Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015

A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect as Tropical Storm Niala passes south of Ka`u. Rain in its outer bands could bring heavy rain.
Map from NOAA
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE has cancelled the Tropical Storm Watch for Hawai`i Island. As of 11 a.m., Tropical Storm Niala was approximately 215 miles south-southeast of South Point and moving in a west-southwest direction. Currently, Niala continues to move away from Hawai`i Island, and the threat of tropical storm conditions is expected to continue to decrease. Although conditions are expected to improve, the Flash Flood Watch for Hawai`i Island remains in effect through tomorrow afternoon. In addition, the High Surf Advisory for southeast-facing shores will remain in effect through 6 a.m. tomorrow. Surf heights of eight to 12 feet can be expected, with highest surf conditions occurring with peak high tides. All roads are open at this time, and motorists are advised to drive with caution, prepare for possible hazardous conditions and anticipate traffic delays.
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Sen. Brian Schatz
“THIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT GIVES US a real reason to be hopeful,” U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said after President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping announced significant steps to address climate change, including a pledge by China to curb carbon emissions using a cap-and-trade program.
      “The momentum is palpable,” Schatz said. “People, governments, companies and institutions are beginning to take the kinds of actions that give us a legitimate chance to solve this problem. I've never been so hopeful on this issue. We’ve got a long way to go, but this was enormously important.

      “This agreement marks a historic step toward protecting our planet from the impacts of climate change. What our two countries are saying with this agreement is that climate change is real, caused by humans, and is solvable. 

      “For years, naysayers and deniers said that the U.S. shouldn’t move forward to regulate carbon pollution until and unless China took action. As of today, that argument is no longer valid.
      “This agreement gives momentum to the ongoing international climate negotiations and will inspire other countries to commit to action prior to the Paris talks.
      “While this agreement is an incredibly important foundation and gives people around the world hope, we must not let up. We have to work toward full implementation of the Clean Power Plan, a successful Paris conference, and the eventual passage of carbon fee legislation.”
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U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, co-introduced a bipartisan resolution with California Rep. Duncan Hunter recognizing the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as genocide and calling for the United States to prioritize providing refugee status to such persecuted families and individuals. The resolution comes as Pope Francis made a historic address to the U.S. Congress, where he stated, “Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War.”
Mark Arabo with Pres. Obama
      The persecution of minority populations in Iraq by ISIL and related groups has been condemned by the United Nations Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and much of the international community. The U.S. State Department recently announced plans to increase the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. to 85,000 in fiscal year 2016, and 100,000 in fiscal year 2017.
      “Christians, Yezidis, and other minority groups in the Middle East are being targeted specifically because of their religious beliefs, and face forced conversions to Islam, mass abductions, sexual enslavements and executions due to this ISIL-inflicted genocide,” Gabbard said. “As the U.S. and international community consider lengthy procedures to address the rapidly growing international refugee crisis, these people continue to be targets of this genocide. These persecuted religious minority groups must be our first priority as the U.S. increases the number of refugees it will accept from that region, not only because it provides humanitarian relief to those who are most in need, but also because there are tens of thousands of them who already have proper identification and sponsors within the U.S., making them least likely to be a national security threat.”
       “We commend Congresswoman Gabbard and Congressman Hunter for their efforts in bringing awareness to the tragedy of the genocide that is occurring against religious minorities of Iraq and Syria,” said human rights activist and community leader Mark Arabo, who has been a spokesperson for the Iraqi Chaldean community. “In light of the Pope’s words, and of the present situation, we as a nation must do more. Our inability to unify as one political body has only led to more death, more destruction, and brutality of some of the world’s oldest Christians. We cannot turn a blind eye to the victims of genocide. This resolution is an important step forward to reaching substantive action on the crisis we face. Our silence must not condemn those who remain displaced by Islamic fundamentalism; it must not condemn those who flee their homes as refugees. It is time that we as a people must act.”
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Sen. Josh Green discusses Breathing in Hawai`i with Kim Nguyen
and Dr. Eric Crawley. Image from Think Tech
KAU`S STATE SEN. JOSH GREEN, M.D. hosted a discussion about lung health and disease prevention in Hawai`i. He spoke with Kim Nguyen, of the American Lung Association and pulmonologist Dr. Eric Crawley. The experts discussed vog and smoking and how they effect illnesses such as asthma and COPD.
      The Think Tech: Hawai`i’s Global Future program entitled Breathing in Hawai`i is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wycCUbGLvCU&feature=youtu.be.
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THE STATE INVITES TEAMS to sign up for LifeSmarts Hawai`i Competition after the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Office of the Securities Commissioner announcement of the start of the 2015-2016 competition. LifeSmarts is a fun, free, national educational program, which teaches youth critical life skills in five areas covering Personal Finance, Consumer Rights & Responsibilities, Health & Safety, Environment and Technology through online quizzes and in-person competitions.
      High school teams are invited to sign up now. Teams must consist of a minimum of four students and one adult coach. LifeSmarts Hawai`i begins at the local level with an online competition, found at www.lifesmarts.org, which will be open from Oct. 26 to Dec. 4. The four highest scoring teams will be invited to compete at the state championship competition in Honolulu on Feb. 20, 2016. The winning team will represent Hawai`i at the national LifeSmarts competition, scheduled for April 9-12, 2016, in Denver.
      Middle school or Junior Varsity teams with students in grades 6-8 may participate in an online-only competition through February 2016. Winners of the JV competition will be recognized online.
      For more information about the LifeSmarts Hawai`i program, including up-to-date consumer educational resources for coaches, see www.lifesmartshawaii.com. For team registration, see lifesmarts.org or contact the LifeSmarts State Coordinator, Theresa Kong Kee, at 587-7400 or tkongkee@dcca.hawaii.gov.
      Over 850 local students have participated in LifeSmarts in the past 11 years that DCCA has sponsored the competition. Local businesses interested in becoming a sponsor are welcome to contact the State Coordinator for more information.
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Ka`u residents can share their thoughts regarding the future of Ka`u Coffee growers today at 4 p.m. at Pahala Community Center.
A PUBLIC MEETING FOR THE FUTURE of Ka`u Coffee Growers takes place today at 4 p.m. at Pahala Community Center. Its purpose is to explain the 20-year history of the farmers who planted coffee for a new economic future when the sugar plantation shut down in 1996. The farmers said they also plan to talk about risks to their future land security, as the land is in escrow to be sold to a new owner.

RAPID `OHI`A DEATH IS THE TOPIC at After Dark in the Park on Tuesday. The disease is caused by a fungus known as Ceratocytis fimbriata. In 2012, it had killed `ohi`a trees across about 1,000 hectares (nearly 2,500 acres). By the summer of 2014, that number had swollen to over 6,000 hectares. Still isolated to Hawai`i Island, researchers have yet to determine the origin of this virulent strain.
      Plant pathologist Lisa Keith, of the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center; Flint Hughes, Research Ecologist with USDA Forest Service Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry; and J.B. Friday, University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources provide an update on this new threat to Hawai`i’s native forests. Research so far has determined that within two to three years of detection, a majority of trees in some measured stands have succumbed to the disease. This means the fungus has the potential to threaten forests statewide, resembling not so much a tree disease as a house on fire.
      The program begins at 7 p.m. at Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
      For more information, see nps.gov/havo or call 985-6011.


See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_September2015.pdf.

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

Buy a bag for $7; fill it with books for $3 more
at Ka`u libraries.

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