Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, March 2, 2015

Ka`u residents can provide testimony regarding a state House bill that would appropriate funds to research methods for control of the macadamia felted coccid, which is damaging crops throughout Ka`u and Hawai`i Island. Photo from Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
GOV. DAVID IGE HAS RETURNED from Washington, D.C., where he attended the National Governors Association Winter Meeting and met with various federal officials and business leaders.
Gov. David Ige
      “Meeting with the other governors was a valuable experience,” Ige said. “We were able to discuss issues affecting the states and share best practices that lead to innovative solutions.”
      Ige was part of a panel discussion on Homeland Security and Public Safety where the focus was on Congressional action related to funding the Department of Homeland Security.
      “Funding for the Department of Homeland Security was a priority for all of the governors,” Ige said. “If the funding is not approved, much of the work will continue at great personal cost to the frontline personnel who would have to report for duty without being paid. In addition, a lapse in funding will have a real impact on FEMA’s ability to ensure that a wide range of emergency personnel have the resources they need to do their jobs and keep our communities safer and more secure.”
      The governors conducted two formal working sessions with President Obama and had dinner at the White House. Ige also attended a signing ceremony with members of Hawai`i’s Congressional Delegation and representatives of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai`i and the Japanese American Citizens League.
      “Visiting the White House and meeting with President Obama, not once but several times, was a highlight,” Ige said. “It was an honor and a privilege to be part of the Oval Office signing ceremony designating the Honouliuli Camp a National Historic Monument.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Brian Schatz
THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION has set rules that protect free expression and innovation on the Internet and promote investment in the nation’s broadband networks. According to the Commission, the “strong, sustainable rules, grounded in multiple sources of legal authority … ensure that Americans reap the economic, social and civic benefits of an Open Internet today and into the future.” 
      Sen. Brian Schatz, Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, said, 

“I congratulate Chairman Wheeler and the FCC on a deliberative process which has led to the adoption of open Internet rules tailored for the 21st century. While I do not yet know all the details of the FCC’s proposal, it is clear that they contain three essential elements: no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization. These critical elements will ensure a level playing field so that a free and open Internet continues to thrive in the future. I am pleased the FCC has voted to enshrine these principles into formal protections.
      “I will continue to review the details of the rules as they are made available. If we can find bipartisan consensus that legislation is still necessary to codify robust open Internet rules, I will work with the FCC and my colleagues on the Commerce Committee to ensure that any legislation protects the FCC’s flexible and forward looking authority to prevent future forms of discrimination that could threaten Internet openness.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

State Department of Ag Chief Scott Enright
HAWAI`I HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE on Wednesday considers a bill that would appropriate funds to the Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with UH CTAHR, to research and develop methods for prevention and treatment of macadamia felted coccid.
      Hawai`i Department of Agriculture Chief Scott Enright testified that “the macadamia felted coccid is an insipid pest that can cause severe damage to macadamia nut trees and hurt our macadamia nut industry. It is vital to develop new methods to prevent the spread of this pest and limit the damage that it will have on the macadamia nut industry.”
      Hawaii Macadamia Nut Association President John Cross said, “We have seen and unfortunately have experienced the especially devastating effects of this pest islandwide but especially so in the Ka`u region. This pest is one of most virulent, aggressive and damaging alien pests I have witnessed in the 20 years since leaving the sugarcane plantations.”
      Bonnie Schoneberg, Director of Research Royal Hawaiian Orchards, L.P., with an office in Pahala, said, “The macadamia industry isn’t solely comprised of large companies; in reality many of the farms in Hawai`i are small growers that depend on their macadamia harvests and value added products for survival. Treatment options are already scarce to non-existent for large growers. When you consider the resources available to small growers, there are even fewer options. If realistic and economical treatment options aren’t discovered, many of the small farmers will be powerless to save their trees and will likely lose their means of income.”
      More testimony and the opportunity to testify are available at capitol.hawaii.gov. Testimony is due by 1:30 p.m. tomorrow to be included at the hearing.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dean Curran, fifth-grade teacher at Na`alehu School, won a National Milken
Educators of Hawai`i Teacher of Promise Award. Photo from Nalani Parlin
NA`ALEHU FIFTH-GRADE TEACHER Dean Curran is the National Milken Educators of Hawai`i annual Teacher of Promise Award winner for the Ka`u-Kea`au-Pahoa educational complex area. Schools submitted nominees of teachers who have already made outstanding contributions in the classroom in just a few years of service. Hailed as the Oscars of Teaching by Teacher magazine, Milken Educator awards have been given at the state level since 1987. 
      A Teach for America recruit, Curran moved to Ka`u last year from rural Massachusetts. He graduated from University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in political science and journalism but always harbored a passion for teaching. “I had so many teachers in my life that made a difference for me and steered me in the right direction. I want to do the same for our kids,” Curran said.
      Curran co-teaches students with and without disabilities in an inclusive setting with teacher Karen Wallace, a special education teacher. Curran said that he enjoys working with students who may have experienced difficulties in school. “I want to show them that they can do it and push themselves further,” he said. Curran said that he hopes to add a special education credential to his license.
      Joining TFA, which places new teachers in traditionally underserved schools, became a turning point in Curran’s life. “I could stay with family or go some place completely different, but I was determined to go where I was needed or where I thought I could make an impact,” he said. The TFA program allowed Curran to earn his teaching license through an affiliate program with Johns Hopkins University. Curran is now pursuing his Masters degree while continuing to teach full-time.
Ocean View Community Center offers videoconferencing of Hawai`i County
Council and committee meetings tomorrow and Wednesday.
      At Na`alehu, Curran said he has encountered “overwhelmingly positive and collaborative experiences,” which has spurred forward his zeal for teaching. He added that the staff and administration have been very supportive. “It’s like a family,” he said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN PARTICIPATE in county government meetings this week. 
      Hawai`i County committee and full Council meetings are available via videoconferencing at Ocean View Community Center.
      All meetings, held at Council Chambers in Hilo, are live-streamed at hawaiicounty.gov. Click on Council Meetings on left side of page.
     Council committees meet tomorrow, with Planning at 9 a.m.; Finance, 9:45 a.m.; Agriculture, Water & Energy Sustainability, 10:30 a.m.; and Environmental Management, 1:30 p.m.
      Hawai`i County Council meets Wednesday at 9 a.m.
      Agendas for all meetings are available at hawaiicounty.gov.

Ka`u resident Dick Hershberger presents A Walk into the Past tomorrow
and every other Tuesday. Photo from KDEN
DURING A WALK INTO THE PAST tomorrow, Ka`u Resident Dick Hershberger brings Hawaiian Volcano Observatory founder Thomas Jaggar to life at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Participants meet at Kilauea Visitor Center Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and take a short walk to Whitney Vault. Free; park entrance fees apply. 

PROJECT VISION RETURNS TO KA`U this week with free vision screenings Wednesday at Na`alehu Community Center and Thursday at Pahala Community Center. Hours both days are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for keiki and adults.
      Call 929-8571 for more information.

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I SEA GRANT College Program holds free community workshops this week to give residents information about rainwater catchment systems, safety, monitoring and proper maintenance. Water quality testing kits and instructions will be provided to workshop attendees free of charge.
      Workshops take place at Ocean View Community Center Friday, March 6 
from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
; Na`alehu Community Center Saturday, March 7
 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
; and Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano, Saturday, March 7
 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

      For more information on these and other professional workshops, see arcsa.org.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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