Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, July 30, 2017

Hawai`i Police Department officers converged on the late Officer Bobby Gomes' home base, Ka`u Police Station, on
Saturday for a "Last Call Bobby Gomes." Photo by Alan Moorse

True community policing officer
Bobby Gomes.
Photo by William Neal
BOBBY GOMES SEEMED TO BE EVERYWHERE, helping out during his entire life in Ka‘ū. He was a true community police officer every day, patient, kind and understanding to all who met him no matter their race, creed, faith or culture. He made time for everyone. 
     Gomes emceed the groundbreaking of the new Ka‘ū District Gym & Shelter with the Rev. Martin Mwashibula and was there for the ribbon cutting with Mwashibula when it opened last year. Gomes and wife Phoebe, for whom he always showed a public endearment, emceed the Miss Ka‘ū Coffee Pageant at Ka‘ū Coffee Mill, and the couple served as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for keiki at Hana Hou Restaurant’s Christmas party.
       At KAHU, Ka‘ū’s community radio station, he hosted a show with live music from keiki, interviews and call-ins. It was one of the most listened-to programs until the station shut down, its license sold to Hawai‘i Public Radio, which now sends its signal from the same building. Gomes was an occasional photographer for The Ka`u Calendar.
     After his retirement from a 53-year career in the Hawai‘i Police Department, Officer Gomes directed traffic and people for many local events, including the Independence Day Parade in Nā‘ālehu. Last year, he served as its Grand Marshal.
Pahala Volunteer Fire Department salutes Bobby Gomes
during Saturday's procession. Photo by Alan Moores
         Gomes treasured democracy and campaigned to involve the community in local elections, offering support to many candidates, including close friend and current County Council member Maile Medeiros David. Serious about the future of Ka‘ū, Gomes testified during public meetings on the controversial biofuels factory that was proposed for Wood Valley. He sought preservation of history and historic buildings and took part in Ka`u Plantation Days. 
Phoebe and Bobby Gomes and family with County Council
member Maile David at last year's council swearing in
ceremony. Photo by Ann Bosted
     Immersed in local culture, he danced hula, played guitar and sang, accompanying his lifelong partner Phoebe at many events in Ka`u, including the Ka`u Coffee Festival and the annual Ka‘ū Christmas Parade where he rode, sang and played guitar with his Holy Rosary Church members.
     His funeral at the overflowing Holy Rosary Church in Pāhala on July 29 showed that his influence spread enormously beyond Ka‘ū. Police cars came from around the island and proceeded to Ka‘ū Police Station in Nā‘ālehu. Along the way, the public, police and firefighters stood in reverence with a salute of respect. At Nā‘ālehu, a Last Call sounded over the communications system: “Last Call Bobby Gomes.”
     Last year the County Council honored Gomes for his public service and community advocacy. Gomes launched his career with Hawai‘i County Police Department in 1962. Said Ka‘ū’s council member Maile David, “You nurtured several generations of children in Ka‘ū through tough love and constant reminders about the importance of ‘ohana, of helping your community and of treating everyone with honesty and respect.
Bobby Gomes, fourth from right, during Plantation Days in Pahala.
Photo by Julia Neal
     “As we all know, a man’s greatness is attributed to those closest to him. Your soul mate, guiding star, voice of reason for the past 59 years, is Aunty Phoebe. The kupuna dynamic duo that you are would help anyone in need without question or hesitation and always with aloha and compassion. You are an icon at parades and community events, an avid hula dancer and love playing the role of Santa because it brings joy to the faces of children who you love so dearly.
     “Leading by example, and always with humility and respect for others, you have shown us what it means to truly ‘live aloha.’” Bobby Gomes was 81, March 5, 1936- July 1, 2017.

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Holding signs for passing motorists to read were, from the left, 
Tim Houle, Linda Morgan, Sterling Robbins, Claire Underwood
and Edna Montague of Ka‘ū Voices. Photo by Ann Bosted

KA`U VOICES STAND UP FOR AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE: Placard waving members of Ka‘ū Voices lined up along the road near the swap meet in Ocean View on Saturday to voice their support of the Affordable Care Act. Commonly called Obamacare, it has been threatened with repeal by the legislature in Washington, DC.
     Last week, three Republican U.S. senators voted with 48 Democrats to stop the repeal – an historic vote, which Sen. Brian Schatz said was prompted by the call of the people. Schatz wrote, “Thank you for all of your calls, your petitions, your tweets and for making your voices heard. Your activism made this victory possible.”
     An organization of activists, Ka‘ū Voices participated in the Women’s March after the inauguration of Pres. Trump. Its members meet monthly, and the next scheduled meeting is Sunday, Aug. 13, from 2 p.m – 3 p.m. at Punalu’u Bakeshop in Na’alehu.

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Working for more CERT certified volunteers are (front row) President of
Discovery Harbour Community Association Irene Eklund and
Volcano CERT Team Leader Nancy Lakin. Back Row: Civil Defense
official Barry Periatt, Volcano Fireman Paul Lakin, Discovery Harbour
board member Doug Flaherty, Orchidland Team Leaders Sharon
and Dennis McCartin, Civil Defense official Patti Pinto, and Discovery
Harbour board member Doug Castro. Photo by Alan Stafford

COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAMS TRAIN. Ka‘ū residents received training this summer for Community Emergency Response Teams. The course held at Discovery Harbour Community Hall over four Saturdays included instruction from county Civil Defense, the trainers specializing in various skills, including firefighting, triage for injuries, first aid and search and rescue. The classes wound up with a graduation and practice disaster activation on June 24. Graduates joined the Discovery Harbour/Na`alehu and Ocean View CERT teams.
     The graduates in the Discovery Harbour/ Nā‘ālehu CERT Team are: Jeanne Taylor, Richard Taylor, Diane Porter, Mary Henderson and Connie Hand. Ocean View received one new CERT member, Marty Marsh. Three other Ocean View residents recertified.
     Dina Shisler, Team Leader for the Discovery Harbour/ Nā‘ālehu CERT Team, said CERT teams are trained to serve in their own communities during emergencies and disaster response. “We hope to see more Ka‘ū residents take the CERT training and for there to be more teams formed to serve our communities.” She said she hopes to help build a separate team for Nā‘ālehu. Ocean View has a separate CERT team. The leader is Rick Ward.
     Monthly CERT meetings are held at Discovery Harbour Community Hall, the second Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Planned for Aug. 15 is a mock search and rescue at night. Call Shisler at 410-935-8087.

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Ka‘ū Coffee Growers Association Meeting, Tue, Aug 1, 6 – 8 p.m., Pāhala Community Center.

Blue Zones Project Gardening Demo, Wed, Aug 2, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Pāhala Community Center. RSVP at jadeiokepa@healthways.com

Open Mic Night, Wed, Aug 2, 6 – 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Call 967-8365 after 4 p.m. to sign up and for more details. Open to authorized and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8371

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