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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015

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Kona winds on Jan. 3 created spectacular geysers at South Point blowhole. Areas of Ka`u are still recovering from the storm.
Photo by Peter Anderson
VOLCANO, WOOD VALLEY AND DISCOVERY HARBOUR are on the list of places Hawaiian Electric Light Co. will be working at to restore power to about 360 customers still without power following recent severe weather conditions.
      HELCO encourages residents to treat downed power lines as energized and dangerous. Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment. If someone is injured by a downed power line, do not approach them. Call 9-1-1 for assistance.
      Customers who remain with power and have not reported it are asked to call 969-6666. Due to the high call volume, customers may experience a longer wait time before speaking with a representative.
      According to HELCO, during storms, strong winds can blow tree branches and other debris into power lines and cause short circuits. Lightning also can strike near power lines and cause short circuits. This can create very high currents, and the power lines must be turned off very quickly to prevent damage or further disruption to the rest of the power system.
      HELCO uses automatic sensing devices to detect these short circuits and turn off power to lines in a fraction of a second; this is when customers see a power interruption. In many cases, once the power is turned off, the line can be turned back on because the tree branch that caused the short circuit clears the line or the lightning strike dissipates. The automatic devices wait a few seconds and then turn on the power to the line; this is when customers see their power restored after a short time. Customers can experience multiple brief power interruptions during a storm because of frequent lightning strikes or trees and debris being blown into lines.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

GOV. DAVID IGE HAS ANNOUNCED more new directors. Elizabeth Kim will serve as director for the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and Cindy McMillan as director of Communications. 
      Kim currently serves in President Obama’s Administration as Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the U.S. Department of Labor. She is a member of the senior leadership team advising the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Labor. Prior to that she served as the White House Liaison for the Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Defense and as Administrator of the Business and Professional Licensing Administration at District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
      “Elizabeth brings executive management experience in federal, state and local level policy formation,” Ige said. “She is a proven leader that has demonstrated success in managing a large staff as well as implementing major programs and initiatives at a high level. Elizabeth’s wealth of knowledge, national experience and leadership equips her to lead the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.”
      Kim earned a BA degree from Pomona College and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arizona College of Law. A graduate of Kaiser High School, Kim was also President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Greater Washington, D.C. and Chair of the D.C. Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.
      Cindy McMillan has most recently led advocacy and communication efforts for Pacific Resource Partnership. Prior to this, she was executive vice president at Communications Pacific, where she led the firm’s community relations and public affairs team, which assisted a wide range of clients. McMillan’s previous experience also includes serving as a legislative aide to members of Honolulu City Council, where she helped develop legislative strategies and worked closely with city and state agencies, neighborhood boards, the Legislature, the media and constituents.
      “Cindy brings superior organizational skills along with a wealth of experience in strategic communication planning and implementation,” Ige said. “Her experience in the public and private sector along with her demonstrated commitment to our community make her a valuable asset to our team.”
      McMillan moved to Hawai`i in 1996 from Washington, D.C., where she was assistant director of the Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies. She holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia Union College.
      “I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with Gov. Ige to ensure that his priorities are communicated accurately and the public is informed about the administration’s decisions,” McMillan said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD HAS RETURNED from a tour of India and is now in Washington, D.C., where the 114th Congress begins today. Her trip was prompted by a personal invitation from India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the U.S. last September.
      During nearly three weeks of meetings with India’s top government, military and business leaders, Gabbard sought to “introduce the people of India to Hawai`i — to share with them the aloha spirit and plant seeds for closer cultural and economic ties between the people of India and Hawai`i.
      “I feel this trip was a great success,” said Gabbard. “I went to India hoping to introduce and familiarize people with Hawai`i and to help warm the relationship between our two countries. I think we accomplished both goals, and I am optimistic that there will be increased collaboration between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy.”
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Photo from Office of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
      Visiting five major cities, Gabbard was received by several high-level Indian officials and the country’s most respected and progressive leaders. Gabbard met again with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to further explore topics of mutual interest to America and India, focusing on enhanced cooperation in the fight against Islamic terrorism, working together to protect the environment and maximizing economic opportunities between the two countries. Gabbard met separately with India’s Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley, Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs (Secretary of State) Srimati Sushma Swaraj to discuss challenges facing the international community.
      She also met with General Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Indian Army. Gabbard, a captain in Hawai`i Army National Guard, discussed with Singh the need for the U.S. and India to increase collaboration in the fight against terrorists and the importance of partner-building, military-to-military engagements between the U.S. Pacific Command and the Indian military.
      Gabbard discussed strengthening tourism and cultural exchange opportunities between the U.S. and India with India’s Minister for Tourism, Mahesh Chandra Sharma.
      Srimati Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, and Gabbard discussed ideas to increase commerce between India and the U.S. and minimize barriers to greater foreign investment. She also met with several prominent figures in India's film industry to encourage increased cross-collaboration between those in the industries in India and Hawai`i.
      Establishing a sister state relationship between Hawai`i and Goa, India’s most popular beach tourism destination, was the topic of conversations with Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Gov. Mridula Sinha. The aim would be to increase economic and cultural exchanges between Goa and Hawai`i, as well as promote tourism.
      Gabbard also toured several sites of spiritual and cultural significance, including the memorial temple of Mahatma Gandhi.
      Gabbard’s tour of India was conducted while Congress was in recess, and no U.S. taxpayer dollars were expended for any portion of the trip.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

The first of four After Dark in the Park programs tonight during Volcano Awareness Month focuses on Halema`uma`u's lava lake, at left, and Pu`u O`o's current eruption. Photos from USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
THIS EVENING, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick talks about Halema`uma`u lava lake and presents a brief overview on the first 30 years of Pu`u `O`o’s eruption and the lava flow that has advanced toward Pahoa over the past six months.
Geologist Matt Patrick Photo from USGS/HVO
      After Dark in the Park begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE has cancelled its meeting scheduled for this Thursday, Jan. 8. Next meeting is Thursday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church.

REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE for New Year’s recreation programs in Ka`u.
      At Pahala Community Center, New Year’s Wall Hanging on Wednesday, Jan. 14 from 3:30 – 5 p.m. is open to children in grades kindergarten to eight. Adult Volleyball takes place Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Age Group Basketball on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. is for ages 11 to 12 and 13 to 14. Also on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Track & Field Practice for ages six to 14 starts at 3:30 for 1.5 hours.
      To register, call Nona at 928-3102.
      Na`alehu Community Center offers many sports activities Mondays through Thursdays. Registration for T-Ball for ages five and six and Coach Pitch for ages seven and eight is available now for programs at 4 p.m. beginning Jan. 20. Track & Field Practice for ages six to 14 begins Jan. 13 at 3:30 p.m. Instruction for grades three through 12 in tennis begins at 3:30 p.m., and ages 14 and above can learn basketball beginning at 5 p.m.
      Register with Richard at 939-2510.
      Kahuku Park is also now accepting registration for T-Ball for ages five and six on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. and Coach Pitch for ages seven and eight on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. Track & Field Practice is also available for ages six to 14 Mondays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
      Call Teresa at 929-9113.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.








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