About The Kaʻū Calendar

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs April 17, 2024

Buck Spenser won the art contest for the game bird stamp. He featured the Melanastic blue pheasant.
WINNERS OF THE GAME BIRD AND HAWAI‘I WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STAMP ART CONTEST are announced for 2024-2025. State Department of Land & Natural Resources Division of Forestry & Wildlife named the winners this week and thanked wildlife artists who submitted entries and the committee who reviewed all submissions.

Jon Ching grew up in Hawai‘i and won the 
Conservation stamp art contest this year.

The conservation stamp is required on state of Hawai‘i hunting licenses, and the game bird hunting stamp is required for those intending to hunt game birds. Funds from sales of these stamps go into the state Wildlife Revolving Fund to support wildlife populations and habitats and to manage hunting programs in Hawaiʻi.
    Both stamps will be available on July 1 for the 2024- 2025 hunting season. Wildlife stamp collectors can receive stamps by calling 808-587-0166 or visiting the DOFAW office at 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, in Honolulu.
    Game bird stamp winner is Buck Spenser who painted the Melanistic blue pheasant. A self-taught wildlife artist from Junction City, Oregon, Spencer started his artistic journey using pencil and transitioned into painting. Spencer’s father worked for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, inspiring him to start studying and drawing animals at a very young age. His older brother is a wildlife biologist and outdoor writer. Recently, Spencer won the California duck stamp contest, Oregon habitat stamp contest, and Louisiana duck stamp contest. Aside from painting, he enjoys fishing, hunting, and wildlife photography. 
    Conservation stamp winner is Jon Ching who painted Hawaiian Forest Birds. Ching grew up steeped in O’ahu’s natural beauty, which formed the foundation of his deep fascination with the natural and wild world. A self-taught painter, Jon’s devoted art practice and detailed realism are inspired by the interconnectedness of nature. He has a keen interest in endangered species, specifically endemic Hawaiian birds, and seeks to share their stories and increase awareness of their plight. Ching’s winning artwork for this contest features ʻakekeʻe, kiwikiu, ʻakikiki, and ʻākohekohe. These four honeycreepers are at risk of extinction due in large part to avian malaria and are currently a major focus of conservation efforts.
Jon Ching won the Conservation stamp contest hosted by DLNR and partners.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

HOPE SERVICES HAWAI‘I HAS RECEIVED A $10,000 CHECK FROM CENTRAL PACIFIC BANK FOUNDATION. The Hawaiʻi Island-based homeless services provider was selected as one of seven Hawaiʻi non-profit
Hope Services Hawai‘i receives $10,000 from Central Pacific Bank
organizations receiving a grant as part of Central Pacific Bank's 70th Anniversary celebration. "We are so grateful for this gift, which will allow us to continue our work to make homelessness on Hawai‘i Island rare, brief, and nonrecurring," said Brandee Menino, CEO of Hope Services Hawai‘i.
    "Central Pacific Bank Foundation selected Hope Services Hawai‘i because of its proven track record for providing much-needed support to homeless individuals across Hawai‘i Island," said Arnold Martines, CPB President & CEO and CPB Foundation Director. "CPB Foundation is proud to partner with Hope Services Hawai'i to address this critical need in the community."
    "It is because of donors like Central Pacific Bank Foundation that we can continue to make an impact," said Menino.
    Those who would like to help neighbors on their journey out of homelessness can donate at hopeserviceshawaii.org/donate. To keep up to date, follow Hope Services Hawaiʻi on Facebook and Instagram@hopeserviceshawaii.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

THE HEALTHY KIDS ACT WOULD SET A MINIMUM AGE OF 13 FOR KEIKI TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA. Hawai‘i U.S. Senator Brian Schatz presented an updated Healthy Kids Act on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday. The bill would also prohibit social media companies from “algorithmically targeting content” to users under the age of 17.  
  Schatz said, "Tens of millions of kids in America are anxious, depressed, angry, lonely, sedentary, sometimes insecure, sometimes suicidal. And just about everybody, whether they’re parents or teachers or mental health professionals or even the kids themselves, points the finger at the same culprit: social media.
    "We do not need more data to tell us what is so painfully obvious in schools and homes across the country. Social media platforms, with their wildly powerful, covert, and addictive algorithms, are driving our kids deeper and deeper into a sea of despair that they can’t find their way out of. Kids are being unwittingly sucked into rabbit holes that leave them in a constant state of panic and outrage, ashamed of their own bodies, and lacking meaningful friendships and connections.
    "The idea that a young kid ¬– a kid ¬– can feel so unhappy and so unfulfilled at the tender age of eight or nine, so much so that they seriously contemplate self-harm, is appalling. And it is a uniquely modern crisis created over the past decades by profit-chasing tech companies for whom nothing and no one is off limits. Not even very young kids. The math for them is very simple. Attention means money, and the best way to hold people's attention is to make them upset and keep them upset.
    "You talk to any parent – whether they're raising a toddler or a teenager, whether they're a voter or a nonvoter, a Democrat or Republican – they are worried and they are frustrated about all the ways that social media is harming kids. But they don't know what to do about it. Or if they can do anything at all. Some might work two jobs and not have the time to monitor what their kids are up to online. Others might lack the technical literacy to operate parental controls and set limits on screen time. All they really want is for their young kids to be off social media altogether.
    "Because there is no good reason that a nine-year-old should be spending hours every day scrolling through TikTok that's been programmed with no concern for whether the content is age appropriate or not. There is no First Amendment right for an 11-year-old to be on Instagram while an algorithm targets them with content glorifying starvation and fueling insecurities.
    "By the companies’ own admission, social media was never meant to be used by young kids. Yet any parent, or anyone who knows a parent, knows that young kids are on these platforms anyway. And the only way that it will stop is if the federal law finally mandates that companies keep young kids off of their services.
    Schatz said, "Delaying the onset of social media use is a straightforward and commonsense way to protect our youngest kids from the very worst of the internet's ills. To let them have a normal childhood in the real world. Play a sport, learn an instrument, read a book, go to the park, and walk around with friends.
    "And once kids are on social media at 13 or 14 or whenever, they need protection, particularly from the algorithmic targeting. Just last year alone, social media companies made $11 billion from ads targeted at kids under 18 in the United States. $11 billion. So it's no wonder that they have no appetite to change their business model without a federal law. It's working great for them, just not for the millions of young kids who are sad and lonely and angry because of it.
    "Kids need help, and they need protection. And because the companies have shown time and time again that they will not step up, Congress must. I'm glad that we're seeing renewed momentum and urgency right now with a number of different proposals on this issue in the United States Senate. All of them, my bill included, share the same goal of keeping our kids healthy. But at the heart of this effort is an essential question of when our kids ought to be allowed to be on social media. At what age is it appropriate to use? If we're going to protect these kids online and act as a counterweight to the rich and powerful tech companies, answering that question and establishing an age minimum is essential. And that is what the Healthy Kids Act does.
    "It is our job here in the Senate to consider any number of difficult challenges facing the country and the world and to debate what to do about them. But what is more fundamental to the role of the federal government than to protect the most vulnerable Americans, especially our children?
    "If you think what's happening to kids online is unclear, look at the data. The percentage of high school students surveyed who experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year [rose] from 36% to 57% for females, 21% to 29% in ten years. In ten years. It might be the phones. You can consult the data. You can ask the Surgeon General of the United States. You can ask all of the people who have studied this, and they know it is early use of social media.
    "Look, we all use social media, and our adult brains are not powerful enough to overcome the negative impacts. You're thirteen, you're nine, you're seven. You are going to be overpowered by these algorithms. We have to protect these kids. And if you don't believe the data, talk to any parent – Democrat or Republican, parent of a two-year-old parent of a 12-year-old. Everybody wants this tool in their tool kit. And the idea that we should pass a federal law mandating that all the social media companies have to do is have a little thing in settings where you can turn the dials on all the different aspects of your social media account is ignorant. It is ignorant. The idea that all we really need to do is precipitate a conversation between a parent and a child about social media use. No. What parents need is to be able to say, “I'm sorry, that's illegal. I'm sorry. You may not use these social media platforms.”
    "And I think it gets really tricky and really complicated once a kid is 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. I understand that. And we've narrowed the bill to be more precise. Because there is no First Amendment right, there is no public policy upside for a nine-year-old to be on TikTok. Nobody can make that argument with a straight face. And so as we consider our options going forward on tech policy, but specifically protecting children online, the threshold question is at what age is it appropriate for a child to use social media? If I had my druthers, I would have set it at 16, honestly. But certainly we can all agree that there is no advantage to a child's life, a prepubescent child's life, a nine-year-old, a four-year-old, an 11-year-old being on social media.
    "I am confident we will get this done. I'm confident that if this ever received a Senate floor vote, that it would be a resounding bipartisan majority. And I'm confident that the American people support us in this."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

‘O KAʻŪ  KĀKOU HAS ANNOUNCED THE 2024  Nāʻālehu Independence Day Parade, Saturday, June 29 at 11 a.m. along Highway 11 in  Nāʻālehu. OKK is looking for businesses, churches, organizations, and individuals that would like to be in the parade. Call or text Lee McIntosh 808-854-7846 as soon as possible.