Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014

The ukulele drew Trevor Taylor and Jamal Buyan to classes with Keoki Kahumoku in Ka`u and then to the Palace Theatre last fall
to perform with `ukulele recording artist Brittany Paiva, who also started her `ukulele career as a Kahumoku student.
 Photo by Julia Neal
THE `UKULELE may have a new tag line – the official state musical instrument of Hawai`i. A bill making its way through the state legislature recognizes what people worldwide already know. The `ukulele is integral to Hawaiian multiethnic culture. Only a few other states have officially honored instruments. In Kentucky it’s the Appalachian dulcimer. In Louisiana, it’s the squeeze box – the Cajun or diatonic accordion, Texas the guitar and Wisconsin the accordion. Arkansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota name the fiddle as their state instrument.
`Ukulele could become the official state instrument, like the dulcimer
in Kentucky and the squeeze box in Louisiana. Photo by Julia Neal
  The bill to honor the `ukulele notes cutbacks in music education funding and points to the `ukulele as an instrument to help save music in the schools. It also quotes the late Big Island famed musician Kindy Sproat who said, “One `ukulele and one soul can do a lot.”
    East Ka`u Rep. Richard Onishi is on the House Veterans, Military & International Affairs & Culture & the Arts Committee that is recommending passage of HB 27853, the `ukulele bill. During a hearing on Feb. 12, testimony came from `ukulele players and enthusiasts, including one Neighbor Island school teacher who leads an `ukulele band of middle school students who are able to travel to the mainland annually to share music and culture “as Ambassadors of Aloha.” Another testifier, Chris Kamaka, wrote his support and noted that the `Ukulele Hall of Fame, located on the East Coast, has been wanting to move the organization home to Hawai`i.
To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CHALLENGER FOR THE U.S. SENATE SEAT, Colleen Hanabusa, leads in February polls released today by the Honolulu Star Advertiser and Hawai`i News Now. Hanabusa, who serves in the U.S. House of Representatives, has better recognition than other candidates and leads among likely-to-vote seniors, those of Japanese ancestry and union members, according to the poll conducted by Ward Research, Inc. Hanabusa faces incumbent Brian Schatz in the Democratic primary. Schatz was appointed to represent Hawai`i in the U.S. Senate by Gov. Neil Abercombie in December of 2012 after the death of longtime Sen. Daniel Inouye.    
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa
  According to the Honolulu Advertiser story, the poll found that “a quarter of voters interviewed did not know enough about Schatz to form an opinion about the senator.
     “Hanabusa was at 48 percent and Schatz was at 40 percent in the poll of Democratic primary voters. Eleven percent were undecided,” the Advertiser reported. The poll showed that “Hanabusa also had a 62 percent favorable rating, the second highest — behind U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — of all the politicians tested.
     “Schatz's favorable rating was 51 percent. More importantly, 13 percent of voters had never heard of the senator, while 12 percent had heard of him but did not know enough to draw a conclusion.”
     The story noted that Schatz “has a fundraising advantage over Hanabusa. Strategically, the young senator may have to use the campaign money soon to better define himself for voters before Hanabusa has the chance to write the narrative.”
    The Schatz campaign conducted its own poll showing Schatz with a small edge over Hanabusa in late January. "Elections aren't decided in February, though, and we know this is going to be a hard campaign," Schatz said.
     See more at www.staradvertiser.com and www.hawaiinewsnow.com
     The primary election is Saturday, Aug. 9 and the General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 4. Those wanting to run for local office from County Council to state legislature and congress, can pick up papers at the County Clerk’s office through June 3. 
To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HOPING TO FIND HER BELONGINGS, Trudi Grentz, victim of a robbery on South Point Road, is hoping that someone may have clues to their location. During an interview yesterday, Grentz reviewed the incident. She said she was working at Paradise Meadows farm on Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. putting out the signs for the agrotourism establishment.
      A man and woman, whom she says were unknown to her, drove by in a small white car, turned their car around and drove up to her when she was placing two signs on the South Point side of Paradise Meadows driveway. Grentz said the woman emerged from the car, raised a hatchet and warned Grentz to get away from her own car. Grentz said she asked her "What's wrong with you?" and that the woman “had the hatchet raised and was waiving it around and told me to get away from my car again. She started to swing at me with the hatchet and I blocked it and took it away from her, and threw it into the bushes on the other side of the road." Grentz said the woman jumped into the drivers seat of Grentz’s convertible. Grentz reached in and shut the car off, but unable to retrieve the keys. While she was struggling, the woman’s companion “grabbed my bag with my wallet, laptop, cell pone and jewelry making supplies” and “he drove away."
     Grentz said she was assisted by a neighbor and the owners of Paradise Meadows, but the woman assailant  “took off over the top of the wall, barefoot, and disappeared into the brush." 
Grentz said she was helped by Paradise Farm owners and neighbors after being
attacked when putting up signs along South Point Road. Photo by Julia Neal
     Police arrived and took statements from witnesses, including descriptions of the woman's  many tatooos, Grentz said. Within a few hours police presented Grentz with a lineup of photos, from which she was able to pick out the woman, who was arrested the next day and remains in jail. Grentz said that her assailant told police that her accomplice "made her do it." He was also arrested after the police presented Grentz with a photo lineup. He too remains in jail and is suspected of robbing a fisherman on South Point Road the same day of the Grentz incident, she said. The two in custody are from Ocean View.
    Grentz said that she hopes that anyone with any information on the possible location of her belongings that were stolen will call the Ka`u Police Department. Grents, who came from a small town in Washington state, said she has never before been a crime victim or been afraid. She is a property owner in Ka`u who hopes to someday build a house, but said, "Now I am leery and I hope that it passes." She said that until the incident she felt safe in Ka`u and had been welcomed to work and live here "by many nice people."
    She said she is particularly interested in recovering her laptop and the feathers she uses to make jewelry, the feathers collected from the farm where she works and out in the wild. To comment on or “like” this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FREE ENTRANCE TO HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK is today and during tomorrow's holiday to honor Presidents Day Weekend.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP offers a President's Day Buffet at Crater Rim Cafe from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 967-8371.


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