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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, May 31, 2022

First place in the county Department of Water Supply Keiki Poster Contest for the artists in fifth
grade is Kira Agular. See more below.

OWNERS OF THEIR OWN FARMS is the future faced by the majority of Kaʻū Coffee growers at Cloud Rest and Pear Tree above Pāhala. They are are becoming owners of their farms, after years of worry that their famous orchards would be sold out from under them on the open market for prices beyond their reach. Buying the farms comes after decades of work, following the closure of the Kaʻū Sugar plantation in 1996. The farmers worked the former sugar land under rental agreements, with numerous restrictions on what they could farm and an uncertain future in their land tenure.
   After negotiations with Resource Land Holdings, which bought and subdivided the property under the name Kaʻū Mahi, the farmers were able to buy lots that largely conform to their farms. The farmers

Cory and Connie Koi, one of the first to become owners of
 their Ka'u Coffee farm, after years of renting the land.
Photo from Ka'u Coffee Festival

received first option at prices below land prices that recently surged in rural Hawai‘i. Most farmers were able to qualify for very low interest USDA and other government and private loans, with encouragement and assistance from county, state and federal agencies as well as non-profit organizations, lending institutions and real estate agents. A majority of these Kaʻū Coffee farmers recently received deeds to their property.           Among the Kaʻū Coffee growers who now own their farms are: Kaʻū Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba and Rogelio Aquino. They bought their own farm and Camba worked with other farmers to encourage them to apply for the land loans, a process unfamiliar to many of them. She said the purchase cost per acre was about $10,000 to $21,000, with most around $15,000 per acre. John and daughter Lori Ah San also worked on negotiations with the owners. The Ah San’s were able to purchase the largest amount of land among the existing farmers, about 60 acres, with a USDA low interest loan.
    John Ah San and Gloria Camba credited Punalu‘u resident Julie Enriques for representing the majority of the farmers as the buyers’ Realtor. Ah San said, “She really went to bat for us, from working with farmers on qualifying for the loans to working out details on easements tied the properties and looking over the accuracy of 
Ka'u Coffee Growers Cooperative President Gloria Camba with husband and
 partner in coffee, Rogelio Aquino. Photo from Ka'u Coffee Festival

    Among the growers who recently closed on their farm purchases are: Connie and Cory Koi, Francis and Trinidad Marques, Leo and Herme Norberte, Lazaro Hernandez, Melchor Fernandez, Milton and Verna Dacalio, Don Dacalio, Godofredo and Ana Miranda, Ferdinand and Geraldine Ramos, Val and Renilda Ramos, Delvin and Shauwnette Navarro, Pablo Mauricio, Frank and Avalina Ancheta and Hong Vong. Other farmers are waiting finalization of loans. A few declined to purchase and are riding out rental agreements that go into the future.
    Enriques said that many of the farmers were born and raised here and that working with them has been one of her most rewarding projects, particularly since the locals buying the farms means “roots in the ground for generations to come.”
    Camba also recognized USDA Farm Service Agency’s Jennifer Balderas, Ka‘ū Coffee Growers Co-op member Miles Mayne, The Kohala Center, the state Department of Agriculture, Congressman Kai Kahele, County of Hawai‘i and County Council Chair Maile David for their assistance, as well as Ka‘ū Coffee Mill and Pāhala Plantation Manager’s House for meeting venues. She said she expects more than 40 farms to be owned by coffee growers.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml

Olamau Miyashiro took first among second graders in the Keiki Water Poster Contest, sponsored by the County.

WASTE ZERO WATER IS THE THEME THAT DREW SOME 400 KEIKI TO THE 2022 COUNTY WATER CONSERVATION POSTER CONTEST. From kindergarten through fifth grade they sent in their art illustrating the 2022 effort to spread the slogan, Be a Superhero - Waste Zero. The students came from public, private and public charter schools, as well as home-schooling.
     Department of Water Supply for  County of Hawai‘i issued a statement to congratulate all Big Island schoolchildren who entered, saying they "demonstrated their knowledge of water conservation and artistic skills through their poster entries. Mahalo to the students’ teachers and parents for promoting water conservation. Remember to do your part to protect and preserve our most precious resource – safe drinking water!"
    Check out all the winners and see all the entries at https://www.hawaiidws.org/dws-water-conservation-poster-contest-2022/

Aviva Rose Ruderman took second in the kindergarten division of the county's keiki water conservation poster contest.

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, May 30, 2022

Congressman and Air National Guardsman Kai Kahele visited a Veterans Cemetery in Hawai'i
on Monday morning and said he is drawn to hallowed grounds. Photo from Kai Kahele

VISITING MEMORIALS TO THOSE WHO HAVE "SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES, while serving a grateful nation," is a passion of Congressman Kai Kahele. During a Memorial Day Veterans Cemetery speech on Monday morning, he said that he's made it a point "to visit these hallowed grounds so I can see and feel for myself what those brave men and women must have felt or saw themselves." Kahele said he's been to the Ardennes Forest of Germany, walked the Band of Brothers streets of Bastogne and Luxembourg, and stood at the site of the Malmedy Massacre in Belgium. "I have traveled to the Great Pacific Battle Ground of Wake Island, Guam, Kwajalein and Okinawa and like many of you I have been to the hallowed tomb of the USS Arizona where 1,177 sailors lost their lives on that day of infamy, Dec. 7, 1941."
    The Congressman and Air National Guardsman asked, "Why would anyone go out of their way to visit museums, battlefields, and cemeteries of wars from years gone past? Why are they drawn to the National Mall in Washington, where the names of 58,000 Americans are etched into black granite at the Viet Nam
Hawaiian and U.S. flags fly half staff on Memorial Day. Photo from Kai Kahele
Veterans Memorial? For many, they come to mourn the loss of a family member, a friend, a fellow soldier, airman, sailor, Marine, Coast Guardsman or Merchant Marine. For others like myself, they visit these historic sites so as to gain a deeper connection to historical events that move a nation and help shape our world. ...when they visit these great memorials they are often humbled by the presence of those who are forever represented here.
    "For those that have walked somber grounds of Arlington or Punchbowl, you will quickly gain a sense of the magnitude of our nation's loss while realizing the true commitment on the part of those who have served and died in our nation's conflicts. Throughout the course of our nation's history our sons and daughters have donned the uniform. They have taken up arms and fought and died to preserve our rights and our freedoms... We can not help but mourn their passing as we celebrate their victories."
    Kahele noted that he is in his 22nd year as commissioned officer in U.S. Air Force Hawai'i Air National Guard. During his Air Force pilot training in Mississippi, the tragedy of 9/11 occurred and Kahele was assigned to fly combat missions in the mountains of Afghanistan, to transport patients from the Middle East to Germany and to bring home those who died to Dover Air Force Base in the U.S.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml

THE NEW ORGANIZATION MALAMA PONO PUNALU'U released a statement on Sunday, inviting volunteers to join in. The paper describes The Situation: "Tourist numbers at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach have risen dramatically over the last year, especially during the later hours of the day when tourists are
either retuning to Kona after a day at Volcano National Park or waiting for dark to see the lava at night."
     It describes The Problem: "When lifeguards go off-duty at 4:30 p.m., there is no protection from visitors encroaching upon basking Sea Turtles (Honu). Especially the time before dark, you will often have visitors using cell phone flashlights to take pictures at arms length distance."
     The statement expresses The Need: "Reaching out for volunteers to take one shift a month to monitor basking turtles between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and dark. Depending on the time of the year, a shift can last between an hour and 30 minutes to two and a half hours. The more volunteers the more we can accomplish with less effort."
     Under the headline Basking Honu Need You, the statement says that "Punalu'u is one of the most accessible, untouched and naturally beautiful beaches remaining on the Big Island. Though it is our home many of us haven't spent the time sitting on the beach, experiencing the essence of Punalu'u and our honu. Volunteer to be a part of Malama Pono Punalu'u, reconnect with Punalu'u and be a small part of keeping our hons habitat safe and our beautiful beach as natural as can be."
    Guy Enriques, organizer of Malama Pono Punalu'u, said he is looking for volunteers to sign up by June 18 and plans to conduct an orientation before volunteers begin their shifts. Eail enriques@haawaii.rr.com
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Sunday, May 29, 2022

Two tall chairs for the slain teachers and 19 tiny chairs for the elementary school students, murdered last Tuesday
in Texas, were placed in front of the Hawai'i County Building in Hilo. This weekend, the Democratic Party of Hawai'i
 included gun law reform in its platform adopted at its state convention. Photo by Jennifer Kagiwada

THE HAWAI'I DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S PLATFORM WAS ADOPTED AT ITS STATE CONVENTION this weekend and includes a gun reform plank, following last Tuesday's killing of 19 students and two teachers in Texas. The platform states, "We believe public safety includes eliminating risk of gun violence through more effective regulation and improved background checks. We believe public safety laws should be just, equitable and enforced fairly without discrimination. We believe that true justice restores people and communities."
    The new chair of the statewide Democratic Party is Dennis W. Jung. The chair for County of Hawai'i is Barbara Dalton, of Punalu'u in Kaʻū.
Barbara Dalton, a Kaʻū resident,
chairs Hawai'i County's 
Democratic Party. 
    The platform states, "The abiding values of the Democratic Party are integrity, honesty, and transparency for all. At the heart of our party lies a fundamental conviction that Americans must not only be free, but they must live in a fair society. These values compel us to integrate democratic ideals in all aspects of economic, social, educational, and cultural life in our communities, our state and our nation. These principles must always be protected. As the party of the people, we Democrats commit ourselves to these values. 
    "We believe that our democracy cannot properly function so long as political power can be bought. The Democratic Party will work against corruption in all forms, including extortion and bribery, and do everything in its power to ensure a government that serves the people. We are facing increased global challenges economically, ecologically, and socioculturally. We therefore adopt a worldview that is sensitive to and ,addresses these challenges that is not based on short-term economic gains."
    The Agriculture Plank of the Platform states: "We believe that a key part of a sustainable and self-sufficient future for Hawaiʻi lies in a robust agricultural sector in our state that is capable of providing Hawaiʻi’s people with sufficient, healthy and affordable food in perpetuity. We support the preservation and cultivation of sufficient land and marine agricultural resources to achieve this goal. We support responsible development of these resources to achieve food security and self-sufficiency, while ensuring the sustainability of these resources for future generations to come. We support regulations that ensure the ethical and safe production and consumption of all agricultural products. We support funding efforts to fight invasive species that threaten agricultural production in Hawaiʻi."
Register to vote at https://olvr.hawaii.gov/Default.aspx?redir=1
    The Housing Plank of the Platform states: "We believe housing is a human right. We believe that each and every person should have access to safe, stable and adequate housing regardless of ability to pay. We support policies that deliver housing that is affordable to people at the bottom of the income scale where the need is greatest. We support policies that reduce barriers to the development of this housing, so long as these policies do not conflict with the tenets laid out in the Environment and Energy plank. We support policies that reduce barriers to homeownership for residents. We support policies that preserve housing for residents and discourage real estate speculation. We believe that houselessness is the symptom of an inequitable economic system that creates generational poverty and hardship. We believe this system must be changed. We support policy that gets people experiencing houselessness re-housed quickly and efficiently, and we support policy that delivers wrap-around services to recently rehoused individuals and families. We support adequate public funding for these initiatives."
    The Environment & Energy Plank of the Platform states: "We believe that all people have the right to live in a clean, healthy and safe environment. We believe that the preservation of our natural environment and its ecological well being is essential to ensuring a safe, healthy, bountiful life for future generations in Hawaiʻi. We support policies that create a more sustainable society. 
    "We support the restoration, preservation, and protection of native ecosystems. We believe in the resource management principles outlined in the Public Trust doctrine of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution. We support policy that incorporates indigenous resource-management practices and technologies such as the Ahupuaʻa System in modern urban planning and development to create an ecologically sustainable balance between the needs of the people and the rights of nature. We believe that a key part of a sustainable and self-sufficient future for Hawaiʻi lies in achieving energy independence through a transition to clean renewable energy sources. We support policy that eliminates our dependence on fossil fuels and other dirty energy sources. We support policies that expand access to public transportation and encourage transit-oriented development and walkable communities."
    The Republican Party of Hawai'i state Convention was held May 14. See its platform and more at www.gophawaii.com.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml

SIERRA CLUB ENDORSES JEANNÉ KAPELA as she seeks reelection to the state House of Representatives, according to the announcement she made on Sunday. With new reapportionment, the district for which she is running, will be all of Kaʻū into south Kona. She released this statement:
    "Climate change is the crisis of our lifetimes. As global temperatures soar, our islands are in danger of chronic flooding and turbulent weather that could cost over $19 billion worth of economic damages. In response, we must accelerate our movement to becoming completely reliant on clean energy.
    "That is why I am proud to be endorsed by the Sierra Club during this election. I am committed to launching a Green New Deal that uplifts Hawai'i's people and our planet, establishing carbon pricing and green fees to restore balance to our economy, and preserving our natural resources for generations to come......Mahalo, Sierra Club, for your support. I promise to always make defending our state's precious ecological treasures one of my top priorities."
     Jeanné Kapela has been endorsed by the Sierra Club in her bid to be reelected to the state House of Representatives. 
Photo from Kapela campaign.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml



Saturday, May 28, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Saturday, May 28, 2022

two projects starting on Kīlauea Volcano, including on Volcano National Park lands into Kaʻū, makai  of Hwy 11 toward Punalu'u. The projects are the subject of Volcano Watch, the weekly column written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates. This week’s article is by research geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua.
     One project moves an instrument with wire coils put into ground from site to site. The other will employ a helicopter to fly an oblong wire loop. The target area is the entire volcano of Kīlauea—from the eastern point of Kumukahi southwest almost to Punaluʻu. Warning: many acronyms to follow! Both projects will determine the distribution of electrical resistivities below the surface that can be used to map magma and hot rock, among other things. The airborne project will also map variations in the magnetic field to determine how well the Earth's field is frozen into Kīlauea's magnetic minerals.
    The first project deploys electrodes and wire coils buried at shallow depths to passively measure the electromagnetic (EM) energy generated by lightning strikes around the equator. The technique is called magnetotelluric (MT) sounding. Lightning storms are common in equatorial regions and those storms produce surprisingly constant electromagnetic noise that travels around the globe in the atmosphere between the Earth's surface and the ionosphere.
    The response of the earth to this distant EM stimulation can tell us the electrical properties of the earth below the coils to depths of about 10 km (6 mi). The one-square-meter (yard) setup is being moved to about 125 ground locations on the volcano. The resulting data will be used to develop a detailed picture of Kīlauea's inner workings. This study is being done over two field seasons with the first season in 2022 during May and June. The second season will be in the summer of 2023.

    The second part of this project will use a 15 by 25 m (50 by 80 ft) oval-shaped wire loop suspended 30 m (100 ft) beneath a helicopter (Fig. 1) flying over most of the volcano. The loop assembly will transmit and receive very, very low frequency EM energy and will need to be flown 35–50 m (115–165 ft) above the ground or treetops. A small sensor will also be measuring magnetic field strength. The technique is called airborne electromagnetic and magnetic AEM mapping.
    AEM data will complement the MT data and allow imaging of the shallow (upper 600 m or 2,000 ft) structure of the volcano including groundwater and patterns of alteration caused by hydrothermal fluids like those that seeped into Halemaʻumaʻu water lake in 2019–2020. Earth's magnetic field along the flight path will also map the signature of the cooling dike that transported magma to lower Puna in 2018. This part of the project was scheduled for 2022 in the months of June and July.
    Currently planned flight lines do not fly over any residential areas or other regions excluded by the Federal Aviation Administration  or Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Flights occur during daylight hours and are coordinated with the FAA. Experienced pilots specially trained and approved for low-level flying operate the helicopter. None of the instruments in either part of the project pose a health risk to people or animals.
    AEM and Earth's magnetic field were last mapped in 1978 over both Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. The 1978 results showed that Kīlauea's East Rift Zone was clearly outlined by a strong magnetic field aberration typical of vertical dikes that fed countless eruptions laterally from the summit area.
    The equipment and software have been much improved in the past 20 years and the geophysicists overseeing the current project have successfully used the technique to map other US volcanoes. Our hopes are high that we will be able to more clearly image to greater depths in this new project to produce a picture of the entire magmatic system of Kīlauea. The final products of this survey will be made public within a few years.
    The AEM survey should take about three weeks starting in late June. We understand that helicopter noise can be disruptive, so we will greatly appreciate affected residents' patience and understanding as we collect this extremely important data to help mitigate future eruption hazards.

Volcano Activity Updates: 
Kīlauea volcano is erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level is at WATCH (https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/about-alert-levels). Kīlauea updates are issued daily.
    Over the past week, lava has continued to erupt from the western vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater. All lava is confined within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Sulfur dioxide emission rates remain elevated and were last measured at approximately 2,300 tonnes per day (t/d) on May 22. Seismicity is elevated but stable, with few earthquakes and ongoing volcanic tremor. Summit tiltmeters showed two deflation-inflation cycles over the past week. For more information on the current eruption of Kīlauea, see https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/recent-eruption.
    Mauna Loa is not erupting and remains at Volcano Alert Level ADVISORY. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption from the current level of unrest is certain. Mauna Loa updates are issued weekly.
    This past week, about 50 small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded below the summit and upper elevation flanks of Mauna Loa—the majority of these occurred at shallow depths less than 15 kilometers (9 miles) below sea level. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show low rates of ground deformation over the past week. Gas concentrations and fumarole temperatures at both the summit and at Sulphur Cone on the Southwest Rift Zone have remained stable over the past week. Webcams show no changes to the landscape. For more information on current monitoring of Mauna Loa, see: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/monitoring.
    One earthquake was reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week: a M4.7 earthquake 3 km (1 mi) NW of Hōlualoa at 9 km (5 mi) depth on May 21 at 11:49 p.m. HST.
    HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea's ongoing eruption and Mauna Loa for any signs of increased activity.
    Visit HVO’s website for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml

NO EXCUSES FOR DRIVING IMPAIRED warns the Hawai'i Police Department which is ramping up to catch motorists for DUI this coming Memorial Day weekend. A statement from HPD says, "The end of May is always a great time to reflect back and honor the soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our
freedoms as American’s. The first celebration of Memorial Day was observed on May 30, 1868 and has become a true American tradition. As we come together this holiday weekend the Hawai’i Police Department asks for your help in keeping the focus of Memorial Day on honoring the military men and women who have given so much for so many in our communities.
  "If you have family and friends gathering together please celebrate Memorial Day safely. If anyone consumes any substance that could impair their ability to drive, please do your part to keep them safe from harming themselves or someone else. Have a plan, if you drink alcohol don’t drive. If you can stay where you are, then stay. If you have to leave, have a completely sober driver get you home.
    "There are 'No Excuses' anymore for driving impaired. Call a friend, call your family, call a taxi or ride share. Please just don’t drink and drive. Memorial Day is about honoring those who protected our freedoms. The Hawai’i Police Department is dedicated to protecting the community and this weekend we will be focusing on preventing citizens from being injured or killed by impaired drivers. Officers will be on the lookout and will strictly enforce the law. Have a safe Memorial Day weekend."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml

KANIKAPILA SUNDAY in Nāʻālehu with Keoki Sereno's 'Ukulele Class features a 
concert  at 11 a.m. at the Outdoor Pavilion behind United Methodist Church in Nāʻālehu. Students from Keoki Sereno's free 'ukulele classes will perform. Refreshments to follow.



Friday, May 27, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Friday, May 27, 2022

Kanikapila Sunday in Nāʻālehu with Keoki Sereno's 'Ukulele Class
The concert will be on Sunday, May 29 at 11 a.m. at the Outdoor Pavilion behind United Methodist Church in
 Nāʻālehu. Students from Keoki Sereno's free 'ukulele classes will perform. Refreshments to follow.
Photo by Julia Neal

BAY CLINIC, THE COUNTY AND WEST HAWAI'I HEALTH CLINIC AIM TO TACKLE FENTANYL, and formed a Task Force to fight it. They announced on Friday that Hawai'i Island is experiencing an increase in Fentanyl overdoses. "Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. The dangerous drug is mixed into fake pain pills and other drugs, such as Xanax, without the users' knowledge. A tiny amount can be fatal."
Bay Clinic's Dr. Kimo Alameda leads the new task force to educate
  the public on he dangers of fentanyl
. Photo from Bay Clinic

    The task force is led by Dr. Kimo Alameda, of Bay Clinic, to bring widespread awareness and knowledge of the dangers of fentanyl. Mayor Mitch Roth said, "We're partnering with these health centers to help prevent overdose deaths in our community, The most powerful weapon against any epidemic is education, and we are committed to educating our residents so that they can make informed choices to keep themselves and their loved ones safe."
    Addiction medicine specialist Dr. Kevin Kunz said, "Fentanyl is the most addictive and potent opioid and the deadliest drug America has ever known. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, this synthetic opioid is 50 to 100 times stronger than any other opioid out there. It's more potent than cyanide." According to Kunz, data from CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics indicate that the leading
The one-time Heisman Trophy hopeful and University of
 Hawai'i U. Hawai'i football star Colt Brennan died
 last year with fentanyl in his blood.
cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45 is
 overdose. One recent tragic death was that of 37-year-old former University of Hawaiʻi football star Colt Brennan, who was found to have a combination of ice, alcohol, and fentanyl in his system.
    Jane Clement, Mayor's Executive Assistant, said,  "We are planning to bring up-to-date information on the facts, prevention, and treatment to residents utilizing virtual and in-person presentations. Our local experts have organized a 30-minute presentation targeting all ages about the dangers of initiating drug use, addiction, and fentanyl poisoning." Anyone interested in an in-person viewing, contact Alameda at deskoftheceo@bayclinic.org. Seating is limited.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml

KAʻŪ'S CONGRESSMAN KAI KAHELE SIGNED ON FOR FOR GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION LEGISLATION on Friday, following this week's killing of 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Texas. A letter from Kahele and colleagues says,
    "The time to act is now. The American people and President Biden are demanding that Congress act before more lives are needlessly lost to gun violence. We can and must continue to work in the House to tackle the gun violence crisis in this country even though we know that Senate Republicans will continue to use the filibuster to block any meaningful reforms. The fact is, there are numerous pieces of gun violence prevention legislation still pending in the House that have the support of the majority of Americans."
     The letter underscores the number of lives lost in recent years directly due to gun violence and highlights the mass shootings in New York and Texas that took place earlier this month: "More than 240,000 Americans have lost their lives to gun violence ... In the last two weeks alone, we've lost 31 innocent lives to mass shootings in Buffalo and now Texas." Kahele pointed out that on Wednesday night in Honolulu, a shooting near the Blaisdell Arena occurred.

The letter notes that next month will mark the six-year anniversary of the first sit-in on the US> House of Representatives floor to protest "the Republican majority's unwillingness to consider any gun safety measures following the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. At the time, we were in the minority and we had no other tool left at our disposal than to bring Congress to a grinding halt. Two years later, we won back the majority in the House with the promise to deliver on gun safety legislation and ever since we have had the votes to pass common sense gun violence prevention legislation in the House."

    Among the proposals are H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to implement universal background checks and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Check Act to close the "Charleston loophole." The letter explains that "Republicans have used the filibuster to block those bills from even being considered by the Senate. Although the filibuster continues to be an enormous obstacle, we believe the House has an obligation to continue to bring up and pass gun violence prevention legislation."
    It states that from Uvalde to Buffalo to Parkland to Sandy Hook, "there isn't a city, town or neighborhood in this country that hasn't been impacted by gun violence. It is an epidemic in the United States, and a public health crisis. It's not just the mass shootings that are an issue, but also the day-to-day gun violence affecting people in cities like Chicago, New York, Houston, and Baltimore. Every day parents all across this country send their kids off to school or out to play, or drop them off at the mall or the movie theater, and fear that that might be the last time they see their child."
    The letter quotes Pres. Joe Biden's talk to the nation on Tuesday night, ".....these kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world. Why? They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost. But these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency that they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God's name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbies? It's time to turn this pain into action."
    The letter sates that the caucus working on gun law reform is often reminded of President Abraham Lincoln's famous quote, "with public sentiment, nothing can fail...without it nothing can succeed." The letter states that the majority of Americans are asking us, begging us, to do something about gun violence before more innocent lives are lost. We came here to take on the tough fights and let the chips fall where they may. We believe this is something worth fighting for, no matter the political consequences. We urge you to bring any gun violence prevention legislation when it has been approved by the Judiciary Committee to the House floor immediately for a vote."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.htmltml



Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, May 26, 2022

May Day Goes Live for Junior High in Pāhala
A May Day program for middle school students, with families invited, recently graced the grounds of Kaʻū High
& Pāhala Elementary School, under the direction of Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder. May Day has been an annual tradition for
the historic school campus where the school year ends on Friday.  Photo by Otis Salmo

Members of the May Day Court at the junior high at Kaʻū High
 & Pāhala Elementary. Photo by Otis Salmo
LOUIS DANIELE IS THE NEW COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSIONER covering Kaʻū, a post formerly held by John Replogle. The other Planning Commissioner from Kaʻū is Michelle Galimba, its Vice-Chair who serves at large.
    Daniele, who lives in Ocean View, is General Manager of Olson Trust's Kaʻū Coffee Mill, having begun with the company picking coffee, working his way up through sales. He has also represented Ka'u Coffee at Specialty Coffee Association conventions around the country and has served on the board of Hawai'i Coffee Association.
    He was appointed to the Windward Planning Commission and confirmed by the County Council in April.
    Daniele was raised in New England, attending St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont, class of 1984, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford Connecticut, class of 1988. He worked in Hartford for an advertising firm until 1991 when he moved to Maui. For the first year on Maui, Daniele spent his time doing pastel landscapes of his new home with famed Maui artist Richard Letney. During his early years in the Islands, Daniele worked with Maui sculptor Tom Faugh.

New Planning Commissioner Louis Daniele,
representing Kaʻū Coffee at the Hawai' Coffee
Association booth in Boston this Year.

    While on Maui, Daniele became involved with Campaign Recycle Maui. He recalls its mission was twofold: "Educating the public and businesses on diverting green waste from the county land fill waste stream and to grind up the green waste and wind row the material until it became rich soil for sale back to the community." Daniele worked as the nursery manager for Haiku Farms Nursery and Landscape Co., on Maui, learning of the flora of Hawai'i. In 2004 he moved to the Big Island, settling in Ocean View two years later where he lives with his wife Kalikoweo Keolanui, Assistant Manager of Kaʻū Coffee Mill.
    He said that Kaʻū Coast preservation is very important to him, along with policies that encourage economic development of the area and create more employment, particularly in the agricultural sector.

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THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS HAVE  THE HIGHEST NEW CASE RATE FOR COVID IN THE  COUNTRY, according to The New York Times Covid tracker, which shows 86 new cases a day per 100,000 people in its May 27 report, a 56 percent increase in the last two weeks. The Hawai' County rate reported is 78 new cases per 100,000 people, a 53 percent increase.

    The state reports about 1,260 new cases a day throughout the islands, not including unreported home tests, which are widely used in this state. It also reports the presence of new strains from South Africa, including one case on this island. The strains are reported to be more transmissible than previous strains.
   Dr. Josh Green, the Lieutenant Governor, said in his update on Wednesday that lots of people are contracting Covid but the illness is less severe than in previous surges. He called it more "like a subacute illness like a cold or a flu." He recommended masking "if you are vulnerable" and noted that very few people are hospitalized with Covid, with nine statewide in the ICU. "Not many people are in the hospital. You have been fighting this off very well."
    CDC recommends staying home for five days after the onset of symptoms, or if testing positive but asymptomatic. Dr. Scott Miscovich, who is known for running Covid tests on Hawai'i Island and throughout the state, said five days is not long enough, and recommended a negative antigen test before interacting with people after testing positive.
    The CDC and state Department of Health recently recommended COVID-19 boosters for keiki five to 11 years of age and second boosters for those 50 and older, as well as younger folks who are immunocompromised. State Department of Health Director Elizabeth Char, MD said, “It’s exciting that children 5 to 11 years of age can now get added protection from a booster shot. This is especially important at a time when COVID-19 case counts are increasing across the state.”
    COVID shots and boosters are available at the Longs/CVS pharmacy in Pāhala and through Bay Clinic in Nāʻālehu and Ka'u Hospital & Rural Health Clinic in Pāhala.

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THE LIFT THE BAR ACT IS NEW LEGISLATION aiming to reinstate access to federal benefits for immigrants, who must wait five years after entering the country before becoming eligible. Sen. Mazie Hirono, who introduced the legislation this week, said the delay in federal benefits to immigrants is "due to unjust policy enacted nearly 30 years ago. In 1996, Congress passed restrictive welfare and immigration legislation that created unnecessary barriers, including an arbitrary five-year waiting period, that delay access to crucial benefits and services for millions of immigrants."
    The Lifting Immigrant Families Through Benefits Access Restoration Act would remove these barriers and restore access to public programs including Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program,

and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for lawfully present immigrants, enabling them "to access the benefits they need and deserve," said Hirono. Rep. Pramilla Jayapal (D-WA)  introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
    Hirono noted that "Immigrants have kept us healthy, safe, and fed on the frontlines of this pandemic—highlighting just how critical they are to our communities, while also bearing the brunt of this crisis. Despite the vital role they play, unjust policy enacted nearly 30 years ago prevents tax-paying immigrants, including women and their children, from accessing critical services and programs, including health care, food and housing assistance, and more. As we work to build a more equitable society, the LIFT the BAR Act will help end decades of injustice and strengthen our entire economy by removing these arbitrary barriers and allowing millions of immigrants to live healthier, safer and more economically secure lives," said Hirono.

       "The COVID-19 pandemic exposed deep inequities and made clear that our communities are stronger and healthier when all of us have access to services that meet our basic needs," said Marielena Hincapie, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center. "For 25 years, millions of people in the United States have been denied access to care and economic supports because of their immigration status. We are proud to support the LIFT the BAR Act, which would rectify a decades-old injustice and take a major step forward in addressing racial, wealth, and health disparities in this country." 

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A FREE KANAKAPILA CONCERT on Sunday, May 29 at 11 a.m. at the Outdoor Pavilion behind United Methodist Church in Nāʻālehu. Students from Keoki Sereno's free ukulele classes will be performing. Refreshments to follow.
Become a Vendor at the 3rd Annual Experience Volcano Festival
The festival will be on Saturday, July 30th and Sunday, July 31st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Last year, over 2,500 visitors attended and over 40 events were featuring during the EVH festival. All vendor spaces are $50 for both days of the festival. Sign up as a vendor or sponsor at experiencevolcano.com. With questions, contact experiencevolcano@gmail.com.