Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Helicopters joined ground crews to battle yesterday's fire at Green Sands subdivision. Photo by Pamela Taylor
A BRUSHFIRE DESTROYED ONE HOME in Green Sands subdivision yesterday. Residents of that home and several more had evacuated after Hawai`i County Civil Defense warned of danger due to high winds and heavy smoke. The Red Cross opened a shelter an Na`alehu Community Center.
Winds move clouds and smoke from the Green Sands fire west.
Photo by Shalan Crysdale
      At 9 p.m., Civil Defense reported the fire 50 percent contained and allowed evacuated residents to return home.
      Fire and emergency personnel were on scene all night working to contain the fire.
      As of 5 p.m. yesterday, 15 acres of dry brush had burned, which according to resident Bob Martin on his Facebook page, is the equivalent of 60 lots on Pele, Mark Twain and Mauka Streets. Wind and rough terrain made the fire difficult to control.
      According to Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, Assistant Chief Gantry Andrade said a caller to Hawai`i Fire Department said he “had started a controlled burn, but the fire got away from them.”
      Firefighters worked on the ground and in the air to stop the blaze. A fire department helicopter and another private one made water drops.
      Andrade said two bulldozers, one county and one private, cut firebreaks.
      Martin thanked Hawai`i County Police and Fire Departments, volunteers and neighbors for a job well done. “I’ll be sleeping in my bed tonight, after all,” he said.
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Keawe Lanakila Liu
KEAWE LANAKILA LIU IS VICE PRESIDENT of advancement and innovation at The Kohala Center. Liu assumes the newly created role on July 1. 
      Over the course of his 20-year career, Liu has established a successful track record in advancement, educational leadership, small business administration and developing innovative partnerships and collaboration strategies to build collective support for community-based programs. He joins The Center from his current role as the executive director of the Pauahi Foundation, where he is responsible for developing strategic initiatives for the advancement of Native Hawaiian education. While at Pauahi, he co-founded Mahi`ai Matchup, a program that provides local farmers with access to agricultural lands held by Kamehameha Schools, and started the Paka Ua Movement, which leveraged community and corporate partnerships to increase scholarships for Native Hawaiians in schools across the islands and continental United States.
      “Hawai`i Island is a special place for me, and I’ve long admired The Kohala Center’s efforts to uphold it as an example of sustainable living – for Hawai`i and the world,” Liu said. “I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the momentum The Kohala Center has already created and to play a role in developing new and innovative ways to further its progress, especially through the development of its spectacular new campus on Kohala Mountain. This opportunity to join The Center and contribute to expanding its community of support for resource management, education and sustainability in agriculture and energy is one I simply could not pass up.”
     Dr. Kamanamaikalani Beamer, The Kohala Center’s president and chief executive officer, said, “Given his dedication to expanding educational opportunities for Hawai`i’s youth and his work to move our islands toward greater food and energy independence, Keawe’s interests and accomplishments are in perfect alignment with The Kohala Center’s values.” 
      The Kohala Center’s connections to Ka`u include annual Mellon Fellowship retreats, advising residents on formation and operation of cooperatives and school garden programs.
     To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Judy Mohr Peterson
JUDY MOHR PETERSON, PH.D. is the state Department of Human Services’ new Med-QUEST Division Administrator. Mohr Peterson, who is a nationally recognized leader in Medicaid, health care transformation and Affordable Care Act implementation, begins work on July 1 and brings 18 years of public health care experience to Hawai`i. She has served as Oregon’s State Medicaid Director since September 2009 and in that role was an architect of Oregon’s successful health system transformation and coverage expansion. During her tenure, local community and primary care increased through coordinated care organizations, which reduced emergency department visits and hospitalizations for chronic conditions for Medicaid clients. Oregon also began publicly reporting on health disparities, believing that is the first step to reducing those disparities and improving health for everyone. 
       “Dr. Peterson’s leadership as Medicaid director in Oregon is ideal for Hawai`i as we consider innovations within our own Medicaid programs,” said Gov. David Y. Ige. “I expect she will work closely with DHS Director Rachael Wong to reshape the culture of government and improve services for our keiki, kupuna and all Hawai`i people.”
      Throughout her career, Mohr Peterson’s work has focused on improving care for people who need it the most. Using the tools available as a major health care purchaser in Oregon, she brought physical, mental and dental services together in a way that puts patients at the center of care.
      “Health care services work best when they are focused on the people we serve,” Mohr Peterson said. “I look forward to working with Hawai`i communities to help bring new innovations for better health, better care and lower costs for everyone.”
      Mohr Peterson currently sits on the board of the National Association of Medicaid Directors and serves as an advisor to the National Organization for State and Local Officials. She also is a contributor to multiple organizations focused on health care delivery system and payment reform. In 2010, Mohr Peterson was named one of six Medicaid Director Fellows in the Robert Wood Johnson’s Medicaid Leadership Institute.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Last week was National Small Business Week. Image from SBA
DURING NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK, Sen. Mazie Hirono, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, introduced two pieces of legislation to help small businesses in Hawai`i and across the country grow and succeed. 
      “All small businesses in Hawai`i and across the country deserve a fair shot to succeed, and National Small Business Week serves as a reminder that small businesses create 90 percent of Hawai`i’s jobs, and entrepreneurs are at the forefront of building a more sustainable economy that creates opportunity and prosperity for all,” Hirono said. “The bills I’ve introduced this week focus on two things: helping make it easier for entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground and making it easier for clean energy entrepreneurs and manufacturers to access new markets and opportunities. As a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, I’ll continue fighting to make sure that anyone with ingenuity and commitment to working hard has the resources and support to start, build, and grow their business.”
      The Small Business Start-Up Savings Account Act would allow entrepreneurs to contribute up to $10,000 a year into an account that could be used for purchasing equipment or facilities, marketing, training or paying incorporation and accounting fees for starting a new business. Similar to an individual retirement account, spending from the account would not be included in gross income. Over a lifetime, entrepreneurs could accumulate $150,000 in their accounts, which could be taken out tax free.
      The Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing And Export Assistance Act will help small and medium-sized clean technology businesses find new markets in the United States and around the world by creating a Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Fund administered by the International Trade Administration. The fund would assist clean technology firms with export assistance, including finding and navigating foreign markets to export their goods and services abroad. The bill would expand domestic clean technology manufacturing industry by promoting policies that reduce production costs and encourage innovation, investment and productivity in the domestic clean energy technology industry, which would help domestic companies increase demand and create jobs.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hu, or kukui nut top Photo from NPS
HAWAI`I PACIFIC PARKS ASSOCIATION staff members share their knowledge and love of Hu: Kukui Nut Tops tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Hu is one of Hawai`i’s popular traditional arts. 

BIOBLITZ AND BIODIVERSITY & Annual Cultural Festival are coming up on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. For BioBlitz, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, students and the public join forces to discover and inventory as many living plants and creatures as possible in the park. The Biodiversity & Cultural Festival offer hands-on science and cultural exhibits, food, art and entertainment, plus the opportunity to meet individuals and organizations at the forefront of conservation, science and traditional Hawaiian culture – and learn how to join their efforts. Park entry fees are waived.


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

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