Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, June 26, 2015

Maunakea Visitor Information Station is closed due to safety issues on roads leading to the summit. Photo from MKVIS

BOULDERS AND ROCK STRUCTURES have been removed from the gravel road leading to the summit of Mauna Kea. The obstructions caused workers trying to restart construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope to turn around Wednesday. The Office of Mauna Kea Management worked collaboratively with volunteers to ensure the rocks were safely and properly cleared from the roadway.
       The road has been temporarily closed until further notice. The Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan authorizes the University of Hawai`i to close the road in the event of hazardous conditions and emergencies.
      The Maunakea Visitor Information Station is also closed until further notice.
      Gov. David Ige said he plans to ensure lawful access on Mauna Kea. “We are a patient people in Hawai`i,” Ige said. “We listen to and understand differing points of view, and we respect the many cultures of this land, especially that of the host culture. I have done my very best to follow this process in the case of Mauna Kea and set forth a way forward that I believe is reasonable.
       “We expected there to be a protest when construction resumed, and there was. We hoped we would not have to arrest people but were prepared to do so, and we did when they blocked the roadway. We also saw, in what amounts to an act of vandalism, the roadway blocked with rocks and boulders. We deployed to remove the rocks and boulders, but the protesters wisely chose to remove them themselves.
       “And then we saw more attempts to control the road. That is not lawful or acceptable to the people of Hawai`i. So let me be very direct: The roads belong to all the people of Hawai`i, and they will remain open. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure lawful access. We expect there to be more types of challenges, good and bad days, and we are in this for the long run. We value TMT and the contributions of science and technology to our society, and we continue our support of the project’s right to proceed.
      “We are currently working to find ways to enable the TMT project to proceed safely without putting workers, protestors and the general public at risk.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dr. Sarah Park
HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S Epidemiologist Sarah Park asked physicians to be on alert for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. In a letter sent to health care providers, Park said, “The risk of MERS-CoV (Coronavirus) infection for Hawai`i residents is low; however, given the speed and frequency of global travel, we must continue to monitor for any potential cases and be prepared to manage them.”
      Large numbers of military personnel travel between Hawai`i and South Korea. Hawai`i is seeing increasing numbers of visitors from Korea, which is currently experience a major outbreak of MERS. In a story in Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Kristen Consillio reported that South Korea had 100 cases last week and quarantined more than 5,000 people. 
      Toby Clairmont, director of emergency services at the Healthcare Association of Hawai`i, told Consillio the disease can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes directly on someone. “That’s why people that have been affected largely have been health care workers,” he said.
      “It doesn’t pose a great threat to Hawai`i, but we want to make sure if a suspect case does get here we work closely with DOH and the military to manage the case safely and effectively,” he added.
      Park told physicians that to date, there has been no evidence for sustained human-to-human transmission in the community. “Stringent adherence to basic infection control principles is critical to preventing disease transmission,” she said. 
      See staradvertiser.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS THE LAW of the land. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court made it legal for same-sex couples to wed across the country. Until today, such marriages were still illegal in 14 states. 
      In its 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment requires all states to allow marriage between same-sex couples and to recognize marriage between same-sex couples when their marriages were lawfully performed out-of-state.  Obergefell combined four cases with same-sex plaintiffs seeking to marry in Michigan and Kentucky, as well as same-sex plaintiffs seeking to have their out-of-state marriages recognized in Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The U.S. Supreme Court today made same-sex marriage legal across the country.
Photo from Office of Sen. Brian Schatz
      “In 1993, Hawai`i galvanized the national conversation on the right of same-sex couples to marry,” Gov. David Ige said. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ I was proud to be part of that arc when I voted for marriage equality in Hawai`i in 2013 as a state Senator. Hawai`i has truly led the way. Now more Americans than ever support marriage equality, and our nation’s highest court has affirmed that it is a fundamental right for all Americans. This is a great day for Hawai`i and for our country. I echo President Obama’s words this morning when he said that ‘we have made our union a little more perfect.’”
      Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “Today’s ruling is a moment for celebration, an opportunity to thank everyone who fought tirelessly to make today a reality, and a chance to reflect on the great strides that have been made.
      “Fighting for equality and tolerance has been central to my work as a public servant. In 1998, I was the only statewide elected official in Hawai`i to stand up and oppose an anti-same sex marriage amendment that would deny rights to gay and lesbian couples.
      “It is an honor and privilege to represent the state of Hawai`i, where we welcome all. In 2013, we were one of the first states to sign marriage equality into law.
      I hope you join me in standing up for equality and celebrating this historic day.”
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the Supreme
Court's majority decision approving
same-sex marriage.
      Sen. Brian Schatz said, “Today’s Supreme Court decision is a big win for gay rights, for civil rights and for human rights. Every committed couple, whether they are gay or straight, deserves to be treated equally under the law. With this historic ruling, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed what most Americans already know – the Constitution protects the rights of every American, regardless of who they love.”
      Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “I applaud the Supreme Court’s ruling today. Some countries in the world are theocracies. Fortunately, the United States of America is not one of them. Therefore, as long as the government is involved in marriage, it must do so with fairness — treating all Americans equally. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is an important victory to this end.”
      On his Facebook page, Ka`u state Sen. Russell Ruderman quoted from Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s decision: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. 
      “It is so ordered.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U AGRICULTURAL WATER Cooperative District meets tomorrow at 8 a.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill. For more information, call Jeff McCall at 928-6456. Following tomorrow’s meeting, KAWCD members are invited to a conflict resolution workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ka`u Coffee Mill. 
      Scott Enright, Chair of Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, will present an update on water access through state agencies.

VISITORS TO THE KAHUKU UNIT of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park can join free guided walks this weekend.
      Participants learn about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower on an easy one-mile walk tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.. Free. Call 985-6011 for more information.
      The Birth of Kahuku on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. explores Kahuku’s rich geologic history, traversing the vast 1868 lava flow. Participants see different volcano features and formations and identify many parts of the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa on this guided, easy-to-moderate hike.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf and

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