Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013

A NOAA tool mapping effects of sea-level rise also displays other hazards and shows parts of Ka`u in red with high
social vulnerability, taking into consideration economic data, buildings and potential for natural disasters.
Map from NOAA
EFFECTS OF SEA LEVEL RISE can be studied with a new tool developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with University of Hawai`i Sea Grant. The web-mapping tool is aimed at visualizing potential impacts from sea-level rise in Hawai`i, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. The new Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer is a simple and easy to use but powerful resource for planners, public officials, coastal managers, and communities engaged in climate adaptation planning and coastal inundation preparedness. “With the amount of detail and options it provides, the Sea Level Rise Viewer is at the cutting edge of planning tools,” said map development partner Chip Fletcher, School of Ocean and Earth Science Technology’s associate dean for academic affairs. 
      NOAA predicts that average increase of sea level should be about a meter by the year 2100.
      The viewer overlays high-resolution aerial images on top of elevation data. This allows users to see what higher sea levels would do to landmarks and critical infrastructure. It also shows what populations would be vulnerable to rising sea levels.
      The viewer is available at csc.noaa.gov/slr.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Image from accord3.com shows methods of extracting geothermal energy.
“WE WANT TO ENSURE THAT THE PUBLIC SAFETY and public health is paramount,” Mayor Billy Kenoi told Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald regarding plans for a study on health effects of geothermal production. “We need to determine with accuracy and specify exactly what harm if any is being caused.” 
      The study was called for by a group who put together a report called the Geothermal Public Health Assessment.
      According to Callis, the group recommended that a health study address four hypotheses: central nervous system degradation will be higher in a sample population as a result of peak exposure to hydrogen sulfide; central nervous system degradation and other health effects from hydrogen sulfide will be greater in areas of highest exposures; contamination of heavy metals and chemicals from geothermal development may have impacted drinking water supplies; and residents who live closest to Puna Geothermal Venture may be more likely to show anxiety disorder symptoms.
      The group also recommended increasing monitoring, evaluating effects on drinking water and ocean environment, ensuring there is no contamination from the closed HGP-A well, strengthening public communication and alerts and requiring that geothermal developers should conduct a health and water resource baseline study before any more drilling occurs.
      See more at hawaiitribuneherald.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Brian Schatz 
“RIGHT-WING RADICALS IN THE HOUSE are going to the mat to throw millions of people off their health insurance – and we need to stop them,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. He was referring to the the Republican-led U.S. House passing a budget last week "that would defund Obamacare. They are threatening to shut down the federal government unless we enact their radical agenda before the Sept‌. 30 budget deadline – setting up a showdown that threatens our economy, our communities and our lives. 
      “This latest attempt to defund Obamacare will never pass the Senate or be signed by the President. House Republicans again voted against the interests of the American people, risking our economic stability just to prove a point. There have been times in history when both parties are equally to blame for gridlock, but this is not one of them. If Speaker Boehner would stand up to Tea Party extremism and put forward a clean Continuing Resolution, then we can avoid this self-inflicted crisis,” stated Schatz in one of his campaign press releases.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Alan Takemoto
INDIVIDUALS WITH CONNECTIONS TO MONSANTO are defending the Farmers Assurance Provision attached to a budget bill in the U.S. Congress. Critics of the provision, including Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, call it the Monsanto Protection Act. Gabbard said the provision allows biotechnology companies ignore regulations and sell genetically engineered foods even after a court orders them to stop, or when there isn’t yet evidence the foods are healthy or environmentally safe. 
      Alan Takemoto, Monsanto’s community affairs manager in Hawai`i, told Civil Beat, “Basically, it provides farmers assurance that what they planted, they can harvest. I know (GMO critics) have co-opted the name, but there are a lot of other organizations that have supported the provisions, like American Farm Bureau, the American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association.
      Alicia Maluafiti, executive director of the Hawai`i Crop Improvement Association, a trade organization for biotech companies, said the provision “allows farmers who invested thousands of dollars into growing crops — biotech crops — to continue to harvest those crops despite the onslaught of frivolous lawsuits by environmental activists, which can take years for the courts to decide.”
Alicia Maluafiti
      She disagreed with the argument that the provision circumvents courts: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture currently has the authority as part of their regulatory powers, but the problem is that the lawsuits tie the hands of the regulatory agencies, and the only people getting hurt are the farmers — not Monsanto,” she said.
      “The bottom line is that farmers have a choice of crops they want to grow, and they have a choice of seeds to purchase. Sometimes they are Monsanto seeds, and sometimes they are not. So the (provision) would protect farmers across the board regardless of what they grow.”
      See more at civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

GMOS ARE ON THE AGENDA TOMORROW when Hawai`i County’s Committee on Public Safety & Mass Transit continues its meeting from Sept. 4.
      The agenda says the committee will consider two bills at 9 a.m. at Council Chambers in Hilo. Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford introduced Bill 109 calling for a total ban on GMOs except for research located in a biosafety level three containment facility, and Kohala Council member Margaret Wille drafted Bill 113 after withdrawing her original one. Wille’s bill would allow GMO papaya to be grown.
      Both bills call for a $100 GMO crop registration fee and penalties of up to $1,000 per day per violation. Ford’s bill includes an option of up to 30 days in jail.
Leah Cariaga was one of the many scholarship recipients in 2013 from
Ka`u Chamber of Commerce Pres. Dallas Decker, VP Lee McIntosh
and Miss Ka`u Coffee Tiare-Lee Shibuya. Photo by Julia Neal 
      Ka`u residents can view the meeting via videoconferencing from Ocean View Community Association Center. The agenda says statements from the public were concluded at the previous meeting and are closed for this committee meeting.
      Agenda is available at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE KA`U CHAMBER of Commerce Scholarship Fund are being taken through Oct. 1 in connection with the publication of The Directory 2014. Donors receive a listing in the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce annual Directory and can advertise their businesses.

ULANA LAUHALA IS THE TOPIC Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the lanai of Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Amy Ka`awaloa and Malia Macabio teach the art of weaving with leaves of the pandanus tree, from gathering the material to preparation and the final product.
Lauhala weaving workshop takes place Wednesday.
Photo by Jay Robinson
      The free program is part of Hawai`i Volcanoes’ ongoing `Ike Hana No`eau: Experience the Skillful Work workshops. Park entrance fees apply. 

IN SPORTS, KA`U HIGH girls volleyball teams play at home this week, hosting Kamehameha Wednesday and Kohala Saturday.
      Other Trojan teams travel for events this week. The bowling team goes to Hilo Lanes to meet Hilo High Wednesday and to participate in BIIF Individual Bowl Saturday. Also on Saturday, Cross Country goes to HPA, Air Riflery shoots at KSBE and the eight-man football team challenges Kamehameha JV.




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