Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Friday, May 13, 2016

Star Gazing atop Makanau is a week from today as part of the Ka`u Coffee Festival. See more below.
Photo from Ka`u Coffee Festival
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES’ WILL OFFER nonstop service between Japan and Hawai`i Island. The U.S. Department of Transportation this morning approved the airlines’ application to serve Kona from Haneda Airport in Tokyo three times per week. The DOT has given Hawai`i’s largest and longest serving carrier until Jan. 29, 2017 to start the new service.
Hawaiian Airlines' proposed nonstop route between Japan
and Hawai`i Island has been approved.
Map from Hawaiian Airlines
      In an order issued this morning, the DOT wrote, “Hawaiian, and Hawaiian alone, requested the nighttime slot pair (which includes a Honolulu route), and the Department finds that prompt approval of Hawaiian’s request is consistent with the public interest.”
      According to Hawaiian Airlines, Kona is a larger local market than Dallas, Minneapolis and Atlanta.
      “This is tremendous news for Hawaiian Airlines, for our employees, our customers and for the economies of Kona and our entire state,” Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Mark Dunkerley said. “Flights between Hawai`i and Japan are the most traveled and most beneficial to the U.S. economy, so being able to expand the number that we can offer to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport is especially important. We have estimated that the Kona portion alone will generate $35 million in visitor spending and $12.5 million in wages and benefits.
      “Many thanks go to our entire Congressional Delegation for advocating so strongly for Hawaiian Airlines and Hawai`i in this proceeding. Mahalo also to Gov. David Ige, Mayor Billy Kenoi and all of the businesses and individuals who offered letters of support for this service.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

A task force will study rat lungworm disease.
ASSESSING THE THREAT of rat lungworm disease is the job of a Joint Task Force established today, Hawai`i Department of Health and the East Hawai`i Liaison to the Office of the Governor announced. The mission of the task force is to share scientific knowledge in the application of diagnostics, treatment, mitigation and public education activities.
      Rat lungworm disease is caused by a nematode, which is a roundworm parasite called Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The parasitic nematode can be passed from the feces of infected rodents to snails, slugs and certain other animals, which become intermediate hosts for the parasite. Humans can become infected when they consume, either intentionally or otherwise, infected raw or undercooked intermediate hosts.
      Although rat lungworm has been found throughout the state, Hawai`i Island has a majority of the cases. Some infected people don’t show any symptoms or only have mild symptoms. For others, the symptoms can be much more severe, which can include headaches, stiffness of the neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin or extremities, low-grade fever, nausea and vomiting. Sometimes, a temporary paralysis of the face may also be present, as well as light sensitivity. This infection can also cause a rare type of meningitis.
      “Establishing a joint task force with local experts in the medical field and leaders in government will produce a set of best practices that can be used to target rat lungworm disease not only on Hawai`i Island but on a statewide scale as well,” said Wil Okabe, East Hawai`i Liaison to the Office of the Governor. “There is no specific treatment yet identified for this disease, so finding the best ways to prevent its spread and educate the public is crucial.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

REP. TULSI GABBARD URGED CONGRESS to take action on legislation regarding prescription opioid abuse.
      “As we look at treatment options and support for those dealing with this addiction, it’s important that we actually focus on the root cause of the problem,” Gabbard said. “We have seen for decades how major pharmaceutical companies have misled the Food & Drug Administration, doctors and patients about the safety and risks of opioid dependency on commonly prescribed prescription drugs in their efforts to sell more drugs.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard urged Congress to take action
on opioid abuse.
      Gabbard referenced a recent L.A. Times report detailing how Purdue Pharma has made over $31 billion off of OxyContin, America’s bestselling pain killer, by advertising the drug’s 12-hour pain relief. Investigations have found that in many people the drug doesn’t last for 12 hours – it wears off hours earlier. According to the investigation and other research, this often leads to “excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.”
      “The problems created by companies like Purdue Pharma are felt deeply by families all across the country,” Gabbard said. “In my home state of Hawai`i, the rate of pain medicine abuse is more than 10 percent above the national average. According to Hawai`i State Department of Health, opioid-related deaths have increased 133 percent from 2000 to 2016. Further, many of those who used to take prescription drugs … have turned to heroin, which is made from the same poppy plant and has the same effect but is much cheaper. …
      Gabbard pointed out that prescriptions for opiates spiked 270 percent over 12 years, according to a 2013 analysis by the Center for Investigative Reporting. This led to addictions and a fatal overdose amongst veterans at a rate twice the national average.
      “A national health crisis of this magnitude requires leadership, commitment, resolve and partnership at every level of government, within our medical community and within our community itself,” Gabbard said. “I urge my colleagues to join me to call for further action that holds pharmaceutical companies accountable who are profiting off America’s addiction problem, and that holds doctors accountable who are irresponsibly overprescribing these highly addictive drugs. We must focus instead on finding real solutions that can truly help people.
      “I also urge the U.S. Surgeon General to make combating opioid abuse the 2016 Call to Action, a yearly initiative that helps to stimulate nationwide action to solve a major public health problem in the U.S. In the past few years, the national Call to Action has addressed exercise, walkable communities, skin cancer prevention, breast-feeding, deep vein thrombosis and underage drinking. With 78 Americans dying every single day from opioid overdose, this is an issue that demands our national attention and action.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Goodies adorn the tasting table at Ka`u Coffee
Recipe Contest, Ka`u Coffee Mill.
Photo from Ka`u Coffee Festival
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to enter tomorrow’s Ka`u Coffee Recipe Contest to be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill. The Ka`u Coffee Festival event includes live entertainment, tours, free coffee and recipe tastings.
      See kaucoffeefest.com.

VISION VAN SCREENS KA`U RESIDENTS tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. during Ocean View Community Center’s Pancake Breakfast. Breakfast ends at 11 p.m.

PEOPLE & LANDS OF KAHUKU is a free program tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit. This guided 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain focuses on the area’s human history. See https://www.nps.gov/havo.

A MUSIC FESTIVAL BENEFITS Volcano School of Arts & Sciences tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Cooper Center in Volcano Village.
      The event includes food, games and fun for the whole family. Tickets are $15, $25 for two adults, or $25 for a VIP ticket that includes preferred seating and a gift bag. Tickets are available at VSAS school office at 985-9800, Punalu`u Bakeshop in Na`alehu and Ka`u Business Center in Ocean View.

NOE NOE KEKAUALUA and `ohana present Hula Kahiko tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. on the hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Noe Noe Kekaualua Photo from VAC
      Born and raised in Hilo, Kekaualua has a love and passion for Hawaiian culture that has taken her around the world. She began studying the art of hula at age four and has been engaged in this art ever since.
      Kumu hula Loke Kamanu and `ohana present Na Mea Hula from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the gallery’s front porch. Call 967-8222 for more information.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers Mongolian BBQ tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
      KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Call 967-8371 for more information.
      Park entrance fees apply.

MISS KA`U COFFEE PAGEANT is tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill. Candidates also vie for Junior Miss Ka`u Coffee and Miss Peaberry.
      Contact Trinidad Marques at 936-0015 or aliihhhcoffee@yahoo.com.
      Tickets are $10 adults, $5 keiki available at Punalu‘u Bake Shop, Shaka’s and from candidates.

STAR GAZING ATOP MAKANAU is a week from today on Friday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. The Ka`u Coffee Festival event is $35 per person, including refreshments and rides. Participants meet at Ka`u Coffee Mill and travel together to Makanau.
      To sign up, email lisa@kaucoffeemill.com, or call 928-0550.


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2016.pdf.

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