Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The South Point brushfire that darkened the sky with black smoke Sunday is "contained and under control," according to Hawai`i County Fire Department personnel. Photo by Isaac Davis
YESTERDAY WAS THE DEADLINE FOR CANDIDATES to file papers to run for public office at the primary election on Saturday, Aug. 9. Ka`u residents can register to vote in the primary through July 10.
Ka`u's state Rep. Richard Creagan
faces four challengers.
Ka`u's state Rep. Richard Onishi
faces two challengers.
      In Ka`u’s state Senate District Three race, Na`alehu resident Michael Last, a Libertarian, is challenging incumbent Democrat Josh Green, a former Ka`u resident now living in Kailua-Kona.
      In the state House of Representatives, incumbent Democrat Richard Onishi, of Hilo, faces Republican Bill Dickson, of Mountain View, and Libertarian Frederick Fogel, of Volcano, in District Three.
      In District Five, Democrat Richard Creagan, of Na`alehu, who Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed to the state House of Representatives after Denny Coffman resigned, is challenged by Republican Dave Bateman, of Holualoa, Libertarian Jon Lalanne, of Ocean View, Democrat Gene Leslie, of Holualoa and nonpartisan Randy Ruis, of Ocean View.
      Hawai`i County Council District Six will have new representation, with Brenda Ford having reached her term limit and unable to run for re-election. Candidates in the race are Richard Abbett, of Ocean View, Maile David, of Captain Cook and Jim Wilson, of Volcano.
      Also on Ka`u’s ballot are governor, lieutenant governor, Office of Hawaiian Affairs at-large, U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
      Former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and state Sen. David Ige are three of eleven candidates seeking to replace Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
      Incumbent Democrat Shan Tsutsui is one of nine candidates who filed to run for lieutenant governor, including state Sen. Clayton Hee.
      The ballot will have 16 names of candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs at-large office.
      Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is running for re-election in District Two, faces three challengers.
      Nine candidates are seeking to replace U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, who Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed after the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye. U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is one of his challengers.
      For more information, see hawaii.gov/elections.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u Coffee Growers Cooperative members elected officers yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U COFFEE GROWERS COOPERATIVE re-elected Gloria Camba last night to continue as President of the organization during the monthly meeting at Pahala Community Center. Vice President is Willie Tabios. Secretary is Anne Fontes. Treasurer is Ricardo Sambajon. Board members are Leo Norberte, Lorie Obra, Curt Hall, Amelia Biason, Louis Daniele, Leonardo Castaneda, and Edwin Jara. Meetings are the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Membership is $75 and open to Ka`u Coffee farmers. Camba can be reached at 928-8155.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

MAC FARMS OF HAWAI`I, WHICH HIRES MOST of its workers from Ka`u, will have to pay $1.6 million to settle a claim that stems from using labor contractor Global Horizons to supply Thai workers years ago. Mac Farms is one of six Hawai`i agricultural entities that a federal judge ruled are liable for harassing, discriminating against and retaliating against Thai workers. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said they were joint employers with the labor contractor and also liable for acts committed by Global Horizons.
      EEOC acting Los Angeles District director Rosa Viramontes said, “We are proud to announce that the four farms settling our lawsuit today have taken a stand against human trafficking.”
Mac Farms of Hawai`i hires most of its workers from Ka`u.
      Timothy Hurley, of Honolulu Star-Advertiser, reports that the settlements require the farms to make their workers aware of policies and procedures prohibiting discrimination. The farms must also conduct audits to ensure compliance with labor law and to designate compliance officers to make sure managers, supervisors and employees are aware of their obligations under the law.
      “We have a responsibility to ensure that the most vulnerable workers are not denied basic human dignity,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District. “Farms and farm labor contractors — and the supervisors that represent them — must ensure workers’ civil rights remain intact, no matter their race or the country they come from.”
      Most Ka`u Coffee farmers, some of them having used Global Horizons labor in the past, are now employing local coffee pickers, including a large percentage of workers from the Micronesian community.  
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

THIRD CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE RONALD IBARRA has rejected a motion by Bobby Jean Leithead Todd’s attorney, Robert Kim, to dismiss a case brought by Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford, reports Nancy Cook Lauer in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. The lawsuit claims Leithead Todd does not meet the qualifications to be director of Hawai`i County’s Department of Environmental Management.
      Voters in 2010 approved a charter amendment that requires the Environmental Management director to have “an engineering degree or a degree in a related field.” Leithead Todd’s bachelor’s degree is in English. She is also an attorney, former county Planning Director and former County Council member.
      Mayor Billy Kenoi appointed Leithead Todd to the position last summer. She had previously held the position before the amendment was approved.
      County Council confirmed the appointment in July. Ford, along with Karen Eoff, of North Kona, and Margaret Wille, of Kohala voted against the appointment.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Leocardia Gascon, 101 years of age, surrounded by friends at Ka`u Hospital, including, left to right, clerk Tithing Chun, LPN Yolanda Barrios, Nurse Nancy Gruenler, Gascon's daughter Rosalina Rosario, RN Kristen Ishikawa and CNA Maria Aurelio. Photo by Elijah Navarro
LEOCARDIA GASCON RECEIVED CONGRATULATIONS from Pres. Barack Obama in a letter and from the staff at Ka`u Hospital, where she resides in long-term care. Nurse Nancy Gruenler organized the event and the President’s greeting, which says: “We extend our belated best wishes for a wonderful birthday, and we hope you had a chance to spend the day with loved ones. Your generation helped guide America through extraordinary and uncertain times, leaving an indelible mark on our Nation. As you celebrate 101 years, we trust you reflect with great pride on your achievements and on contributions made over the course of your life. 
     “Please know you have our warmest wishes for the year ahead. Sincerely, Barack Obama, The White House.”
      Gascon was born Dec. 10, 1912.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

SUNDAY’S FIRE THAT BEGAN NEAR KA`ALU`ALU BAY on the Ka`u Coast is “contained and under control” according to Battalion Chief Warren Sumida. Fueled by brisk tradewinds, the fire spread toward South Point Road on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands properties leased out to several area ranchers and damaged over 1,000 acres.
      Sumida said crews are still on the scene to douse hotspots and that they will remain in place through tonight and tomorrow morning.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

COVERAGE OF THE SOUTH POINT FIRE continues to be a topic of comments at facebook.com/kaucalendar.
      Jashia N. Makoa Moses sent a “big mahalo” to Wally Andrade and his crew who used bulldozers to cut firebreaks, “also all the four-wheeler riders” who have land at South Point “for driving around and killing small fires. Well done, you guys.” 
      Sepulcher Danslard wrote, “Give a heartfelt mahalo to your local firefighters. True heroes are they. Year after year, Ka`u’s hero.”
      Volunteers on four-wheelers have also been applauded on The Ka`u Calendar's facebook page. Some response has included a warning to those untrained in fire fighting to be extremely careful or volunteer for one of the local volunteer fire departments to receive free training that includes safety.

CLASSES ON ORIGAMI BASICS are scheduled tomorrow and every Thursday this month from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. at Pahala Senior Center. Seniors aged 60 and up are welcome to join the free, informal, hands-on classes.
      For more information, call Julie Pasquale at 928-3101.

HA`AO SPRINGS & MOUNTAIN HOUSE AG WATER CO-OP meets tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Wai`ohinu Park. See haaosprings.org for information about the co-op.

Ka`u's County Council member Brenda Ford participated in Volcano Village's
Fourth of July parade last year. Photo by David Howard Donald
STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT TAKES PLACE every Friday this month, June 6, 13, 20 and 27. Volunteers meet at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
      No advance registration is required. Park entrance fees apply.

VOLCANO VILLAGE’S ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY celebration takes place a month from today on Friday, July 4. The parade from the post office down Old Volcano Road turns left onto Wright Road and ends at Cooper Center, where the party continues. Volunteers, crafters, food vendors and entertainers can sign up to participate with Cooper Center Council President Linda Ugalde at kilaueatutu@gmail.com.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
Click at bottom right to turn pages.

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