Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Three Mountain Alliance's summer student enrichment programs bring students from all of Hawai`i Island to Ka`u. Applications for this years programs are due Friday. Photo from `Imi Pono no ka `Aina
MAYOR BILLY KENOI SAID HE will cooperate in the state attorney general’s investigation of personal charges on his county-issued purchasing card. “I respect the decision by the Department of the Attorney General, and will cooperate fully as the process unfolds,” Kenoi said. “I remain committed to the people of Hawai`i Island and to my responsibilities as mayor,” Kenoi said. “I deeply regret the pain that this investigation will cause to my family and to the fine people of our community. I do not anticipate making further public statements regarding this matter.” Kenoi used the county credit card for some personal expenses for which he reimbursed and plans to reimburse, he said. The purchases were reported initially by West Hawai`i Today newspaper.
Former Mayor Harry Kim
      Hawai`i County Prosecutor Mitch Roth, who serves as a member of Kenoi’s Cabinet, asked state Attorney General Doug Chin to take the case to avoid any conflict of interest.
      As the investigation opens, various scenarios are being discussed in media, including Kenoi’s resignation, a recall election and impeachment. If Kenoi decides to resign, Managing Director Wally Lau would take his place until voters choose a new mayor in a special election.
      Under the Hawai`i County Charter, the mayor can be recalled or impeached if enough qualified residents sign a petition. Impeachment requires valid signatures of two percent of registered voters in the last general election. For a recall election, a number of signatures equal to or greater than 25 percent of all votes cast for mayor must be gathered.
      Former Mayor Harry Kim told Keoki Kerr, of Hawai`i News Now, that it’s too early for him to consider impeachment as an option. “He (Chin) has made the public announcement that he will proceed, and I will put my trust in that,” Kim said. “If there is wrongdoing, he will find; if there is not, he will find. I do put my faith in government. I know that’s not a right time to say it because of what we’re talking about, but I still do."
      See hawaiinewsnow.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NATIVE HAWAIIAN ASTROPHYSICIST Paul Coleman, of the Institute of Astronomy at UH-Manoa, gives his views on the Thirty Meter Telescope in MANA magazine.
Paul Coleman
       According to Coleman, TMT is “really trying to be a neighbor rather than a landlord. They really want to be a part of the islands and the people and its cultures. They have committed to a million dollars a year for workforce development. This is completely different from the other million a year that they are giving to just Hawaiian programs. They are really looking to build more local people for positions that are going to become available at the TMT, and that means helping (the students) get through college, offering assistance and setting up summer research (for them) with top-notch scientists and continue to get more and more (local people) interested and involved in a possible future with them. It’s a great thing. If you’re running a big project, you want local-grown people running that project because it makes more sense. I’m very proud of the fact that this is something that is a part of Hawai`i and we can make it even more a part of us. It’s something that we can all be proud of.”
       Coleman also explained financial misconceptions about the project. “I think the biggest misconception of the public is that millions of dollars are being made on Mauna Kea by these telescopes and that’s why the University of Hawai`i is so interested in doing it because it’s making so much money, and that’s not true. …
       Coleman explained that UH does not charge for viewing time. “The whole model for the telescope is that you invest in building the telescope and then, depending on the amount you invested into building it, you’re allowed a certain amount of viewing time forever as long as the thing is running,” he said. “There are some telescopes out there that are owned by private corporations that charge money, but we don’t charge. In fact, it’s kind of interesting because for the observers that are granted time at a telescope, the telescope will actually provide them with money for travel, especially if you’re a student. So (TMT on Mauna Kea) is in no way a money-making proposition. I should say that the business of the one-dollar lease is, at first, they were trying to bring high tech into Hilo to help overcome the devastation brought on by the tsunami in the ‘60s. The one dollar (lease) was actually enticement to come ... so, that dollar (lease) has always been a slap in the face, but it’s not really a slap in the face when you know historically where it came from."
      See more at welivemana.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE STATE SENATE HAS PASSED 135 House bills that address areas of domestic violence, beach protection, education, public safety, energy and a number of other measures aimed at ensuring the health and well-being of the residents of Hawai`i. A total of 197 bills have passed third reading by the Senate and will be returning to the House. A majority of the bills will go into conference committees where House and Senate conferees will convene to settle differences between each body’s drafts and negotiate a final amended version.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Malian Lahey
KA`U SPECIALTY COFFEE owner Malian Lahey is asking agriculture producers for comments and concerns that they would like her to present as a member of a panel on agriculture at the Hawai`i Democratic Convention. 
      Comments on Lahey’s facebook page include Hester Farm asking Lahey to speak about allowing streetside vending for small farmers.
      Marla Hunter, a member of Ka`u Farmers Union United, suggested, “Proposing that we farmers work with the hydroelectric power people might be a good match. Let’s be there when water conservation and energy use from hydroelectric is discussed or considered.
      Simon Russell, vice president of Hawai`i Farmers Union United, said, “It would be good to replace diversified agriculture in state statute with the USDA definition of sustainable ag. Diversity is too subjective of a term, as is sustainable, unless specifically defined.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

EARTH PATRIOT: ORIGINS, a project of Earth Patriot Productions, will be published a week from today to celebrate Earth Day. The book is a new young adult novel written by Howard Shapiro, former Recycle Hawai`i Education Director, in collaboration with Hawaiian culture and language consultant Leilehua Yuen and artist-musician Bolo, who will perform at the Ka`u Coffee Festival Ho`olaule`a on Saturday, May 2.
Howard Shapiro, Bolo and Leilehua Yuen
collaborated on Earth Patriot: Origins.
Photo from Howard Shapiro
      Earth Patriot: Origins is about the beginnings of a Hawaiian super-hero who incorporates into his life the best of traditional Native Hawaiian culture with that of modern society. It also speaks about the importance of `ohana and addresses environmental issues including climate change, GMOs and land and water rights. Appropriate for grade six through 12 readers, the novel promotes values and principles such as respecting cultures around the world, caring for others in need, respecting knowledge and wisdom of ancestors and using one’s creative talents to inspire others.
      For a preview, see earthpatriotproductions.com/news.html, call 985-8725 or email earthpatriots@gmail.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

APPLICATIONS FOR THREE MOUNTAIN ALLIANCE’S free `Imi Pono no ka `Aina Student Enrichment program are due Friday. Two sessions are scheduled beginning June 8 and June 29. 
      During each two-week program, students travel to natural areas across Hawai`i Island and meet with natural resource managers, research scientists and cultural practitioners. Through hands-on activities, service projects, journals and other sense-engaging lessons, students learn about and appreciate the natural and cultural history of island ecosystems and leave with a sense of place and responsibility.
      Students must be in grades six through 12 when applying. For more information, see threemountainalliance.org/students or contact Lahela Camara at 333-8241 or imipononokaaina@gmail.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Former Chamber President Dallas
Decker presented a scholarship to
Benjamin Houghton last year.
KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SCHOLARSHIP applications are due May 1. High school seniors and adults seeking to re-enter the educational system are encouraged to apply. Applicants are asked to write an essay about how their educational experience will benefit Ka`u. Preference will be given to those who intend to remain in or return to Ka`u and live here. 
      Scholarship money can be used for all college and vocational training and will range from $250 to $1,000. See kauchamber.org to download the application form. Call Lee McIntosh at 929-9872 with any questions. 

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER COOPERATIVE DISTRICT meets tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Royal Hawaiian Orchards field office in Pahala.
      For more information, call Jeff McCall at 937-1056.

VOLCANO ART CENTER presents Ka Hana Kapa tomorrow from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at its Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. The film documents the history of kapa in Hawai`i and follows the complex process of kapa making.
     A forum with kapa artists from Volcano follows the screening.
     The event is free, and donations are appreciated.

HAWAI`I FARMERS UNION UNITED meets Saturday at 9 a.m. at Gilligan’s Cafe in Discovery Harbour. President Greg Smith encourages new members to attend.
      For more information, email gailandgreg@mac.com.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_April2015.pdf.

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