Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, December 22, 2018

All are welcome to Nā‘ālehu Methodist Church on Christmas Eve, Monday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. Enjoy a Lessons and Carols
service where Christmas story will be told, interspersed with Christmas carols. Photo by Julia Neal
THE PARTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN not only affects Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, with some trails and roads, and restrooms, closed. It means that TSA workers at the airports may have delayed pay. U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration will reduce services.

     USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory posted on its website last night that the Volcano Hazard Program and all five U.S. Volcano Observatories will "continue to issue updates, warnings, and notifications through the usual channels, including websites, email, and social media" despite over 7,800 USGS employees standing down. HVO says volcano monitoring data on their website "will be kept up to date and all monitoring instruments will continue to be operational," while "static website content" will not be updated.

     Learn more at doi.gov/shutdown.

     Kahuku Unit is completely closed, with the Birth of Kahuku hike today cancelled, and the ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua walk on Sunday likely cancelled.

View this morning from the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory tower. Webcams like this will continue to update
while government attempts to come to an agreement about funding the country. USGS image
     The main part of the Park, already shut down for many months this year due to the Kīlauea eruption, has open gates during the shutdown and is collecting no fees. Restaurants, shopping, and lodging at places like Volcano House, Kīlauea Military Camp, Pacific Hawaiʻi Parks Association, and Volcano Art Center Gallery are accessible. See details of open facilities, trails, and roads in yesterday's Kaʻū NewsBriefs.

     Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate today attempted to work out an agreement with Pres. Donald Trump to fully fund government. Trump shut down the government and refused to reopen it until he receives $5.7 billion to build a wall on the southern mainland boarder of the country.

     Republican House leader Mitch McConnell said he would leave it to Trump and the Senate to work it out. The House already voted to approve money for the wall. Any move in the Senate to include a wall with the funding would require 60 votes to pass a bill to reopen the government, which many view as unlikely. It would also need Trump's signature.

     Rep. Tulsi Gabbard tweeted this morning: "This completely preventable #shutdown has left 800,000 Federal workers furloughed or forced to work with no pay. Yet leaders in Washington who failed the American people still get paid. This is BS. I stand with our workers & won't accept pay as long as the govt is shut down."

Kahuku Unit, with its wide vistas and expanding hiking opportunities, 
will remain closed until the shutdown is ended. NPS photo
     About one quarter of the government shut down at last night. The shutdown does not yet affect as many agencies as the first two shutdowns this year, as many are already funded through the end of the year.
     This is the first time in 40 years for three government shutdowns in one year. The government shut down for three days, Jan. 20 through 22, due to disagreements on immigration, specifically DACA, which allows immigrants brought in without papers as children to stay in the U.S. and work toward citizenship. The second shutdown, on Feb. 9, was less than 24 hours.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

HELPING THE INCARCERATED TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL WHEN RELEASED is the aim of bipartisan legislation signed into law on Friday. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard co-sponsored and worked to pass the bill to empower formerly-incarcerated individuals, improve public safety, and reduce recidivism. Called the FIRST STEP Act – the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed, Safely Transitioning Every Person –authorizes $75 million per year for five years to develop new programs—including education, vocational training, and mental health counseling—to empower prisoners for successful reentry into society and reduce rates of recidivism.

The FIRST STEP Act seeks to prepare incarcerated persons for reintegration
to society and reduce recidivism. Image from southerncoalition.org
     Said Gabbard, "The consequences of decades of a failed War on Drugs and policies focused on incarceration over rehabilitation has left generations of people ill-equipped to, when they have done their time, move on with their lives. Our bill aims to curb the destructive cycle of recidivism that has plagued low-income and minority communities across our nation. It authorizes funding for educational programs, job training, and mental health counseling programs that are proven to lower recidivism rates. The FIRST STEP Act also limits mandatory minimums, fixes Good Time Credits, expands compassionate release for the elderly and terminally ill, and more.

     "Today, we take the first in a long line of steps toward comprehensive criminal justice reform. Tomorrow, we must keep up the fight for greater sentencing reform and eradicate the private prison industry. There's no overnight solution to our broken criminal justice system, but this bill makes long overdue progress that will make a lasting difference for so many Americans."

     FIRST STEP includes measures to:

     Provide a Good Time Credit Fix to ensure that incarcerated individuals can earn the 54 days of good time credit per year that Congress intended, and not just the 47 days that BOP currently allows. It has been estimated by BOP and GAO that fixing this will lead to the release of roughly 4,000 prisoners and save $40 million the first fiscal year.

Rep. Tusli Gabbard
Photo from Gabbard's Facebook 
     Establish a Risk-Reduction System to match inmates to programs best-fitting their needs with the hopes of reducing recidivism over time. The program will be dynamic, statistically validated, and evaluated to ensure it doesn't result in unwanted racial disparities in order to address concerns about prisoners of color being disproportionately impacted.

     Expand and Create Recidivism Risk Reduction Programming by authorizing $250 million over five years to the Federal Bureau of Prisons for development and expansion of programming focused on skill-building, education, and faith that has been shown to reduce recidivism. This program also aids in preparing prisoners for a successful and permanent transition back into their communities.

     Focus Resources on High and Medium Risk Prisoners to have the greatest impact on the prisoners who are at the greatest risk of recidivating.

     Incentivize Participation with No Cap on Pre-Release Credit Earned, including allowing 10 days in pre-release custody for every 30 days of successful participation, with no cap on the pre-release credit that can be earned. Beyond prerelease custody, other incentives include increased phone and visitation periods, transfer to institutions closer to one's release residence, and additional policies which can include increased commissary spending, access to email, consideration of transfer, and other incentives solicited from prisoners themselves.

     Offer Prerelease Custody by requiring BOP to transfer low and minimum risk prisoners to prerelease custody. The bill also would provide a pathway to petition the warden of the prison to grant prerelease custody as earned.

Infographic from U.S. Dept. of Justice
     Provide Independent and Congressional Oversight through a biannual GAO audit. It also requires the Attorney General to report annually to Congress on the activities implemented, the effectiveness of the programming, the recidivism rates, and savings. BOP also has Congressional oversight, specifically through the requirement to undertake significant data collection under the National Prisoner Statistics Program.

     Move People Closer to Home, to within 500 driving miles of their families, when an appropriate facility is available in order to lower the burdensome and often costly journey to visit loved ones in prison and to reduce recidivism.

     Ensure the Dignity for Women by instituting a ban on shackling pregnant and postpartum women, and requiring the BOP to provide sanitary napkins and tampons to incarcerated women for free.

     Require Provisions of IDs to reduce the collateral consequences of incarceration by allowing a quicker integration back into society, and create significant cost savings for BOP of approximately $19 million.

     Expand the Compassionate Release Program by a 10 year requirement from the elderly release pilot program created by the Second Chance Act. This reduces the minimum age of prisoner eligibility for elderly release from 65 years of age to 60 years of age, and minimum time served of prisoner eligibility for elderly release from ¾ to ⅔. It also expands the program to all prisons – not just one. Finally, it allows the prisoner to seek relief under the program directly from a court. Limits mandatory minimums by lowering the 20-year mandatory minimum to 15 years, and the current penalty for life would be reduced to 25 years.

     Expand the Safety Valve to allow judges to sentence below the mandatory minimum qualified low-level nonviolent drug offenders who cooperate with the government.

     Retroactive Application of Fair Sentencing Act by allowing individuals still serving sentences under the pre-FSA 100-to-1 crack-powder sentencing disparity to petition for sentence reductions.

     Reform Enhanced Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Prior Drug Offenses by reducing the second strike mandatory minimum of 20 years to 15 years, and reduce the third strike mandatory minimum of life in prison to 25 years.
     Eliminate 924(c) "Stacking" by prospectively clarifying that recidivist mandatory minimum enhancements for repeat offenders who use or possess a firearm during certain crimes apply only to final convictions so these enhancements cannot be "stacked"– or applied to conduct within the same indictment.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Sen. Brian Schatz
Photo from Schatz's Flickr
LEGISLATION SUPPORTED BY SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ THAT PASSED FROM U.S. SENATE to the House of Representative in recent days includes:

     The Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act – introduced by Schatz and Republican Senators Roger Wicker and John Thune – would give the Administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency 180 days to provide state, tribal, and local alert organizations with "best practices" guidance and training. The purpose is to ensure more people receive relevant emergency alerts via cell phone, TV, and radio. The Act would also be used explore new alert methods, like online video or streaming services, and track and study false alerts.

     Schatz commented on Facebook: "When a missile alert went out across Hawaiʻi in January, some people never got the message on their phones, while others missed it on their TVs and radios. Even though it was a false alarm, the missile alert highlighted real ways we can improve the way people receive emergency alerts. The READI Act, which unanimously passed the Senate today, fixes some of these issues, will explore new ways of alerting the public through online video and audio streaming services, and will help make sure that in an emergency, the public gets the information they need as quickly as possible."

     AMBER Alert expanded to U.S. Territories Act – introduced by Schatz and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski – would extend the system's resources to alert the public about missing or abducted children, which is broadcast on cell phones, TVs, by radio, and on highway billboards.

Amber Alerts may soon be funded for U.S. Territories.
     Schatz commented on Facebook: "Right now, most U.S. territories, including GuamAmerican Samoa, and the Northern Marianas Islands, aren't given the resources to operate AMBER Alerts. These alerts have helped save hundreds of children, and there's no good reason for these territories to be excluded from the system. The good news is my bill to expand AMBER Alerts to the territories just passed the Senate. We are now one step closer to helping more children and their families quickly end the nightmare that is child abduction."

     Granting Release and Compassion Effectively (GRACE) Act – introduced by Schatz  – provides "clear standards and a formal timeline" to the Bureau of Prisons for determining compassionate release. This affects requests from elderly and terminally ill incarcerated persons, or those with other "extraordinary and compelling reasons," says the bill.
     Schatz commented on Facebook: "Too many people who are eligible for compassionate release die in prison because the decision takes so long. And many others wait for months just to get a response. Clearly, the system is broken. Our legislation, which is now one step closer to becoming law, will create clear guidelines in the approval process so that we have more accountability in the system, and the sick and elderly who qualify for compassionate release get it."

     Those bills that pass the House of Representatives will go to Pres. Donald Trump's desk for his signature.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 

throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 

stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com

Kaʻū High Winter Sports Schedule

Girls Basketball:

Jan. 4, Fri., host Hilo
Jan. 7, Mon., @Honokaʻa, 

Jan. 9, Wed., @Kamehameha, 
Boys Basketball:
Dec. 27, Thu., @Kealakehe
Jan. 3, Thu., host Honokaʻa, 

Jan. 5, Sat., @HPA, 

Jan. 8, Tue., host Kamehameha, 

Jan. 11, host Konawaena, 

Jan. 5, Sat., @Waiakea
Jan. 12, Sat., @Kealakeha

Dec. 29, Sat., @Kona
Jan. 3, Thu., Girls @HPA

Jan. 5, Sat., Boys host Kealakehe

Jan. 7, Mon., @Hilo

Jan. 9, Wed., @Keaʻau

Jan. 12, Sat., host Honokaʻa

Dec. 29, Sat., @Kamehameha, 

Jan. 5, Sat., @KCAC, 

Jan. 12, Sat., @Kamehameha, 

Learn how to make ceramic pottery
 with Erik Wold.
  Photo from volcanoartcenter.org
NEW EIGHT WEEK SESSIONS FOR SUNDAY CLAY - HIGH FIRE! WITH ERIK WOLD at Volcano Art Center's Ni‘aulani Campus in Volcano Village begin Sunday, Jan. 6.
     The morning session, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and afternoon session, 2:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., are scheduled to continue through Mar. 3, with no class taking place Jan. 20. All skill levels are welcome to join to work with stoneware clay and high-fire reduction glazes.
     Teaching artist Wold provides instruction, including demonstrations of wheel throwing methods, and will be available for individualized assistance. Those new to clay will be guided step by step through the basics of using the potter's wheel or hand-building techniques. "Continuing students and those with previous experience are encouraged to develop their skills and are welcome to pursue more advanced directions with the instructor’s helpful input. Informal discussion on topics ranging from sources of creative inspiration to various pottery styles and traditions from around the world will supplement this hands-on learning experience," states the event description on volcanoartcenter.org.
Erik Wold instructs how to use the potter's wheel.
Photo from volcanoartcenter.org
     Seven registration slots are open to wheel throwers, and two additional places will be open to hand-builders.
     Cost for the morning or afternoon session is $180 per VAC member, or $200 per non-member, plus a $15 materials fee for 6 pounds of clay, which includes glazes and firing for that material. Additional clay will be available for purchase. Register online at volcanoartcenter.org or call 967-8222.
     Open studio time will be available to registered ceramics students on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., for $10 per day, with tickets available at the Administration Office front desk during business hours.
     Wold is a full time potter living in Volcano Village. He is a member of the Volcano Village Artists Hui, and sells his wares regularly at the Saturday Hilo Farmers Market, and Sunday Cooper Center Farmers Market in Volcano. Wold studied Ceramics at the University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo, graduating in 1993.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua, Sun, Dec. 23, 9:30-11am, Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, and many forms of ‘ōhi‘a tree and its flower on this free, easy, one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

Christmas Eve Service, Mon., Dec. 24, Christmas Carols at 5pm, Service at 6pm, St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. Aloha hour after service. Bring a dish to share. 939-7000, stjudeshawaii.org

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service, Mon., Dec. 24, 7pm, Nā‘ālehu Methodist Church. Lessons and Carols service where Christmas story will be told, interspersed with Christmas carols. Everyone is welcome. 929-9949

Christmas Day Buffet, Tue., Dec. 25, 4-7pm, Kīlauea Military Camp's Crater Rim Café, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Entrees: Prime Rib, Roast Turkey w/Stuffing, Holiday Lamb Stew. $28.95/Adult, $15.95/Child (6-11 yrs). KMC open to all patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8356, 967-8371

Kōkua Kupuna Project, Wed., Dec. 26, 9-11am, St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. Seniors 60 years & older encouraged to attend, ask questions, and inquire about services offered through Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i - referral required from Hawai‘i County Office of Aging at 961-8626 for free legal services. Under 60, call 1-800-499-4302. More info: tahisha.despontes@legalaidhawaii.org, 329-3910 ext. 925. legalaidhawaii.org

How to Make Haupia - ‘Ike Hana No‘eau (Experience the Skillful Work), Wed., Dec. 26, 10-2pm, Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Made from the pia root (arrowroot) and mixed with coconut milk or cream, then steamed, boiled or baked into a pudding, haupia is a popular and authentic cultural dessert. Free; park entrance fees apply. Co-sponsored by Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

Craft Class, Thu., Dec. 27, 9:30-10:30am, PARENTS, Inc., Nā‘ālehu. For keiki 2-12 years old and caregivers. Free. 333-3460, lindsey@hawaiiparents.org

Ka‘ū Community Children's Council, Thu., Dec. 27, 12-1:30pm, Punalu‘u Bake Shop. Monthly meeting provides local forum for all community members to come together as equal partners to discuss and positively affect multiple systems' issues for the benefit of all students, families, and communities. Chad Domingo, text 808-381-2584, domingoc1975@yahoo.com, ccco.k12.hi.us

Volcano Friends Feeding Friends, Thu., Dec. 27, 4-6pm, Cooper Center, Volcano Village. Free community dinner for all. Additional packaged goods to take home - for those in need. Donations and volunteers encouraged. 967-7800, thecoopercenter.org

Nature & Culture: An Unseverable Relationship, Sat., Dec. 29, 9:30-11:30am, Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Moderate guided hike along the Palm Trail, approx. 2 miles. Learn about native plants that play a vital role in Hawaiian culture, and observe the catastrophic change and restoration of the land as it transitions from the 1868 lava flow to deeper soils with more diversity and older flora. Free. nps.gov/havo

Kīlauea Drama & Entertainment Network's A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas Carol runs through tomorrow, Dec. 23, with shows today at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm, at Kīlauea Military Camp Theater inside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Tickets are $20 per person, cash or check, available at door. KMC is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. KDEN, 982-7344

Substitute School Health Assistant Positions are available. Qualifications: CPR and First Aid certifications, and a high school diploma or equivalent. Training begins in 2019. Contact Kristy Loo for more at look@hkkk.k12.hi.us.

Christmas in the Country and 19th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibition are open at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 
     Christmas in the Country runs through Wednesday, Dec. 26. Enjoy an abundance of art and aloha as VAC creates a merry scene of an old-fashioned Christmas inside its 1877 historic building. In addition to artwork, find unique holiday offerings of island-inspired gifts, ornaments, and decorations made by Hawai‘i Island artists, including VAC exclusives.
     The Wreath Exhibition is available through Tuesday, Jan. 1. The exhibition presents one-of-a-kind wreaths in a variety of imaginative media, techniques, and styles, from the whimsical to the traditional, with this year's theme of Home for the Holidays - inspired by the four month closure of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
     Admission is free; Park entrance fees apply. For more, call 967-8222, or visit volcanoartcenter.org.

Kīlauea Military Camp's Holiday Challenge is open for viewing through Monday, Dec. 31. The event features a row of cottages along the front of the camp decorated in with various characters and Christmas decor - with Kīlauea Military Camp employees responsible and competing for a popularity vote. The public is invited to admire the decorations and vote for their favorite decorated cottage. Kīlauea Military Camp is open to all authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8371 for additional information. See kilaueamilitarycamp.com.

Registration for P&R Boys & Girls, T-Ball/Coach Pitch Baseball League open through Jan. 16, Kahuku Park, H.OV.E. For ages 5-8. Programs run Jan. 22-Apr. 18, game and practice times tba. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

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