Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016

Kilauea Military Camp is dressed up for Christmas and welcomes the public to vote on the best decorated cottages. Photo from KMC 

GOV. DAVID IGE'S TOP BUDGET PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS are detailed in his executive biennium budget to the State Legislature, submitted yesterday. Highlights for the budget of over $14.2 billion for each year, include addressing education, homelessness and affordable housing, and Sustainable Hawai‘i initiatives, according to a statement from the governor.
      The operating budget proposal includes $14.2 billion (all revenue sources) for Fiscal Year 2018, an increase of four percent and $14.3 billion (all revenue sources), an increase of 5 percent for Fiscal Year 2019.
     The capital improvements proposal includes $2.3 billion for FY 18 and $781.8 million for FY 19. “This budget proposal aims to balance our state’s current needs with our investments for the future – providing basic needs for our residents such as affordable housing, quality public schools, primary healthcare and essential social services,” said the governor.
Gov. David Ige's new budget stresses education, reducing homelessness, more
affordable housing, better health and sustainability.
     For education, Ige's proposal includes the highest instructional budget allocation ever -- $28 million each year to the Weighted Student Formula, $10 million annually for the new Innovation Grant Program and $9 million ($3M in FY 18 and $6M in FY 19) for Early College programs. The governor proposes $800 million for new schools and classrooms, as well as repair and maintenance of Department of Education campuses, University of Hawai`i campuses and libraries. This includes $61.7 million in FY 18 for heat abatement statewide and $373.6 million in FY 18 to address classroom capacity issues (including $264.7M for new schools).
     “Our future begins with our investment in education which is tied to economic growth. It is a top priority. We continue to focus on the classrooms and schools. We continue our push for cooler classrooms. No one is more disappointed than I that we haven’t met our goals due to initial high costs,” Ige said.
     For housing and homelessness, the governor proposes an investment of more than $123.4 million in new housing projects and $59 million for public housing improvements. For the homelessness effort, Ige asks for $20.9 million annually for rent subsidies, supportive and outreach services. The legislature appropriated $12 million for homelessness programs in the current fiscal year.
   “We have made great strides in collaboration, where all parts of the system are working together toward the same objective of moving people from homelessness to permanent supportive housing,” Ige said.
    Toward a sustainable Hawai`i, the budget proposal dedicates more than $30 million in operating funds to agricultural and natural resources and $31 million in CIP funds for sustainability initiatives, including $7.5 million for the Watershed Initiative.
     “Our goal is to protect our forests, water and other natural resources while working to double our local food production and grow our economy,” Ige said. “We hope to work collaboratively with state lawmakers on our budget proposal as we shape the future of our state,”
said the governor.

VETTING U.S. SUPREME COURT NOMINEES nominated by Pres. Donald Trump will be one of Sen. Mazie K. Hirono's tasks as she returns to serve on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee  Hirono said yesterday that the Judiciary Committee will be instrumental in defending civil rights, vetting Trump Administration's Supreme Court nominees, and standing up for immigrant communities and DREAmers – in the 115th Congress.
     “The Senate Judiciary Committee will be on the front lines of fighting to protect Hawai`i from the incoming Trump administration’s proposals that erode civil rights and target immigrants,” said Hirono. “I look forward to continuing to advance Hawai`i priorities on committees that are vital to our national security, growing Hawai`i’s economy, and protecting the environment.” Hirono previously served on the Judiciary Committee in the 113th Congress, where she was a key author of the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Sen. Mazie Hirono says she will stand up for immigrant communities
and DREAmers in the 115th Congress, fight for the environment, and
vet Trump Administration's Supreme Court nominees.
     Hirono will also continue to serve on the Senate on Armed Services Committe with chair John McCain and Ranking Member Jack Reed.. She said she will continue to advocate for Hawai`i’s interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, "setting strong parameters about the use of our military, and advocating for military families." As a member of the Armed Services Committee this year, Hirono successfully included several Hawaii-focused provisions in this year’s defense authorization.
     Hirono will serve on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She said she will fight against policies "that move our nation away from sustainable, clean energy sources, support research and development into the next generation of clean energy systems and sources, and ensure that Hawai`i’s entrepreneurs and workforce can take advantage of advances in clean energy." As a Committee member this year, Hirono held a field hearing on strengthening Hawai`i’s water security.
    As a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Hirono said she will continue to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and entrepreneurship opportunities for women and minorities, and make sure Hawaii businesses have a fair shot at federal opportunities. Hirono held a field hearing to examine how to boost women and minority participation in STEM careers.
     As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Hirono said she will continue her work expanding access to earned benefits, improving care for all veterans, and ensuring a smooth transition from active duty for veterans and their families. As a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Hirono passed legislation that equalizes paid leave for veterans who work for the Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration, and improves access to health care and benefits for veterans.
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Santa sets up for keiki at Kahuku County Park.
Photo by Ann Bosted
MANY HANDS HELPED WITH THE KAHUKU COUNTY PARK KEIKI CHRISTMAS celebration on Saturday, which featured food, Santa, gifts and music by Demetrius Oliviera and Gene Beck. Pastor Rod Ducosin, of Heavenly Hands Outreach, said that so many presents were donated - over 600 - that "some of them will become more blessings for more children this season."
     O Ka`u Kakou offered up shave ice and covered liability insurance and served as the non-profit organization to receive donations, Ducosin said. The long lists of acknowledgements includes "Auntie Hazel Taetuna who worked for two weeks, helping with the event  and a Kahuku Park `Ohana comprised of many volunteers who joined in along with many businesses."
       Among those donating were: L&L Drive In, which gave gift certificates for food at L&L. The Spin Zone donated $100 in gift certificates from Walmart. Hawai`i Community Federal Credit Union gave a big donation and Pohue Gifts and Ocean View Auto Parts donated gifts. Dawn Marie, an Ocean View part-tine resident, sponsored 100 gifts. Toys for Tot sponsored a drop off box at Kahuku Market. Tutu & Me helped with the gifts.
      Hillbilly Car Club of Ocean View donated over 60 gifts and delivered Santa - Robert Jones to meet with keiki.
      Catholic Charities, Ocean View Baptist Church,  Ocean View Evangelical Church and Hope Diamond Ministries at South Point assisted.
      Ardie from Kona donated plates, forks, knives. ACE Hardware in Ocean View provided supplies and DJ's Pizza helped feed volunteers. Ka`u Business Center printed flyers. Dodo Mortuary made a donation as did Triple F Paper Supplies.
      A group of people volunteered to cook, including Auntie Hazel, Auntie Shiela, Gerri, David, Lisa, Ziggee, Lisa and Rod. Kelsey and her children helped decorate and with the food. Art and Christine donated a pig. Auntie Kemalu Waltjen prepared the meat. Queen Liliuolani Chidrens Center donated 400 apples.
      Steven Hemmerich and Frances Garcia was a big help with the food, said Ducosin. Alan and Nancy Stafford, Mat Prowse, Doug Castro, Alan Humble and Ian Baily were also strong supporters and volunteers.
     Police officer Clayton Tayaman was another assistant helping with  the well-attended event.
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Mauna Loa Weather Station, operated by NOAA in Ka`u, captures this morning's
 view of snow-topped Mauna Kea as the Winter Solstice approaches -
43 minutes past midnight, tonight. Photo from NOAA 

WINTER SOLSTICE IS TONIGHT AT 43 MINUTES PAST MIDNIGHT. The first day of Winter for the Northern Hemisphere marks the longest night, shortest day and completion of the solar cycle for the year. It is the time when the North Pole is tilted the farthest away from the Sun. By Christmas the days will begin to be longer. When looking at the horizon from the south end of the island, sunrises will be earlier and sunsets later. The sun will arise farther to the north - toward Hilo and sunsets will be farther to the South and visible from more places on the coast of Ka`u.
Acadia in Maine has many similarities with Hawai`i Volcanoes
National Park, as seen in new film tonight at 7 p.m.
Photo from NPS
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HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK AND MAINE'S ACADIA show similarities in the After Dark in the Park  film presentation tonight to raise awareness of the other national parks. Acadia and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Parks are thousands of miles apart, but they have much in common. Both parks turned 100 this year, and both are on islands defined by their indigenous host cultures, fascinating geology, and intriguing biodiversity. Learn about Maine’s iconic national park in the new film,  A Second Century of Stewardship: Science Behind the Scenery in Acadia National Park, by filmmaker David Shaw. Screening time is this evening at 7 p.m. and Kilauea Visitor Center. Park Fees apply.

OCEAN VIEW’S OWN MUSICAL CONDUCTOR Michael Cripps will lead the Chamber Orchestra of Kona in a Christmas Concert, tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 20 at Sheraton ballroom at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.chamberorchestraofkona.com and at the door.

NA` LEO MANU - KENNETH MAKUAKANE, TOMORROW at Kilauea Visitor Center auditorium, 6:30 - 8 p.m. The free event showcases the melodies of multiple award-winning artist Kenneth Makuakāne. His accolades include 15 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, and six Big Island Music Awards. A prolific songwriter, Makuakane’s compositions have been recorded by artists such as the Brothers Cazimero, Nā Leo Pilimehana and many more. Park entrance fees apply.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY is ongoing through the holidays at Volcano Art Center in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

VOTE FOR THE BEST DECORATED Kilauea Military Camp through the holidays.

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