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Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023

Over the years, Kaʻū Rural Health Community Associationhas offered classes in many health disciplines, including financial competency and Certified Nurses Assistant training. Photo from KRHCA

KAʻŪ RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY will be celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Pāhala Community Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Founder Jessie Marques will join many of those who have served with the organization. There will be cultural demonstrations, music, food and door prizes.
    Donations received at the event will go to Hawai'i Community Foundation's Maui Strong Fund.
    The slogan of the organization is Nana I Ke Kumu O Ka'u - Look to the source of Kaʻū. Over the years, Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association has been involved in clean air testing and initiatives, including effects of ash and other volcanic pollutants on the population and its children. It has encouraged and
Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association, which hosts a community
 celebration for its 25th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 18, from10 a.m. to 
2 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center, received a check in May, held by
founder Jessie Marques, from CU Hawai'i Federal Credit Union. 
Photo by Julia Neal
helped to sponsor Certified Nurses Training Assistant education and many more initiatives involving health in Kaʻū.
    The KRHCAI website says, "Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association, Inc. is a community-based membership 501 (c) 3 tax exempt non-profit charitable organization which evolved as a direct result of a community grassroots coalition to preserve access to quality healthcare in rural communities. In 1998, the grassroots coalition was successful in keeping Kaʻū  hospital’s 24-hour emergency room services open.         
    "The coalition formally established KRHCAI as a community-based membership organization and received its 501 (c)3 status in November of 1998.
    "Our purpose is to support and promote community empowerment, capacity building, collaborative partnerships and a healthy community by focusing on Health, Education, Research Opportunities and Economic Sustainability (HEROES)."
    The organization's website names the following on its staff and board: Executive Director Jessie Marques and Office Manager Theresa Richardson; Board Pres. Michelle Hiraishi, Vice Pres. Maria Lemus, Sec. Krystalyn Gascon, and Treasurer Billie Hiraishi; and Directors Shona Compoc, Rochelle Davis, Hannah Canosa and Richard Estabilio.

A HEALTH EDUCATION FAIR IN OCEAN VIEW WILL BE HELD to press the cause of November being Diabetes Month. The date is Thursday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at Ocean View Community Center. There will be free glucose screeing and information, diabetes education, alternative recipes for Thanksgiving, free Narcan and Narcan education. Hawai'i Hawai'i Health Center - Kaʻū Patient Applications. Sign up for Tele-Health. Also learn, experience Ma'i Movement.
    Sponsors are Kaʻū Hospital &  and East Hawai'i Health Clinic - Kaʻū. For more information call Salena Espejo at 808-932-4205.

HAWAI'I IS THE STATE WITH THE HIGHEST DEBT INCREASE, according to a study by WalletHub released on Wednesday. WalletHub described the situation this way: "Hawaiians had the largest debt increase in Q3 2023 at $1,093 per household. With the state’s remote location, limited land availability, and high demand for goods and services, Hawai'i is known for having a high cost of living. This can make it challenging for residents to make ends meet, leading many to rely on credit and loans to help cover costs for housing, groceries, transportation, and other essentials.
    Hawai'i’s economy heavily depends on tourism, making crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Maui wildfires far more devastating to their financial security. The state’s job market does not offer the same diversity of employment opportunities found on the mainland, limiting residents’ job choices and income potential."
   Hawai'i, in having the highest debt increase, is followed by California, Colorado and Utah. States with the lowest debt increase in 3Q are West Virginia with the least, followed by Mississippi, Okahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas.

SEVENTEEN WERE ARRESTED OCT. 30 - NOV. 5 FOR DUI. Hawai`i Island police arrested the motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Six drivers were involved in a traffic collision.
One was under the age of 21. So far this year, there have been 813 DUI arrests compared with 845 during the same period last year. This is a decrease of 3.8 percent.
    Hawai’i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section reviewed all updated crashes and found 714 major collisions so far this year compared with 698 during the same period last year, an increase of 2.3 percent.
    To date, there have been 14 fatal crashes, resulting in 15 fatalities, one with multiple deaths; compared with 30 fatal crashes, resulting in 32 fatalities one with multiple deaths and one reclassified to a medical condition for the same time last year. This represents a decrease of 53.3 percent for fatal crashes, and 53.1 percent for fatalities.
    To date, the non-traffic fatality count so far this year is one compared to 0 non-traffic fatalities (not on a public roadway) for the same time last year.
    Police promise that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

A VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION WILL BE HELD on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. sponsored by ‘O Ka‘ū Kākou. OKK President and veteran Wayne Kawachi said there will be music with Sonny Ramos, a free lunch and drinks as well as door prizes.

Kaʻū News Briefs Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park posted this photo of a hiker navigating a rocky, dry trail with the Pacific Ocean on the horizon,
 as the Park opens and closes roads, trails and campgrounds with the rise and fall of threat levels for wildfires. 
Photo by M. Szoenyi/NPS
HAWAI‘I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK HAS REOPENED Hilina Pali Road to vehicles at the Chain of Craters Road intersection but it remains closed to cars past the Mauna Iki Trailhead due to severe wildfire risk. Kulanaokuaiki Campground has reopened but fire restrictions remain in effect. Mauna Loa Road remains closed to vehicles past the intersection at Kīpukapuaulu. Hikers, bikers, and backcountry overnight users with a permit are allowed in both closures.
AS DROUGHT CONTINUES, MAYOR MITCH ROTH issued a statement at the end of the recent Wildfire Red Flag Warning period from the National Weather Service.
    The Red Flag led to an emergency proclamation banning outdoor flames and fires and other cautionary measures including a ban on parking on dry grass after travel. The restrictions ran from Kaʻū up the west side of the island.         
    The Mayor said, “We extend our gratitude to the community for their steadfast vigilance and preparedness during this warning period. It is humbling to live in a place where our community continues to go above and beyond to keep each other safe. Although the warning period is over, we are counting on our residents to continue doing what is in the best interest of us all.
    “While the specific mandated rules attached to the emergency proclamation will no longer be mandatory, the County would like to emphasize that residents remain urged to exercise caution and remain vigilant to ensure everyone’s safety."

ON AQUARIUM FISH COLLECTION and to send in opinions to the state Board of Land & Natural Resources before 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8.
  Kalanihale, the community organization from Miloli'i led by Ka‘imi Kaupiko, along with KUPA, Friends of Ho‘okena Beach Parks, Moana ‘Ohana’s, Ko‘olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and For the Fishes, petition the BLNR to initiate rulemaking to "Prohibit the Take of Marine Life for Commercial Aquarium Purposes." 
  A statement from Conservation Council says, "This is a critical time for all of us to come together for our culture, our environment, our home waters across the pae ‘āina, to mālama ‘āina, and restore 'āina momona (abundance). A‘ole AQ!!!!.... let's all do this together for our fish for future generations."
     The Board of Land & Natural Resources staff has recommended denying the proposal to initiate the aquarium fish ban rules due to procedural problems, including lack of time to create and review new rules and lack of time to conduct public scoping on the matter before the public hearing portion of Wednesday's meeting.
    The petition from the community organizations states, "Petitioners are comprised of native Hawaiian organizations and cultural practitioners, and nonprofit environmental and marine protection organizations. Petitioners are among the 1.4 million Hawai‘i residents whose way of life depends upon Hawai‘i’s coral
reefs, which provide economic, structural/protective, educational, social, recreational, cultural, spiritual, physical, biological, and ecological benefits.
    "Petitioners include those who are descended from the aboriginal people that inhabited the Hawaiian Islands in 1778 and who engage in traditional and customary practices that are inextricably linked to coral reefs and their marine life, which are both a natural and a cultural
resource. Commercial aquarium collection activities harm these Petitioners’ ability to conduct these traditional and customary practices.
   "All Petitioners are beneficiaries of public trust resources, which government agencies and
officials, including members of the Board, are obligated to protect. Moreover, Petitioners are among the 83% of Hawai‘i residents polled in 2017 who want to see an end to the destructive commercial take of marine life for aquarium purposes due to its negative environmental impacts and conflicts with cultural and local values.
    "Petitioners thus have significant interests in preserving and increasing the abundance of coral reef marine life for subsistence fishing, food security, native Hawaiian traditional and cultural practices, recreational use, and aesthetic value."
      See the complete petition and the BLNR Department of Aquatic Resources' response at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/F-3.pdf. Monitor the BLNR meeting at 9:15 a.m. at https://www.youtube.com/@boardoflandandnaturalresou1484/streams.

HULIAU - A TIME OF CHANGE is theme of the statewide Hawaiʻi Island Early Childhood Conference, to be hosted by Hawai‘i County on Dec. 1 and 2. The conference is dedicated to Early Childhood practitioners and will take place at the Courtyard by Marriott-King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel.
    "We invite all dedicated early childhood education practitioners to join us as we embrace a period of significant change together," said Mayor Mitch Roth. "The future of our keiki depends on a high-quality education that opens doors to better lifelong opportunities. Our commitment, as an administration, is to enable our keiki to raise their keiki here in Hawaiʻi, and early childhood education is instrumental in
building a strong foundation for this goal."
    The conference begins with a dinner at the hotel's Honu's restaurant on Friday evening, featuring a keynote address by Susan Gale Perry, a renowned expert in early childhood education and childcare trends. Perry, CEO of Child Care Aware of America, will provide insights on making a positive impact on childcare.
    On Saturday, Lt. Governor Sylvia Luke will update participants on the state's Ready Keiki initiative. The day starts at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and includes workshops on advocacy, local initiatives, and early literacy development. The event concludes at 3:30 p.m.
    Angela Thomas, Hawaiʻi County Early Childhood Resource Coordinator, expressed her enthusiasm for the conference, saying, "This conference offers the latest information to practitioners and explores early literacy teaching strategies. The theme, Huliau - A Time of Change, reflects the opportunities to enhance Early Childhood Education."
    Registration options include Friday night's dinner and keynote for $30, Saturday's workshops for $40, or a two-day experience for $60. Special hotel rates are available for attendees.
    To register for this event, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hawaii-island-early-childhood-conference-2023-tickets-739723973317?aff=oddtdtcreator.

A VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION WILL BE HELD on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. sponsored by ‘O Ka‘ū Kākou. OKK President and veteran Wayne Kawachi said there will be music with Sonny Ramos, a free lunch and drinks as well as door prizes.