Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs June 1, 2013

Ka`u Hospital administrator Merilyn Harris has received recognition from the Tobacco-Free Coalition of East Hawai`i
for the hospital's tobacco-free policy and commitment to improving community health. Photo by Julia Neal
IN OBSERVANCE OF WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY yesterday, the Tobacco-Free Coalition of East Hawai`i presented recognition plaques to Ka`u Hospital administrator Merilyn Harris, Therese Glowania, personnel management specialist at Hale Ho`ola Hamakua and Howard Ainsley, East Hawai`i regional CEO of Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation and Hilo Medical Center for the hospitals’ tobacco-free policy and commitment to improving community health. The facilities adopted a tobacco-free policy effective May 1.
      According to World Health Organization, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide. “We are honored to be recognized for our tobacco-free policy and our commitment to improving population health,” said Ainsley. “As the largest employer in East Hawai`i, we are constantly looking for ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle. This policy is just one way we can make a difference in people’s lives and reduce the incidence of heart attack and stroke.” 
      “World No Tobacco Day is the perfect day to celebrate our state hospitals and clinics in East Hawai`i,” said Sally Ancheta, East Hawai`i coordinator of the Tobacco-Free Coalition. “We applaud the HHSC’s hospitals and their affiliated clinics in East Hawai`i for leading by example and going tobacco-free.”
      The East Hawai`i Region provides support to patients, staff and the community in their efforts to quit using tobacco products. Patients are currently offered tobacco cessation information and tobacco abatement products such as nicotine patches. Tobacco cessation classes are being organized for staff and community members.
      For more information, contact Elena Cabatu at 932-3160 or ecabatu@hhsc.org.

Bobby Jean Leithead Todd
MAYOR BILLY KENOI ANNOUNCED THE APPOINTMENT of former state Land Use Commission chairman Duane Kanuha as the county’s new planning director. Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, who has served as county planning director for the past four years, will assume control of the county Department of Environmental Management. 
      Kanuha served as the county’s deputy planning director from 1976 to 1984 and was planning director from 1988 to 1990 during the administration of the late Mayor Bernard Akana. He was Hawai`i Island commissioner on the state Land Use Commission from 2005 to 2011, and was chair of the commission from 2008 to 2009.
      In 2007, Kanuha was appointed executive vice president of Kohala Investment Works, LLC, a subsidiary of Surety Kohala Corporation.
      The appointment of Leithead Todd as director of Department of Environmental Management marks the second time she has led that department. Leithead Todd previously served as DEM director in 2007 and 2008.
Margaret Masunaga
      A graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law, Leithead Todd served as Hawai`i County deputy corporation counsel for nine years, from 1987-1993 and from 2003-2007. She also served as the legislative auditor for the county, and as a member of the Hawai`i County Council from 1996 to 2003. 
      Kenoi also announced the appointment of Laverne Omori as director of the Department of Research and Development and Hilo bank manager Donn Mende as deputy director.
      Omori has served as deputy director of the Department of Research and Development since 2010. Previously she worked as an economic development specialist in Research & Development, as a planner in the county Office of Aging and as program director in the Department of Parks & Recreation.
      Mende is currently Hilo branch manager of Hawai`i National Bank. A graduate of Waiakea High School, Mende previously worked in trust and investment banking in Honolulu before returning to Hilo to take a position with American Savings Bank in 2006.
Donn Mende
      Kenoi also named Kona-based executive assistant Bobby Command as the new deputy planning director. Command will assume the position now held by attorney Margaret Masunaga, who is moving from the Planning Department to practice law in the county Office of the Corporation Counsel. 
      Command has served as executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi since 2008 and worked on projects such as the Ane Keohokalole Highway and the Mamalahoa Highway Bypass. Command graduated from University of Hawai`i – Manoa with a degree in journalism and was a longtime reporter at West Hawai`i Today, specializing in land use.
      Kenoi also named former Hawai`i Community Foundation program officer Clarysse Kami Nunokawa to the position of executive assistant to the mayor.
      Nunokawa is currently a planner in the county Office of Aging and previously served as grant manager and compliance coordinator for the $2 million Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive Grant to prevent underage drinking. She also served as a program officer for Hawai`i Community Foundation and as a planner and program specialist for the state Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities.
      “We are excited to be making these changes to better serve our community,” Kenoi said. “These appointments add new energy and expertise to our departments and staff, and I want to thank each of our appointees for their commitment to our community.”

Ray LaHood
TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY RAY LAHOOD has praised officials in Hawai`i for passing laws to ban texting while driving. 
      LaHood has waged a vocal campaign against distracted driving during his tenure at the Department of Transportation, and noted that more than 40 states now have prohibitions against texting behind the wheel.
      The new law makes texting while driving a primary offense. As such, drivers can be pulled over for that alone.
      “I commend Gov. Abercrombie and the Hawai`i Legislature for taking an important stand against the danger of distracted driving," LaHood said in a statement.
      See more at thehill.com.

KEAMUKU MANEUVER AREA of Pohakuloa Training Area is open for bow hunting of pigs, sheep and goats only today and tomorrow from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hunters are allowed one pig, one goat and one sheep per day, in keeping with state bag limits.
      For more information, call the PTA Hunter’s Hotline at 808-969-3474, visit garrison.hawaii.army.mil/pta and click on the Hunting tab, or refer to instructions on the hunting pass.

PEOPLE & LAND OF KAHUKU, a guided, 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain, focuses on the human history of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit. The three-hour hike begins at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. Call 985-6011 for more information.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met with Col. Jerry Arends, organizer of Tropic
Care, during her visit to Lana`i. Photo from Office of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
TROPIC CARE 2013 BEGINS TUESDAY, when 75 military reservists come to Ka`u to run two clinics providing health care services free of charge, including physical exams, dentistry, optometry (exams and glasses), nutrition education, medication review and provision of some medication. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis and are advised that there may be long wait times. 
      Clinics are held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for the last day, Wednesday, June 12, when they close at noon. Locations are Pahala School Campus and Ocean View Community Center.
      In addition to medical services, residents living off the grid and using a generator for power will have access to service members specializing in mechanics, who will work on any systems that need attention.
      U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard received a briefing this week on the program from Air Force Reserves Col. Jerry Arends during her tour of Lana`i. “Access to quality health care can be a challenge for those in our rural and underserved communities,” Gabbard said. “I know everyone appreciates the extra help being offered at no cost thanks to the Army, Air Reserves, and the National Guard.”
      For more information about Tropic Care, contact Arends at 701-566-1932.



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