Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An audit initiated by former County Council member Brittany Smart, shown at left during blessing of Ocean View well, has ended. The audit studied procedures followed in the issuance of commercial water hauling permits for spigots at the site. Photo by Charles Tobias 
ISSUANCE OF PERMITS TO COMMERCIAL WATER HAULERS at Ocean View’s water spigot site followed regular policies and procedures, county auditor Bonnie Nims told the Water Board. “We have completed our preliminary survey regarding the proposed performance audit, and our review did not identify any significant threats or risk areas,” she told the board, according to a story Hawai`i Tribune-Herald.
      County Council, through a resolution authored by former member Brittany Smart, called for the audit when Ocean View residents said the price of water hauling was kept at artificially high levels after permits were issued to the first ten applicants.
      According to the Tribune-Herald story, current council member Brenda Ford said, “While I personally don’t like the way the original assignment of spigots was done, it’s totally out of the control of the County Council to do anything” because the Department of Water Supply is under the authority of the Water Board, a semi-autonomous body.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Michael Last
Sen. Josh Green
STATE SENATE DISTRICT THREE CANDIDATES participated in a forum yesterday. Incumbent Sen. Josh Green, of Kailua-Kona, and challenger Michael Last, of Na`alehu, answered questions at Kealakehe High School in Kona.
      Green, a former ER doctor at Ka`u Hospital, said stabilizing the state-run hospital system is a priority. He also wants to improve access to quality health care, reported Bret Yager, of West Hawai`i Today. According to the story, Green also seeks “a balance of good, steady jobs and education opportunities.”
      Yager reports Last taking a “get the government off our backs” approach. “Is the state government too invasive? You decide,” he said. “Look at some of the things that are presently illegal — gambling and marijuana — I don’t gamble and smoke, but I have no right to dictate how another adult lives their life.”
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

“I AM RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION TO A SECOND TERM to represent the House of Representatives … because I believe that there is still more that I can do to fulfill the vision for our Third District communities that I pledged to support in my initial campaign in 2012,” Democratic incumbent Richard Onishi told Civil Beat. “That vision was for our communities to be safe, healthy, economically viable and sustainable. I feel that I have worked hard to accomplish this vision through my record of legislation introduced, issues supported, and the securing of funds for projects within the Third District. However, there are still more issues to address and projects that require funding. I believe that I can make it happen as the Third District’s state representative.”
Rep. Richard Onishi
       Onishi answered several questions posed by Civil Beat staff.  
      Regarding genetically modified food issues, Onishi said it is the federal government’s responsibility to make decisions based on reliably verified scientific research on effects on human health and the environment. “The federal government has the systems and resources in place to evaluate the volumes of information, require the cooperation and participation of the private and public sectors, and to mandate regulations and rules that apply to all government agencies and states,” he said. “Neither the state nor the counties have these systems in place or the resources necessary to fully evaluate the scientific research in this area. It would be difficult to mandate the private sector to comply with regulations and rules that would only apply in Hawai`i. Stricter regulations may cause private companies to decide to just not do business in Hawai`i instead of having to meet more rigorous and potentially more costly regulations which would be specifically mandated only in Hawai`i.”
      Regarding Hawai`i’s high cost of living, Onishi suggested development of workforce and low-income housing and increasing funds to the state’s Rental Housing Trust Fund that provides money for such projects.
      “We need to address the high cost of shipping goods from the mainland and between our islands,” Onishi said. “To reduce the cost for transportation between the islands, we need to re-visit the use of a ferry system between our islands and also look at more federal assistance for intrastate air travel.”
      Onishi said he supports the Department of Education’s focus on STEM education, computerization of classrooms and providing a computer to every student for educational use.
      “All organizations can be run more effectively,” Onishi said in reference to DOE. “It takes better communications and collaboration between all stakeholders in our education system including administrators, teachers, staff, parents, students, volunteers, businesses, school and community organizations, higher education organizations and our government to accomplish better effectiveness.”
      Onishi also gave his views regarding health care. State support for the hospital system that includes Ka`u Hospital is critical to the continuation of medical care, he said, “but the question of what level of care the system is required to provide has not been fully established and has to be determined by all of the stakeholders of the system.”
      He also said Hilo Medical Center’s Rural Primary Care Physician Training Program is crucial throughout the state. “This program must have continued state support to solidify and establish itself. Once the program is established, it will then be able to receive federal physician training funds.”
      Onishi said he supports development of jobs to keep children in the state and provide them with the income to establish themselves, afford a home, start a family and become contributing members of communities. He cited support for funding of projects through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s programs in Space Initiatives and new technology-based business development which focuses on the development of opportunities to provide higher quality jobs that are more appealing to younger generations.
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. David Ige
COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT SIX CANDIDATES meet at a forum Saturday at Volcano House in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Candidates on the primary election ballot for Aug. 9 are Richard Abbett, Maile Medeiros David and Jim Wilson.
      Park entrance fees apply.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN MEET GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE DAVID IGE Monday, July 28 at the Pahala home of Marion Villanueva at 4 p.m. at 96-1174 Holei Street at the corner of Pikake Street for a talk story session. Ige, Finance chair of the state Senate, is challenging sitting governor Neil Abercrombie for the Democratic Party nomination in the Aug. 9 primary election.

SEN. DAVID IGE FACES GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE in separate debates at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel on Monday, July 28 and King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel on Tuesday, July 29. Both debates are from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
      The Hawai`i Island debates are among several issue forums AARP is planning for this election season to inform its members and the general public of where candidates stand on issues that impact their lives. The debates will focus on issues of importance to older voters – including health care, retirement security, jobs, support for family caregiving and long-term care.
      The format will allow candidates to question one another directly, and some questions will also be taken from the audience.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie
      Both gubernatorial debates will be featured in the second half of a two-part event that begins with a discussion of the future of Social Security and an update on AARP’s state legislative priorities. The debate will follow this discussion and last for about an hour. The events are open to the public, but registration is required by calling toll-free 1-877-926-8300 or going online. For the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel debate, see aarp.cvent.com/socsechilo; for King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, aarp.cvent.com/socseckona
      For further information, see aarp.org/hi.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

VOLCANO ART CENTER HOSTS a presentation about native Hawaiian bees tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at its Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. The Hylaeus Project informs attendees about this imperiled species, with entomologist and drummer Lisa Schonberg presenting audio and images.
      Suggested donation is $5.

HAWAI`I WILDFIRE MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION hosts a free community wildfire preparedness workshop Friday at Cooper Center in Volcano Village. Topics include how to mitigate wildfire issues through proper home landscaping techniques and home structure modifications, how to develop a clear and achievable family emergency plan and what actions to take during a wildfire and proper evacuation procedures.
      Another workshop is scheduled Monday, July 28 at Pahala Elementary School. Each workshop starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m.
      For more information, email pablo@hawaiiwildfire.org, call 808-885-0900, or see hawaiiwildfire.org.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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