Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016

Sen. Russell Ruderman won the vote yesterday to return to his state Senate seat, after a hard fought victory over
 County Council member Greggor Ilagan in the primary. Above, Ruderman campaigns with his baby at Volcano this summer.
 Photo by Ron Johnson

Rep. Richard Creagan (l) won last night and will return for west Kaʻū to the
state Legislature. Kealiʻi Kahele won his late father's state Senate seat and
 Maile David represents Kaʻū again on the County Council.

INCUMBENTS WON all the races for state and county seats representing Kaʻū in yesterday's General Election.
      Sen. Russell Ruderman, representing east Kaʻū  returns to his post winning 76.5 percent of the vote. The Democrat defeated Libertarian Fredrick Fogel in the General Election after defeating County Council member Greggor Ilagan in the primary. Sen. Josh Green, state Senator for west Kaʻū,  a Democrat, was not on the ballot. He serves two more years until his term is up,
     Rep. Richard Creagan goes back to his state House of Representatives seat for west Kaʻū,  the Democrat defeating Libertarian Michael Last with 68.2 percent of the vote.
       Rep. Richard Onishi goes back to his state House of Representatives seat for east Kaʻū  winning 68 percent of the vote, beating Green Party candidate Kealoha Pisciotta.    
      County Council member Maile David, representing all of Kaʻū, won the primary election over Bernnie Sanders supporter Raina Whiting by a large enough margin to avoid a General Election runoff.
State Rep. Richard Onishi was reelected last night. Photo by Ron Johnson
      Kaiʻaliʻi Kahele, son of the Gil Kahele who was a Kaʻū senator until redistricting, won his late father’s state Senate seat in Hilo and promised to continue to help Kaʻū and particularly Miloliʻi where he does community work and has a second family home.
     County Prosecutor Mitch Roth won his post again in the primary. He has worked with Kaʻū farmers and extensively on community Neighborhood Watch and drug and crime prevention programs.  Mayor Harry Kim also won in the primary, taking back leadership of the county after serving two terms and resting for two terms. He replaces Mayor Billy Kenoi who has reached term limits.

OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS TRUSTEE for Hawaiʻi Island will be Robert Lindsey, returning to his post with 44.4 percent of the vote, defeating Mililani Trask with 32.5 percent of the vote. The winner of the OHA at-larrge trustee race is Keliʻi Akina with 37 percent of the vote over Haunani Apiliona with 36 percent of the vote.

Mayor Harry Kim says “Thank You” to Kaʻū. Photo by Julia Neal
FOR CONGRESS, REPRESENTING KAʻŪ and rural Hawaiʻi, Sen. Brian Schatz returns to Washington, winning more than 70 percent of the vote and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard returns to Washington with more than 75 percent of the vote.

THE NEW U.S. PRESIDENT, announced this morning after General Election voting yesterday, will be Republican Donald Trump. He lost Hawaiʻi, earning about half the number of votes here as the Democrat, Hillary Clinton. However, nationwide the close race ended in a Clinton concession with Trump winning the electoral votes and Clinton winning the popular vote. The electoral college vote prevails.
      In his acceptance speech, Trump, the New York developer and hotelier, said, “Now it’s time for America to bind together as one united people.” He also said the nation owes Clinton “a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.” Trump promised to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, create more jobs and allow fewer jobs to be shipped offshore. He has also promised a better health care system than Obamacare.
     In speeches this morning, outgoing President Barack Obama and Clinton both urged a peaceful transition to the Trump presidency. They and Trump urged everyone to work together as citizens of the United States to better the country.
  To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

HAWAIʻI COUNTY'S GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT to take the public's health into consideration when planning for the island was approved yesterday with a yes vote with 65.4 percent of the vote.
Reelected last night, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard visited leaders of
two Kaʻū Coffee cooperatives this Summer. She will give the
 Kilauea Military  address this Friday at 3 p.m. Photo by Julia Neal
THE STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT setting a  higher value in civil cases to qualify them for jury trials, was passed yesterday by the Hawaiʻi electorate with 46.3 percent of the vote. Another amendment which directs the state to use excess funds to pay debt and other costs also passed with 50.4 percent of the vote.
  To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

A GATHERING WILL BE HELD TO HONOR the life of Ocean View Community leader Don Nitsche this Saturday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. at Bougainvillea Bed and Breakfast in Ranchos. A military funeral will be at noon today at the West Hawaiʻi Veterans’ Cemetery.
Don Nitsche
     Nitsche, a well-known Kaʻū personality, died peacefully on Oct. 27 in his Ocean View home at age 86, bringing a full and active life to a sudden and unexpected end.
     Nitsche was a builder, paver, fisherman, pilot, skier, sailor, war vet, host, water hauler and entrepreneur. His legacy is advocating for many Ocean View community services and facilities including the new well for potable water for the community, which, without his perseverance, may never have been built. He was born in Seattle, WA and graduated from Garfield High School. He served in the Navy for two years and was a Korean war veteran. After marrying his wife, Martie, in 1952, he joined an Alaskan fishing fleet to earn capital for land and to build a home on Mercer Island. Entrepreneurship came early to Don – he was able to build a mountain cabin while simultaneously managing a ski chalet and selling commercial ski equipment and also building his home.
     In 1976 he and Martie moved to Maui with their two children to run an Orange Julius concession and sell Buck Alum steel-frame home kits to home builders who wanted strong, durable, termite-proof materials. In 1989 the family moved to Ocean View and Don took over the gas station. Today it is Spirit gas, but at the time it was Texaco. It was a full-service facility, that offered repairs, tires and batteries. Don also built the Bougainvillea Bed and Breakfast in Hawaiian Ranchos, which he and Martie ran for 25 years.
Seeking funding for drilling an Ocean View well was one of
 Don Nitsche’s long-term community projects.
     At one time, the roads in Ranchos were inadequately maintained. Exeter Equity Inc. held about $400,000 in trust, as required by the county, for road maintenance, but were not doing the work. In 1991, Nitsche, as President of the Hawaiian Ranchos Community Association, threatened to sue Exeter for non-performance, unless that company gave the funds to the community. They finally agreed, and in 1992 the Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corp. was formed with Nitsche as its first President. Nitsche acquired equipment, and the cindered roads were chipsealed over time – about six miles per year.
     Long time Ocean View resident Richard Rogers affectionately described Nitsche as the “Crusty Old Buzzard who gets things done.” He recalled a time, circa 1996, when the Legislature voted to give Ocean View a water well and storage tank, but, according to Rogers, the Governor refused to release the funds as retribution for Ocean View residents refusing to allow the development of both a prison and a rocket launching site in Kaʻū.
     “Gov. Ben Cayetano told us straight,” recalled Rogers. He said: ‘You are not getting any money while I’m in office.’
     “We in Ocean View, led by Don and Martie, were not taking ‘no’ for an answer,” recalled Rogers. “Martie arranged flights to Oʻahu for about 20 of us, and a bus to take us to the capitol. We called ourselves ‘The Well-Wishers.’ We picketed all day, shouting ‘Give us our money!’ Cayetano arranged to be absent that day, so we flew back a second time. That time we picketed a huge hotel where they were holding the Pacific Business Economic Summit – Bill Gates was there – and we hoped that picketing Cayetano in front of these VIPs would embarrass him into releasing the funds, but it only made him madder.
     “I still remember Don standing on a median picketing, when a hotel guard ordered him to move, which Don refused to do. The big, beefy guard asked, threateningly, ‘You want trouble?’ to which Don replied, ‘Yes, what do you think we came here for?’ The guard stomped off. We later heard that Cayetano had a paddy wagon around the corner, ready to haul us off if we got out of hand.”
The Nitsche home in Ranchos was the site of many community
planning and strategy meetings. 
    Unfortunately for Nitsche and Ocean View, said Rogers, the oft-criticized Cayetano was elected to a second term by a single percentage point, so they had to wait until 2002 for Linda Lingle to take office. “We had to start all over again, getting the Legislature to again approve the project,” explained Rogers.
     “Even then we had to wait for her second term. She wanted to give us a smaller well, with a single pump and a smaller tank. Don argued vehemently that it was not adequate. Gov. Lingle got frustrated and said ‘What’s the matter with you – won’t you accept what we are giving you?’ to which Don replied, ‘No, we are not accepting it.’ The Crusty Old Buzzard got his way and now Ocean View has two pumps, a deeper well and a larger storage tank.”
     Martie recalled that it was State Rep. Bob Herkes who pushed the proposal through the Legislature, winning $6.4 million for the project. “It took Don 14 years, but Ocean View now has a well, so it was worth it,” added Martie. “I think of it as Don’s legacy to our town.”
     While the saga of the water well played out, Nitsche was hauling water from Waiohinu in his truck with a 2,000-gallon water tank. On Easter eve in 2008, he turned into Ranchos at the Kohala gate and was driving makai when the truck’s brakes failed. He turned the rig towards a ditch to slow it down, but the truck jack-knifed and then somersaulted and rolled before coming to rest on the lava as a mangled wreck. Luckily Nitsche was not wearing a seat belt. He was thrown out and landed on the lava, where he lay, concussed, until a police officer stopped, expecting to find a fatality. Miraculously, the Crusty Old Buzzard survived with a brain concussion, a broken rib and a punctured lung.
      When not working hard, which was most of the time, Don enjoyed skiing, flying small aircraft and sailing. He is survived by Martie, his son Karl, daughter Jahna Brown, five grandchildren and one great grandson.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

A RED CROSS VOLUNTEERS MEETING will be held tomorrow, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the HOVE Road Maintenance Corp. office for those interested in becoming volunteers. Call Hannah Uribes at 929-9953.

 OPEN HOUSE IS THIS FRIDAY AT KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK. The Welina Mai Nei Kaikou I Kahuku celebrates Kahuku being open on Fridays, in addition to Saturdays and Sundays. Hawaiian music, informational displays, children't activities. Free entry. Sign up for a guided hike at 929-8075.

Free admission, hike, music and displays this Friday in
Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
Photo from NPS
FREE ENTRANCE TO HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK will be this Friday, Nov. 11, National parks across the country will waive entrance fees for Veterans Day in honor of the men and women who have served the nation. The park has dozens of veterans among its employees and volunteers. Active duty U.S. military can obtain a free annual Military Pass at the park’s entrance station all year. For more information on the free Military Pass, visit the park website http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/fees.htm.

KĪLAUEA MILITARY CAMP VETERAN'S DAY CEREMONY will be this Friday, Nov. 11. KMC celebrates a century of service with keynote speaker, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. The ceremony is on the front lawn at 3 p.m.

VETERANS DAY BUFFET is offered by Kilauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Cafe this Friday, Nov. 11 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. following Veterans Day ceremonies. Adults $27.95. Children 6-11 years old $14.50


See www.kaucalendar.com

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