About The Kaʻū Calendar

Saturday, February 03, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb.3, 2024

Hawai‘i state legislators visited Kaʻū last summer and stopped in at the historic Sasaki Store in Pāhala to meet with The Kaʻū Calendar. See upcoming stories on their initiatives that involve this district during the 2024 Hawai‘i Legislature.
Photo by Rep. Jeanne Kapela

    Public Access Room, sponsored by the Hawai‘i Legislature. offers two Zoom workshops this coming week, noting that there are plenty of 2024 Hawai‘i Legislature public hearings scheduled as deadlines start to hit. Two staffers have joined PAR to assist with the participation of public voices in the process.

State legislators enjoyed local foods and Kaʻū
Coffee as they discussed local issues inside the
old Sasaki Store, now called Market House.
Photo by Jeanne Kapela 
    The first Zoom workshop is Keeping Up with the Legislature on Wednesday, Feb. 7. It covers hearing notices, committee reports, amended drafts, and the decking deadline. PAR will cover some tips for perspective, improve advocacy efforts, and make work a little easier for the public. Register here:
    The second Zoom session is Floor Sessions and Orders of of the Day It is an overview of the action that takes place when the House and Senate convene in their chambers. It's on Friday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZErduCpqjIvEtYT56pI0suUCeHUe1gVPBrf ,
   The PAR staff consists of veterans and new hires. Andy Eckhardt worked with PAR last session and Courtney Mrowczynski worked with PAR in 2020 (that crazy year when the session was interrupted by COVID). They are friendly voices helping callers and smiling faces who greet those who walk through the door and make PAR their office when flying to Honolulu to attend the Hawai‘i Legislature. A statement from PAR says, "They're already pros at explaining the legislative process, how to use the website, the meaning of the deadlines, and what resources can be found where. And, like all of us, they learn more every day!" Visit the Staff page. Use the drop-down menu on the About tab on PAR's website.

Rep. Jeanne Kapela brought legislators to Kaʻū
last summer. Photo from Rep. Jeanne Kapela
    PAR calls itself Your Office at the Capitol. The non-partisan Public Access Room is there to help answer questions about the legislative process and how to participate. Call 808/587-0478 or email par@capitol.hawaii.gov. In Honolulu, visit the PAR office (Room 401) to use a computer, recharge phone or laptop, or watch hearings remotely. There are also a wealth of handouts to pick up.
    PAR also helps the public to find all the current public hearings: Click the view button on the gray Hearing Notices box under the picture on the Legislature's homepage (capitol.hawaii.gov).
    PAR informs the public on how to watch what's going on at the Hawai‘i Legislature: Click the view button on the Live & On-Demand Video box on the Legislature's home page. The link is also found in the row beneath the picture. Choose either the House or Senate YouTube channel. (Tip: The "Playlists" tab on the YouTube pages shows you separate playlists for each committee.)
     Quickly find video of a bill's hearing: Enter a bill number in the search bar (upper right) on the Legislature's website. On the status page, the YouTube link in the Hearing Notices box will open the hearing video.
    Past informational briefings: Use the Reports & Lists page and select the Hearing Notices bar. This is helpful to review any of the budget briefings conducted by the money committees last month.
     Need help signing up for emailed hearing notices or offering testimony? Visit the "Engagement 101" page on PAR's website (lrb.hawaii.gov/par/) for instructions and videos. Or reach out to PAR for help – to walk hrough it. 
    Upcoming deadlines: February 7 = House Triple Referral filing; February 8 = Senate Triple Referral filing, February 15 = First Lateral filing; March 1 = First Decking.
PAR staffers: Virginia Beck, Andy Eckhardt, Keanu Young and Courtney Mrowczynski, Photo from PAR

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.

A COMMUNITY ACCESS PRENATAL CLINIC IS OFFERED fourth Sunday of every month. No one is turned away for lack of funds, but all insurance is accepted. Location is 94-2166 South Point Rd. at the Old Kalae Coffee. Phone (808)450-0498. Upcoming dates are 2/25, 3/24, 4/28, 5/26 and 6/23.

FEWER EARTHQUAKES WERE HAPPENING BETWEN VOLCANO AND PĀHALA  on late Friday and Saturday. Kīlauea volcano was not erupting and seismicity in the summit and along the Koa‘e fault system southwest of the summit decreased significantly.

    USGS reported that "more than 3,000 earthquakes were recorded over the past week during this event, which coincided with ground deformation patterns indicative of magma moving from beneath the summit to the southwest under the Koa‘e fault system."
    However, USGS also reported: "The intrusion of magma into this area appears to have slowed, and the likelihood of an eruption has decreased. A VAN/VONA was issued earlier this morning, lowering the Alert level from Orange/Watch to Yellow/Advisory. "

    There were less than 150 earthquakes on Saturday, with about 650 on Friday and 750 on Thursday in the summit and Southwest Rift Zone areas, including the Kaʻū Desert.

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.

KEEP A BACKUP WATER SUPPLY AND CONSERVE WATER when heavy rains that could interrupt electrical power are predicted. That's the message from the county Department of Water Supply this weekend, which sent out an explanation.
    The Department of Water Supply requires a significant amount of dependable electricity to move approximately 25 million gallons of water each day and deliver it to more than 45,000 homes, businesses, farms, and community facilities located throughout much of Hawai‘i Island.
    Hawaiian Electric issued a statement leading up to this weekend, urging customers to prepare for heavy rains and winds that were expected to impact Hawai‘i Island through the weekend. “During severe
weather, strong winds can blow trees or debris into power lines, causing outages and damaging electrical equipment. Falling trees can hit utility poles or overhead lines, knocking lines down or causing poles to lean, which may result in outages. Heavy rains can also lead to flooding of underground cables or other equipment,” Hawaiian Electric said in the statement. Outages in areas designated by the State as at-risk for fires may experience longer outages due to the possible need to conduct visual or aerial inspections before power may be safely restored, it added.
    Department of Water Supply operates backup generators at key well sites to help maintain a limited amount of water service during temporary power outages. "However, an extended power outage could leave portions of DWS’ water systems empty and customers with no water," reports DWA. "Should this scenario be anticipated, DWS will instruct its affected customers to use their tap water only for drinking, cooking, and hygiene purposes to preserve the limited amount of available potable water. Irrigation, car washing, and non-essential uses of water would be suspended until power is restored."
   DWS stated that it "strongly urges its customers and those who depend on a continuous supply of DWS water to review their personal situations and prepare accordingly. Customers should have alternate sources of potable water and enough supply to meet their essential needs during a prolonged power outage that disrupts DWS service. Ways to safely store drinking water are listed in the Water Emergency Preparedness guide available under the Community drop-down menu option on the Department’s website, hawaiidws.org.
    Updated messaging will be posted at hawaiidws.org and on the DWS Facebook page at facebook.com/HawaiiDWS. To reach the DWS, please call (808) 961-8050 during normal business hours, (808) 961-8790 for after-hour emergencies, or email: dws@hawaiidws.org.

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