Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Feb. 10, 2014

Edna Buldado shares the cultural uses of kalo, or taro, tomorrow at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Photo from NPS
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD invites Ka`u High School students to participate in the first-ever Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Academic Competition. The House STEM App Challenge offers high school students in Hawai`i and across the country an opportunity to compete in the creation of a software application, commonly referred to as an app, for mobile, tablet or computer devices on a platform of their choice.
      “Our students are equipped to become leaders in technology and innovation, and friendly competitions like the House STEM App Challenge encourage them to explore advanced industries,” said Gabbard. “This is an opportunity for our talented keiki to showcase their abilities and work toward high-skilled opportunities in our 21st Century economy.”
      The apps will be judged by an appointed panel of individuals within the academic, tech and entrepreneurial fields. The winning student’s app in each participating congressional district will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives website and on display at an exhibit in the U.S. Capitol.
      Additional details about the competition and application are available at gabbard.house.gov/house-stem-app-challenge.
      The deadline to submit applications to Gabbard’s office is Wednesday, Apr. 30.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AS THE U.S. SENATE PREPARES TO VOTE on the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act, a strong bipartisan coalition continued the push for an independent, objective and unbiased military justice system. Sen. Mazie Hirono joined 52 senators, including 43 Democrats and nine Republicans, who have publicly announced their support of this proposal that seeks to reverse the systemic fear that victims of military sexual assault consistently describe in deciding whether to report the crimes committed against them due to bias and inherent conflicts of interest posed by the military chain of command’s current sole decision-making power over whether cases move forward to a trial. 
      “The awareness of sexual assault in the military has led to a number of important changes,” Hirono said. “But, in listening to the survivors, we have not made what they consider the most important change: putting the decision to prosecute these crimes in the hands of trained military prosecutors. While we have more than 50 senators supporting this bill, the challenge right now is for us to get the 60 votes necessary to bring this bill to the floor for a vote. We are still hopeful we can bring this bill to the floor.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U. S. SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ HAS CO-INTRODUCED the Safe Streets Act of 2014, legislation intended to improve safety of Hawai`i’s and the nation’s roads and expand access for all users. With many roads today designed only for cars and busy traffic, communities across the country have pushed for safer, more livable, Complete Streets. Complete Streets policies call for safely accommodating travelers of all ages and abilities, including drivers, transit passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians. 
      The Safe Streets Act would change the approach to the way federally funded roads are planned, designed and built, ensuring new roads follow Complete Streets policies that make sure sidewalks, crosswalks, and safe transit access are taken into consideration as roadway plans are developed. Safe Streets legislation would increase safe travel options, like walking and biking, and help save lives, Schatz said.

      “Too many people are killed or injured each year because our streets are simply not designed and built with the safety of everyone – including pedestrians and bicyclists – in mind. Our communities deserve safer streets,” Schatz said. “Many of our roads in Hawai`i and across America make travel difficult for seniors, families, youth and others who are unable or choose not to drive. Our legislation provides common sense solutions to consider the needs of our seniors and children, encourage alternative forms of transportation and make our roads and communities safer for everyone.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i County prosecuting attorney Mitch Roth
Photo by Chuck Green
THE STATE INTERMEDIATE COURT OF APPEALS has upheld Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura’s dismissal of a civil lawsuit against several county officials. Nakamura, in Jan. 2013, said Hawai`i County’s initiative making marijuana use by adults on private property the lowest law enforcement priority is unenforceable. The initiative passed in 2008 by a vote of 35,689 to 25,940.
      A group of marijuana activists filed a suit against several county officials, including County Council members, in March 2011, alleging that they failed to implement and enforce the initiative.
      In the decision for a panel of three judges, Associate Judge Daniel R. Foley wrote: “The County derives its powers to enact and enforce ordinances from the general laws of the state of Hawai`i. … The county’s authority to enact and enforce ordinances, however, is limited by the Legislature’s power to enact laws of ‘statewide concern.’”
      Foley also said state laws that criminalize and regulate adult use of cannabis “provide further evidence of legislative intent to pre-empt the Lowest Level of Enforcement Priority of Cannabis Ordinance.”
      One of the defendants, Hawai`i County prosecuting attorney Mitch Roth, called the ruling “the right decision for the court to make,” reported John Burnett in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald.
      County deputy corporation counsel Michael Udovic, who represented the county in the original lawsuit and in the appeal, told Burnett the opinion was “an appropriate decision” and “pretty straightforward.”  
      “Once you have a state law that covers a specific area, the County Council really doesn’t have any authority to make any laws which are in conflict with the state law,” he said. “That’s what the whole thing was all about.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Daryl "Sammy" Sampaga, wearing his Never Give Up shirt,
never gave up and has completed his trek around the island.
Photo by Julia Neal
AFTER ARRIVING IN PAHALA ON JAN. 18, Daryl “Sammy” Sampaga has completed his walk around the island to raise funds for his nonprofit Operation Sammy Muscular Dystrophy. Sampaga plans to use money raised from the walk to purchase two Hawaiian canoes that he plans to use to teach handicapped keiki how to paddle. 
      Hawai`i Tribune-Herald reported that Sampaga raised $8,000 of his goal of $25,000. Mayor Billy Kenoi, who had walked with Sampaga on his way through Hamakua, told Sampaga, “Whatever you short, no worry, because we goin’ buy those wa`as. And we’re goin’ finish the fundraising for you. … You got all the community behind you,” reported John Burnett.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

JOANN AGUIRRE DISCUSSES HOW TEA has served as the foundation for romance in the arts tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. Free to VAC members; donations welcome.
      For more information, email teaquiero77@gmail.com.

HIGHER EDUCATION ASSISTANCE is available Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Na`alehu United Methodist Church. Kamehameha Schools representatives meet with students who want to pursue education beyond high school and families who want help with summer program applications and more information about resources.
      For more information, call 935-0116.

ARCHAEOLOGIST JADELYN MONIZ-NAKAMURA discusses challenges faced by the National Park Service before, during and after World War II at Kilauea during an After Dark in the Park program at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park tomorrow at 7 p.m. $2 donations support park programs; park entrance fees apply.

Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura
SAM AND EDNA BULDADO SHARE the cultural uses of the kalo (taro) plant Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply. 

A STAFF MEMBER FROM U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s office meets with constituents and assists with casework and other issues Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.
      Call 987-5698 for more information.

WANT TO LEARN JAPANESE? The first class on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Na`alehu Hongwanji gauges interest for future classes and starts with the absolute beginner; more advanced students are also welcome. Space is limited. 
      Contact Maiki at 989-4259 or hawaiiislandlife@gmail.com.

SEE FEBRUARY’S ISSUE of The Ka`u Calendar newspaper online at kaucalendar.com.

SEE THE DIRECTORY 2014 ONLINE. For a page-turning version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf. For a pdf version, see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.pdf.


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