Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013

Hundreds of keiki and adults enjoyed a free Christmas dinner and gifts for the kids at the annual Hana Hou Christmas gathering
last night in Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal
     LORETTA FUDDY, DIRECTOR OF HAWAI`I’S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, died in a plane crash off the coast of Moloka`i yesterday after a Makani Kai Air flight took off on its way to Honolulu. Maui County Fire Department reported that all of the eight other people onboard, including DOH deputy director Keith Yamamoto and the pilot, were rescued after Moloka`i firefighters and the
Coast Guard found them in the ocean, wearing life vests.
    Donna Kekoa, who works at Ka`u Hospital Rural Health Clinic, said "Diliana (Fuddy's first name) "was a pilar of leadership. She cared about the children and famililes of Hawai`i. She was unwaiving in her expectation that we work together to improve the environment and conditions in which people live so that everyone in our state can have the benefit of good health and a good life." Kekoa said that Fuddy helped with the Ka`u Local Consortium, which sponsors activities for childbearing teens and women of Ka`u. She was a beautiful, passionate woman and very down to earth."
    Merilyn Harris, administrator of Ka`u Hospital,  said, “Fuddy was well loved by everyone and well respected by all who worked with her because she was so dedicated and focused on improving the health of the community. Her passion was those people who are the most vulnerable, certainly those who are disadvantaged. She was very active with programs that champion mothers, newborns and early childhood care.”    
Diliana "loretta" Fuddy and Gov. Neil Abercrombie who chose her to lead the state
Department of Health. Photo from Hawai`i Childrrens Trust Fund
     Nona Wilson, deputy administrator and chief of Nursing at Ka`u Hospital, said Fuddy “had such a fantastic reputation as a community leader. but I knew her more on a personal level. She was from Kaimuki, where I am from, and my sister also graduated from Kaimuki. Loretta and I talked about small kid time. She was a local girl, very personable, very in touch with the community needs from a local perspective. She was a home-grown girl. I knew her on that level.”
     Wilson said that despite the tragedy, the pilot of the plane should be commended. “In a smaller aircraft, he did what Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger did on the Hudson, getting everyone in their life jackets and gliding the plane to safety in the water. From an airline perspective, that is pretty awesome.”
    “Our hearts are broken,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who appointed Fuddy as head of DOH in 2011. “Loretta was deeply loved and respected. She was selfless, utterly dedicated and committed to her colleagues in the Department of Health and to the people of Hawai`i. Her knowledge was vast; her counsel and advice always given from her heart as much as from her storehouse of experience.
    “We send our best thoughts to her family and will do all in our power to reflect her professionalism, her love of Hawai`i and the high standard she set for herself and all of us,” Abercrombie said.

      Fuddy was chair of the Hawai`i Public Health Association, president of the Association of State & Territorial Public Health Association and treasurer and secretary of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. She was recognized for her dedication to public service, advocacy on behalf of children and efforts to expand health care services for the poor.
Free photos and a shaka with Santa
drewkeiki to the Hana Hou event.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Fuddy was at Kalaupapa for an annual meeting of Hansen’s disease patients. As head of DOH, she served as mayor of Kalawao County, where the Hansen’s disease settlement is still run by DOH. Kalaupapa was also the home of two saints; Father Damien and Mother Marianne Cope both served the leprosy patients there.
      U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono said Fuddy “was a dedicated public servant who spent most of her life working to improve public health on behalf of Hawai`i’s families. It was a privilege to work with Loretta since my time in the Hawai`i State Legislature. She touched so many lives and will be missed.”
      State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim said Fuddy “embodied the very spirit and character of public service, dedicating her life to the health and well-being of all of Hawai`i’s people. Under her leadership, she fostered a transparent and collaborative environment, engaging with lawmakers, community members, health care providers and social service organizations.“
      Alice Hall, acting president and chief executive officer of Hawai`i Health Systems Corp, said Fuddy “devoted her life to all facets of healthcare improvement for Hawai`i, including healthcare provisions that HHSC has benefited from. Loretta also has served on the HHSC Corporate Board of Directors, as an ex-officio representative, since 2011. She was a wise, sincere, wonderful person who will be greatly missed.”
Keoki Kahumoku's `ukulele kids provided entertainment at Hana Hou last night. Photo by Julia Neal
      In a story yesterday about Hawai`i’s recent number one ranking in U.S. health care by United Health Foundation, The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs quoted Fuddy telling the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, “This reminds us how fortunate we are to live in the Aloha state.” She noted that state government has long helped the needy with coverage through Med-Quest and the state child health insurance programs.
      “We do very well for the population that’s economically challenged,” Fuddy said.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
Free keiki IDs from police officers are
another Christmas gift at the Hana Hou
event. Photo by Julia Neal

THE ANNUAL HANA HOU CHRISTMAS GATHERING for keiki and their families fed close to 1,000 people last night in Na`alehu. Gifts for the kids, with funding donated by community groups and individuals, included a total of about 50 scooters and bikes, large stuffed animals, blankets, electronics and many other keiki items including coloring books. Photos with Santa and free keiki id's, courtesy of police officers were on the agenda. The meal included turkey, veggies, rice, hot dogs, chili, mac and cheese, cake and a Filipino dessert. The event is organized each year by Hana Hou owners Patty and Drake Fujimoto.

PUNALU`U BEACH REOPENED TODAY AT NOON after a county fire helicopter flyover this morning showed no presence of sharks in nearshore waters. 
      Yesterday, a body boarder was attacked by a tiger shark estimated to be between 10 and 12 feet long. Friends took him to Ka`u Hospital, where he received around 40 stitches. According to Department of Land & Natural Resources director William Aila, Jr., the victim was carrying a bright yellow camera, which could have attracted the shark.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

“FARMERS AND OTHER AG AND BUSINESS PEOPLE on the Big Island are in disbelief – to put it mildly – that Mayor Kenoi signed Bill 113, the anti-GMO bill, last week, without first putting together a group to research the science and investigate the serious, unintended consequences we know will result,” says Hamakua Springs Country Farms owner Richard Ha on his blog at hahaha.hamakuasprings.com. “Farmers are very practical and play the position that exists on the chessboard, not the position they wish they had. Most of us are moving into strategic contraction mode now.” 
      Ha decribes the current “level of uncertainty” as comparable to the Great Depression and points to it in deciding to subdivide 264 acres on his farm rather than dedicate them as agricultural land in perpetuity “so we have options as we go forward into a future that has some new uncertainties,” Ha says.
Hamakua Springs Country Farms owner has decided to leave
 his land open for subdivision rather than preserve it in perpetuity
for agriculture. Photo from hahaha.hamakuasprings.com
      “If there’s an upside to the mayor signing the bill, it’s that maybe now we will finally take a real look at the current Peak Oil crisis and how it affects the Big Island’s food self-sufficiency situation, and come to grips with finding long-term solutions.”
      “Being open to safe scientific advances when needed (a.k.a. biotech or 'GMO') would have been a way to decrease our dependence on petroleum products, such as pesticides and fertilizers, and increase our island’s food self-sufficiency.
      “This is not about the sky falling. It’s about common sense. It’s all a matter of how much risk we are willing to take,” Ha writes.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

COFFEE GROWERS AND OTHER KA`U FARMERS are invited to U.H. Cooperative Extension Service’s free Proper Pesticide Use and Safety Workshop Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. 
      Presenters will talk about Federal Worker Protection Standards for ag workers and pesticide handlers, use, application, storage and disposal, “which are major production, labor, marketing, legal and financial risks that growers face,” says a flyer on the program.
      For coffee growers in Ka`u who participated in the Synergist Hawai`i Agriculture Council program, this pesticide safety workshop is required for participation in the current county beauveria program as well as for consideration of future pesticide assistance programs, according John Ah San. For more information, contact him at 928-8188 or jlahsan.coffee.co@hotmail.com.
      Farmers are asked to bring their pesticide cards.
      To register, call 322-4892 or email ginab@hawaii.edu by Tuesday, Dec. 17.
      To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

NA`ALEHU SCHOOL COMMUNITY COUNCIL meets today at the school’s Computer Lab at 5 p.m. The topic is a school data presentation. Coffee and cookies provided. For more information, call 939-2413.

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE holds its annual dinner and meeting today at Tiki Mama’s, near the corner of Aloha and Hwy 11 in Ocean View. Cost is $12 per person for dinner. Entertainment at 5 p.m. features live music by the Last Fling Dance Band and magic by Allan Humble. Dinner and voting for new officers are at 6 p.m. RSVP to cytodbd@aol.com or 930-4697.

HAWAI`I LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU’S Public Access Room offers free training to help the public follow the 2014 state Legislature today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. The training demystifies the state lawmaking process and demonstrates ways people can participate in the Legislature. 

SECOND SATURDAY VOLCANO POTTERY SALE will be held at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus on the lawn beside Hale Ho`omana from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. this Saturday. Big Island potters TR Andrews, Ron Hanatani, Shannon Hickey and Carol Yamashita will show and sell a variety of their functional and sculptural work in this outdoor setting.

HOLIDAY EVENTS IN KA`U this Saturday include Christmas in Ka`u from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Na`alehu Hongwanji. The event sponsored by Thy Word Ministries offers free lunch plates while supplies last, live entertainment and a craft fair.
      Ocean View Community Association’s Keiki Christmas Party begins at 11 a.m. at Ocean View Community Center. Call 939-7033 for more information.



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