Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Three Mountain Alliance encourages Ka`u teachers to participate in a place-based learning workshop next month. Here, Volcano School of Arts & Sciences students learn about native species at The Nature Conservancy's Kaiholena Preserve in the mountains of Ka`u.
See more below. Photo from TMA
A BILL TO KEEP OLD PLANTATION WATER in farmers’ hands passed the Senate Committee on Water, Land & Agriculture this week and would be good for three years. Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman said the bill was designed to keep water in the hands of Alexander & Baldwin on Maui, where court decisions have directed the state to put the water back in streams following the shutdown of the sugar company there.
      The possibility of having water permits cancelled put fear into the Ka`u agriculture community. At the request of the Hawai`i Farm Bureau, several flew to O`ahu to testify at the Legislature.
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      Ruderman said he received an opinion from the attorney general saying that cancellation of permits would have only affected A&B on Maui and not Ka`u agriculture. He told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the legislation to extend water permits “only benefits one company who has taken advantage of their situation for a very long time.”
      Ruderman told the Star-Advertiser that A&B used “fear mongering” to convince farmers and ranchers that they would be affected. Five of the nine state revocable water permits are in Ka`u, Ruderman noted. He told Star-Advertiser reporter Kevin Dayton, “I care about those guys a lot, and I work closely with them. I’m clear in my belief that the court ruling does not apply to them, and they’re not in jeopardy of losing their revocable permit.”
      The Star-Advertiser reporter wrote: “Ruderman said lawmakers ought not to reward a ‘bad actor’ that diverted water for 100 years and allowed streams to run dry. They don’t need this water, and if they do need it, they can pay a fair market value.'”
      Dayton reported that several senators expressed concern about the bill, which may signal problems the Ways and Means Committee considers it.
      WLA Committee Chair Mike Gabbard told Dayton he wanted to keep the bill alive to allow more time to sort through the issue. “It was a tough one because both sides of the issue gave very strong arguments,” Gabbard said. He said the concerns raised “need to be addressed, need to be a part of the solution for water rights on Maui and across the state.”
       According to Dayton, Gabbard said BLNR needs more time to resolve the issue of revocable permits, and a task force is working to do that.
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Volcano tea grower Eva Lee asks Ka`u residents to support
geographical region designations. Photo from Volcano Art Center
GEOGRAPHICAL REGION DESIGNATIONS for tea would be instituted by a resolution under consideration at the state Legislature. Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman co-introduced SCR129 encouraging the state Department of Agriculture to adopt standards established by the tea industry to define geographical region designations for tea grown in the state.
      The resolution is the first in the nation regarding tea origin. “The Hawai`i state government is taking the lead in bringing us closer to establishing true origin geographic indicators for Hawai`i tea industry,” Volcano tea grower Eva Lee said. “It is through this initiative that Hawai`i tea growers marketing Hawai`i-grown tea will assure the public the origin authenticity. Origin Pride initiative is the founding basis in awarding excellence for domestically grown tea. State by state, we hope that local governments will engage with regional tea growers for official origin recognition, furthering the U.S. domestic tea industry.”
      A hearing on the resolution is scheduled on March 28 at 3 p.m. “We hope that you will support this resolution by submitting a written testimonial,” Lee said. Testify at capitol.hawaii.gov by March 27, the deadline.
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Flags remain at half-staff until sunset Saturday.
NATIONAL AND STATE FLAGS are at half-staff at the state Capitol and all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawai`i National Guard. President Obama issued the order as a mark of respect for victims of acts of violence perpetrated yesterday in Brussels, Belgium. The flags will be flown at half-staff until sunset on March 26.
      “It saddens me that this international surge of terrorism has become the ‘new normal’ that can happen anywhere at any time,” Gov. David Ige said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured in the attacks in Brussels, and we send our deepest condolences to the victims of this tragedy and their families.”
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I DEMOCRAT PARTY JOINS the race to the White House this Saturday at 1 p.m. with its own version of the Presidential Preference Polls, like Iowa and New Hampshire. Democrats across the islands are invited to attend their precinct meetings and cast their votes among candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Roque De la Fuente and Bernie Sanders. Also on the ballot is Martin O`Malley, who suspended his campaign. Hawai`i has 34 delegates, 16 of which are district delegates to win the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
      Ka`u Democrats in precincts 03-07 and 05-01 cast ballots at Pahala Community Center, and those in precincts 05-02, 05-03 and 05-04 vote at Ocean View Community Center. Doors open at 12 p.m.
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u teachers can sign up for next month's place-based learning
workshop with TMA Outreach and Education Specialist
Lahela Camara. Photo from TMA
THREE MOUNTAIN ALLIANCE is looking for educators who would like to engage students in place-based learning. TMA is hosting a teacher enrichment opportunity to connect educators with relevant environmental education sites and activities. The event will give teachers an opportunity to participate in native forest restoration by planting native trees and shrubs. Teachers also will visit Keauhou Bird Conservation Center, home to Hawai`i’s most endangered birds, including the `alala, or Hawaiian Crow, which is currently extinct in the wild. Both activities can serve as possible field trip opportunities.
      TMA will share existing curricula and lesson plan resources that can be incorporated into classroom learning for all grade levels and subjects. Lessons focus on topics such as Hawai`i’s native species, ecosystems, watersheds and cultural knowledge.
      The event takes place on April 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kamehameha Schools’ Keauhou Forest in Ka`u.
      To register, contact Lahela Camara at lahelacamara@gmail.com. Priority registration deadline is April 8. To learn more about TMA teacher engagement, see threemountainalliance.org/teachers.
      To read comments, add your own and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KILAUEA DRAMA & ENTERTAINMENT Network presents The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) over the next two weekends. This comic adventure into the quirks and conundrums of the Bible opens Friday and plays through Sunday, April 3, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:30. Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is the venue. 
      The premise is fairly straightforward: Present the books of the Bible in chronological order. “With 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament, it’s easy to imagine that two hours just isn’t enough time,” Director Suzi Bond said. “And this is where it gets funny. The subject is one that’s liable to cause some to bristle at its treatment of the Bible. But, this is where it’s important to emphasize that the show is about the Bible, not Christianity, or Judaism or Islam – or any religion. They even go out of their way to clarify that.”
      Tickets are $15 general, $12 for students and seniors and $10 for children 12 and under. Reservations can be made by calling KDEN at 982-7344 or by email at kden73@aol.com.
      Park entrance fees may apply.

A rummage sale this weekend supports Discovery Harbour
Volunteer Fire Department. Photo from DHVFD
DISCOVERY HARBOUR COMMUNITY Association accepts items for this weekend’s Volunteer Fire Department rummage sale today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
      For more information, call 929-9576.

HAWAI`I HUMANE SOCIETY meets with Ka`u residents tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Representatives discuss available programs and resources.
      For more information, call Roxy at 329-1175.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March_2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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