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Ka`u News Briefs Monday, March 9, 2015

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Aloha Bluegrass Band, with Keoki Kahumoku and friends, will raise money for children's education workshops with a concert at Na`alehu Methodist Church on Sunday, March 22. Photo by Julia Neal
BRAD HIRATA IS LEAVING KA`U HOSPITAL to become Food Services Manager at Kealakehe High School. “He is very private and doesn’t want any fanfare at the hospital,” said hospital Administrator Merilyn Harris, “but we want to say how sad we are that he is leaving.”
      “In the 11 plus years that he has been here, he has made such a difference,” Harris said. “He has made outstanding meals for our patients/residents and staff, but more than that, he has been a constant force for good – always wiling to go out of his way to help. He truly demonstrates the aloha spirit, and we’re all going to miss him.”
Brad Hirata Photo from Merilyn Harris
      The hospital is looking for his replacement as Food Services Manager II. Required experience includes participation in menu planning, food and supply purchasing, quantity cooking, fiscal record keeping and supervision of kitchen assistants, including cooks. Experience in food service management may be gained in commercial ventures such as restaurants, hotels, airline food services, as well as schools, hospitals and correctional institutions.
      Substitutions of training for experience are allowed. See hilomedicalcenter.org for more information.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE STATE SENATE ON WEDNESDAY at 10 a.m. takes up Gov. David Ige’s controversial nomination of Carleton Ching as head of the Department of Land & Natural Resources. In advance of the public hearing on Wednesday, the Senate asked Ching to answer questions and submit a resume to provide residents with information on his background.
      Ching’s resume states that he is Vice President of Community and Government Relations for developer Castle & Cooke Hawai`i. Returning in 2003, he also was previously employed by Castle and Cooke in the real estate development section. He represents the company in various community, public and governmental strategic planning, policy and outreach covering issues related to areas of residential, commercial, agricultural, resort and renewable energy operations and developments on O`ahu, Lana`i and the Big Island.
      Ige’s announcement of Ching’s appointment stated, “Stewardship of Hawai`i’s unique resources is one of the most critical tasks of the state government, and Carleton Ching has the heart, knowledge and skills to lead the Department of Land & Natural Resources. No one understands better the complex issues this department handles and how to balance the need of our environment and our residents.”
      The Senate asked Ching to describe his experiences prior to his nomination where he dealt with any of the issues DLNR handles and how he balanced the needs of the environment and residents in each of those experiences.
      “Heading the community and government relations for Castle & Cooke has provided me exposure to and familiarity with a range of land management and stewardship responsibilities and issues,” Ching responded. “Castle & Cooke and its sister Company Dole Foods Hawai`i are not just developers, since only a relatively small portion of their landholdings are held for development. Castle & Cooke and Dole landholdings (until recently) have included over 88,000 acres of land on Lana`i, most of which is conservation and agricultural land, and large agricultural and conservation acreage on O`ahu.” 
      Ching listed many land management programs he has been involved in, including critical habitat areas established on Lana`i, water resource and game management, conservation easements, watersheds, wind and solar farms, leasing of ag lands and designating acreage as Important Agriculture Lands.
      “These experiences provide a baseline of land stewardship practices, issues, public policy, community engagement, understanding, legislative process and management,” Ching said. “This perspective will assist me in the much bigger scope and responsibilities of DLNR’s mission.”
      Ching’s resume and answers to more questions are available at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      The public can also provide testimony on GM 514 before 10 a.m. tomorrow to be included in Wednesday’s hearing.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Jodi Leong
GOV. DAVID IGE HAS ANNOUNCED members of his communications team. Ige tapped former television anchor/reporter Jodi Leong to be his Press Secretary and Deputy Director of Communications.
Yasmin 
      Leong has served as Director of Communications at University of Hawai`i since 2012. Prior to that, she spent 21 years in local television news starting at KITV in 1991 as a producer, reporter and weekend co-anchor. In 2000, Leong moved to KHNL where she was weeknight co-anchor. She returned to KITV in 2006 as a reporter and later helped launch the inaugural weekend morning newscast. 
      Leong graduated from Castle High School before attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst College and the University of Hawai`i, where she earned a B.A. degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science.
      Yasmin Dar joins the communications team as the governor’s Digital Media Specialist. Yasmin spent the last six years in television news as an anchor, reporter and producer. She recently moved back from Eugene, Oregon where she anchored the evening news. Prior to that, Dar was KITV Morning Show’s traffic anchor and Social Media Reporter. Dar will design, develop and deploy a two-way environment online to connect the governor with his constituents.
      Dar is a graduate of Aiea High School and University of Hawai`i at Manoa. She graduated with a B.A. in biology and an M.A. in Communications.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sen. Brian Schatz is calling for the FCC to maintain an open Internet.
Image from Office of Sen. Schatz
SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ CALLS FOR AN OPEN INTERNET in an article published by Huffington Post on why net neutrality is critical for innovation, economic and intellectual freedom and a thriving Internet. This month the Federal Communications Commission is poised to adopt rules to ensure that an open and robust Internet continues. Schatz believes these rules must contain three essential elements: no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization. 
      “Why has the Internet worked so well? Because it’s a level playing field,” Schatz said. “Everyone has an equal opportunity to compete, to succeed or to fail, to put one’s best ideas or products forward and let the chips fall where they may.
      “Through a free and open Internet, an excellent idea or an individual can beat a powerful established institution. A scrappy student can challenge the status quo and come up with an innovation to change the world. Almost any citizen with an Internet connection can be heard across the globe and drive millions toward change.
      “But we need rules to make sure that in the battle of content – of music, of ideas, of games, of apps, whatever – it is a fair fight, and that winners and losers are determined by the quality of the content and nothing else… .
      “But without clear net-neutrality protections, companies could alter their incentives and business practices. In order to maximize their bottom line, providers may give preference to Internet traffic from companies willing to pay more for faster delivery. Internet Service Providers would be able to charge Internet companies for better, faster access and impede others.”
      See schatz.senate.gov.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE NEW KA`U ALOHA FORUM IS HOSTING its second event this year in less than two weeks. Featuring Keoki Kahumoku and the Aloha Bluegrass Band, it will be held at Na`alehu Methodist Church Sunday, March 22, with pupus at 5 p.m. Program is from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
      All proceeds are being donated to the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies. Suggested donation for tickets is $20, and seating is limited. One lucky ticket will win a brand new `ukulele.
      Tickets are available at Ka`u Realty in Na`alehu and Pahala Plantation Cottages Office in Pahala. Make checks payable to Center for Hawaiian Music Studies and mail to Woodley White at PO Box 44, Na`alehu, 96772 or RSVP to Woodley@easystreet.net or 854-9483.

SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.









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