Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015

Keiki hike Kilauea Iki Trail as part of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park's Every Kid in a Park program. Photos from NPS
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK invites all fourth-grade students to visit the park for free as part of the White House’s new Every Kid in a Park program. Starting today, fourth-grade students can now go to www.everykidinapark.gov to complete an activity and obtain a free annual entry pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including national parks.
Young park visitor Ethan displays the new Every Kid in a Park
free pass for fourth-graders and enjoys the Exploring the Summit
hike with Ranger Alakea Bidal
      “Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park has a long tradition of connecting keiki and classrooms to the volcanoes, Hawaiian culture and native plants and animals in their backyard,” Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said. “Now we can expand the invitation by offering free entry to local and national fourth-graders and their families for free and connect the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates to the park as we enter our 100th year.”
      Children who visit the park can participate in lots of fun and engaging ways like earning a Junior Ranger badge, going on a ranger-guided program, signing up for a Kahuku `Ohana Day and much more.
      To receive free passes, fourth-graders can visit the Every Kid in a Park website and play a game to access their special Every Kid in a Park pass. They and their families can then use the pass for free entry to national parks and other federal public lands and waters across the country from now through Aug. 31, 2016. The website also includes fun and engaging learning activities aligned to educational standards, trip-planning tools, safety and packing tips and other important and helpful information for educators and parents.
      Fourth-grade educators, youth group leaders and their students across the country will also participate in the program through field trips and other learning experiences.
      The goal of the program is to connect fourth-graders with the great outdoors and inspire them to become future environmental stewards, ready to preserve and protect national parks and other public lands for years to come. The program is an important part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration in 2016, which encourages everyone to Find Your Park.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

 With interior walls gone, a water tank in the backyard is visible from the front yard
of this home in Ocean View destroyed by fire this morning. Photo by Daryl Lee
FIRE THAT DESTROYED A HOME and melted a car in Ocean View this morning was kept from spreading to other properties by “the heroic, amazing job” of firefighters, next-door-neighbor Jordan Anger said. Anger, who was at his home about 150 feet from the burnt structure, said he could feel the heat from the blaze.
      Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated an arson investigation in connection with the fire.
In response to a 6:02 a.m. call, police arrived at a house fire on the 92-8800 block of Reef Circle Mauka, where firefighters were on the scene. Damage to the structure was estimated at $175,000.
      According to Anger, he witnessed a female renter of the home throwing lighted barbeque igniters into an exterior hallway and boxes full of clothing into the flaming home. He said she assaulted a firefighter, was handcuffed by police and taken away in an ambulance.
      A police investigation determined that the fire had been set intentionally. Police arrested the occupant, 36-year-old Emily Smith, on suspicion of first-degree arson.  
      Anger said he videotaped the incident to provide to police for their investigation.
      Other occupants of the home were gone at the time of the fire, Anger said.
      Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

NO ONE WAS INJURED when a sports-utility vehicle crashed into a school bus carrying students this morning in Ocean View.
      In response to a 6:42 a.m. call, Ka`u officers determined that the bus was traveling south on Princess Ka`iulani Boulevard when an SUV traveling west on Lehua Parkway and operated by a 42-year-old man ran a stop sign and broadsided the bus. Twelve school children, ages 13-17, and a 50-year-old male driver were on board the bus.
      The crash caused substantial damage to both vehicles.
      The case is classified as a traffic accident.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SIERRA CLUB AND EARTHJUSTICE said NextEra’s rebuttal filed with Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission on Monday in support of its merger with Hawaiian Electric Industries “falls short.”
Isaac Moriwake Photo from Earthjustice
      “For all the criticism the takeover proposal has received, NextEra’s response is very underwhelming,” said Isaac Moriwake, the Earthjustice attorney representing Sierra Club before the PUC. “They quote some bigger dollar figures, but they still have no plan or vision that fulfills Hawai`i’s needs.”
      This is NextEra’s first filing since Gov. David Ige announced his opposition to NextEra’s proposed takeover and plans to import fossil gas to meet Hawai`i’s electricity needs. “This was their last chance to step up and answer all the criticism, and they fell flat,” Moriwake said. “They still haven’t addressed the fundamental problems of the takeover, including the loss of local control and jobs and how their old-fashioned monopoly just doesn’t fit the future direction for Hawai`i.”
      Marti Townsend, Director of Sierra Club of Hawai`i, said, “We have waited months for this response. Concerned residents, industry leaders, stakeholders across the state have been waiting to see how NextEra would respond to all the criticism, and we received nothing but more unsubstantiated, unrealistic promises.”
      In their rebuttal, NextEra relies on fossil gas, which the Sierra Club said is inconsistent with the state’s 100 percent renewable law. “It’s not believable for NextEra to say they fully support 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, while at the same time calling for the state to invest millions in fracked gas,” Townsend said.
      Sierra Club said NextEra continues to rely on buzzwords over actual substance, quoting a passage from their Transaction Commitments: ‘The Hawai`i Corporate Responsibility Report will include a detailed description with relevant metrics addressing the progress NextEra Energy is making in operating as a Hawai`i business, including the Hawaiian concepts of Kuleana, Malama Pono and Aloha... .’
      “NextEra’s response demonstrates to me just how little NextEra either understands or is willing to address the concerns expressed by Hawai`i’s residents,” Townsend said. “They just don’t seem to get it: this is not about empty promises of more money with a few Hawaiian concepts sprinkled in.”
      The PUC is hosting public listening sessions across the Hawaiian Islands to gather the public’s perspective on NextEra’s proposal to take over Hawaiian Electric Industries.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kathryn Matayoshi
HAWAI`I STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi Hawai`i received an overall rating of “Exceeds Expectations” from the Board of Education for the second consecutive year. 
      The BOE agreed that improvement in student achievement is critical and still remains the highest priority for the department.
      Matayoshi received the highest rating of “Exceptional” in 2013. The BOE evaluation is based on her overall management abilities and attainment of performance objectives and program accomplishments.
      “As the new chairman of the BOE, I look forward to working with the superintendent on ways to help our students advance in the face of an ever-changing world and increasing the level of empowerment of our teachers and administrators,” said BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto.
      “We fully understand that student success must climb,” Matayoshi said. “It has taken a lot of focused effort at all levels in our department to implement systemic change across the system in the last couple of years, from standards and assessments to differentiated teacher and school supports. I appreciate the Board’s acknowledgement of the progress being made. The Board’s rating is not only reassuring but a testament to our employees, students and families who work hard every day in reaching targets for the success of schools and our public school students.”
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U VARSITY GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAM won at home again yesterday. The Trojans trounced St. Joseph in the first game, 25-8, then St. Joseph was able to climb out of the hole to win a close second game 21-25. The third game was once again Ka`u’s, with a score of 25-11.
      The girls try for their third win in a row Friday, hosting Parker at 6 p.m.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Kahuku `Ohana Day includes making kukui nut tops and free lunch.
Photo from NPS
TOMORROW IS THE DEADLINE to sign up for Kahuku `Ohana Day: Hu Kukui and be included in the free lunch count. Children of all ages and their families are invited to learn how to make their own hu kukui, or Hawaiian top, with native kukui nuts on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit. Park rangers demonstrate, then keiki compete to see whose top spins best. 
      Register at 985-6019.

CONTROL OF COFFEE BERRY BORER using Intergrated Pest Management practices is the topic of a free workshop this Saturday, Sept. 5 at Pahala Community Center from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Luis Aristizabal conducts the workshop. Aristizabal was raised on a Colombian coffee farm and worked as an Extension agent with coffee farmers in Colombia. He is now an entomologist at University of Florida.
      Hands-on activities at a coffee farm follow a potluck lunch.
      The Kohala Center sponsors this workshop. All coffee farmers are invited.
      Call Ann Fontes at 987-7448 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar/September2015.
See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.

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