Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016

Pali, the earliest hurricane on record in the Central Pacific, is far southwest of Hawai`i but could send swells toward Ka`u.
Map from NOAA
KA`U SHOULD BE THE FIRST PLACE to receive the south swell from the earliest hurricane on record in the Central Pacific. The last January hurricane on record since 1949 was in 1992 when Tropical Storm Ekaka strengthened on Jan. 29, Craig Gima reported in Honolulu Star-Advertiser
      Pali became a category one hurricane yesterday and is expected to gradually weaken this evening as it heads south and west. The storm was 1,370 miles southwest South Point this morning.
      See staradvertiser.com.
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UBS, A FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY, said the merger of Hawaiian Electric Co. with NextEra Energy won’t occur. Duane Shimogawa, of Pacific Business News, quoted from a report by UBS, which continues to “bias towards the deal breaking up given persistent consternations from an array of constituencies in Hawai`i.” 
      According to Shimogawa, the report states, “Following the chairman of Hawai`i’s Public Utilities Commission’s order to (HECO parent, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. and NextEra Energy) to release documents which were part of the company’s filings in response to questions around the transaction, an email has emerged where HEI CEO Connie Lau wrote to HEI’s general counsel, Chet Richardson on Nov. 24, 2014, claiming Moray Dewhurst, NextEra Energy’s CFO, ‘made it clear that we are the snack (as HECO CEO Alan Oshima) calls it, on the way to their desired buffet luncheon to acquire other regulated utilities.’ NextEra Energy has since denied this was ever said, and maintains that the deal is a merger, and that far from being unimportant, HEI would become its third principal subsidiary after (Florida Power & Light Co.) and NextEra Energy Resources. The debate around (NextEra Energy’s) commitments to Hawai`i’s renewables-goals have been an area of concern for quite some time now, and we think the debate will intensify.”
      See bizjournals.com/pacific.
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HAWAI`I STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Medical Marijuana Dispensary License application is now available online at mmjdisp.ehawaii.gov. Applications must be submitted online by Friday, Jan. 29 at 4:30 p.m. 
      “Applicants should be careful to follow the online application instructions completely," said Keith Ridley, Chief of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance. “The online process is straight forward and follows Chapter 329D of the Hawai`i Revised Statutes (HRS) and Chapter 11-850 of the Hawai`i Administrative Rules.”
      All information on dispensary license requirements is posted at http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana/.
      Application fee is $5,000.The medical marijuana dispensary law allows DOH to award a total of eight licenses initially, with two on Hawai`i Island. Each dispensary licensee will be allowed to operate up to two production centers and two retail-dispensing locations.
      DOH expects to select and announce licensees by April 15. A licensed dispensary may begin dispensing medical marijuana not sooner than July 15, with the approval of the Department.
      For more information about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program, see http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana/.
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THE SECOND EDITION OF HAWAI`I’S Fraud Prevention & Resource Guide has been released. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Health partnered to publish the first edition in August 2008. The guide is intended to help raise awareness of various types of fraud and scams occurring here in Hawai`i and also includes a comprehensive resource section providing up-to-date contact information for state, federal, county and nonprofit organizations.
      “We are honored to work with such a dedicated group on addressing fraud schemes that are occurring here in our islands,” DCCA Director Catherine Awakuni Colon said. “We want residents to not only be aware of what is going on so that they can protect themselves and those they care about, but also who they can contact if they need help.”
      “Identity theft and financial fraud are fast growing crimes, which especially target seniors. This guide provides good advice to keep people safe,” Attorney General Douglas Chin said.
      DOH Director Virgina Pressler, M.D. said, “The biggest benefit of this guide is to directly assist our seniors, family members and caregivers on how to protect themselves from financial and healthcare scams, fraud and abuses. It gives examples, scenarios and red flags of what to be aware of and resources on whom to contact for questions or concerns.”
      To view or print the guide online, see http://cca.hawaii.gov/sec/files/2015/10/Fraud-Guide-2.pdf.
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U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD WELCOMES Kemba Smith, a national advocate for criminal justice reform and founder of the Kemba Smith Foundation, as her guest at tonight’s State of the Union address.
Kemba Smith is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's
guest for the State of the Union.
      In 1994, Smith was sentenced to 24.5-years in prison with no possibility of parole for a first-time nonviolent drug offense. After serving 6.5 years of her sentence, Smith was granted clemency by President Bill Clinton. 2016 marks the year that Smith would have been released from prison had she not been granted clemency in 2000. Since her release, she has dedicated herself to the cause of reforming the criminal justice system and creating opportunities to empower youth and guide them on pathways to positive choices while encouraging mentorship. “Kemba’s story is unfortunately all too common across the country,” Gabbard said. “Our criminal justice system today is unsustainable and ineffective – the United States incarcerates more of our citizens than any other country in the world, with staggeringly high recidivism rates, costing American taxpayers billions of dollars.”
       Gabbard has long advocated for criminal justice reform legislation and has encouraged adoption of successful state reforms at the federal level, like Drug Courts, Veterans Courts, the Hawai`i Opportunity Probation with Enforcement and the State Juvenile Justice Ho`opono Mamo Civil Citation Initiative.
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SIERRA SCHMITZ, A HAWAI`I NATIVE and current American University student, will accompany Sen. Mazie Hirono to President Obama’s final State of the Union address.
      “While a quality education is an important key to success in today’s economy, college costs continue to skyrocket. Sierra, who is paying her own way through American University with the help of federal programs such as Pell Grants, and students like her are why I will continue to fight to ensure that everyone can afford a quality education,” Hirono said. “Students like Sierra are emblematic of the American ideal that with hard work, initiative and ingenuity, one can achieve success. Inviting Sierra to participate in the State of the Union will help to show the American people the face of our future.”
      Schmitz grew up on Hawai`i Island and O`ahu and is a graduate of La Pietra Hawai`i School for Girls. She is currently a sophomore at American University studying International Studies with a focus on global environmental sustainability and communications. After graduation, Schmitz hopes to pursue a career in environmental protection and preservation.
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HAWAI`I WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION is hiring a Coordination Assistant, who will work closely with PFX Project Leads and the PFX Steering Committee to complete the project deliverables outlined in the PFX Plan of Work. The primary function of the PFX Coordination Assistant will be to assist with (1) science education/communication product development, layout and design, (2) logistical planning and note taking for field trips, meetings and webinars, (3) dissemination and organization of program evaluation information and (4) maintenance of the Pacific Fire Exchange website and electronic communications. 

Position is part-time, 15-20 hours per week at $15-22 per hour, commensurate with experience. 
      Application deadline is Jan. 21.
      Contact Clay Trauernicht at trauerni@hawaii.edu with any questions.
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Kukui nut top demonstrations take place tomorrow. Photo from NPS 
HU, OR KUKUI NUT TOP, demonstrations take place tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Kilauea Visitor Center’s lanai in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Park rangers and staff from Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association share their knowledge and love of this popular traditional art and pastime. 
      Free; park entrance fees apply.

SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN PLANS to attend I Ola Na `Aina Momona’s strategy and informational meeting, according to founder Malian Lahey. The nonprofit, which works to help Ka`u farmers achieve land security, meets Sunday, Jan. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House.
      Topics at the meeting include legal structures for holding property, partnerships, donor recruitment and funding strategies.
      Attorney Steven Strauss, of Hilo, will offer advice and answer questions.
      Everyone is welcome to attend. Pupus will be served.


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

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