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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022

This caged nēnē, recovered from injury, was released in August into the 100-acre Hawai'i Island Nēnē Sanctuary. See story below.    Photo from DLNR

PRAISE FOR FEDERAL HELP IN PAYING OFF STUDENT LOANS came from U.S. Congressman Kai Kahele on Wednesday. Following Pres. Joe Biden's executive order, Kahele issued the following statement:
    "Today, President Biden took pivotal action to unburden student loan borrowers and ensure higher education remains accessible and affordable. Forty-three million borrowers will benefit from the

cancellation of $10,000 of student debt and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. The President's relief plan will completely eliminate student loan debt for 20 million people.
    "Canceling student loan debt is essential to closing the racial wealth gap and lowering monthly costs for Americans across the country who are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of essential goods and services. In addition, by ensuring that we cap repayment of undergraduate loans at 5 payment, this executive action will continue to ensure that everyday Americans are able to pay back their loans while still being able to invest in their futures. I applaud President Biden for continuing his commitment to strengthening our middle class and creating a more equitable America."
    The White House Brief on the measure noted that nearly 90 percent of the debt cancellation will go to those with student loans who earn less than $75,000. Thirteen percent will go to those with student loan debt who now earn $75,000 to $125,000. No one earning $125,000 or more will receive relief through this federal program.

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THREE NĒNĒ WERE PLACED IN THE HAWAI'I ISLAND NENE SANCTUARY, on the lower slopes of Mauana Kea, in early August. The state Department of Land & Natural Resources reports on these Hawaian geese: "One had a toe injury. Another had a broken leg. A third nēnē had a wing amputated."
    The 100-acre sanctuary was originally created to receive 600 Kaua‘i nēnē that were relocated to Hawai‘i Island. Every year hundreds of the geese come here to mate, nest, and prepare their chicks for fledging. The three, recently rehabilitated birds have joined a more permanent population of nēnē on a parcel of land that is landscaped just for them and where they can be observed integrating into an existing population and naturally foraging.
    On Aug. 5, Dr. Juan Guerra, the veterinarian with the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center in Kapa'au, drove two birds to the sanctuary, after they were deemed well enough to return to the wild.
 Two of three nēnē released into a sanctuary
on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Photo from DLNR
    “One had a toe injury that healed very well. I have a very good feeling that it’s going to do great in the wild. The other nēnē had a tough recovery after coming in with a broken leg. It was in our care for six-months and had multiple surgeries,” the veterinarian explained. “The bone has healed well, and I don’t think it’s going to affect the bird’s quality of life. The limp it has is more mechanical than painful, so I’m hopeful its injury will continue to heal and whatever discomfort it is having will be less over time.”
    The third bird, the one with the amputated wing, was released two weeks later and is also expected to live out its life in the sanctuary with few problems, according to the DLNR statement.
    When rehabilitated birds arrive at the sanctuary they are banded with a State of Hawai'i and federal leg band to help caregivers and researchers keep track of them. Raymond McGuire, a state Department of Fish & Wildlife biologist, oversees the sanctuary and on arrival day he bands birds and checks their overall health.
    McGuire said, “For the nēnē who have been injured and probably would not survive in the wild, we have worked over the years to have this predator-proof sanctuary where they can survive and not be harassed by predators like cats and mongoose. They can still nest if they find a mate here, so they still contribute to the genetic diversity of the population.”  McGuire added, “We provide them habitat and forage in an area that’s safe for them to nest when they’re ready to build their own families, and it’s great we can release injured birds here. There are many facets of this area that benefit nēnē island wide.”
Dr. Juan Guerra, a wildlife vet,
treated and placed three nēnē
at the sanctuary. 
    DLNR reported that the first two birds, released earlier this month, spent their first hours waddling around, exploring the lush rolling hills and pasture lands that comprise the sanctuary.
    Guerra describes the working relationship between HWC and DOFAW as priceless. “Together, we have an incredible team to respond to injured wildlife. When we get a call, we work together to get the animal the care it needs.”
    Observing the two birds he helped release on August 5th Guerra commented, “This is a renewal to my spirit. It’s our ultimate goal of getting birds back into their natural habitat. Seeing them here is great. I think this is the overall goal of conservation and we’re honored to pay our small role in that.”
    The DLNR report also states that "Nēnē become used to people, who often try to feed them. Habituation to humans leads to them getting hurt by golf balls, cars, off-leash dogs, and fishing line entanglements."

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

KA'Ū COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN handlers at County of Hawai'i are asking folks to fill out an Action Committee Engagement Survey. The county sent out a message on Tuesday saying that "in connection to the General Plan Comprehensive Review, our team is exploring improvements to our community engagement program. It is our hope to continue learning from our past experiences as we move forward by clarifying the role and guidelines for both staff and Action Committees. Our goal is to better align our process to create a meaningful and engaging way for community to partner with the County and implement the CDPs.

    "Please see the link below for the Action Committee Engagement Survey. The results of this survey will directly inform our direction moving forward; therefore, your participation is extremely important. It should only take about 10 minutes of your time. The deadline for responses is Sunday, September 18th. Please share this link with your network."
     The message provided this link to the Action Committee Engagement Survey and urged citizens to "be on the lookout for more information and opportunities for you to contribute to this effort as we seek to improve our community engagement practices. Mahalo for your participation!"
    The county Planing Department recently cancelled its hosting of CDP Action Committee meetings around the island and urged the CDP Action Committees to continue to be active. Kaʻū District's Community Development Plan Action Committee members are: Leina'ala Enos, Babette Morrow, Catherine Williams, Kaohinani Mokuali'i, Pernell Hanoa, Jason Masters, Kaweni Ibarra and Jessie Ke.
   The county CDP Team can be reached at cdp@hawaiicounty.gov

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

PERMITTING TO CARRY CONCEALED AND UNCONCEALED FIREARMS CHANGED with Hawai'i becoming a "shall-issue" state. On Wednesday, this county's Hawai`i Police Department announced revisions to the permitting process as a result of the July 23, 2022, Supreme Court of the United States decision in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al. v. Bruen, Superintendent Of New York State Police, et al. 
    After that decision, Gov. David Ige said, “I’m very troubled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision and
asked the Attorney General for a formal opinion on how the Court’s decision will impact the State of Hawai'i. It’s important for people to know that both concealed and open carry gun licenses are not automatically granted." The governor said that "Public safety is important to us here in Hawai'i, and we will continue to enforce our firearms laws, consistent with federal constitutional requirements, to help keep our community safe.” Hawai'i has been one of the most difficult states for obtaining firearm permits.
An organization supporting adults carrying firearms explains Hawai'i law at 
    Attorney General Holly Shikada acknowledged that the Supreme Court ruling mandates that Hawai'i make it easier to obtain permits to carry firearms. However, it is a Class B felony to carry a loaded firearm openly or concealed, including within a vehicle, if the carrier is without a Hawai'i license.
   Each county has its own permitting system through the Chief of Police and permits are non-transferable from county to county. Out of state licenses to carry, are not allowed for use in Hawai'i.
    Hawai'i County's updated application and supporting documentation forms can be downloaded from the Hawai'i Police Department’s website, hawaiipolice.com, under Services.
    All persons who wish to apply for a License to Carry a Firearm concealed or unconcealed in the County of Hawai`i must:
    Thoroughly complete the Hawai`i Police Department Application for License to Carry Firearms (Form HPD/ADMIN-039A).
    Submit a copy of the signed State of Hawai'i Firearms Registration for the specific firearm to be carried registered in the applicant’s name or in the name of the Private Security Employer.
    Submit a copy of the signed firearms proficiency test administered by a state-certified or National Rifle Association firearms instructor of the applicant’s choosing (include instructor certification). Firearms proficiency test shall be taken with the firearm to be carried (completed within 90 days prior to submittal of application). Signed shooting proficiency test results must include shooting scores (pass/fail only is not sufficient).
    Submit two front-facing, passport-sized color photographs of the applicant (taken within 30 days prior to submittal of application).
    Submit the State of Hawai'i, Adult Mental Health Division’s Authorization for Use or Disclosure of Protected Health Information form.
    For applications associated with employment purposes, a notarized statement by the private security employer that the applicant’s duties require carrying the pistol and/or revolver and is qualified to use said pistol and/or revolver. (The private security employer is expected to show urgency of need in support of each application).
    Subject must be a resident of the County of Hawai'i, have a local address, and be 21 years of age or older.
    Subject must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, a lawful permanent resident, or (if the subject is applying for a concealed carry license) a duly accredited official representative of a foreign nation. Applications and supporting documentation may be submitted in person or via mail to the Hawai‘i Police Department’s Records and Identification Section, 349 Kapiolani Street, Hilo, Hawai‘i, 96720. Any questions can be directed to Lieutenant Tuckloy Aurello of HPD's Records and Identification Section at (808) 961-2233 or via email at HCPDONE@hawaiicounty.gov
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.   

KA'Ū TROJANS TRAVELED TO WAIAKEA in Hilo for girls volleyball Tuesday: First set Waiakea
25, Kaʻū 3; second set Waiakea 25, Kaʻū 18; and third set Waiakea 25, Kaʻū 19. The next girls volleyball event is at home this Friday, Aug 26 at Kaʻū District Gym against Kea'au. Start time is 5 p.m. for JV, varsity to follow.

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