Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, May 7, 2015

A new study estimates healthcare costs of emissions from Kilauea Volcano. Photo by Peter Anderson
KILAUEA VOLCANO’S EMISSIONS from the summit eruption that began in 2008 have increased healthcare costs in the state by more than $6.2 million, according to a study by the Economic Research Organization at University of Hawai`i.
      Researchers concluded that particulate matter formed by sulfur dioxide increases pulmonary-related hospitalization, especially among the very young.
      “Air quality conditions in Hawai`i are typically ranked the highest in the nation except when the largest stationary source of SO2 pollution in the United States is erupting,” the report states. “We observe a strong statistical correlation between volcanic emissions and air quality in Hawai`i.”
      See uhero.hawaii.edu/products/view/488.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Keone Grace
KEONE GRACE IS THE NEW Institutional Food Services Manager at Ka`u Hospital. Grace comes has many years of food industry experience in both retail and health care settings. “We are enjoying his can-do attitude and eagerness to learn about the needs of our patients and staff,” hospital Administrator Merilyn Harris said. 
      Grace replaces Brad Hirata, who is now Food Services Manager at Kealakehe High School.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

TWO KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN Focused Discussions will be held Saturday at Na`alehu Community Center. The topic at 9 a.m. is Agriculture, and at 1 p.m., Coastal Management.
       The discussions are opportunities for community members to expand their understanding of the CDP and the rationale behind particular strategies. They are also opportunities to provide new information, suggest alternative CDP strategies and propose additional areas of analysis.
       The discussions are designed to be friendly, fact-driven and learning-oriented. They are not formal meetings, opportunities to testify or debates. Planner Ron Whitmore said participants should come with an open mind and a sincere interest in finding the most effective CDP strategies to achieve the community’s objectives.
       During the morning session about agriculture, planners anticipate covering sub-topics like ag zones and permitted uses, farm land preservation, infrastructure improvements to expand agriculture (e.g., water, energy, amendments), and barriers farmers face like land tenure, diversification and value chain development.
       During the afternoon session about coastal management, sub-topics for discussion will likely include shoreline setbacks, public access and trails, South Point management, resort development and the future of Punalu`u.
       County planners familiar with these issues will be on hand and equipped with background material and geographic information systems to support the discussion and do “on the fly” analysis.
Ka`u's coast and agriculture are topics at Ka`u CDP discussions Saturday.
Photo by Peter Anderson
       The discussions will be facilitated and organized roughly as follows:
  1. Brief overview; 
  2. Round robin among participants to suggest questions and sub-topics for discussion; 
  3. Short break to organize the discussion; 
  4. Brief summary of CDP strategies designed to achieve related community objectives; 
  5. Discussion by question and sub-topic. 
       Participants’ questions, comments and suggestions will be documented. As appropriate, the CDP Planning Team will use outputs of the discussion to do additional analysis, refine the CDP rationale and/or recommend CDP revisions.
       A similar discussion about potential development in Discovery Harbour is scheduled for Tuesday, May 12 at 10 a.m. Focused Discussions about other topics can also be scheduled.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NEW YORK TIMES’ EDITORIAL BOARD recently published an article in support of the Thirty Meter Telescope. 
      “Sometime in the 2020s, when an international consortium completes the Thirty Meter Telescope, the most powerful telescope on the planet, astronomers will gaze from the 14,000-foot summit of Mauna Kea volcano, on the Big Island of Hawai`i, out to the edge of the observable universe.
       “Or maybe they won’t. With a militant advocacy not often seen in the Aloha State, a small group of Native Hawaiians and their sympathizers have managed to stall the $1.4 billion project, which was to begin construction in April. They stood in front of trucks on the road to the summit and declared the telescope an abomination – to the Hawaiian people and their ancient religion, to the environment and to the mountain, revered in Hawaiian tradition as the piko, the navel, the island's sacred center.
      “Several were arrested last month. On Thursday the trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state agency charged with improving the well-being of Native Hawaiians, voted to rescind their 2009 vote of support for the telescope. Now they are officially noncommittal.
New York Times'Editorial Board supports the Thirty Meter Telescope.
       “The political eruption has left the telescope operators – the California Institute of Technology; the University of California; and research institutions in Canada, China, India and Japan – stranded. When they agreed this month to halt construction, Gov. David Ige thanked them for being ‘respectful and sensitive’ to native beliefs and culture.
       “It is not clear when the project will resume.
       “The protesters don’t speak for all Hawai`i residents, or even all Native Hawaiians, many of whom embrace the telescope. But it is easy to understand why they may feel fed up. Mauna Kea is a site of wonderment even before night falls and the stars come out by the billions. It is a habitat for threatened insects and birds, and rich in precious archaeological sites. It also has been stressed for decades.
       “The University of Hawai`i, which has managed the mountaintop since 1968 under a lease from the state, has at times been a sloppy steward. An embarrassing state audit in 1998 cited its failures to protect the summit's fragile ecology and cultural resources as it oversaw the development of a sprawling complex of more than a dozen observatories there. Over the decades it has collected little to no rent from its many scientific tenants. (The Thirty Meter Telescope is to be the rare exception, paying up to $1 million a year.) 
       “It’s hard to know if the anti-telescope furor has crested yet. The telescope builders have a strong claim to legitimacy, and they are being blamed for things they had nothing to do with – like the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom, the loss of native lands, the state’s many social ills and degraded environment. This is an unfair burden for a group that has spent years cultivating local support, navigating the approval process and successfully – so far – fending off lawsuits. It insists its paperwork is in order. It also points to plans to donate about $2 million a year to local causes like business incubation; job training; and scholarships in science, technology, engineering and math.
      “Mr. Ige, who has been far too withdrawn in this confrontation, needs to step up. If he thinks the telescope is an important asset that promises great benefits to Hawaii's residents and economy, not to mention to science and humanity at large, he should say so. If he thinks more needs to be done to protect the environment and native interests, he should say what that is and make it happen. His mild news releases urging more dialogue are not enough.
       “Coexistence may never satisfy the core group of protesters who have been demanding the total erasure of technology from Mauna Kea's peak. What is tragic is the missed opportunity for shared understanding, given that many of these protesters are themselves descendants of some of history's greatest astronomers, Polynesian wayfinders who set out across the Pacific a millennium ago, guided by the stars and currents, to find Mauna Kea in the first place.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

THE SIXTH ANNUAL MANUKA NARS CLEANUP is Saturday. Hawai`i Wildlife Fund and Natural Area Reserves invite Ka`u residents to the hiking cleanup along the rocky South Kona shoreline.
      For more information and to RSVP, email kahakai.cleanups@gmail.com.

ST JUDE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH in Ocean View hosts its annual Cinco de Mayo fiesta tomorrow. Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner is served from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., with live music provided by the Last Fling Band. Dinner includes cerdo verde enchiladas (pork with green chili sauce), salad, frijoles refritos (refried beans), drinks and dessert. Tickets are available at the door for $8 each or two for $15, or can be pre-purchased from Thom White, Elaine Meier or Cordelia Burt. The event contact number is 939-7555. Proceeds help fund St. Jude’s community service programs such as free hot showers, free hot lunch and free wifi.
      The church is at 92-8606 Paradise Circle in Ocean View (the southeast corner of Keaka Pkwy and Paradise Circle). “Bring a healthy appetite and your dancing shoes, and join in the fun all for a good cause,” said Madalyn McWhite Lamson.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_May2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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