Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Al Gore and Barbara Boxer were in Hawai`i yesterday and praised Hawai`i's efforts to sunset traditional energy sources in favor
of wind, solar and other alternatives such a those at South Point in Ka`u. Photo by Julia Neal
A BOND HAS BEEN APPROVED to fund the new Volcano Recycling Center. According to Jeffrey Mermel, who has worked for years on the issue with Volcano Community Association and other groups, the effort included seven years of meetings, petitions, emails, letters, testifying and “more meetings.” He wrote to volunteers yesterday that “it appears your good efforts and persistence is about to pay off.” Mermel, who chairs Volcano Community Association’s Environmental Committee, said that “special thanks must go to Councilors Brittany Smart and Brenda Ford, who along with Volcano’s own Anne Lee, Chair of the Environmental Management Commission, succeeded in getting a bond passed through the Council to fund this project.”
     Greg Goodale, of the county Department of Environmental Management Solid Resources Division, notified Mermel late last week that a county engineer has scheduled a preconstruction meeting with a contractor and work could begin before the end of this month.
     To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The largest parcel include in the proposed Kaunamano purchase extending
from Hwy 11 to the Ka`u Coast, is outlined in red.
PRESERVATION OF KAUNAMANO IS PROGRESSING after Hawai`i County Finance Committee yesterday voted unanimously to send a resolution authorizing purchase of the Ka`u land to the County Council with a positive recommendation. 
      West Hawai`i Today reported Lehua Lopez-Mau saying, “Now is the time to purchase land for future use and future needs. We have a willing seller.” Lopez-Mau, former executive director for Ka `Ohana O Honuapo, said that if the purchase goes through, it would create the largest beach park in the state.
      Reporter Erin Miller said Joseph David Richardson, representing EWM Enterprises, LP, of Las Vegas, is ready to negotiate with the county on a purchase price of the 1,264 acres, which include the iconic and often-photographed slope to the ocean below Honu`apo lookout.
      She also reported that the Trust for Public Lands is willing to help the county raise funds to purchase the lands.
      While the property is currently listed for sale at $10.8 million, county records show a market value of $3.085 million and a net taxable value of $530,900.
      Miller reported that several testifiers at the meeting cited a 2004 archaeological inventory survey that identified “444 sites with more than 3,900 features, including enclosures, mounds, platforms, walls, salt pans, walled terraces and trails.”
      The Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission listed the property as its fourth-highest priority in 2012, when a 50-lot subdivision was being considered there. See hawaiitribune-herald.com. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PRAISE FOR HAWAI`I’S LEADERSHIP in addressing climate change issues came from the chair of the U.S. Senate’s Environment & Public Works Committee Barbara Boxer at a conference yesterday sponsored by University of Hawai`i’s Sea grant Program and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. She pointed to the state’s goal of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030 and the requirement for solar water heaters on every new house.
      Regarding climate change, the California senator said, “All we need is the will” to take action. She called it a “horrific problem” but said, “We’re getting the tools to solve it.”
      The conference was called Ascent: Developing a New Social Contract for Public Investment in a Green Future. Boxer said that people who deny climate change are holding up a better future for the U.S. and the planet.
Sen. Brian Schatz co-sponsored a conference featuring
speakers Al Gore and Sen. Barbara Boxer.
      According to a story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this morning, “Boxer compared climate change deniers to tobacco company supporters who, even in the 1990s, swore off scientific evidence showing that cigarettes were highly addictive and posed health concerns.”
       However, “The American people and elected officials eventually got on board … and agreed that nicotine and smoking cause cancer, and we took steps together — together — to encourage tobacco cessation. … When we agree to move, we can make a tremendous difference,” Boxer declared, according to the Star-Advertiser story by Sarah Zoellick.
      “When something is doing such great harm, you’ve got to put a price on it; it’s just as easy as that,” said Boxer. She also stated that “a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand,” reported the Star-Advertiser.
      The conference was held on O`ahu.
      See more at staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

“HAWAI`I IS IN A UNIQUE PLACE to see the vulnerabilities we are all facing globally,” said Al Gore last night in his keynote address at University of Hawai`i. The former vice-president and guru of climate change activism called the Hawaiian Islands “a great place to see the opportunities” when it comes to challenges of addressing climate change. According to the story by Timothy Hurley in this morning’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Gore credited Hawai`i for solar and wind energy. “I’m incredibly impressed with what Hawai`i is doing,” he said. Gore noted that the affordability and availability of solar energy are spreading across the planet. Gore addressed about 9,000 people at the end of the conference sponsored by Sea Grant and Sen. Brian Schatz.
     See more at staradvertiser.com.
     To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION is endorsing Gov. Neil Abercrombie for a second term. HFFA represents nearly 3,100 active and retired firefighters throughout Hawai`i. 
      “Gov. Abercrombie has stood by our side for over 40 years,” said HFFA president Bobby Lee. “We first endorsed him in 1974. Since that time, he’s consistently supported us on labor issues and fire and public safety matters. There’s no one more qualified to lead this state to a brighter future.”
      “I’m grateful to the men and women of the HFFA for their support,” Abercrombie said. “Their commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of our community is truly inspiring. It’s because of the sacrifice of people like the firefighters that I continue to push for issues that benefit the middle class.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

HAWAI`I HEALTH CONNECTOR HAS EXTENDED the grace period for individuals to complete the enrollment application process for health insurance until April 30.
      According to Hawai`i Health Connector, that is the absolute cut-off date for individuals seeking to get coverage from the open enrollment period that ended March 31.
      Those who do not complete enrollment by April 30 will be subject to tax penalties and will have to wait until the 2015 open enrollment period that begins on Nov. 15 to apply, unless there are special circumstances such as changes in marital status or employment.
      Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. in Pahala is partnering with Hawai`i Health Connector to help extend health insurance to Ka`u’s uninsured through a $125,000 grant.
      For more information, see hawaiihealthconnector.com, call 928-0101 or email krhcai@yahoo.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

An international exhibit opens at Hale Ho`omana in Volcano Village tomorrow.
FRIENDS OF THE KA`U LIBRARIES' book sale at Pahala Public & School Library continues today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.). 
      For more information, call 987-7448.

KA`U AG WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT meets tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Royal Hawaiian Orchards field office in Pahala. For more information, call Jeff McCall at 928-6456.

NINE ARTISTS FROM VARIOUS CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS and experiences, all currently active and working in Japan or Hawai`i, put on an international art exhibit beginning tomorrow at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village. The collective work encompasses a broad spectrum of materials including paint, paper, clay, fiber and objects. The opening reception for this special event, which runs through May 2, is tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 7 pm.

KANIKAPILA JAM SESSIONS at Volcano Art Center’s Ni`aulani Campus in Volcano Village are open to all musicians. Bring your own instrument and enjoy garage-style jamming Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Donations accepted. Call 967-8222.

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

KA`U HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY BOY’S VOLLEYBALL team fell to the Waiakea Warriors last night at Waiakea Gym. Scores were 13-25, 14-25, 18-25. The Trojans host the Honoka`a Dragons on Saturday, Apr. 19 at 10 a.m. at Ka`u High School gym.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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