Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, May 6, 2016

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is home to more than 7,000 marine species, including the Bluefin Trevally. See Instragram. Photo by James Watt from PMNM
SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA to expand Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is coming from a diverse group. Nathan Eagle reported in Civil Beat that Native Hawaiians, conservationists, scientists and local fishermen delivered a petition with 43,000 signatures to administration representatives.
A father and son explore Northwest Hawaiian Islands sea life
as displayed at Mokupapapa Discovery Center in Hilo.
Photo from NOAA
      The proposal calls for expansion from the current 50 miles outside the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to 200 miles.
      Following Sen. Brian Schatz’s call last month for Obama to involve stakeholders in the decision, a delegation arrived in Hawai`i this week to discuss the proposal. Stakeholders “presented cultural and scientific evidence to support expanding the monument to fully protect the cultural, historical and biological significance of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands,” Eagle reported.
      “We have seen the decline in tuna populations that long-line fishing in Hawai`i has caused, subjecting Hawaiians and Hawai`i residents to import ahi poke from other countries,” said Jay Carpio, a local fishermen who leads education and support efforts with other fishermen. “Our local pono fishermen across the Hawaiian Islands are now standing up to this mostly foreign fishing industry. Fishermen like the late Uncle Buzzy Agard led the effort to establish Papahanaumokuakea, and local fishermen are again leading the call to President Obama to expand the monument.”
      Rick Gaffney, a Kona fisherman, told Eagle that expanding the monument will protect breeding areas, resulting in more fish being available.
      See civilbeat.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram  and Twitter.

SCHOOL LEADERS IN KA`U who are interested in mediation training can contact Ku`ikahi Mediation Center at 935-7844 or julie@hawaiimediation.org.
      Peer mediation is both a program and a process where students of the same age group facilitate resolving disputes between other keiki. This process has proven effective in schools around the United States and in Hawai`i, changing the way students understand and resolve conflict in their lives. Changes include improved self-esteem, listening and critical thinking skills, and school climate for learning.
      KTA, celebrating its 100-year anniversary, has made a multi-year commitment to support training of student peer mediators by Ku`ikahi Mediation Center. The $15,000 donation over three years is in memory of Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi, Founders of KTA Super Stores.
      “We look forward to a most successful program because we believe that early intervention is the best means of prevention,” said KTA Chairman and CEO Barry Taniguchi.
      During the 2015-2016 school year, over 100 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders have been trained as peer mediators at Hawai`i Academy of Arts & Sciences, Kea`au, Kapiolani, Keonepoko, Laupahoehoe and Mountain View elementary schools.
      “We so appreciate KTA’s commitment to the well-being of Hawai`i Island and people of all ages. The Taniguchis are tireless advocates of community causes and renowned for their generosity,” Ku`ikahi Executive Director Julie Mitchell said. “KTA’s key support of the Peer Mediation Elementary School Pilot Project has been critical in leveraging additional interest and funding. We are extremely grateful.”
      Ku`ikahi Mediation Center’s vision is a peaceful community where people routinely seek common ground.
      For more information, see www.hawaiimediation.org.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Sen. Josh Green
KA`U’S STATE SEN. JOSH GREEN reported accomplishments of Hawai`i's 28th state Legislature that adjourned yesterday.
      The Legislature appropriated funds for hospitals regionally and statewide, “to keep them healthy and thriving so that they in return can keep the community healthy and thriving,” Green said.
      Measures passed to combat the dengue outbreak and other potential mosquito-borne threats such as Zika virus that may arise on the Islands in the future.
      Air conditioning schools “will create an environment conducive to learning for our keiki,” Green said. “Though we must do much more to support public education, this investment was a necessary sign we are committed to our schools.”
      “With these victories in mind I will continue to strive to truly make Hawai`i a better place to live for all of us,” Green said. “My priorities remain: a living wage of $16 an hour throughout the state, free community college available to all residents of Hawai`i, pesticide reform to help protect our keiki, a renaissance of our healthcare system and real progress on homelessness.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and  Twitter.

COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK resulted in successful legislative session, Gov. David Ige said. The state Legislature adjourned yesterday.
      “I must first recognize the hard work of the Hawai`i State Legislature,” Ige said. “We appreciate its focus on setting the policy direction and making appropriations for the state. Disagreements are inevitable, and healthy debate strengthens the end product.
      “What we saw this year was true collaboration – a true team effort. We moved forward on many long-standing issues. I am pleased that so many of our initiatives from the State of the State can now move ahead.
Gov. David Ige yesterday signed a bill appropriating funds to air
condition classrooms. Photo from Office of the Governor.
      “If I were to give grades, this session would earn a resounding B. There are still issues to look at and bills that need careful consideration. Overall – it was a solid session, but there is always room for improvement.
      “Cooling the schools was my highest priority, and we are glad the legislators agreed. SB3126 allows for an emergency appropriation for air conditioning, heat abatement and related energy efficiency measures at public schools. I am grateful to our legislators for ensuring that the funds are available quickly, so the Department of Education can continue its work. In the end, legislators found their own way to move this long overdue project forward.
      “We thank legislators for approving $12 million, more than we requested, to support the state’s effort to move homeless families and individuals into temporary and permanent housing. The funds will support coordinated strategy with concrete and measurable goals, taking a systemic and evidence-based approach to addressing homelessness.”
      Ige also acknowledged that substantial progress was made to meet housing needs of the average family. Legislators allocated $75 million toward this effort.
      The Legislature also approved an additional 20 positions for the Department of Health’s vector control branch, with additional funds to enhance the state’s fight against mosquito-borne diseases.
      “Governing the right way means taking care of our debts and obligations while managing effectively,” Ige said. Legislators approved $150 million for the Rainy Day Fund and $81.9 million to pay down unfunded liabilities.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and  Twitter.

KA`U VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS made it to the semi-finals of the state high school championships last night but fell to Moanalua, 3-2. Moanalua plays Punahou for the state title tonight. The Ka`u players, from Pahala, Punalu`u and Na`alehu, attend Kamehameha Schools-Hawai`i under Warriors coach and Punalu`u resident Guy Enriques. The Ka`u players are Addison Enriques, Avery Enriques, Kameron Moses and Naia Makuakane.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and  Twitter.

Bolo returns to perform at Ka`u Coffee Festival Pa`ina a week
from today. Photo from Ka`u Coffee Festival
KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL BEGINS one week from today, with the kick-off Pa`ina. The event at Pahala Plantation House next Friday at 6 p.m. raises funds for Miss Ka`u Coffee scholarships. Meet the candidates and Ka`u Coffee farmers. Enjoy fresh farm foods, Puerto Rican music by El Leo and the music of Bolo and Friends. The event is co-sponsored by Hawai`i Farmers Union United and Ka`u Chamber of Commerce.
      For more information, call 928-9811.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park offers free programs this weekend. Tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., participants discover the Hawaiian goddesses Hi`iaka & Pele and the natural phenomena they represent on a moderate, one-mile walk.
      Palm Trail Hike on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. is a moderately difficult, 2.6-mile loop-trail hike that provides one of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.
      See nps.gov/havo.

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