Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Kaʻū News Briefs Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016

Rep. Richard Creagan, of Kiolakaʻa in Kaʻū, is the new chair of the state House of Representatives
Committee on Agriculture. Photo from Rep. Creagan
DR. RICHARD CREAGAN, who represents east Kaʻū and south Kona in the state Legislature, is the new Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture. His selection during a caucus in Honolulu yesterday came after Chair Clift Tsuji died last week. 
     Creagan, a physician and Kaʻū resident with a farm at Kiolakaʻa, is a Democrat and also serves as vice-president of the Kaʻū chapter of Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United. He advocates for transparency for labeling GMO and place of origin for foods sold to consumers. His vice-chair will be Rep. Lynn DeCoite, of Molokaʻi.
     Rep. Richard Onishi, who represents east Kaʻū, will move from vice-chair of the Ag Committee to chair the House Committee on Tourism.
     Creagan is expected to meet this week in Kaʻū with state Senate Ag Chair Mike Gabbard, father of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. The congresswoman also supports GMO and origin labeling for food and has taken the effort to the U.S. House of Representatives.

RAPID GROWTH OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING on this island was the warning given to Ocean View residents on Monday. Melody Stone advocated on behalf of the Hawaiʻi Island Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She urged formation of a Neighborhood Watch cooperative to guard against the problem. A group of about 20 Ocean View residents listened to her at Ocean View Community Center.
Ho‘ōla Nā Pua works with Hawaiʻi Island Coalition Against Human 
Trafficking and made a sobering presentation at
Ocean View Community Center this week. 
Photo from Hoʻōla Nā Pua
     A former clinical therapist in private practise, Stone has embraced her calling to spread awareness and offers free training to groups anywhere. She can train others in recognizing the warning signs before the human trafficking begins, and can make them aware of the problems with a video. She works with an organization on ‘Oahu, called Ho‘ōla Nā Pua.
     “About 100 to 300 kids go missing in Hawaiʻi every month,” she explained. “It is a huge problem which people don’t like to talk about, so many are not aware of it. The police want to brush it under the rug, so it’s up to the community to organize.”
     The mission of Ho‘ōla Nā Pua is the renewal of trafficked girls through health, education, advocacy, and reintegration. The organization is also committed to meeting the unique needs of underage female sex trafficked victims through the utilization of individualized, comprehensive, and restorative therapies.
     Rod DuCosin, a volunteer at the Ocean View Community Center, described the situation in Ocean View as a dangerous one. “The kids return from school and get off the bus and go to the park, where there is no drinking water. The parents are often late arriving to fetch their kids, so the kids are left wandering around. It used to be that kids knew where to go for help, but no longer.”
  See https://hoolanapua.org/ for guides and outreach to programs to help stop teen trafficking.
Photo from Ho‘ōla Nā Pua
     “There are lots of unregistered pedophiles in Ocean View, and I see them cruising by the park,” commented DuCosin.
     Stone advised her audience to employ Neighborhood Watch to monitor the bus stop and volunteer time at the park. She also explained ways parents can guard against abduction of young teens by human traffickers.
     “Stay close to your teens and talk to them. Know what their problems are and who their friends are and who they are e-mailing and texting. Get them trained in self-defense,” she advised.
     “We don’t have statistics, but we know it is going on in Ocean View from the stories we are getting from the girls we have rescued,” she explained. “The traffickers are moving all over the island. We have to get training for the police. Traffickers prey where teens gather.”
     DuCosin said many Ocean View kids go to school in Kona, where there is no supervision as they wait for the bus.
    Kaʻū’s Community Policing Officer, Clayton Tayamen, told the group that he had not heard of any human trafficking in Kaʻū. He said that a Neighborhood Watch meets weekly, but admitted that the police had been unsuccessful in stopping the rash of burglaries in Ocean View.
     “We have persons of interest” he stated, referring to the fact that the identities of the culprits are well known in the community, but they remain at large. The situation has been the subject of two recent community meetings.
     See https://hoolanapua.org/ for guides and outreach to programs to help stop teen trafficking.
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The annual Floating Lantern Ceremony
is Saturday at Punaluʻu.
Photo from KRHCAI
A THANKSGIVING WEEKEND TRADITION, the sixth annual Floating Lantern Ceremony, is scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 26 at Punaluʻu Beach Park’s  Medicine Pond. The annual gathering is sponsored by Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association, Kaʻū Resource & Distance Learning Center and founder Jessie Marques. Donations help a college scholarship fund for education for health careers.
Tax deductible purchase of floating lanterns, T-shirts and photos also raises money.    
     The event features community potluck, Taiko drummers, Gi Gon demonstration, hula dancers and local music, followed by a special photo powerpoint presentation of loved ones, friends, families, caregivers and previous celebrations. The theme was “Honoring the Past, Present and Future Generations.”
     To donate to the scholarship fund for health careers, call 928-0101. See more at Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association’s website https://krhcai.com and its Facebook page.

Jessie Marques and
Theresa Richardson
join Be A Lifesaver Campaign
and will receive an AED for Kaʻū.
Photo from KRHCAI
CARDIAC RESCUE EQUIPMENT FOR KAʻŪ: Kaʻū Rural Health Community Association staff, Executive Director Jessie Marques and Office Manager Theresa Richardson recently attended the Special AED Presentation hosted by Big Island Toyota in Hilo. As part of Be A Lifesaver Campaign partnership with Big Island Toyota Hilo and Kona, 20 free automated external defibrillator devices were awarded to KRHCAI and other community non-profit organizations on the Big Island.
     Lisa Rantz, Executive Director of Hilo Medical Center Foundation, planned to deliver the AED to KRHCAI upon completion of training on the use of the AED, training on chest compression-only CPR. For more information contact Marques, Program Coordinator Kaʻū Resource & Distance Learning Center at 928-0101, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

LEI WILI DEMONSTRATION, Wed, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn the lei wili, a traditional style of lei created by wrapping cordage around flowers, leaves and more. Free; park entrance fees apply

THANKSGIVING DINNER AT OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER will be from noon to 3 p.m. The free meal is an annual gift to the community by the Ocean View Community Association.

THANKSGIVING DAY BUFFET, Thu, Nov. 24, 2 – 6 p.m., Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day buffet at Kīlauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The buffet features roast turkey, pineapple honey-glazed ham, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rice, pumpkin squares, apple crisp, ice cream sundae bar and beverage. $21.95 adults, $11.95 child (6-11 years). No reservations required. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356 

VOLCANO ARTS CENTER PROGRAMS PREVIEW EXHIBIT, Friday, Saturday Nov. 25/26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Discover what the New Year has to offer. VAC will be on Volcano Artist Hui’s tour, and Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will sell poinsettias. 967-8222.

30TH ANNUAL VOLCANO VILLAGE ARTISTS HUI SHOW & SALE, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 25-27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Volcano Village. Gallerygoers are invited to meet the artists in their studios located in Volcano. Artworks will be on display and available for purchase in a variety of media including pottery, raku, hand-blown art glass, sculpture, jewelry, and fiber art as well as photographs, paintings, drawings, metal work, quilts, and block prints. Maps to studios available at local businesses & galleries. 987-3472

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY holiday exhibit daily through Jan. 1 from  9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at  Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Featured at Christmas in the Country is the 17th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, with prizes awarded for the best wreaths. To participate, contact Emily Weiss at 967-8222 or gallery@volcanoartcenter.org. Free; park entrance fees apply.

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