Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, April 12, 2017

About 500 met with Tulsi Gabbard in Kona Tuesday night and another 30,000 joined in through Facebook
Live, according to her staff. Photo from Office of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL POLICY DOMINATED the first Town Hall in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's schedule of meetings around the state during the Congressional break. About 500 filled Kealakehe Cafeteria in Kona on Tuesday night. According to Gabbard's staff, more than 30,000 viewers tuned in via Facebook Live for the gathering.
     The congresswoman spent the majority of the meeting answering questions from the audience on such topics as "ending the counterproductive regime change war in Syria, defeating terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, Trump’s recent attack on Syria, federal spending, civil liberties, healthcare, education, military issues, and veteran services," her staff reported in a statement.
Gabbard reported on federal efforts to help stop pests destroying
macadamia orchards and ohia forests.
Photo from Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
     Concerning local matters, Gabbard spoke about her work in Congress and bills she introduced and cosponsored, including legislation to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever and to combat invasive species like the coffee berry borer, macadamia felted coccid, albizia trees, coconut rhinoceros beetle, little fire ants, and the fungus that causes rapid `ohia death. She also highlighted her bills to support local farmers, small businesses, the agriculture industry, and sustainability efforts. 
     Gabbard defended her call for evidence regarding who deployed chemical weapons in Syria, saying that she still supports "a U.N. expert-led, independent investigation." She contended that while the U.N. was drafting the language to set up the international fact-gathering team, the U.S. preempted the investigation by sending in the missiles that destroyed part of the air base and evidence. She said the evidence "is necessary to prosecute people as war criminals before the ICC (International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands)."
      CNN reported Wednesday night that "a senior U.S. official" told the news agency  that "The U.S. military and intelligence community has intercepted communications featuring Syrian military and chemical experts talking about preparations for the sarin attack" last week. However, the U.S. was unaware of the pending attack because the information gathered had not been processed before the sarin attack, CNN reported.
Gabbard plans to meet in Hilo at her Town Hall next Tuesday
at Waiakea High School. Photo from Office of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
     The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Russia's Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov "reiterated the Russian view that the facts about the chemical weapons attack had yet to be
determined, and denounced what he described as the 'media hysteria' surrounding the assault. Further punctuating the Syria dispute, Russia vetoed a Western-backed resolution at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday condemning the chemical weapons attack. It was the eighth time in the six-year-old Syria conflict that Russia, one of the five permanent Security Council members, had used its veto power to shield the Syrian government. But in a possible sign of Russia’s isolation on the chemical weapons issue, China, the permanent member that usually votes with Russia on Syria resolutions, abstained,"The New York Times reported.
     According to The New York Times, "Lavrov gave what amounted to a long lecture on what he described as an extensive list of American efforts to achieve 'regime change' around the world, from Serbia to Iraq to Libya. He described them all as failures — an implicit warning against any efforts to achieve the same end in Syria."
     Gabbard, who has introduced anti-regime change legislation into Congress, will have a Town Hall in Hilo, next week Tuesday, April 18 at Waiakea High School from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m

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Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Chin.
Photo from Office of Attorney General
TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN was the subject of another filing by Hawai`i Attorney General Doug Chin on Tuesday. Chin and the State of Hawai`i called the issue "a case of exceptional importance," and are asking for an increase to 15 judges of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco hear the case on May 15. Hawai`i was the first state to file suit over President Donald Trump's second version of his travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries and also refugees. The Trump Administration is appealing Hawai`i federal Judge Derrick Kahala Watson's ruling that the ban is unconstitutional.
     The Trump Administration has also appealed a similar case on the travel ban, to be heard May 8 in 4th Circuit Court in Richmond, Va. If the courts issue conflicting rulings, the case could go to the U.S. Supreme Court where the new Justice Neil Gorsuch has taken his seat.

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See reports and maps on earthquakes at
A MAGNITUDE 3.6 EARTHQUAKE registered at 8:29 a.m. on Wednesday.
The temblor struck about 6 miles southwest of Volcano Village, and south of the Kīlauea volcano summit caldera, at a depth of about 1.8 miles. A few people reported a weak shaking to the U.S. Geological Service, which reported that tiltmeters at the summit recorded inflationary tilt Wednesday morning before the quake.

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KANIKAPILA IN NA`ALEHU has been announced. It will be held at the Methodist Church Hall (across from post office) every other Saturday eve starting April 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Acoustic instruments, drums, singers, dancers welcome. For more information, call Desmond at 937-6305.

SPRING THEATER NIGHT has been announced by Volcano School of Arts and Sciences Middle School. It will be held on Thursday, May 11 at 6 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp's Kilauea Theater. Under the direction of Suzi Bond, each of the three grades will present a one-act play. As a bonus, the Fifth Grade will present a musical number One Day under the direction of Hal Treddinick.
   This year, in their final performance for the school, the Eighth Grade will present The Capricious Pearls by Virginia Kidd. When Boss and his gang reconvene after being dismissed from parts better left unsaid, they go over the original map Boss had drawn showing where he had hidden a valuable string of pearls in a vacant house. They find it is now a home for aged ladies. The fun ensues in this slapstick comedy.
     Seventh Grade will perform Red vs The Wolf by Judy Wolfman, the story of Red Riding Hood from the wolf's point of view? The show points out there are two sides to every story.
     Sixth Grade will do Action News: Now With 10% More Action! By Jonathan Rand. The audience is welcomed to WOMG Action News, with lead anchors Babs Buttlebee and Jim Pickles as they present top stories. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
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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.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku on Sat, April 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., is a moderately-difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on Kahuku Unit's newest trail, Pu'u Kahuku. Enter the Kahuku unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (uphill) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.

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