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.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs June 25, 2011

The Two Percent fund has allowed the county to purchase such places for parks as lands surrounding
the Kawa surfing beach.  Photo by Julia Neal
THE TWO PERCENT LAND FUND is threatened by the County Council, with Ka`u’s council member Brittany Smart voting to cut it in half – down to one percent at yesterday’s council meeting. Only council member Angel Pilago voted to keep the funding intact. The two percent fund, also called the Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund, has been used to set aside coastal parklands in Ka`u and other places on the Big Island. It is generated by setting aside two percent of property tax revenues taken in by the county. 
     Mayor Billy Kenoi said that cutting the funding violates the county code. The council will vote on the matter again this coming Thursday. The council members who voted for reducing the two percent fund want to use the money to pay for retirees’ health insurance payments in advance.
     Council Chair Dominic Yagong proposed hiring an outside attorney to represent the council in this and other matters, but the measure was defeated in a 5 to 4 vote.

GOV. NEIL ABERCROMBIE told the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce yesterday that “the Big Island has the best possibilities in the entire world for alternative energy.” According to a report in West Hawai`i Today, the governor said he also sees the possibility of establishing a residential military base for families being relocated from the Okinawa marine base back to the U.S. He also said housing could be a possibility for the families of troops preparing for deployment at the Pohakuloa Training Area. West Hawai`i Today reported Abercrombie as saying, “PTA will be the center for training in the Pacific in the 21st Century.” 

No more mulch will be transferred from
Kona to Ka`u to help prevent further
spread of coffee borers into the famed
Ka`u Coffee farms. Photo by Julia Neal
TO HELP STOP THE SPREAD of the coffee berry borer, the Department of Environmental Management has discontinued hauling mulch from Kealakehe to Wai`ohinu transfer station. Island coffee growers recently brought to the county’s attention the possibility that hauling mulch from one coffee-growing district to another could contribute to the unwanted spread of the coffee berry borer infestation since the pests may be in the mulch. 
     “We appreciate everyone’s understanding and kokua in the effort to prevent the spread of the coffee borer pest on our island,” said Kevin Dayton, of the Office of the Mayor.
     A proposal to make compost from the county’s entire supply of green waste is currently being solicited among private vendors. Under this proposal, compost would be manufactured commercially, and the current practice of offering free mulch islandwide would end soon.
     Until then, free mulch is available at the Kealakehe and Hilo transfer stations. However, users should not transport the mulch to or near coffee-growing areas, Dayton said. 

TWELVE MORE BILLS WERE SIGNED into law by Gov. Abercrombie this week:
• Senate Bill 142 requires the Board of Land and Natural Resources to consider dams and reservoirs as important water resources for the State.
• Senate Bill 14 expands the authorized uses of the Agricultural Development and Food Security Special Fund to include the improvement of dams and reservoirs, and water quality testing and improvement.
• Senate Bill 1328 increases the motor vehicle registration fee from $25 to $45 and to deposit a portion into the general fund.
• House Bill 200 appropriates funds for the operating and capital improvement budget of the Executive Branch for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
• House Bill 1020 revises the boundaries of the Aloha Tower complex and places the Aloha Tower Development Corporation under the Department of Transportation for administrative purposes.
• House Bill 117 expedites and facilitates work on construction projects within Special Management Areas.
• House Bill 555 extends the area applicable to graffiti removal from 100 yards to 250 yards and allows the court to require 100 hours of community service in lieu of graffiti removal.
• House Bill 593 requires candidates for county elective office to submit a sworn certification that the candidate has complied with the relevant provisions of the county charter and county ordinances.
• House Bill 960 establishes a program for granting low-income housing tax credit loans in lieu of housing tax credits. There is already $7 million appropriated for this function in the state budget.
• House Bill 1368 clarifies the filing process of nomination papers and also defines a party candidate and modifies the withdrawal process for a party candidate.
• House Bill 1434 clarifies that a single violation of the prevailing wage law refers to each separate project where the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations finds a contractor in violation of Hawai`i Revised Statutes Chapter 104.
• House Bill 1447 amends provisions in the Permitted Transfers in Trust Act (Act 182, SLH 2010) to strengthen Hawai`i’s trust laws and allow Hawai`i to compete with other states in this growing industry.
     For more information on these or all measures that have been signed into law, please visit http://capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011.

This fire, started by an electric tranformer along Hwy 11, raged through
brushlands and threatened the Old Pahala Clubhouse in 2007.
Photo by Julia Neal
FIRE SEASON IS HERE, and the Hawai`i Wildfire Management Organization met with residents this week in Na`alehu to teach the strategy Ready, Set, Go! 
     READY means being prepared by taking such actions as screening vents, which could help keep houses from imploding, as it prevents embers or sparks from entering the driest part of a house, under the roof. Specialists also pointed to areas around houses. Anywhere that leaves gather is the same place that embers will gather, because they are both wind driven.
     SET – Be aware of such threats as cigarette butts and catalytic converters and throwing green waste along the road, which can increase the chance of roadside ignition.
     GO – Set up your house so that, in case of fire, you can leave for your own safety without panicking. Get fire safe to leave early and be a part of the fire solution and not the fire problem.

SQUARE DANCING TAKES PLACE TONIGHT and every Saturday night at the Ocean View Community Center from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Everyone is invited, and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.