Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard met with Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island members and representatives yesterday. Zavi Brees-Saunders, the club's chief professional officer, is third from left. See more below. Photos from Office of Rep. Gabbard
KA`U’S STATE SEN. JOSH GREEN has introduced legislation that would appropriate $500,000 for additional response capacity against dengue fever on Hawai`i Island to provide traps, vector control and support. SB2465 would also fund a management audit to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of Department of Health’s response during the outbreak.
Sen. Josh Green, M.D.
      “We deserve more answers than we have been given as a community,” Green said. “The reports released to date tell a very incomplete story.”
      Green said he also will fight for full restoration of public health positions on Hawai`i Island that went away over the years.
      “This work, in addition to getting DOH more concerned about rat-lungworm disease on Big Island, is a top priority,” Green said. “We need to have a success because future outbreaks of equally devastating infection diseases could potentially come to Hawai`i.
      Track progress of this and other legislation at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

SINCE ITS PREVIOUS UPDATE on Wednesday, Hawai`i Department of Health yesterday identified three new cases of dengue fever. Currently, as many as three of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.
      As of yesterday, a total of 977 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.
      Hawai`i Civil defense reminds residents that to be successful in controlling and ending this outbreak, everyone’s help is needed to Fight The Bite. Prevent mosquito bites by wearing light-colored clothing that minimizes exposed skin, use mosquito repellent, and avoid activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest. Those who suspect they may have dengue should contact their health care providers and remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.
      Help reduce potential mosquito breeding areas around homes and businesses by:

  • removing or eliminating standing water that provides sources for mosquito breeding such as buckets or puddles;
  • fixing leaky faucets and outdoor hoses that are dripping water;
  • treating bromeliads and other plants that hold water with a larvacide or chlorine bleach solution;
  • cleaning gutters to allow water to drain freely;
  • repairing screens and windows to help keep mosquitoes out; and
  • disposing of old tires at no charge at county transfer stations islandwide.

      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Dengue fever was the topic of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's meeting
with county officials yesterday.
U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD met with Hawai`i Island residents, business owners, kupuna, county officials and the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island yesterday.
      Gabbard met with Mayor Billy Kenoi and Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira to discuss the dengue fever situation, what actions are currently being taken and what more must be done with short-term and long-term mosquito abatement efforts to stop the spread of the disease.
      Boys & Girls Club members took Gabbard on a tour of their Hilo Clubhouse, which includes a brand new certified kitchen that will provide meals to hungry keiki members. The congresswoman also met with the club’s staff and board members to hear about programs offered, federal community development block grants and how they are serving the needs of children on Hawai`i Island at all of their clubs, including Pahala.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS addresses its concern over stewardship of Mauna Kea in bills submitted to the state Legislature, which reconvened this week. The bills seek to ensure transparency, consistency and accountability in the disposition of Mauna Kea lands leased to the University of Hawai`i.
      “As one of our state’s most sacred sites, Mauna Kea should be managed in a way that respects its value and significance, and in a manner that instills public confidence,” OHA said. “Over the years, observatory subleases presented the university with numerous opportunities to charge sufficient rent to care for Mauna Kea. However, even the most recently approved sublease for the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope – the only sublease to charge more than a nominal $1 rent – would provide just a portion of the funds needed for management activities. Accordingly, the university uses an unknown amount of taxpayer funds, research dollars and grant funds to supplement operations and stewardship of Mauna Kea.
      “While not taking a position for or against future subleases, this bill would require a ‘fair rate of return’ for any subleases, observatory and otherwise, taking into account the costs of management and mitigation actions, through an open public process established through administrative rules.”
      Full content of companion bills SB2127 and HB1658 is available at capitol.hawaii.gov.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Keli`i Akina
THE U.S. SUPREME COURT LAST WEEK denied a motion for civil contempt filed by Grassroot Institute of Hawai`i when Na`i Aupuni chose to seat all Native Hawaiian convention delegates in their disputed election. The case is currently before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
      “The Supreme Court has only denied a temporary remedy related to our case,” said Keli`i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “We remain confident that when the full case is argued before the Ninth Circuit Court or Supreme Court, it will prevail on its merits. In the end, we expect the U.S. Constitution to be upheld for the benefit of Native Hawaiians and all people of Hawai`i.”
      For background documents, see new.grassrootinstitute.org/2015/10/akina-v-hawaii-the-documents.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

COLLEGE STUDENTS JOINED U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz as he addressed the increasing cost of higher education yesterday.
      “The cost of college is spiraling out of control, and it’s really one of the biggest issues that confront families today,” Schatz said. According to Schatz, the cost of college is growing faster than the cost of all consumer goods and twice as fast as health care costs. College debt has surpassed credit card debt and is second only to mortgage debt across the country. Over a third of borrowers are delinquent on their loans by 90 days or more, Schatz said.
Sen. Brian Schatz supports reducing the cost of higher education.
Image from Office of Sen. Schatz
      “We have decided as a country that higher education is a national goal, but we’re leaving students in the red by the time that they graduate,” Schatz said. “We need to give students a path to graduate debt-free. This is a key middle-class issue, and it doesn’t just affect the students. It affects their parents, and it affects their grandparents. And it affects some of us on both ends – those of us who are planning for our children’s education and still paying off our own education.”
      Schatz said the federal government spends more than $140 billion in grants and financial aid on higher education, “but we’re not doing enough to hold colleges and universities accountable” to making college more affordable.
      “And so we’re here today as part of a campaign. … This is a movement, a long-term effort on behalf of students, to get us on the right path and hold colleges accountable for the cost of college. We need to reduce the student debt burden.”
      Schatz said he wants the federal government to boost Pell Grants and provide two years of free community college as part of the path to debt-free higher education.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Best of Show went to Wai`ohinu resident Marcus
Castaing's Cruisin' in Style.
TWO KA`U RESIDENTS RECEIVED awards at the 30th Hawai`i Wood Guild annual show. Marcus Castaing, a resident of Wai`ohinu who is the guild president, won Best of Show for his chair Cruisin’ in Style. Mats Fogelvik, a resident of Ocean View and vice president, won Honorary Mention in Joinery for Demi Lune table. He collaborated with Henry Pomfret, an ironworker, who made the legs.
      The show continues through Friday, Feb. 26 at Isaacs Art Center in Waimea, open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

IN KA`U HIGH SPORTS, girls basketball teams finished regular-season play at Kamehameha on Thursday. Both Ka`u teams fell to Kamehameha by 20 points, with JV’s score 15-35 and Varsity’s 34-54.
      Yesterday, Trojan boys played St. Joseph. Junior Varsity racked up an impressive 52 points and kept St. Joseph’s team to 17.
      Ka`u Varsity was not able to withstand St. Joseph’s push and ended the game 43-64. The boys are at Wai`akea today for games beginning at 12 p.m.
      Hawai`i Prep’s soccer team travels to Ka`u today for a match beginning at 3:30 p.m. instead of 3 p.m., as originally scheduled.
      Ka`u’s wrestlers and swimmers are on the road today. Coach Greg Rush took the wrestling team to Hilo, and Coach Bruce Simmerman traveled to Kamehameha with his swim team.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK offers a free guided hike tomorrow. People and Lands of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour hike beginning at 9:30 a.m. The trail loops through varied landscapes to explore the area's human history. Participants learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped and restored this land.
      See nps.gov/havo.


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