Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, May 30, 2016

Marian Berger's exhibit Up Close continues through Sunday, June 5. See more below. Image from Volcano Art Center
A NEW CHAIR LEADS the Hawai`i Democratic Party, and Na`alehu School teacher Raina Whiting was the nominator at yesterday’s convention on O`ahu. Vandeveer won narrowly. He is an environmental law student at University of Hawai`i Richardson School of Law, known for his Keep Country Country activities. He is a former union shop steward and unexploded ordnance technician. Vandeveer bested Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, a labor union lobbyist and executive of Hawai`i Construction Alliance; Jacce Mikulanec, a lobbyist for HMSA; and Florence Kong Kee, of United Public Workers Union.
      Vandeveer will attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 25-28, as a super delegate and is committed to vote for Bernie Sanders.
      Whiting, 28, also a Sanders supporter, attended the state convention as a delegate from Ocean View and will also travel to the Democratic National Convention. In the state Democratic Party, she is District V Council Vice Chair, Precinct 5-02 President (Ocean View), Congressional District II (Rural O`ahu/Neighbor Islands) National Convention Delegate and an Environmental Caucus At-Large Officer.
Tim Vandeveer is the new Chair of Hawai`i Democratic Party, being
elected after Raina Whiting, of Ocean View, at right, nominated him
at the state convention. Jana Vandeveer and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono
also attended. Photo from Bob Martin 
      State Rep. Richard Creagan, who attended the state convention as a delegate, said, “People are really feeling the Bern, and that is why Vandeveer won.” He described Whiting: “Raina is clearly a rising star in our Democratic firmament.”
      When nominating Vandeveer before about 1,000 delegates attending the state convention, Whiting said:
      “When I look around the room, I am so incredibly proud to be a part of this movement and to be surrounded by so many people who are inspired to be part of making change and growth a reality. I am especially proud that so many neighbor island folks made a 'yuge' financial commitment to travel to the convention.
      “This year, we are seeing many new, first-time candidates run for office. This is a perfect opportunity to bring Sen. Bernie Sanders’ political revolution to life and for the people to take back the power in our county, state and federal offices. I encourage you to seek out these newcomers and support them in any way you can.
      “Right now, we are making the decisions that will help shape the impact we have in our state and across the nation. We must elect a Party Chair that will be just, honest and a strong supporter of the issues that matter most to us, including who becomes our next president. We need a Chair that can help raise funds and help us hold our Democratic politicians to our Democratic Party platform. We need a chair who will take the resolutions we tirelessly work on and see that they go beyond our conventions.
      “Tim Vandeveer is the honest, kind and compassionate leader we need. He has the skill set necessary to lead our party into the future that we have all been working so hard to create.
      “When I met Tim, he was leading a group of community organizers on a North Shore outreach campaign to stop further development on the last pristine section of coastline on O`ahu. I was impressed with his tireless advocacy then and have known him to be dedicated to public service to this day. He focuses on the critical issues in our state and is an inspiring environmental activist. I know that when he is elected we can count on Tim to be out in front leading the movement for a better future.
      “We are hungry for change. We need to be less concerned with corporate sponsorship and more concerned with strengthening the safety net for our kupuna, giving students a debt-free education and making sure that all of our brothers and sisters are paid a living wage. Grassroots support is the way we must do this.
      “Vote for Tim, our only Chair candidate who supports Bernie Sanders, because he knows Bernie is the right man for the job. Vote for Tim to unify our party and keep our progressive democratic revolution alive.”
      Whiting is running for Hawai`i County Council against incumbent Maile David.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Students can look forward to healthy, free meals at school
this fall. Photo from Hawai`i Department of Education
FREE BREAKFASTS AND LUNCHES will be served this summer at some of the larger schools on Hawai`i Island. Ka`u public schools are not included in the Department of Education program.
      Free meals next school year for all students will be offered at Pahala Elementary, Intermediate and High School and Na`alehu School. The two Ka`u campuses are among 30 statewide where meal money will be no longer collected from students.
      The program is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state Department of Education. It is called the Community Eligibility Program and is offered to schools where 40 percent or more of students are eligible for free or reduced priced meals through the National School Lunch Program. The USDA reimburses the state $3.85 for each meal.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

SUPPORT FOR THE $4.3 billion NEXTERA/Hawaiian Electric Light Co. merger is falling, Life of the Land Executive Director Henry Curtis reported. Curtis reviewed poll numbers from Ward Research, Inc. and Merriman River Group.
      “Numbers can be manipulated, and polling is inherently dangerous, especially when done with an effort to steer the results,” Curtis said. “The margin of sampling error needs to be explicitly stated. …
      “HECO and NextEra proposed merging on Dec. 3, 2014. The following month, Ward Research, Inc. conducted a poll (asking): 'NextEra Energy, a Florida-based company, proposes to buy Hawaiian Electric. Do you think this acquisition would be good for Hawai`i?'
      “Almost one-third (32 percent) of respondents were in support. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 5.5 points.
      “One year after the merger was announced, and just after the first of three rounds of the Evidentiary Hearing, Ward Research, Inc. conducted a poll (asking): 'NextEra Energy, a Florida-based company, proposes to buy Hawaiian Electric. Do you think this acquisition would be good for Hawai`i?'
      “The percent supporting the sale had dropped to 26 percent.
      “One could rightfully claim that the numbers had not fallen. That is to say, the first poll indicated that the percentage of people supporting the merger was 32 percent plus or minus 5.5 percent (26.5 percent to 37.5 percent), while the second poll showed 26 percent plus or minus 4.7 percent (21.3 percent to 30.7 percent), and thus the two polls could have reflected the same support for the merger, although the odds were against that.
      “But the third poll (by Merriman River Group) clearly showed that support for the merger was dropping. Support for the merger was 16 percent plus or minus 3.2 percent, or 12.8 to 19.2 percent.
      “Thus, the most likely explanation was that one in six supported the merger, but with the margin of error, the actual number of supporters could range from one in eight to one in five.
      “This latest poll could also simply reflect that a minority of the population is pro-business and supports anything proposed by businesses. That is to say, no matter what is proposed by business, a certain percentage will always say yes.
      “Similarly, a certain percentage will always oppose what big business is supporting.
      “But in between, for the vast majority of those with an opinion that may be swayed, the numbers in opposition are growing.”
      See www.ililani.media.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

TROPIC CARE 2016 BEGINS tomorrow and continues through Saturday, June 4 at Ka`u High School and Ocean View Community Center. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily except Saturday, when it closes at 12 p.m.
      Free medical screenings, school sports physicals, dental services, eye exams, hearing screenings, nutritional services, veteran services and prescription eyeglasses are among services offered.
      Bring water, snacks and current glasses and medications.
      Bus transportation is available daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to and from Ocean View Community Center at Princess Kailulani at Lotus Blossom, Kahuku Park and Hele-on Park & Ride.
      For more information about Tropic Care, call 808-874-6035.

UP CLOSE, MARION BERGER’S exhibit of her paintings featuring portraits of Hawai`i’s native birds, closes on Sunday, June 5. Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar/May2016.pdf.

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