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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Caring for soil to grow food is taught in Kohala Center programs. Kohala Center will be a collaborator in the new 
 Islands & Remote Area USDA Regional Food Business Center. Photo from Kohala Center

AN ISLANDS & REMOTE AREA USDA REGIONAL FOOD BUSINESS CENTER will be established in Hawai'i. According to a USDA statement released Tuesday, the center will play a rule "in supporting indigenous farmers, ranchers, and food businesses and promoting food security in isolated islands and remote areas....The goal of these Centers is to help farmers, ranchers, and other food businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state, and local resources, thereby closing the gaps to success."

    To kick off the Regional Food Business Center in this area, USDA Deputy Undersecretary Mae Wu visited Hawai'i on Tuesday and announced that the organizer of the Center in these islands will be Hawai'i Good Food Center in Wai'anae. While it is based on O'ahu, it is tasked with helping to expand nutrition security throughout the islands by supporting farmers, ranchers and food businesses in the Asia American Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander community.               
    Twelve Regional Food Business Centers across the country will receive $400 million in funding and serve Hawaiʻi, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hawai'i Island based collaborators with Hawai'i Good Food Center include The Kohala Center, The Food Basket and UH College of Tropical Agriculture.

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HAWAI'I-PHILIPPINES BUSINESS ECONOMIC COUNCIL reminds local farms, ranches and businesses of the workforce available from the Philippines. It will host an online session on June 7 at 4 p.m. Hawaiian time and June 8 at 10 a.m. Philippines time. It's called Workforce Recruitment Trends: How Filipinos Continue to Support the World's Labor Pool. The Council invites people to "Learn how the Filipino Diaspora came about—how a Philippine company found the right talents for global needs." It also invites listeners to learn how the Hawai'i state Department of Education has recruited Filipinos to work in Hawai'i's schools. Panelists include:
    Bennette Misalucha, Executive Director of Hawai’i’s Workforce Development Council and former state Senator. She has held executive positions in banking, marketing, public policy and community outreach sectors, often pioneering roles for women and minorities which have brought her several awards and distinction. Her work experiences include VP and Regional Director for Government & Community Relations for Actus Lend Lease, LLC, and Senior Vice President at Central Pacific Bank. Early in her

career, Misalucha was a television reporter and news producer, in Hawai’i at KHON Channel 2 News and the Philippines.
    James Urbaniak, Lead Teacher Recruiter for the Hawai’i state Department of Education. He attended Rutgers University for his undergraduate and graduate education and moved to Hawai'i in 2007 to teach middle school English. Following several years in the classroom becoming a union organizer HSTA teachers union, he transitioned to teacher recruitment and now oversees the hiring of all public-school teachers statewide. Urbaniak says he is passionate about international teacher recruitment and leads the J-1 Visa Program with Department of State Visa Sponsor Alliance Abroad Group, Inc and Foreign Cultural Exchange Consultants Inc. to recruit teachers from the Philippines
    Winnie Ferrer, a public relations consultant with PARMAN INC. a Philippine-based workforce recruiter that has sent 30,000+ Filipino workers to all corners of the world to operate cranes build bridges, dig wells, and maintain power plants--from oil rigs to hotels, skyscrapers to naval facilities. Since its inception in the 1970s the company has found the right Filipino talent to fit global needs and fomented the Filipino Diaspora. This company is a family-run business founded by her dad, Juanito N. Ferrer, a retired colonel. Ferrer began his career as Baguio’s City Engineer in 1950 and went on to become the Secretary for Public Works under the Aquino administration.
    Tim Mobley, President of Connext Global Solutions, a business process outsourcing firm. Connext was established in 2014 to address specific pain points experienced in the traditional outsourcing model. The company has grown from a local business services provider to a booming global enterprise with a growth rate exceeding 80%. Since 2019, it has doubled its growth and now support middle-market companies across the US and Europe. Its support centers are located at Angeles & Davao in the Philippines. Mobley graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point, with an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
    Register for the zoom meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsf-CtrD8pEt1gveT6STrEvDFQYETajGYo#/registration. See more on Hawai'i Philippines Business Council at hpbec.com.

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EVOLUTION OF KAPĀPALA RANCH will be the subject of a talk and slide-show presentation this month at Volcano Art Center.  It's set for Thursday, June 22 in the Art Center’s Dietrich Varez Hall. The talk is free but donations are welcome. The time is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
History of Kapapala Ranch will be the topic at
Volcano Art Center on June 22. Photo from VAC
    Lani Petrie helped to run Kapāpala Ranch with her late father and mother Gordon and Geneveve Cran under a state lease that began in 1977. She more recently took over management with her husband Bill. They will cover the ecology and history of the area, taking people on a trip through the area’s ecology and pre-history, the Great Mahele, plantation days, and more than 160 years of Kapāpala as a working ranch. Lani and Bill Petrie will also discuss the ranchʻs relationship to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, state forest reserves, Highway 11, Ohaikea, Kipuka Ki, and the recent transfer of the property to the state Department of Agriculture. 
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Monday, May 29, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, May 29, 2023

Kilauea Military Camp in Volcano flew its flags half staff until noon on Memorial Day to remember those who risked lives for the country, many of them dying in combat. At noon, KMC raised the flags to full height. Photo by Jandy Pontin/KMC
HATS OFF TO VETERANS ON MEMORIAL DAY is the message from Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The Park issued a statement saying, "We honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country by remembering their service. Our flat hats are off to these courageous service members and their families." 
National Park Service hat rests on a stone wall
for Memorial Day. NPS Photo
     National Park Service offers Gold Star Families free lifetime Military Passes. Gold Star Families can obtain passes at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park entrance station after downloading and filling out the online voucher. Active Duty U.S. military members and U.S. military veterans can also receive free lifetime Military Passes. 
    Sign up for Gold Star, veteran, and military passes:

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Col. Ellison Onizuka, the astronaut, rests at National Memorial Cemetery of the
Pacific on O'ahu, with Memorial Day flowers and flag. Photo from Gov. Josh Green
 men and women who paid the ultimate price in their service to our nation and our state. This year, we mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War and we recognize our living Korean War Veterans.
    "This occasion is solemn, but it is also a day of pride in the service that so many have given to protect the land of the free and the home of the brave." 
    He also posted a Memorial Day photo of the grave of Hawai'i Island's late Air Force Colonel Ellison Onizuka who perished in 1986 while serving as an astronaut.
    Onizuka is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on O'ahu, where the Governor attended services for Memorial Day.

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A steamy crater capture on rim of Kilauea by USGS webcam Memorial Day afternoon.
KILAUEA CALDERA STEAMED UP ON MEMORIAL DAY continuing its state of heightened unrest. USGS reports that summit seismicity remains elevated. Inflationary tilt and elevated seismicity continue at the summit.          
    Over the past several months, deformation and seismicity rates have been elevated beyond those observed preceding the Jan. 5 summit eruption.
      The elevated earthquake rates remain mostly beneath Kīlauea summit and Nāmakanipaio, with over 80 recorded in the past day. Most have been smaller than magnitude-2. The most recent SO2 emission rate of approximately 120 tonnes per day was measured on May 26.

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WELCOMING PHYSICIANS LICENSED IN OTHER STATES will become a new practice to conquer the doctor shortage. The measure is a new law awaiting the signature required from Gov. Josh Green who is also a physician.
    Hawai'i Island Community Health Center which operates the former Bay Clinic in Nā'ālehu, along with other health centers around the state and their Hawai'i Primary Care Association, helped to shepherd House Bill 666  through the 2023 Hawai'i Legislature. 
    It permits Hawai'i to join states that accept each others licenses to practice medicine in an Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.
     Mayor Mitch Roth sent in testimony supporting the streamlining of approvals for physicians licensed elsewhere to practice here.  "Hawai'i County's dire health care needs must be addressed... Hawai'i County is home to many rural communities with limited health care resources. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rural residents in the U.S. are more likely that urban residents to die prematurely due to five of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke...." The Compact is expected to shorten the licensing approval from months to weeks. The Compact already covers 37 states, Guam and D.C.

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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, May 28, 2023

County Director of Parks & Recreation Maurice Messina at right in back row with lead skate advocate and Director Travis
Aucoin with Ocean View Skatepark advocates in the front row.
Photo from OV Skatepark Assn.
OCEAN VIEW SKATEPARK ASSOCIATION reports that a new contractor has been hired for the Environmental Assessment for the location at Kahuku County Park.  County Director of Parks & Recreation Maurice Messina has named Bow Engineering, which is also involved in the Hilo skatepark. A statement from Skatepark Association says the next step is to hold a meeting with Bow Engineering, the community, and potentially skatepark designer and builder Grindline Skateparks, which is also working on the Hilo skatepark, to gather final input.
        The Association also came up with a list of ideas to incorporate into the park to encourage community involvement and support.
Location of the upcoming Ocean View
Skatepark at Kahuku County Park.
Image from OV Skatepark Assn.
     Since EA funding is secured and its completion accelerated, fundraising for construction is the primary focus with the project closer to groundbreaking. Excavating, labor, and material donations are needed, and a licensed contractor must be present on-site. Other volunteers do not need to be licensed or specifically associated with the contractor, according to Skatepark Association. Those interested in helping can contact Laura Roberts at 406-249-3351.
    The organization reports that the current savings balance for the project is $18,801. In addition to donations and funding, money is being raised through the sales of tank tops and t-shirts available at events and at Lisa's Kahuku Gift Shop in Ocean View.
    "Advocacy for Ocean View Skatepark has been ongoing for over a decade, and the project is now gaining significant momentum," notes the Association, which also released the following ideas to incorporate into the park: 
    Walking/Bike Trail; Community Garden/Food Forest; Picnic Tables; Shade Areas/Shelters; Small Outdoor Gym Fixtures; Platform for Events; Rubbish and Recycling Stations; Small Roller Skating Rink; Point of InterestWall or Plaque Honoring Contributors; Disc Golf Course; Water Features; Ninja Park; Bouldering Resin Rock for Climbing.
     To donate and for more info, see www.oceanviewskatepark.org.

Jessie Marques, founder of Ka'u Rural Health Community Association, sits
 with Mayor Mitch Roth and other health advocates. Photo from Mayor Roth
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MAYOR MITCH ROTH ATTENDED THE ANNUAL MEETING FOR KAʻŪ RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION on Friday. He recalled his days as the elected County Prosecuting Attorney and coming to Kaʻū often to work in crime prevention in Ocean View and other communities. 
    The Mayor recalled the beginnings of  Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association. He praised the founder and Chair of the organization Jessie Marques. He posted: "A huge mahalo to Aunty Jessie and the Board of Directors at the Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association for having me at your Annual Membership Meeting & Conference this morning in Pāhala.
    "I remember sitting around a table with some of the founders back when I was a community prosecutor. It’s amazing to see how far you folks have taken what was then just an idea. This organization has always been driven by an unwavering love of community. Mahalo, Aunty, for your relentless pursuit of health for the Kaʻū Community. You are a shining example of aloha, and I am honored to be able to support your great work. #RuralHealth #AuntyJessie #KauStrong."
Incoming and out-going board members of Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association. Photo from KRHCA

      Also giving a presentation was Derek Kurisu, who founded the Mountain Apple Brand of local fresh foods at the KTA stores. Kurisu has been commencement speaker at several Kaʻū High graduations and is known for his cooking show on television and his food demonstrations. Gov. Josh Green provided a virtual message.
      New boardmembers are Hannah Canosa, Shona Compoc, Rochel Davis, Akira Edmoundson, Richard Escabilo, Krystalyne Gascon, Billie Hiraishi, Michelle Hiraishi and Maria Lemus. Outgoing boardmembers are Stacyn Sakuma, President; Donna Kekoa, VP; Suzan Shrethsa, Treasurer; Angie Miyashiro, Secretary; and Directors Brynn Alcine, Otis Salmo, Jennifer Shrestha, Brenda Martin and Michelle Hiraishi.
      Agencies and nonprofits who presented at the meeting were Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Hawai'i Island Community Health Center, Hawai'i County Parks & Recreation, Hawai'i Police Department, Brain Health Hawai'i. CU Hawai'i Federal Credit Union, Laulima Therapy, Alzheimers Association, Hilo Medical Center, Ka'u Hospital & Rural Health Clinic, Department of Education, and Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
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TOWNHALL MEETINGS WITH MAYOR MITCH ROTH BEGIN TUESDAY, May 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Yano Hall in South Kona with livestream available at facebook.com/himayormitch and on Nā Leo TV, Channel 55. Sustainable Horizons: Mayor Roth's Community Impact Check-in is the title of his meetings around the island.  He is expected to announce his dates for the Kaʻū area during the first meeting at Yano Hall.
    "We have surpassed the midway point of our term, and we are humbled by the tremendous progress we have achieved together in building a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island, where our children can thrive and succeed for generations to come," said the Mayor. "That's why we are eager to visit our communities and share the work we have done while seeking feedback on the issues that matter most to each individual community. We are excited to exchange ideas and foster collaboration towards solutions that will have a lasting impact on our residents' lives."
    A statement from his office says, "The town hall series aims to establish a platform where residents can stay informed about local initiatives, express their concerns, and actively contribute to shaping the future of their respective communities."
     The first half-hour of the event will feature Roth and cabinet members providing updates on the county's progress and direction with site-specific information relevant to their community. The remaining hour and a half will be dedicated to a Q&A session, enabling attendees to pose questions directly to department representatives and receive responses from subject matter experts.
    Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so residents are advised to arrive early to secure their spot and be part of this critical community dialogue.
The Wizard of Oz was the first production of Na'alehu
Elementary Drama Club. Photo by Amy Kivuyo
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NĀ'ĀLEHU ELEMENTARY DRAMA CLUB produced its first play in May, before school let out for Summer. The play was The Wizard of Oz, the remix. 
    The production included students performing the drama, as well as a rap. Soloists who performed Somewhere Over the Rainbow were Tagataoletuiatua Palu-Soares, Chalana Hao and Kenneth Jello.
    Hannah Bernard directed the play. Laisani Kivuyo and Cassidy Ellis played Dorothy, Shaire Blanco and Julieann Miller played the Wicked Witch. Rylan Castaneda and Heavenly Jara played Glinda. Ethan Hiebler and Taivyn Hu-Jara played Scarecrow. Tagataoletuiatua Palu-Soares and Leighanna Oliveira-Farias played Tinman. Dalton Brumaghim and Lexa-Marie Mayo played Oz. 
Na'alehu Elementary Drama Club goes to Oz.
Photo by Amy Kivuyo
    Guards were played by Melissa Saldona, Jacee Amaral, Jochelle Koi and Chalana Hao.
     Mahealani-Rose Lee played Auntie Em. Lennox Naboa-Duque played Uncle Henry. The Lollipop League players were Lydia Gherity, Arhiana Bivings, Maile Pestana, Azariah Kala-Bosque, Mycah Salmo and Isaac Salmo.
   Students read proverbs from the cultures represented at the school. Kenneth Jello read the Marshallese, Chalana Hao the Hawaiian,  Tagataoletuiatua Palu-Soares the Samoan, Shaire      Blanco the Filipino, and Mia Miranda the Spanish. 

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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, May 27, 2023

Five new Deputy Sheriffs will be assigned to Hawai'i Island, following their graduation May 26 with the pinning on of
badges after training on O'ahu. Photo from Hawai'i Sheriffs

AN ARREST FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER IN OCEAN VIEW followed a shooting Saturday afternoon that left a 32-year-old Ocean View man in critical condition.
    Shortly after 2:30 p.m., Kaʻū patrol officers responded to a report of a man with a gunshot wound at a residence in the 92-8000 block of Leilani Parkway in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. Upon arrival, officers determined that the victim had received three gunshot wounds as a result of an altercation between himself and a neighbor.

    The victim was transported by Hawai'i Fire Department medics to Kona Community Hospital, where he was reported to be in critical but stable condition and expected to be transferred to Queens Medical Center on O'ahu for further treatment.
    The suspect, 47-year-old Thomas Allen of Ocean View, was taken into custody without incident by  Kaʻū patrol officers shortly after 3 p.m.
    Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigation Section responded to the scene and are continuing the investigation.
    Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact the non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Donovan Kohara at (808) 326-4646, ext. 238, or email him at Donovan.Kohara@hawaiicounty.gov.

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FIVE NEW DEPUTY SHERIFFS will be assigned to Hawai'i Island. They graduated from their state Sheriff's Division training program in Honolulu on Friday through the state Public Safety Department and state Department of Law Enforcement. Officials, family members and friends gathered at the State Capitol Auditorium  to witness graduation of Law Enforcement Recruit Class (LERC) 22-02 for Deputy Sheriffs. Thirteen new deputies were added to the Sheriff Division and will be assigned to positions across the state.

    The Sheriff Division is led by Hawai'i State Sheriff Mark Hanohano and Public Safety Director Tommy Johnson. The Sheriff Division website says it carries out law enforcement services statewide. Its mission is to preserve the peace by protecting all persons and property within premises under the control of the Judiciary and all State facilities; providing process services and execution of court documents; handling detained persons; and providing secure transportation for persons in custody. It also provides law enforcement services at the Honolulu International Airport.
    Sheriffs are involved at various stages of the criminal justice system. At the initial stage, they arrest, book and process persons entering the system. At the police cellblock, they secure, escort and transport detainees. They escort, secure and transport juvenile and adult inmates to inter-island and intra-state destinations for court appearances.

Hawai'i Sheriffs graduating class on Friday, with five coming to work on Hawai'i island. 
Photo from Hawai'i Sheriffs
    They serve arrest warrants and other documents, and execute writs of possession. Deputy sheriffs conduct criminal and civil investigations on cases that occur within the jurisdiction of State entities. They also conduct records verification and background checks.
    Sheriff's Division is the lead agency of the State Law Enforcement Coalition, which was formed to meet the mandates of the federal Homeland Security Act. The coalition implements federal guidelines on issues related to weapons of mass destruction.
    With the heightened call for the security of waterways and harbors, the Division has been assisting the Department of Transportation Harbors Division with security and law enforcement functions. Additionally, through its specialized canine unit, the Division is responsible for detecting narcotics and explosives in agencies within the Judiciary, the department’s correctional facilities, and other state and county agencies that request those services.
   Sheriffs also provide executive protection services to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and, when requested, national and international dignitaries. Although the functions and duties of deputy sheriffs vary in scope and nature, all Sheriff Division staff work in conjunction with other federal, state, and county law enforcement agencies to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all citizens in the State of Hawai'i.
    On Friday, new deputies received graduation certificates, followed by recitation of the Oath of Office and the Sheriff badge presentation. A family pinned the badge on each new Deputy Sheriff. Also honored was a criminal investigator from Department of Taxation, who attended the full law enforcement recruit class. He received a certification of completion. DoTAX will also have two additional investigators included in upcoming class which is set to begin in July.
    “The recruits endured six months of intensive physical and academic training to get to this day as newly sworn in members of the Sheriff Division,” said the State Sheriff. “On behalf of the Division, I extend my congratulations and wish you well as you begin to carry out your duties to keep our community safe.”
     The recruits were trained in more than 1,000 hours of academic instruction and practical testing in constitutional and criminal law, ethical uses of force, physical fitness, traffic enforcement, firearms and physical control tactics.
     Student awards for Top Gun, Physical Fitness, Leadership, Academic Average and the Distinguished Recruit were also handed out to the recruits who ranked at the top of their class in those areas.
The new deputies will be sent out to work in various positions throughout the state. Eight will be assigned to Oʻahu and five to Hawaiʻi Island.

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Kaukau 4 Keiki registration begins Monday,
 June 5. Photo from Kaukau 4 Keiki
SIGN UP FOR KAUKAU 4 KEIKI. This Summer's program aims to provide seven days of USDA-approved shelf-stable foods and fresh produce to families in Kaʻū for six weeks, starting from June 19 and running through July 28. The program ensures that families receive breakfast and lunch menu items each week.
    Vibrant Hawai'i and Resilience Hubs in Volcano, Pāhala, Nā'ālehu, Ocean View, and Miloli'i will be serving the Kaʻū area, in addition to 31 other distribution sites islandwide.
    Weekly pickups will take place at the following locations:
Cooper Center in Volcano, located at 19-4030 Wright Road;
Pāhala Hongwanji, situated at 96-1123 Pa'a'au Place;
Nā'ālehu Hongwanji, found at 96-5695 Highway 11;
Ocean View, at 92-1421 Princess Kaiulani Blvd; and
Miloli'i Halau, located at 89-1825 Miloli'i Road.
    Registration for the Kaukau 4 Keiki program will officially open on Monday, June 5th at 8:30 a.m. To register, visit www.vibranthawaii.org/kaukau4keiki. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis."

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THIS TUESDAY MAY 30 IS THE DEADLINE FOR MAKI SUSHI ORDERS. This fundraiser aims to support Pāhala Hongwanji Taiko, which is hosting a free performance of the Peaceful Forest Ensemble featuring Takumi Kato and family on Saturday, June 24 at 11:30 a.m. The sushi pickup will also take place on June 24.
    To order Maki Sushi rolls priced at $6 each, contact Lois Yukota at 909-987-6025 or Kayo Munnerlyn at 808-954-1187