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Monday, February 12, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb. 11, 2024

Exchange students from Japan stop along Ka‘alaiki Road between Nāʻālehu and Pāhala to hear the mo‘olelo, the stories about
Pu‘u Enuhe - caterpillar hill and Pu‘u Makanau from leader ‘Āina Akamu of Kaʻū High. Photo by Myra Sumida

OKK board member Carol Massey hosts students at
Eva Liu's OKK vegetable farm.
 Photo by Myra Sumida
JAPANESE EXCHANGE STUDENTS, VISITING    KAʻŪ FAMILIES, departed on Sunday after more than a week of immersion in Kaʻū life, environment and education. An Aloha Dinner at Pāhala Hongwanji Saturday evening brought the student visit from Nakaminato High School to a close. They return to Hitachinaka City in Ibaraki Prefecture on Monday.

Kampyo workshop, stripping gourds for
making maki sushi. Photo by Myra Sumida
  During the Aloha Dinner, sponsored by O Ka‘ū Kākou,  Pāhala Hongwanji and the host families, Sensei Masato Naritomi, who started the Sister School relationship in 21018, said he and his students look forward to welcoming exchange students to Japan.
    Exchange student Kune Nambu said she was very happy to come here to see animals she had never seen before, including horses and nēnē. Yusea Iyo said she enjoyed shopping to buy the local gifts. Sena Nukagawa focused on landscape and the opportunity "to become friends with everyone at Kaʻū High." Takumi Terunuma said he treasures making good friends laying volleyball and visiting ranches, coffee fields, the ocean and mountains. The students also went bowling at Kīlauea Military Camp, traveled on back roads and to Punalu‘u and Eva Liu's OKK vegetable farm.
    The leader from the school said this trip was difficult to permit 

Exchange students enjoy fresh coconut water
and spoon meat at Punalu'u. Photo by Myra Sumida
since Japan opened up for traveling outside the country later than many other places and families were still cautious about allowing their children to travel since the pandemic.
    A business teacher from the Japanese school, Kenta Abe, said, "I want to cherish this visit. I want to see you in Japan." Participants noted their enjoyment of Sumo Breakfast at Ken's House of Pancakes in Hilo. When someone orders, the gong sounds and everyone calls out "Sumo."
    Host family member Kayo Munnerlyn said she is a Japanese tour guide and was able to share not only the history of Kaʻū but also discussed World War II and Japan's longstanding friendship with the U.S. She also hosted a kampyo workshop to make maki sushi.
    Host family member Kenoe Grace said, "It was an amazing experience with two kids from a completely different culture. He said he served them a variety of food from Hawaiian to Chinese and that they enjoyed going outdoors to see the spectacular stars and night with the family telescope. His family, with student daughter Kalea, took the exchange students to a hula festival in Kona.
    Host family member Breann Ebanez also mentioned the student's enjoyment of Kaʻū's night skies. She said students became immersed in her home with its big family and animals. On the road, she noted a visit to South Point and to Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences, as well as picture taking at King Kamehameha Statue and walking in Hilo and eating pancakes.
    Also hosting students were OKK President Wayne and Nora Kawachi and Cyrus and Myra Sumida.

Japanese exchange students visit Volcano School of the Arts & Sciences.
Photo by Myra Sumida

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WITH THIS YEAR MARKING THE 64TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE U.S.-JAPAN SECURITY TREATY AND FITH ANNIVERSARY OF THE U.S.-JAPAN TRADE ACT, there is a call for inviting Japan's Prime Minister to address the U.S. Congress. Hawai‘i Senator Mazie Hirono and Republican Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee are leading 27 of their Senate colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, encouraging him to invite Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to address a Joint Session of Congress during his Official Visit to the United States in April.
    Hirono and the Senators wrote, “Inviting Prime Minister Kishida to address Congress would be a timely and tangible expression of the unwavering commitment of the United States to our Alliance and to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. Our Alliance with Japan is also fundamental to stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” the Senators continued. “Japan—a vibrant democracy with strong people-to-people ties with our country—is the fifth-largest goods trading partner with the United States. Japanese firms are the second-largest source of foreign direct investment in our country.

    “A strong U.S.-Japan Alliance is more important than ever. Inviting Prime Minister Kishida to address a Joint Session of Congress would further enhance our bilateral diplomatic ties and highlight the shared strategic interests and values between our two nations,” the Senators concluded.

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.

HAWAI‘I AIR TOUR MANAGEMENT ACT IS INCLUDED IN THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION'S REAUTHORIZATION BILL, with bi-partisan support, according to Hawai‘i's Senator Brian Schatz. The package includes measures to help airports adapt to extreme weather and improve air tour management in Hawai‘i, making tours safer for passengers and less noisy for residents. The bills are called  Hawai‘i Air Tour Management Act, the Improved Transportation Consumer Protection Act and the Natural Hazard Resilience for Airports Act.
    “These provisions will help airports in Hawai‘i and across the country become more resilient to disasters, which are becoming more frequent and severe every year. They’ll also make air tours in Hawai‘i safer for passengers and reduce noise levels for residents,” said Schatz, a senior member of the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee.
    Provisions would ensure that airport projects to improve resilience to sea level rise and extreme weather are eligible for funding under the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program. FAA would also be directed to participate as a technical advisor in Hawai‘i’s air noise and safety task force to address the noise impacts of these flights. 
    Schatz pointed out that in Hawai‘i, at least 85 people have died in air tour crashes since the National Transportation Safety Board began keeping records – the highest number of any state.
THE CREATE ACT would unlock federal resources for artists and small businesses in Creative industries, to help them grow, according to Sen. Brian Schatz who introduced the legislation into the U.S. Senate last week with cosponsorship from Republican Texas Senator, John Cornyn. 
    The CREATE Act would offer direct support to artists and small businesses by:
    Expanding the Microloan Program qualifications to include artists and arts entrepreneurs, Performing Arts Professionals, and the Hawai‘i Arts Alliance;
    Providing support to state, regional, and local art agencies, artists, and creative workers through traditional economic development tools;
    Directing the Small Business Administration (SBA) to develop procedures for evaluating the business proposals and plans of non-employer businesses and small businesses within the creative economy;
    Tasking the SBA with partnering with relevant stakeholders to develop a technical assistance program that targets the specific needs of artists and arts entrepreneurs; and
    Establishing a program to examine helping local arts agencies and nonprofits with planning grants.
   Schatz said that the creative economy includes businesses focused on individual creativity, skill, talent, or expression of indigenous culture or regional or local heritage culture. "These businesses collectively add $919.7 billion annually to the nation's Gross Domestic Product, with a growth rate nearly double the rest of the economy."
    The CREATE Act has been endorsed by more than 170 organizations including Esty, eBay, Patreon, The Recording Academy, Americans for the Arts, Arts Workers United, National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, League of American Orchestras, The Educational Theatre Association, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, OPERA America, Dance/USA, Western States Arts Federation, Inspire Washington, New England Foundation for the Arts, Association of  Performing Arts Professionals.
    Companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives has been introduced by U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon (R-Puerto Rico).
Matt Drayer teaches a Korean
Natural Farming class.

AN INTRODUCTION TO KOREAN NATURAL FARMING CLASS will be held at Ancient Valley Growers Farm at 96-1034 Center Rd, above Pahala in Wood Valley on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon. It is sponsored by Hawai‘i Farmers Union United. The fee is $30 for non-members.
     Instructor Matt Drayer said, "In this hands-on class we will be learning two of the many Korean Natural Farming recipes from start to finish. You will go home at the end of the class more confident in your ability to make your own inputs to enrich your soil!"
    Participants are invited to enjoy a potluck luncheon following the class. RSVP to Kau@hfuu.org.

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