Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A government and industry partnership will help finance solar energy for homes, businesses and non, profits.
The Green Energy Monday $aver program was announced yesterday by Gov. David Ige. Photo from ProVision Solar, Inc.

HAWAIʻI'S 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY GOAL is one step closer to reality, according to Gov. David Ige. Yesterday, he announced a financing program for homes, businesses, and non-profits to install solar photovoltaic systems, solar PV water heaters, solar thermal water heaters, and heat pump water heaters. No credit scores are required. The loan is paid through the electric bill. The idea is that savings from using solar more than covers the cost of purchasing and installing the systems. The program is called Green Energy Money $aver – GEM$. The on-bill repayment program allows electric ratepayers on Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, Maui, Lāna‘i, and Moloka‘i to invest in green energy installments to immediately lower utility bills.

     Ige said, "We're proud to be offering ratepayers an on-bill option to finance solar systems and energy efficiency retrofits. This will give everyone the opportunity to do their part to reduce our state's use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases."

     There are only two requirements: Customers of Hawaiian Electric Companies must not have had a disconnection notice over the past 12 months, and the estimated utility bill savings must be at least 10 percent after the installation, including the repayment. Credit scores and income levels are not part of eligibility requirements.

     Gwen Yamamoto-Lau, executive director of Hawaiʻi Green Infrastructure Authority, said, "By democratizing green energy for more consumers and organizations, the GEM$ on-bill program creates new, sustainable clean energy jobs in our state and generates more tax revenues. The program also opens the door to a new rental market segment for contractors."

     The program was approved by the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission in December. Under its oversight, the program was developed by the HGIA, in collaboration with Hawaiian Electric Companies.

     For more information about the GEM$ on-bill repayment program, visit gems.hawaii.gov or contact dbedt.gems@hawaii.gov or (808) 587-3868.

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SNAP BENEFITS ARE AT RISK from a proposed United States Department of Agriculture rule that would limit eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to three-months for certain adults. Hawaiʻi Attorney General Clare Connors joined a coalition of 21 states and territories in opposition.
     If the rule passes, more than 750,000 people nationwide could lose nutrition benefits. The coalition argues that this rule undermines Congress' intent in creating the food stamp program; violates federal law because it is being implemented arbitrarily and without sufficient justification; would hurt the states' economies; and would have a disproportionate impact on protected groups.

     Connors said, "The USDA's proposed SNAP rules are both inconsistent with the federal Food & Nutrition Act and unlawful. If implemented, the rules would restrict Hawaiʻi's efforts to alleviate hunger by helping the most vulnerable individuals achieve self-sufficiency."

Hawaiʻi Attorney General
Claire Connors
     While the federal government pays the full cost of SNAP benefits, it shares the costs of administering the program on a 50-50 basis with the states, which operate the program. The 1996 federal welfare reform law limited the time period that unemployed able-bodied adults without dependents could access SNAP benefits to three months. However, states have the ability to request waivers for that time limit if the state or part of the state has an unemployment rate above 10 percent or does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the SNAP recipients who would otherwise lose their benefits. The proposed USDA rule, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents, would severely restrict states' ability to request such waivers.
     The multistate letter to the USDA on its proposed SNAP rule is available at oag.dc.gov/sites/default/files/2019-04/Multistate-SNAP-Letter.pdf.

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.

THE CAMPAIGN TO ELECT STATE SEN. KAI KAHELE TO CONGRESS reports raising over $250,000 between Jan. 21 and March 31. Kahele is running to represent Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District, which includes Kaʻū, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The post is currently held by Tulsi Gabbard.
     The Kahele for Congress Committee announced that 3,231 donors contributed an average of $77.44. More detailed information on donations will be available when the Committee files its report with the Federal Elections Commission on April 15.

Sen. Kai Kahele. Photo from senatorkahele.com
     Kahele also released the following statement yesterday: "When I announced my candidacy just 78 days ago in my home town of Hilo, I could have never imagined the overwhelming amount of support the people of Hawaiʻi have showed me. I am grateful and humbled by the faith and confidence they are putting in my campaign for Congress.
     "It is a long road ahead, but as our first quarter fundraising numbers show, we will have the resources to build a solid foundation for what will be one of the largest grassroots campaigns in the State. I look forward to continuing my travels across the district and hearing directly from the people on what their concerns are and how I can best represent them in WashingtonDC. If elected, being their voice in Congress will be my sole focus and number one priority."
     Kahela found early support of three of Hawaiʻi's former Governors: John Waiheʻe III, Benjamin Cayetano, and Neil Abercrombie. They erve as honorary Co-Chairs of the Kahele for Congress Committee.

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EIGHTY-FIVE STATE SENATE BILLS PASSED THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TODAY. They head back to the Senate for final consideration and negotiations with the House in conference committees. This year, 236 bills crossed over from the House to the Senate. Key measures passed today includes homeless services, emergency highway appropriations, election reforms, kupuna caregivers funding, ambulance services changes, community college Promise Program support, bail reform, and gun violence prevention.
     Ambulance Services: SB417 SD2 HD2 authorizes the Department of Health to establish fees for transportation and provision of emergency medical services. Authorizes transportation to certain medical facilities and to medical facilities other than hospital emergency departments.
     Bail Reform: B1423 HD1, permits defendants for whom a monetary amount of bail has been set to pay the bail amount seven-days-a-week on a 24-hour basis and be released from custody upon posting or payment of bail. SB1422 HD2 specifies that police officers have the discretion to issue citations, in lieu of making a lawful arrest without warrant, for nonviolent class C felonies, misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors, and violations, subject to certain findings by the officer.
     Education: SB316 SD2 HD2 appropriates funds to the University of Hawaiʻi for additional funding for the Hawaiʻi Community College Promise Program. Requires a report to the Legislature. SB50 SD2 HD1 appropriates funds to the University of Hawaiʻi for the Hawaiʻi Nutrition Employment and Training Program to include materials and supplies and the hiring of seven full-time equivalent instructional and student support positions. SB78 SD2 HD2 establishes the Executive Office on Early Learning as the administrative authority for state-funded prekindergarten programs, and private partnership-funded prekindergarten programs in the public schools, except for special education and Title I-funded prekindergarten programs. Transfers prekindergarten programs in DOE and charter schools, except for special education and Title I-funded prekindergarten programs, to EOEL. Clarifies the role and responsibilities of EOEL in the public prekindergarten program. Requires DOE to adhere to certain quality standards and work with EOEL
     Election Reform: SB427 SD2 HD1 establishes ranked choice voting for special federal elections and special elections of vacant county council seats. SB412 SD2 HD1 makes an application for voter registration, including an affidavit, part of all driver's license and identification card applications. Automatically registers each applicant who elects to register for voting unless the applicant affirmatively declines to be registered to vote. Requires sharing of information among the counties, DOT, and election personnel. SB216 SD2 HD1 requires a mandatory recount of election votes and ballot measures when the margin of victory for election contests or tabulation for ballot measures is equal to or less than one hundred or one-half of one per cent of the votes cast, whichever is greater.
Voters in Kaʻū, and the whole state, may soon be automatically
registered to vote when obtaining a driver's license.
Photo by Julia Neal
     Gun Violence Prevention: SB1466 SD2 HD2 establishes a process by which a law enforcement officer, family or household member, medical professional, educator, or colleague may obtain a court order to prevent a person from accessing firearms and ammunition when the person poses a danger of causing bodily injury to oneself or another.
     Health: SB366 SD2 HD2 appropriates funds to the Executive Office on Aging to fund the existing position of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia Services Coordinator.
     Judiciary: SB187 SD2 HD1 establishes additional district court judgeships in the First Circuit and in the Second Circuit.
     Kupuna Care: SB1025 SD1 HD2 requires the Executive Office on Aging to develop and implement a plan to maximize the number of Kupuna Caregivers Program participants and submit a copy of the plan to the 2020 Legislature. Changes the Program funding allocation cap and includes coordination or case management under the scope of services qualified caregivers can receive program funding.
     Minimum Wage: SB789 SD2 HD2 increases the minimum wage rates by $1 per hour annually from January 1, 2020, to January 1, 2024. Provides lower minimum wage rates for employees who receive employer-sponsored health benefits under the Hawaiʻi Prepaid Health Care Act.
     ʻOhana Zones: SB470 HD1 authorizes the use of private lands for the ʻOhana Zones Pilot Program. Extends the ʻOhana Zones Pilot Program to June 30, 2022. Extends the Emergency Department Homelessness Assessment Pilot Program and the Medical Respite Pilot Program to June 30, 2020.
     Sexual Misconduct Nondisclosure Agreements: SB1041 SD2 HD2 prohibits written nondisclosure agreements involving sexual assault and sexual harassment as part of an employee's conditions of employment. Prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for disclosing or discussing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
     Transient Accommodations: SB1292 SD2 HD3 requires hosting platforms that collect fees for booking services to register as tax collection agents and collect GET and TAT for transient accommodation bookings from operators and plan managers. Converts penalties for violation of TAT requirements from misdemeanor to civil fines. Specifies that "transient accommodations" includes accommodations subject to county regulations.
     To see all Senate bills amended by the House and returned to the Senate go to capitol.hawaii.gov/advreports.

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KAʻŪ TROJANS GIRLS SOFTBALL team got skunked Friday in a game at Kealakehe. The home team lost at zero, with the Waveriders scoring 20 runs.

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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 Trojans Spring Sports Schedule
Sat., April 13, , @Kamehameha
Fri., April 19, BIIF Semi-Finals
Sat., April 20, BIIF Semi-Finals
Fri., April 26, BIIF Finals
Sat., April 27, BIIF Finals
Wed.-Sat., May 8-11, HHSAA

Fri., April 12, BIIF Semi-Finals
Sat., April 13, BIIF Semi-Finals
Fri., April 19, BIIF Finals
Sat., April 20, BIIF Finals
Wed., May 1-4, HHSAA
Boys Volleyball:

Fri., April 12, , @Keaʻau
Wed., April 17, , Kamehameha
Fri., April 19, , host Honokaʻa
Mon. April 22, BIIF First Round
Wed., April 24, BIIF Semi-Finals
Thu., April 25, BIIF Finals
Thu.-Sat., May 2-4, HHSAA

Sat., April 13, , @HPA
Sat., April 20, , @Kamehameha
Fri., April 26, , BIIF Semi-Finals
Sat., April 27, , BIIF Finals
Fri.-Sat., May 3-4, HHSAA

MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL EVENTS at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park happen Tuesday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. Day 1: Weave coconut leaves; make lei. Rupert Tripp Jr. performs. Day 2: Learn and play the Hawaiian board game kōnane; learn about the tools, alter, and plants that symbolize hula. Ti "Kawehi" Chun and Pōki‘i Seto perform. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/havo

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.

Two $1,000 Scholarships are available from American Association of University Women-Kona to any female high school graduate or older women attending a two-year vocational program leading to a marketable skill at Palamanui Campus. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 10. Application packets available at kona-hi.aauw.net. Contact sharonnind@aol.com.

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.

Scholarship Application Deadline for American Association of University Women-Kona, Wednesday, April 10. Two $1,000 awards for two-year vocational program attendees. Application packets at kona-hi.aauw.net. sharonnind@aol.com

Volcano Bay Clinic Mobile Health Unit Visit: Dental, Wednesday, April 10, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Medical, Thursday, April 25, 1 p.m – 5 p.m. Cooper Center, Volcano Village. Must be Bay Clinic, Inc. patient. 333-3600 for appt. thecoopercenter.org

Ki‘i, Wednesday, April 10, 10 a.m. – noon, Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai. Acclaimed artist James Kanani Kaulukukui Jr. shares his expertise and the essential role of ki‘i, statue, in Hawaiian society. Free; park entrance fees apply. nps.gov/havo

Free Vision Screenings, . Students receive free comprehensive eye exam and sunglasses. If given a prescription, keiki will receive free eyeglasses with choice of frames, with parental consent. Mission co-sponsored by Tūtū & Me and Project Vision Hawaiʻi. pidf.org/programs/tutu_and_meprojectvisionhawaii.org, 808-430-0388

Story Time with Auntie Linda from Tūtū and Me, Thursday, April 11, 10:30 a.m. – noon, Nā‘ālehu Public Library. Free; includes craft activity. 929-8571

Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka‘ū, Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, Nā‘ālehu. Pres. Berkley Yoshida, 747-0197

‘O Ka‘ū Kākou Mtg., Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., Aspen Center. okaukakou.org

Tales of Forgiveness and Tales of the Three Monks, performed by Storyteller Jeff Gere, Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m., Volcano Art Center. $10/VAC member, $15/non-member. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Hawai‘i Disability Legal Services, Friday, April 12, 9 a.m. – noon, Ocean View Community Center. Free disability legal services provided by Hawai‘i Legal Aid. ovcahi.org, 939-7033

Community Dance, Friday, April 12, 7 p.m – 10 p.m., Cooper Center, Volcano Village. Minors allowed with supervision only. Alcohol-free event. Variety of music. Snacks provided; additional pūpū welcome. Free. 967-7800, thecoopercenter.org

Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund Annual Manuka/NARS Cleanup, Saturday, April 13. Free; donations appreciated. RSVP: kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com, 769-7629

Parenting Class & Saturday School, Saturday, April 13, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Ocean View Community Center, downstairs. Sponsored by Nā‘ālehu Elementary School. 939-7033, ovcahi.org
Pancake Breakfast and Raffle, Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m., Ocean View Community Center. To volunteer, call 939-7033. ovcahi.org

Soft Pastel Still Life with Patti Pease Johnson, Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. – noon, Volcano Art Center. $45/VAC member, $50/non-member, plus $10 supply fee. Beginner and intermediate artists welcome. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Nā Mamo O Kāwā ʻOhana Work Day, Saturday, April 13, meet 9:30 a.m., Northern Gate, Kāwā. RSVP: James Akau, jakau@nmok.org, 561-9111. nmok.orgfacebook.com/NMOK.Hawaii

Ka‘u Unity Celebration, Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., multi-purpose room, Ka‘ū District Gym. All ages. Free. Register same day. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Zentangle: Celtic-Inspired Knotwork with Ellen O'Dunn, Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Bring drawing supplies; loaner supplies available. Bring snack to share. $30/VAC member, $35/non-member, plus $10 supply fee. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Hula Kahiko - Kumu Kini Ka‘awa with Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, Saturday, April 13, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery. Hula performance. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.com, volcanoartcenter.org

Nā Mea Hula with Loke Kamanu & ‘Ohana, Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. Hands-on cultural demonstration. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.com, volcanoartcenter.org

Jazz in the Forest: Jazz Goes to the Movies, Saturday, April 13, 5:30 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Watch Jean Pierre Thoma and the Jazztones play along with a collection of tunes alongside a silver screen. $20/VAC member, $25/non-member. Register: volcanoartcenter.org, 967-8222

Lava Lounge Entertainment, Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., Kīlauea Military Camp. Soul Town performs. $5 cover per person. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

Palm Sunday Services, April 14, 9:30 a.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Ocean View. 939-7000

Ocean View Easter Egg Hunt at Kahuku Park happens Sunday, April 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sponsored by D-Tech solutions, Robert Unger, 238-8441, is accepting donations of plastic eggs and individually wrapped candy.

Medicine for the Mind: Teachings in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, Sunday, April 14, 2nd Sunday monthly, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Volcano Art Center. Free; calabash donations welcome. Dress warmly. Patty Johnson, 345-1527

Mobile Spay & Neuter Waggin', Monday, April 16, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., St. Jude's Episcopal Church,
Ocean View. Low income pet parents and those with limited transportation qualify for mobile spay/neuter service. Free. Surgery by appointment only. Hawai‘i Island Humane Society, hihs.org, 796-0107

Discovery Harbour Neighborhood Watch Mtg., Monday, April 15, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

Hypertension Management, Monday, April 15 and 22, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Kaʻū District Gym, with Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi.

Walk for Fitness, Tuesday, April 16-June 25, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. 18+. Registration ongoing. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Arts and Crafts Activity: Spring Collage, Tuesday, April 16, 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. Register keiki ages 6-12 April 8-12. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Hula Hoop Challenge, Tuesday, April 16, 2:45 p.m., Kahuku Park, H.O.V.E. Register keiki ages 6-12 April 8-12. Free. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

Discovery Harbour Volunteer Fire Dept. Mtg., Tuesday, April 16, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Discovery Harbour Community Hall. 929-9576, discoveryharbour.net

Walk & Fit, Tuesday and Thursday, April 16-May 23, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Ka‘ū District Gym, Pāhala. 18+. Register April 3-15. Shoes required. 928-3102, hawaiicounty.gov/pr-recreation

After Dark in the Park: The Amazing, Almost Unbelievable, Story of the Coconut Palm, Tuesday, April 16, 7 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. John Stallman of the Friends Institute of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes, guides attendees on the epic journey of the modern palm, what has been called, "the most useful tree on Earth." Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

Beginning Farmer Institute Cohort Applications open through Monday, April 15. Free training program which "prepares new producers of any age or operation type for a successful future in agriculture." Applications at nfu.org/education/beginning-farmer-institute.

Kaʻū Coffee Fest invites non-profits, clubs, cooperatives, and businesses to sign up for booths at the 11th annual Kaʻū Coffee Fest Hoʻolauleʻa on Saturday, May 4 at Pāhala Community Center. The all-day event comes with music, hula, coffee tasting, and meeting the famous Kaʻū Coffee farmers. See 

     Booth fees are $100 for food vendors; $60 for non-food items and crafts, including coffee and coffee samples; and $35 for pre-approved information displays. No campaign and other political displays. Fifty percent discounts for non-profit organizations and cooperatives selling food, crafts, and coffee. Vendors must also obtain county vendor permits costing $30 each and a Department of Health permit, if serving food. Call Gail Nagata 933-0918. Apply by Friday, April 26. Application at KauCoffeeFestival.com. Email to biokepamoses@gmail.com; mail to Brenda Iokepa-Moses, 
P.O. Box 208PāhalaHI 96777
; or call 808-731-5409.

Exhibit: On Sacred Ground by Dino Morrow is open daily through Sunday, May 5 at Volcano Art Center Gallery. The public is invited to see documentary and protrait photography of Hula Arts at the Kīlauea Program. Visit volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

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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