Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar New Briefs Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

NASA's COral Reef Airborne Laboratory will study coral reefs worldwide, including in Hawai`i, to identify reef composition and model primary production. See more below. Image from NASA/CORAL
IN WHAT COULD BE A PRECURSOR for operations at other Hawai`i medical facilities, including Ka`u Hospital, Gov. David Ige, the Maui Regional Board and the Corporate Board of Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation yesterday signed an agreement transferring operation and management HHSC’s Maui Region health care facilities from the state to Kaiser Permanente.
Gov. David Ige signs documents transferring operation and management of HHSC's
Maui Region facilities to Kaiser Permanente. Photo from Office of the Governor
      “This agreement ensures quality healthcare services and improved delivery of those services for the Maui region,” Ige said. “The governance structure assures a continued role for the Maui community in the governance of the facilities, and revenues generated in the Maui Region facilities will be invested back into those facilities.”
      “We are honored to have been selected to operate the Maui and Lana`i hospitals,” said Mary Ann Barnes RN, president Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Hawai`i Region. “We are committed to serving all patients, regardless of their health insurance, and working alongside medical staff from the community to bring high-quality care to the people of Maui and Lana`i.”
      “This is a transformational opportunity, and the Board’s decision ensures the sustainability of a comprehensive healthcare delivery system for the people of Maui and Lana`i,” said Avery Chumbley, Chair, Maui Region Hawai`i Board of Directors. “The Maui Board’s decision to select Kaiser Permanente was based upon their willingness to work collaboratively with our physicians and staff to provide compassionate, quality healthcare.”
      “The signing of this agreement is the culmination of years of efforts by many individuals inspired by their vision for health services in their community,” said Dr. Linda Rosen, CEO, Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation. “I applaud their efforts and feel honored to have been a small part of it. As a physician who has worked in healthcare across the state for over 30 years, I am confident this change will bring stability and growth in healthcare jobs for employees, along with increased health services for the residents and visitors of Maui and Lana`i.”
      HHSC operates 13 facilities throughout the state.
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

NASA's CORAL project will study Hawai`i's reefs.
Image from NASA/CORAL
HAWAI`I, THE MARIANA ISLANDS, PALAU and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are the focus of a new NASA initiative to study and save coral reefs worldwide. 
      The goal of the COral Reef Airborne Laboratory is to provide critical data and new models needed to analyze the status of coral reefs and to predict their future. CORAL will provide the most extensive picture to date of the condition of a large portion of the world’s coral reefs from a uniform data set. The data will reveal trends between coral reef condition and biogeophysical forcings, both natural and those arising from human activities. With this new understanding of reef condition, NASA can better predict the future of this global ecosystem and provide policy makers.
      CORAL acquires airborne spectral image data using a Portable Remote Imaging Spectrometer instrument installed in a commercial airplane. On-site data are also obtained to validate these remote observations. For each reef, the spectral image data are processed to provide the reef condition described by measurable quantities of benthic cover of coral, algae, and sand; primary productivity; and calcification. These three reef condition parameters are analyzed against ten key biogeophysical parameters using new models to understand reef conditions today and predict reef conditions in the future.
      Data acquisition is currently planned for into 2017, with scientific analysis in following years.
      “We know reefs are in trouble,” CORAL principal investigator Eric Hochberg told Chris D’Angelo, of HuffPost Hawai`i and Civil Beat. “Ideally, in a decade or so we’ll have a satellite that can frequently and accurately observe all of the world’s reefs, and we can push the science and most importantly our understanding even further, Hochberg said.”
      See civilbeat.com.
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ONE YEAR AFTER SUPPORTING the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, Sen. Mazie Hirono traveled to the Middle East to discuss JCPOA’s implementation and broader security challenges in the region. International Atomic Energy Agency is reportedly ready to certify that Iran has met its obligations under the Iran Nuclear Deal, which would bring “Implementation Day” and the beginning of sanctions relief under the agreement.
Sen. Mazie Hirono traveled to the Middle East as IAEA is ready to
certify that Iran has met its obligations under the Iran Nuclear Deal.
       During the six-day trip, Hirono traveled to Austria, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, meeting key leaders and decision makers in each country, including the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, in Austria; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon; President Reuven Rivlin; Knesset opposition leader Isaac Herzog; Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun; top Saudi Interior Ministry officials and women appointed to Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council; and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey.
       The meetings included discussion of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the continuing Iranian threat, the Syrian civil war, the rise of and strategies to counter the Islamic State in the region, exporting terrorism and the growing sectarian divide in the Middle East.
       “The leadership role that the U.S. continues to play in the Middle East is as important as ever,” Hirono said. In meetings with key leaders in Israel, my colleagues and I emphasized the need to work with Israel to implement the Iran Nuclear Deal. Together, we can make sure that Iran abides by its commitments under the agreement. We also stressed that as Israel faces new and enduring threats on its borders, the U.S. will continue to work with Israel to ensure its security.
      “Talking with top officials in the region gave me valuable information related to the complicated dynamics and real threats in the Middle East and the impact of these threats to our own national security. From conversations with Israel’s key decision makers and a visit to the Israeli-Gaza border crossing to long meetings with Saudi Interior Ministry officials and Turkey’s leadership, we focused on the importance of fostering and sustaining our partnerships in the region.”
      Read comments, add your own, and like The Ka`u Calendar News Briefs on Facebook.

Hike to the top of Pu`u o Lokuana tomorrow. Photo from NPS
HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH holds a public informational meeting to discuss proposed changes to cesspool rules today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. 

KAHUKU UNIT OF HAWAI`I VOLCANOES National Park offers free programs this weekend.
      Participants learn about formation and various uses of the grassy cinder cone Pu`u o Lokuana and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u on a free, moderately difficult, 0.4-mile hike to the top tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
      During a program Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. participants discover the Hawaiian goddesses Hi`iaka and Pele and the natural phenomena they represent on a moderate, one-mile walk. 985-6011
      See nps.gov/havo for more information.

VOLCANO ART CENTER’S 2016 Hula Kahiko series kicks off Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with a performance by Na kumu hula Pelehonuamea Harman and Kekoa Harman with Halau I Ka Leo Ola O Na Mamo.
Volcano Art Center's 2016 Hula Kahiko series kicks off Saturday.
VAC Photo by Kenji Kuroshima
      Halau students come from the Hawaiian language immersion K-12 school Ke Kula `o Nawahiokalani`opu`u. For the past five years, their mission has been to perpetuate the Hawaiian language and culture through mele and hula.
      Starting at 11 a.m. on the gallery porch is Na Mea Hula with Loke Kamanu and `ohana. Free, park entrance fees apply.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP’S Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park offers Mongolian BBQ Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. $.85 per ounce includes protein, veggies, rice and a beverage. 967-8356. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. 967-8371

I OLA NA `AINA MOMONA HOLDS a strategy and informational meeting Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Pahala Plantation House. The nonprofit works to help Ka`u farmers achieve land security.
      Attorney Steven Strauss, of Hilo, will offer advice and answer questions. Sen. Russell Ruderman is expected to attend.
      Everyone is welcome. Pupus will be served.


Entry forms at okaukakou.org.

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