Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014

Governor-elect David Ige stopped in Pahala during his grassroots campaign, visiting with Ka`u residents at the home of
Marion Villanueva, who sits to the right of Ige. Photo by Julia Neal
AFTER CAMPAIGNING IN KA`U and throughout the state, Sen. David Ige crossed the finish line yesterday, winning 49 percent of votes in the race for governor against Republican Duke Aiona, who garnered 36.7 percent; Independent Mufi Hannemann, with 11.6 percent; and Libertarian Jeff Davis, with 1.7 percent. Ige spoke to Ka`u residents in small groups during his campaign.
      While several states replaced their U.S. Democratic senators with Republicans, Hawai`i’s congressional delegation is all Democratic, with Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard keeping their seats. State Sen. Mark Takai also won in a close race against Charles Djou to represent Hawai`i’s House District One in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Brian Schatz, at left, continues his role as U.S. senator after rallying supporters,
including Democratic Partyof Hawai`i County Chair David Tarnas
Monday night at Mo`oheau Bandstand in Hilo. Photo by Julia Neal
      Ka`u’s incumbent Democratic state legislators easily kept their seats, with Sen. Josh Green receiving 76.1 percent of the votes and Rep. Richard Creagan continuing to represent west Ka`u. Rep. Richard Onishi also won by a large margin in east Ka`u’s House District Three.
      Creagan, who won with 55.9 percent of the vote over Republican Dave Bateman’s 36 percent, said, “It was a good night for Democrats in Hawai`i last night. We only lost one of our representatives, Karen Palama. Otherwise, our team stayed intact, and I think that bodes well for what we can do for the Big Island. Our politics are reality-based and very positive. Let’s let our constituents have a good life. That’s what I want to do.”
      The one bright spot in voting, said Creagan, was that “money didn’t win in Hawai`i.” He pointed to incumbent County Council member Margaret Willie facing PAC money that opposed her stance on regulating GMOs. “Hawai`i County voters rejected the outside money and realized they needed Willie to balance the council,” said Creagan. He said it mirrored the GMO moratorium on Maui, where Monsanto and other GMO companies spent millions on advertising, claiming the moratorium was an “anti-farming” bill. “The outside money lost,” he said.
      Creagan also noted that incoming governor David Ige was outspent ten to one by sitting Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the primary, and Ige won.
      Creagan said that Democrats win in Hawai`i because they “have been taking care of people. There are inefficiencies, but it benefits everyone, not just the rich.”
     Ka`u's new county council member Maile Medeiros David won her seat in the primary. Sitting council member Brenda Ford is was not allowed to run due to term limitations.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A new state constitutional amendment expands revenue bonds to support
agriculture. Photo by Julia Neal
       They approved a state constitutional amendment calling for the Judicial Selection Commission to disclose its list of nominees to the public when presenting it to the governor or the chief justice to fill a vacancy in the office of the chief justice, Supreme Court, intermediate appellate court, circuit courts or district courts.
      Another relating to agricultural enterprises passed. It authorizes the state to issue special purpose revenue bonds and use the proceeds from the bonds to assist agricultural enterprises on any type of land, rather than only important agricultural lands. The idea of using bonds for important agricultural lands was initially used to encourage people to farm the best agricultural lands and to keep them in agriculture, rather than development.
      The state Legislature proposed that the mandatory retirement age for all state court justices and judges be increased from seventy to eighty years of age, but voters did not agree.
      Also failing was a proposal to permit appropriation of public funds to support or benefit private early childhood education programs.
      Issuing special purpose revenue bonds and using proceeds to offer loans to qualifying dam and reservoir owners to improve their facilities to protect public safety and provide significant benefits to the general public as important water sources also passed.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY VOTERS APPROVED a Hawai`i County Charter amendment creating a four-year term for County Clerk, with the County Council having the authority to remove the County Clerk from office by a two-thirds vote of its membership.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

TODAY IS EXPECTED TO BE A MILESTONE in reconstruction of the Ka`u-Kalapana route along Chain of Craters Road, according to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park spokesperson Rainey McKenna. She said crews working from both ends of the road expect to meet in the middle.
      “Construction is going very well, especially considering lava tubes, steam cracks and very big hills of lava,” McKenna said. There are hills up to 60 feet high and lava depths of up to 150 feet.
      “The contractors are doing an excellent job and demonstrate a deep respect for the `aina and its resources,” she said.
       Meanwhile, the lava flow front near Pahoa has been stalled for five days, though fingers have been moving parallel to the main path upslope. The Chain of Craters Road would be used should the lava cross Hwy 130 into lower Puna and other emergency roads that have been prepared along the Puna coast.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Crews working from both ends of Chain of Craters Road to rebuild the lava-covered section expect to meet in the middle today.
Photo from NPS/Rainey McKenna

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK is seeking public comment on the environmental review and decision regarding construction and use of an emergency access route along the lava-covered section of Chain of Craters Road. The environmental review for the emergency access route was completed in accordance with alternative NEPA arrangements developed by and in consultation with the Department of Interior and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality.
      To sustain access in and out of Pahoa, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park is working in cooperation with the state of Hawai`i, Hawai`i County and the Federal Highways Administration to construct an emergency access route between the park and Kalapana along the park’s historic Chain of Craters Kalapana Road.
      The environmental review considers alternatives to the emergency access route and potential adverse impacts, and includes public involvement, mitigation and monitoring commitments. As part of the alternative arrangements, the National Park Service will continue to engage the public by soliciting comments on the project, participating in public informational meetings, responding to comments received and publishing periodic reports on the results of monitoring commitments. In addition, the NPS will continue to consult with affected agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Hawai`i State Historic Preservation Division, as necessary. The NPS will also prepare a NEPA review to consider the future of the emergency access route after the emergency ends.
      Use of the emergency access route will only last as long as there is no viable alternative route for the residents of the affected area to use to gain access to the rest of the Island of Hawai`i.
      The public is invited to review the environmental review and decision document and to submit comments via the NPS’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havo. Select the Emergency Access Route along the Lava-Covered Section of Chain of Craters Kalapana Road link. The deadline for submitting comments in PEPC is Dec. 5 at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.
      Comments will be accepted while construction of the road is in progress (anticipated to be 30 days) and are intended to affect NPS consideration of adjustments to the proposed action and enhancement of proposed mitigation measures. The comment period will be extended if necessary. Responses to substantive comments will be subsequently posted on PEPC. Results of park monitoring of resources and road use will be posted on PEPC and the park’s website, shared at community meetings or publicized via other means of communication periodically throughout the duration of the emergency.
      The public can also submit comments in writing, addressed to Superintendent, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, PO Box 52, Hawai`i National Park, HI 96718-0052; or via email nps_havo_planning@nps.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Bob Herkes, at left, with Gov. Neil Abercrombie, participated in
groundbreaking for the Ka`u Disaster Shelter & Gymnasium.
Photo by Julia Neal
NAMING OF THE NEW KA`U GYMNASIUM and Shelter is on the county Public Works and Parks & Recreation Committee agenda for tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Ka`u’s Council member Brenda Ford urges interested Ka`u residents to testify at Hilo Council Chambers.
      Ford is introducing two pieces of legislation. Bill 316 names the facility in the County Code as the “Bob Herkes and Laurence Capellas Gymnasium and Shelters.” Resolution 566-14 establishes signage for the facility and recommends two plaques under the facility’s name – one for Capellas and one for Herkes – with permission for the Department of Parks & Recreation to make any changes necessary in the signage.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OTHER COUNTY COUNCIL COMMITTEES meeting tomorrow are Human Services & Social Services at 9 a.m., Public Safety & Mass Transit at 9:15 a.m., Planning at 1 p.m. and Finance at 1:30 p.m. The full council meets Friday at 9 a.m. All meetings take place at Council Chambers in Hilo. Ka`u residents can participate via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.

Diana Aki, at right, here with Keoki Kahumoku at Pahala Plantation House, returns
to perform at a concert Saturday. Photo by Julia Neal
AN `UKULELE BUILD REUNION takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Carriage House of Pahala Plantation House. All who have built `ukulele over the years through the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies programs in conjunction with Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, Ko Aloha `Ukulele and Pāhala Plantation Cottages are invited. Reservations for the `ukulele build have closed, but alumni are invited to bring their `ukulele for tune-ups, repairs and restringing.

A CONCERT SPONSORED BY THE CENTER for Hawaiian Music Studies celebrates the life of the late Dennis Kamakahi this Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. Donations will be accepted.


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