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Saturday, July 29, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, July 29, 2023

Experience Volcano Festival continues Sunday with more cultural activities, including, hula, dance, chant
art, crafts and food at many venues across Volcano Village from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. See calendar and map below.
Image from Experience Volcano Hawai'i

BILLY BARNETT WON VOLCANO'S 'OHI'A LEHUA HALF MARATHON on Saturday in 1 hour, 21 minutes and 28 seconds. The Half-marathon and 5K were the opening for the annual Experience Volcano Festival, which continues Sunday, with music, hula, food, arts, crafts and much more.
     In the Half-marathon, Patrick Stover took second in 1:23:15 David Collier took third in 1:23:31. 
     In the Women's Division, Summer Corke took first in 1:42:32. Bethany Anne Pratt took second in 1:44:54. Jamie Meaden took third in 1:45:50.
     In the 5K, Lyman Perry took first in 19 minutes and 35 seconds. Cody Smith took second in 20:05. Calvin Howell took third in 20:40.
     In the Women's 5K, Tessa Miller took first in 23.25. Annabella Anthony took second in 23:46. Shannon Postler took third in 24.02.
       See more results in upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs with photos of runners in the Volcano rainforest and open countryside. See the complete results now at https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-72105?lc=en.

MUFI HANNEMANN, former Kaʻū resident who decades ago established Punalu'u Sweet Bread bakery for C. Brewer, has been named to the Hawai'i Tourism Authority board. Gov. Josh Green, who lived at Punalu'u years later as a young physician, announced the appointment Friday. When Hannemann worked on Punalu'u's development, he lived at what is now Punalu'u Bake Shop in Nā'ālehu.  His appointment to the HTA board requires state Senate confirmation.
Mufi Hannemann
Photo by Julia Neal
    Hannemann, President and CEO of Hawai'i Lodging & Tourism Association, also serves on the U.S. Travel & Tourism Advisory Board, advising the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He is a former Mayor of Honolulu and has run for governor, coming through Kaʻū with a fundraising dinner and community meetings.
     HTA recently named Punalu'u as one of three places on the island that needs more protection and tourist education, given its popularity with visitors. HTA has sent out a Request for Proposals and plans to fund a stewardship plan. See http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2023_07_26_archive.html.
    Another member of the Hawai'i Tourism Authority board with Kaʻū connections is James McCully, of McCully Works, who owns coffee lands above Pāhala and worked with the previous owners to help the coffee farmers and other buyers acquire the farm land they rented fee simple. See his other work at mwww.mccullyworks.com.
    Other members of the HTA board appointed by Green are its Chairman, Blaine Miyasato, who awaits Senate confirmation, and manages government affairs for Hawaiian Airlines; Mahina Paishon Duarte, co-founder Waiwai Collective and co-author of the ‘Aina Aloha Economic Futures declaration; and James Kunane Tokioka, head of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. Other members are: Sig Zane, CEO of Sig Zane Designs; David Z. Arakawa, Executive Director, Land Use Research Foundation of Hawai‘i; Stephanie Iona, a Civil Engagement Consultant; Kimberly Agas, General Manager of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa; Dylan Ching, VP of Operations for TS Restaurants; Mike White, GM for Ka'anapali Beach Hotel & The Plantation Inn; and Sherry Menor-McNamara, President & CEO of Chamber of Commerce Hawai'i.

Mufi Hannemann years ago after establishing the sweetbread
 bakery in Nā'ālehu. Photo from Hannemann
HAWAI'I: Hannemann, the recent appointment by Gov. Josh Green to the Hawai'i Tourism Authority Board, wrote in 2017 about his enthusiasm for starting A small business in a rural place like Kaʻū:
    "One of the best projects that I worked on during my stint on the Big Island was the establishment of the Punalu'u Sweet Bread Bake Shop and Visitor Center at the plantation managers house that I resided in while living in Nā'ālehu . (Talk about working your way out of a house and I don't even bake.
    "We took a local recipe that was the basis of the ono- licious Punalu'u sweet bread and parlayed it into a successful small business enterprise synonymous with the district of Kaʻū. Today the business has expanded and flourished under the ownership of Duane Kurisu and is frequented by locals and visitors alike. Sweet bread and the other baked products are marketed throughout the state and they have become a popular omiyage item."

HAWAI'I COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE BROADCAST THIS MESSAGE ON SATURDAY: National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Hazard message for North Facing Shores, East Facing Shores, South
Facing Shores, West Facing Shores of All Hawai'i Island District(s) of Hawaii Island beginning 2 p.m. on Sunday through 6 p.m. Wednesday.
     A Coastal Hazard message means minor coastal flooding is expected. Residents in low lying coastal areas are advised:
    The most dangerous time for flooding is between noon and 6 p.m. Avoid driving through flooded roadways. Move electronics, vehicles, and other valuables to higher ground. Secure canoes, or other watercraft stowed on beaches. Boat owners should monitor vessels to ensure mooring lines don't get to tight and be aware of overwash around boat ramps. See more on Hawai'i County Hazard Impact Map:

HAWAI'I VETERANS EXPOSED TO NUCLEAR TESTING OR TO TOXINS IN GULF AND VIETNAM WARS and their survivors are urged by Congressman Ed Case to file for benefits by Wednesday, Aug. 9. Those who can not file by then can submit an intent to file.
    Case wrote that the PACT Act of August 2022, which stands for Promise to Address Comprehensive
Toxics: Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care to certain diseases linked to exposures to toxins during service in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars and post-9/11 era as well as in nuclear testing. It adds more than 20 presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic exposures. It adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation. It requires the VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in VA health care. It helps improve research, staff education and treatment related to toxic exposures.
    The PACT Act is one of the largest VA health care and benefit expansions ever. While there is no deadline for filing, PACT Act claims, in order for any benefits to also be paid back to the date of
the law’s enactment, those claims must be filed by August 9, 2023.
    Case, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and of its Subcommittee on
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (2019-2023) and Subcommittee on Defense (2023-), said he 
was honored to co-introduce and vote for the PACT Act to "keep our promise to our nation’s veterans, but this law is only as good as our veterans and survivors gaining full access to authorized benefits including back pay and care where eligible. I want to ensure that all eligible Hawaiʻi veterans and their survivors not only apply for PACT Act benefits but do so by August 9th to qualify for the retroactive benefits.
    “The VA has also consistently said that even if veterans and survivors are uncertain whether they are eligible for PACT Act benefits, they should apply anyway,” continued Case. He urged any veterans with need or questions about PACT to contact his office at (808) 650- 6688 or ed.case@mail.house.gov.
    Go to https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/ to file PACT Act claim or intent to file. 

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Five thousand in the mail, 2,500 on the street.
See the July edition of The Kaʻū Calendar Newspaper