About The Ka`u Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Santa is on his way to Ocean View Community Association's Keiki Christmas Party today. Will he arrive in a classic car, as he did last year? Photo by Melissa Tveter
BAY CLINIC, WITH HEALTH CARE FACILITIES in Na`alehu, is receiving recognition and a $15,253 award as part of $36.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding to health centers across the nation in recognition of quality improvement achievements and to invest in ongoing quality improvement activities.
      Health centers receiving awards are proven leaders in areas such as chronic disease management, preventive care and use of Electronic Health Records to report quality data.
Bay Clinic Ka`u Family Health Center opened last December.
Photo by Joe Febo/Hana Hou Photography
      These health centers are being recognized for high levels of quality performance in one or more of the following four categories: health center quality leaders; national quality leaders; clinical quality improvers; and electronic health record reporters.
      Bay Clinic received recognition and a $15,253 award in the clinical quality improvers category. Clinical quality improvers are recognized if they demonstrated at least a 10 percent improvement in clinical quality measures between 2012 and 2013, showing a significant improvement in the health of the patients they serve.
      “This funding rewards health centers that have a proven track record in clinical quality improvement, which translates to better patient care, and it allows them to expand and improve their systems and infrastructure to bring the highest quality primary care services to the communities they serve,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “With these funds, health centers in all 50 states will continue to provide access to high quality, comprehensive primary and preventive health care to the patients that need it the most.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U RESIDENTS COULD SEE improvements in Hele-On bus service following the county’s purchase of three new buses and donation of five more by Honolulu’s transit system. Nancy Cook Lauer reports in West Hawai`i Today that the donated buses will be used as backups and put into service when other buses are being repaired.
      The county purchases the new buses, which cost $450,282 each, with federal funds.
      See westhawaiitoday.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Fire Chief Darren Rosario
WITH HAWAI`I COUNTY RESIDENTS preparing for New Year’s Eve festivities, Fire Chief Darren Rosario ask for everyone’s kokua in helping prevent fires and also to avoid unnecessary injuries caused by fireworks each year. 
      It is illegal for anyone to:
  • Remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any firework; 
  • Throw fireworks from, at or into any vehicle; 
  • Set off any fireworks: 
  1. At any time not within the specified time periods; Within 1,000 feet of any hospital, convalescent home, care home for the elderly, zoo, animal hospital or shelter or church when services are held; 
  2. On any school property without authorization from the said school official; 
  3. On any public way such as a highway, alley, street, sidewalk, or park. 
  4. Offer for sale, sell or give any fireworks to minors; or for any minor to possess, purchase, sell, or set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except under the immediate supervision of an adult; 
  5. Set off any aerial luminary devices, commonly called Sky Lanterns or Hawai`i Lanterns, or any other aerial devices, such as bottle rockets, sky rockets, roman candles, cakes, mortars or shells. 
      Use extreme care when setting off fireworks. Children playing with fireworks should be under an adult’s close supervision at all times. Even the smallest of fireworks can cause severe injuries that will quickly ruin the holidays.
      Fireworks should be set off in an area well away from dry grass or flammable materials.
      Be sure fireworks are completely extinguished before being disposed of.
      Have a fire extinguisher and/or a water hose ready to use in the event of an unplanned or unexpected fire. Be sure water hoses can reach all areas where fireworks activities are being conducted, especially around the entire house. It’s also a great idea to wet down any dry, grassy area before and after setting off fireworks.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Palila on mamane tree, its food source. Photo from USGS
A STATE ATTEMPT TO TRY TO EXTEND PROTECTION of endangered palila, whose critical habitat is on Mauna Kea, outside its habitat has been stopped by a state judge, according to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald
      Currently, state employees and contractors can hunt sheep, goats, cattle and axis deer from the air within the birds’ critical habitat through an exemption to a ban on aerial hunting. The state wanted to extend the area available for aerial hunting to keep ungulates from migrating to palilas’ habitat, where they destroy mamane trees, palilas’ main food source. However, Hilo Circuit Court Judge Glenn Hara ruled that state law doesn’t “specifically provide an exemption for the state from the aerial hunting ban” outside of the critical habitat.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is the first
Hindu in Congress. Photo from
U.S. India Relationship Blog
KA`U’S U.S. REP. TULSI GABBARD is visiting India at the invitation of the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who she recently met with during his visit to the U.S. During their first meeting, the two spoke of the priorities shared by India and the U.S., including defeating threats posed by ISIS and other Islamic extremists, collaborating to address environmental concerns and maximizing economic opportunities. Gabbard’s visit to India as the Prime Minister’s guest will work towards these efforts.

      “The potential for the relationship between the United States and India is extremely bright, and I wish to enhance this important partnership through my visit to India,” said Gabbard. “I was honored to accept the invitation of Prime Minister Modi and look forward to meeting with him again. Throughout this visit, I will have the opportunity to meet with a variety of people from different industries in five major cities, with the objective of investing in and strengthening the relationship between the world’s largest and oldest democracies.”

      While in India, Gabbard will build relationships with high ranking officials in government and the military, as well as meet with individuals and leaders in different industries, agencies and organizations that promote business, technology and innovation, renewable energy, tourism, education, opportunities for women and children and environmental protection. She will address the India Ideas Conclave in Goa, deliver welcoming remarks at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Conference, speak to students at Goa University and participate in the Bangalore Innovation and Start-Ups technology conference. She will also meet with leadership of the Indian Film Industry to create more opportunities for the industry in Hawai`i, as well as promote eco-tourism and other investments in the Aloha State.

      Gabbard serves on the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, which was established in 1994 and has been the driver of the India-U.S. bilateral relationship. Gabbard said that, due to increased efforts of this Caucus, among other things, the friendship and opportunities between these two countries has been strengthened and continues to grow.

      Gabbard will return to Washington, DC before Congress reconvenes on Jan. 6. No U.S. tax dollars are used to fund the travel and associated costs of her trip to India.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER hosts its annual keiki Christmas party today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event includes gifts, a visit from Santa Claus, food, fun and celebration. Volunteers are still welcome to help with the event.

Yellow `ohi`a lehua are one of many forms participants learn about tomorrow.
Photo by David Boyle
LUCKY LIZARDS PERFORM TONIGHT at Gilligan’s CafĂ© in Discovery Harbour. The restaurant is open Friday and Saturday nights from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to support Ka`u Learning Academy.

PARTICIPANTS BRING LUNCH AND LEARN about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower during a free program tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. at Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. 985-6011


Friday, December 19, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

A decorated Hello Kitty cabin at Kilauea Military Camp sports a bow and blue whiskers, hoping that spectators vote for her
during KMC's Holiday Challenge. Photo by Dave Berry
MAILE MEDEIROS DAVID, KA`U’S NEW member on Hawa`i County Council, followed her predecessor Brenda Ford in voting in favor of a ban on electronic smoking devices this week. Bill 302 prohibits use of the devices in all enclosed and partially enclosed places within the county where use of tobacco products are currently prohibited and also prohibits use of the devices at all county parks and recreational facilities.
      The bill passed its first reading prior to newly elected council members taking office. At that time, the bill passed six to two. On its second reading, the vote was five to four in favor.
     According to a story in the Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, a recent state Department of Health survey found that triple the number of high school students used e-cigarettes at least once from 2011 to 2013, and use quadrupled among middle school students during the same period.
      Opponents of the ban say there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are harmful and that people use them to help quit smoking.
Maile Medeiros David
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSIONS have given favorable recommendations to changing the approval process for Planned Unit Developments. Following approval with reservations by the Windward Commission on Dec. 4, the Leeward Commission gave approval yesterday. The issue now goes to the County Council.
      Currently, only the Planning director has to approve PUDs, and public notice follows the decisions. Decisions can be overturned by the Board of Appeals and the Third Circuit Court.
      Bill 281 calls for the Planning Commission that holds jurisdiction over the area where properties for which applications are sought to be responsible for review and approval of the application. Public notices and hearings would be required.
      Lands where the famous Moa`ula and Pear Tree Ka`u Coffee farms are located were set up for subdivision as a PUD several years ago, the decision made by the former county Planning director without public hearing or consideration by the Planning Commissions or County Council. The subdivision has not been carried out, but the potential is part of the marketing of the land, which has been put up for sale by Lehman Brothers Holdings, which foreclosed on former developers there. The coffee farmers, who have developed the Ka`u Coffee industry there for nearly two decades, no longer have leases and could lose their farms if the land is subdivided and sold off. The proposed PUD at Moa`ula and Pear Tree calls for many lots smaller than 20 acres for which the property is zoned, leaving the gulches and mountainsides and some other non-coffee land in bigger parcels.
      Chris Manfredi, former manager of owner WWK Holding’s Ka`u lands, recently told The Ka`u Calendar that the company’s subdivision goal “was to create family farms. All exiting tenants were to be offered 50-year terms and purchase options.” He also said, “No one in Ka`u has ever proposed such favorable terms.”
      While the original intent of PUDs was to make for better planning by avoiding simple cookie cutter developments, PUDs are sometimes used by developers to obtain smaller, more desirable lots for estates and houses.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Two fingers of lava are threatening Pahoa Marketplace, as shown by arrows
in regular and thermal photos. Photos from USGS/HVO
MERCHANTS AT PAHOA MARKETPLACE who are closing their businesses in advance of lava that is threatening the area plan to reopen as soon as possible, county Civil Defense Chief Darryl Oliveira told the public at yesterday’s community update meeting. 
      Two fingers of lava are now possible threats to the shopping center, with the closest one .6 miles away as of 9 a.m. this morning. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that one of the flow fronts is stalled, but the other is still active and could reach the center in five to nine days, depending on the flow rate.
      Gov. David Ige, who visited Pahoa yesterday, said it helps to see the flow with his own eyes. “It does give you a very different perspective to be on the ground and view it from the air and talk to people and actually see the flow itself,” Tom Callis, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, reported Ige saying.
      Ige said the state is prepared to continue working with the county on road access and other issues in the long term. “This is not something that’s going to disappear,” he said.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Marco Mangelsdorf
HAWAI`I ISLAND’S ROOFTOP PHOTOVOLTAIC industry may be in a state of terminal decline, according to Marco Mangelsdorf, owner of ProVision Solar in Hilo. Richard Ha, owner of Hamakua Springs Country Farms and a proponent of geothermal energy for grid-delivered electricity, reports Mangelsdorf’s findings on his blog at hahaha.hamakuasprings.com. Ha says Mangelsdorf is one of the most credible commentators he knows in the energy industry. 
      “It’s hard to see factors that would lead to a sustainable upswing (in the PV industry) at least in the next several years,” Mangelsdorf says. “With the federal tax credit scheduled to disappear for residential PV as of Jan. 1, 2017 and go down from 30 percent to 10 percent for commercial PV, grid-penetration issues and NextEra’s (the company that is buying Hawaiian Electric Co.’s) apparent preference for utility-scale PV over distributed generation, the skies seem unlikely to brighten in the near-term for the local PV industry. And forget any immediate relief coming from some magic bullet in the form of energy storage. Ain’t gonna happen no matter how much some commentators predict it along with a mass exodus from the grid. Said pundits have likely never spent any time, let along months or years, living off the grid and the considerable energy, time, resources and conscientiousness that off grid living entails.”
      According to Mangelsdorf, PV permits between January and November of this year dropped 51 percent from the same period last year.
      “The number one PV permit puller on the island, Vivint Solar, has seen their numbers take a substantial dive in October and November,” Mangelsdorf said. Their monthly average between January and September of this year was 92 PV permits. In October, they obtained nine permits and pulled 15 last month.

Hawai`i Fire Department has announced sale dates for fireworks permits.
Photo by Kris Brakken
HAWAI`I FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES that fireworks permits will be available for purchase beginning Friday, Dec. 26 and ending at midnight on New Year’s Eve at the following locations for the upcoming New Year’s celebration: 
  • Fire Administration Office, Hilo County Building, 25 Aupuni Street, Suite 2501, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Dec. 26, 29, 30, and 31; and 
  • Kona Fire Prevention Office, West Hawai`i Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Bldg E, second floor, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Dec. 26, 29, 30, and 31. 
      Fireworks permits will also be sold at the following firecracker vending outlets:
  • TNT Tent, Waiakea Center Parking Lot, 325 Maka`ala Street, Hilo; 
  • TNT Tent, Kona Crossroads Parking Lot, 75-1027 Henry Street, Kailua-Kona; 
  • KTA Puainako, 50 E. Puainako Street, Hilo 
  • Pacific Fireworks Kona, 75-5629 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona; 
  • KTA Kona, Kona Coast Shopping Center, 74-5594 Palani Rd. Kailua Kona; 
  • Long’s Drug Prince Kuhio Plaza, 111 E. Puainako St., Hilo. 
      Each permit costs $25 and will entitle the holder to purchase 5,000 individual firecrackers. Multiple permit purchases are authorized. Permits shall only be issued to persons 18 years of age or older and are non-transferable and non-refundable. Permits are not required for purchasing novelties and paperless firecrackers. Setting off of fireworks are allowed between the hours of 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Permits shall be visibly displayed at the site of use during the time of the firing.
      For more information on purchasing fireworks permits or use of fireworks, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 in Hilo or 323-4760 in Kona.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Sammie Fo performed during Ka`u School of the Arts Christmas concert
at Pahala Plantation House. Photo by Julia Neal
OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER hosts holiday events today and tomorrow. 
      Ka`u School of the Arts, which presented a concert at Pahala Plantation House Sunday following the Christmas parade through town, offers another free Christmas concert today at 5 p.m. Featured are Ka`u `Ohana Band, Halau Hula O Ka `Imina Na`auao Kahiko, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, Sammie Fo and a sing-along with Ka`u Community Chorus. Potluck refreshments are welcome.
      Ocean View Community Association’s annual keiki Christmas party is tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event includes gifts, a visit from Santa Claus, food, fun and celebration. Call 939-7033 to volunteer.

PARTICIPANTS BRING LUNCH AND LEARN about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower during a free program Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. 985-6011


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ka`u News Briefs Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Colorful cabins at Kilauea Military Camp continue the Holiday Challenge tradition, where spectators can vote for their favorites.
Photo by Dave Berry
IN TESTIMONY SUPPORTING AN APPEAL of federal judge Barry Kurren’s decision invalidating Hawai`i County’s partial ban on genetically modified crops, east Ka`u’s Sen. Russell Ruderman said, “I urge you to stand up to bullies, to stand up for our right to a democracy that’s free of corporate control.”
      While most of the more than six hours of public testimony favored an appeal, University of Hawai`i scientists in Hilo and Manoa opposed one.
Sen. Russell Ruderman
      David Christopher, of the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, said, “We need to hold Hawai`i state law and the federal Plant Protection Act as primary principles to follow.”
      In his decision last month, Kurren said state law pre-empts county law on the issue and that lawmakers intended the state to have extensive oversight of agricultural issues. “Clearly, the state Legislature intended this network of the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture, the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture and the advisory committee to have extensive and broad responsibilities over agricultural problems spanning the various counties to form a coherent and comprehensive statewide agricultural policy,” he wrote.
      According to a story in Hawai`i Tribune-Herald, Paul Achitoff, managing attorney for Earthjustice’s mid-Pacific regional office, said there was no legislative intent to cover GMOs because the state law the judge referred to was written before GMOs came to the state.
      Ka`u’s County Council member Maile Medeiros David was one of five who voted to appeal the judge’s decision.
      Regarding the council’s vote to appeal, Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who wrote the bill partially banning GMOs, said, “This is an important decision with far-reaching impact on home rule. It’s not just about GMOs.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Photos show activity at flow front heading toward Pahoa Marketplace.
Photos from USGS/HVO
GOV. DAVID IGE IS IN PUNA today to get updates on the June 27 lava flow that is once again threatening Pahoa. His schedule includes a briefing with county Civil Defense Chief Darryl Olivera and a meeting with teachers at Kea`au High School, where students from some closed Pahoa-area schools are now going. Ige will visit the site of the lava flow and also speak with evacuating merchants at Pahoa Marketplace. He will also attend tonight’s weekly community update meeting at Pahoa High School cafeteria.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

WITH LAVA WITHIN ONE MILE of Hwy 130 and Pahoa Village Road, two webcams are in place to show activity as the flow front moves toward Pahoa Marketplace. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory staff pointed one of the cameras onto the shopping center, and the other is directed upslope. Images from the cameras are available at hvo.wr.usgs.gov.
      Merchants at the shopping center are preparing for lava to reach the area within a few days. Malama Market and ACE Hardware announced that they will close today. According to Big Island Video News, Lex Brodie’s closed yesterday. The service station is removing gas from tanks and filling them with water and foam that is used to fight fires in order to prevent explosions.
      CU Hawai`i Federal Credit Union, which has branches in Na`alehu and Pahala, has closed its Pahoa branch at the marketplace, Marketing Manager Cheryl Weaver announced.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Researchers have discovered how El Nino fuels intense hurricanes. Image from NOAA
FOLLOWING A BUSY HURRICANE SEASON, climate researchers have discovered El Nino’s fueling effect on intense hurricanes. Fei-Fei Jin and Julien Boucharel, at the UH Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and I-I Lin, at the National Taiwan University, have published a paper in Nature that uncovers what’s behind El Nino’s influence on hurricanes via its remote ability to alter atmospheric conditions such as stability and vertical wind shear rather than the local oceanic environment.
      While El Nino peaks in winter and its surface ocean warming occurs mostly along the equator, Jin and colleagues uncovered an oceanic pathway that brings El Nino’s heat into the Northeastern Pacific basin two or three seasons after its winter peak – right in time to directly fuel intense hurricanes in that region.
      El Nino develops as the equatorial Pacific Ocean builds up a huge amount of heat underneath the surface, and it turns into La Nina when this heat is discharged out of the equatorial region. “This recharge/discharge of heat makes El Nino/La Nina evolve somewhat like a swing,” said Jin, lead author of the study.
      Most climate models predict a slowdown of the tropical atmospheric circulation as the mean global climate warms up. This will result in extra heat stored underneath the Northeastern Pacific and thus greatly increase the probability for this region to experience more frequent intense hurricanes, according to the researchers.
      The authors also point out that their findings may provide a skillful method to anticipate the activeness of the coming hurricane season by monitoring the El Nino conditions two to three seasons ahead of potentially powerful hurricanes that may result.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

HAWAI`I ISLAND POLICE continue islandwide DUI checkpoints through through January 1. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
      Police remind the public that an arrest and conviction of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant are $500 minimum bail for release from jail, $200 for installation of an interlock system plus $92.56 per month, loss of driver’s license, possible cancellation of insurance policy or a premium increase of up to $100 per month, alcohol assessment classes, community service, criminal probation, court fines and possible jail time.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Hula dancers with Hannah's Makana `Ohana performed at Ka`u School of the Arts'
Christmas concert at Pahala Plantation House. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U SCHOOL OF THE ARTS, which presented a concert at Pahala Plantation House Sunday following the Christmas parade through town, offers another free Christmas concert tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center Featured are Ka`u `Ohana Band, Halau Hula O Ka `Imina Na`auao Kahiko, Hannah’s Makana `Ohana, Sammie Fo and a sing-along with Ka`u Community Chorus. Potluck refreshments are welcome.

OCEAN VIEW COMMUNITY CENTER’S annual keiki Christmas party is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event includes gifts, a visit from Santa Claus, food, fun and celebration. Call 939-7033 to volunteer.

PARTICIPANTS BRING LUNCH AND LEARN about the vital role of `ohi`a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the `ohi`a lehua tree and its flower during a free program Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. 985-6011 

KILAUEA DRAMA & ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK’S presentations of Amahl and the Night Visitors begin a week from tomorrow. Performances are scheduled for Dec. 26, 27 and 28 and Jan. 2, 3 and 4 at Kilauea Military Camp Theater in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. 
      Amahl, a disabled boy who can walk only with a crutch, has a problem with telling tall tales, and his mother does not believe him when he tells her there is an amazing star “as big as a window” outside over their roof. His mother gets even angrier when Amahl tells her that a knock at the door is three kings come to visit them. The kings enter and tell them that they have come to find a king. Amahl’s mother sends him to fetch the shepherds to bring food for the kings as there is none in the house. Later that night, when Amahl’s mother tries to steal some of the kings’ gold to use to help her child, she is caught. When the kings offer to let her keep the gold, explaining that the king they seek will need nothing but love to rule his kingdom, she returns it. Amahl offers his staff as an additional gift, and suddenly finds that he can walk. He leaves with the kings to pay homage to the child who has healed him.
     Tickets are $15 general, $12 seniors 60+ and students and $10 for children 12 and under. Presale tickets are available at Kilauea General Store, Kea`au Natural Foods and the Most Irresistible Shop in downtown Hilo. Tickets will also be available at the door.
     For more information or to make reservations, call 982-7344 or email kden73@aol.com.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.