Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015

Ka`u residents can join other volunteers in removing invasive Himalayan ginger along Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park trails on Saturday. The park waives entry fees on National Public Lands Day, and volunteers receive a free entry pass to use in the future.
See story below. Photo from NPS
A SAFE HOUSE FOR GIRLS, to open Oct. 1 in Pahala, was presented to residents at a meeting at Pahala Plantation House last night. The location is on `Ohi`a Street between Pikake and Kamani Streets in the former home of Alice and Goichi Furusho, now owned by retired San Jose dentist David Nye.
      Nye, who studies Hawaiian music and culture and visits the Islands frequently, said he is happy to provide a place for education and well being for young people.
Kawehi Ryder
      The safe house will be operated by Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai`i. Up to six girls at a time, 13 to 17 years of age, will live there for up to about six months at a time. Executive director will be Roxanne Costa, of Hilo, who will leave after more than 25 years working with the Salvation Army, 10 of them operating a safe house in Honoka`a, which the Salvation Army is no longer able to fund, she said.
      Costa is assisted by Pauline Pavao, longtime islandwide executive director of the Salvation Army, who retired this year and is consulting on the project.
      Staff members will include Kawehi and Debbie Ryder, of Pahala, who are founders of Uhane and have worked with challenged youth here, on O`ahu, Maui and Lana`i. President of the Uhane board is retired warden of Kulani Prison, Glen Hasashima.
      Hasashima told those who attended the meeting that helping young people at the youngest age can help to keep them out of the judicial system and prison and headed for productive lives in their communities. Organizers and supporters attending the meeting said that Ka`u, with all of its cultural and community resources, is a perfect place to help these girls.
      Costa said that many of the girls have had no stable home. Some are from the streets. “They need a home and direction,” she said. They will come from the Big Island, some from other islands and will be referred to the program by the courts. Some are runaways, some convicted of petty crimes. They will not be a danger to the community, the organizers promised. There will be two adults at all times with the girls. Costa said that four jobs will be created to fill these positions, a fifth to be a coordinator.
      Kawehi and Debbie Ryder will operate the outdoor work-study and Hawaiian cultural components of the program, which Kawehi described as farming, and possibly the care and restoration of a fishpond at Punalu`u. Debbie Ryder is a Kumu Hula.
      Funding of $500,000 a year comes from the state Office of Youth Services, and oversight is through the state Department of Human Services. The county Planning Department required a public gathering, organizers said.
      According to Costa, home schooling will be provided with computers in the house, hooked up to the distance learning program of Kua O Ka La Public Charter School.
      For more information, call Debbie or Kawehi Ryder at 315-7032.
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Maui Memorial Medical Center in one of several facilities
in HHSC's Maui Region.
IN A MOVE THAT COULD be a precursor of the future of health care in Ka`u and other regions of Hawai`i, Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation’s Maui Regional System Board has selected Kaiser Permanente to proceed with negotiations with the governor for the management, operation and provision of healthcare services at its facilities. HHSC’s Maui Region facilities were authorized to transfer operations to a new entity through Act 103, signed by Gov. David Ige in June. Act 103 authorized Maui Region to transfer its facilities to a new entity as a way to mitigate future budget deficits. Current budget estimates anticipate that deficits will continue to grow exponentially and potentially threaten services and jobs in Maui County. 
      “Kaiser Permanente provided us with its vision and strategy for improved healthcare in the Maui Region. We felt Kaiser Permanente could best serve the needs of our community,” HHSC Maui Regional System Board Chair Avery Chumbley said.
      Wesley Lo, CEO of HHSC Maui Region, said, “We have a responsibility to meet the healthcare needs of our community, and we believe this transition provides us the greatest path forward to continue doing this.”
      Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui said the selection raises many questions and concerns, not only with the process for the selection, but also actions to be taken going forward in negotiating an agreement.
      “From all accounts, Hawai`i Pacific Health had been working with stakeholders for months and expressed interest in ensuring that the needs of the Maui Regional System and the community it serves would be met,” Tsutsui said. “Kaiser Permanente, however, only more recently expressed interest in servicing the community. It remains to be seen whether Kaiser possesses the same level of commitment to the well being of the residents of Maui County.”
      Tsutsu said greater transparency should take place as negotiations continue, “and the best interest for the people of Maui and the people of Hawai`i should be held at the highest level. …
      “I believe it is incumbent upon the governor to keep the people’s best interest in mind and consider halting negotiations, if necessary, and commit to providing the emergency funds needed for the state to keep the hospitals running until a proper deal can be negotiated.
      “I ask that all those involved in the negotiations remain mindful of what’s important for the people of Maui.”
Kiran Ahuja
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PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ADVISORY COMMISSION on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is in Hawai`i on a mission to better understand issues facing the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. 
      “We are excited about this historic visit,” said Kiran Ahuja, executive director of the White House Initiative on AAPIs. “Our goal is really to listen to the unique stories from local AAPI communities in Hawai`i, especially Native Hawaiians and Micronesian migrants, and to highlight issues that are often not seen in the national spotlight.”
      The initiative seeks to highlight both the unmet needs in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities as well as the dynamic community assets that can be leveraged to meet many of those needs. The initiative focuses on crosscutting priority areas that may reach across all issue areas and agencies, including, for example, advancing research, data collection, analysis and dissemination for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and ensuring access, especially linguistic access and cultural competence, for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and encouraging Asian American and Pacific Islander involvement in public service and civic engagement opportunities.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Sen. Mazie Hirono
PRESIDENT OBAMA PLANS TO FAST-TRACK immigrant visas for the children of Filipino World War II veterans, allowing aging veterans, hundreds of whom live in Hawai`i, to be reunited and cared for by their families who can now legally immigrate.
      “I have worked with our past and current Hawai`i delegation to push for this exemption, and we thank President Obama for making this compassionate decision on behalf of Filipino veterans and their families,” Sen. Mazie Hirono said. “Many of these Filipino veterans have been waiting for decades – some nearly half a century – to see this dream come true. The visa system, particularly for immigrants from the Philippines, still faces huge backlogs, forcing many of these families to wait as many as 20 years to be reunited.
      “Think about that: 20 years of waiting. Our veterans and their families deserve better.
       “I’m so glad that President Obama took this action to help our Filipino World War II veterans and their families. The President has shown that he is willing to do the right thing despite our broken immigration system, and together we will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress.”
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Proposed land uses for Ka`u communities are on today's
Ka`u CDP Steering Committee meeting agenda.
Map from CDP background info
KA`U COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN Steering Committee meets today at 5:30 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Topics are shoreline setback policy, land use policy maps and “easy fixes” to the Draft CDP. The meeting is open to the community, and public testimony is welcome. 
      Background information prepared to inform and guide the meeting is available at http://www.hawaiicountycdp.info/kau-cdp/steering-committee/steering-commitee-meetings/september-22-2015-steering-committee-meeting-1.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK invites everyone to volunteer and help protect the native Hawaiian rainforest on National Public Lands Day this Saturday. Everyone gets in for free, and volunteers receive a free pass to use on another day of their choosing.
      National Public Lands Day is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States. HVNP is offering the Stewardship at the Summit program from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants meet volunteers Paul and Jane Field at Kilauea Visitor Center, then head into the forest to remove Himalayan ginger from the summit of Kilauea.
KMC holds an open house on Saturday, National Public Lands Day.
Photo from wikipedia
      For more information, see nps.gov/havo or call 985-6011.

TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY on Saturday, Kilauea Military Camp in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers an open house. Park visitors can experience how KMC supports America’s troops by using its facilities and services.
      For more information, call 967-8371.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_September2015.pdf.

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

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