Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, June 8, 2014

Basking and resting sea turtles, like these at Punalu`u Black Sand Beach, are protected and must be viewed from a distance of six to 10 feet, according to the Department of Land & Natural Resources. Photo by William Neal
PUBLIC INPUT FROM KA`U RESIDENTS is welcome on recommendations by Hawai`i State Ethics Commission regarding state legislators’ use of annual legislative allowances. The commission drafted recommendations in response to complaints from legislators regarding expenditures made by other legislators using state funds from their annual allowance accounts. Based on information provided by the Senate and House clerks, the commission concluded that “the majority of disbursements from the legislative allowance accounts appeared to be for expenses reasonably related to a legislator’s official duties. However, some disbursements, on their face, appeared to be personal in nature and unrelated to a legislator’s official duties.”
State Ethics Commission members are, from left, Ruth Tschumy, David O'Neal,
Susan DeGuzman, Cassandra Leolani Abdul and Edward Broglio.
      In a letter to Senate Pres. Donna Mercado Kim and the House Speaker Joseph Souki, the commission’s staff identified several types of disbursements that appeared to raise concerns under the State Ethics Code and invited Senate and House leadership to provide input and comments to assist the commission in its review of the matter. Staff also conveyed the commission’s preference to offer general guidance to legislators regarding their use of the legislative allowance.
      According to the commission, Kim and Souki replied to the commission that, “while they appreciated the commission’s concerns, the responsibility for monitoring the use of the legislative allowance, or sanctioning any misuse of the legislative allowance, rests with the Legislature.” Kim and Souki also wrote that the Legislature “would be reviewing its current guidelines to see if further clarification was needed on use of the allowance.”
State Sen. Pres. Donna
Mercado Kim
State House Speaker
Joseph Souki
      The commission also said Kim and Souki have stated in letters that because the legislative allowance is established by the state Constitution, the Legislature is solely responsible for monitoring its usage and providing sanctions, if any, with regard to misuse.
      “Consequently, the Legislature’s position appears to be that the Fair Treatment law does not apply to the use of the allowance; its use is solely within the discretion of the Legislature,” the commission stated.
      The commission disagreed with this interpretation. It said, “Neither the constitutional provision nor the statutes establishing the legislative allowance contains any language stating that the Legislature is solely responsible for monitoring the use and sanctioning the misuse of the legislative allowance.”
      According to the commission, the Fair Treatment law allows for expenses including office supplies, some parking and mileage, some membership dues and ceremonial lei.
      Expenditures which do not appear to be reasonably related to a legislator’s official duties, and therefore not allowable, include political or charitable contributions, dry cleaning and many gifts.
      The commission’s recommendations are posted on its website at ethics.hawaii.gov.
      Testimony can be submitted by email to ethics@hawaiiethics.org or mailed to State Ethics Commission, Suite 970, American Savings Bank Tower, 1001 Bishop Street, Honolulu, HI 96813.
      The recommendations and all public testimony will be considered by the commission at its Wednesday, June 18 meeting.

DLNR Chair William Aila, Jr.
HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES reminds the public to respect Hawai`i’s sea turtles by viewing these protected animals responsibly.
      The two types of sea turtles most frequently observed in nearshore waters in Hawai`i are green sea turtles, or honu, and hawksbill sea turtles, or honu`ea.
      “We ask for people’s help to ensure turtles are not disturbed, which is especially a concern at high-visitor use beaches,” said DLNR Chair William J. Aila, Jr. “We want to remind the community that all sea turtles are protected, and that both state and federal consequences apply to anyone harming green sea turtles.”
      DLNR urges people to give honu basking on beaches space to allow them to rest undisturbed and suggests keeping a six- to 10-foot buffer as a best practice for sea turtle viewing.
      The public is advised to not touch, pick up, restrain, jump over, straddle, pursue, ride, harass, harm or otherwise disturb these animals.
      “In the water, turtles may appear friendly or curious; however, for your safety and theirs, please view them from a distance, act responsibly and never feed turtles,” Aila said. “A turtle that associates people with food can act aggressively and may bite.”
      The green sea turtle is listed as threatened, and the hawksbill sea turtle is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Although green sea turtle populations are recovering, they still face threats, including destruction and alteration of nesting and feeding areas, incidental capture in commercial and recreational fisheries, entanglement in and ingestion of marine debris, poaching, disease, vessel strikes and climate change.
      In Hawai`i, sea turtles are protected by the Hawai`i Revised Statutes (Chapter 195D) and Hawai`i Administrative Rules (13-124). Although federal and state wildlife conservation laws differ in some respects, all prohibit actions that can harm, injure, kill or otherwise disturb sea turtles without a permit. Feeding or touching turtles in any way is considered a disturbance and therefore illegal.
      For more information, see hawaii.gov/dlnr and view a public service announcement at http://vimeo.com/63933154.
      To report suspected violations, call the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement at 808-587-0077 or 643-DLNR.

Ka`u residents can take a course in Medical Terminology this summer.
SUMMER ONLINE AND HILO CLASSES ARE AVAILABLE for Ka`u residents. Professional development workshops are sponsored by University of Hawai`i at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education & Community Service. 
     CCECS and University of California-San Diego offer Medical Terminology workshops that cover terminology of health care delivery and medical record-keeping, medical research and other related topics. Classes are Mondays and Thursdays, June 16 – 26 at Hilo.
     Introduction to Pharmacy College Admission Test is conducted online via Laulima through Aug. 15. It is available 24/7 after registration. The course is for pre-pharmacy students.
     Certified Interpretive Host training June 26 – 27 in Hilo is a 16-hour course for receptionists, security officers, sales clerks, waiters and others. Training combines customer service with informal interpretation to help improve interaction with guests while achieving stewardship goals.
     Participants are eligible for a 50 percent subsidy through the Employment and Training Funds must register in advance. To register and for more information, call CCECS at 974-7664. For class details and online registration, see hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/ccecs/courses.php.

SUNDAY IN THE PARK takes place this afternoon at Honu`apo. Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo’s event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. features Darlyne Vierra discussing the history of Honu`apo Park and Ka`u and a hike led by John Replogle. 

PEGGY STANTON TEACHES ACRYLIC PAINTING to all levels tomorrow and Monday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Free for VAC members; $20 for nonmembers.
      Email peggystanton007@yahoo.com for more information.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO Ka`u Scenic Byway Committee’s meeting tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church.
      Email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net for more information.

A WALK INTO THE PAST presents Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger portraying Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar. Performances take place Tuesday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center. Free; park entrance fees apply.

KAPO`ENO`ONO`O: EARLY NATIVE HAWAIIAN SCHOLARS is the topic at After Dark in the Park Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Former park archivist Helen Wong Smith specializes in Hawaiian archival material. She explains how Native Hawaiian scholars straddled two cultures, how their efforts provide unadulterated knowledge of wa kaiko (ancient times) and how to access their publications online. Free; park entrance fees apply. $2 donations support After Dark programs.

THE SIXTH ANNUAL VOLCANO POTTERY SALE is coming up this Friday and Saturday. Fifteen Hawai`i Island potters participate on Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.
      For more information, see ryhpottery.com/volcano_pottery_sale or call Ron Hanatani at 985-8530.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
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