Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's 34th annual Cultural Festival is happening today until 3 p.m. at the Kahuku Unit. Last year, Tyler Amaral and other youth rangers introduced Hawaiian foods to festival-goers. NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

“WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR KA`U? “What weight will you give to community testimony?” Moderator Kristine Kubat, of Recycle Hawai`i, posed these questions to Hawai`i County Council District Six candidates at a forum held Wednesday at Pahala Community Center. 
      Maile David, of Captain Cook, said, “The direction of Ka`u has to be in the hands of the citizens. It’s the people’s right to decide where they want to go.” She said she would make decisions based on community input. She brought up the Ka`u Community Development Plan, saying it is “a document that drives what the community wants. We need to complete it and implement it.”
      Richard Abbett, of Ocean View, said, “Ka`u need to remain wild,” while acknowledging and supporting its agricultural economy. He said he was involved in CDPs in Washington, where he saw development as the “result of a stacked deck.” He also said he agrees with council member Brenda Ford’s effort to require the county Planning director to visit every site of development, “even if it is expensive.” Ford had introduced Bill 182 at the County Council in an attempt to prevent the Planning Department from approving projects that violate Community Development Plans, but it did not pass.
Hawai`i County Council District Six candidates answered questions at
Pahala Community Center Wednesday. From left are Jim Wilson,
Maile David and Richard Abbett. Photo from Bob Ernst
      Regarding his vision of Ka`u, Jim Wilson, of Volcano, said he, as a council member, would “reflect what the community wants.” Regarding public testimony, Wilson said, “You have to give it every weight.”
      When asked if they support home rule for all issues in the county, all candidates said they do.
      An audience member asked, “How will you represent we the people in a corrupt political system” that includes “greed and corporate buy-off?”
      Wilson said there’s no room for corruption.
      David said, “Corruption happens when you participate in corruption. I will not be corrupt.”
      Abbett pointed to his work in fisheries, where he “bent the will of the greedy to the will of the community.”
      In closing, Kubat asked, “Why should environmentalists vote for you?”
      Wilson said, “Everybody has to be an environmentalist. I have no problem doing what I can do to help out.”
      David pointed to her “track record” and support of “our need to keep our island from being overly developed in an insensitive way.”
      Abbett said he has a “long, proven record of environmental protection. We need to know how ecosystems work and that balance creates a diversity of species.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u Hospital has released its Community Health Needs Assessment.
Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U HOSPITAL’S COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE has prioritized health needs of the community and strategies to address those needs. Its recommendations are reported in the Community Health Needs Assessment, based on information gathered through surveys and community meetings. 
      One priority identified is improving access to primary and specialty care. The committee recommends that the hospital review its clinic’s practices to improve access for existing patients and add primary care providers to match demand. The report notes that “critical mass” is needed to support additional providers.
      Another suggestion is for the hospital to investigate opportunities for telehealth to improve access to specialty care or opportunities to share clinic space with visiting specialists.
      The committee also recommends exploring options to bring some form of dialysis care to Ka`u and to promote access to prenatal care here.
      To improve access to physical therapy, the committee suggests that Ka`u Hospital could consider building an inpatient rehabilitation program, pending its ability to obtain therapy staff.
      The report also suggests that the hospital aim to provide outpatient physical therapy after hospital renovation creates additional outpatient space.
      Another identified priority is to improve access to more imaging services, including CT, ultrasound and mammograms. While Ka`u Hospital currently has the ability to do emergency ultrasounds, the committee recommends further assessment of costs and benefits of additional imaging therapies.
      Next Saturday, July 19 at 2 p.m., Ka`u Hospital hosts the annual public meeting of Hawai`i Health Systems Corp.’s East Hawai`i Regional Board of Directors.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Christopher Yuen
FORMER HAWAI`I COUNTY PLANNING DIRECTOR Christopher Yuen is one of three new nominations to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. All are interim appointments effective immediately and are subject to state Senate approval.
      Yuen fills an at-large seat and a BLNR requirement of having experience in conservation.
      Yuen, a resident of Ninole, held BLNR’s Hawai`i County seat from 1990 to 1998. He is currently on advisory councils for the Laupahoehoe and Puuwaawaa Experimental Tropical Forest. Since 1995, Yuen has been owner and manager of The Family Farm, Inc., a 20-acre certified organic farm supplying local markets with bananas, lychees and rambutans. Previously, he was also Hawai`i County’s deputy corporation counsel, an interpretive naturalist for Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and a private attorney.
      Yuen received a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University, a master’s degree in environmental science from State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a juris doctorate from UH William S. Richardson School of Law.
      Other nominations are Vernon Char and Ulalia Woodside, both of O`ahu.
      “Because of several recent resignations, these appointments were expedited to ensure that the land board would have sufficient members to conduct business without interruption to its meeting schedule,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Vernon, Ulalia and Chris all have extensive background in public service, and Hawai`i’s resources will benefit from their commitment and passion.”
      The Department of Land and Natural Resources, headed by an executive BLNR, is responsible for managing, administering and exercising control over public lands, water resources, ocean waters, navigable streams, coastal areas (except commercial harbors), minerals and all interests therein within the state, as well as 750 miles of coastline.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY IS FEATURED in the July/August issue of AAA Magazine, along with three other Hawai`i Island byways. Ka`u Scenic Byway follows Hwy 11 and side roads from Manuka State Wayside to Volcano Village. 
      Under Highlights, the magazine lists Manuka Natural Area Reserve, Kula Kai Caverns, scenic overlook with views of South Point, Kahuku section of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Honu`apo Bay, Punalu`u Beach, Tibetan Buddhist Temple and Ka`u Desert Trail. 
      The byways “all tell a special story,” Hawai`i Scenic Byways coordinator David Zevenbergen told writer Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi. “They have outstanding traits that deserve recognition and protection. They also benefit when citizens, business and community groups, and state and federal agencies work together to preserve their beauty and unique character.” 
      The public is invited to Ka`u Scenic Byway Committee’s meeting Monday at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church.
      For more information about the meeting, email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net.
      More information about the byways is available at hawaiiscenicbyways.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Tim Tunison guides a hike on Mauna Loa Trail tomorrow.
Photo by Lanaya Deily
KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK hosts the park’s 34th annual Cultural Festival today until 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.
      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 today at Ka`u Coffeehouse & Guesthouse in Na`alehu at 5 p.m.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND HOSTS A KA`U COAST CLEANUP at Kamilo Point tomorrow. Volunteers meet at 7:45 a.m. at Wai`ohinu Park to carpool to the site. Sign up at 769-7629 or kahakaicleanups@gmail.com.

BOTANIST TIM TUNISON GUIDES A FIVE-HOUR, four-mile, round-trip hike exploring the subalpine zone of the Mauna Loa Trail tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free for Friends of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park members; nonmembers are invited to join in order to attend. Email admin@fhvnp.org or call 985-7373.


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