Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014

Cold fronts from the north have brought precipitation, helping dry areas of Hawai`i Island out of severe drought. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLANS to develop clearer rules regarding replacement of state legislators who leave office before their terms expire, according to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. This follows an appeal of the party’s recent election of Na`alehu resident Richard Creagan to replace state Rep. Denny Coffman, who resigned. Lei Kihoi, one of nine candidates who submitted applications for the seat, claimed the election was rigged. According to reporter Nancy Cook Lauer, Kihoi said she was barred from the election meeting even though she was eligible to vote as a president of a district precinct.
Rep. Richard Creagan
      “The core question is whether the election on Dec. 27, 2013 was ‘rigged’ in order to bring an expected result,” Kihoi said in a Jan. 6 memo to party chair Dante Carpenter. “My answer is yes.”
      Kihoi asked the party to re-do the election, but, according to Cook Lauer, several Hawai`i Island Democratic Party officials said they and Carpenter “looked into the allegations and determined they were without merit.”
      Carpenter told Cook Lauer, “The Democratic Party examined all of the concerns that were raised and determined that what did transpire was in compliance with the Democratic Party constitution and bylaws as well as the Hawai`i County party rules.
      “Things were brought up … we know to be not perfect by any stretch,” he added. “We look forward to lots of discussion and changes of rules regarding elections.”
      Creagan, who recused himself from the election meeting, told Cook Lauer he questioned the process because of his concerns it could be more transparent. “I didn’t want to take a position where there was any question,” Creagan said. “I was concerned that things were done properly because we hadn’t done them before.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HAS RECEIVED LESS SEVERE RATINGS on the national drought monitor in the last several months, reported Colin M. Stewart, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald.
Drought conditions have improved in Ka`u.
Map from National Drought Monitor
      “So far, the wet season has been kind of what we expected since the early fall,” Kevin Kodama, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, told Stewart. “At the start of the season, we were thinking it was going to be wet until at least the beginning of 2014, and then we’d see how it goes from there. The drought has been getting a lot better.”
      Despite lower-than-average rainfall totals for many of the island’s rainiest areas, many of the usual dry areas have seen increases in rainfall amounts.
      “We still need additional rain as we head into the dry season (beginning in May),” Kodama said. “As for the long-term outlook for the next couple of months, the Climate Prediction Center is still calling for above normal rainfall.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TRINETY S. CRAPSER, OF OCEAN VIEW, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree robbery, second-degree attempted assault, third-degree assault, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and attempted unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, according to a story in West Hawai`i Today. The charges follow a robbery last month where the victim, Discovery Harbour resident Trudi Grentz, alleged that Crapser, wielding a hatchet, attacked her.
      At a preliminary hearing, Grentz said Crapser demanded possession of her purple Corvette parked on South Point Road.
      Kainoa Kahele-Bishop, of Ocean View, a second suspect in this robbery as well as another reported that same day, is scheduled for an arraignment and plea hearing Feb. 19.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Brian Schatz
THE U.S. SENATE HAS ADVANCED the Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, which would safeguard military retirees from changes in cost of living adjustments that are set to take effect in 2015. Schatz helped to introduce similar legislation that would protect military retiree pay in December and fought to include this provision as part of the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act last month. 
      “The last place we should be looking for savings is in reductions in military retiree benefits. These people put their lives on the line, and we need to hold up our end of the bargain and make sure they get every dollar they were promised after careers of service to our country,” said Schatz. “We need to pass this bill and reverse any pay changes before they have a chance to go into effect.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES ARE SENDING out an email that reminds employers that a state of Hawai`i Department of Labor notice reviews a new law that expands employee rights to express milk in the workplace.
      Employers must provide a reasonable break time for employees to express milk for the employee’s nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time the employee has a need to express breast milk.
      They must also provide a location, other than the restroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public that may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
      The law requires employers to post a notice in a conspicuous place accessible to employees and use other appropriate means to keep employees informed of this right.
      Employers with fewer than twenty employees may be exempt from this requirement if they can show that accommodating the first two points would cause undue hardship.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

WANT TO LEARN JAPANESE? The first class today 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.

NA`ALEHU ASSEMBLY OF GOD hosts guest speakers today and this weekend. A Missions Service with Jeff & Pam Gregory takes place today at 6:30 p.m. 
      John & Meleana Harke present Camp Meeting 2014 Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
      For more information, call 929-7278 or email office@naalehuag.org.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT takes place Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., when volunteers meet at Kilauea Visitor Center Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails. Free; park entrance fees apply.

HANA HOU RESTAURANT in Na`alehu offers Valentine’s Day dinners Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Special menu items include prime rib, crab lasagna and garlic shrimp, baby back ribs with guava BBQ glaze and baked mahi mahi stuffed with crab and scallops. Meals include starter and dessert for $30 per person. Earnest Kalani provides entertainment on Friday.
      Call 929-9717 for reservations.

VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER SPECIALS are available Friday at South Side Shaka’s in Na`alehu. Prime rib is $21.95, snow crab is $26.95, and a combination is $29.95. Music by Kaleo Peters.
      For reservations, call 929-7404.

VALENTINE’S DAY BUFFET is available at Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Cafe in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The buffet features prime rib, chicken piccata, shrimp and mushroom alfredo and more for $24.95 for adults and $14.50 for children ages 6 to 11. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8356 for more information.

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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