Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Bob Herkes, accompanied by his wife Jo-Anna, often carried his stuffed nene, the state bird, in parades through Volcano and Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal
BOB HERKES, 83, a champion for Ka`u, died yesterday after a brief illness at his home in Volcano. Herkes successfully advocated for providing potable water for Ocean View, development of Ka`u irrigation water systems using former sugar plantation sources, the regional gym and shelter now being built in Pahala and scientific analysis of disaster risks in this district of earthquakes, slides, tsunamis, fires, floods and vog. He championed HMSA’s mobile medical van for Ka`u’s remote communities and the state task force that brought great attention to preservation of the Ka`u Coast. He went after Bank of America, declaring that people were unfairly being foreclosed on by its mortgage division. He helped make Hawai`i’s foreclosure laws some of the strictest in the country, favoring homeowners over bankers.
Rep. Bob Herkes, center, at the Ka`u Gym & Shelter groundbreaking
Oct. 3, 2012, with Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Mayor Billy Kenoi and
other dignitaries. Herkes advocated for Ka`u to have its own regional
disaster shelter. An activities room off the gym will help serve that
function when the complex is completed. Photo by Julia Neal
      In his early years, Herkes worked for InterIsland Resorts, which owned the Kona Surf, Kaua`i Surf and other hotels and resort destinations in the state.
      He first entered politics in 1984 when he served on the Big Island’s County Council. He was Ka`u’s longtime member in the state House of Representatives from 1992 through 2012 and previously served as an appointee to a state Senate seat from 1988 until 1992.
      Herkes most recently served on the Board of Directors at Hawai`i Tourism Authority after the state Senate unanimously approved his nomination in April. He was also a board member of Volcano Art Center and a favorite legislator for Ocean View Community Association and Ocean View Community Development Corp. Over the years, he also served as a leader in numerous organizations, including Hawai`i Island Chamber of Commerce, Hawai`i Hotel Association and the Masons. He emceed the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament yearly, including the event at Kona Pier this July.
      Herkes advocated for small businesses with his history including operating and partnering in restaurants and local enterprise.
      Born on Jan. 24, 1931, Herkes is survived by his wife Jo-Anna and three children, Bobby, Doug and Kenny. Services are to be announced.

A LAWSUIT FILED YESTERDAY BY THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION of Hawai`i Foundation and Pahoa residents asks the state Supreme Court to allow any registered voter affected by Tropical Storm Iselle to cast a vote that will be included in the August 2014 primary results. 
      The lawsuit also asks the Court to find that the Legislature failed in its constitutional obligation to protect the fundamental right to vote by delegating all decisions relating to natural disasters to the Office of Elections.
      The lawsuit concerns the fundamental right to vote and what the ACLU referred to as the disenfranchisement of hundreds and potentially thousands of affected voters.
      The lawsuit does not challenge the results of any particular race or endorse any campaign.
      On Aug. 6, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation, in advance of two anticipated storms projected to impact Hawai`i: Hurricanes Iselle and Julio. The proclamation – valid Aug. 6-15 – included a statement that “the danger of disaster is of such magnitude to warrant preemptive and protective action in order to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the people.”
      Facing massive damage from Iselle on Aug. 8 and thousands of Hawai`i County residents dealing with historic flooding, power outages, property damage and road closures, the Chief Elections Officer, Scott Nago, determined that the primary would go on as scheduled on Aug. 9.
      Nago changed the rules of the election at least two more times over the course of three days. “This series of decisions led to the denial of the right to vote for many Hawai`i County residents. Indeed, Precinct 04-03 had among its lowest voter turnout ever,” according to the ACLU.
      Senior Staff Attorney Daniel Gluck said, “Although the votes in question may not change the outcome of any of the various races, the ACLU filed this suit because the right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy. Every vote counts equally – this is about an individual exercising a fundamental right and not about the results of any single race. The government has a duty to respond to conditions on the ground to make sure people can vote. Here, the government failed to do that, and changes are needed now to preserve the integrity of future elections.”

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE HAS SIGNED A REQUEST for a Presidential Disaster Declaration asking for federal assistance to help pay for damage caused by Tropical Storm Iselle, which impacted Hawai`i from Aug. 7 to 9.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie with state Emergency Management Administrator
Doug Mayne. Photo from State of Hawai`i
      The request seeks Individual Assistance for Hawai`i County. Individual Assistance would make additional funding, loans and services available to affected residents.
      For updates on Iselle recovery efforts, see Hawai`i Emergency Management Agency’s website at scd.hawaii.gov.

HAWAI`I ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY HAS BEEN INFORMED of scams targeting Hawai`i Island customers in the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle.
      Customers reported receiving telephone calls from someone claiming to be a Hawai`i Electric Light claims representative. The customers were asked to provide their Social Security numbers.
      Hawai`i Electric Light wants to remind customers that the utility will not contact customers to request personal information or direct customers to submit payments via options other than those listed on the back of the billing statement.
      For customers’ safety and protection, HELCO advises: 
  • Never provide personal, confidential or financial information to an unidentified individual; 
  • Ask questions, or ask for proper identification; Request the individual’s name, company name, and phone number; 
  • Be cautious when responding to a caller from an unidentified phone number -- phone scammers want to remain anonymous; 
  • Be aware that today’s technology can be used to mask the caller’s phone number, and caller ID could indicate the call is originating from Hawai`i Electric Light, even though it is not; 
  • Report any suspicious activity to local police. 
      To obtain a claim form, visit one of HELCO's customer service locations in Hilo, Waimea or Kona or www.hawaiielectriclight.com.

Dates are set for Ka`u to choose art for the cover of
The Directory 2015. For this year's Directory,
see kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S DIRECTORY 2015: Beauty of Ka`u Art Show & Contest at CU Hawai`i’s Na`alehu Branch is set for Monday, Sept. Sept. 29 through Saturday, Oct. 4.
      The public may vote Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
      Adult categories are Graphic, Wood, Craft, Photo, Sculpture and Quilting.
      Keiki categories (no larger than 8.5 inches x 11 inches) are Graphic and Photo. Keiki division includes all entries from grades one through six.
      Artists may register on Friday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Artists may enter up to three pieces, with no more than one in any single category.
      Registration fee is $5 per piece for adults and $1 for keiki. All proceeds go to help defray costs of the show, and any surplus is used for the scholarship program.
      Public favorite wins the cover of The Directory 2015, $50 and an article inside The Directory.
      All first-place winning art will be featured in The Directory with the artist. Keiki entries are not eligible for The Directory cover. Keiki grand-prize winner will receive $10.
      First-, second- and third-place ribbons will be awarded in each category, and both the public winner and the judges’ choice will receive a Best in Show grand rosette.
      For more information, call Dallas Decker at 516-662-8789.

TOMORROW FROM 9:30 A.M. TO 12:30 P.M., a guided, 2.5-mile, moderately difficult hike over rugged terrain at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park focuses on the area’s human history. Call 985-6011 for more information.

TROJAN FOOTBALL FUNDRAISING RODEO takes place tomorrow at Na`alehu Rodeo Grounds. Ka`u paniolo raise funds for the team’s travels to Moloka`i and Maui this season.

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S HULA KAHIKO SERIES continues tomorrow at the hula platform near VAC Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park at 10:30 a.m. with performances by halau under the direction of Kumu hula Ab Valencia, Kumu hula Pohaikealoha Souza and Kumu hula Patrick Kapuawehi Choy.
      Cultural specialist Loke Kamanu and `ohana offer Na Mea Hula, All Things Hula, on the lanai of the gallery from 9:30 a.m. with 1:30 p.m.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

IN SPORTS TOMORROW AT 10 A.M., Ka`u High Girls Volleyball team travels to Parker, and Boys & Girls Cross-Country meets Kamehameha-Hawai`i in Kea`au.


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