Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013

New gym is rising at Ka`u High School, where volleyballs and basketballs will almost never hit the ceiling. The $17 million structure will
 also serve as a community disaster shelter. The gym is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2014, built by Summit Construction.
 See weekend Trojan girls basketball scores and photos below. Photo by Julia Neal
MAYOR BILLY KENOI IS SEEKING $61 MILLION IN NEW BONDS for 23 projects islandwide, reports Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. Kenoi’s requests include $20 million for a new park on county-owned property in Pahoa Village, $9 million for upgrades to Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona, $2.5 million for the first phase of a district park in Waimea, $2.5 million for the Honoka`a rodeo arena, $1.5 million to replace the clubhouse at Hilo Municipal Golf Course and $1 million for a park in Kona’s Ali`i Kai subdivision.
Ka`u Trojan girls basketball team played other BIIF teams from
 around the island Friday and yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
      Other projects include road extensions and repairs, new and renovated playgrounds, upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, repair for neglected parks facilities and money for sewer improvements and land purchases.
      Nancy Cook Lauer reports that Kenoi said projects would be completed within three years of council authorization. According to the story, Kenoi cited the need to improve neglected county facilities and provide new infrastructure in rapidly growing areas. “Now’s that time,” Kenoi said. “We’re committed to a very aggressive schedule. We’re not going to ask for authorization and create an expectation without getting it done in a timely fashion.”
      Cook Lauer said that, according to Finance director Nancy Crawford, the county’s fund balance as of June 30 is $37.3 million, its highest level ever.
      The story says the issues would raise annual payments on bonds to 13.4 percent of total annual expenditures, which is below the 15 percent ceiling recommended by the Government Finance Officers Association, and that he county received good reports from the three major credit-reporting agencies when it previously put up for sale $97.2 million in bonds.
      Kenoi said it is a good time to work on these projects because of conservative budgets, a rebounding economy, reasonable construction costs and low interest rates.
      “It was very strategic. It’s a great opportunity,” Kenoi said. “These projects aren’t going to get any cheaper.”
      Hawai`i County Council Finance Committee will consider the requests at its Dec. 3 meeting.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

BOATERS HAVE A YEAR TO TAKE A BOATING SAFETY COURSE approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators and the state of Hawai`i. The law requiring the course went into effect last November and provided for a two-year period before the rule could be enforced to allow Department of Land and Natural Resources time to develop multiple compliance methods and give the boating community time to make use of those methods to become compliant.

      Enforcement of the new rule will begin on the second anniversary of the rule’s effective date, Nov. 10, 2014. After that date, boaters will be required to show proof of successful completion of an approved boating safety course.
      “Our primary goal in pursuing and formalizing the Mandatory Education rule was safety,” said William Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “In Hawai`i, approved boating safety courses must include Hawai`i-specific information that can help our boaters survive at sea after an accident or better yet, help boaters avoid trouble so their sea voyages are safe and enjoyable. It is our hope that boaters will not perceive mandatory education as a burden but rather as a way to ensure safety for our `ohana and enhance their enjoyment of our waters,” Aila said.
      Any person violating the rule can be fined not less than $50 and not more than $1,000 or sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than thirty days, or both, for each violation. The court may also prevent an individual from operating a vessel in state waters for up to 30 days.
Ka`u High School girls basketball team hosted the tournament. Photo by Julia Neal
      The division has worked with boating safety partners to provide Internet and classroom courses, is nearing completion on a home-study course and plans to issue its own proof of compliance cards. People who have previously taken NASBLA boating courses may be able to take an abbreviated course on state-specific information to comply with the new rule.
      Boating Education Requirements Do Make a Difference, a study released in 2007 by NASBLA, showed that states with the longest history of mandatory education had the lowest boating fatality rates. According to the study, states with no boating education requirements in place have the highest average fatality rates, and states that have had boating education requirements in place for more than 20 years have an average fatality rate of 3.89 persons per 100,000 registered boats.
      Hawai`i ranked fifth on the list of highest fatality rates in the year the study was finalized.
      In 2011, Hawai`i had a fatality rate of approximately 44 per 100,000 vessels, second worst in the nation. In 2012, Hawai`i had a fatality rate of approximately 37 per 100,000 vessels.
      Information and how to sign up for courses is posted on the DOBOR website at dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/mandatory-boating-safety-education-qa. Hawai`i Island residents can also call the office in Kona at 327-3690.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Shai Lopez-Castaneda helps with the food drive at
theweekend Trojan girls basketball tournament.
Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL HAS MEETINGS scheduled this week. The council reconvenes Tuesday to continue its discussion of Bill 113, which bans genetically modified organisms on Hawai`i Island, with some exemptions. The council’s regular meeting takes place Wednesday. Both meetings begin at 9 a.m. at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona.
      Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

EARTH PATRIOT GRAPHIC ART COMPETITION is open to aspiring young artists ages 13 to 22 from Ka`u and all of Hawai`i. The goals of the competition are to increase knowledge and understanding about the concepts of sustainability and biodiversity and to promote environmental awareness and action by youth in Hawai`i. The winner of the competition will receive a $100 cash prize and products from Earth Patriot Productions.
      The company works in partnership with Performing and Fine Artists for World Peace, a nonprofit art and education organization and the recipient of the United Nations Peace Messenger Award. They are currently working with other nonprofit organizations, businesses, schools and government agencies promoting the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.
      For more information about the competition, email artpeace@hawaiiantel.net, call 985-8725 or see earthpatriotproductions.com.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U TROJANS GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM made the finals of the tournament held at Ka`u High School Gym this weekend, with Ka`u’s Bridget Pasion taking first in the three-point contest and Ka`u’s Kerrilynn Domondon taking first in the Gotcha contest.
      Also a fundraiser for the food bank, the tournament saw the Trojans beat Laupahoehoe 48-25, with Bridget Paison, of the Trojans, scoring 14 points. The second game saw Pahoa beat Kealakehe 59-22. In the third matchup, Pahoa beat Ka`u 29-12, with Trojan Deisha Gascon leading the scoring by Ka`u with four points. The fourth game saw Kealakehe outscoring Laupahoehoe 35-21. The final playoff game featured Denisha Navarro scoring 10 points, hoping to hold back Pahoa from the win. Daggers took the tournament over Ka`u, 58-35.

Ka`u High School Gym was filled with basketball action yesterday and Friday.
Photo by Julia Neal
TOMORROW IS THE DEADLINE FOR DONATIONS of goods to be shipped free to Philippines typhoon disaster victims, according to organizer Gloria Camba, a director of the Big Island Filipino Community Council. Canned goods, toothpaste, soaps and other items will be taken to Hilo Monday night for shipment. Monetary donations will be accepted on an ongoing basis at R&G store in Pahala and Will & Grace store in Na`alehu. Those who want to help can also donate online through the American Red Cross.

HA`AO SPRINGS & MOUNTAIN HOUSE AG WATER CO-OP’S meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 20 is cancelled. The business plan will be discussed, and a new board will be elected, at the group’s annual meeting on Dec. 19.

KAHUKU JUNIOR RANGER DAY IS THIS COMING SATURDAY, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keiki of all ages are invited to join park rangers in exploring Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit and connecting the culture, people, and `aina through `oli, GPS and compass on a short and easy walk. Ka`ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native medicinal plants and how they are used to heal and nourish. At least one adult must accompany the children. Free; registration required. Call 985-6019.




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