Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Thursday, June 2, 2016

A volunteer with Stewardship at the Summit removes invasive Himalayan ginger from a kolea lau nui,
an endemic understory tree found in the rain forests on Kilauea volcano in Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park. Stewardship dates continue, with another tomorrow.
NPS Photo from Jessica Ferracane
HAWAI`I COUNTY ECONOMIC Opportunity Council’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program 2016 application period is now open through June 30. LIHEAP assists households with their utility bill (electric or gas) in two ways.
      Energy Crisis Intervention program assists with up to $350 to restore or prevent termination of power to the residence of a household whose electricity or gas has been shut off within 60 days or is about to be terminated within seven days. This is a one-time only payment, which will be deposited directly into their utility account.
Pahala resident Lane Ueda accepts applications for Low Income Home
Energy Assistance Program. Photo by Julia Neal
      The Energy Credit program provides needy households who are not in crisis with a one-time payment deposited directly into their utility account.
      To be eligible for the program, residents must submit an application with all individuals (related or unrelated) living at the residence. Verification of Social Security numbers for all household members is required. Identification for all adults must be submitted, and they must meet U.S. citizenship or permanent residency requirements. Income statements and utility bills must be submitted when determining eligibility for the program. Applications for this program are taken annually, currently in June.
      Eligibility for LIHEAP is determined by the community action agencies.
      LIHEAP clerk Lane Ueda, of Pahala, accepts applications in Ka`u. Ueda is a member of the Language Arts Multicultural Program and teaches third grade at Na`alehu School. He concentrates on teaching reading, writing, math and science and has several Marshallese students in his classes.
      Ka`u residents can apply at Na`alehu HCEOC Office on Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Ocean View Community Center on Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Edmund C. Olson Trust Office Building in Pahala on Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK announced flight plans for this month. Management of the park requires use of aircraft to monitor and research volcanic activity, conduct search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement operations, support management of natural and cultural resources, and maintain backcountry facilities.
Pepeiao is the site of an invasive silk oak control project.
Photo from NPS
      Today and on June 13, between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., flights will haul old fence material from Mauna Loa campsites to Mauna Loa Road at about 6,000-ft. elevation.
      Tomorrow at 7 a.m., flights will shuttle crew and camp supplies to Kue`e for invasive fountain grass control.
      Petrel monitoring, from the summit of Kilauea to Mauna Loa at about 9,000-ft. elevation, takes place on June 8, 23 and 24, between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m.
      Flights will shuttle crew and camp supplies to Pepeiao for invasive silk oak control project on June 20 at 9 a.m. and June 23 (time to be determined).
      On June 27 at 9:30 a.m. and June 30 at 8:30 a.m., flights will shuttle crew and camp supplies to Keauhou for invasive Guinea grass control.
      Ungulate surveys and control work in Kahuku is scheduled on June 28, between 6 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., between 3,000- and 7,000-ft. elevations.
      In addition, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory may conduct flight operations over Kilauea and Mauna Loa to assess volcanic activity and maintain instrumentation.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

A Hawai`i County arborist will work toward control
of rapid `ohi`a death. Photo from UH-CTAHR
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL APPROVED operating and capital improvement budgets at its special meeting yesterday. The operating budget provides funding for new positions, including planners, park caretakers and an arborist. The council added an arborist who is expected to help identify hazardous trees and work toward controlling the fungal disease rapid `ohi`a death.
      Nancy Cook Lauer reported in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald that funding for the arborist’s $80,000 annual salary would come from a current fund set up for removal of albizia and other hazardous trees.
      Capital Improvement Project funding includes $3 million for Ocean View Recycling & Transfer Station, with $374,000 previously allotted.
      Work on local wastewater systems will continue, with $650,000 appropriated for Na`alehu, which previously received $2.987 million. In Pahala, $645,000 is for land acquisition, infrastructure improvement and planning of a sewage treatment plant, with $250,000 previously allotted.
      The budget includes $750,000 for improvements at Kahuku Park in Ocean View.
      The council holds its regular meeting tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Council Chambers in Hilo. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Na`alehu State Office Building. Meetings are streamed live, and agendas are available, at hawaiicounty.gov.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

TOMORROW IS THE DEADLINE for the proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Co. and NextEra Energy to close, but Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission has yet to announce its decision on the $4.3 billion deal.
      Kathryn Mykleseth reported in Honolulu Star-Advertiser that PUC Chair Randy Iwase said the commission hopes to issue a decision this month.
      “If we meet (the deadline), we meet it. If we don’t, we don’t,” Iwase told Mykleseth. “What happens with the applicants, that is up to them. That is not part of our psyche at all.”
      After tomorrow, either company has the option to pull out of the deal. According to the contract, NextEra would have to pay HECO $95 million if the Florida-based utility ends its interest.
      The PUC has the option to reject the deal, approve it as is, or approve it with conditions.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

TODAY IS NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE Awareness Day. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz encourages constituents to wear orange to recognize the effort.
      According to the Wear Orange movement’s website, “the color orange symbolizes the value of human life. Hunters wear orange in the woods to protect themselves and others. In 2013, teens on the South Side of Chicago asked classmates to honor their murdered friend by wearing orange. That simple call to action has grown into a national movement – and orange is becoming the symbol of gun safety.”
      “Right now our country is suffering from a gun violence epidemic, and we must not allow this violence to become normalized,” Schatz said. “Hawai`i has the lowest rate of gun deaths in the country, and it is because we have passed safe and reasonable gun safety laws. If we are going to create a safe country for ourselves and our children, we must address gun violence immediately. We can fix this problem. We know what works, but we need the political will in Congress to pass laws to help keep our country safe.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

TROPIC CARE 2016 CONTINUES through Saturday, offering free medical screenings, school sports physicals, dental services, eye exams, hearing screenings, nutritional services, veteran services, prescription eyeglasses and more.
Vision, dental and other health services are available at Tropic
Care through Saturday morning in Pahala and Ocean View.
Photo by Sue Dela Cruz/Blue Zones Project
      Hours at Ka`u High School and Ocean View Community Center are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily except Saturday, when closing is at 12 p.m.
      Bring water, snacks and current glasses and medications.
      Bus transportation is available 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.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT continues tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Volunteers meet at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to clear invasive ginger from park trails.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

REGISTER THROUGH TOMORROW for Na`alehu Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. The program runs from June 6 to July 15. The theme this year is centered around fitness and health of body and mind, and participants of all ages are encouraged to read 20 minutes per day.
      Each week, participants can claim a prize or activity at the library, and those who participate at least four weeks during the program will receive a free book to keep.
      Other weekly programs at the library include a fitness- or sports-themed family movie matinee with popcorn every Tuesday at 3 p.m., an activity for grades K-5 on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m., make-and-take crafts on Thursdays at 3 p.m. and healthy snacks to give away on Fridays.
      Everyone is welcome to come and be a part of these fun, free programs. Call 939-2442 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June_2016.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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