Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, April 10, 2017

Green Sand Beach is advertised by several helicopter tour companies. Photo by Peter Anderson
TOUR HELICOPTER & LIGHT PLANE FLIGHTS over special places like Green Sand Beach, with flight paths over homes, are expected to come up at congressional Town Hall meetings on Hawai`i Island this and next week. Hawai`i Coalition Malama Pono has issued a statement saying the group made progress recently in a meeting with members of Congress, the National Park Service, Hawai`i County Civil Defence and the FAA. According to the organization, the government officials were told "loud and clear: Hawai`i residents want relief from helicopter tour noise."
     While much of the concern is coming from home owners, particularly in Mountain View and Kea`au, people visiting remote Ka`u places are also occasionally under the flight paths of tour helicopters. Helicopter companies are advertising overflights of beaches found in Ka`u - particularly those made of green sand. 
     Says one description on a helicopter company tour website: "Papakolea, otherwise more commonly known as Green Sand Beach, is made of grains of greenish semi-precious stones known as Olivine, which erodes out of basalt (lava) flows. The crystals are heavier than most sand types on the beach and remain behind when lighter sand grains are washed away by strong wave activity. The Green Sand Beach is located at the bottom of an old cinder cone, Pu'u Mahana, near South Point. The trail to the Green Sand Beach is about two and a half miles long, and towards the end of it you'll get your first look at the remnants of the cinder cone - the source of the green sand. Visible just above the rim is a glimpse of the olivines being washed down the slope." Green Sand Beach is listed as one of the flyover places during flights from the Waikoloa resort area.
Black Sand beaches are also mentioned in helicopter
tour promotions. Photo by Peter Anderson
      Another helicopter company promotion states, "Enjoy the Hawai`i few people ever witness on our one-of-a-kind air adventures .....Whether flying Doors-Off over the volcano to feel the heat of the lava, hovering beside a 2,000 foot waterfall, landing for stunning views on an epic ridge top, or photographing the remote beauty of Hawai`i’s rare rain forest valleys, black and GREEN sand beaches..."
   A statement from the United Mountain View Coalition, concerning flights over houses, says, "As our economy improves, more visitors are making their way to the Big Island of Hawai`i. Many stay in the leeward area and charter helicopter flights from Kona to view the lava flow in the Puna District. These helicopter flights from Kona travel directly over the Mountain View area at low altitudes and reek havoc on our quiet neighborhoods. At times, they are as frequent as every five minutes. Often they fly low to provide their tour groups with beautiful views of our vista. However, they show very little consideration and many times fly directly over our homes, rattling everyone's nerves."
   A public meeting with Sen. Brian Schatz will be held April 18  from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Sciences & Technology Building - Room 108, University of Hawaii `at Hilo. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is also hosting Town Hall meetings in Kona on Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Kealakehe Elementary School and in Hilo on Tuesday, April 18 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Waiakea High School.

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WORRIED THAT THE U.S. IS HEADED DEEPER INTO WAR, with the missile strikes in Syria, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard tweeted on Monday, "Those who've declared Trump a habitual liar now vilify those refusing to blindly follow him into another regime change war. Hypocrisy."
    She was referring to some political leaders, both Democrat and Republican, slamming her questioning of U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airbase that President Donald Trump ordered. Trump said they were in retaliation for a Syrian military attack and killing of children and others with chemical weapons. 
    Gabbard stated: "I and thousands of my brothers and sisters-in-arms went to war in Iraq that was based on false intelligence and lies from our leaders. I believe it is the duty of every American to make sure this never happens again. We need to learn from Iraq and Libya--wars that were propagated as necessary to relieve human suffering, but actually increased human suffering many times over."
     U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, of Portugal, issued a statement "calling for restraint to avoid escalation of the situation in Syria, after the United States responded militarily to an alleged chemical weapons attack," according to a statement from the U.N. Said the U.N. Secretary-General, "Mindful of the risk of escalation, I appeal for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people. These events underscore my belief that there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution." He urged all parties "to urgently renew their commitment to making progress in the Geneva talks."
U.N. Secretary General calls for restraint "to avoid any acts that could
deepen the suffering of the Syrian People."UN photo
       Gabbard pointed to a Washington Post opinion piece by Margaret Sullivan that reviewed the coverage of the missile firings by many journalists who came up with terms like "beautiful" and such statements as "Trump's Heart Came First," and "I think Trump became President of the United States tonight" after the missile strikes were carried out.
     After the 56 Tomahawk missiles sailed into a Syrian airbase from a U.S. ship in the Mediterranean Sea, Sullivan wrote in The Washington Post, "Why do so many in the news media love a show of force?" Sullivan quoted Ken Paulson, of the Newseum Institute's First Amendment Center: "There is no faster way to bring public support than to pursue military action. It's a pattern not only in American history, but in world history. We rally around the commander in chief and that's understandable."   
      Sullivan quoted Paulson saying that "news media 'seem to get bored with their own narrative' about Trump's failings and welcome a chance to switch it up. But that's not good enough, he said. 'The watchdog has to have clear vision and not just a sporadic bark.'"
     Wrote Sullivan, "Groupthink, and a lack of proper skepticism, is something that we’ve seen many times before as the American news media watches an administration step to the brink of war. Missile strikes may seem thrilling, and retaliation righteous. But journalists and commentators ought to remember the duller virtues, too, like skepticism, depth and context. And keep their eyes fixed firmly there, not on the spectacular images in the sky."
    Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Gabbard endorsed for President last year, said after the missile strikes, "It is easy to go to war with other countries. It is not so easy to comprehend the unintended consequences of that war."

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Hei, traditional Hawaiian string figures used in chanting, will be
made at a demonstration on Wednesday at Kilauea Visitor Center.
NPS Photo
Hei Demonstration, Wed, April 12, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. No‘el Tagab-Cruz teaches protocol and meaning behind traditional Hawaiian string figures that are used with oli (chants) to tell stories and connect with elements around us. Free; park entrance fees apply. 

Red Cross Volunteer meeting, Thu, April 13, 7 p.m., HOVE Road Maintenance Corp. office. For volunteers and those interested in becoming volunteers. Hannah Uribes, 929-9953

Recycling at Nā‘ālehu School, Sat, April 15, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nā‘ālehu School Gym. Redeem your HI-5 sorted by type; receive 5 cents per container and additional 20 cents per pound on all aluminum. Atlas Recycling donates 20 cents per pound on all aluminum redeemed to the school. 939-2413, ext. 230.

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