Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Monday, July 11, 2016

What's Buggin' the Mountain? Researchers discuss Maunakea's flora and fauna tomorrow at After Dark in the Park.
See more below. Photos from NPS
RAINA WHITING HOSTS A TOWN meeting at Ocean View Community Center tonight at 6 p.m. She is running for Hawai`i County Council against incumbent Maile David. The Ocean View resident has a strong background in grass-root activism and a passion for education.
      Whiting is a teacher at the Na`alehu Elementary School. She sees Ka`u as a rural community that is largely ignored by the county.
      “I see the problem of the county’s overall lack of services to rural communities as the ‘umbrella problem’ under which we find many shortcomings – like wastewater issues, the solar project, the transfer station, ocean access, police and fire services and land security for farmers, especially the small coffee farmers,” Whiting said.
Raina Whiting
      “Keiki and kupuna have to go to Hilo or Kona for services for everything from car registration to WIC stamps, legal services, health services and many other essential services that we pay for with our county taxes. 
      “For example, kindergarten students are required to have shots before they can start school, but the shots were not offered locally during the summer. Parents who did not know this had to go to Kona or Hilo. As a result, many students were enrolled late. This kind of thing can be avoided with planning.
      “Look at waste removal. People dump items that the county makes difficult to take into the system. We need to make it easy to be neat. I would like to see a zero waste program implemented with recycling facilities for almost everything.”
      A graduate of University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Whiting has spent many years in community-based activism. She was a legal advocate for the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i and a member of AmeriCorps, a nationwide service group that offers services to communities. She was a union organizer for UNITE Here Local 5, which serves hotel workers. She is also a member of Hawai`i State Teachers Association Speakers Bureau, which does legislative advocacy work for teachers and children.
      Whiting is also a member of Teach for America. This organization recruits and places teachers but accepts only 15 percent of applicants. The organization’s goal is to place teachers in rural, underserved communities with high poverty. It works to close the gap on educational inequality.
      “I was fortunate to be accepted and then placed in my home community,” she said.
      Whiting is heavily involved with the leadership of the Hawai`i Democratic Party. She is a member of the state’s Central Committee and a national delegate. She is also vice chair of the House District V and President of the Ocean View precinct. To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

KA`U’S STATE REP. RICHARD ONISHI and his challenger Ainoa Naniole discussed their views on genetically modified crops with Leila Fujimori, of Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
      “I’m pro-farmer,” Naniole told Fujimori. “Papaya farmers have been able to make both work. One farmer does both GMO and non-GMO, organic.” He said he’s willing to work companies such as Monsanto “to grow food that stays here.”
Ainoa Naniole
Rep. Richard Onishi
      “The issues of the anti-GMO movement, the anti-pesticide movement, for many of us in the Legislature is not based on scientific fact,” Onishi said. “Those movements are trying to penalize businesses in the agriculture industry by putting on these restrictions.
      “The Big Island passed an ordinance against GMO. It was supposed to be a complete ban. And when they found out all the papaya growers — 95 percent — raise GMO Rainbow papaya and it would put them all out of business, they said, ‘OK, we’ll allow them to grow GMO crops.’”
      According to Onishi, one of the last two dairy farms on Hawai`i Island raises GMO corn to feed their cows.
      “On the mainland they do the same thing and ship milk to Hawai`i,” he said. “We’re not going to ban the shipment of milk. … Those are examples of where these (anti-GMO) efforts are not looking at us as a state and our survival, our businesses and survival, on jobs. These outside organizations are organizing people to run against us.”
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
HELPING FAMILIES IN MENTAL HEALTH Crisis Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 422-2 last week.
      “Millions of people in the U.S., including more than 32,000 adults and 12,000 children in Hawai`i, are living with serious mental health conditions, yet less than half receive the services they need,” Ka`u’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said. “To help bridge the gap that has long existed in mental health care, H.R. 2646 would better connect those dealing with mental illness to community-based services, promote early intervention and treatment, increase access to tele-medicine for underserved and rural communities, and remove access barriers to Medicaid and Medicare for adults and children who need treatment. In addition, the legislation will help address a nationwide shortage of nearly 100,000 inpatient beds, encourage states to provide community-based alternatives to institutionalization, and increase funding for suicide prevention research and outreach programs. Mental illness affects every community in every state across the nation. This bipartisan legislation will help to ensure that those in need of mental health care have better access to the treatment and care they need.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

THE FIRST-EVER HAWAI`I ISLAND Festival of Birds is scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 24-25 at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.
      Saturday’s workshops, including special programs for children, will be highlighted by talks from Brian Sullivan, project leader for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for eBird.org; Dr. Chris Farmer, Hawai`i program director for the American Bird Conservancy; and a panel discussion by the Hawai`i Forest Bird Survey crew. Noah Gomes, park ranger at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, will also speak about traditional Hawaiian featherwork.
      Saturday’s program options include a hands-on Photography Workshop with Jack Jeffrey and a block-printing workshop with artist Gretchen Grove. Materials bill be provided.
      Saturday night’s Gala Dinner will be headlined by Dr. Sam Gon III speaking on the cultural and biological significance of Hawai`i’s unique bird life.
`I`iwi Photo by Jack Jeffrey
      A highlight of the first-ever festival is Sunday’s sneak peek of the newly created Hawai`i Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail with field-trip van departures from Hilo or Kailua-Kona. Other options are a pelagic (sea) birding trip with biologist guides Brian Sullivan, Mike Scott and Lance Tanino, or a bird photography field trip with Jack Jeffrey.
      “We are very pleased with the excellent reception we’ve had so far,” said Rob Pacheco, of Hawai`i Forest & Trail. “Not only are we enrolling participants from Hawai`i, but birders from across the U.S. Mainland have expressed great interest in our program. The festival is a boon to Hawai`i tourism, and it also will give our keiki a chance to learn more about the nature of Hawai`i, with the help of experts who will be joining us to teach at the festival.”
      Festival sponsors include Hawai`i Tourism Authority, County of Hawai`i, Alaska Airlines, Audubon Magazine, Hawai`i Forest and Trail, Destination Marketing and others.
      For more information and registration, see hawaiibirdingtrails.com. Book before Aug. 1 to take advantage of early-bird pricing for all festival components.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

CASSANDRA CUPPLES EXPLAINS what acupuncture is and what conditions it treats today at 3 p.m. at Na`alehu Library and tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Pahala Library.
      Call 939-2442 and 928-2015 for more information.

FREE MOSQUITO TRAPS will be distributed  at Ocean View Community Center tomorrow at 6 p.m. during an update on Hawai`i County’s dengue fever status.

AT AFTER DARK IN THE PARK tomorrow, Heather Stever and Jessica Kirkpatrick present their thesis research on the diversity of insects on different plant types in Maunakea’s subalpine community and the distribution of wekiu bugs on cinder cones in the alpine stone desert.
     The free program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_July_2016.pdf.

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

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