Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

This year's first Sanctuary Ocean Count of humpback whales along the Ka`u Coast takes place Saturday. Photo from fish-journal.com
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC CO. AND NEXTERA ENERGY submit their acquisition application to Hawai`i’s Public Utilities Commission today. The $4.3 billion deal between Hawai`i’s largest utility and the Florida giant is expected to close later this year. 
      Executives from the companies met with lawmakers during a legislative hearing at the state Capitol yesterday. Duane Shimogawa, of Pacific Business News, said NextEra’s Eric Gleason told them the company’s strengths are helping HECO integrate renewable sources “better, faster and cheaper. … We have solutions applicable to Hawai`i and to Florida, and we support HECO’s goals.”
      “Everything we have will be revealed in the PUC process,” Gleason said. “In terms of long-term detailed business plans, that’s the plan HECO filed (with the PUC) in August.”
      According to Shimogawa, HECO’s Alan Oshima said NextEra’s benefits to Hawai`i include access to capital, utilization of new technologies and a proven track record in energy, which could accelerate HECO’s clean energy transformation.
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaualendar.

Kalu Oyama, second from left, continues this year as FoodCorps Hawai`i
service member at Na`alehu School. Photo by Nalani Parlin
KALU OYAMA CONTINUES AS FOODCORPS HAWAI`I service member at Na`alehu School for its second year. 
      Food Corps Hawai`i program is committed to building garden-based nutritional education programs and expanding connections between hands-on learning and core curriculum to help students adopt healthier lifestyles, improve academic performance and obtain real-life learning experiences about sustainability and eco-literacy. The Kohala Center serves as the host site for the state of Hawaii’s FoodCorps program.
      Service members expand hands-on nutrition education programs, build and tend school gardens and help bring high quality, locally produced foods into schools.
      According to FoodCorps, when these three pillars of its approach are implemented together, there are changes in children’s attitudes toward consumption of healthy food.
      Applications for the 2015-2016 cohort of Hawai`i FoodCorps service members are available through March 30 on the FoodCorps website, foodcorps.org.
      See kohalacenter.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaualendar.

SHIPPING CONTAINER HUTS: The Associated Press reports that “on the Big Island, housing officials are considering building micro-units made from shipping containers. They’re planning to get seven shipping containers that are each 40 feet long and divide each into four units, said housing administrator Stephen Arnett. “Those units would be set aside for people with mental health or other problems,” he said.
Hawai`i housing administrator Stephen Arnett said shipping containers will be
used as housing units. Photo from dcengines.com
     The report was carried in an AP story on a housing briefing at the state Legislature yesterday.
      Department of Hawaiian Homelands Director Jobie Masagatani told legislators the department broke ground on more than 450 lots statewide in the past two years, according to AP reporter Caty Bussewitz. It has a wait list of about 26,000 people. “The biggest concern for me is our kupuna who are on our waiting list,” Masagatani said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaualendar.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO TODAY INTRODUCED the Providing Resources Early for Kids Act, legislation to expand access to high-quality early learning programs for children from birth to age five. The PRE-K Act helps more kids arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed by establishing a federal-state partnerships that incentivizes states to both improve the quality of state preschool programs and expand to serve more children in need.
      “The investments we make in our youngest keiki are paid back in full by enhancing our nation’s competitiveness in our global economy,” Hirono said. “Hawai`i educators have told me that many kids start kindergarten already behind. Our children deserve the best chance to succeed and our educators need all the tools we can give them to put students on track to being lifelong learners. That’s why, beginning when I was Hawai`i’s Lieutenant Governor 20 years ago, I have been committed to quality early learning to help kids start kindergarten ready to succeed. Where you live should not determine what chance you get in life, and this bill will ensure states like Hawaii can create effective, quality state preschool programs. This bill focuses on quality because it is what makes the biggest difference in educational outcomes. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate and moving this bill forward.”
      Sen. Brian Schatz co-sponsored the bill. “Every child deserves the best education possible. But in Hawai`i and across the country, too many children are unprepared for school simply because states don’t have the resources to invest in early education programs,” he said. “Our legislation would help states like Hawai‘i establish new, high-quality early education programs that give children a better shot at success in school and in life.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaualendar.

Tickets are available for next month's fundraiser for Ka`u Lions Pop Warner
Football Association. Photo by Nalani Parlin
KA`U LIONS POP WARNER FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION holds a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 20 at Na`alehu Community Center. Tickets are $7. Funds will help pay for the many fees, insurance and expenses associated with Pop Warner programs. 
      Newly elected Board members of Ka`u Lions Pop Warner Football Association are excited to start the season this year. Nominations and elections were held at the association’s season ending banquet held in December. Elected members are President Kai Manini; Vice President and Web Master Shellen Hashimoto, Secretary Nona Makuakane, Treasurer and Medical Director Tammy Kaawa, Fundraising Chair Betty-Ann Beck, Football Commissioner Devin “Bully” Breithaupt, Roster Software Contact and Scholastics Commissioner Helena Carvalho, Travel and Media Coordinator Jolie Kekoa Burgos, Equipment and Uniform Manager Kolina Paaluhi, Parent Coordinator Mona Santana, Concessions Coordinator Kuulei Ka-ne, Field Commissioner Buck Kala and Awards Banquet Coordinator Sasha Kaupu.
      Board members met in January and want to start registrations early before school lets out for the summer to get a head start on the season. They are also seeking assistance from volunteers to be coaches. All coaches are required to attend a mandatory workshop in the summer in order to be on the field during the season.
      Secretary Nona Makuakane noted that Big Island Pop Warner Football Conference might be making a change in team divisions for the upcoming season. Instead of a Midget Division, which targets ages 12-14 (105-170 lbs) and students 15 years old (between 105-140 lbs), the conference will have Jr. Midgets, ages 10-12 (90-140 lbs) and age 13 (90-120 lbs). They may also add an Unlimited Division for ages 11 to 14 weighing 105 lbs and above.
      “All board members agree that the main focus of the association is for the kids of Ka`u,” Makuakane said, “but we also need the support of the community.” Anyone wanting to purchase spaghetti dinner tickets or make a donation can call Fundraising Chair Betty Ann Beck at 315-5702. To assist by volunteering as a coach, call Football Commissioner Bully Breithaupt at 339-1097 or call Association President Kai Manini at 640-8409. Contact any board member with questions or if interested to provide any other kinds of assistance.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaualendar.

Whales are counted Saturday at Punalu`u and other area shorelines.
Photo from Susan Field
VOLUNTEERS CAN STILL SIGN UP for Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s 2015 Sanctuary Ocean Count. The first of three counts is set for this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 
      Volunteers count whales and record their behaviors from over 60 shore sites on the islands of O`ahu, Kaua`i and Hawai`i. Local sites include Ka`ena Point in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Punalu`u Black Sand Beach Park, Ka Lae Park and Miloli`i Lookout.
      The project allows the public to learn more about humpback whale population, distribution and behavioral trends while being involved in a volunteer monitoring effort.
      More Sanctuary Ocean Counts will be held on Saturdays, Feb. 28 and March 28 at selected sites.
      Interested volunteers may register online at http://sanctuaryoceancount.org.

VOLUNTEERS MEET AT KILAUEA VISITOR CENTER to help remove invasive Himalayan ginger from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park trails Saturday at 9 a.m. Stewardship at the Summit is an ongoing program. Free; park entrance fees apply.

AFTERNOON JAZZ AT PAHALA PLANTATION HOUSE is Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The outdoor concert is a fundraiser for the Brass Band Afterschool Project at Ka`u Middle School supported by Volcano Art Center. Musicians include Jr. Volcano Choy on trumpet, Brian McCree on acoustic bass, Bruce David on drums and vocalist Betsy Curtis. Keoki Kahumoku and the Ka`u youth `ukulele players will also perform.


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