Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014

Halau Hula O Leionalani's Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder, with `ukulele, has announced dates for the Ho`okupu Hula No Ka`u Cultural Festival. Photo by Julia Neal
EARTHJUSTICE IS HOPING THE GMO ISSUE will go to a higher court, according statements made last night to Earth Island Journal. Following a federal judge’s ruling yesterday that sets aside Kaua`i’s new GMO and pesticide regulation calling for more disclosure from biotechnology companies, Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff told Maureen Nandini Mitra, “Obviously, I would have preferred a different ruling. … I will recommend to my client that we appeal to a higher court.”
Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff
      In his decision, U.S. District Court Judge Barry M. Kurren said, “The court concludes that (Kaua`i County’s) Ordinance 960 is preempted by state law and is therefore invalid. This decision in no way diminishes the health and environmental concerns of the people of Kaua`i. The court’s ruling simply recognizes that the state of Hawai`i has established a comprehensive framework for addressing the application of restricted use pesticides and the planting of GMO crops, which presently precludes local regulation by the county.”
      Achitoff told Mitra that the ruling allows the state to enact a new law in the future that would better protect the public from pesticide exposure.
      Earthjustice intervened to defend the GMO law on Kaua`i and is doing the same with a different law recently enacted for Hawai`i County.
      State Board of Agriculture member and Hawai`i Island farmer Richard Ha said, “Hopefully, the judge sees things the same way on Bill 113, the Big Island’s anti-GMO bill. We Big Island farmers brought a similar lawsuit only because we want clarity and fairness. Farmers don’t normally sue anybody. That bill has caused us to spend way too much time in meetings and hearings. We farmers just want to go back to farming.
      “All farmers need to come together to help achieve food security for future generations. And we must do it in the spirit of aloha.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Halau Hula O Leonalani traveled to Lana`i last year for the cultural festival which
comes to Pahala Oct. 24 and 25. Photo from Halau Hula O Leonalani
HO`OKUPU HULA NO KA`U CULTURAL FESTIVAL has announced events for Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25 in Pahala. Chair is Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder, who said there will be music, hula, cultural demonstrations, cultural practitioners, food and crafts. Organizers welcome artisans, crafters and informational displays. 
       The festival started in 2009 on the island of Lana`i and resulted in a cultural exchange between Pahala and Lana`i residents. Volunteers from Pahala, including Dane Galiza, Bull and Jamie Kailiawa, Jarrett Pestana, Harry Evengelista and Robert Ahia, along with Bobby Tucker, Pahala Plantation Cottages and Olson Trust, helped with the event. Halau Hula O Leonalani, under the direction of Ryder, traveled to Lana`i for the 2013 festival.
      This year, Ryder and her family moved to Pahala and brought the festival with them.
      Entertainment will be free to the public on both Friday and Saturday on the grounds of Pahala Plantation House with emcee Skylark. Opening festivities will be at 4 p.m. with pule by Auntie Verlie-Ann Molina Wright.
     Ho`okupu – presentations by halau and community organizations – are welcome, said Ryder. Music and hula presenters will include Ernest Kalani & Friends; Southside Serenaders; Hands of Time; Cyril Pahinui, Demetrius Oliveira, Gene Boy Beck and Keaiwa; Halau Hula O Leonalani; halau from Okinawa, O`ahu, Lana`i and Kona; Keoni Jennings; Keoki Kahumoku; and Kamuela Himalaya.
     Workshops on Saturday, Oct. 25 will be at the Old Pahala Clubhouse:
  • 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Hula with Debbie Ryder – no fee; 
  • 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Lei making – donation; 
  • 11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. lauhala weaving with Linda Saffery Tua – $25 supplies fee; 
  • 12:45 p.m. – 2 p.m. `Ukulele Workshop with Keoki Kahumoku. Bring your `ukulele. $25; 
  • 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Slack Key workshop with Cyril Pahinui. Bring your guitar. $25. 
      Cultural presentations will include La`au Lapa`au with Isaiah Kealoha and master coconut weavers from Lana`i Bully and Irene Davis.
      To sign up, call 808-315-7032.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Members of Na`alehu School staff help `O Ka`u Kakou members deliver school
supplies to lower elementary classrooms prior to the start of school.
Photo from Nalani Parlin
PAHALA AND NA`ALEHU ELEMENTARY PRE-SCHOOL, kindergarten and first-grade students received new school supplies thanks to donations from `O Ka`u Kakou and Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center. The two organizations worked together to purchase everything the combined 242 students in these grades needed to start school. This included 556 composition tablets, 791 folders and over 400 glue sticks and erasers. 
      Hundreds of pencils, watercolor paints, crayons, pens as well as dozens of binders, pencil sharpeners and other supplies lined OKK project organizer Carol Massey’s hallways as she diligently collected, counted and sorted all of the supplies prior to drop-off. Similarly, Leina`ala Enos, who coordinated the partnership donation for QLCC, stacked her garage full as she organized cases of paper towels, tissues, varying sizes of Ziploc bags, baby wipes and gallons of hand soap.
      OKK representatives dropped off the supplies to the schools just prior to the first day of school, relieving pressure on families of having to deal with the back-to-school rush and requisite supplies list.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IS SEEKING educators, parents, business and community leaders to review test questions aligned to Hawai`i Common Core standards and help recommend achievement levels for grade-level proficiency.
      Beginning spring 2015, public school students in grades 3 – 8 and 11 will take new Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts and math. These assessments will replace the Hawai`i State Assessment in reading and math and measure how well students are learning Hawai`i Common Core – a set of consistent learning expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade to graduate ready for college and careers.
      The Smarter Balanced Online Panel for Achievement Level Setting provides an opportunity for educators and the public to give feedback and help ensure assessment results are based on challenging yet fair expectations for students.
      Registered participants will provide input between Oct. 6 and 17 for up to three hours during a two-day window through a secure website.
      Participants will be expected to recommend an achievement level score that determines how much students should know and be able to do to be considered proficient at the grade-level standards.
      Participants may use any computing device that connects to the Internet, including tablets. Cell phones are not recommended because of screen-size limitations.
      For more information and to register, see SmarterBalanced.measinc.com/EventCode/100614. The deadline to apply is Sept. 19.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Brian Schatz is calling for a major federal disaster declaration due to
tropical storm damage in Hawai`i. Photo from Office of Sen. Schatz
U.S. SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ HAS WRITTEN LETTERS to President Barack Obama and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate supporting the state of Hawai`i’s request for a major disaster declaration due to damages caused by Tropical Storm Iselle. 
      “Tropical Storm Iselle caused strong winds, heavy rain, flooding, high surf, storm surge, and lightning, which resulted in damages reported across all four counties in the state of Hawai`i,” Schatz wrote. “Hawai`i County has a majority of the damages where it experienced loss of power and a lack of access to water. Hawai`i County also has widespread debris that made it difficult for residents to access emergency services. Furthermore, preliminary damage assessments estimate that the total loss and damage to the island of Hawai`i in agriculture and commodities is $66 million. With all available state and local level resources being used, federal assistance is needed to support our communities’ recovery.”
Teana Kahoohanohano
      Schatz also expressed his support for the state’s request for Individual Assistance for Hawai`i County, statewide Hazard Mitigation and Small Business Administration loan assistance programs to help with the recovery.
      Since Iselle made landfall, Schatz’s office has been in close contact with the White House to discuss the impact of the storm and how the federal government can help residents and communities rebuild.
      Last week, Schatz traveled to Puna and met with Hawai`i County Mayor Billy Kenoi’s cabinet, HELCO, state Sen. Russell Ruderman, Director of Civil Defense Darryl Oliveira, representatives from the Big Island Invasive Species Council and the U.S. Forest Service to begin the process of developing a hazard mitigation plan for albizia trees, which damaged infrastructure and caused widespread debris on Hawai`i Island.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TEANA KAHOOHANOHANO DEMONSTRATES how `ohe (bamboo) are carved into designs and how they are used tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

FOR STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT this Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., volunteers meet at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kilauea Visitor Center to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from park trails. Free; park entrance fees apply.


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