Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hula Halau Ulumamo o Hilo Paliku, performing at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's Cultural Festival last year, returns next month for the festival at the park's Kahuku Unit. NPS Photo by Jay Robinson
ELECTRICAL REPAIR WORK AT OCEAN VIEW WELL is scheduled Monday, June 23 through Wednesday, July 2, the county Department of Water Supply has announced. As a result, standpipe service for water haulers at the fill station facility will be stopped beginning June 20 until repairs are complete.
      Drinking water spigots will remain open to public access until the minimum water storage required for fire flow is left in the reservoir.
      DWS reminds all drinking water spigot customers to take water for potable water needs only. Cooperation by all users extends water availability in the reservoir for as many customers as possible.
      DWS asks for customer patience and understanding during this repair period.
      For more information, call 961-8790 or email dws@hawaiidws.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dr./Sen. Josh Green
KA`U’S STATE SEN. JOSH GREEN PLANS to make overuse and over-prescribing of painkillers a priority during the next legislative session. Green, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, told Colin M. Stewart, of West Hawai`i Today, that while the U.S. makes up three percent of the world’s population, “we use 80 percent of the world’s narcotics. That’s a problem.” 
      One of Green’s top recommendations is creating a drug registry that doctors must check before prescribing narcotics to avoid duplications.
      Patients could also be required to take random drug tests to check for proper doses and correct medications. “Each physician already has the latitude to set down office standards,” Green told Stewart. “This is done particularly by people who run pain management practices. One method is drug testing for those who are prescribed narcotics. Another is having a drug contract with their patient to monitor that they are taking the correct medications. We’re looking at adopting national best practices.”
      Green told Stewart he has also asked the public safety department and the Regulated Industries Complaints Office to be more proactive in checking on physicians who have had a pattern of extremely high prescribing.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

AFTER KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD called for him to be fired, Hawai`i’s Veterans Affairs Director Wayne Pfeffer said he will not resign. Gabbard said she has no confidence in Pfeffer’s abilities after receiving what she called “reprehensible” responses to her and her staff members’ questions regarding wait times for patients to see physicians at Hawai`i’s VA facilities.
      Pfeffer told Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he apologized to congressional staffers for any misunderstanding, saying he thinks they misinterpreted his responses.
         According to the Star-Advertiser story, Sen. Mazie Hirono doesn’t support Gabbard’s approach. “There are procedures in place at the VA to review his performance so that disciplinary action can be taken if appropriate,” Hirono said. She also wants to wait for results of an independent investigation of VA wait times.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A major decision regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope is on hold.
Image from tmt.org
THIRTY METER TELESCOPE’S LAST MAJOR bureaucratic hurdle is on hold after the state Board of Land & Natural Resources yesterday deferred a decision on a sublease for the $1.3 billion project. The University of Hawai`i, which leases state land on Mauna Kea where the telescope would be built, plans to sublease the land to the Thirty Meter Telescope group. UH Board of Regents unanimously voted to support the project several years ago. 
      Partners in the group wanting to complete the world’s largest optical telescope by 2021 include University of California, California Institute of Technology, Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy and universities and institutions in China, India and Japan.
      According to a story in Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the board said it needs more time to explore legal issues. Some Native Hawaiians oppose the project, believing it would defile a summit they consider sacred. Environmentalists who oppose the project believe it could harm the rare wekiu bug.
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Youth rangers share Hawaiian foods during the cultural festival.
NPS Photo by Jay Robinson
KA`U HIEHIE I KA MAKANI, which means Ka`u regal in the gales, referring to the multi-directional winds that cool the land in Kahuku, is the theme of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s 34th annual Cultural Festival. This year’s free event takes place Saturday, July 12 at the park’s Kahuku Unit from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
      Participants enjoy hula kahiko and music, watch skilled practitioners demonstrate their art, try their hand at Hawaiian crafts and taste traditional Hawaiian foods. Performers this year include Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning singer and `ukulele artist Diana Aki, known as the Songbird of Miloli`i, Kumu Hula Mamo Brown and Halau Ulumamo o Hilo Paliku, falsetto singer Kai Ho`opi`i, kupuna hula by Haunani Medeiros and more.
      “The park’s annual cultural festival brings our communities together and offers a wide range of authentic Hawaiian experiences for residents and visitors,” said HVNP Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Our park staff also look forward to this yearly opportunity to connect with our communities and share their aloha for the `aina,” she said.
      Call 985-6011 or email havo_interpretation@nps.gov for more information.

Participants in Science Camp explore Ka`u's potential for hydroelectric power.
Photo from Science Camps of America
WITH BASE CAMP AT PAHALA PLANTATION COTTAGES, Science Camps of America soon begins its second summer of providing opportunities for teenagers to get out and “do” science rather than just reading about it in a textbook. The organization holds two separate camp sessions on the Big Island for local teens entering grades eight through 12 who have a passion for science. 
      “It’s really exciting that Science Camps of America is starting to take off, and this is only our second summer,” said Michael Richards, camp founder and executive director. “We have teens registered for camp from O`ahu, Big Island, Maui, Kaua`i and the mainland. We have a few spots open in both sessions and want to make sure local teens who love science know that Science Camps is out there if they are interested in attending.”
      Campers get the chance to explore the environmental diversity that the Big Island has to offer from beaches to rainforests and mountaintops. Some of the destinations include Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, `Imiloa Planetarium, Mauna Kea Visitor Center, USGS Mauna Loa Climate Observatory, Punalu`u Black Sand Beach and many more.
      The first camp session, Land and Sea, is held June 29 to July 8 and focuses on volcanology, geology and oceanography. Campers explore Hawai`i’s unique flora and fauna and learn how events in the natural world affect every living creature, including humans.
      The second session, Air and Space, is held July 8 to 17 and focuses on astronomy, climate and alternative energy. Campers gain a better understanding of climate change and the creation and use of alternative energy to help curb global warming.
      Dr. Floyd McCoy, the nonprofit’s director of education, grew up on the Big Island and is a professor of geology, geoscience and oceanography at Windward Community College. McCoy is a highly regarded scientist and educator and has appeared on specials for National Geographic, BBC, TLC, NBC and Discovery.
      Late registrations are accepted until one week before each session begins. To extend this experience to more local teens, the nonprofit offers a limited amount of financial aid and also welcomes contributions from the public to the Science Camp Scholarship Fund.
      To help out or learn more about and register, see ScienceCampsAmerica.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE SIXTH ANNUAL VOLCANO POTTERY SALE continues today until 3 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Fifteen Big Island artists display their artworks.
      For more information, seeryhpottery.com/volcano_pottery_saleor call Ron Hanatani at 985-8530.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK invites Ka`u residents to its free `Ohi`a Lehua program tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Participants bring lunch and learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower.
      Call 985-6011 for more information.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP'S CRATER RIM CAFE in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers Father’s Day Brunch tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Buffet features prime rib, shrimp alfredo with mushrooms, Asian-infused Hawaiian ono and more. $27 adults, $14.50 children 6 – 11.
      Call 967-8356 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
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