Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Participants at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's Cultural Festival this Saturday at the Kahuku Unit can take a guided hike to the top of Pu`u o Lokuana. Photo by Michael Szoenyi
BRENDA FORD ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY that she is endorsing Ocean View resident Richard Abbett for County Council District Six. She said she is choosing to endorse Abbett because of “his tremendous background in federal, state and local levels of government.” She said he has experience “in drafting legislation, securing funding and most importantly, his ability to negotiate the U.S. Canadian Pacific Salmon Treaty. It takes a strong and reasonable person to negotiate at federal and international levels. Ric brings that skill set to the county.”
County Council District Six member
Brenda Ford has endorsed Richard
Abbett to take her place.
      Ford said Abbett’s skills “are going to be needed as we wrestle with very serious county problems such as solid waste, specifically the request for proposals for the waste-to-energy plant. That is the most serious problem facing Hawai`i County this moment, not to mention wastewater treatment (sewage) plants that are years behind in renovations and upgrades.
      “The fact that Mr. Abbett supports the zero waste policy of the county indicates that he will support the will of the people,” Ford said. “He understands that we need to reduce pollution of all types, which brings us to the second major issue in the county, which is possible geothermal expansion in Puna and most probably Kona. These types of geothermal facilities have been shown to emit toxins,” said Ford.
      Regarding geothermal, Abbett told The Ka`u Calendar that there are toxic emissions from geothermal technology in use today, but beyond that, its application has more value in northern southern climates around the poles. In Iceland, the community can advantage themselves of the heat for homes, businesses and hot water, so it is more valuable to them. 
      “Here in Hawai`i, the heat is not necessarily an added value or resource.
Richard Abbett, candidate for Hawai`i
County Council District Six
      “Solar fits us like a hand in a glove, whereas geothermal thermal is more for centralized energy production and distribution. Solar is decentralized, which is the track energy evolution is on for the next century outside of urban areas.”
      Ford said the third major issue is “genetic engineering of our food crops.” Abbett told The Ka`u Calendar, “I think that we need to proceed at the state level to require GMO labeling. This will force the federal government’s hand to address the issue nationally.
      “Rather than having proof that it is harmful, industry needs to go through the process of guaranteeing GMOs are safe, much like has been done in Europe,” he said. “There are markets for non-GMO foods.”
      Ford said Abbett “will bring his expertise and research abilities to study and make wise decisions regarding these issues. He is another person, like me, who is willing to do tremendous amounts of research before he makes up his mind. The public deserves that. The public deserves to have a County Council person who brings a skill set and personal work ethic to support the will of the people.”
      She said, “I believe that Richard can present facts, be willing to compromise and will be able to present solid evidence to other council members for whatever position he supports.” Ford said, “The people of District Six deserve to have a County Council member who will stand up for the people. Richard Abbett is that person to vote for on Aug. 9. Register immediately to vote since the County Council race can be decided in the primary.” She urged registration at the nearest fire station.
      Abbett’s background includes being President, CEO and corporate executive of Trout Unlimited, a national organization based in Washington state to conserve cold-water fisheries. He also served as the state of Washington advocate for federal funding for habitat restoration for salmon.
      Abbett sat on the environmental committee of the board of directors of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a coalition of national, environmental and conservation organizations.
      He was Northwestern Regional Director of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance of the AFL-CIO.
      Abbett said he has been part of the Organic Food Movement and is a founding member of food co-ops in Bellingham and Olympia, Washington.
      His degree is in public policy, development and administration.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN REGISTER TO VOTE at Pahala Community Center today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tomorrow is the deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 9 primary election.
      Registration forms are also available at post offices in Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala and Volcano Village and at public libraries in Na`alehu and Pahala. Wikiwiki registration forms are also available online at hawaii.gov/elections.
      For more information, call Hawai`i County Office of Elections at 961-8277, or see the website above.

Maile Medeiros David, candidate for Hawai`i
County Council District Six
RECYCLE HAWAI`I, SIERRA CLUB’S MOKU LOA GROUP and a number of Hawaiian panelists hold a forum for Hawai`i County Council District Six candidates at Pahala Community Center today from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The forum will focus on sustainability and environmental justice issues by posing related questions to the candidates. Candidates on the Aug. 9 primary ballot are Richard Abbett, of Ocean View, Maile Medeiros David, of Captain Cook, and Jim Wilson, of Volcano.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.   

HAWAI`I COUNTY CAN KEEP ITS REGISTRY of open-air farms growing genetically modified crops, but it cannot disclose their identities and specific locations, reports Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald. A preliminary injunction issued by Hilo Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura points out the lack of clear rules regarding what information the county would release.
      According to Callis, the injunction says that “releasing the specific locations of papaya farms would not ‘protect farmers of non-genetically engineered crops’ because of the ‘limited risk’ of cross-pollination and because GMO papaya is not prohibited.”
      Following Hawai`i County’s adoption of the ban on GMO crops in December, two plaintiffs challenged the requirement to register on grounds that it could expose them to vandalism and other losses.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PROMOTING CONSISTENCY WITH APPLICABLE adopted design guidelines and standards is the subject of proposed amendments to Hawai`i County’s zoning code. The amendments would create a process that would require the Planning director to review and consult with a local design review committee for certain land use permit applications, such as project unit developments, situated within a special district.
Jim Wilson, candidate for Hawai`i
County Council District Six
      PUDs are often used by developers who purchase agriculture lands to make some lots smaller than the 20-acres for which they are zoned. Along the Ka`u Coast, plans have included making small oceanfront lots and leaving large parcels mauka. Other plans have included making small lots for specialty farm estates and leaving unbuildable and unfarmable hillsides and gulches in large parcels.
      The Leeward Planning Commission will consider the amendments at its meeting at West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona on Thursday, July 17 at 9:30 a.m.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AFTER REVIEWING 245 MEASURES PASSED by the 2014 Hawai`i State Legislature, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed 229 of them into law. He notified legislators of his decision to veto seven bills and to allow six bills to become law without his signature. 
      “I am pleased to have signed 229 bills into law, continuing a year of progress that included historic legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage (Act 82) and protect hundreds of acres of land on O`ahu’s North Shore from development (Act 81),” Abercrombie said. “While fewer bills reached my desk this year compared to years past, laws generated this session will have a positive impact on Hawai`i and its people.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK hosts the park’s 34th annual Cultural Festival this Saturday, July 12 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.
      Two hikes will also be offered. The new Pu`u o Lokuana cinder cone hike is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and `Ohi`a Lehua from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
      Call 985-6011 or email havo_interpretation@nps.gov for more information.

HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED’S KA`U chapter holds its next meeting this Saturday, July 12 at Ka`u Coffeehouse & Guesthouse in Na`alehu at 5 p.m.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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