place Dec. 2 - Feb. 8, day and time TBA. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Vendor Booth Space is Available for the Kamahalo Craft Fair. The 12th annual event will be held Thanksgiving weekend, Friday, Nov. 299 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cooper Center. Booths are open for crafters with quality homemade and homegrown products. Food vendors must prepare all food items in a certified kitchen and must have a Department of Health permit displayed prominently at their booth. Application online at thecoopercenter.org. Direct questions to 936-9705 or kilaueatutu@gmail.com.

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 pidfoundation.org or call Tata Compehos and Melody Espejo at 808-938-1088.

King Cab 2016 Nissan Frontier for Sale by Holy Rosary Church of Pāhala and the Sacred Heart Church of Nāʻālehu. The parishes are selling the truck to raise funds to benefit both churches. The truck is a great 6 cylinder, 2WD automobile. The churches are asking for $21K or best offer. Only cash or cashier's check will be accepted. Anyone interested should contact the parish secretary Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at 928-8208.

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