Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016

Ka`u residents can hike to the top of Pu`u o Lokuana tomorrow. See more below. NPS Photo by Jessica Ferracane
MICRONESIANS IN HAWAI`I were hospitalized at significantly younger ages and were often sicker than comparison populations, according to a report in American Journal of Public Health.
      Hospitalized Micronesians were significantly younger at admission than were racial/ethnic groups across all patient refined-diagnosis related group categories. The severity of illness for Micronesians was significantly higher than was that for all comparison racial/ethnic groups for cardiac and infectious diseases, higher than was that of Caucasians and Japanese for cancer and endocrine hospitalizations, and higher than was that of Native Hawaiians for substance abuse hospitalizations.
      Researchers expect their results to be useful to researchers, state governments, hospitals, health care providers and health systems.    
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD CALLED for a state of emergency regarding Hawai`i Island’s dengue fever outbreak. She wants Gov. David Ige to deploy state resources, including the National Guard, to assist with mosquito abatement, public information, clearing and providing completely free testing for those with suspected symptoms of this incurable disease.
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard discussed dengue fever
with Hawai`i County officials last week.
      “The dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island continues to worsen,” Gabbard said. “We cannot afford to wait any longer for the aggressive action necessary to combat the spread of this serious disease. An emergency proclamation from the governor is long overdue. There have already been 242 confirmed cases of dengue fever on Hawai`i Island, creating a public health emergency affecting our residents and visitors, and Hawaii Island’s economy. They deserve our state’s full attention and resources to do what it takes to put an end to this outbreak and prevent it from becoming endemic and spreading to other parts of the island and state.”
      Gabbard is calling for completely free and accessible testing for those who suspect they have dengue fever symptoms. While the cost of the test may be free, residents and visitors are still charged for visits to a physician, nurse or clinic in order for their blood to be drawn. Gabbard said this could easily be solved by ensuring there are free access points islandwide and by deploying state or National Guard medical personnel as a mobile testing unit that can travel to both populated and remote locations across the island, draw blood and get samples to the lab for expedited results.
      Gabbard also wants resources allocated to the state Department of Health for development and execution of a comprehensive public information and public engagement campaign with quality review measures. DOH’s current ‘Fight the Bite’ campaign efforts “fall far short of providing residents and visitors with the information they need,” she said.
      Other action items Gabbard listed include:
  • Providing a full-time entomologist on Hawai`i Island dedicated to eradication, reduction and prevention of further spread of the dengue virus.
  • Allocating resources to hire vector control personnel, purchase more sprayers and other necessary equipment and supplies.
  • Providing free supply and distribution of Ovitraps throughout the community to empower local residents to help prevent the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. According to Gabbard, World Health Organization report studies have shown that population densities can be reduced below disease-transmission thresholds with sufficiently large numbers of frequently serviced traps.
  • Appointing a dengue czar who can act as the coordinator of efforts with all parties within the state, county, federal, private sector and community to ensure the objectives are being met.
      Ka`u’s state Sen. Russell Ruderman said he applauds and supports U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s “efforts to bring the immediacy of this situation to the forefront.”
      “With the widespread outbreak of dengue fever and other serious health issues looming, such as rat lungworm disease, it is imperative that the state of Hawai`i and its related agencies are mobilized in a timely, and proactive manner to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of our people,” Ruderman said.
      “It is my hope that with the call coming from all levels of government, such action will be taken directly and decisively by our state officials to address this serious health issue.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Grammy Museum honors Dennis Kamakahi and other
Slack Key artists. Photo by Julia Neal
LEADING UP TO THE 58TH Grammy Awards on Feb. 15, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles will launch its new exhibit on Feb. 10 called Ki Ho`alu: Honoring the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tradition. Several musicians who have spent years teaching and performing in Ka`u are noted with displays of their famous attire, including the late Dennis Kamakahi’s black hat, shirt and pants and Ledward Ka`apana’s red boots. A Cyril Pahinui guitar will also be featured. The show opens with a Mele Mei in L.A. It closes April 30 and will travel with Hawai`i as one of its stops for the Mele Mei here.
      The Grammy Museum calls slack key “one of the world’s greatest acoustic guitar traditions.”
      “With a history that dates back to the 1800s, the unique sound of slack key comes from the resonance of the tunings and techniques that mimic the yodels and falsettos rooted in ancient chants that are common in Hawaiian singing. Through artifacts and historical instruments that trace the history of this Hawaiian music tradition, the Museum’s tribute to the slack key guitar serves as the official kickoff of the Mele Mei 2016 celebration in Hawai`i.”
      Hawai`i Tourism Authority and Hawai`i Academy of Recording Artists partnered in producing the exhibit. 
      See more at grammymuseum.org.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U HIGH TROJAN’S CELEBRATED homecoming in style yesterday, with the boys basketball team winning 74-34. Evan Manoha and Jacob Flores each scored 14 points. Joven Padrigo added 13; Janslae Badua, 11; and Richard Souza, 10.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

PU`U O LOKUANA, A MODERATELY difficult 0.4-mile hike to the top of the grassy cinder cone, takes place tomorrow at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Participants learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u.
      Enter Kahuku on the mauka side of Hwy 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area at 9:30 a.m. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.

VOLCANO ART CENTER PRESENTS its 12th annual fundraiser gala, Love the Arts, two weeks from today on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at its Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. This year, the theme is m’ARTi Gras.
Love the Arts is two weeks from today. Image from VAC
      Each year, the event’s silent and live Auctions grow in size and reputation because of the generosity of people in the community. The Love the Arts gala invites guests to add to their art collection, enjoy gourmet catered food and wines, and partake in auctions that include art, experiences, hotel stays, restaurants, local products and gift certificates to local businesses. Support of this event allows VAC to fund classes, exhibits and workshops, and to offer creative arts experiences in Volcano’s uniquely nurturing and inspiring environment. Participants enjoy a fabulous night of New Orleans-inspired cuisine, fine wines and chocolate truffles, as well as silent and live auctions.
      From the out-of-the-ordinary to the extraordinary, the silent and live auctions offer glittering arrays of fine art, jewelry and wonderful gift certificates for restaurants, hotels, adventure tours and more. Participants are able to bid on pieces of art by Meg Barnaby, Liz Miller, Gregg Smith and many others.
      Volcano Art Center’s master chef will cater a tantalizing menu consisting of a wide array of New Orleans’ delicacies such as Jambalaya, shrimp and grits, succulent beef basted with praline butter, Antoine’s classic Caesar salad and the ever popular, mouth-watering truffles.
      Tickets are $55 for VAC members and $65 for non-members, with tickets available at the door for $65. Purchase at Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village, Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Basically Books and Banyan Gallery in Hilo, and volcanoartcenter.org.

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