Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 3177

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ka`u Hospital hosts the annual public meeting of East Hawai`i Regional Board of Directors for Hawai`i Health Systems Corp. Saturday, July 19. Photo by Julia Neal
HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT SIX CANDIDATES met at a forum held at Pahala Community Center yesterday. Richard Abbett, of Ocean View, Maile David, of Captain Cook, and Jim Wilson, of Volcano, answered questions posed by Recycle Hawai`i, Sierra Club, several Native Hawaiians and audience members. Kristine Kubat and Bob Ernst, of Recycle Hawai`i were moderators.
      The first question was, “How do you express your love for the land in your personal life?”
From left, Jim Wilson, Maile David and Richard Abbett at yesterday's Hawai`i
County Council District Six candidates' forum at Pahala Community Center.
Photo by Ron Johnson
      Richard Abbett discussed his appreciation of nature and said he has been a fishermen and hunter in 48 of the 50 states. He said the future of Hawai`i comes from realizing that spiritual values come from connections with the land. “The specialness that we have here requires leadership,” he said.
      Maile David said that, as a Native Hawaiian, she has a familial relationship with the land. She grew up hunting, fishing and working on the family farm in Kona. “I want my children to experience that,” she said. “I know the importance of the connections of our people to the land.” She said the ahupua`a system is most intact on Big Island. “We have to preserve that; what we do to the land will effect the Native Hawaiians,” she said.
      Jim Wilson said that in “every culture that ever existed, the land has been important to them. Mother Nature is pissed about what we’ve done to this land. If we don’t do something, we are going to be in serious trouble.” He said he wants to make the land like 100 years ago “when it was productive. There’s something special about this island, and I want to do whatever I can to protect it,” he said. 
      “What has qualified you to be a County Council member?” Kubat asked.
      David stressed her 30 years of legal experience, including 10 years working with the County Council, first as assistant to council member Angel Pilago and currently as Deputy County Clerk. She also worked with Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i. David worked on lawsuits to protect shorelines. One lawsuit led to a court decision clarifying that the state is not permitted to delegate to another entity its authority and obligations to protect the environment for Native Hawaiians. “Although we have laws that protect people and environment, lawsuits are the only way you get attention that government needs to protect our citizens. You destroy the resources; you destroy the people,” she said.
A young bird entered Pahala Community Center last night to walk and chirp
among attendees and County Council candidates Jim Wilson, Maile David
and Richard Abbett, who answered questions and talked about their
environmental work. Photo by Julia Neal
      Abbett said he worked as a council’s community liaison in Olympia, WA. He also worked with former Hawai`i County Council member Bob Jacobson and his wife Julie in the 1990s. He has been involved in the water-planning project in Ocean View and has also worked with Native American tribes on the mainland on state and federal issues. He also brought up his background with Trout Unlimited, a national organization based in Washington state to conserve cold-water fisheries. Abbett has bachelor’s degree in public policy and administration.
      Wilson stressed his ability to listen and make decisions. He said, “I have a real desire see a lot more common sense put into the organization.” He said he wants to see the county run more like a business and that his business background, including his years as publisher of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, and work with civic organizations qualify him to be a council member.
      Regarding Hawaiian history and transfer of power from the Hawaiian kingdom to the United States, Kubat asked, “Are you aware of the history of the overthrow of Hawai`i?”  
      Wilson said he spends a lot of time trying to understand the issue. He said his family comes from a Native American background and, “I know it becomes a very emotional issue.” He said it is a deep and important subject “that needs to be with fairly.”
      David said her understanding of the overthrow was “the turning point of my life.” She said in the 1960s and 1970s, libraries had no books on Hawaiiana and history books talked about the sugar industry. She said she learned about Hawaiian history when in law and got involved in sovereignty movement.
      Abbett said, “History is written by the victors. It still does amaze me how much Hawaiian culture and history was ignored. I was conceived here and have family here.” He said Hawaiians deserve respect and to make the choice of how they heal and move forward.
      The primary election is on Saturday, Aug. 9.
      See more on yesterday’s forum in future Ka`u News Briefs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TODAY IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE in the Aug. 9 primary election. Ka`u residents can register at Pahala Community Center today until 4:30 p.m.
      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.

HAWAI`I’S RURAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IS IN NEED of modernization to better support economic growth, according to a report released today.
      The report, Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland, was released by TRIP, a national nonprofit transportation research group based in Washington, DC. The group found that rural roads and bridges in Hawai`i have significant deficiencies and a high rate of traffic fatalities.
      In 2012, 32 percent of Hawai`i’s major rural roads were rated in poor condition, the fourth highest rate nationally. In 2013, 19 percent of Hawai`i’s rural bridges were rated as structurally deficient, the sixth highest rate in the nation.
      The traffic fatality rate on Hawai`i’s non-interstate rural roads was 2.48 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012, the 12th highest in the nation and more than 2.5 times higher than the fatality rate of 0.89 on all other roads in the state.
      The report finds that the U.S. needs to adopt transportation policies that will improve rural transportation connectivity, safety and conditions to provide the nation’s small communities and rural areas with safe and efficient access to support quality of life and enhance economic productivity. To accomplish this, the report recommends modernizing and extending key routes to accommodate personal and commercial travel, implementing needed roadway safety improvements, improving public transit access to rural areas and adequately funding preservation and maintenance of rural transportation assets.
      However, according to the report, due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office, Hawai`i could lose $195 million for highway and transit improvements if a lack of adequate revenue going into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress.
      See tripnet.org/docs/Rural_Roads_HI_TRIP_Release_071014.pdf.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

EAST HAWAI`I REGIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS for Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation holds its annual public meeting on Saturday, July 19 at 2 p.m. at Ka`u Hospital. Island residents are invited to attend this meeting, which will be specific to Ka`u and its surrounding community.
      An overview of services offered at Ka’u Hospital and its rural health clinic will be presented prior to opening up the floor for comments and suggestions on the provision of healthcare for the residents of East Hawai`i.
      “We are seeking community input and assistance to develop plans in order to improve healthcare in East Hawai`i,” said board chair Gary Yoshiyama. “With our anticipated healthcare reform changes, it is critical that we have dialogue with all stakeholders.”
      East Hawai`i Regional Board of Directors was created by the Hawai`i State legislature under Act 290 in 2007. HHSC facilities in the East Hawai`i Region include Hilo Medical Center, Ka`u Hospital, Hale Ho`ola Hamakua in Honoka`a and the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Altogether, the four facilities have a total of 468 beds and over 1,250 employees and 250 physicians.
      For more information, call Terry Larson, Administration Secretary at 932-3103.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dr. Romeo Quijano will speak at
Pahala Community Center July 26
HAWAI`I CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY IS BRINGING speakers to Ka`u on Saturday, July 26. Filipino leaders Dr. Romeo Quijano and Gilbert Sape speak with farmers, farm workers and others at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. A potluck begins at 5 p.m. 
      Dr. Romeo Quijano and Gilbert Sape will speak about farming and agriculture issues as they affect Filipinos across Hawai`i and the Philippines, including health and environmental impacts of pesticide exposure and genetically modified crops.
      Their insight speaks to the long history of Filipinos in Hawai`i as an integral part of the workforce on the islands and the ethnic group that comprises a majority of the state.
      This lecture series brings Filipino identity and community building to the forefront of important conversations regarding well being of the Filipino community in Hawai`i. The speakers will equip audiences with knowledge and tools needed to empower themselves as stakeholders in the farm and food movements, as well as a renewed sense of communal resiliency.
      For more information, contact Kasha Ho at 808-681-7688 or kho@centerforfoodsafety.org.
      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 Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 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 Saturday at Ka`u Coffeehouse & Guesthouse in Na`alehu at 5 p.m.


Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 3177

Latest Images

Trending Articles

Latest Images