Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, March 25, 2015

With humpback whales preparing to head north, the final Sanctuary Ocean Count for this year is Saturday. Photo from NOAA
BOTH RESTAURANTS IN VOLCANO HOUSE are set to reopen tomorrow after being closed for at least two days to investigate a kitchen fire that occurred Tuesday morning.
The Rim Restaurant and Uncle George's Lounge are set to reopen today
after a kitchen fire Tuesday. Photo from hawaiivolcanohouse.com
      The Rim Restaurant and Uncle George’s Lounge are closed as National Park Service investigators investigate the cause of the small blaze, said Hawai`i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC General Manager David Macilwraith. Volcano House Hotel remains open.
      Park rangers, Hawai`i County medics and Engine 19 responded quickly to the fire alarm and calls to park dispatch around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. A 42-year-old hotel employee suffered burns to his upper arms and was transported by county medics to the hospital.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I’S PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS have shown that the transformative, systemwide changes undertaken by the Hawai`i State Department of Education in the implementation of its 2011-18 Strategic Plan are paying off.

 The College and Career Indicators Report released by Hawai`i P-20 Partnerships for Education shows Hawai`i’s students have made steady, and in some cases, significant improvements in key indicators of college and career readiness, including Hawai`i State Assessment reading and mathematics scores, college enrollment and early credit attainment.
      The CCRI report provides a detailed look at accomplishments of Class of 2014 students in high schools statewide and provides a measurement of their readiness for college and career.
Kathryn Matayoshi
      Hawai`i State Assessment proficiency scores in mathematics increased 11 percentage points to 60 percent for the Class of 2014 from 49 percent for the Class of 2012, while reading proficiency rose to 72 percent from 67 percent. These gains are reflected in graduates’ readiness for college-level coursework in both increased enrollment in college-level math and English courses and decreased enrollment in remedial courses at University of Hawai`i campuses.
      “The progress reflected in this year’s report is a real tribute to the continued hard work and dedication of our students, educators and administrators,” Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “The graduating class of 2014 was the freshman class when Hawai`i first implemented Race to the Top reforms, so this CCRI report is significant in that it shows the positive impact of the reform efforts. There have been significant challenges in making these changes, but the resiliency and dedication of teachers, education leaders and everyone in our schools and communities to focus on what is best for students have allowed us to overcome the challenges and move the needle on student success. We’re setting high expectations with the Hawai`i Common Core and the new Smarter Balanced assessments so that students are ready to succeed once they graduate from high school, whether they choose to go to college or to begin an entry-level career.”
      Hawai`i P-20 Partnerships for Education, a statewide partnership led by the Executive Office on Early Learning, the Hawai`i State Department of Education and the University of Hawai`i System works to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve college and career success. Hawai`i P-20’s partners share a sense of urgency about the need to improve Hawai`i’s educational outcomes in an increasingly global economy and have established a goal of 55 percent of Hawai`i’s working age adults having a two- or four-year college degree by 2025.
      For more information, see http://www.p20hawaii.org .
      See hawaiipublicschools.org.
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Sen. Mazie Hirono
Sen. Brian Schatz
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE will allocate almost $3.3 million to Hawai`i for programs that prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests, diseases and pathogens, including the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle and other invasive species.
      “Hawai`i is home to many unique plants and animals found nowhere else in the world,” Sen. Brian Schatz said. “The indigenous wildlife of our islands must be preserved, and these funds from the USDA will help prevent the spread of invasive species and protect our ecosystem.
      Sen Mazie Hirono said, “As an island state, Hawai`i’s agricultural community faces unique challenges as we work to increase our food security. ... These grants provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will facilitate increased collaboration between federal, state and academic partners to strengthen protections for our growers against invasive species. I look forward to discussing these issues with members of our agricultural community and USDA officials in the coming weeks and months.”
      The bulk of the funds, $2.2 million, will be diverted to the rapid response to new detection of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle in Hawai`i – Year Two program. The program seeks to combat spread of the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, an invasive species that was first detected in Hawai`i in December of 2013.
      Additional funds will be allocated to the National Clean Plant Program, a program that seeks to ensure the availability of a healthy and clean national plant stock. These funds are provided through the Agricultural Act of 2014. In total the grant would provide an additional $3,289,278 in funding for Hawai`i.
      A multi-agency group has been working under the Incident Command System to manage this eradication program. Agencies currently involved include U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Navy, Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, Hawai`i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, UH-College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, O`ahu Invasive Species Committee and others.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES has passed the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2015.
      NAHASDA was first established in 1996 with the consolidation of several separate assistance programs, provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, into a single block grant program. In 2000, NAHASDA was amended to add Title VIII – Housing Assistance for Native Hawaiians. The amendment adds similar programs for Native Hawaiians who reside on Hawaiian Home Lands to the NAHASDA legislation.
      “Since its enactment, this legislation has strengthened indigenous self-determination by empowering Native people by addressing affordable housing needs,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “In my home state of Hawai`i, it has increased homeownership among Native Hawaiians, bringing hope to many people who are living paycheck to paycheck. ... It is an important step toward removing roadblocks to economic success, not only in Hawai`i but in Native communities across the country.
      “I am extremely pleased that Congress passed the NAHASDA Reauthorization. This crucial piece of legislation reaffirms the commitment of the United States to the Native peoples of our country. NAHASDA not only helps with providing funding for housing programs, but also provides vital resources to foster the indigenous cultures of our great nation. Hawai`i has one of the highest costs of living in the nation, so support through NAHASDA is essential for Native Hawai`i families who wish to remain on their ancestral lands. I would like to extend a warm mahalo to my colleagues in the House … who fought to reauthorize NAHASDA and recognize its vital importance in regards to fostering the indigenous cultures of America.”
      The House passed NAHASDA with a vote of 297-98.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u Learning Academy screens Secrets of the Mummy Dinosaur Sunday.
Photo from Joe Iacuzzo
KA`U LEARNING ACADEMY SCREENS THE FILM Secrets of the Mummy Dinosaur this Sunday, March 29 at 6:15 p.m. at the charter school’s Discovery Harbour campus. Following the video, KLA Managing Director Joe Iacuzzo, one of the show’s producers, gives a talk on the role Thomas Jefferson played in the fossil history of America. 
      KLA begins teaching grades three through six in the 2015-2016 school year. “This is a great opportunity to meet fellow students and family members,” Iacuzzo said.
      For more information, call 213-1097.

HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND’S VEHICLES are full for Saturday’s Ka`u Coast Cleanup, but residents can still sign up and use their own 4WD vehicles. Volunteers meet at Wai`ohinu Park at 7:45 a.m. to carpool/caravan to Kamilo Point. Register at 769-7629 or kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com

THE FINAL SANCTUARY OCEAN COUNT of 2015 takes place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Volunteers count and monitor whales at various coastal sites including South Point, Punalu`u and Ka`ena Point. Preregistration is required at sanctuaryoceancount.org.


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

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