Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014

Genevieve, at left, Iselle and Julio are moving from east to west across the central Pacific and impact Hawai`i's weather. Image from NOAA
ISELLE WAS 230 MILES EAST OF SOUTH POINT at 11 a.m. and is on track to hit Hilo this afternoon. With the storm maintaining maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, the National Weather Service hurricane warning for the Hawai`i Island remains in effect. The onset of hazardous hurricane conditions can be expected to affect the east or windward portions of Hawai`i Island beginning early this afternoon and continue across the island to the west. The hurricane conditions will include high surf and surge along all coastal areas, heavy rains and possible thundershowers that may present with flood conditions and sustained storm-force winds and higher gusts.
      Hawai`i County reported Punalu`u as one area of concern for initial high surf impact. Residents in all coastal areas and areas prone to surf and surge impact are advised to take precautions. All residents are encouraged to remain off the roadways and to anticipate possible power outages and interruptions in telephone and other communication systems. Everyone is advised to complete all necessary preparations by noon today.
Hurricane Iselle's arrival on Hawai`i Island is imminent.
      All Hawai`i Island public schools are closed today and tomorrow. University of Hawai`i and Hawai`i Community College facilities are also closed.
      In addition, all beach parks, including Punalu`u and Whittington, are closed and will remain closed until conditions improve and it is safe to reopen.
      All county and state government offices are closed for general business operations effective noon today and remain closed through tomorrow. Emergency operations will be maintained, and all non-essential employees will be instructed to remain home.
      Originally scheduled to be available later in the afternoon today, absentee walk-in voting at Pahala Community Center ends at 1 p.m.
      Boys & Girls Clubs in Pahala and Na`alehu are closed today and tomorrow.
      All county solid waste transfer stations, including Wai`ohinu, closed at noon.
      All Hele-On buses are scheduled to operate as normal today and tomorrow. However, due to heavy rains and potential road closures, bus routes may be canceled with little or no notice. The county suggests that residents prepare for alternative transportation during this hurricane event. Delays are expected.
      Senior Nutrition Programs and Elderly Recreation Program activities are canceled today and tomorrow. Van service provided by Coordinated Services for the Elderly has been suspended for Thursday and Friday.
      Residents are strongly encouraged to stay off roadways and travel as little as possible to avoid wind and flooding hazards.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u High's band room is now open as an evacuation center.
Photo by Julia Neal
THE BAND ROOM at Ka`u High opened as a Civil Defense shelter this morning for the approaching Hurricane Iselle. According to Phina Wroblewski, head custodian of Ka`u High, who was preparing the room this morning, the physical education building (not the old or new gym) and the science building, both made of concrete, will also be opened if needed. Visitors at SeaMountain at Punalu`u said they were notified that they would be evacuated. Some of them were also helping to set up the shelter.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TO KEEP VISITORS AND EMPLOYEES SAFE as Hurricane Iselle approaches, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park officials have closed all backcountry areas and certain roads. Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum close at 1 p.m. today.
      Closures remain in effect until Hurricane Iselle has passed and conditions are safe. Additional closures may be warranted as the storm gets closer and any damage is assessed. Volcano House and Kīlauea Military Camp will remain open for registered guests.
      “Although we aren’t closing Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park in its entirety, we strongly encourage visitors to consider changing their plans if they were planning to visit Thursday or Friday,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.
      Visitors can check the park website, nps.gov/havo, for the latest information on openings or call 985-6000.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Residents in Ka`u reported feeling this morning's 4.5 magnitude earthquake in the
northern part of the Big Island. 
HURRICANES AREN’T THE ONLY NATURAL DISASTERS currently hitting Hawai`i Island. A 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck the northwest section this morning and was felt in Ka`u. The quake was the state’s strongest since a magnitude 4.9 tremor struck the southeastern part of the island on Aug. 11, 2013.

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED an emergency proclamation in anticipation of the arrival of two tropical cyclones in Hawai`i.
      The proclamation, which includes the entire state, activates the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the Legislature for disaster relief. It also allows easier access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels, along with the suspension of certain laws as needed for emergency purposes.
      “We want to make sure we are doing everything possible to protect the public,” Abercrombie said. “This proclamation improves the state’s ability to respond quickly to any potential impacts from both storms.”
      The disaster emergency relief period for the proclamation begins today and continues through Aug. 15.
      Recommended preparedness actions can be found on the Hawai`i Emergency Management Agency website at scd.hawaii.gov.
      Mayor Billy Kenoi has also declared a state of emergency in Hawai`i County.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Leroy Cain engages keiki at his Bee Happy Farm.
Photo from Denise Garcia
THIS SUMMER, PRESCHOOL-AGE AND KIDS getting ready to enter kindergarten were introduced to the concept of going to school by attending a Play & Learn program funded by the Department of Education, KKP-P3 Project. Children ages three to five and their families gathered in Na`alehu and Ocean View for the one-week program last month. The program included hands-on fine motor activities such as counting, colors, patterns and shapes as well as a unit study on bugs with program facilitators.
      The children of Na`alehu Play & Learn journeyed to Leroy Cain’s Bee Happy bee farm in Green Sands, where they saw bees in full action working in their hives. “Everyone even tasted honey right out of the honeycomb, with excitement on their little faces as they were holding bees,” Garcia said. “Thank you to the parents for making this program a success! It’s important for parents to be involved; it shows through their children,” she added. Chopot advised families to “read every day to your child; have conversations with them, and really listen.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

“WHAT CAN YOU DO IN A TIME OF CYNICISM to make the political system work in an intelligent way?” asked an Ocean View resident during Monday’s County Council District Six candidate forum. Maile David answered, “I can only speak from my record, serving the people. The people you elect are the means of changing that.” Jim Wilson said, “We need more common sense. We also need to get more people to run for office who run for the right reason.” Richard Abbett said campaign financing needs reformed. “Money corrupts our system,” he said. “Our experience should be enough without having to sell our souls.”
      Other residents also brought of issues important in Ocean View.
      Don Nitsche pointed out that while “Ocean View is a do-it-yourself town, it’s about time we get more help from the county.”
      Patti Barry brought up the possibility of paving Road to the Sea to improve beach access.
Rep. Richard Creagan at County Council
District Six forum. Photo by Ron Johnson
      Another resident suggested the value of the county building a facility where residents could sell arts, crafts and other items. She said the area where the Ocean View swap meet is held lacks highway frontage and proper restrooms. “We need something concrete,” she said, adding that such a development would be a viable economic engine for the community. All three candidates agreed that such a project would be worthwhile.
      Bill Stockton, one of the owners of the proposed Lehua Court development, said, “We may be able to provide restrooms sooner than the county can. We plan to build things for the community.” He also said he expects the development to include a bank, pharmacy and urgent care facility.
      Richard Creagan, a candidate for state House in Ocean View’s District Five, told the audience that Ka`u Learning Academy’s goal, while initially opening the charter school in Discovery Harbour, is to locate in Ocean View. He also said that Gov. Neil Abercrombie promised Ocean View a second well and a school, and if he and the governor are reelected, he would hold the governor to his promise.
      When Creagan asked if the candidates would support making Pohue Bay a county park, they all said they would.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

PRIMARY ELECTION DAY IS SATURDAY, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local polling places are Cooper Center in Volcano, Ka`u High School cafeteria, Na`alehu School Cafeteria, Ocean View Community Center and Miloli`i Hale.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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