Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

The late Bob Herkes, wearing maile lei, was a champion of the Ocean View well and spigot site and attended the July 2012 blessing along with other elected officials and Ocean View residents. Photo by Charles Tobias
PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND OTHERS ARE ACKNOWLEDGING ACCOMPLISHMENTS of the late Bob Herkes during his years of service to his constituents on Hawai`i Island and sending condolences to his family.
Bob Herkes also spoke at the blessing of Ka`u Coffee
Mill. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie
      “A former state representative, state senator, Hawai`i County Council member and local businessman, Bob had a solid record of getting things done for the people of Hawai`i,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “His long career in public service brought about countless benefits for Hawai`i Island, including his integral role in incorporating the appropriation for the first FEMA-certified shelter in Ka`u, providing a drinking water system for Ocean View and establishing a mobile medical van to bring basic medical services to rural areas.
      “His fierce dedication to the people of the Big Island and our entire state will be remembered. Our thoughts and aloha are with his wife, Jo-Anna; sons, Bob, Ken and Doug; and the rest of the Herkes `ohana.”
      State House speaker Joseph Souki said, “Hawai`i has lost a dedicated and passionate public servant who championed protecting consumer rights during his 18 years in the state House of Representatives. Bob worked tirelessly to pass legislation that strengthened the rights of residents in mortgage foreclosures. He was an early and strong advocate of natural disaster preparedness and was one of the first to call attention to the health effects of vog. He was a good legislator, highly respected by his colleagues, and a great friend. I will miss him.”
      U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was a colleague of Herkes in the state House of Representatives. “My thoughts and prayers are with Bob’s wife Jo-Anna and their `ohana as they mourn his passing and celebrate his life and accomplishments,” Gabbard said. “I had the great privilege of serving alongside Bob in the Hawai`i State House from 2002 to 2004 and witnessed how he took great pride in being a public servant. Bob Herkes will be missed, but we will never forget his service and dedication to our community.”
      Volcano Art Center released a statement saying Herkes “was a great supporter of VAC and (wearing his legislator hat) worked hard for us in securing the legislative appropriation for $586,000 that helped us build the Administration Building at Niaulani.”
      Herkes was born in Iloilo City, Philippines and raised in Hilo.
      The governor intends to order flags to half-staff on the day of services yet to be announced by the family.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Map of state open data scores from Center for Data Innovation.
HAWAI`I IS RANKED AMONG THE TOP STATES for progress in open data in a new report published this week by the Center for Data Innovation, the leading think tank studying the intersection of data, technology and public policy. 
      “This national recognition shows that collaborative and determined efforts on the part of this administration and the Legislature, together with our private sector partners and the public, have made great strides since launching our state’s business and information transformation in 2011,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “We have developed a strong open government program that is rapidly improving transparency and accountability of state government.”
      Hawai`i was one of six states to receive a perfect score in the Center for Data Innovation’s report, which evaluated states based on the contents of their open data policies and open data portals. Points are awarded for the presence of an open data policy, quality of open data policy, presence of an open data portal and quality of an open data portal.
      “Open data that does not compromise security or privacy is becoming more readily available to the public through data.hawaii.gov, recognizing that it belongs to the people of Hawai`i,” said the governor’s Chief Advisor on Technology and Cybersecurity, Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, who launched Hawai`i’s Open Data Portal as Hawai`i’s first chief information officer. “This award demonstrates that Hawai`i can set a new national standard of excellence for open government.
      The report is available at datainnovation.org/2014/08/state-open-data-policies-and-portals.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is calling for demilitarization of U.S. police forces.
Photo from Office of Rep. Gabbard
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD IS CALLING for demilitarizing of police across the nation. 

“The increasing use of military equipment, weapons and tactics against our own citizens is unacceptable and must stop,” said Gabbard, a veteran of two tours of duty in the Middle East and a captain in Hawai`i Army National Guard. “The military-style response of the Ferguson, Missouri police is but the latest of numerous such incidents across America. 
This militarization of local police includes heavy equipment like armored personnel carriers and automatic weapons, as well as the now common practice of using heavily armed SWAT teams for even the most common law enforcement purposes. In 2005, the most recent year for which data has been collected, there were around 50,000 SWAT raids. The number has certainly increased since then.

      “It is alarming to see small towns of America encroached upon with assault weapons, militarized vehicles, tear gas and other military gear intended for use against enemy combatants, not against our own citizens,” Gabbard said. “Our local police forces are meant to be serving and protecting the people in our local communities – not treating them as the enemy. Historically, Americans have joined law enforcement because of their desire to serve and protect their communities – not play soldiers. However, this could change with the increased militarization of our police.

      “The increased militarization of police action around the country is all the more troublesome when coupled with recent revelations exposing the National Security Agency’s use of massive, invasive surveillance programs on innocent Americans. I will work to pass legislation to stop the use of military force against our citizens.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park waives entry fees Monday to celebrate
National Park Service's 98th birthday. Exploring the Summit is one of
several programs visitors can enjoy. NPS Photo by Jessica Ferracane
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE’S 98TH BIRTHDAY is Monday. To celebrate, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park waives entry fees.
      Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park was also established 98 years ago, on Aug. 1, 1916. Called Hawai`i National Park then, the park also comprised Haleakala National Park on Maui. In 1961, Haleakala became its own national park – and Hawai`i Volcanoes has since grown to more than 333,000 acres, roughly the size of O‘ahu.
      Today, with more than 150 miles of hiking trails and 520 square miles that stretch from sea level to the 13,677-foot summit of Mauna Loa, there are endless opportunities to enjoy Hawai`i’s natural and native splendor in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      “We invite everyone to come and help us celebrate another milestone as we approach our 100th anniversary in 2016,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We can all be proud of our legacy in being the first country in the world to protect and set aside so many special places so that they can be enjoyed by all.”
      A schedule of free ranger-led programs and guided hikes is posted daily outside Kilauea Visitor Center and the Jaggar Museum by 9:30 a.m. Visitors can enjoy programs including Explore the Summit – a one-hour walk from the Kilauea Visitor Center to the edge of Kilauea caldera, and Life on the Edge, a 20-minute talk about the current eruption from Halema`uma`u Crater given daily at Jaggar Museum overlook.
      Visitors can enjoy more free-entry days in 2014: Saturday, Sept. 27 is National Public Lands Day, the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States; and Tuesday, Nov. 11 honors Veterans Day.

FRIENDS OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK invite members to the annual meeting to be held two weeks from today on Saturday, Sept. 6 at Pahala Plantation House. This event is the annual celebration of the organization as members come together in fellowship and reaffirm their partnership with the National Park Service at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The membership will vote on a new slate of board directors, including those seeking re-election and present board members. They will also say a fond aloha to outgoing board president Patrick W. Naughton. 
      Check-in begins at 10:45 a.m. The meeting begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at noon, catered by Pahala Plantation House. The menu will feature fresh foods from Ka`u.
      The program will feature speakers from the Youth Ranger Internship Program, who were part of the summer’s successful youth-work program in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      After lunch, members can enjoy historical stories of Pahala and its past as a sugar plantation town.
      RSVP by Wednesday, Sept. 3 by phone at 985-7373 or email at admin@fhvnp.org or fhvnp@icloud.com.

HAWAI`I ISLAND MOBILE SLAUGHTER UNIT Task Group holds a meeting for local meat producers to learn more about the proposed mobile slaughter unit, how it’s part of an integrated meat-packing solution for Hawai`i island’s small producers and how it can benefit ranchers. 
      The meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 8 at Aupuni Conference Room, 101 Pauahi Street, Hilo from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
      For more information, contact Jackie at 327-3680 or jacqueline.muller@hisbdc.org.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.


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