Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013

Mauna Loa, on whose flanks Phoebe Gomes is shown here, has lost its standing as the world's largest volcano.
Photo by Bobby Gomes
HAWAI`I’S U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION presently is not supporting President Barack Obama’s plan for a military strike against Syria. Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa have expressed opposition, while Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Mazie Hirono are still reviewing and questioning the plan.
Sen. Brian Schatz
Sen. Mazie Hirono
      Sen. Brian Schatz said, “Though all of us are outraged by the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, I have concluded that a military strike against Syria is not the answer.”
      Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said, “As it stands now, U.S. military involvement in Syria lacks a solid legal basis, a clear long-term strategy, and vital international and domestic approval. Though intelligence has been presented by the Obama Administration, I am not convinced that it serves the purpose of justifying military force or other intervention in Syria.
      “The U.S. must find a way to remain credible in the region and also respond to any use of weapons of mass destruction. However, before taking action we should focus on building partnerships and enhancing both international and domestic credibility. All diplomatic means have not been exhausted in the pursuit of these goals, and there is still time for the Geneva Two diplomatic process to work. We can accelerate that process by maintaining discussions with key regional stakeholders, and continue working with the UN to solve this crisis.”
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
      Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called for the president to seek Congressional authorization for a military intervention in Syria and also joined several of her House colleagues in a letter to the President requesting that he consult with Congress before authorizing military force.
      “The importance of this debate and the process of seeking Congressional approval for a military intervention is critical,” Gabbard said. “It is an opportunity for the American people and their representatives to review the facts and evidence, and understand what the endgame and next steps would be for any type of U.S. military intervention. This is a very big decision with tremendous impacts here at home, in Syria and the Middle East region.”
      In a statement to Civil Beat, Sen. Mazie Hirono said she is still undecided on the issue. “This is one of the toughest decisions a member of Congress makes. I am reviewing the facts surrounding the reported chemical weapon attacks, the administration’s plan and the scope of the authorizing resolution,” Hirono said. “The use of chemical weapons is universally abhorrent and deplorable, but we should always be cautious about the use of force abroad, especially after the rush to war in Iraq. My decision will rest on whether the administration’s plan would advance our national interests.” 
      To comment on or “Like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

“BETTER LAND PLANNING AND GRANT MONITORING would help Office of Hawaiian Affairs fulfill its duties,” concludes an audit by the state of Hawai`i. In the report, auditor Jan Yamane wrote regarding the agency’s real estate acquisitions, “OHA’s land management infrastructure is inadequate, unable to support the office’s growing portfolio nor any future land involvements.” Yamane also criticized the agency for “inadequate and inconsistent grant monitoring that fails to ensure that grants are achieving their intended results.” The report makes several recommendations to OHA’s Board of Trustees:
Jan Yamane
      “Follow through on its real estate vision, mission, and strategy by ensuring that supporting policies are developed and adopted.
      “Request information from the Transitional Assistance Program staff on grant outcomes and evidence of program success and evaluate grant performance to ensure grants generate their intended activities, results, and outcomes.
      “The Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief executive officer should take steps to ensure stability within the Land Management Division’s staff.
      “The Land Management Division should implement best practices in its real estate acquisition and management operations and develop, implement, and communicate to the board real estate reports that detail the status of properties and track their historical costs, ongoing stewardship expenses and forecast liabilities.
      “The Transitional Assistance Program should improve its administration of OHA grants by developing, and providing to the Board of Trustees for adoption, a manual that describes criteria, policies, and procedures for monitoring compliance with grant terms and conditions; requiring more specificity in grantees’ expenditure reporting to provide grant monitors a better understanding of how grant funds are expended; adopting an information system to track grant status and project deliverables; increasing site visits and reviews of financial and progress reports for accuracy, completeness, and alignment with project goals, particularly for new grantees and grantees with problems managing their grants; ensuring that awards are made only to applicants whose outputs and outcomes are consistent with OHA’s strategic goals; modifying future grantees’ contract terms and conditions to require grantees to include expected outputs and outcomes in their applications and report progress in achieving those outputs and outcomes; and increasing reporting of grant outcomes to the Board of Trustees by providing evidence of program success.
      The audit is available at state.hi.us/auditor.
      To comment on or “Like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tamu Massif is about 60 times larger than Mauna Loa.
MAUNA LOA, PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED to be the largest volcano on Earth, is dwarfed by the newly discovered Tamu Massif. Research published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience confirms that the inactive undersea shield volcano about 1,000 miles east of Japan has a surface area of about 120,000 square miles and is about 60 times the size of Mauna Loa. 
      The structure was originally thought to be made up of several volcanoes, but research by
University of Houston oceanographer William Sager revealed that all the lava flows on its flanks came from one central point.
      Sager said the volcano’s land mass isn’t its only unique feature. “Its shape is different from any other submarine volcano found on Earth, and it’s very possible it can give us some clues about how massive volcanoes can form,” Sager said. “An immense amount of magma came from the center, and this magma had to have come from the Earth’s mantle. So this is important information for geologists trying to understand how the Earth’s interior works.”
      To comment on or “Like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Brenda Ford wants to hear the public's thoughts regarding naming
the Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter after former Ka`u High principal
Laurence Capellas, shown here in a photo next to Noel Kawachi.
KA`U’S COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA FORD holds a Talk Story session tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. The first item on the agenda is the naming of the new Ka`u Gym & Disaster Shelter. Ford said she has received requests to name the gym after former principal Laurence Capellas and wants to hear from the community about this and other ideas. She also said she is open to discussing any other community issue. 
     Capellas is known among older Ka`u residents for launching numerous school sporting teams, raising money and volunteer labor for school facilities and encouraging Ka`u students to work hard for their dreams.

The topic at Tuesday's After Dark in the Park is Grand Adventures in
the Desert Southwest. NPS Photo by Jay Robinson
GRAND ADVENTURES IN THE SOUTHWEST DESERT is the topic at After Dark in the Park Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Ranger Jay Robinson explores deep canyons, painted mesas, hoodoos and arches sculpted from layers of rock deposited over eons. He takes attendees on a raft journey into the heart of Grand Canyon National Park, which, like Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He encounters bighorn sheep, condors and lizards and sleeps beneath the stars with scorpions, tarantulas and rattlesnakes. He also explores narrow slot canyons and the slick rock deserts of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks and the newly created Vermillion Cliffs and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply. Call 985-6011 for more information.

Del Bothof, of Volcano Winery
Photo by Julia Neal
VOLCANO WINERY’S FIRST HARVEST FESTIVAL next Sunday offers a rare opportunity to tour the acres of vineyards, tea garden, new fig plantings, greenhouse and vat room of Volcano Winery. 
      The Harvest Festival includes Hawaiian and popular music with Lito Arkangel and other entertainers, heavy pupus and wine. Volcano Rotary Club will sell hulihuli chicken.
    Volcano Winery grows a variety of grapes, including Pinot Noir, Cayuga White, Symphony, Marechal Foch and Chambourcin. Tea has become an important part of Volcano Winery’s business in recent years, particularly with the introduction of tea-infused wine, said owners Del and Marie Bothof.
      The event, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., is limited to 100 persons. Pre-sale tickets are $25. Call 967-7772 or see volcanowinery.com.

IN KA`U HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS, girls volleyball hosts East Pac Wednesday at 6 p.m. On Saturday, they play at home again, hosting Konawaena at 10 a.m. Also on Saturday, Cross Country travels to Waiakea for a meet at 10 a.m., Air Riflery shoots at Kamehameha at 10 a.m., and the bowling team meets Waiakea and Kea`au at Hilo Lanes at 8 a.m.




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