About The Kaʻū 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.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs June 17, 2011

Kawa with its surfing beach and one of its estuaries during a busy surf weekend.  Photo by Julia Neal
THE COUNTY HAS THE RIGHT TO STEWARD KAWA and to purchase an additional 550 acres there, according to a ruling by Judge Joseph P. Florendo, Jr. yesterday. He ruled that the owners selling the land to the county for wildlife and beach preservation showed clear title. The ruling helps the county meet a June 30 deadline to avoid losing $2.5 million in federal and state funding for its second purchase there. Another $1.4 million is coming from the county’s two-percent land fund. 
     Abel Simeona Lui, who has lived at Kawa for more than 20 years, claims ownership of the land under Hawaiian law and said it was handed down through his family but taken away illegally. The judge disagreed. 
Campers have flown Hawaiian sovereignty flags at Kawa for years.
Photo by Julia Neal
     In his order, Florendo wrote, “Even when construing the defendant’s pleadings liberally, and in light most favorable towards them, defendants fail to set forth a sufficient basis to find that title to the property is in question. First of all, the 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai`i no longer governs the Hawai`i State Legislature, and the various constitutions of the Kingdom do not bind the government of the state of Hawai`i. Secondly, any defect in the process of conveyance pursuant to the laws of the Hawaiian Kingdom were subject to review and objection in Okuna v. Apiki et al. Finally, defendants have failed to present any other material facts in dispute to plaintiff’s assertion that plaintiff is the owner of the property.”
     The land being purchased includes a stretch between state lands next to Punalu`u and the Apiki family lands and the section of Kawa south of the surfing area, which includes estuaries and a shoreline fishing area. The county is purchasing the land from the Olson Trust, which bought it originally to prevent it from being sold off to developers by its former owner.
     The county purchased the land that includes the heiau, an estuary and land adjacent to the surfing beach from a hui involving former Ka`u realtor Marcia Johnson, who had advertised it in real estate magazines as the last bay for sale on the Ka`u coast.
     Kawa has long been a fishing and surfing place for local residents who went to court in the 1970s to open up access to the beach for the public.

Albert Ha`a (middle) asks Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo executive director
 Lehua Lopez Mau to consider the opinions of Hawaiian families
 whose heritage is connected with Honu`apo. Photo by Julia Neal
HONU`APO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Lehua Lopez Mau met with Albert Ha`a, Jr. and his supporters this week to listen to concerns about Hawaiian history and genealogy connected with Honu`apo. At a gathering around a picnic table at Whittington Beach Park at Honu`apo, Ha`a said his family is from there and lost their lands unfairly in the court system during days when sugar plantations and others leased lands from Hawaiian families and paid the land taxes to the government. These perpetuators of adverse possession, he said, took title of the land in the courts. They put obscure notices in the legal section of newspapers asking heirs to come forward if they wanted the land and could pay back the taxes on the land. Many of the Hawaiian families never saw the notices, or were unable to afford legal representation and the money to settle the cases. The practice is called quiet title. Ha`a said he still sees his family as having an interest in Honu`apo and is concerned that there are plans to make changes in the landscape, develop it into a recreational park for visitors, and put up fencing to protect wildlife in the estuary. He claimed that the planning is without the input of the Hawaiian families connected historically with Honu`apo. He also said that he believes that ali`i are buried at Honu`apo, including Kamehameha I. “Why not work with the real `ohana?” he asked Ka `Ohana’s executive director. 
Abel Simeona Lui  contends that wildlife is being killed by spraying
  poisons and use of rat poison at county parks.  Photo by Julia Neal
     Abel Simeona Lui, who is fighting his own battle against establishment of a park at nearby Kawa where he lives, said he objects to any plan that would allow bulldozing and taking out coconut trees and milo trees around the wetlands at Honu`apo. He also said he believes that the county is using rat poison in the area and that poison could be killing native owls. He showed photos of dead owls.
     Ka `Ohana O Honu`apo is working on a wetlands plan for the park with the county, which acquired Honu`apo lands after a successful fundraising effort by the community to buy it from real estate investors who were planning to sell it for development.

CONGRESSWOMAN MAZIE HIRONO won bipartisan support yesterday in saving federal funding for agricultural water development and flood protection. While not slated for Ka`u, the amendment to the federal ag bill saves the 60-year-old Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program from being totally eliminated. “This program supports our state and local governments’ ability to improve agricultural water delivery systems for farmers in Hawai`i,” she said. “Diversified agriculture is important to Hawai`i. I’ve met with farmers across the state and support this program because of them.”

Rep. Mazie Hirono with Korean Veterans in Hawai`i.
FUNDING FOR VETERANS was also supported by Hirono this week as she applauded passage of the Military Construction-Veterans Appropriations Act by Congress. It provides $129.7 billion for medical services, disability payments, pensions, survivor benefits and educational benefits to veterans. She said she represents more than 50,000 vets living in rural Hawai`i “who have shared with me their difficulties in getting medical care, especially when treatment requires travel to Honolulu from the neighbor islands. The bill provides $250 million to improve health care access for vets in rural communities. 

THE KA`U CHAMBER OF COMMERCE met yesterday and named interim officers president Dallas Decker, secretary Marge Elwell and continuing treasurer Karen Ingraham. The re-organization follows Dr. Rell Woodward stepping down due to illness. The Chamber is getting ready to launch its membership drive and publication of the 2012 Ka`u Directory.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP CELEBRATES Father’s Day with a brunch on Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a Surf ‘n’ Turf special from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Crater Rim Café in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Call 967-8371 for more information.