Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Volunteers help cut invasive Himalayan ginger from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park
several times each month. See more below. NPS Photo by Jessica Ferracane
CANDIDATES ARE BATTLING for East Ka`u state Senate seat. Incumbent Russell Ruderman and County Council member Greggor Ilagan, both Democrats, and Libertarian Fred Fogel ask Ka`u citizens to vote on Saturday, Aug. 13 to secure the state Senate seat for Puna and east Ka`u, the boundary at Honu`apo. All three candidates expressed their views in a forum sponsored by the Arts and Sciences Center. It can be seen at bigislandvideonews.com/2016/06/21/video-a-feisty-puna-state-senate-forum.
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      Ruderman has held the Senate seat since January 2011, when Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed him after moving Sen. Russell Kokubun to the Department of Agriculture. Ruderman was then elected to the position in 2012.
      Ruderman, who lives in Puna, serves on four Senate committees: Commerce, Consumer Protection & Health; Economic Development, Environment & Technology; Human Services; and Water, Land & Agriculture. In Ka`u, he has worked to preserve water for local ranchers, sought funding to fight coffee and macadamia pests in Ka`u orchards, and truth in labeling for Ka`u Coffee. Ruderman lobbied for more funding and focus on preventing dengue fever spread by mosquitoes. He received the Hawai‘i Region of SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year and has created 200 jobs with his chain of food stores.
      See russellruderman.com.
County Council member
Greggor Ilagan
      Ilagan serves on the County Council and currently heads the Planning Committee. The Puna resident was elected to the seat in 2012. He listed his priorities as a candidate for state Senate as Health, Education, Environment, Employment, Affordable Housing, Resiliency and Transportation, or HE3ART. He emphasized that the community’s views are vital to how he determines his stands on issues.
      According to Ilagan, accomplishments as a council member include funding the first `Imiloa field trips for students and teachers from seven Puna schools, working with Mayor Billy Kenoi to add five new police officers for Puna, working with Neighborhood Watch groups and police to prevent and report crime, and establishing a dedicated bus route through Hawaiian Paradise Park.
      See voteilagan.com.
Fred Fogel
      Fogel has run for public office in the past, including state representative in 2012 and 2014. A Volcano resident, Fogel said his primary goal is to improve the way government operates and effectively supports people. Regarding taxes, his reforms include eliminating tax on earnings up to poverty level and implementing a revenue-neutral, flat tax thereafter; eliminating tax on tips, barter and inheritance; eliminating sales tax on food and medicine; and taxing agricultural enterprises at the lowest rate.
      Fogel said his vision for government is to give individual counties more autonomy, implement Community Development Plans, balance the budget and reduce its cost. He also said he supports letting “the people of Hawaiian ancestry determine their own destiny – and support their choice as a ‘nation.’”
      See fredfogel.net.
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KA`U’S U.S. REP. Tulsi Gabbard at the Democratic National Convention yesterday nominated Vermont’s U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to be President of the United States.
      “My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans, aloha,” Gabbard’s speech began. “People have asked me how a somewhat frumpy and sometimes grumpy 70-year-old could become the voice for millions, connecting seamlessly with laborers in the Rust Belt and environmentalists in the West.
      “The answer lies in his aloha: his deep love for others and Mother Earth.
      “As Bernie said, ‘The truth is, when you hurt, when your children hurt, I hurt. And when my kids hurt, you hurt.’
Ka`u's U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard nominated Bernie Sanders
to be President of the United States.
Photo from Office of Rep. Gabbard
     “This is a movement of love. Love which calls us to care for families torn apart by our criminal justice system, to care for folks whose jobs have vanished because of destructive trade deals, to care for those barely scraping by at minimum wage or crippled by college debt, to care about our environment and future generations, to care about lives lost, lives ruined and countries destroyed by counterproductive regime change wars, to care for our veterans who face unacceptable delays and inadequate care.
      “This movement of love and compassion is bigger than any one of us; it speaks to our nation’s conscience, to our hearts. Such love opens our eyes to the truth that every hungry child is my child, every worker seeking the dignity of a job is my neighbor, every senior citizen in need of care is my parent, an attack on anyone because of race, religion or sexual orientation is an attack on all of us.
      “It’s when we care for each other – choosing inclusion and love over division and hatred – that this great country is at its greatest.
      “Let us draw inspiration from the words of Mahatma Gandhi: ‘A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.’
      “My friends, because this is a movement fueled by love, it can never be stopped or defeated.
      “On behalf of millions inspired by aloha, determined to seek a future rooted in love, compassion and justice and dedicated to a government of the people, by the people and for the people, I am honored to nominate Bernie Sanders for President of the United States.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Raina Whiting and Jim Dean
Photo from Raina Whiting
RAINA WHITING, OF OCEAN VIEW, is a Bernie Sanders delegate at the Democratic National Convention this week.
      During the convention, Whiting attended a session led by Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America, titled The Revolution Continues: 50-State Strategy to Run, Organize, Win, which was for progressive candidates running on a Sanders platform locally. Whiting said DFA is a national organization championing progressive politics and ideals like stopping the Trans-Pacific partnership, single-payer health care and clean elections. The organization endorsed Sanders six months ago after polling members.
      Sanders made a national call to his supporters this year to be part of a movement to bring progressive, new ideas into politics and run for local, state and federal offices. Whiting previously met with Sanders in June about her local candidacy for County Council.
      “I feel privileged to be part of a movement for our future and to bring my stance on social, economic, racial and environmental justice,” Whiting said. “I think about our beautiful community, my amazing students and their `ohana. I hope I earn the vote of our community to bring action to our district. We deserve a greater level of leadership and advocacy from our elected officials.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

KA`U’S STATE SEN. Josh Green shared a letter to his constituents regarding this week’s Democratic National Convention.
      “I’m working a very long ER shift (about 80 hours) this week in the countryside on the Big Island, and I’m watching the Democratic Convention when things are quiet,” Green wrote.
Sen. Josh Green, M.D.
      “Part of me wishes I were there in Philly with friends to experience first hand the energy, inspiration and chaos of the event.
      “I’m struck by how real the issues are that are being debated. In the hospital, a shift rarely goes by that these issues don’t play out right in front of me – a young person needs help with prescription drug addiction, a beautiful kid comes to the ER with a social worker to find help to escape someone who has been sexually abusing her, an elderly immigrant who never had good coverage now needs medications for a serious heart problem – the list goes on and on.
      “The (Republican) convention last week was filled with rage and finger pointing, accusations and hate – and no solutions.
      “Certainly neither side is perfect, but I will say I have been proud to watch this week’s speakers … taking on the most pressing issues of our times.
      “I have a lot of friends who are liberal and many who are quite conservative, friends who are members of both political parties and friends who are apolitical completely.
      “As a doc and state senator, I want to say that I know we are all in this together in America and we must choose leadership that unites us and appeals to our better angles.
      “Love your children, work hard and care for one another.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

CUT INVASIVE HIMALAYAN ginger on Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park trails Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and close-toed shoes. The hike is around a one-mile, moderate round-trip into Kilauea caldera down Halema`uma`u Trail, leaving from Kilauea Visitor Center. It involves walking over rough, uneven terrain on a dirt and rock path, with up to a 400-foot elevation change.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

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