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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund requests volunteers to help out at monthly community cleanup events at Lae o Kamilo, along 
the Waiʻōhinu coastal strand. See how to take part, below. Photo from HWF
SELLING TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO ANYONE UNDER 21 IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE, following Pres. Donald Trump signing the measure Friday. The legislation was first authored by Kaʻū's Senator, Brian Schatz. Hawaiʻi was the first state to raise the tobacco age to 21, on Jan. 1, 2016, but federal law gives it more teeth and helps prevent visiting youth from carrying it into the state. The age was 18 for sale of tobacco. The new minimum age applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.
     Said Schatz, "This is a big win for public health. Raising the minimum smoking and vaping age to 21 will protect our kids and… will save more than 200,000 lives every year."
     The measure is part of a larger appropriations bill, which includes $25 million for gun violence research. The funds would be shared by the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
     On the same day, Trump also signed a $738 defense bill, which created the first new military branch since the 1940s, Space Force. 

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BENEFITING HAWAIʻI SMALL BUSINESSES is the goal of legislation sponsored  by Sen. Mazie Hirono and signed by Pres. Donald Trump on Friday. A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, the legislation passed in the Senate as part of the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
     Said Hirono, "Hawaiʻi relies on small businesses to drive economic growth and spur innovation, which is why I have continued to advocate for federal programs that support these businesses. This year's NDAA makes changes to promote business opportunities for Native Hawaiian Organizations and their businesses, and to improve research opportunities for other innovative businesses in our state."
     Daphne Tong-Pave, Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Organizations Association, said, "On behalf of the NHOA Board of Directors, we extend our heartfelt mahalo to Senators Mazie Hirono, Dan Sullivan, and James Inhofe for their steadfast support of the Native Hawaiian community. Their tireless efforts were instrumental in the enactment of the FY2020 NDAA that includes many provisions benefiting Native Hawaiian Organizations and other Native Hawaiian-owned small businesses.
     "In particular, the amendment to Section 811 will allow NHO-owned firms to grow their businesses and provide greater support to the Native Hawaiian community as they each strive to fulfill their unique missions that range across social and community objectives including youth programs, access to legal defense, leadership development, innovative youth education, specialized job training, health, financial literacy, business development, cultural engagement, community development, and other community needs."
     The legislation provides:
     Promoting Business Opportunities for Native Businesses, a provision that will expand federal contracting opportunities for Native Hawaiian Organizations, Alaska Native Corporations, and other Native businesses at the Department of Defense. Specifically, the provision raises the threshold applicable to certain DOD contracts from $20 million to $100 million, providing businesses in Hawaiʻi with the ability to compete for larger federal contracts.
     Improving Research Opportunities for Innovative Businesses, provisions that will improve DOD research opportunities for Hawaiʻi businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs – two programs Hirono has continued to advocate for during her time in Congress. Specifically, the bill includes a provision to require procurement centers to support small businesses with research solicitations and provide them with technical assistance. Under the provision, small businesses would also receive assistance to commercialize research developed through the SBIR and STTR programs.
     Prioritizing Innovative Research that Supports the National Defense Strategy, a provision to align research priorities for DOD, SBIR, and STTR projects with the priorities in the National Defense Science and Technology Strategy, providing clear guidance for research pursued through those programs.
     During the 112th Congress, Hirono introduced legislation to increase federal agency allocations for research and development to small businesses through the SBIR and STTR programs. Those allocations were subsequently increased, and since that time the Senator has continued to support expanding federal research opportunities for Hawaii small businesses through the programs. Last year, in 2018, Hawaiʻi small businesses received 32 research awards through the SBIR and STTR programs worth $25.3 million. DOD accounted for 19 awards worth $18.2 million.
     Hirono has also advocated for federal programs that support Native businesses, particularly Native small businesses, and earlier this year, in July, introduced the Native American Business Outreach Act (S. 2191), which would permanently authorize the U.S. Small Business Administration's business outreach and counseling programs for those businesses, providing more stability for Native businesses that seek assistance from SBA. Earlier this month a companion bill was introduced in the House.

This team of 17 Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund staff and volunteers, including two
young keiki, cleaned up 886 pounds of debris at Kamilo on
Saturday, Dec. 22. Photo from HWF
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HAWAIʻI WILDLIFE FUND ISSUED A YEAR IN REVIEW this week. The nonprofit environmental organization summed up the activities they and their volunteers were a part of in 2019:
     Removed hundreds of invasive plants from along the banks of two coastal wetlands, and from within 129 acres of coastal dry-forest vegetation in the Kaʻū Forest Reserve.
     Received and field-tested the makana, gift, of the Hōʻola One prototype from the engineering students at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. The machine separates microplastics from beach sand and will be used by HWF team statewide.
Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund's Mattie Mae Larson, the Art & 
Cleanup Coordinator for Hawaiʻi Island and owner of 
Upcycle Hawaiʻi, bedecked in derelict fishing nets, 
at a Hawaiʻi Island cleanup. Photo from HWF
     Removed over 81,150 lbs of marine debris during 79 cleanups on 3 islands – Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, and Lānaʻi – with the help of 1,758 volunteers (total volunteer workday count).
     Reached 841 students in schools on Hawaiʻi and Maui Islands with two environmental education classroom programs and outreach to youth groups in the field.
     Continued collaborations with other NGOs, landowners, and government agencies to identify and evaluate efficient methods of removing invasive fish from native anchialine pool habitats.
     Educated visitors about pono (proper) viewing etiquette with our daily Honu Watch efforts and recorded over 15,000 sightings of green sea turtles (honu) on Maui.
     Helped guide 255 green turtle hatchlings to the ocean (from 4 nests) on Maui.
     Received official notice that HWF and partners will host the 5th International Anchialine Ecosystems Symposium in Fall 2021.
     HWF's Executive Director Hannah Bernard accepted the honor of being inducted as one of "Maui's heroes" at the Akakū Maui Community Media Walk of Heroes event.
     Participated as lead plaintiffs in two lawsuits to protect local and national marine wildlife health, one of which was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund et al. vs. Maui County Clean Water Act case.
     Upcoming Kaʻū cleanup events are Saturday, Jan. 18, Sunday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, March 21. Volunteer spaces are limited; RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

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HOLIDAY CLOSURES of all County of Hawaiʻi Recycling and Solid Waste Transfer Stations, Landfills, and Facilities are announced by the county. All locations will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 25 and Wednesday, Jan. 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

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COASTAL FLOODING AND HIGH WINDS FROM THE SOUTH are possible for the next few days, states a Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service. Flooding will most likely occur during high tides, "between midnight and daybreak each day. These water levels combined with the potential for heavy rainfall and strong southerly winds Tuesday through Wednesday could exacerbate flooding in these low-lying coastal areas due to poor drainage.
     "Impacts of the higher than normal water levels may include flooding of beaches that normally remain dry, salt water inundation of typically vulnerable low-lying roads, docks, boat ramps, and other coastal infrastructure. The potential for coastal flooding will diminish by the end of the upcoming weekend as the peak daily tides lower."

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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.

2019-2020 Kaʻū Winter Sports Schedule

Girls Basketball
Tue., Jan. 7 @Kohala
Fri., Jan. 10 host Honokaʻa

Boys Basketball
Sat., Dec. 28 host Kohala
Fri., Jan. 3 host HPA
Sat., Jan. 4 host Pāhoa
Thu., Jan. 9 @Waiakea
Sat., Jan. 11, @Konawaena

Sat., Jan. 4 @Waiakea
Sat., Jan. 11 @Kealakehe

Sat., Jan. 4 Girls host Honokaʻa, 3pm
Mon., Jan. 6 @HPA
Wed., Jan. 8 host Kealakehe, 2pm
Sat., Jan. 11 @Honokaʻa

Sat., Jan. 4 @Kamehameha
Sat., Jan. 11 @Kona Community Aquatic Center

Ka‘ū Food Basket, Thursday – last Thursday, monthly – Dec. 26, 11a.m.-noonPāhala Community Center. 928-3102

Kahuku Coffee Talk: Artist in the Park, Friday, Dec. 27, 9:30-11a.m., Kahuku Unit Visitor Contact Station. Free. nps.gov/havo

Monthly Mele & Hula ‘Auana Performances, Friday, Dec. 27, 4-5:30p.m.Volcano Art Center. Weather permitting performance held outdoors. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Amahl & Night Visitors Show, Friday, Dec. 27-Jan. 3, 5-8p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Theater, in HVNP. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 982-7344, kden73@aol.com

Birth of Kahuku, Saturday, Dec. 28, 9:30-11:30a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, easy-to-moderate hike. nps.gov/havo

Ocean View Skatepark Design Workshop, Saturday, Dec. 28, 3-5 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Help create a design plan and drawings of skatepark features to present to County Council. Organized by Kalanihale 501- 3c NPO. Public welcome. Kaimi Kaupiko, 808-937-1310

Final Gymkhana Event of 2019, Sunday, Dec. 29, 9a.m., Nā‘ālehu Rodeo Arena. Sign-in and check-in 8:30a.m. Hosted by Ka‘ū Roping & Riding Association.

People and Land, Sunday, Dec. 29, 9:30-12:30p.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, moderate, 2.5 mile hike over rugged terrain. nps.gov/havo

Ka‘ū Food Pantry, Tuesday – last Tuesday, monthly – Dec. 31, 11:30a.m.-1p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Ocean View. Volunteers welcome. Dave Breskin, 319-8333

KMC New Year's Eve Party, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 5-8p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge, in HVNP. Blue Tattoo and midnight toast. $10 cover charge for non-KMC guests. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356, kilaueamilitarycamp.com

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

Vote for the Best Cottage Decorations at Kīlauea Military Camp through Tuesday, Jan. 1. The public is invited to stroll along the sidewalks around the KMC Cottages where the staff has entered a contest for best Christmas decorations. The outdoor displays are best seen at night. KMC is located within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
     The KMC New Year's Eve Party on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. at the Lava Lounge will have live music from Blue Tattoo. The $10 cover charge includes a champagne toast at midnight. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.
     Call 967-8356 or see kilaueamilitarycamp.com.

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 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.