Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015

Ka`u WWII 442nd Division veterans Iwao Yonemitsu, at left, and Tokuichi Nakano, here with former Hawai`i Gov. Neil Abercrombie, became Chevaliers of the French Legion of Honor yesterday. Photo by Geneveve Fyvie

CHEVALIER OF THE LEGION OF HONOR is the title bestowed on Ka`u residents Tokuichi Nakano and Iwao Yonemitsu by the French Republic during a ceremony yesterday at West Hawai`i Veterans Cemetery. French Consul General Pauline Carmona said her country owes the Nisei soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team a debt of eternal gratitude for the role they played in liberating France from Nazi occupation.
 Iwao Yonemitsu and Tokuichi Nakano at a Veterans Day
ceremony at Kilauea Military Camp. Photo by Julia Neal
      “The people of France have not forgotten,” she said during her address. “Their children and grandchildren have not forgotten. They will never forget.”
      Retired Army Col. Debra Lewis, of Hilo, said soldiers in the 442nd and 100th Battalion overcame a 314 percent casualty rate and were the most decorated for their size and the duration of time they fought.
      “This devotion to duty and to each other have inspired generations long after the last weapon was fired,” Lewis said. “They understood that anger against our country for unfair treatment (of Japanese Americans) was a luxury they could not afford. These brave men decided failure was not an option.”
      Also receiving the Legion of Honor were Kazuma Taguchi of Hilo, Hidetaka Sato of Honaunau and Mitsuo Tachibana of Hilo. Sato and Tachibana received awards posthumously.
      Nakano told Bret Yager, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, about a firefight on the outskirts of a town in Italy that that led to German forces’ retreat.
      “I put up my small tent outside and was cleaning my rifle,” he said. “The Army newspaper came. I looked at the paper, and there it was: the Germans are gone. It’s all over. That was the happiest day of my life.”
      Yonemitsu told Yager, “One of the first things we learned when you change position: Dig your foxhole so you have somewhere to go when the shells come. I don’t know how many holes I dug. Some days, I dug two.”
      Yonemitsu said that although he doesn’t know half of the 442nd casualties, “the people I trained with who were killed will remain forever young.”
      Nakano and Yonemitsu have volunteered for the last dozen years to assemble monthly issues of The Ka`u Calendar.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Recycle Hawai`i sponsors
compostiing workshops.
RECYCLE HAWAI`I HAS LOST ITS CONTRACT with the county to offer free public educational services about recycling. On its website at recyclehawaii.org, the nonprofit says its mission “is to promote resource awareness and recycling enterprises in Hawai`i. To achieve this, we educate the community about sound resource management and recycling opportunities for a more environmentally sustainable future.” 
      Among the programs it sponsors are composting classes, annual Treecycling to recycle holiday trees and Art of Recycling exhibits where students exhibit artworks made of recycled materials.
      Recycle Hawai`i opposes county proposals to build a waste-to-energy plant that would incinerate trash to generate electricity. “We said ‘No’ in 2008! Let’s stand up together (again) to let them know we want mo’ bettah ways!” the organization states on its website.
      “The education we’re doing is diametrically opposed to the mass burn of resources to be recycled,” Recycle Hawai`i Director Paul Buklarewicz told West Hawai`i Today reporter Nancy Cook Lauer.
      According to the story, the nonprofit had a $100,000 annual contract for more than 10 years for education and outreach. Mayor Billy Kenoi told Cook Lauer the money will be used for direct recycling programs. He said Recycle Hawai`i still has other current county contracts, including a $258,000 contract to operate seven reuse centers at county transfer stations and a $58,000 contract to collect and dispose of used motor oil.
      “We believe our dollars are best spent on actual recycling,” Kenoi said.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.  

COMMUNITY POLICING OFFICERS ARE WORKING with Hawai`i County Planning Department to protect the public from illegal rave parties, which have been reported in Ka`u in the past. As a result of this partnership, the Planning Department issued a $5,000 fine to a property owner in connection with a rave party in Hawaiian Acres last year.
      The two-day event held Oct. 31 through Nov. 1 was advertised on social media outlets. Community Policing Officers were made aware of the event and warned the property owner that he did not have the proper permit to conduct such an event on his property.
      The party was held despite police warnings, and enforcement action was taken near the property on the night of the event to ensure public safety. Police conducted a follow-up investigation with the assistance of the Planning Department that resulted in the fine.
      Police are reminding property owners that conducting unpermitted non-agricultural commercial events on agricultural property is prohibited. The Hawai`i Police Department will continue to work with members of the public, property owners and the Planning Department to ensure compliance and enhance public safety.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
is a veteran.
U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD SUPPORTED with much of what President Obama said in his State of the Union address this week but has reservations about his stance on fighting terrorism. “Rather than focus on words tonight, we should focus on what is ahead for our nation,” Gabbard said. 
      “Growing our economy, and truly building a strong middle class, must drive our legislative agenda. I agree with the President's focus on building the 21st century infrastructure that our businesses and communities need – more modern airports, stronger bridges and the fastest Internet. This is something that Democrats and Republicans can agree on.
      “America also needs true Wall Street reform, which begins with reinstating Glass-Steagall. The financial stability of our nation depends on serious efforts to prevent Wall Street from making risky investments at taxpayer expense. The focus must always be on the needs of Main Street; we must prevent big banks from gambling with the well–being of our nation.
      “Finally, national security is top of mind for people across the country. The President was right to come to Congress tonight and ask for authorization to use military force against ISIS; my concern however is that the Administration still has not accurately identified our enemy, nor have they clearly articulated what the strategy will be to defeat this enemy.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Mazie Hirono
TODAY IS THE 42ND ANNIVERSARY of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that disallowed many state and federal restrictions on abortions. 
       To recognized the date, Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “As a college student at the University of Hawai`i, I wrote my first political letter to Hawai`i’s Congressional delegation asking for their position on a woman’s right to choose. At the time, abortion was illegal in nearly every state, and Hawai`i was considering, and eventually passed, one of the nation’s first laws to partially legalize it.
      “It’s been a hard fight, but we’ve come a long way since I was in college to expand and protect women’s health care rights. Today, because of the Affordable Care Act, women have access to critical preventative health care services like contraception and mammograms and are not penalized by insurance companies simply for being a woman. However, the battle over women’s health care continues. In recent years, many states have passed laws restricting a women’s fundamental right to choose.
Car seats are inspected today.
Photo from wikipedia
      “We must stand vigilant against these attacks on women’s health. Today on the 42nd anniversary of the monumental Roe v. Wade decision, I challenge Congress to reject the extremists and stand on the side of women and middle class families. Instead of endlessly fighting to repeal Roe v. Wade, blocking access to common forms of birth control and opposing paid family leave, Congress should be focused on making it easier for women to succeed in our 21st century economy. We should make education more affordable, ensure men and women get paid the same wage for the same work and make it easier for women to balance work and family.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

CAR SEAT INSPECTIONS ARE AVAILABLE from Hawai`i County Fire Department trained technicians at Pahala Community Center today. Families with young children are invited to take advantage of this free service and drop in and play at Tutu and Me while they are there. 
       Each inspection takes about 20 minutes to complete. Technicians will stay as long as there are car seats to inspect.

KEIKI CAN STILL REGISTER at local schools and businesses for `O Ka`u Kakou’s seventh annual Fishing Tournament & Canned Food Drive coming up Saturday at Punalu`u Beach Park. Ages one to 14 check in between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. for fishing from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. OKK provides poles, bait and free lunch. Registration is available.
      Call 217-2253 or 937-4773 for more information.

KA`U NATURAL FARMING WORKSHOP is set for the next two Saturdays, Jan 24 and 31, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Earth Matters Farm at South Point and Kama`oa Roads. Participants learn about creating soil health & nutritional food. 
      $100 for both days includes garden lunch.
      Register at 939-7510.


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