Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hawai`i Forest & Trail is partnering with Edmund C. Olson Trust to increase eco-tours into Ka`u. Photos from Hawai`i Forest & Trail
GOV. DAVID IGE YESTERDAY WITHDREW his nomination of Carleton Ching as head of the Department of Land & Natural Resources when it became apparent that there were not enough votes in the Senate to approve his choice.
Gov. David Ige
      During the nomination process, Ching was on paid leave as Vice President, Community and Government Relations, for developer Castle & Cooke Hawai`i. At Castle & Cooke, he supports the organization’s real estate, agricultural and renewable energy initiatives. He has served on boards of the Building Industry Association and the Land Use Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes interests of the development industry.
      Almost one month ago, Ka`u’s State Sen. Josh Green, who serves as Senate majority leader, asked Ige to withdraw the nomination.
      “After meeting with Carleton Ching to discuss his nomination, I have determined that Mr. Ching is the wrong choice for Director of DLNR,” Green said at the time. “Although he is personally likable, he does not have the experience, background or expertise to lead this department. He simply is not qualified for the job.”
      Ka`u’s Sen. Russell Ruderman was one of five members of the seven-member Committee on Water & Land who one week ago recommended that the Senate not consent to the nomination. “The nominee’s career track has been the polar opposite of DLNR’s mission,” Ruderman said. “No nominee will know everything, but would we hire a tax director with no tax experience or an Attorney General with no law experience? Of course not. But this nominee has no experience toward the mission; a huge disqualification. To say that such subject matter experience is not necessary shows a surprising lack of respect to those who care so much. Management experience in no way compensates for subject matter experience.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u Coffee farms are stops on Hawai`i Forest & Trail tours.
HAWAI`I FOREST & TRAIL has launched a partnership with the Edmund C. Olson Trust that will bring more eco-tours into the backcountry of Ka`u. The two entities have partnered on a new base in Hilo to complement Hawai`i Forest & Trail’s headquarters in Kona. Hawai`i Forest & Trail will help propel the evolution of Hilo Bay Tours, which Olson Trust acquired several years ago, said Rob Pacheco, founder of Hawai`i Forest & Trail. 
      At a launch party held Tuesday night at Wainaku Executive Center in Hilo, Hawai`i Forest & Trail marketing director Jason Cohn talked about the increasing number of visitors who are seeking to immerse themselves in a respectful way into the nature and culture of Hawai`i.
      Hawai`i Forest & Tail employs four-wheel-drive vans and six-wheel, military-style Pinzgauers to visit forested areas on ranches and farms as well as appropriate coastal settings, Cohn said. Tours that include Ka`u have Ka`u Coffee Mill, macadamia orchards and Punalu`u on the agenda, as well as Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Honu`apo Overlook is one of many photos in a pdf guide of Ka`u Scenic Byway
available on Hawai`i Scenic Byways' website.
KA`U SCENIC BYWAY COMMITTEE reported that Hawai`i County Department of Parks and Recreation has approved panels for an informational kiosk at Na`alehu Park. Once the final signs are ready, they will be delivered to Parks and Recreation, who will erect them. Proofs should be available for approval within two to three weeks. An unveiling ceremony will be announced once the kiosk is complete. 
      A pdf guide to Ka`u Scenic Byway has been posted on the state byway website, hawaiiscenicbyways.org, with photos and commentary on each of the primary sites and additional notes on other locations.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE U.S. SENATE HAS NAMED Sen. Mazie Hirono Vice Chair of the U.S.-China Interparliamentary Group – the U.S. Senate’s official dialogue mechanism with the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. The group serves as a forum for discussion of matters of mutual interest and maintaining a healthy dialogue with legislative leaders of both countries.
Sen. Mazie Hirono
      “Hawai`i is the gateway to the Pacific, and dialogue with China is ever more critical to enhancing our economic, diplomatic and security ties with the Asia-Pacific region,” Hirono said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and holding frank discussions on a wide range of issues important to our bilateral relations including regional security, energy, tourism and expanding small business opportunities.”
      Twelve U.S. senators make up the group, which holds annual conferences with senior Chinese parliamentary leaders. In 2004, group was started by Sens. Daniel K. Inouye and Ted Stevens, who served as first Vice Chair and Chair, respectively.
      The appointment to serve on the group builds on Hirono’s work on U.S.-China relations as Co-Chair of the Senate U.S. China Working Group and her efforts to implement visa reforms that would make it easier for Chinese tourists and students to visit and study in America. Hirono has long championed the extension of visitor visas between the U.S. and China, which was officially changed from one to ten years of maximum validity under a bilateral agreement reached in November 2014.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
TODAY, ON THE 12TH ANNIVERSARY of the Iraq War, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Pennsylvania’s Republican Rep. Scott Perry launched the Congressional Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus. The caucus will include a bipartisan group of representatives who have served in the military after 9/11 and who are dedicated to issues related to our newest generation of veterans. The caucus’ legislative agenda will focus on the 2.8 million veterans who have served and deployed since 9/11 and provide a forum for this new generation of veterans to voice their concerns and ideas. 
      “Taking care of our brothers and sisters in uniform who have selflessly served our country must be a priority for Congress,” Gabbard said. “The bond that exists between those of us who have served spans across all generations. As members of Congress who share the experience of this newest generation of veterans, we have the privilege of serving as their voice, working toward ensuring that their unique concerns are addressed and that their ideas and potential are realized. I am pleased to join my friend and fellow veteran Congressman Scott Perry in bringing our newest generation of veterans into focus, and the challenges they face as they come home and transition back into civilian life. “This Congress recently passed bipartisan legislation, the Clay Hunt SAV Act, that will help our returning service members. This is a first step toward the great work that still remains to empower, care for and serve those who have so selflessly served our nation.”
      Gabbard and Perry, both veterans of the Iraq war, will serve as co-chairs of the caucus.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Three moons of Jupiter and two shadows from NASA Hubble Space Telescope.
From lower left are Europa and its shadow, Callisto and its shadow and Io.
ASTRONOMER LEW COOK DISCUSSES JUPITER’S moons in the current issue of Stars Over Ka`u. 
      “The orbits of Jupiter’s larger moons are in the same plane as Jupiter’s orbit around the sun, so we frequently see the shadows of the moons on the face of Jupiter,” Cook says. “The moons are also seen crossing in front of Jupiter’s multi-colored cloud bands. Last month, we were treated to three shadows at once. The moons Io, Europa and Callisto crossed over Jupiter’s cloud bands behind the shadows of the respective moons. During the event, the Hubble space telescope took several pictures, one of which is shown here.
      “The moon Io has many volcanoes, several of which are erupting at the same time. Contrary to the Earth, where radioactivity is the predominant source of heat, the main energy source at Io comes from tidal action. Being the innermost moon of Jupiter’s four large moons, it feels strongly the tidal effects of Jupiter as it rotates and revolves. Tidal forces change Io’s shape by as much as 300 feet. This squeezing one way and the other heats the interior of Io so much that it causes volcanoes to erupt. Tides influence not only water on earth, but also the shape of our planet, but not by much, less than one foot.”
      See kaucalendar.com for more.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HIGH BOYS VARSITY volleyball team got back on track with a win over Kohala yesterday. Scores in the three-game match were 25-20, 30, 28 and 25-22. 
      The boys travel to Kealakehe tomorrow, with the match beginning at 6 p.m.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE for Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island’s third annual Youth of the Year Banquet & Awards Ceremony tomorrow from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. The theme is Inspiring Youth, and participants can dress as what they wanted to be when they were young.
      To purchase tickets and for more information, contact Gail Hamasu at gail@bgcbi.org or 961-5536.

HALAU KALEHUAKI`EKI`EIKA`IU HOLDS A GARAGE SALE Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pukeawe Circle in Volcano Golf Course Subdivision. There will be all kinds of bargains, treasures, knick-knacks, clothing, books, household items, furniture, plants and many other items for sale. A bake sale offers hot baked goodies from halau members and Aunty Pua’s Na Mea Ono.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf and
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_March2015.pdf.

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