Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, Jan. 26, 2015

Ka`u High School girls varsity basketball team celebrated Senior Night Saturday, the final home game for those graduating this year, with a win over HPA. Photo from Kaweni Ibarra
HAWAI`I ISLAND’S COMMUNITIES are addressing a 41 percent shortage of doctors.
      University of Hawai`i John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Area Health Education Center Kelly Withey told reporter Colin Stewart, of Hawai`i Tribune Herald. Withey said Big Island communities “are coming together to make changes such as starting an interprofessional residency training program in Hilo, holding activities such as Teen Health Camps for students to learn about health careers, holding activities to support local physicians sponsored by Hawai`i Island Healthcare Alliance and the mayor, and doctors are working together to help other doctors set up practices. Things such as these, as well as loan repayment and showing aloha to all members of the health care team, are essential to making sure everyone on the Big Island gets the care they need.”
      According to the story, in 2014 the island needed 554 doctors but only had 327. Shortages included 30 primary care providers, along with orthopedic surgeons, neurologists and endocrinologists. Other specialty areas that had shortages were colorectal surgery, neonatal-perinatal, pediatric rheumatology, pediatric cardiology, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric neurology, plastic surgery, neurological surgery, infectious disease, allergy and immunology.
      Dr. Richard Lee-Ching, President of East Hawai`i Independent Physicians Association, told Stewart what he thinks is causing the shortages. “There’s a couple things that stop them. It costs more to live here, and by and large, we get paid less over here… . The doctors who are coming here are coming out with a fair amount of debt, so when they do come out, they’re not setting up private practice because they would have to deal with more of the bureaucratic nonsense.”
      Other barriers include paperwork and documentation requirements for reimbursement by Medicare and Medicaid, along with other requirements.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Life of the Land is one of several organizations opposing Gov. Ige's
nomination of Carlton Ching as had of DLNR.
GOV. DAVID IGE’S NOMINATION of Carlton Ching to head the Department of Land & Natural Resources is receiving criticism from many sources. Ching is Vice President, Community and Government Relations, for Castle & Cooke Hawai`i, where he supports the organization’s real estate, agricultural and renewable energy initiatives. 
      Henry Curtis, Director of Life of the Land, said Ching is a developer on his blog at ililanimedia.blogspot.com. Curtis said Ching in 2005 asked legislators to reduce or abolish the Land Use Commission.
      Curtis also said that in 2008 Castle & Cooke wrote a bill pushed by Rep. Calvin Say that “would have killed all public participation, all utility reviews, all interagency approvals, all county reviews, and given one person, the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism director, power to approve renewable energy projects before the Final Environmental Impact Statement has been written.  
      “Ching currently serves as a Vice President of the Land Use Research Foundation of Hawai`i which describes itself as ‘the only Hawai`i-based organization devoted exclusively to promoting the interests of the development community.’” 
      Civil Beat reported that Ching is a registered lobbyist for Castle & Cooke.
Sierra Club of Hawai`i is one of several
organizations that oppose the nomination.
      A commenter on Civil Beat said LURF is “the main lobbying group for developers seeking to weaken Hawai`i’s zoning and planning laws. He is also on the board of the Building Industry Association. With Ching’s nomination, the developers have hit the trifecta! A longtime key advocate for their interests now put in charge of Hawai`i’s public natural resources.
      “Those of us who were concerned when (former Gov. Neil) Abercrombie’s Public Land Development Corporation looked like it was intended to turn state government into an enabler of development interest should appreciate Ching’s nomination removes a layer of complexity. Under Ching, the developers would be directly in charge.” 
      Former state Senate Majority Leader and former Kaua`i County Council member Gary Hooser wrote, “I supported and voted for Gov. Ige. This appointment leaves me both flabbergasted and extremely disappointed. My only hope is he will reconsider and withdraw the appointment very quickly.”
      Over twenty environmental groups are asking the governor to withdraw the nomination. 

In a joint statement, the groups said Ching “has no demonstrated expertise in managing the cultural and natural resources that fall under the department’s purview, including but not limited to endangered species, iwi, ceded land, water resources, forests, beaches, coral reefs, fishing and hunting resources, historic sites and state parks. 

It is still early in Gov. Ige’s term, and we urge him to make the proper course corrections for the benefit of our natural environment and the people of Hawai`i nei. We look forward to working with him and his administration to make Hawai`i a better place for all the people of these islands, our children, and generations to come.

      Among the groups are Conservation Council for Hawai`i, Defend O`ahu Coalition, Earthjustice, Friends of Lana`i, Hawai`i Alliance for Progressive Action, Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, Hawai`i’s Thousand Friends, Hui Ho`omalu I Ka `Aina, `Ilio`ulaokalani Coalition, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Kanehili Hui, Kupa`a No Lana`i, Life of the Land, LOST FISH Coalition, MANA (Movement for Aloha No Ka `Aina), Maui Tomorrow, O`ahu Chapter of Aha Moku Council, Progressive Democrats of Hawai`i, Puna Pono Alliance, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, The Outdoor Circle, Wailua-Kapa`a Neighborhood Association and West Maui Preservation Association.

      Department of Land & Natural Resources Director serves as chair of the Board of Land & Natural Resources, chair of the Commission on Water Resource Management and as the state’s Historic Preservation Officer, in addition to overseeing many programs.

Marti Townsend, Executive Director of The Outdoor Circle, urged the governor to withdraw Ching’s nomination to head up DLNR citing Ching’s “lack of experience in protecting natural resources, which is the agency’s primary responsibility.”
      Anthony Aalto, Sierra Club spokesperson, pointed out that Ching “lobbied for developer Castle and Cooke, served as a director on the Building Industry Association of Hawai`i and as vice-president of the Land Use Research Foundation, which according to its website “is devoted exclusively to promoting the interests of the development community.”
      According to the joint statement, both organizations “have consistently lobbied to weaken laws that protect the state’s cultural and natural resources.”
      See civilbeat.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Senior Night honored members of Ka`u High girls basketball who graduate this year.
Photo from Kaweni Ibarra
KA`U HIGH’S VARSITY GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM celebrated Senior Night Saturday. For seniors on the team, this was the last chance to play a game on Ka`u’s home court. 
      Ka`u played against HPA and made the best out of their last home game. Within the first minute, scores were tied, but Ka`u quickly changed that. The Trojans kept the lead for the entire game and held their ground for a final score of 56-31.
      Seniors Kerrilynn Domondon, Denisha Navarro and Bridget Pasion showcased the power of the team on both offense and defense.
      The team’s next game is Saturday at Kamehameha-Hawai`i.
      The Ka`u Calendar journalism intern Kaweni Ibarra contributed to this Ka`u sports update.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FLIGHT OPERATIONS OCCUR AT KAHUKU UNIT of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park today, tomorrow and Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. to transport fencing material, camp supplies and crew near the Kahuku Unit/Ka`u Forest Reserve Boundary.
      Management of the park requires the use of aircraft to monitor and research volcanic activity, conduct search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement operations, support management of natural and cultural resources and to maintain backcountry facilities.
      Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather.
      The park issued a statement that it regrets any noise impact to residents and park visitors.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PAHOEHOE LAVA: THE EBB AND FLOW OF MOLTEN ROCK is the topic at After Dark in the Park tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Lava erupted from the Pu`u `O`o vent on Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone has been advancing in fits and starts toward the community of Pahoa since June 2014. After the flow stalled just 170 yards from Pahoa Village Road in early November, a new breakout of lava began moving toward Pahoa Marketplace. University of Hawai`i at Hilo geologists Ken Hon and Cheryl Gansecki have spent decades studying and filming the behavior of pahoehoe lava and will use time-lapse and recent videos to explain how and why these flows advance, stall and inflate.
      This free program is part of Volcano Awareness Month.
      Park entrance fees apply.


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