Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The final Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Whale Count for 2014 takes place Saturday. Photo from HIHWNMS
HILO CIRCUIT JUDGE GREG NAKAMURA heard arguments regarding Hawai`i County’s registration of genetically modified crops yesterday. Attorney Margery Bronster, representing the plaintiffs, raised concerns about the county keeping information provided by the farmers confidential. 
      “I would try to keep as much information as confidential as possible,” county Research and Development Department director Laverne Omori said in response to a question from Bronster, according to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. She also said her office “lacked clear rules and procedures for the new program.”
Ka`u's U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
      Tom Callis reports that one of the plaintiffs, Hawai`i Papaya Industry Association president Ross Sibucao, said he fears release of information about his farm could make him a target for vandalism. “It’s my livelihood,” he said.  
      “You grow these trees from babies on up. 
      “To have them vandalized, it’s fearful.”
      Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who introduced the anti-GMO bill, told Callis the registry is needed for disclosure and that “general information about where GMO crops are grown should be made public.”  
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES will vote Thursday on legislation that would dismantle the Antiquities Act of 1906, according to Germonique R. Ulmer, vice president of Public Affairs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She called the Antiquities Act “our best public lands conservation tool.”
      Ulmer said HR1459, dubbed the “Preventing New Parks” bill, undermines the President’s ability to act swiftly to preserve lands of public interest through national monument designation. The Grand Canyon, Acadia, Chaco Canyon and Olympic National Parks are just a few of the places first protected under the Antiquities Act. President Obama created national monuments at Virginia’s Fort Monroe and Colorado’s Chimney Rock with strong public support.
      HR1459 has three major provisions:
  • places arbitrary limits on the number of monuments a president can designate using the Antiquities Act; 
  • requires Congress to approve, for the first time, monument designations; and
  • creates unprecedented roadblocks to swift presidential action; 
      Ulmer asks the public to contact their respresentatives and ask them to vote no on the bill. “Together, we can stop this major threat to our public lands and our heritage,” she said.
      Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard can be contacted at gabbard.house.gov or 202-225-4906. Her Hawai`i Island constituent liaison, Blaise DeLima, can be contacted at 755-5806.

Hawai`i corrections system recruits joined officials during a meeting with
Gov. Neil Abercormbie. Image from Big Island Video News
KULANI PRISON IS ON SCHEDULE to reopen in July, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced at a meeting with correctional facility staff and recruits recorded by Big Island Video News. His plan is to return prisoners housed on the mainland as part of an initiative toward a “complete revamping and reorientation” of the state correctional system. 
      “Everybody who had return rights is going to be given the opportunity,” Abercrombie said.
      He said reopening Kulani is “a visible step that we’re reversing” the practice of sending inmates out of state.
      Abercrombie also announced plans to replace Hilo Prison and build a new prison in Kona. “The question that has to be answered right now is, ‘What’s the cost of sending people out of the state, not just in dollars and cents terms, but in lost opportunities for dealing with our own difficulties, our own way, inside our own `ohana, inside this state.”
      He said the overall plan is to bring everyone back, “making an investment and seeing to it that we come to grips with our own problems inside Hawai`i and inside our own family.”
      He said programs at the facility would include an inmate-to-farmer program with training in all phases of ag and a natural area reserve program, with the hope of reducing the rate of recitivism, “giving people the sense that they are not just in a hopeless situation.”
      See bigislandvideonews.com.

BETTER CHOICES, BETTER HEALTH: A FAMILY AFFAIR is set for Friday, April 11. From 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pahala Community Center, the health fair offers health, education and prevention booths, nutrition and healthy food demonstrations, Hawai`i Health Connector enrollment, games and door prizes.
      Sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc., participants include Tutu & Me Traveling Preschool, Bay Clinic, Med Assist School of Hawai`i, United Healthcare, `Ohana Healthcare and Hawai`i County Office of Aging.
      Registration deadline is Monday, April 7. For more information, call 928-0101.

Vendor spaces are available at Kauaha`ao Congregational Church's bazaar next month.
Photo from Debbie Wong Yuen
KAUAHA`AO CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN WAI`OHINU invites individuals and groups to be vendors at the church’s fundraising bazaar on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The church is at the corner of Hwy 11, Kama`oa Road and Pinao Street, just above the Wong Yuen Store and Gas Station. 
      The flea market is open to any club, church, school, athletic organization or individual. The charge for a 10x10-foot booth space is $10. Vendors are asked to bring their own tent, tables, chairs, and, if power is needed, a generator.
      The church will be selling laulau plate lunches, chili and rice, hot dogs, baked goods and more.
      For more information or to reserve a space, call Walter Wong Yuen after 7 p.m. at 928-8039.

THE ALOHAHAS IMPROV-COMEDY-SKETCH COMPANY returns to Ocean View Community Center for their spring show Saturday, April 19. Doors open for $15 ticket sales at 7 p.m. for adults 18 years or older, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
CJ Roughgarden is a member
of the Alohahas.
      The show line-up consists of members performing a series of improvisation games with audience suggestions and participation. Part of the show features original comedy sketches written and performed by the improv members.
      Advance $10 tickets may be purchased at thealohahas@gmail.com or 938-2091.
      More information on the live show, company members and show tickets is available at thealohahas.com or facebook.com/thealohahas.

NA`ALEHU STUDENTS AND STAFF SHARE their learnings and projects at the annual Math and Science Night on Thursday, April 24 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be held in the main school building. Visitors are welcome to bring their families and visit grade-level displays and hands-on activities in classrooms, on the lanai and in the center courtyard. Highlights include exploding fourth-grade volcanoes, make-and-take art pieces with recycled materials, fifth-grade science projects and sixth-grade marble ramp experiments. Families will have an opportunity to take home a native tree starter, in honor of Earth Day, when engaging in the Kamehameha Schools Literacy Instruction and Support booth with their keiki.
      For more information, call the school at 939-2413.

PARTICIPANTS LEARN TO WEAVE A STAR from leaves of the pandanus tree when members of `Aha Puhala o Puna share the art of lauhala weaving as part of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s ongoing `Ike Hana No`eau: Experience the Skillful Work workshops. The free program takes place tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the lanai of Kilauea Visitor Center. Park entrance fees apply.

ALOHA BLUEGRASS BAND AND KEOKI KAHUMOKU present a free concert at Pahala Plantation House tomorrow at 7 p.m. Donations are welcome. 
      Information about the performers is available at alohabluegrassband.com.

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

      At Manuka NARS Shoreline Hiking Cleanup, volunteers hike two or more miles to access the cleanup sites. RSVP to kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.
      Sanctuary Whale Count volunteers gather at Punalu`u Black Sand Beach, Ka Lae and also at Ka`ena Point in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to tally humpback whale sightings and document the animals’ surface behavior during the survey. Sign up at sanctuaryoceancount.org, or call 808-268-3087.


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