Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka‘ū News Briefs Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hawaiian, Okinawan and other sweet potatoes are targets of potential funding by the County Council
 to develop virus-free planting materials through University of Hawai‘i. The USDA is also providing $1.7 million for
agricultural and sustainability education. See stories below. Photo from Heriloom Gardener
THE WHY TUESDAY? MOVEMENT calls for citizens to be allowed to vote on weekends to increase participation. A press conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C included speeches by Hawai‘i Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Martin Luther King III, himself a civil rights leader and president of the group Why Tuesday?; and Norm Ornstein and Bill Wachtel, co-founders of the Why Tuesday? organization.
     They called for passage of the Weekend Voting Act to move Election Day from Tuesday to the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Friday in November in every even year for elections of Representatives and Delegates to Congress, and in every fourth year for the election of President and Vice President. "It would make it easier and more convenient for all Americans to exercise their right to vote," said a statement from the group.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard with the Why Tuesday? Movement, supporting
the Weekend Voting Act.
     "The tradition of holding federal elections on the first Tuesday of November is an outdated one that began with an Act of Congress in 1845. Tuesday was selected for its comparative convenience for the then-agrarian society, because it was a designated 'court day,' and the day in which land-owning voters would typically be in town to conduct business," said the Why Tuesday? statement.
     Gabbard said, “In order to strengthen our democracy, we need to open the doors and make it as convenient as possible for people to vote. Changing the voting day from Tuesday to the weekend will remove an arbitrary barrier that some researchers say kept up to 35 percent of potential voters from being able to cast their votes. With no federal law requiring paid time off to vote, millions of voters across the country are left to choose between potentially standing in long lines to cast their votes on election day, or going to work, attending school, or covering an extra shift just to make ends meet. We have a responsibility to empower the people of this country to engage in our democracy by making voting more accessible to all. This legislation is a common sense way to do just that.”
     According to a recent Pew study, 35 percent of registered voters who did not vote cited work or school as a conflict to voting in the 2014 midterm elections.
     In addition to supporting Why Tuesday?, Rep. Gabbard has supported legislation to make the voter registration process easier and make voting more accessible, and has cosponsored legislation like the Voter Empowerment Act (H.R.12) —which would require every state to make online voter registration available, authorize automated and same-day registration, and make elections more accessible to the disabled and other underserved groups—along with the Automatic Voter Registration Act (H.R.2840) and the Voting Rights Amendment Act (H.R.3239). She has also called for campaign finance reforms like passing the Government By the People Act of 2017 (H.R.20), overturning Citizens United, and curtailing the unlimited flow of “big” money from Super PACs that degrades the integrity of American democracy and distorts the electoral process.

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Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes, also known
 as Okinawan potatoes, are packed with anti-
oxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Buzzle 
describes health benefits of this ancient 
diet staple. Read more at Buzzle
DOUBLING THE YIELDS OF SWEET POTATOES may receive assistance from the County Council. The idea is to test the sweet potato starts to help make sure they are virus free before using the materials for new sweet potato fields. The County Council Finance Committee voted last week to approve nearly $8,000 in funding for the project. Planting virus free tissue culture could double the yield, according the the University of Hawai‘i Office of Research Services, which will study the issue and provide the technology to farmers. the project is called Improving Sustainability of Sweet Potato through Virus-tested, Tissue-culture Technology.
     Farm trials would compare sweet potato yields between virus-tested, tissue cultured planting materials and commercial sources for cuttings. The project would also address better detection of the viruses that reduce yields. Trials would include the Okinawan purple potato, one of the most popular grown here. The full County Council will take up the funding proposal.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS putting $1.7 million into agriculture and sustainability programs at University of Hawai‘i, according to a statement from Sen. Mazie Hirono on Tuesday. “As we work toward growing more of our food at home, this funding will support programs across the University of Hawai‘i system that create pathways for local students to have meaningful careers in Hawai‘i’s agricultural industry, ” the statement reads.
     The University of Hawai‘i’s HI!ag program will receive $1.3 million to grow Hawai‘i’s agriculture and food production workforce. The remainder of the federal funds will expand the University of Hawai‘i at West O‘ahu’s Sustainable Community Food Systems program, including increasing outreach to Native Hawaiian students and students from other traditionally underserved communities.

Earth Matters Farm at Kama‘oa and South Point Roads in Ka‘ū.
Photo from Earth Matters
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HAWAI‘I RANKS 48TH, COMING CLOSE TO HAVING THE FEWEST FAT PEOPLE. Only Utah, Massachusetts and Colorado have thinner people when looking at the entire population of each state and the District of Columbia. In the Obesity and Overweight Prevalence Rank, Hawai‘i is 46th. In the Health Consequences Rank for fat, Hawai‘i is 48th. In the Food & Fitness Rank, Hawai‘i is 27th.
      The rankings come from a study on The Fattest States, by WalltetHub, which found that the highest number of obese adults are in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The highest number of overweight adults are in Nevada, Alaska and New Jersey. The highest number of obese children are in Mississippi, Texas and West Virginia. The highest number of overweight children are in North Dakota, Kansas and Florida, the study says.

Americans spend more than $68 billion a year to shed pounds and learn how to make the choice.
Photo from WalletHub.com
   Its summary says that "Fat is becoming the new normal in America. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than seven in 10 U.S. adults aged 20 and older are either overweight or obese. Rates are lower for children and adolescents but have risen steadily almost every year. So prevalent has America’s obesity problem grown that the weight-loss industry continues to expand. This year, Americans are expected to spend more than $68 billion just on programs designed to help them shed the extra pounds. The U.S. spends in total nearly $200 billion in annual health care costs related to obesity. Diabetes is one of the major illnesses caused by overweight and obesity, costing Americans some $200 billion a year.
     "New findings by the Physical Activity Council suggest a need for more aggressive efforts to combat the issue. According to the report, nearly 81.5 million Americans aged six and older were completely inactive in 2016. Lack of physical activity is a leading cause of obesity, in addition to genetics, emotional instability and sleeplessness.
     WalletHub, noting that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, also assembled an infographic exploring the impact of obesity and diabetes disease as well as what folks are doing to fight back. See the full report at wallethub.com/edu/fattest-states/16585/.

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THE ANNUAL BAZAAR at Kauaha‘ao Congregational Church in Wai‘ōhinu is accepting individuals, schools, clubs, sports and athletic groups to be vendors and fundraise for their own groups at the flea market on the church grounds.          The Bazaar is Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m, on the church grounds. The church is located on the corner of Māmalahoa Hwy, Kama‘oa Road and Pinao Street just above the Wong Yuen Store and Gas Station.
     The charge for a 10' X 10' space is $10. Vendors are responsible for bringing their own tent, table and chairs, and if power is needed, a generator. Vendors can sell anything except hot foods/plate lunches.
     The Church will sell Kālua Pig plate lunch and container of Kālua Pig, as well as baked goods, produce, and crafts. Free entertainment will be provided by talented community groups.
     For more information and to reserve a vendor space, call Walter or Debbie Wong Yuen at 928-

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A SEX TRAFFICKING SEMINAR will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to Monday, Nov. 13, at Ocean View Community Center. For more details, call 939-7033.

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DISCOVER THE SKILL OF WEAVING LAU HALA with ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon on the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The event is free, though park entrance fees apply. For more, visit nps.gov/HAVO.

HEALTH INSURANCE SIGN-UPS are offered at Ocean View Community Center on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event will occur again on Tuesday, Nov. 14. For more, call 939-7033.

THE PUBLIC ACCESS ROOM AT THE STATE CAPITOL is offering citizens training to help them interact with government, especially leading up to the 2018 Hawai‘i Legislature.
     Several opportunities to learn learn about the legislative process and how to participate will be provided at the Your Voice workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i training room near the Kona Airport, and on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Hawai‘i Community College Manoa Campus Building 379, Room 1 in Hilo. Both events are free to attend.
     The workshop is designed to be helpful to newcomers and seasoned advocates alike.
     For additional information, contact the Public Access Room (PAR):
phone (808)587-0478, email par@capitol.hawaii.gov, or visit LRBhawaii.org/PAR. Read the Ka‘ū News Briefs for Thursday, Oct. 26 for more.

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY LEGAL AID will be provided on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. The event offers free social security, veterans information and legal advice. For more call 939-7033.

A CEREMONIAL RELAY AROUND THE ISLAND, called Makahiki ‘Aha Pule ‘Āina Holo, comes through Ka‘ū on Friday, Nov. 10. The public is invited to the Makahiki, harvest celebration, with a Mea‘ai Pono, potluck, at 11 a.m. in Wai‘ōhinu Park.

HAWAI‘I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK ENTRANCE FEES ARE WAIVED on Saturday, nov. 11, and Sunday, Nov. 12, in acknowledgement of Veterans Day.

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TO HELP REMOVE INVASIVE, NON-NATIVE PLANTS that prevent native plans from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This Stewardship at the Summit event is Saturday, Nov. 11, at 8:45 a.m.
     To join the effort, meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Volunteers should wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants and bring a hat, rain-gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools will be provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, park entrance fees waived in observance of Veteran's Day. Visit the park website for additional planning details: nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm. More events are planned for Nov. 18 and 25.

ANNUAL VETERANS DAY CEREMONY on the front lawn of Kīlauea Military Camp in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. All veterans in attendance will be invited to the Veteran’s Day Prime Rib Buffet as Kīlauea Military Camp's guests. The event is free and open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park fees will be waived. For more details, call 967-8371 or visit kilaueamilitarycamp.com.

VETERAN'S DAY BUFFET at Kīlauea Military Camp’s Crate Rim Café will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. The buffet offers Prime Rib, Baked Ono and Spinach & Mushroom Alfredo. Fees are $27.95 per adult and $14.50 per child aged 6-11. The event is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park fees will be waived. For more details, call 967-8356 or visit kilaueamilitarycamp.com.

A JUMBLE & PLANT SALE is offered at St. Jude's Episcopal Church on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. All you can eat pancakes will be available for $3 per person. For more details, call 939-7000 or email StJudeHawaii@bak.rr.com.

A PAINT YOUR OWN SILK SCARF Class will be hosted Saturday, Nov. 11,  from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Volcano Art Center. Big Island artist Patti Pease Johnson teaches color theory and silk scarf painting techniques using three colors of each artists choosing. Beginners and intermediate artists welcome. Fees are $50 per non-member and $45 per Volcano Art Center member, plus $10 supply fee per person. For more, call 967-8222 or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

PANCAKE BREAKFAST at the Ocean View Community Center is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more details, call 939-7033.

REALMS AND DIVISIONS OF KAHUKU, a moderately difficult two-mile, guided hike at Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, takes place Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Hike Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku, and explore the traditional Hawaiian classification system. Bring a snack for the talk story segment of this hike.

JAZZ IN THE FOREST, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., is Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Volcano Art Center. A special evening of “Tin Pan Alley” featuring Leslie Harlib Hal Glatzer, Jp Thoma and the Jazztones. Tickets are $20 per non-member and $18 per Volcano Art Center member (available online until Nov 10). Wine, beer, soft drinks and pupu will be available for purchase. For more call 967-8222 or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

RIDE SO THEY CAN WALK, THE ROTARY CLUB POLIO PLUS FUNDRAISER, begins Saturday, Nov. 11, and continues through Nov. 18. Participants ride bikes on their own schedule, desired distance and place to raise funds to help end Polio worldwide.
     To sign up for Ride So They Can Walk, make the $20 registration check to Charlene Meyers, with Polio Plus Chair on the notation line. Make out contribution checks of $100 or more to Rotary D5000 - Polio Ride. Send both to: Charlene Meyers, Polio Plus Chair, P.O. Box 59, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718.
     For more information or to sign-up contact Rotary Club Polio Plus Chair and Volcano resident, Charlene Meyers, by emailing  charlene.rotary@gmail.com or calling 985-8800.

"LET'S GIVE THANKS" CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT takes place at Ni‘aulani, Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. Volcano Chambers Players, a string quartet, will play a classical chamber music concert to kick off the holiday season and celebrate Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Tickets are $25 per non-member and $20 Volcano Art Center members. For more, call 967-8222 or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

‘ŌHI‘A LEHUA, an easy, guided, one-mile walk is from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about the vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree and its flower. For more, visit nps.gov/havo.

CU HAWAI‘I FEDERAL CREDIT UNION IS OFFERING EMPLOYMENT as a Member Service Representative in Nā‘ālehu. CU Hawai‘i seeks energetic individuals for full time positions who enjoy working with people and can provide professional, courteous and efficient service to valued members.
     The ideal candidate must be service oriented and possess good communication and computer skills. Cash handling and customer service experience is preferred. Must be able to work Saturdays. CU Hawai‘i offers medical, drug, dental, vision and retirement benefits.
     Email, mail or fax application to: Attn: Human Resources, 476 Hinano Street Hilo, HI 96720, Fax: (808) 935-7793. Applications can be found online at cuhawaii.com/careers.html.

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