Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015

Hawai`i Island Fire Department asks residents to help keep New Year's Eve celebration safe. Photo by Kris Bakken
 U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD discussed federal actions regarding dengue fever during an interview on KHON news.
Image from KHON
      “There’s a lot of action frankly that needs to be taken, and I think should have been taken earlier on to prevent us from getting to this point, really, where we’re seeing more and more cases of dengue that are worse that we’ve ever seen in Hawai`i in the past,” Gabbard said. “That’s where you really have to focus – on prevention – and recognize that if this is allowed to continue to get worse, what a devastating impact it will have on Hawai`i Island’s economy. Not to speak of the fact that if it starts to spread to other islands, we’re going to deal with a far more devastating issue for us as a state.”  
      Gabbard said Congress passed a bill last week that included more funding for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, which is working with the state Department of Health on the dengue outbreak. Funding is also going to ag research agencies “that are looking to see how can we actually prevent these kinds of pests that are causing so much problem, whether it’s to our ag industry or to people from becoming a problem in the first place,” Gabbard said.
      “Those are two things that I think will help in the long run, but in the meantime, we’ve got to focus on this immediate action and taking this problem with the seriousness that it deserves.”
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Using mosquito repellent is part of DOH's
Fight the Bite campaign.
USING MOSQUITO REPELLENTS SAFELY is the topic of a guide provided at Hawai`i Department of Health’s website to help Hawai`i Island residents Fight the Bite during the current dengue fever outbreak. 
      According to DOH, insect repellents can help reduce exposure to mosquito bites that may carry viruses that can cause serious illness and even death. Using insect repellent allows you to continue to play and work outdoors with a reduced risk of mosquito bites.
      DOH recommends applying repellent when you are going to be outdoors. Even if you don’t notice mosquitoes, there is a good chance that they are around.
      Re-apply repellent if you are being bitten by mosquitoes. Always follow directions on the product. Sweating, swimming or otherwise getting wet may mean that you need to re-apply repellent more frequently. Repellents containing a higher concentration (higher percentage) of active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection.
      Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommend using products that have been shown to work in scientific trials and that contain active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as insect repellents on skin or clothing.
      Of the active ingredients registered with the EPA, CDC believes that two have demonstrated a higher degree of efficacy in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature. Products containing DEET or Picaridin typically provide longer-lasting protection.
      Oil of lemon eucalyptus, a plant-based repellent, is also registered with EPA. In two recent scientific publications, when oil of lemon eucalyptus was tested against mosquitoes found in the U.S., it provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET.
      See health.hawaii.gov.
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HAWAI`I ENERGY POLICY FORUM asks Ka`u residents for comment on three significant topics – climate change, challenges and opportunities to attain a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard and clean energy status in the transportation sector.
      As part of an effort to obtain as many voices as possible to build sound policies, HEPF is sending out a public survey on clean energy. Residents can help by completing the survey at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2496923/c0eea5bc9d86.
      HEPF also asks residents to use their contacts lists to encourage others to participate in the survey.
      The deadline to return the survey is Jan. 11. Results will be posted at the HEPF website at hawaiienergypolicy.hawaii.edu and reported at the annual HEPF legislative briefing on Jan. 22.
      For more information, email Dr. Sharon Moriwaki at sharonmi@hawaii.edu.
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George Szigeti
TOTAL VISITOR ARRIVALS TO HAWAI`I in November 2015 set a new record for the month with 661,352 visitors, a 3.7 percent growth year-over-year compared to November 2014, according to preliminary statistics released today by Hawai`i Tourism Authority. November marked the ninth straight month that total visitor arrivals have surpassed the previous monthly records. 
      Hawai`i Island’s visitor arrivals increased 0.5 percent compared with November 2014. Also, 4.7 percent more visitors stayed exclusively on Hawai`i Island. Visitors also spent 2.6 percent more money than they did during the previous November.
      Year-to-date through November, Hawai`i Island had 3.9 percent more visitors than the same period last year.
      “November was the latest record setting month for visitor arrivals in a string of nine consecutive record setting months,” HTA President and CEO George Szigeti said. “What an amazing achievement for our visitor industry, especially for a mature travel destination like Hawai`i coming off three consecutive record setting years.
      “This consistency of success signifies how compelling Hawai`i’s brand is to global travelers. Hawai`i’s marketing message is being well received in key markets, and our industry partners deserve credit for how they have evolved their product offerings to match the diversified interests of today’s travelers.”
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Because of fire hazards, sky lanterns
are illegal in Hawai`i. Photo
from Wikipedia
WITH NEW YEAR’S EVE TWO DAYS AWAY, Hawai`i County Fire Department reminds the public of legal uses and safety precautions regarding fireworks. 
      It is illegal for anyone to remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework; throw fireworks from, at or into any vehicle; set off any fireworks at any time not within the specified time periods, within 1,000 feet of any hospital, convalescent home, care home for the elderly, zoo, animal hospital or shelter, or church when services are held; on any school property without authorization from the said school official; or on any Public way such as a highway, alley, street, sidewalk or park.
      It is also illegal to offer for sale, sell or give any fireworks to minors; or for any minor to possess, purchase, sell or set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except under the immediate supervision of an adult; set off any aerial luminary devices, commonly called Sky Lanterns or Hawai`i Lanterns, or any other aerial devices, such as bottle rockets, sky rockets, roman candles, cakes, mortars or shells.
     The public can help by using extreme care when setting off fireworks. Children playing with fireworks should be under an adult’s close supervision at all times. Even the smallest of fireworks can cause severe injuries that will quickly ruin the holidays.
      Fireworks should be set off in an area well away from dry grass or flammable materials. Be sure fireworks are completely extinguished before being disposed of. And most importantly, have a fire extinguisher and/or a water hose ready to use in the event of an unplanned or unexpected fire. Be sure the water hose can reach all areas of where fireworks activities are being conducted, especially around the entire house. It’s also a great idea to wet down any dry, grassy area before and after setting off fireworks. Doing it before will also let you know the capability of your water source.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

THEY LED 18-12 IN THE FIRST QUARTER, but Ka`u High boys varsity basketball players’ scoring couldn’t keep up with Kealakehe’s last night. The visitors took a 73-42 win back to South Kona. 
      Junior varsity’s game was cancelled due to illness.
      The Saturday, Jan. 2 game scheduled at Laupahoehoe has been changed to Jan. 29 at Ka`u.

KA`U RESIDENTS ARE INVITED to celebrate the New Year with music by DJ Thomas Ramirez, dancing and a midnight toast. Festivities begin at 8 p.m. at Kilauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. The visitors took a 73-42 win back to South Kona.


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