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Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, April 4, 2023

This bright, shiny, red 1937 Ford pick-up with a Chevy engine under its hood was proudly displayed by Neil Felton of Ocean View.  He has owned it since 1972 and has rebuilt it twice in that time. In 2010 Felton retired from his job as a machinist at Keck Observatory and now owns a machine shop where he can make parts for vintage cars. Photo by Annie Bosted
THE CLASSIC CAR & BIKE SHOW IN OCEAN VIEW on Saturday drew 16 gleaming vintage cars and
The owner of 16 bikes, Gilbert Smith of Kealakekua proudly poses
 beside a chopper that he created for his grandson, Uriah, age 7.
 Smith took four months to build it.  He is the owner of Chopper
Express, which makes and repairs chopper motorcycles.

Photo by Annie Bosted
more than 30 motorcycles, to the delight of an enthusiastic crowd numbering about 380. Organizers Dennis and Evie Custard led the effort with support of Koa Puna Motorcycle Club.    
    Winners of trophies included Mike and Kathy Haber for Peoples' Choice for Bikes for their 1948 Harley Davidson. Peoples' Choice for Cars went to Peter Comandini for his white Cadillac Coup de Ville. Dan Washburn won the Best Modification for a Bike for his yellow 1977 Panhead Harley Davidson.
    Sponsors included L&L Hawaiian Bar B Que, which donated food and the Pepsi Co. which donated 400 drinks including Gatorade, water and soda.
    Prizes for lucky attendees included three vouchers from The Grinz, two seat covers from Ocean View Auto Parts, whiskey from the President of Koa Puna, and a pound of Ka'u Coffee, valued at $50, from the Kahuku Gift & Garden Shop.
   About $1,400 was raised during the event, of which $840 went to the Ocean View Skatepark Project. According to a hand-out, the organizers of the skatepark project are "striving to help unify the growing Ocean View community and advance activity-based options for Ka'u with a free-to-use public skatepark."
This sleek, white, beautifully contoured 1959 Cadillac Coup de Ville – restored to mint condition – won the Peoples' Choice
 award at the Ocean View show. Pete Comandini of Waikaloa has owned the iconic classic for five years. Photo by Annie Bosted

OCEAN VIEW SKATEPARK ASSOCIATION received $840 in donations from the Classic Car & Bike Show at Ocean View Community Center last Saturday. The organization continues its fundraising online and through events around the community. It's website states: 
Ocean View Skatepark enthusiasts raised money at
the Classic Car & Bike Show. Photo by Annie Bosted
    "Our project has grown from a grassroots effort to a community-wide initiative that has been approved to build. With a site location secured, we are working on designing a skatepark that will best serve the needs of our community. Our goal is to create a space that is inclusive, fun, and encourages skateboarding as a positive outlet for youth.
    "We believe that our mission aligns with the values of the Skatepark Foundation (formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation), as we aim to provide opportunities for young people to stay active, build confidence, and develop a sense of community through skateboarding."
    Youth involved with the Skatepark project took their plans to the office of Mayor Mitch Roth late last year for a presentation. The effort would build the skatepark at the Kahuku county park lands. See the Ocean View Skatepark Program website with a donation link at https://oceanviewskatepark.org/

POLICE ARRESTED 18 FOR DUI during the week of March 27 through April 2. Hawai`i Island police made the arrest of 18 motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Four of the drivers were involved in a traffic accident. None were under the age of 21.  
    So far this year, there have been 266 DUI arrests compared with 283 during the same period last year, a decrease of 6.0 percent.
    Hawai‘i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section reviewed all updated crashes and found 235 major crashes so far this year compared with 187 during the same period last year, an increase of 25.7 percent.
   To date, there have been four fatal crashes, resulting in five fatalities, (Rvsd. 02/07/23: one fatal crash reclassified—manner of death was due to natural causes) and (one fatal crash had multiple deaths); compared with 10 fatal crashes, resulting in 12 fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths) for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 60 percent for fatal crashes, and 58.3 percent for fatalities.
   Hawai'i Police Department promises that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue islandwide.

with a hearing coming up on Wednesday. Volcano resident Marsha Hee urges area residents to send in
testimony. She provided her testimony:
Image from www.campaignlegal.org
    "SB1543 SD2 HD1 establishes a comprehensive system of public financing for all candidates seeking election to state and county public offices in the State of Hawaii, to begin with the 2026 general election year. This measure would provide participating candidates with competitive amounts of funding they need to run an effective campaign.
    "It's crucially important that this body does everything in its power to remove the influence money has on our politics. Corruption is far too rampant in Hawai'i and the pay-to-play behavior of our politicians needs to end now. Money in politics holds back progress on all the issues important to local working families: from affordable housing, to cost of living, to protecting our environment, and more.
    "Public financing of elections is one of the most important ways to free our state political system from undue influence from corporations, businesses, and special interest groups, and focus on important concerns from constituents."
    To see more testimony, to submit testimony and for a link to the public hearing which begins at 2 p.m. online on Wednesday, go to https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=1543&year=2023

THIS IS NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK THROUGH APRIL 9. Hawaiʻi County joins Hawaiʻi District Health Offices of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health for the celebration, "which recognizes the community's progress through the global COVID-19 crisis, as the country is set to end its federal Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023. Despite the challenges faced, communities across Hawaiʻi
Island were able to maintain one of the lowest COVID-19-related death rates in the nation. At the same time, existing health disparities in the community were clearly highlighted throughout," says a statement from the County.
    "Throughout the pandemic, we have learned that we are much stronger when we encourage and selflessly support one another," said Mayor Mitch Roth. "As we officially move forward from the Public Health Emergency, our county will continue to focus on communities to protect, prioritize, and influence the future of public health. We invite public health professionals, students, elected leaders, activists, and residents to join us and make our island more sustainable, equitable, safe, and healthy for all."
    Hawaiʻi District Health Officer John Kolman, Ph.D said, "Across the nation, there are more than 200,000 local and state public health professionals with various roles in protecting and improving the health and environment for all Americans. Our Hawaiʻi District Health Offices represent just 100
dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to serve the island's public health with over 200,000 residents. We work in various settings including disease prevention and investigation, laboratory, vector control, food safety, mental health service, maternal health service, and case management for individuals with a developmental disability.
    "Our work is extremely challenging if we don't have the community's support. We are grateful for the partnership with healthcare providers, volunteers, community-based organizations, businesses, and residents."
    A DOH open house where residents are invited and encouraged to engage with various DOH program representatives and other local organizations providing public health services is set for this Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hilo State Office Building, 75 Aupuni St.