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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs December 19, 2023

National Honor Society Members Announced at Kaʻū High
Kaʻū High School welcomed new members of the year 2023-2024 of the National Honor Society.
Top row: David Brooks (Advisor), Kaydence Ebanez-Alcosiba, Hokulani Carriaga Pascual, Vladimir Fedoruk and Danny Eder (Vice President); Middle row : Chayanee Brooks (Advisor), Megan Pierpont, Kona Smith, Dakota Seaver, Tancy David, and Stephen Throne; Bottom row: Tatyahna Kaupu-Embrey, Tyra Wong Yuan (President), Laci Ah Yee Treasurer). The Induction Ceremony will be held on Feb 9.
Photo from National Honor Society

Julie Su, up for confirmation as U.S. Labor
Secretary. Photo from Dept. Labor
HISTORIC PROGRESS MADE BY WORKING PEOPLE DURING 2023 is the message that Hawai'i Senator Mazie Hirono gave to Congress on Tuesday. She noted that over 14 million jobs were created and unemployment rates are low. Hirono also commended Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su for her work in achieving these milestones.
    "After decades of declining union membership, working people are coming together to demand their fair share of the economic success our country is experiencing—success they make possible," said Hirono. "Since assuming the top role at the Labor Department earlier this year, Acting Secretary Su has played a critical role supporting workers and finding consensus to move our economy forward."

    Hirono highlighted Su' role in mediating contentious labor disputes, including the potentially-
disastrous strike at ports along the west coast, the largest health care strike in the nation's history carried out by Kaiser Permanente employees, and the historic deal between the United Auto Workers and the Big Three auto companies.
    "In addition to these and many other settled labor disputes, Acting Secretary Su is leading major initiatives to make life better for working people in our country and grow the middle class—from

expanding overtime protections, to strengthening apprenticeship and work training programs and much more," said Hirono. "Julie Su's work speaks for itself. She listens, she finds consensus, and she helps those around her stay the course for as long as it takes. What more could we ask of a Secretary of Labor?"
    As Su's opportunity to be confirmed as Labor Secretary nears, Hirono said there has been unfair criticism of her based on "sexism, racism, and double standards applied to women of color." Hirono said these "are all too common, in spite of their denials all around. Julie Su has been doing the job of Secretary of Labor for months, and she's been doing the job well. But still, some of our colleagues cling to baseless criticisms, insisting she's unfit to serve. It's unfair to Acting Secretary Su, and to the millions of workers whose lives she's helped to improve."
    If confirmed, Su would be the first Asian-American in the Biden administration to serve in the Cabinet at the secretary level. She is the daughter of Chinese immigrants, speaks Mandarin and Spanish, and is former Secretary of Labor for California, the state with the most people working. She is a graduate of Harvard and Stanford Universities.

Andrea Kawabata checks on Kaʻū Coffee trees.
U.H. photo
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE sent out a mahalo Tuesday to all of the agriculturalists it has worked with in 2023 in Kaʻū and beyond and for all the help from funders, donors, partners, collaborators, volunteers, producers and stakeholders.
     The team from University of Hawai'i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, led by Andrea Kawabata and Matt Miyahara, noted that Bevin Kekoa and Mike Moody joined them in carrying out their extension program and applied research projects and outreach events.
    "With your support of our grant funding initiatives and educational events and outputs, this year, we were able to: 
    Acquire over $460K in grant funding for the next two to three years to support your coffee
(statewide) and orchard crops (West Hawaii) industries with our extension program;
    "Provide you with 40 educational opportunities via webinars, workshops, field days, and conference presentations and booth displays for coffee, fruit, and nut producers reaching over 3,500 participants;
    "Provide worker protection standard, sprayer calibration, coverage and calculations, surfactant science, jar testing for pesticide compatibility, and crop insurance, disaster assistance, and record keeping training to extension agents in Hawai'i;
    "Share agricultural announcements and information via our newsletters, flyers, websites, and mailers; and
    "Reach a wider audience by providing translations and outreach opportunities in Spanish and other languages.We look forward to serving your industries and assisting you again this coming year."

CLEANING OUT THE JUNKERS FOR THE NEW YEAR: County of Hawaiʻi Office of Housing & Community Development is encouraging residents to remove free-of-charge up to two junked or abandoned vehicles from private property.
    The updated Vehicle Disposal Assistance Program launched Aug. 7 to reduce the number of derelict and abandoned vehicles littering Hawaiʻi Island. The program, administered by the County of Hawaiʻi Department of Environmental Management's Derelict/Abandoned Vehicle Section, provides residents with the opportunity to dispose legally and properly two permanently junked or derelict vehicles each fiscal year.
The service is provided free-of-charge to residents and is subject to fund availability. The program has a handful of requirements, which are outlined online at www.hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/automotive.     Applications can also be found on the website.
Registered vehicle owners and property owners are encouraged to submit their applications early as this program will only be available while funding is available. Residents who rent but are looking to remove a junked vehicle still registered in their name must obtain the landowner's approval for the tow company to enter the property.
    Direct questions to the Derelict/Abandoned Vehicle Section at (808) 961‐8552 or VDAP@hawaiicounty.gov.

Isaiah Manila Louis, one of the up and coming
 track stars in Kaʻū in running and long jump.
Photo by Coach Tolu Rasmussen

MEETS in February and March, sponsored by Hawai'i County Department of Parks & Recreation. Open to youth ages 6-14, the meets will be held in Kona and Hilo.
    West Hawai'i Track & Field Meets will be Saturday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 17 at Kealakehe High School Track at 9 a.m. with the start of field events followed by track events.
    East Hawai'i Track & Field Meets will be Saturday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, March 2  at Waiākea High School Ken Yamase Stadium at 9 a.m. with the start of field events followed by track events
    Participants are limited to two meets and three events per meet. If participants are entering more than one event, they cannot enter exclusively running events or exclusively field events but must choose at least one of each.
    To participate, students should first see contact the school track program. Schools, clubs, or individuals interested in participating in any of the meets should contact Recreation Specialist Darrell Yamamoto at 808-961-8735 or email darrell.yamamoto@hawaiicounty.gov.
    Entry forms and additional information can be found online at https://www.parks.hawaiicounty.gov/facilities-parks/recreation.

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