Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013

Turtle digestive systems can become clogged with plastic shopping bags. Hawai`i Island merchants will no longer offer the plastic bag option as of Jan. 17. Photo from theage.com
KA`U’S STATE SEN. JOSH GREEN, chair of the Senate Health Committee, plans to introduce legislation that would create state oversight of midwivery, the health care field that focuses on pregnant women. Green told Honolulu Star-Advertiser that Hawai`i’s current lack of standards is “totally unacceptable.”
      Hawai`i is one of 23 states that do not regulate midwives, according to data from the Midwives Alliance of North America and the North American Registry of Midwives.
Sen. Josh Green is a physician.
      Green’s bill would establish minimum requirements for midwives and others who perform deliveries outside of hospitals. “I trust trained midwives,” Green said, “but I don’t trust those who put up a shingle” and have virtually no training or experience but describe themselves as midwives.
      The bill would establish minimum qualifications for a state license or certification, according to the story. Green also wants to limit home deliveries to low-risk cases and ensure that the provider has a medical plan. “This is what I would expect of myself or any provider taking on a pregnancy,” Green said.
      Green’s bill is also expected to address the issue of getting more reliable data on home births.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OKINAWA GOV. HIROKAZU NAKAIMA has signed off on plans that will allow the relocation of the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station. The relocation is key to a broader U.S. realignment of troops in the Asia-Pacific region and will move approximately 8,000 Marines to other locations in the region including Hawai`i, Guam and Australia. The Okinawa approval is a diplomatic breakthrough and breaks seven years of impasse in which the relocation plan was unable to move forward.
      A new base will be built at Camp Schwab-Henoko Bay on Okinawa. The relocation is planned to maintain a strong and sustainable U.S. military presence while having less impact on the people of Okinawa following years of complaints about crime, noise and accidents related to U.S. troops stationed there.
      “It is important that the agreement reached satisfies the concerns of the people of Okinawa,” said Sen. Brian Schatz. “Japan is an important ally in the region, and Okinawa, like Hawai`i, plays a key role in the U.S.-Japan alliance. As the transition moves forward and the United States continues our strategic rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific, Hawai`i will play an even more important role in ensuring the right distribution of forces throughout the region by providing facilities for Marines and DOD service members. Whether it’s facilitating the base relocation or cooperating in energy research or cultural exchange, Hawai`i and Okinawa have a long history of supporting each other, and this is great news for our friends in Okinawa.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

President Obama's backup plane is stationed at Hilo Airport during his stay
on O`ahu. Photo by Tim Wright
WHILE VACATIONING ON O`AHU, President Barack Obama signed into law the Native American Memorial Amendments Act of 2013, legislation introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz to pave the way for a Native American Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. 
      “It is long past time for our nation to honor the uncommon contributions of Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Natives, American Indian, and other native veterans,” Schatz said. “I introduced this bill so that our nation can recognize Native Americans’ service and patriotism with a fitting memorial. A memorial to native veterans will make sure future generations learn about the sacrifices Native Americans made in service to our nation. The valor of our Native American veterans, their dedication to duty and remarkable record of military service must forever be remembered. This memorial will do just that.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

Dolphins can become entangled in plastic bags. Photo from 5gyres.org
ONE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR KA`U residents to consider is to start carrying re-useable shopping bags. A law banning single-use plastic shopping bags went into effect this past Jan. 17 and allowed merchants one year to eliminate their stock. Beginning next Jan. 17, Hawai`i Island businesses will no longer offer them as an option.
      Another alternative is paper bags, but Toby Taniguchi, executive vice president of store operations for KTA Super Stores, doesn’t promote that option. He told Megan Moseley, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, that “switching to a paper bag is not better from a carbon-footprint standpoint. Modern-day landfills don’t let it dispose. It takes more energy. Switching to a paper bag is not the answer.”
      According to Hawai`i County Department of Environmental Management’s Solid Waste Division, it takes 14 million trees each year in the United States to produce a year’s supply of paper bags for retail use. “Reusable bags reduce litter and conserve natural resources; making them the best choice,” it states at hawaiizerowaste.org.
      Proponents of the law point to plastics damaging the ocean that surrounds the islands. Plastic bags choke sea turtles, get caught on dolphins, and when they break down, they are consumed by tiny sea creatures, which are eaten by fish, and the chemicals that make up the plastic go up the food chain and are eaten by humans.
      Plastic bags without handles will still be allowed for meat and other perishables, and tiny plastic bags will be allowed for small items like beads, buttons, nuts and bolts.
      Reusable plastic bags at least three mils thick will be allowed for sale and for stores to give away to carry merchandise.
      Once phased out, fines will be levied according to how many violations a commercial enterprise receives. Fines start at $250 per day for second notice, $500 a day for third notice and $1,000 a day thereafter.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kamrie Koi is producing a concert to benefit cancer research.
KAMRIE KOI is a producer. The Ka`u High School senior produced and filmed A Land Worth Fighting For and won the People’s Choice Award in the 2012 Digital Mountain Film Festival. Her latest production is a concert to raise money for cancer research through the United Way, and she has drawn a host of performers to the event on Saturday, Jan. 11, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Entertainment will be by Just in Case, JR Band, Keaiwa, Boni Narito, Honokua, Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, Ka`u High School ensemble class and more. The events also features vendors, games, raffle tickets and prizes. Call Kamrie Koi at 430-4964 or Jolene Koi at 936-6249.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KA`U HIGH TROJAN SOCCER TEAMS hosted Kohala yesterday, with boys winning 2 - 0
. Raycin Salmo-Grace and Derrick Velez scored one goal each. 
Goalies were Andrew Garica & Anthony Emmsley-Ah Yee. 

Girls lost 0 - 5
      Next matches are Thursday, Jan. 2, when Ka`u plays Kea`au at home.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

WATER POLO AND TRACK COACHES are needed at Ka`u High School, according to athletic director Kalei Namohala. Applications can be picked up at the school office and are being accepted from Jan. 1 through Jan. 17. For more information, contact the AD at 928-2088.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kilauea Military Camp's Holiday Challenge continues through New Year's Eve.
Photo by Dave Berry
THE 14TH ANNUAL INVITATIONAL WREATH EXHIBIT continues at Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Gallery artists, working in a wide variety of media, materials, and techniques, present their concepts of “wreath,” from the whimsical to the traditional. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-7565 for more information. 

THREE MORE DAYS ARE LEFT to vote for best decorated cottage during Kilauea Military Camp’s Holiday Challenge, which ends Dec. 31. Ballots are available at the front desk. Park entrance fees apply.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S LAVA LOUNGE hosts a New Year’s Eve celebration beginning at 8 p.m., featuring entertainment by Keoki Kahumoku and a midnight toast. KMC is open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 967-8365.

NEW YEAR’S DAY BRUNCH BUFFET is available at Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Menu items include fresh fruit, omelette station, roast pork with gravy, ono picata, sausage patties, bacon, biscuits, brownies, ice cream sundaes and beverages for $15.95 adults and $8.50 children. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.

KA`U HOSPITAL URGES RESIDENTS to complete its Community Health Needs Assessment at surveymonkey.com/s/93HQ5MX. The deadline has been extended to Jan. 31.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2013 from the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce at kauchamber.org.



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