Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, June 16, 2014

Roofing and siding for the new Kau Gym & Disaster Shelter are in progress on the Pahala school campus. An annual Southside Volleyball Camp to send local youth to a national tournament where they are seen by college recruiters is all week at the old gym, led by Kamehameha Schools volleyball coach Guy Enriques. Photo by Julia Neal
SOUTHSIDE VOLLEYBALL CAMP takes place this week and last at the old Ka`u High Gym, with coach Guy Enriques preparing local youth for Junior Boys National Championship at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, June 28 – July 5. The team of 17-year-olds comprised of nine players is coached by Enriques. The team of 15-year-olds, with 11 players and coached by Enriques and Sam Thomas, will defend its national championship from last year. Enriques is also head coach for Kamehameha Schools, and Thomas is assistant coach.
Home of the Trojans since the 1930s, the old gym serves as a base for volleyball
camp this week to send Southside Volleyball teams to a national competition. The
new gym is scheduled to be available for next summer, creating two practice and
tournament locations on the campus. Photo by Julia Neal
      Families of the teams are still raising funds for the event. Call Guy Enriques at 217-2253. Accommodations for the camp are provided by Pahala Plantation Cottages. Enriques said he hopes that by next summer the camp and volleyball tournaments in Ka`u can be held in the new $18 million gym being built on the school campus, as well as the old gym.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE in this week’s Hawai`i County Council committee and regular meeting via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center. Committee meetings tomorrow are Public Works and Parks & Recreation at 9 a.m.; Finance Committee, 9:15 a.m.; Planning Committee, 9:45 a.m.; and Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability, 10:15 a.m.
      The council’s regular meeting is Wednesday at 9 a.m. All meetings take place at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona.
      On the County Council meeting agenda is the second of three required readings of a bill calling for the term of the County Clerk to be extended to six years. If the measure passes County Council, it will be on November’s general election ballot as a charter amendment.
      Agendas of all meetings are available at hawaiicounty.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AFTER ANALYZING BILLS PASSED BY THE U.S. SENATE and House of Representatives last week in response to reports of long wait times for appointments with Veterans Affairs physicians and possible related deaths, the Congressional Budget Office says federal government spending on veterans’ health care could double, reports Matthew Dal for Associated Press.
      Dal said that, according to the budget office, the Senate bill would open up VA health care to as many as eight million veterans who now qualify for VA health care but have not enrolled. By making it easier to get outside care, the Senate bill and a companion measure in the House also would encourage veterans to seek VA coverage for a bigger portion of their health care, the report says.
      Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee of which Ka`u’s U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono is a member, told Dal the bill was expensive, but so were the wars that veterans have served in. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone will have cost at least $3 trillion, he said.
      “If we can spend that kind of money to go to war … surely we can spend (less than) one percent of that amount to take care of the men and women who fought those wars,” Sanders said.
      The Center for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan policy group devoted to cutting federal deficits, raises concerns about the legislation, saying it “includes an unprecedented open-ended mandatory appropriation that basically gives the VA a blank check to spend as it wishes. Given recent reports, one would think Congress would want more accountability at the VA, not less.”
      The two chambers now work toward reconciling differences in their bills.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com and crfb.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i Ag Board member Richard Ha
HAWAI`I AGRICULTURAL BOARD MEMBER RICHARD HA explains the rationale behind a lawsuit brought against Hawai`i County on his blog hahaha.hamakuasprings.com. Ha is one of several plaintiffs suing the county over its ban on open-air use of genetically modified crops.
      Ha says the lawsuit seeks clarity and equal treatment for farmers. “Farmers are law-abiding citizens, and we play by the rules. We thought that the Feds and the state had jurisdiction. We want clarity about the rules of the game.
      Ha also says, “Only Big Island farmers are prohibited from using biotech solutions that all our competitors can use. How is that equal? It’s discriminatory against local farmers.
      “Like almost all the farmers, (I) have never sued anyone. But there comes a time when you have to stand up for what is right.
      “The group we formed, Hawai`i Farmers and Ranchers United, grows more than 90 percent of the farm value on the Big Island.
      “This is about food security. The GMO portion of food security is small. This is not about large corporations. It is about local farmers. It is not about organics; we need everybody. But organics only supply four percent of the national food supply and maybe one percent of Hawai`i’s. Our organic farmers are not threatened by modern farming. Hawai`i organic farmers are threatened by mainland, industrial-scale organic farms. That is why there are hardly any locally grown organics in the retail stores. It’s about cost of production. Also, on the mainland winter kills off the bad bugs and weeds, and the organic farmers can outrun the bugs through the early part of summer. Hawai`i farmers don’t have winter to help us.
      “Most importantly, this is about pro-science and anti-science. That is why farmers are stepping up. We know that science is self-correcting. It gives us a solid frame of reference. You don’t end up fooling yourself. In all of Hawai`i’s history, now is no time to be fooling ourselves.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Pahala Senior Center sponsored an outing to see Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger
portray Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar in A Walk into
the Past
. Photo from Julie Pasquale
LOOKING FOR A FUN VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY that can include a healthy meal? The Pahala Senior Nutrition Center provides recreation, education and on-site lunches for independent seniors aged 60 and beyond. Age is the only qualification to join, and a healthy lunch is served daily. 
      While the center is affiliated with Hawai`i County Parks & Recreation Department and has a part-time staff person who coordinates the meals and activities, it is primarily run by a group of senior volunteers who help with set-up and clean-up, lunch service, activities and transportation. 
      “Volunteers can help as much or as little as they want, so this is a great opportunity for those looking to have fun while doing good,” said coordinator Julie Pasquale. 
      Pahala Senior Center is located at the Senior Housing complex on Holei Street. Hours are weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with lunch service at 10:30 a.m. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to stop by or call Pasquale at 928-3101 for more information.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

VOLUNTEERS CAN SIGN UP THROUGH TODAY for Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Forest Restoration Project on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants cut invasive Kahili ginger in an area of `ohi`a forest in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park that recovers well once the ginger is removed.
      Call 352-1402 or email forest@fhvnp.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

EVOLUTION OF DANCE AS A SOCIAL JUSTICE and social change tool is the topic at Volcano Art Center’s Dancing at the Source, Dancing on the Edge: Branching Out tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at its Niaulani campus in Volcano Village.
      For more information, call 967-8222 or see volcanoartcenter.org.

Ka`u Auto Repair won Most Patriotic at last year's Na`alehu Independence Day
Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
HALAU ULUMAMO O HILO PALIKU under the direction of kumu hula Mamo Brown presents a hula performance Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

NA`ALEHU INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou is less than two weeks away on Saturday, June 28, starting at 11 a.m. Businesses, organizations and individuals who wish to participate, volunteer or donate should call Debra McIntosh at 929-9872 or see okaukakou.org/4th-of-july-parade and click on the volunteer button.
      Prizes are awarded for the most colorful entry and the most patriotic entry. The parade route begins at Na`alehu Elementary School and ends at Na`alehu Hongwanji Mission.
      After the parade, OKK provides fun times at the park for all ages with free shaved ice, hot dogs, games for keiki and Bingo for seniors.
      “Let’s meet, after the parade, at 12 noontime at Na`alehu Park to celebrate our nation’s birth with family and friends,” said organizer Lee McIntosh.


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

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