Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015

Volunteers with Hawai`i Wildlife Fund cleaned a portion of Kaunamano coastline below Na`alehu last Saturday.
HWF photo by Megan Lamson
PA`ULA, AKA LEPANA, AT KAUNAMANO was the site of Hawai`i Wildlife Funds most recent Ka`u Coast Cleanup on Saturday, Feb. 7. HWF partnered up with Kuahiwi Ranch to clean up the area below Na`alehu. In total, 48 participants removed over 2,034 pounds of debris, including at least 500 pounds of derelict fishing nets, 50 pounds of broken glass and over 158 pounds of recyclables. Interesting finds included six tires, a bicycle, an unidentifiable white cone with holes and a hot water dispenser.
      Groups that participated included Surfrider Foundation’s Kona and Hilo chapter members, Hawai`i Community College Service Learning Project students, Buckley’s Bounty and HI Kombucha.
      Since began marine debris removal efforts in southeast Hawai`i in 2003, HWF and volunteers have pulled over 179 tons (358,264 pounds) from the shores of Hawai`i Island. “Continued mahalos go to the NOAA Marine Debris Program for funding the bulk of our marine debris removal efforts since 2005,” said coordinator Megan Lamson. In-kind support this past year also came from Coconut Auto (vehicle donation), JD Services LLC (donations of time and skidsteer to load derelict fishing nets), Moa`ula Cloud Rest Ka`u Coffee (used coffee bags), Ka`u Auto Repair (acceptance of marine debris tires free of charge), HI Kombucha (donations of their Kombucha tea for cleanup volunteers since 2014) and The Ka`u Calendar (promotion volunteer events).
Rep. Richard Creagan
      HWF will be hosting another two consecutive anchialine pool restoration workdays this tomorrow and Friday. Volunteers help remove invasive plant species and sediment from these fragile native ecosystems. “Come learn more about these special environments and this wahi pana along the Wai`ohinu coastal strand,” Lamson said. RSVP and more information is available from meg.HWF@gmail.com.
      HWF also sponsors an estuary restoration workday on Thursday, Feb 19, that is also in Ka`u.
      For more information about how to support HWF cleanup efforts, email kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TWO KA`U LAWMAKERS HAVE INTRODUCED bills that would allow terminally ill patients to use drugs and get medical treatments that have not received final approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration.
      Rep. Richard Creagan introduced House Bill 882, and Sen. Russell Ruderman introduced Senate Bill 585.
      Creagan told West Hawai`i Today reporter Carolyn Lucas-Zenk that the effort is being led by the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix-based think tank that provides model Right to Try bills that lawmakers can modify as needed.
      Creagan said he likes the idea of offering alternatives to terminally ill patients who can’t get into a clinical study and have no other way to access potentially life-saving experimental drugs or treatments.
      Creagan told Lucas-Zenk, “Our medical care should be patient-centered, not profit-centered” and spoke about the importance of preserving “our personal freedom to decide.”
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      Sen. Ruderman’s bill allows manufacturers to make available investigational drugs, biological products or devices to terminally ill patients under certain conditions beginning Jan. 1, 2016.
      The bills states, “Terminally ill patients have a fundamental right to pursue the preservation of their own lives by accessing available investigational drugs, biological products and devices. The use of available investigational drugs, biological products and devices is a decision that should be made by the patient with a terminal illness in consultation with the patient's health care provider and the patient's health care team, if applicable. The decision to use an investigational drug, biological product or device should be made with full awareness of the potential risks, benefits and consequences to the patient and the patient's family.”      
      Creagan said processes for patients to obtain investigational drugs are complicated and take a long time. He also said only three percent of patients are eligible for clinical trials and that certain populations can be excluded depending on medications being tested. 
      The bills would allow terminally ill patients to try treatments that have successfully completed phase one of FDA’s approval process and are available to patients in clinical trials.
      Creagan recommended that supporters contact House and Senate Health committees to help move the proposed measures forward or to continue the dialogue. More information on the bills and how to testify is available at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

A member of International Volcanic Health Hazards
Network is conducting a study of vog in Ka`u.
A NEW STUDY TO EXAMINE HOW PEOPLE who live downwind of Kilauea Volcano cope with vog is currently underway, with one of several upcoming focus groups scheduled at Pahala Public & School Library on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m. 
      Dr. Claire Horwell, Director of the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network and a researcher at Durham University in the United Kingdom, is conducting the study in cooperation with U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. It will reach across multiple agencies, organizations and communities in the state to help ensure that official advice about living with vog incorporates a wide range of experiences and knowledge.
      Horwell said she is investigating how Hawai`i communities use published advice and if they have developed their own strategies for protecting themselves from vog. “We’re working with state and county agencies with the end goal of providing consistent online advice, an informative pamphlet on vog exposure and protection and updated guidance on how to access resources about vog,” she said.
      Knowledge gained from the study funded by the British Council will also be relevant internationally, not only in volcanically active regions but also farther afield, as volcanic gases can travel downwind for many miles. For example, UK government agencies can draw on the Hawai`i study as they prepare for the potential effects of future Icelandic eruptions.
       Ka`u residents are encouraged to record how they cope with vog on Horwell’s Vog Talk Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/421925067973152/. They can also sign up to participate in next week's focus group or others to be held in Ka`u communities on the page or at 808-967-8809.
      Horwell will also be conducting surveys at Volcano Farmers Market this Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele
DUE TO HIGH DEMAND AND A DELAY in dates originally set for election of delegates from the Roll to serve at the governance convention, the Kana`iolowalu Native Hawaiian Roll is now reopened. Online registration is available and will remain open until a few weeks prior to the election.
      Last March, Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ Board of Trustees made public the agency’s commitment to helping smooth the way for Native Hawaiians to build a government.
      OHA strongly encouraged Native Hawaiians who have not signed up for the Roll to consider doing so. “The Roll will be used as the basis for verifying eligibility to vote or run in the delegate elections and to vote in any referendum on the Native Hawaiian governing entity’s form, scope and principles,” according to OHA.
      Efforts are moving forward with the intent that elections and the `Aha be held this year.
      A Ninau a Pane, Question-and-Answer Session, with longtime nation-building activist Dennis “Bumpy” Kanahele is available at kanaiolowalu.org.
      With more than 122,000 Native Hawaiians already enrolled, the Kana`iolowalu Native Hawaiian Roll is the largest official list of verified Native Hawaiians ready to move forward toward political recognition. Commission Vice-Chair Na`alehu Anthony said, “This may be the first time in more than a century this many Native Hawaiians will come together with a plan for self-governance.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE meets tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Na`alehu Methodist Church. Public is invited. Email richmorrow@alohabroadband.net for more information.

CHARLENE ASATO PRESENTS Bookbinding Basics: Taking a Pamphlet Stitchon a Romp Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. $42 members; $45 nonmembers. 967-8222 or volcanoartcenter.org

U.S. SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ will be in Hilo Wednesday, Feb. 18, with a community meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Hilo High School.


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