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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Hour of Code welcomed students at Pāhala Elementary to the world of computer science
today. See more below. Photo by Katie Graham
THE VOTE TO IMPEACH PRES. DONALD TRUMP was delayed tonight by the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, following a marathon 13-hour debate.
     Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted "LOL. Republicans are angry about working on Friday." The vote could be delayed until Monday, with more debate expected to follow party lines on Friday. Trump is the fourth U.S. President to face articles of impeachment. Should the House vote to impeach him, the measure would go to the U.S. Senate for a trial.

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HOUR OF CODE ENGAGED all Pāhala Elementary students in pre-K through sixth grade today in computer science. Hour of Code is part of a worldwide effort to expand computer science education. Students in Pre-K through second grade tried their hands at programming through using the ScratchJr app. In the app, students develop characters and stories through coding.
Creating a dance party and game and developing characters and stories
introduced Pāhala Elementary student to coding today.
Photo by Katie Graham
     Students in third through sixth grade worked on code.org to create their own dance party and game
through coding. SPED teacher, Rebecca Spinner, said, "This event helped spark interest in coding and computer science, as well as allowed students the opportunity to try creative and innovative problem-solving approaches."

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HELPING RURAL BUSINESSES WITH ENERGY EFFICIENCY is the goal of a new program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald "DJ" LaVoy announced this week that the USDA is investing $165.4 million to help farmers, agriculture producers, and rural-based businesses lower energy costs. USDA will provide 621 awards to applicants in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Western Pacific. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program.
     Said LaVoy, "Businesses grow and create more jobs when their energy costs are lower. Reduced power costs also make American businesses more competitive in world markets. Pres. Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue are committed to making it possible for rural businesses to thrive because when rural Americaprospers, all of Americaprospers."
     Brenda Iokepa-Moses, of Pāhala, who took charge of the Hawaiʻi, Western Pacific, and American Samoan USDA State Directorship in September, said there are numerous beneficiaries who would qualify for the program. "I would like to see Hawaiʻi and the Western Pacific take a bigger piece of the pie and encourage local farmers, agricultural producers and rural based businesses to apply for this grant and take advantage of this amazing opportunity."
Brenda Iokepa-MosesPhoto from USDA
     Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and to install renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower, and solar. The funding can also be used to increase energy efficiency by making improvements to heating, ventilation, and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.
     Reducing energy costs can significantly improve a business' bottom line, according to the statement from USDA. Solar equipment was used by 90,000 farms in 2017, three times the number using solar panels in 2012, states the agency.
     In April 2017, Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Perdue presented the Task Force's findings to Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local, and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.
     View the report in its entirety at Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. View the categories of the recommendations at Rural Prosperity infographic. For more information on the REAP, or to request application materials, contact USDS Business Programs Specialist Jeffrey Wardell, (808) 933-8316 or Jeffrey.wardell@usda.gov.
     USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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A FORK IN THE ROAD DECISION is ahead for Hawaiʻi Electric Industries – parent company of Hawaiʻi Electric Light Co., Maui Electric, and Oʻahu's Hawaiʻi Electric Company – according to  Hiloenergy professional Marco Mangelsdorf.  In an op-ed for Honolulu Star Advertiser this week, he wrote, "It is time for a shake-up."
     Mangelsdorf, President of ProVision Solar, warned that Hawaiʻi people and Hawaiʻi Electric Industries are at a "proverbial fork in the road" to choose between "status quo execs" or look outside the company for "new game-changer leaders."
Marco Mangelsdorf
     According to ValueAct Capital, a major investor in HEI, Hawaiʻi residents have paid 280 percent more for electricity per kilowatt hour than the U.S. average over the past ten years. ValueAct CEO Jeffrey Ubben recently wrote: "This is due in part to the use of costly outdated petroleum-fired plants that are now virtually extinct on the mainland."
     Mangelsdorf wrote, "Are we doing enough to adequately move the needle of our clean energy transformation? And is Hawaiian Electric up to the task?
     "Sadly, I have to conclude we are not moving fast enough, and that, despite the difficulty in calling out those people I've come to like and respect, the Hawaiian Electric companies have not been up to the challenges of what needs to be done.
     "The fundamental question: Have HEI and its utilities led the way in stabilizing electric costs and bringing online cost-effective renewable energies, or have they been pushed, prodded and pulled to do so? I believe that a stronger case can be made for the latter. 
     "Going back to at least the early 2000s, successive Public Utilities Commissions under the leadership of Carl Caliboso, Mina Morita, Randy Iwase and now Jay Griffin have expressed concerns over HECO and its subsidiaries' relative inability to adequately control costs.
     "In fact, HECO's August filing for another rate increase prompted the ordering of an unprecedented management audit of the company. And last month, the commission, in another unusual move, declined to provide any interim increase in response to HELCO's December 2018 application for a base rate rise.
     "In 2011, Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative was about 14 percent renewable; this year, KIUC will be over 50 percent and expects to reach 80 percent no later than 2025. In 2011, the consolidated renewable tally for the five islands of Hawaiian Electric was 12 percent. In 2015, it was 23 percent; in 2016, 26 percent, in 2017, 27 percent, in 2018, 27 percent, with this year looking to be about the same," said Mangelsdorf, adding, "Case in point: Hawaiian Electric issued a request for proposals for adding utility-scale energy storage more than five years ago but to date, has practically little to nothing to show for it."

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One of over 30 kūpuna arrested on Tuesday, July 16.
Photo from Puʻu Honua o Puʻu Huluhulu Maunakea Facebook
NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST, concluded the county Board of Ethics on Wednesday. The question was whether county Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth is in conflict regarding cases involving the standoff over construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope at Maunakea, where protesters have been arrested.
     Roth is on the board of The Success Factory's NexTech STEM Programs, which received a grant from TMT's THINK fund. Roth's wife Noriko is employed at Subaru Telescope, operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Roth's 22-year-old son is employed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NAOJ and JPL are two of six partners of the TMT project. Roth's wife is also employed by the Research Corporation of University of Hawaiʻi, which manages the Maunakea Science Reserve, where 13 existing telescopes are located.
     The county ethics code states, "No officer or employee shall take any official action directly affecting… a business or undertaking in which the employee knows or has reason to know that a brother, a sister, a parent, an emancipated child, or a household member has a substantial financial interest."
     Ross brought the question of conflict to the Board of Ethics, which asked him yesterday to 
step back from any involvement in the cases "in the interest of prudence and maintaining the public's confidence in the system of government."
     Before the board's decision, Roth turned over to the state Attorney General 30 cases of those arrested at Maunakea for obstructing a government operation. The charges are misdemeanors.                  Protectors of Maunakea have blocked the access road to the summit since July 15, intent on stopping construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope project. The objection to TMT is made, for most, on environmental, cultural, and religious grounds.
     Roth suggested yesterday that Maunakea cases could be handled by his chief deputy. "I wouldn't have any influence on the deputy. It was never the intent that I would go in court and prosecute these cases," said Roth. "I give my deputies a lot of discretion." He said his office handles 17,000 cases a year, and that flying in prosecutors from Honolulu costs the county a lot of money.     
Kiaʻi, Protectors, of Maunakea gathered above the encampment of those who protest the construction of the
Thirty Meter Telescope. Photo from Puʻu Honua o Puʻu Huluhulu Maunakea Facebook
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JUDGE MELVIN FUJINO will take on four interim positions in the Third Circuit. The positions cover all of Hawaiʻi Island. Fujino already fields cases from criminal, civil, drug, and veterans courts. The new positions add chief judge, administrative judge, senior Family Court judge, and senior Environmental Courtjudge to his roles. He was assigned the additional positions by Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald after retirement of Chief Judge Greg Nakamura. Fujino served as first deputy chief judge under Nakamura.
Judge Melvin Fujino. Photo from courts.state.hawaii.us
     Fujino will retain the interim positions for six months, to allow Recktenwald time to permanently designate people for the positions.
     Fujino was a prosecuting attorney for 15 years. He was a supervisor and community-oriented prosecutor for the West Hawaiʻi county Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He also served as a state deputy attorney general in the Criminal Justice Division, and a team leader and supervisor for the Asset Forfeiture and Wire Tap Review units.
     Fujino was appointed in December 2008 as a Family Court judge for the North and South Kohala and Hamakua districts. He was appointed to the Third Circuit on Dec. 18, 2015.

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Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is free to 5,500 mailboxes 
throughout Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano, and free on 
stands throughout the district. Read online at kaucalendar.com
See monthly and weekly Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, and Meditation at kaucalendar.com

2019-2020 Kaʻū Winter Sports Schedule

Girls Basketball
Fri., Dec. 13 @Keaʻau
Mon., Dec. 16 host Pāhoa JV/Christian Liberty
Tue., Jan. 7 @Kohala

Boys Basketball
Wed., Dec. 18 host Keaʻau
Sat., Dec. 21 @St. Joseph
Sat., Dec. 28 host Kohala
Fri., Jan. 3 host HPA
Sat., Jan. 4 host Pāhoa

Wrestling
Sat., Dec. 14 @Hilo
Sat., Jan. 4 @Waiakea

Soccer
Sat., Dec. 14 Boys @Makualani
Mon., Dec. 16 Girls host HPA, 3pm
Wed., Dec. 18, @Keaʻau
Sat., Dec. 21 Boys host Christian Liberty, 3pm
Mon., Dec. 23 Boys host Kohala, 3pm
Sat., Jan. 4 Girls host Honokaʻa, 3pm
Mon., Jan. 6 @HPA

Swimming
Sat., Dec. 14 @Kona Community Aquatic Center
Sat., Jan. 4 @Kamehameha

UPCOMING
FRIDAY, DEC. 13
Hawai‘i Disability Legal Services, Friday, Dec. 13, 9a.m.-noonOcean View Community Center. Free disability legal services provided by Hawai‘i Legal Aid. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

SATURDAY, DEC. 14
Nā Mamo o Kāwā Community Access Day, Saturday, Dec. 14, gates open 6a.m.-6p.m., Kāwā. All cars must park at end of road fronting Kāwā Flats. Dogs must be on leash. No driving through fish pond. 557-1433, nmok.orgfacebook.com/NMOK.Hawaii

Pancake Breakfast and Raffle, Saturday, Dec. 14, 8-11a.m., Ocean View Community Center. To volunteer, call 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Guided Hike On A 60 Year Old Lava Lake, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10a.m.-2p.m.Kīlauea Iki Overlook, HVNP. Organized by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Moderate to challenging 2.4 mile (one way) hike. $80/person. Register online. Park entrance fees may apply. 985-7373, admin@fhvnp.orgfhvnp.org

Holidays at Kahuku: Hawaiian-Made Craft Fair, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10a.m.-3p.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free entry. Entertainment, food, shave ice. nps.gov/havo

Ocean View Keiki Christmas with St. Jude's Christmas Celebration, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10a.m-2p.m., Kahuku Park and lower parking lot of St. Jude's.

Zentangle Artist Inspired Workshop with Lydia Meneses, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center. Creative tangle techniques inspired by Gustav Klimt and Keith Haring. Art supplies provided. Open to all levels. No experience required. Potluck, bring snack to share. $30/VAC member, $35/non-member, plus $15 supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Hula Kahiko - Kumu Kapuaikapoliopele Ka‘au‘a with Unuokeahi and Unuiti, Saturday, Dec. 14, 10:30-11:30a.m., hula platform near Volcano Art Center Gallery. Hula performance. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.comvolcanoartcenter.org

Nā Mea Hula with Kumu Hula Moses Kaho‘okele Crabbe, Saturday, Dec. 14, 11a.m.-1p.m., Volcano Art Center Gallery porch. Hands-on cultural demonstration. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-8222, volcanohula@gmail.comvolcanoartcenter.org

Jazz in the Forest: Christmas Jazz, Saturday, Dec. 14, 5:30p.m.Volcano Art Center. Featuring Jean Pierre Thoma & the Jazztones with Jeannine Guillory-Kane performing classics of the holiday season. Ticket are $20/VAC member, $25/non-member. Purchase tickets online through Jan. 13, VAC Admin Office or VAC Gallery. Pūpū, wine, and beer available for purchase. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

Christmas Lighting Parade, Saturday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m., along Hwy. 11, from Nā‘ālehu Elementary School to Nā‘ālehu Community Center. Refreshments to follow at Community Center. Ka‘ū Roping & Riding Association. Participants sign waiver by 5p.m. at school.


Soul Town Band, Saturday, Dec. 14, 7-10p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Lava Lounge, in HVNP. $5 cover charge. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply. kilaueamilitarycamp.com

Volcano Chorus: 25th Annual Holiday Concert, Saturday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.Kīlauea Military Camp's Theater, in HVNP. Free; donations accepted. Park entrance fees may apply. 982-7344, kden73@aol.com

SUNDAY, DEC. 15
3rd Annual Hawai‘i Bird Conservation Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 15, Volcano Golf and Country Club to Boy Scouts' Kīlauea Camp. Funds raised support endemic birds of Hawai‘i through the Hawai‘i Forest Institute for the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest in Volcano. Race registration closed. Donations welcome; donors of over $100 invited to behind the scene tour of Keauhou Bird Conservation Center Discovery Forest, 10a.m.-noon, Saturday, Dec. 14. hawaiiforestinstitute.kindful.com

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua, Sunday, Dec. 15, 9:30-11a.m., Kahuku Unit, HVNP. Free, easy one-mile walk. nps.gov/havo

TUESDAY, DEC. 17
Hawai‘i County Council Mtgs., Tuesday, Dec. 17 (Committees), Wednesday, Dec. 18, (Council), Kona. Ka‘ū residents can participate via videoconferencing at Nā‘ālehu State Office Building. Agendas at hawaiicounty.gov.

Cultural Understanding Through Art & the Environment: Ti Leaf Lei Making with Jelena Clay, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 11a.m.-1p.m.Volcano Art Center. Pre-registration required; class size limited. $10 per person supply fee. 967-8222, volcanoartcenter.org

After Dark in the Park: Holiday Concert, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 7-8p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Acclaimed Hawai‘i musician and recording artist Randy Lorenzo and upcoming vocalist Jennie Kaneshiro. Free; park entrance fees apply. 985-6011, nps.gov/havo

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18
Ocean View Community Association Board of Directors Mtg., Wednesday, Dec. 18, 12:30-1:30p.m.Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

Family Reading Night, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 6-7p.m.,Nā‘ālehu Elementary School Cafeteria. Family reading time plus make and take activities; snacks provided.

THURSDAY, DEC. 19
Volcano Friends Feeding Friends, Thursday, Dec. 19, 4-6p.m.Cooper CenterVolcano Village. Free community dinner for all. Additional packaged goods to take home for those in need. Donations and volunteers encouraged. 967-7800, thecoopercenter.org

Nāʻālehu School Family Reading Night, Thursday, Dec. 19, 6-7p.m., Ocean View Community Center. Family reading, make & take activities, and snacks provided. Free. 939-7033, ovcahi.org

ONGOING
Holiday Ornament Registration, through Dec. 16, Kahuku Park. Program takes place Wednesday, Dec. 18, 3-4p.m. Ages 6-14. 929-9113, hawaiicounty.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation

Christmas in the Country featuring 20th Annual Invitational Wreath Exhibit, daily, through Dec. 31, Volcano Art Center Gallery. Free; park entrance fees apply. 967-7565, volcanoartcenter.org

T-Ball and Coach Pitch Baseball League: Ocean View Team - Mondays and Wednesdays, Kahuku Park. Nā‘ālehu Team - Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nā‘ālehu Park. Pāhala Team (seeking coaches) - attend Nā‘ālehu practice. T-Ball, 3:30-4:30pm, ages 5-6. Coach Pitch, 4:30-6p.m., ages 7-8. Programs take place through April 16. Wear cleats or tennis shoes, bring a glove if possible. Extras gloves available for use. All skills and genders welcome. $35 per teammate. See Ka‘ū Youth Baseball on Facebook. Josh or Elizabeth Crook, 345-0511

Tūtū & Me Home Visiting Program is a free service to Pāhala families with keiki, birth to five years old. This caregiver support program offers those taking care of young keiki "a compassionate listening ear, helpful parenting tips and strategies, fun and exciting activities, and wonderful educational resources" from Tūtū & Me Traveling Preschool. Home visits are one hour in length, two to four times per month, for 12 to 15 visits. Snacks are provided. See pidfoundation.org or call 808-938-1088.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.


   

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