Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, June 22, 2014

La`au lapa`au, native Hawaiian healing, was presented at Olson Trust's Old Pahala Clubhouse yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS DREW KA`U political candidates to Kona yesterday for a pleasant exchange of ideas in a forum moderated by Sherry Bracken, of Hawai`i Public Radio.

Rep. Richard Creagan
STATE REP. RICHARD CREAGAN SAID, “Without these forums, we don’t get to hear the candidates talk about these issues at the same time. Because each candidate has to answer the same questions, you get to hear their views and how they may differ.”
      The session was filmed by Big Island Video News, Olelo and others.       
      Creagan, the incumbent for House District Five, said he talked about his goals for the next legislative session, should he be elected. They include working on health care, integrating affordable health care with prepaid health care and getting a new hospital for Kona. He said later that one issue is the possible privatization of the Ka`u, Hilo and Kona Hospitals. Creagan said he and others support privatization but only if the company is Hawai`i-based and unionized. He said that the private, mainland company that proposed taking over the system of Hawai`i Health Systems Corp. clinics and hospitals statewide is non-union and its “anti-union rhetoric can be found on its website.”
      He said that another concern is that an outside hospital corporation could close Ka`u Hospital. “The safety net hospitals such as Ka`u and Kohala have to be preserved. One of the fears of bringing in the outside organizations is that they might want to shut them down.”
      Creagan said that a more agreeable merger would be with a hospital like Queens Medical System, based on O`ahu. Queens is already unionized and would not have a problem preserving the union jobs at Ka`u, Hilo and Kona, he said.
      During the forum, Creagan, a physician, brought up the medical marijuana issue, saying he supports the expansion of indications for medical marijuana. He said later that he sees it as important especially in the case of veterans with post traumatic stress disorder. “Marijuana can be very helpful. It is approved for PTSD in five or six other states,” he told The Ka`u Calendar newspaper. Creagan is on the House task force to study setting up dispensaries for medical marijuana. 
      A topic with consensus of apparently all the candidates is labeling of GMO foods. Creagan said that among the candidates, there are some differences, such as whether the federal government should take the lead on the issue – with federal proposals initiated by Ka`u’s U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Creagan said that in addition to federal measures, Hawai`i should lead and establish a state requirement. “Hawai`i should lead, not follow, but in the future the federal government should do it, too.”
Keeping Ka`u Hospital open is a priority for Rep. Richard Creagan.
Photo by Julia Neal
      Creagan said after the forum that it is important for Ka`u and the rest of the district to elect a Democrat because Democrats can bring home the funding, with 44 of the 51 legislators members of the Democratic Party. He pointed to Capital Improvement Projects and grants-in-aid for local infrastructure and programs. He also noted after the forum that he is a member of the House majority group, led by Joe Souki, and that Souki is likely to be the House leader once again in 2015.
      Creagan said after the forum that one important issue not discussed was public funding for elections. He said that he supports public funding, but it is hard to pass at the Legislature because it does not favor incumbents. He said he will continue to push for it. “Our experience on the Big Island showed the power of public funding, brought more candidates out, allowed them to really compete with the big money interests. That is why Brittany Smart was able to win against candidates supported by big money. Brittany (Smart), Maile (Medeiros David) and Brenda (Ford) were able to get over $30,000 in funding.” Their campaigns for County Council brought out local issues and built awareness in the public, with Maile Medeiros David well recognized as she competes for County Council this year following two races with public funding. There is no public funding for any political positions in Hawai`i this year, he noted.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Maile Medeiros David
MAILE MEDEIROS DAVID, COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT SIX CANDIDATE, described the forum questions as general and said she brought up several points on her own. She said her talking notes included proposing an agricultural park for Ka`u. She said, “There are no ag parks in our district. The ag parks are at Pahoa, Pana`ewa, Keahole and Hamakua and total 1,800 acres.” She said an ag park in Ka`u could benefit not only Ka`u Coffee growers, many of them with expired leases on land now owned by Lehman Brothers, but also other farming interest such as food crops.
      Medeiros David also said she supports continued funding to fight the coffee berry borer. Existing grants “will last for just a little while. It is cost prohibitive to keep the farms at a minimum of coffee berry borers” infestation with income from the farms. She said that government will have to continue its support to battle the pest.
      Regarding jobs, she said that completion of the Ka`u Community Development Plan is necessary because it “determines the vision and long-range development – determined by the community. At least it opens the door for the community’s vision of where development should happen, and that would generate the jobs.”
      Regarding services needed in Ka`u, she said after the forum that she would like to see an increase in police services in South Kona and Ka`u and an upgrade to county recreational and community facilities. She said she would like to coordinate with county, state and federal agencies to “bring services out to the rural communities on a monthly basis. She gave the example of the Social Security agency sending representatives to Kona once a month for Social Security cards. She said she would like to see the same for Ka`u. 
      “Bringing workforce training for our young people,” is another goal.
Maile Medeiros David wants to improve bus service in Ka`u.
      Regarding transportation, she said after the forum that roads are a multi-agency effort. “I am traveling on roads that I traveled as a kid, and I am 60.” She said that not only roads have to be improved but also mass transit. She said she wants to study possible improvements in connectivity between the working-class people taking the bus from Ka`u to outlying jobs and the bus schedules. She also wants to see if schedules can be expanded or adjusted for students, the elderly and others dependent on the bus. 
      Medeiros-David noted her background as a County Council staff member for a decade, a paralegal and Deputy County Clerk and her family background of working in ranching and coffee. She said she has an “upfront personal touch with community and understanding what their issues are.” Regarding genetically modified crops, Medeiros-David said after the forum, “We need to protect our ag lands for food.” She said she supports home rule on the issue and the intent of the bill that was passed by the County Council to limit GMOs in the county but noted the court case against it. She said she also supports GMO food labeling.
      See more from other candidates who attended the forum in future Ka`u News Briefs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HUI MALAMA OLA NA `OIWI, the Native Hawaiian Health Care System, hosted more than 60 members of the public at its health workshop yesterday at Olson Trust's Old Pahala Clubhouse. Keamalu Waltjen, CNA, CHW, Outreach Case Manager and Site Supervisor who runs the Ka`u offices for the Native Hawaiian healthcare organization, said she was pleased with the turnout of every kind of person to listen to health education and presentations. Included were traditional Native Hawaiian treatments and health care practices. Lomi lomi and other practices were demonstrated along with a display of healthful foods and herbs used for healthy eating and for treatment of ailments. Ka Leo O Na Kahuna Lapa`au O Mu Heiau O Lona presented Native Hawaiian health care history and displays. 
      The clubhouse is available for free for public education and classes for which there is no fee. The fee is 15 percent or a flat fee for activities that charge participants. There is also a fee for private and family parties. Call 928-9811 to reserve. Hui Malama is federally funded by the Health Resourses Services Administration. 
      For more information, call Julie at 969-9220. See huimalamaolanaoiwi.org or visit offices in Na`alehu.

Na`alehu Theater is on Historic Hawai`i Foundation's list of Most
Endangered Historic Sites.
HISTORIC HAWAI`I FOUNDATION IS NOW ACCEPTING nominations for the 2014 Most Endangered Historic Sites. Nominations are sought for threatened historic resources across the state. Historic resources are often threatened by demolition, neglect, ignorance and apathy. Historic resources can include buildings, objects, landscapes and communities.
      Na`alehu Theater was placed on the list of Hawai`i’s Most Endangered Historic Sites in 2010. At that time Marge Elwell, who was president of Na`alehu Main Street, had applied to lease the theater from 300 Corp., an affiliate of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. NMS hoped to lease the building for five years, rent-free “while we’re rebuilding the theater and, after three years, we would lease to buy the theater,” Elwell told Historic Hawai`i Foundation.
      The Most Endangered Historic Sites list is developed in cooperation with Honolulu Magazine and the Hawai‘i State Historic Preservation Division.
      Nominations are to be submitted prior to 5 p.m. on July 31. Forms are available at historichawaii.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO KA`U FARM BUREAU meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. For more information, email President Ralph Gaston at ralph@rustyshawaiian.com.

CARL RAY VILLAVERDE PERFORMS Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. After spending more than a decade on the mainland teaching `ukulele and guitar at Santa Barbara City College and performing throughout California, Villaverde returns to the islands with his new CD, Hawaiian Magic, on sale at the show. Free; park entrance fees apply. $2 donations support After Dark programs.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
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