Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017

Lava stream pours out of a lava tube on the sea cliff at Kamokuna ocean entry in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, which
is drawing record numbers of visitors to see Madame Pele. Photo from USGS
STANDING UP FOR THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE is one of Sen. Mazie Hirono's missions. She represents the area of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, the Ala Kahakai National Trail and other Hawai`i parks in Ka`u and beyond as a U.S. Senator.
     Hirono said today: “Since day one of his Presidency, Donald Trump has attacked the National Park Service for telling the truth and silenced objective science about climate change.
     “As Ranking Member of the National Parks Subcommittee, I pledge to stand with the 22,000 National Park Service employees in Hawai`i and across the country who dedicate their careers to promoting science and protecting and preserving America’s national parks and other public lands.”
Interaction of molten lava flowing into cool seawater caused pulsating
littoral explosions that threw spatter high into the air. During one large burst,
spatter was thrown about twice the height of the sea cliff, creating
hazardous conditions at Hawai1i Volcanoe National Park. Photo from USGS
     The National Parks Subcommittee oversees the National Park System; Wild and Scenic Rivers System; National Trails System; national recreation areas; historic sites; military parks and battlefields; Land and Water Conservation Fund; historic preservation; outdoor recreation resources; and preservation of prehistoric ruins and objects of interest on the public domain. There are nine National Parks Service sites in Hawai`i.
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OF ENERGY AND SECRETARY OF INTERIOR nominations by Pres. Donald Trump were also the subject of an explantation from Sen. Mazie Hirono today:
     As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Hirono opposed the nominations of Gov. Rick Perry to serve as Secretary of Energy and Representative Ryan Zinke to serve as Secretary of the Interior during the committee meeting this morning. 
     Said Hirono, “The Trump Administration has made it clear they intend to deny the reality of climate change and prioritize fossil fuel extraction above responsible use of our public lands and our nation’s clean energy sources Under the previous administration, our country made significant progress in confronting the challenge of climate change, growing our renewable energy economy, ensuring clean air and water, and protecting our public lands.
     “During my personal conversations with Governor Perry and Representative Zinke, and after their confirmation hearings, I do not believe they would continue to protect the progress we’ve made or stand up to climate deniers within the Trump administration.”
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Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated by Donald
Trump to be the new Supreme Court Justice.
Sen. Mazie Hirono weighed in.
TODAY'S SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINATION of Judge Neil Gorsuch drew this comment from Sen. Mazie Hirono: "In his first two weeks as President, Donald Trump has demonstrated minimal tolerance for independent thinking and dissent. I am deeply concerned that his choice for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, will be a rubber stamp for the President's radical agenda. We owe it to the American people to vet this nominee extensively and exhaustively. In the weeks and months ahead, I will carefully scrutinize Judge Gorsuch's judicial philosophy, his views on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, his position on voting rights, and his thoughts on the balance between individual rights and corporate power, among other subjects."
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HOW TO ADVOCATE is the training to which Ka`u women are invited to attend, according to Ka`u's County Council member Maile David. Catherine A. Betts, JD, the Executive Director of the Hawai`i State Commission on the Status of Women, will lead two sessions on Tuesday, Feb. 7, the first at West Hawai`i Community Civic Center in Kailua-Kona from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and the second on the same day at Aupuni Conference Center in Hilo from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The workshop, said David, will include an overview of the legislative process in Hawai`i; how the Women's Coalition works to identify issues important to women and propose legislation in conjunction with the Women's Legislative Caucus; and the important role of testimony and how to write compelling testimony. Both sessions are free.
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Sen. Josh Green, who represents West Ka`u into Kona, has released his goals and bills for 2017 in the Hawai`i Senate. A physician,
he has traditionally supported public health measures, such as smoke free zones and anti-smoking legislation. This year
he concentrates on lowering the DUI alcohollevel, advocating for housing for the homeless, legislating
living wages and more. Photo from Josh Green
WEST KA`U STATE SENATOR JOSH GREEN today released an outline of this bills and goals for 2017 and the current session of the Hawai`i Legislature. Green, a physician who started his medical career in Hawai`i at Ka`u Hospital, represents Honu`apo to Kona in the Hawai`i Senate. Here are the issues he is tackling at the 2017 Hawai`i Legislature.:
     Homelessness as a Healthcare Condition: Green's Senate Bill 2 classifies chronic homelessness as a medical condition and would allow a doctor to write a homeless patient a prescription for housing. "Chronic homelessness exacerbates pre-existing illnesses, and a recent Hawai`i based study found that health care costs for chronically homeless people dropped 43 percent when they had decent housing for an uninterrupted six-month period. Housing is healthcare, and if we begin to conceptualize homelessness as a health condition, we can treat it effectively and compassionately," said Green.
     A Living Wage: Senate Bill 14 incrementally raises the minimum wage in Hawai`i to $15 an hour by 2023. Hawai`i has the highest cost of living in the nation "and 200,000 of our residents are only two to three missed paychecks away from economic crisis, leaving them
vulnerable to joining the ranks of those who cannot afford housing, food or medicine for their families. A living wage is the right thing to do," said Green.
   Starting Salary for Teachers: SB 176 establishes a minimum starting salary of $55,000 for Hawai`i's teachers. This measure also restricts class size to 18 students per teacher. "Given the teacher shortage in Hawai`i, it is imperative that we recruit high quality, capable teachers to educate our keiki and compensate them fairly for the important work that they do," said Green.
   Decriminalization of Marijuana: SB 16 decriminalizes the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and creates a civil penalty of no more than $250 for possession of marijuana on school property or open possession in a school zone. "The decriminalization of marijuana will keep numerous non-violent people in possession of marijuana out of jail, and prevent their records from being marred with a criminal drug offense," Green.
Sen. Josh Green advocates lowering the legal blood alcohol limit.
Photo from www.hawaiipolice.com
   Environmental Protection: SB 19 requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a mandatory disclosure program for pesticide use.  SB 29 establishes pesticide buffer zones for sensitive areas like schools and playgrounds. "The number of large-scale, outdoor, commercial agricultural operations in Hawaii has been increasing and with that there has been an increase in restricted use pesticides into our environment. The public has a right to know the chemical make-up of these pesticides to better evaluate the effects on the environment and if the risks merit the usage. Additionally, we have an obligation to the most vulnerable among us to keep these potentially harmful chemicals away from sensitive populations," said Green.
     Public Safety: SB 18 lowers the legal blood alcohol limit for driving under the influence from .08 percent to .05 percent. Green points out that nations and states with BAC laws of 0.05percent have up to 50 percent fewer alcohol related serious injuries and deaths. "This could save the lives of more than 50 Hawai`i residents every year and help us avoid 4,000 serious injuries. As an ER physician this is a personal priority for me to pass," said Green.
     SB 178 mandates wearing a helmet for riders of motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters. A helmet can mean the difference between life and death in a motor vehicle accident. Just like seat belts are mandatory because they save lives in cars, helmets save lives on motorcycles and mopeds," said Green.
     For more information on any of the measures listed by Green, go to JoshGreen.org/PriorityBills2017. He can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates on issues Green is working on this session.
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OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION has released a calendar of its events for February. 
     On Wednesday, Feb. 1 there will be an Advocats Free Spay/Neuter Clinic from 7:30a.m. to 5 p.m.

     On Thursday, Feb. 2 is the Neighborhood Watch at 7 p.m..

     On Tuesday, Feb. 7 is a forum on Sex Trafficking Community Awareness.

     On Wednesday, Feb. 8, Mayor Harry Kim talks story from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

     On Saturday, Feb. 11, Ocean View Community Association hosts its Pancake Breakfast.

     On Thursday, Feb. 16 is the Ocean View Community Association Board meeting at 6 p.m.

     Free dinners are served every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

     Call Ocean View Community Center with any questions or for any additional information.

     New President of OVCA, Ron Gall said, "Hope to see you, thanks for supporting the community."

NEW HULA CLASSES ARE STARTING UP IN PAHALA, under Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder. They will be held on Wednesdays at Pahala Community Center, with registration on Feb. 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The classes are sponsored by Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i. Classes are traditional and modern, Kahiko and `Auana.
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