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Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023

Increased regulation of fireworks is in the future with a bill becoming law Jan. 1 that requires all county fire departments to
 report fireworks licensing and sales to the Hawai'i Legislature each year. Photo by Julia Neal

    Act 15 repeals and eliminates the deferred payment purchase option for cigarette tax stamps. It requires 
licensees to pay for stamps at the time of purchase using cash, certified check, or bank transfer.
    Act 47 establishes ranked-choice voting, where voters can choose candidates from first to last, so the winner is the candidate who ranks highest in the number of votes cast. A candidate with a majority of first choice votes wins. If there is no winner with more than 50 percent, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. The second-choice votes for the eliminated candidate are counted - that repeats until a candidate wins with a majority
    Act 49 requires the auditor of fireworks and articles pyrotechnic records for each county fire department to submit to the Legislature an annual report detailing inventory, recordkeeping, and sales of fireworks to license or permit holders.

Hawai'i, at $3.20 per pack, has one of the highest cigarette taxes
 in the country and is further regulating issuance of cigarette
stamps to vendors. Image from Wikipedia
    Act 56 Establishes provisions relating to peer-to-peer insurance coverage.
    Act 57 establishes requirements and permitting procedures for transportation network companies operating in the State. Makes permanent insurance requirements for transportation network companies and transportation network company drivers.
    Act 58 establishes provisions relating to care obligation of insurers and producers.
    Act 62 amends provisions relating to contents of declarations under condominiums laws.
    Act 69 establishes provisions relating to cumulative voting for directors under the planned community associations law.
    Act 76 amends provisions relating to cooperation between the Department of Taxation and county liquor commissions.
    Act 88 regulates the purchase of catalytic converters by used motor vehicle parts dealers and palladium, platinum, and rhodium by scrap dealers and recyclers. Subjects persons who violate related provisions to a class C felony. Establishes the felony offense of theft of catalytic converter.

It is no longer legal in Hawai'i to release balloons lighter than air.

    Act 94 amends provisions relating to operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant under use of intoxicants while operating a vehicle law.
    Act 97 establishes a statewide interoperable communications executive committee and subcommittee for public safety communications and the position of the statewide interoperable communications coordinator. Defines "interoperable communications".
  Act 141 prohibits the intentional release of balloons inflated with a gas that is lighter than air.
    Act 159 extends the renewal period from two years to four years for drivers who are seventy-two years of age or older but younger than eighty years of age.
    Act 161 establishes an Accessible Parking Special Account within the Disability and Communication Access Board Special Fund. Increases the state annual vehicle registration fee by $1 and requires that $1 from each annual vehicle registration fee be deposited into the Accessible Parking Special Account.
    Act 165 requires state legislators and employees to complete mandatory live or online ethics training courses every four years, subject to certain requirements.
    Act 169 establishes provisions relating to donors; consent; notice.
    Act 217 establishes provisions relating to withholding of tax by persons claiming the motion picture, digital media, and film production income tax credit under the general excise tax law.

    Act 218 amends provisions relating to the taxation board of review; appointment; removal, compensation.
    Act 283 prohibits elected state and county officials from holding any fundraiser event to raise contributions for which any price is charged or any contribution is suggested for attendance during a regular session or special session of the state legislature.
    Act 286 adopts a new Hawaiʻi Code of Military Justice to promote order and discipline in the state military forces by fostering an independent military justice system and updating nonjudicial punishment and courts-martial procedures.
    Act 298 subjects U-drive motor vehicles to the same motor vehicle registration fees as other motor vehicles. Authorizes the counties to use certain motor vehicle registration fees to mitigate and address the impacts of tourism-related traffic congestion

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John Ah San discusses land security with Congressman Kai Kahele as coffee
 farmers moved toward owning their own land. Photo by Hanale Lee Loy
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF KAI KAHELE IN THE U.S. CONGRESS are outlined in a statement from his Chief of Staff Christy Wagner. Issued on Monday, the review notes that Kahele's term in the 117th Congress will come to an end the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 3 when Jill Tokuda is sworn in. Kahele refrained from running for a second term.
    During his term, Kahele frequently visited Ka'ū and Miloli'i, a place of his family roots. He met with community, participated in strategy and provided staff support regarding the acquisition of Ka'ū Coffee
farms, COVID vaccinations and health screenings, preservation of historic sites and coastal lands, improving education at schools and through culturally based organizations, and more.
    The statement calls the 1117 Congress where Kahele served "the most productive Congress since President Johnson's Great Society accomplishments two generations ago—and under the leadership of President Joe Biden and Democratic control of both chambers of Congress—the 117th Congress delivered historic results for the American people and the State of Hawaiʻi."
    It lists these major pieces of federal legislation: The American Rescue Plan; The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act; The Inflation Reduction Act; The CHIPS and Science Act;The Honoring our PACT Act; The Safer Communities Act and The Respect for Marriage Act.
    The statement says that Kahele delivered over $26 million in community project federal funding to Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District. which includes Ka'ū and all of rural Hawai'i. The funding supports nonprofits, county and state priority projects, and Federally Qualified Health Centers on every island.
    Kahele is the 18th person to serve in Congress representing the State of Hawaiʻi since Statehood. His time in elected office comes to an end after serving one term in Congress and two terms in the Hawaiʻi Senate following his appointment and election to the seat following the untimely death of his father, the state Sen. Gilbert Kahele.
    On the final day of the 117th Congress, Congressman Kahele and his senior staff shared a video message to thank the constituents and communities throughout the 2nd Congressional District of Hawaiʻi.

Kai Kahele returns to employment as a full time pilot
 with Hawaiian Airlines after leaving Congress on
 Tuesday. Photo from Kahele
    "It has been my greatest honor to serve as your United States Representative for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District," said Kahele. "Just two years ago, I was sworn into office with my wife Maria and our daughters by my side holding the personal bible of Sen. Daniel Kahikina Akaka. Two years later, as I leave Washington, I am extremely proud of the work Team Kahele accomplished and the aloha spirit we brought to our nation's capital." See https://youtu.be/kwq3TFG9X0o
    The statement notes that with the conclusion of the 117th Congress, Congressman Kahele will return to full time employment as a Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 Captain and continue his service to Hawaiʻi and the Nation as a Lt. Colonel in the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard, where he currently is a graduate student in the United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania.
    Kahele and the Communications Directors of Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District Office stated that they would "like to thank the Hawaiʻi media and local news organizations for their tireless work throughout the 117th Congress to keep the people of Hawaiʻi informed on federal issues that affect the State of Hawaiʻi."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.


St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View.

   Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Masks and social distancing required.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day, according to OKK President Wayne Kawachi.


Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.

Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

'O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner of Kona Drive and Highway 11, where Thai Grindz is located. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no reservations needed. Parking in the upper lot only. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.

Ocean View Swap Meet at Ocean View makai shopping center, near Mālama Market. Hours for patrons are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Vendor set-up time is 5 a.m. Masks required.

The Book Shack is open every Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Kauaha'ao Congregational Church grounds at 95-1642 Pinao St. in Wai'ōhinu.