Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ka`u Junior Lifeguard Program participants cleaned up the beach at Kawa yesterday. Photo from Lui Sales
KA`U JUNIOR LIFEGUARD PROGRAM participants cleaned up the beach at Kawa yesterday. The junior lifeguard program, which takes place for two weeks each summer, teaches kids ages 12 to 17 about ocean safety and beach rescue skills. Topics include an introduction to water safety, first aid, CPR and surf rescue techniques with an emphasis on ocean swimming and paddle boarding. 
      Helping out with the program were lifeguards Kevin Ohara, Kaleo Huddy, Rob Patterson and Ryan Kuamo`o and firefighters Lui Sales, Ash Kanahele and Ryan Brown.
      “This program is so great, and I really enjoy working with the kids and giving back to the community in two ways,” Sales said. “First is teaching the kids ocean safety and beach rescues such as first aid and CPR, and second is maybe one day when someone is in need of rescue or first aid, one of these kids may implement what they’ve learned and save someone's life. It’s so awesome how the kids respond to our instruction and how much fun we have.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PacIOOS updates currents at Hilo Bay hourly online.
A NEW DATA SET OF DIRECTION and speed of ocean surface currents in Hilo Bay is now available online. Hourly updates are free and accessible to the public on Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System’ interactive mapping platform Voyager. 
      Mapping ocean surface currents in near real-time provides valuable data for search and rescue operations by narrowing down the possible location of the missing person or vessel. The new data set also helps forecast distribution of oil or hazardous material spills, making it crucial to plan an adequate response. Marine navigation can benefit from near real-time surface currents for safe navigation. Other examples of surface currents data usage include water quality monitoring and forecast modeling.
      “We are excited about the new ocean surface current data for Hilo,” said Jason Adolf, Associate Professor and Chair of the Marine Science Department at the University of Hawai`i-Hilo. “It complements the PacIOOS wave buoy and water quality buoy off Hilo Harbor.”
      Adolf said the new data set also contributes to educational activities for the university’s marine science curriculum and helps raise public awareness in partnership with Mokupapapa Discovery Center.”
      See http://goo.gl/jc04t7.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Junji Takasago and Megan Lamson Photo from HWF
HAWAI`I WILDLIFE FUND’S Marine Debris Project has received a crowd-funded donation of $4,000 from 255 donors across Japan. Project coordinator and marine biologist Megan Lamson met up with nature photographer and ocean advocate Junji Takasago to accept the funds last month. 
       Lamson said the donation will be used to continue beach cleanups and outreach work related to marine debris on Hawai`i Island. HWF and volunteers have removed over 177 U.S. tons of marine debris in Hawai`i since beginning cleanup efforts in 2003.
      HWF estimates that at least 15 to 20 tons of marine debris wash ashore annually along a 10-mile stretch of shoreline in Ka`u and South Kona and will continue to do so until reduction of single-use plastic consumption occurs around the globe.
      “Marine debris is a people problem, and because of that it gives us hope, as people can also fix this problem,” said marine scientist Stacey Breining, HWF’s Marine Debris Mentor and Outreach Specialist.
        “Our team with Hawai`i Wildlife Fund is most honored to accept this generous donation for marine debris removal efforts and communication related to the Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting Japanese tsunami,” Lamson said. “We are humbled by the generosity of this crowd-funded project and hope to maintain contact with the organizers and the 255 contributors into the future.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Chief of Staff Mike McCartney
accompanied Gov. Ige in Japan.
GOV. DAVID IGE RETURNED from Japan yesterday after his first international trip as governor. 
      In 3.5 days, Ige attended 19 meetings and events, including a 30-minute meeting with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The governor and Chief of Staff Mike McCartney also met with various travel industry partners and leaders and a range of corporations and businesses to discuss tourism to Hawai`i, easing access to the Hawaiian Islands through the pre-clearance program and a variety of ways to boost economic and business development in the Hawaiian Islands.
      “It was a positive, insightful and successful trip,” Ige said. “We were welcomed with aloha and reminded that Japan and Hawai`i’s businesses and communities share similar values. Our relationship with Japan is extremely important, and these face-to-face meetings were essential. Japan and Hawai`i already have strong economic, cultural and education ties, and we intend to build upon those ties and relationships as we look toward the future.”
      First Lady Dawn Ige joined the governor on the trip, visiting a sister-city school in Chigasaki as a representative of the state of Hawai`i. Students from the school are planning to visit Hawai`i next year.
      Japan is the state’s number one international market with up to 19 flights a day from six cities to the Hawaiian Islands, bringing in an annual 1.5 million visitors who spend about $2.5 billion a year. That results in $260 million in state tax revenue.

UPON HIS RETURN FROM JAPAN, Gov. David Ige signed into law Act 124, which grants high school diplomas to veterans of the armed forces who were not able to complete their education because of compulsory service in the armed services of the United States during World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.
      Act 124 continues the Hawai`i State Department of Education’s Honorary Kupono Diploma program that was established in 2007 with Act 101, which is set to expire on June 30.
Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and other Department of Education
personnel join Gov. David Ige for his signing of Act 124.
Photo from Office of the Governor
      The statute establishes a program within DOE that not only grants high school diplomas to veterans of the armed forces, but also recognizes Japanese-Americans who were not able to complete high school because they were relocated to internment camps during World War II.
      Since 2008, DOE has awarded 26 high school diplomas, with 25 going to military veterans and one to an internment honoree.
      SB 181/Act 124 continues this program for an additional five years, until 2020.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NO SMOKING IN HAWAI`I IF UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE. Gov. David Ige signed the historic tobacco legislation into law yesterday. When enacted on Jan. 1, 2016, Act 122 will make Hawai`i the first state to prohibit the sale, purchase, possession or consumption of cigarettes, other tobacco products and electronic smoking devices to anyone under age 21.
      “Raising the minimum age as part of our comprehensive tobacco control efforts will help reduce tobacco use among our youth and increase the likelihood that our keiki will grow up to be tobacco-free,” Ige said.
      Hawai`i County is one of a handful of cities and counties to have already raised the MLA to 21, having passed the bill last year.
      Ige also signed a bill that makes Hawai`i state parks and beaches smoke-free. Currently, all city and county parks in Hawai`i are smoke-free with the exception of Kaua`i County. The state law will apply to all facilities within the state Park System administered by the Department of Land and Natural Resources as of July 1, 20`5.
      To assist Hawai`i residents comply with the new legislation, tobacco and e-cigarette users are encouraged to contact the Hawai`i Tobacco Quitline for support and free resources, including approved nicotine delivery devices. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or see www.hawaiiquitline.org to learn more.
      For more information about Hawai`i’s Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, see www.health.hawaii.gov/tobacco.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

MEMBERS OF KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER Cooperative District are invited to a conflict resolution workshop a week from today on Saturday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill. The workshop, sponsored by The Kohala Center, presents skills that current and future board members need in conflict prevention, management and resolution in order for co-ops to be effective.
      Scott Enright, Chair of Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, will present an update on water access through state agencies. 
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RURAL HEALTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, Inc. provides information about its pilot Community Health Worker Program at a meeting this Thursday, June 25 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Ka`u Resource & Distance Learning Center in Pahala.
Ka`u residents can learn about a Community Health Worker Program Thursday.
      Registration is required. Call 928-0101 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PARTICIPANTS DISCOVER HAWAIIAN goddesses Hi`iaka and Pele and natural phenomena they represent on a moderate one-mile walk tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers Father’s Day Buffet tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Main entrees are prime rib, shrimp Alfredo with mushrooms and Asian-infused Hawaiian ono. Adult price is $27; child, $14.50.
      Call 967-8356 for more details. Park entrance fees apply.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_June2015.pdf.

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