Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, May 26, 2014

Volunteers scoured the South Point coast this past week and hauled away more than 1,700 lbs. of debris.
Photo from Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
ALMOST .75 TONS OF GARBAGE WERE REMOVED during the last week from Green Sands -Mahana Bay, from Kaulana Boat Ramp at South Point to `Onikinalu, and from Kaulana Boat Ramp to Ka`ahue. 
Nurdle in the Rough Jewelry company volunteers joined the Ka``u Coast cleanup.
Photo from Hawai`i Wildlife Fund 
The effort, organized by Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, Three Mountain Alliance and state Department of Forestry & Wildlife, drew 18 students and teachers from a field study course at Normandale Community College in Minnesota.  
     On Saturday, 16 island residents and representatives from Sustainable Coastlines Hawai`i, Method Home cleaning products of San Francisco, Nurdle in the Rough Jewelry of Holualoa, and Recycle Hawai`i lent many hands.
     The five miles of coastal cleanup from Kaulana Boat Ramp to `Onikinalu brought in 1,312 lbs of items that washed up or were discarded on the beach. There were 250 lbs of nets, 240 lbs of tar bundles and other non-net debris. The group removed 124 pounds of plastics. Interesting finds included a long gas cylinder, plastic fishing reel from Guayaquiil, Ecuador, a large black fishing lure, a syringe, and a refrigerator door with local graffiti. The trash ranged from six-pack rings, to food wrappers, disposable cigarette lighters, buoys and floats, styrofoam cups and plastic utensils to aerosol cans and a GI Joe American Hero Toy. Tires and flip flops were also hauled away.
     The more than three miles from Kaulana Boat Ramp to Ka`ahue were cleaned of 394 lbs of rubbish including 50 lbs of nets and 344 non-net items. There were lots of cigarette lighters, according to the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund report.
College students from Minnesota helped clean up nets and other debris.
Photo from Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
Hawai`i Wildife Fund will participate on Saturday, June 28 in the Fourth of July Parade in Na`alehu. Another Ka`u community coastal cleanup will be held at Kamilo Point on Sunday, July 13. For more information, contact Megan Lamson at kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.
Also helping over the last week was Nohea Ka`awa, of DOFAW.

KA`U DEMOCRATS FLEW TO HONOLULU for the state Democratic Party Convention over the weekend, to work among 604 delegates statewide to craft a new platform. The new party platform formalizes support for agricultural home rule, for which those wanting limitations to pesticides and genetically engineered crops have lobbied.
       However, the Democrats voted against GMO food labeling, with those in opposition including delegate and state Department of Agriculture Chair Scott Enright who recently spoke at the annual meeting of the Ka`u Farm Bureau.
     The Ka`u Farm Bureau has opposed local  law to register GMO, its then president Chris Manfredi contending in testimony to the County Council last September that  "There are numerous studies that indicate that transgenic crops are safe" and that farmers who register GMO "could become targets of eco-terorism and enviro-terrorism." Regarding GMO labeling, Manfredi, now president of the Hawai`i Farm Bureau, has said that the organization takes the position that labeling should be regulated by the federal government. He said that Ka`u Farm Bureau has not taken a stand on labeling.
       U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who spoke at the Democratic Convention has introduced legislation to congress asking for GMO labeling nationwide.  During the convention, according to Civil Beat, she encouraged the conventioneers not to be discouraged by the "doom and gloom" in Washington, saying there are "undercurrents of hope" inspirational to those considering and working in public service. 
     Resolutions adopted at the Deomocratic Convention also include financial support for public preschools. The new platform recognizes climate change as a "real threat to our islands and the world." It calls for utilities to "open the grid to alternative power sources including solar power and geothermal energy." It brings attention to lobbying and candidate contributions by corporations by stating that "we do not believe that money equals speech or that corporations are people for proposes of First Amendment protections." The Democrats also voted to "support Native Hawaiian rights to self-determination in the formation of the chosen governmental entity."
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie told conventioneers that raising the minimum wage, the state providing funding for pre-schools and such conservation efforts as preserving lands around Turtle Bay on O`ahu are the right thing to do. He said his administration is contributing to the economic health of Hawai`i by "focusing on growth and sustainability....We have the right values, we have the right priorities and I can report to you, you've got the right governor."
Statewid Chair of the Democratic Party is Stephanie Ohigashi.
      Abercrombie's strongest opponent in the Democratic Primary to be held in August is David Ige. A state senator who has served 27 years in the state legislature, he also spoke to the convention. Ige contended that special interests rather than public interest are getting too much attention in state government. He also vowed to incentivize solar power for every home in Hawai`i and to fight invasive species coming into the state, which not only damage agriculture but tourism, he said.
       Ige took issue with Abercrombie's recent fundraising dinner at a mainland home of billionaire Larry Ellison who recently bought the island of Lana`i. "I never wanted a fundraiser at a billionaire's house," said Ige.  According to a story in this morning's Honolulu Star Advertiser, Abercrombie earlier said, "It's not a question of whether someone who supports you has money or not. It's a question of whether those who support you respect campaign spending limitations and campaign contribution limitations."
    The new Democratic Party Chair is Stephanie Ohigashi, who works in the County Council office of Mike Victorino on Maui. She defeated Tony Gill, of Honolulu. She replaces long time Democratic leader Dante Carpenter. In his speech, Carpenter reviewed the history of the Democratic revolution that started around 1954 and led to the toppling of Hawai`i's  "Republican oligarchy," reported Civil Beat.
      U.S. Sen Brien Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who are running against each other for a Senate seat in Washington, also gave political speeches. According to the Civil Beat report, Hanabusa "said the party's commitment to fair wages, workers rights, social equality and building a middle class can be directly traced back to 1954. To Hanabusa, the party's core values are family, respect, hard work, equality and kindness." She also talked about equal pay for women. "It is insulting and absurd women do not earn what men do," she said, according to Civil Beat.
       Schatz also named pay hikes for women as a top priority. He also called for more affordability for higher education and the expansion of Social Security, which he described as  "the most successful anti-poverty program in American history - and we have got to protect it."
Mayor Billy Kenoi and wife Takako at the
Na Hoku Hano Hano event on Saturday.
 more at www.civilbeat.com and www.staradvertiser.com.

NA HOKU HANOHANO AWARDS provided praise and Hokus for the Big Island's Mark Yamanaka who performed at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park last week ahead of attending the award ceremonies on Saturday in Honolulu.
      Yamanaka took the titles Album of the Year for Lei Maile, Male Vocalist of the Year and Hawaiian Music Album of the Year. He is known for his falsetto voice and skill on stringed instruments.
      Yamanaka shares the Male Vocalist of the Year title with Kamaka Kukona, who also won Most Promising Artist of the Year. A band called The Green won Group of the Year and Favored Entertainer of the Year with its reggae music.
     All of the titles are won through voting by the Hawai`i Academy of Recording Artists with the exception of Favored Entertainer by popular vote.  Along with the winners, Hawai`i Mayor Billy Kenoi took the stage as a presenters of Na Hoku Hano Hano awards.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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