Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Storybook Theatre Dolphin came to Tutu & Me, Pahala Preschool and Boys & Girls Club on
Thursday to entertain and teach children about marine life. Photo by Julia Neal
MEMBERS OF HAWAI`I'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION REACTED TO THE MISSILE FIRING BY PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP on Thursday. Trump said that when he ordered Tomahawk missiles to be launched from U.S. Navy ships in the Mediterranean into Syria to destroy an Air Force base, he was responding to the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's recent killing of children and others with chemical weapons.
     Sen. Brian Schatz responded with the following statement: "The Assad regime's use of chemical weapons is abhorrent, but a military response is not the answer. The president has failed to articulate a strategy to end the Syrian civil war. A one-off strike may satisfy our desire to hold Assad accountable, but it risks deeper escalation without any sense of direction or objective. And unless this conflict ends, we will never defeat ISIL and prevent its return.
Sen. Brian Schatz said that the U.S. launch of missled
into Syria risks deeper escalation.
     "Regardless, Congress must debate and authorize any escalation of U.S. military involvement against the Syria regime, as it is well beyond the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. The United States must focus on leading a diplomatic effort among our partners and allies in the region to achieve a political solution that results in a post-Assad syrian government that brings stability to the region."
     Sen. Mazie Hirono released the following statement: “The repeated use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against his own people is an atrocity and breach of international law, and the international community must hold him accountable.
      “The Civil War in Syria adds layers of complexity in a country and region where there are no easy answers and opportunities for missteps are great.
      “In light of this, President Trump must present a coherent strategy for addressing the ongoing situation in Syria, including our own responsibility in confronting the humanitarian catastrophe and refugee crisis.”
     Rep. Tulsi Gabbard released the following statement: “It angers and saddens me that President Trump has taken the advice of war hawks and escalated our illegal regime change war to overthrow the Syrian government. This escalation is short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaeda and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called the missle strike "wreckless."
      “This Administration has acted recklessly without care or consideration of the dire consequences of the United States attack on Syria without waiting for the collection of evidence from the scene of the chemical poisoning. If President Assad is indeed guilty of this horrible chemical attack on innocent civilians, I will be the first to call for his prosecution and execution by the International Criminal Court. However, because of our attack on Syria, this investigation may now not even be possible. And without such evidence, a successful prosecution will be much harder.”
      Gabbard visited Lebanon and Syria in January and met with Assad. She returned with a renewed
vow to stop regime change wars that lead to innocent people being killed. She plans to be in Kona and Hilo starting next week with Town Hall public meetings on local issues, as well as foreign policy. She will be in Kona on Tuesday, April 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Kealakehe Intermediate School and in Hilo on Tuesday, April 18 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Waiakea High School. 

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THE U.S. SENATE CHANGED ITS VOTING RULES on Thursday when it became clear that Pres. Donald Trump's nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, would fail to receive the minimum 60 votes to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement:
     “Today, Senate Republicans destroyed a process that has been in place for years to accomplish their goal. of confirming a far-right Supreme Court Justice. Last year, they wouldn’t even give President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland a hearing. And today, they changed the rules in order to ram through a nominee who cannot garner even 60 votes to sit on the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch would preserve the 5-4 conservative majority on the Roberts Court that favors corporate interests over individual rights." The new rules enacted by Senate Majority Leade Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) broke  tradition and changed Senate rules, bypassing the first-ever successful opposition to a Supreme Court nominee.
     The new rules will require a simple majority vote to confirm the Gorsuch confirmation, which is expected by the end of the week.

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A GUIDE TO SELLING LOCAL PRODUCE TO SCHOOLS has been made available by the Kohala Center on its Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program webpage. It explains that The USDA Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program  provides federal funds to low-income elementary schools to serve fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks between meals during the school day. The Kohala Center has created a number of resources for schools and farmers on buying and selling local for the FFVP in order to support local farmers, deepen students' understanding of local agriculture, and provide students with fresh, healthy snacks. For more information, view Kohala Center's  FFVP webpage, which includes our FFVP Implementation Report and our FFVP Hawai`i Local Buying Guide with tips for farmers on supplying fresh produce for the FFVP and other child nutrition programs.

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Kiva and Hawai`i Food Producers Fund Microlans allow individuals to loan and borrow small amounts of money
to help finance food production in Hawai`i. Photo from kiva.org
HAWAI`I FOOD PRODUCERS FUND MICROLOAN PROGRAM will fund 50 percent of loans sought through KIVA. The loans are 0 percent interest to Hawai`i food producers. The Kohala Center, with support from the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture and County of Hawai‘i, created the Fund to increase thapital available to local food producers and stimulate local food production. Hawai‘i food producers are Hawai‘i-based farmers and food processors utilizing at least one Hawai‘i-grown ingredient. Visit Hawai‘i Food Producers Fund page for more information.
       Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco. It connects people through lending to alleviate poverty. Lenders and offer as little as $25 to help with loans. 
See www.kiva.org. The Hawai`i Food Producers Fund matches the Kiva funding for producing food on the island.
       Internationally, Kiva has severed 2.4 million borrowers in 83 countries with a repayment rate of 97 percent, after lending more than $965 million, the organization reports. According to the Kiva website, its philosophy is that "lending alongside thousands of others is one of the most powerful and sustainable ways to create economic an dsocial good. Lending on Kiva creates a partnership of mutual dignity and makes it easy to touch more lives with the same dollar."See www/kiva.org

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A dolphin was beached at Pahala Preschool today as Storybook
Theatre came to town. Photo by Julia Neal
STORYBOOK THEATRE OF HAWAI`I came to Pahala on Thursday with performances at Tutu & Me, Pahala Preschool and Boys & Girls Club. Storybook founder Mark Jeffers brought his giant, inflatable dolphin and taught children about marine mammals and the health of the oceans. Children were able to also sit within the belly of the dolphin for storytelling. 
      Jeffers will also make presentations at Kamehameha and other schools in the region through next week. See www.storybook.org.

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Storybook Theatre founder Mark Jeffers teaches
children inside the belly of the dolphin.
Photo by Julia Neal
Stewardship at the Summit, April 7, 14, 22, 29; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Volunteers clear ginger from park trails. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/havo

Tropical Flower Arranging, Fri, April 7, 1 – 3 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Kaipo Ah Chong helps participants welcome spring. $45 plus $20 supply fee. 967-8222

Pancake Breakfast, Sat, April 8, 8 – 11 a.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033

Atlas Recycling at South Point U-Cart, Sat, April 8, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Pele & Hi‘iaka, Sat, April 8, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Participants discover the Hawaiian goddesses and the natural phenomena they represent on this free, moderate, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

Jazz in the Forest, Sat, April 8, 4:30 & 7 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. Jeannine Guillory with Jean Pierre Thoma & the Jazztones present high-caliber jazz up-close & personal. Tickets at volcanoartcenter.org, VAC’s office & VAC Gallery.

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