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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Tūtū & Me families explored the Kahuku Unit of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park recently, and learned about health. 
See details below. Photo from Tūtū & Me
HIGHER PAY FOR TEACHERS IN KAʻŪ and other remote places in the state school system will be considered at the Board of Education meeting in Honolulu this Thursday. The proposal was made jointly at a press conference today by the Hawaiʻi teachers union, Gov. David Ige, and the Department of Education. The aim is to give special education teachers an additional $10,000 per year and teachers in rural, hard-to-fill positions a range of  $3,000 to $8,000 in additional pay per year. Hawaiian language immersion teachers would receive an additional $8,000 per year. The pay hikes would go into effect on Jan. 7, 2020.
Gov. David Ige, who was endorsed by the HSTA in his
run for governor (above), made a joint proposal with the union
 and the state Department of Education today to raise teacher
pay for rural areas like Kaʻū. HSTA photo
     At the press conference today, the governor said, "This is just the first step of many that will be taken by the Board and Department, which I plan to support. Phase I addresses critical areas where students need the most attention and where we have seen the most prolonged periods of vacancies."
     Board of Education Chair Catherine Payne said, "This is the first of several steps we need to take to support our talented educators. It will take strong policy direction from the Board to shift the Department's trajectory and we appreciate Governor Ige's support as we go forward with these efforts."
     Examples of the kind of pay to be provided, if the measure passes, were given in a public statement. A beginning 10-month special education classroom teacher with a bachelor's degree who has completed a state approved teacher education program, holds a license from the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board, and who currently earns $49,100, would be eligible to receive an annual $10,000 differential. A qualified Hawaiian immersion teacher with five or six years experience and a master's degree, working at a hard-to-staff school on Moloka‘i currently earning $54,619, would be eligible to receive an annual $16,000 differential – Hard-to-staff Tier 4 plus Hawaiian Immersion.
     The DOE estimates the special education pay differential would cost $8.45 million in fiscal year 2020, which ends June 30, based on 1,691 special education teachers who are currently eligible. The hard-to-staff differential is estimated to cost an additional $6 million in FY 2020, based on 2,109 teachers in all tiers of hard-to-staff areas. The Hawaiian immersion differential is expected to cost approximately $216,000 in FY 2020, based on 54 teachers who are currently eligible.
     Hawaiʻi state Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Christina Kishimoto, called the initiative critical in addressing the achievement gap. "There is no single solution to the teacher staffing challenges we're seeing nationwide.
     "The difficulties in recruiting qualified teachers for special education, Hawaiian Language Immersion programs, and hard-to-staff areas have created an equity issue for our most vulnerable students. We have listened to the feedback of our educators and it's time for bold action to unleash the promise and power of public education on behalf of our haumana."
     Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association, expressed his commitment to partner with DOE: "Today is the first step of a multi-phased plan to ensure that all our keiki, regardless of where they live, what their special needs are, or their ethnicity, are taught by highly qualified teachers."
     The pay hikes are part of an initiative to tackle Hawai‘i's teacher shortage by providing incentives for educators teaching in critical areas. The first phase would implement a pay differential to increase compensation for classroom teachers in areas that have faced the most severe shortages, including hard-to-staff geographic locations like Kaʻū.
     DOE announced that Phase II is expected to be launched by an additional proposal to the Board in January, to include release of the results of a teacher salary study the DOE commissioned earlier this year.

Tūtū & Me keiki and caregivers at Kahuku Unit, 
increasing dexterity and using creativity while 
having fun building. Photo from Tūtū & Me
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TŪTŪ AND ME FAMILIES CELEBRATED HEALTHY LIVING with a recent huakaʻi, trip, to the Kahuku Unit of Volcanoes National Park. Keiki and caregivers took a hike with Ranger Leilani Rodrigues, experienced yoga with Lindsey from P.A.R.E.N.T.S., Inc., and improved their gross motor skills by playing in the fresh air and sunshine.
     Michelle Buck, Site Manager for Hawaiʻi South Partners in Development Foundation and Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool, said "We had a wonderful, healthy day!"
     If interested in the Preschool Program in Waiʻōhinu or the Home Visiting Program in Pāhala, contact Michelle at 808-929-8571.

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HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK issued a statement today to remind the public that national parks across America will modify entrance fees to provide additional funding for infrastructure and maintenance needs to enhance the visitor experience.
     Effective Jan. 1, entrance fees to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes will be $30 per vehicle, $25 per motorcycle, and $15 per pedestrian or bicyclist. The receipt allows entry for seven days. The Park has charged an entrance fee since 1987. The current rate of $25 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle has been in effect since June 1, 2017. The park is one of the 117 National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee; the other 300-plus national parks will remain free to enter.
Walking through Kīlauea Iki becomes more expensive as of Jan. 1. 
NPS photo by Janice Wei
     Use of the additional revenue from entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes will include the rehabilitation of the ‘Ōhi‘a Wing into a cultural museum and archives, a new park orientation film, new exhibits that interpret the 2018 eruption, and trail improvements. 
     According to the statement, "Revenue from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service and helps ensure a quality experience for all who visit. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, at least 80 percent of entrance fees stay in the park and are devoted to spending that supports the visitor. The remaining 20 percent of entrance fee income is shared with other national parks for their projects.
     "In response to public comments on a fee proposal released by NPS in October 2017, the changes reflect a modest increase for all fee-charging parks, rather than the higher peak-season fees initially proposed for 17 highly visited national parks on the mainland."
     National parks have experienced record-breaking visitation, with more than 1.5 billion visitors in the last five years. Hawai‘i Volcanoes hosted 1.1 million visitors in 2018. The Park spent $94.1 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,040 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $123 million, according to a Park analysis.
Entrance fees to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, to see sights like the 
collapsed summit of Kīlauea Volcano, will increase as of Jan. 1, 
to help pay for improvements and to maintain the Park. 
NPS photo by Janice Wei
     Throughout the country, the combination of an aging infrastructure and increased visitation has put a strain on park roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services, and led to an $11.9 billion deferred maintenance backlog nationwide.
     The Tri Park Pass, an annual pass that allows visitors unlimited entry to the three fee-charging national parks in Hawai‘i – Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Haleakalā National Parks, and Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park – will increase from $50 to $55 on Jan. 1, 2020.
     The price of the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Lands Annual Pass and Lifetime Senior Pass will remain $80.
     The complete fee schedule for Hawaiʻi Volcaneos will change as follows on Jan. 1, 2020: Per vehicle seven-day pass is currently $25 and will increase $5 to $30. Per person entry, pedestrians and bicycles, is currently $12, and will increase $3 to $15. Entry per motorcycle is currently $20, and will increase $5 to $25. Tri Park Pass is currently $50, and will increase $5 to $55.
     Visitors can enjoy four free days at all fee-charging national parks in 2020: Monday, Jan. 20, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Saturday, April 18, the first day of National Park Week and Junior Ranger Day; Tuesday, Aug. 25, National Park Service birthday; and Wednesday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

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 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.

Women's Expression Group, Thursday, Dec. 5 – 1st Thursday monthly – 3-4:30p.m., PARENTS Inc., Nā‘ālehu. Women welcome to drop in. Free. Lindsey Miller, 333-3460, lindsey@hawaiiparents.org

Ocean View Neighborhood Watch Mtg., Thursday, Dec. 5, 6-7p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

‘O Ka‘ū Kākou Mtg., Thursday, Dec. 5, 6:30-8:30p.m., Aspen Center. okaukakou.org

Fit & Firm Volcano Medium Intensity Strength Adult Exercise Class - 4 weeks, Fridays, starting Dec. 6, 8-9a.m.,Volcano Art Center. Payment in full of $36 due at first class session, check or exact change. No make-ups, roll-overs, or prorating for missed classes. Limited to 15 people. Must call to reserve spot in advance. No drop-ins. Puakea, 315-9130, volcanoartcenter.orgsoulfitnesshawaiipksm.com

Stewardship at the Summit, Dec. 6, 13, 21 and 28, 8:45a.m., meet Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center, HVNP. Volunteers remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in the park. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, long pants. Bring hat, rain gear, day pack, sunscreen, snacks, and water. Gloves and tools provided. Parental/Guardian accompaniment or written consent required for under 18. 985-6101, nps.gov/havo/

Strong Seniors Chair Exercise Class - 4 weeksFridays, starting Dec. 6, 10-11a.m.,Volcano Art Center. Payment in full of $45 due at first class session, check or exact change. No make-ups, roll-overs or prorating for missed classes. No drop ins. Limited to 15 people. Reserve spot in advance. Puakea, 315-9130, volcanoartcenter.org, soulfitnesshawaiipksm.com

AdvoCATS, Saturday, Dec. 7, 7a.m.-4:30p.m.Ocean View Community Center. Free spay/neuter for cats. 895-9283, advocatshawaii.org

Painting from Observation with Lisa Maria Martin, Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, 9a.m.-3p.m.Volcano Art Center. For beginners and intermediate. All supplies provided. $220/VAC member, $240/non-member. See supplies required. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Realms and Divisions, Saturday, Dec. 7, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderately difficult, two-mile, hike. Bring snack. nps.gov/havo

Ocean View C.E.R.T. Mtg., Saturday, Dec. 7, 10a.m.-1p.m.Ocean View Community Center. Community Emergency Response Team monthly meeting and training. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Keiki Science Class, Saturday, Dec. 7 – 1st Saturday, monthly – 11a.m.-noon, Ace Hardware Stores islandwide; Nā‘ālehu, 929-9030 and Ocean View, 929-7315. Free. acehardware.com

Blackwater Railroad Company Band, Saturday, Dec. 7, 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. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

41st Pāhala Christmas Parade, Sunday, Dec. 8, starts at Pāhala Armory. Eddie Andrade, 928-0808

Pele & Hi‘iaka, Sunday, Dec. 8, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

Medicine for the Mind: Teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, Sunday, Dec. 8 – 2nd Sunday, monthly – 3-5p.m.Volcano Art Center. Free; calabash donations welcome. Dress warmly. Patty Johnson, 345-1527, volcanoartcenter.org

Accordion Paper Reindeer Activity Registration, Dec. 9-17, Ka‘u District Gym. Program takes place Wednesday, Dec. 18, 3:30-5p.m., multipurpose room. Grades K-6. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Birding at Kīpukapuaulu, Tuesday, Dec. 10 and 24, and Thursday, Dec. 12 and 26, 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.orgfhvnp.org

Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment: Lauhala Weaving Ku‘uipo Kakahiki-Morales, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 11a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222volcanoartcenter.org

After Dark in the Park: 100th Anniversary of the Mauna Iki Eruption, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7-8p.m.Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. UH Mānoa geologist Scott Rowland explains the significance of this eruption. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

Pom Pom Wreath Registration, through Dec. 4. Kahuku ParkHawaiian Ocean View Estates. Program takes place Tuesday, Dec. 10, 3-4p.m. Ages 6-14. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Santa's Workshop Event Registration, through Dec. 11, Ka‘ū District Gym. Event takes place Thursday, Dec. 12, 6-7:30p.m. All ages. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Christmas Coloring Contest Registration, through Dec. 11, Ka‘ū District Gym. Deadline for entries is Thursday, Dec. 12, 6p.m. Grades Pre-K to 6. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Holiday Ornament Registration, through Dec. 16, Kahuku Park. Program takes place Wednesday, Dec. 18, 3-4p.m. Ages 6-14. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

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, volcanoartcenter.org

T-Ball and Coach Pitch Baseball League Registration and First Practice: Ocean View Team - Monday, Dec. 2, and Wednesday, Dec. 4, Kahuku Park. Nā‘ālehu Team - Tuesday, Dec. 3, and Thursday, Dec. 5, Nā‘ālehu Park. Pāhala Team (seeking coaches) - attend Nā‘ālehu practice and registration. 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 pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

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.