Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, June 23, 2014

Na`alehu Independence Day Parade rolls through town this Saturday, followed by a celebration at Na`alehu Park. Events are sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou. Photo by Julia Neal
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF HAWAI`I COUNTY yesterday held its first Ka`u islandwide meeting in its history, according to Democratic Party island chair David Tarnas, who traveled to Pahala Plantation House from Waimea. Other precinct and district officers traveled from Hilo, Kona and other distant locales. Representing Ka`u were precinct presidents Malian Lahey, of Pahala, Barbara Lewis, of Ocean View and state Rep. Richard Creagan. Sen. Malama Solomon, Barbara Dalton and other Democratic Party Leaders conferenced into the meeting by phone.
Hawai`i County Democratic Party held its first Ka`u islandwide meeting
at Pahala Plantation House yesterday. Photo by Julia Neal
      Tarnas encouraged all Democratic Party members to help register voters, support their favorite Democratic candidates in the primary election coming up Aug. 9 and support all Democrats who win in the primary. Upcoming events include the Fourth of July parade in Kona, followed by a luncheon and candidates event at Kona Outdoor Circle.
        To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

COUNTY COUNCIL CANDIDATE JIM WILSON presented his views over the weekend at the League of Women Voters forum on Saturday and a coffee hour in Volcano on Sunday.
      Wilson called the League forum very pleasant and well run and said that people at his coffee hour are hoping the League will hold another forum on this side of the island.
      He said GMO was discussed at both events and said his view is that GMO foods should be labeled. He said he has not carved out a stand on restricting growing GMO foods here but that there should be complete transparency with the public. “Food manufacturers are going to have to tell us what is in their products.”
      Regarding new businesses, Wilson told The Ka`u Calendar that the permitting process should be streamlined. “Businesses should not have to have such a hard time to open. There has to be some kind of expedited procedure.”  
      He said more potable water for the Ocean View community came up at the forum and that he supports it. “They need more water,” he said.
Jim Wilson
      Transportation was another topic at both the forum and coffee hour. “Lack of adequate bus service – particularly down in the Ka`u area, must be addressed. Plus, bus service to the airport is practically nonexistent.” He also said parking fees are too high for local people traveling and suggested that the state might work out a fee package for weekly and monthly parking. Wilson said the County Council needs to work on bus service. “It needs a lot of help, needs to be expanded – of course, this all relates to cost.”
      Another need, Wilson said, is trash-to-energy to get rid of garbage. “Putting trash in a hole is not going to work forever,” he said regarding the county’s landfills. “We live on an island.” He said he is concerned about whether enough research has been done worldwide to find other communities on islands that have successfully dealt with trash, turning it into energy “to find the proper one for our island.” He said he supports continued education about recycling, reusing and reducing trash.
      Term limits came up at his coffee hour, and Wilson said that the County Council term is too short. “The first year, you learn about the position, and the second year, you worry about campaigning.” He said the council job should be a minimum of three to four years.
      Wilson, retired publisher of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, stressed a no-nonsense, common sense, practical approach to government.
      The council election is non-partisan. If no one receives a majority of the vote on Aug. 9, there will be a runoff in November at the general election.
      Wilson can be reached at 985-7191.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I RANKED AS THE FIFTH-WORST PLACE to retire, according to a recent report by Bankrate.com, the New York Times and other publications are reporting. “Bankrate said that if it weren’t for the sky-high cost of living, Hawai`i would be one of the best states in the country for retirees,” according to a story by Kerry Hannon, of The New York Times. The writer reports Bankrate stating that Hawai`i’s “remoteness, popular beaches, wildlife and culture make America’s 50th state a top tourism destination.” 
      The story says “Bankrate.com cautioned Hawai`i is also tough to afford, especially for anyone on a fixed income” and noted that “the Council for Community and Economic Research, which tracks consumer prices around the country, found Hawai`i to be the most expensive state in the country for retirees.”
      The New York Times story points out that “a loaf of bread, for example, costs an average of $2.80 in Honolulu, according to the council’s 2013 analysis. That’s $1.30 higher than the national average. The city’s gas stations charged an average of $4.19 a gallon last year, compared with a national average of $3.44. And a trip to the beauty parlor costs an average of $52 in Honolulu, about $18 higher than the national average.”
      The story reports that “the five best states for retirement were South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming. Popular retiree spots like Florida and Arizona don’t even make the top 10. The five worst states for retirement, according to the report, were New York, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas and Hawai`i.”
      The Hannon story also points to a Better Homes and Gardens real estate report saying that “57 percent of baby boomers say they plan to move to a new home in retirement” and that 39 percent look forward to living in a small town or rural community.
      See more at newyorktimes.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

KA`U LITTLE LEAGUE LOST TO HILO in the Major Division of 11- to 12-year-olds at the District Tournament in Honoka`a yesterday. Hilo’s 15-6 win advanced the team to today’s championship game.
      Pitchers for Ka`u were Kainalu Satkofsky, Andre Carvalho and Jeremiah Nurial-Dacalio. Nurial-Dacalio also had three RBIs, a team high.
      Hilo coach Earl Moses praised Ka`u’s efforts, saying, “For a team that has never had Little League before, they did real good. Real tough.”
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Lane Ueda signs residents up for electric bill assistance.
Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I COUNTY’S HI-5 REDEMPTION CENTER is changing hours. As of July 1, the center will still open Saturdays and Sundays at 8 a.m. but close at 3:30 p.m. instead of 4:30 p.m. For the convenience of the public, it will remain open throughout the day rather than close for lunch.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL continues its help with electric bills through the end of the month. The Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program is available at Ocean View Community Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. through June 30. Low-income families can sign up in Pahala this Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
      Those wanting help with electric and gas bills must bring photo ID for all adults, Social Security cards for all house residents, citizenship verification, birth certificate or state ID or passport, HELCO or gas bill, income verification, pay stubs, affidavit, proof of physical residence, tax bill or other bill with street address. Applications are open to all, but applicants must qualify based on their income.
     For more information for Pahala, call 936-8396. For Ocean View, call 936-9296. Na`alehu and other Ka`u residents can go to either location.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Carl Ray Villaverde Photo from NPS
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO KA`U FARM BUREAU meeting this evening at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. 
      For more information, email President Ralph Gaston at ralph@rustyshawaiian.com.

CARL RAY VILLAVERDE PERFORMS tomorrow 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.

ORAL ABIHAI SHARES HIS PASSION for making `ukulele from discarded or naturally fallen pieces of wood Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

NA`ALEHU INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE, sponsored by `O Ka`u Kakou, is Saturday, 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 Na`alehu Park for all ages with free shaved ice, hot dogs, games for keiki and Bingo for seniors.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
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