Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

Quilting is a new category in Ka`u Chamber of Commerce's current Art Show, where Ka`u residents can vote for art to grace the cover of The Directory 2015. Quilt by Ric Stark; Photo from Donna Masaniai
LAVA-PRONE AREAS IN KA`U MAY BENEFIT from experiments and precautions Hawai`i Electric Light Co. is conducting and implementing in Puna to keep power on in case lava continues moving through the district toward the ocean.
Dark red shows areas of active lava flows as of yesterday. Map from USGS/HVO
      One concept involves fortifying bases of power poles to keep them from burning and falling if lava reaches them. According to a story in West Hawai`i Today, HELCO is using cinder-filled dry well pipes six feet tall and nine feet in diameter to encase bases of poles, creating a buffer between insulation-wrapped poles and the pipes. The outsides of the pipes also have mounds of cinder surrounding them. HELCO spokeswoman Rhea Lee told reporter Colin M. Stewart that lava, when it hits objects, tends to act much like water and flows around them rather than continue to move forward. “This is experimental,” Lee said. “We don’t know if it will work. But we hope it will.”
      HELCO is also considering increasing the distance between utility poles. Taller, reinforced poles can increase the average distance between poles from 250 feet to up to 1,800 feet, Lee told Stewart. This would theoretically lower the number of poles in harm’s way.
      Placing large-capacity generators in areas that could be cut off by lava is another option HELCO is pursuing.
      This morning, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists reported that lobes of lava are creeping northeast around the north side of the existing flow. Also, a lower volume of lava than two weeks ago during a period of more rapid flow-front advancement is moving through the tube from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
      See westhawaiitoday.com and hvo.wr.usgs.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Rep. Richard Creagan
SHOULD MARIJUANA BE LEGALIZED FOR CLINICS on the Big Island? Should it be legalized altogether, including recreational use? Should it be legal to farm marijuana in Hawai`i? Studying in the potential health and social benefits and risks of marijuana is a matter that Rep. Richard Creagan promises to take up at the next state Legislature should he be elected and keep his seat representing West Ka`u and up the coast to Kona.
      During the September Ka`u Farmers Union United meeting held in Na`alehu, Creagan, who is also a physician, said he would propose enabling legislation in the 2014 state House of Representatives calling for local decision making on these subjects. He contended that decisions on regulating marijuana should be as local as possible. Some communities in Hawai`i might want to farm marijuana. Some might want marijuana clinics. Some may see marijuana as too risky.
      Hawai`i Farmers Union United president Vince Mina said there is more effort being put into the farming of marijuana strains to maximize their characteristics for medical use, such as for pain, rather than maximizing THC contents that get people high.
      Dave Bateman, the Republican who is running against Creagan, a Democrat, in the General Election on Nov. 4, states on his campaign website bateman2014.com that he opposes decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. “Where are the studies that assess impacts on children if they are allowed access by parents and on their academic and social growth? What is the impact on job performance with the adults? What are the social/economic impacts of more adults using marijuana? What are the social impacts arising from more drivers driving while impaired? These questions need to be asked and answered,” writes Bateman on his website.
Dave Bateman
      Bateman contends that “scientific research on this issue and my years of experience defending many of these kinds of cases while on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, as a JAG (military attorney) back in the 1970s, have convinced me that marijuana is a dangerous gateway drug that will lead to more serious drug use such as meth, amphetamines, cocaine, crack and other dangerous level II drugs. Hawai`i already has a known serious drug abuse problem with meth. Knowing that marijuana is a gateway to these kinds of higher level abuses, and more addictive (Schedule 1) drugs, why would we want marijuana to be used recreationally? It is guaranteed that this will lead to other more serious drug addictions. And we don’t want more impaired drivers on the road maiming or killing other drivers and pedestrians,” Bateman writes.
      During the HFUU meeting, Creagan also noted legalization downsides and said that each island should decide on its regulation of marijuana. Several people brought up the fact that marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Creagan said that many states are drecriminalizing and legalizing use of marijuana in various forms, sending a message to the federal government not to prosecute where it is legalized by states.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A HIGHER EDUCATION SOURCE FOR MANY KA`U STUDENTS, Hawai`i Community College is one of seven statewide that will benefit from nearly $10 million in grant funding as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative. This is the fourth and final installment of the $2 billion initiative aimed at creating and supporting new job training partnerships between community colleges, local businesses and state workforce training systems.
Sen. Mazie Hirono
      “By the time this year’s freshman are ready to graduate high school in 2018, estimates show that two-thirds of the jobs in Hawai`i will require education or training beyond a high school diploma,” Sen. Mazie Hirono said. “Hawai`i’s community colleges provide an important option to prepare Hawai`i students for higher-skilled jobs in fields like information technology, cybersecurity and health care. The U.S. Department of Labor’s investment in the U.H. Community College Consortium’s efforts is moving Hawai`i toward a more secure and sustainable economic future.”
      Over the last four years, the U.S. Department of Labor has invested more than $52 million in Hawai`i. In 2010, as a member of the Education and Workforce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, then-Congresswoman Hirono fought for the inclusion of this four-year, $2 billion funding for community college job training in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law. Hawai`i community colleges have won significant funding in each of the four rounds of competition.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HPR President and General Manager Michael Titterton
Photo from HPR
HAWAI`I PUBLIC RADIO, WHICH IS BROADCASTING its statewide programming through KAHU-FM radio in Pahala, goes on the air with its fall pledge drive Celebration 2014 tomorrow at 6:19 a.m. For the first time in many years, the station’s pledge goal of $1,032,000 remains the same as the last fund drive. Early giving to Celebration 2014 totaling more than $100,000 has already reduced the remaining amount to be raised.
      Over 11,000 individual members and more than a hundred corporate underwriters currently support the station. Michael Titterton, HPR’s President and General Manager, said, “Our pledge goals are always carefully calculated to raise just what the station needs to stay in business for the next six months, not a dollar more, not a dollar less. Each drive, the target amount has risen slightly; but this fall, we are thrilled to be going into the fundraiser with a goal that is unchanged from this past spring. This is due to the growing number of our members who are choosing to make automatic payments on a regular monthly basis. That kind of sustained support gives us not only precious predictable income, but takes some of the pressure off the semi-annual pledge drives.”
      Highlights of the pledge drive include the premium offer of ten frequent flyer miles on Hawaiian Airlines for every dollar donated to HPR. Also, in the Radio Flyers Program, donors can choose to re-gift the miles to Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children’s Family Fund, to assist Neighbor Island families seeking treatment at Kapi‘olani with their travel needs.
      Through Oct.10, membership pledges are accepted toll-free at 888-970-8800 or 877-941-3689. Online donations may be made at hawaiipublicradio.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar

KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S ART SHOW continues at CU Hawai`i Credit Union in Na`alehu. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Thursday. Along with People’s Choice, which will be on the cover of The Directory 2015, first, second and third place will be awarded in categories of Graphic, Wood, Craft, Sculpture and Quilting. Keiki categories for grades one through six are Graphic and Photo.

KA`U YOGIS CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE THIRD annual Time for Yoga Global Community Practice as National Yoga Month Goes Global today at 7 p.m. local time at Na`alehu Hongwanji Mission. Yoga students of all levels are encouraged to practice as an international observance and the culmination of Yoga Month. For more information, call 937-7940.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

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