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, July 1, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs July 1, 2011

Sen. Gil Kahele takes children along the ancient Hawaiian trail on the South Kona Coast this summer, waiting for the governor to sign the wilderness bill. Photo by Kai`ail`i Kahele.
Mayor Billy Kenoi's
budget will fund the county.
Photo by Julia Neal.
MAYOR BILLY KENOI’S $367 MILLION BUDGET went into effect this morning, July 1, despite a County Council attempt to override his veto of the Council’s approved budget. The veto override fell one vote short, with Ka`u’s council member Brittany Smart siding with Dominic Yagong, Brenda Ford, Angel Pilago and Pete Hoffmann to override the veto. Fred Blas cast the swing vote against the override, and it failed as six votes are needed to override a mayoral veto.
    The mayor’s budget restores the Open Space and Natural Resources Fund to collect 2 percent of property tax revenues. Smart voted last week to reduce the funding from 2 percent to 1.5 percent, parting with Angel Pilago, who voted to keep the fund intact. The funds have been used to conserve oceanfront lands for the public in Ka`u and elsewhere and are expected to help the county buy thousands of acres of coastal lands makai of Ocean View and more parkland at Kawa, a popular surfing and fishing beach. Both were threatened by development during the last two decades.
     Smart said her vote to reduce the fund to 1.5 percent was a compromise as there had been a proposal at the council to reduce it to 1 percent. She said she also worried about deferring retiree benefit payments as it puts an extra burden on the county to come up with the money later.

Kawa was sought by developers but saved by the
community using it for fishing and surfing. 
Photo by Julia Neal
    COASTAL LANDS between Punalu`u and Kawa and land on the south side of the Kawa surfing beach are expected to become county property within a month, according to an agreement between the county and the Olson Trust, which was holding the land in order to make it into a public reserve. Abel Simeona Lui, who has been living on the land near the popular surfing and fishing beach for some 20 years, said he will continue resisting eviction. A sign on the property along Hwy 11 indicates support of the Hawaiian Kingdom over the American government.

    THE SOUTH KONA WILDERNESS AREA BILL is scheduled for signing by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Championed by Rep. Bob Herkes and Sen. Gil Kahele, it is designed to preserve lands rich with cultural, biological, and historical significance. Kahele said, “The wilderness area provides a mechanism to address both the community’s interests in utilizing the area for recreational purposes and protecting the vast amounts of archaeological sites, native plants, and native animals that exist in the preserve.”
     The lands in the wilderness reserve are at Honomalino and Okoe from the shoreline to 6,000 feet inland and the Manuka Natural Area Reserve boundary extended to the shoreline at Manuka and Kalanamauna. The bill will prevent subdivision of the state-owned land and construction of new homes or structures within 1,000 feet of the shoreline.

    FURLOUGH DAYS could continue at county offices, according to a Stephens Media report this morning, which says that Mayor Billy Kenoi is attempting to negotiate with the Hawai`i Government Employees Association to keep the Furlough Fridays going for the next two years.

DRUNK DRIVING: OVER THE LIMIT. UNDER ARREST is the campaign being conducted by police, who are manning DUI checkpoints islandwide during the Fourth of July weekend. Police are also promoting the county’s “shared ride” taxi program, with coupons for as low as $2 each for rides home for those who have been drinking. Call 961-8744 or visit www.heleonbus.org/shared-ride-taxi-program.

    TOMORROW’S INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE in Na`alehu is taking applications for participants through today. It begins at 11 a.m. and is followed by a rodeo, which is also on for Sunday. Signing up for the Volcano parade this Monday is pau. It begins along Old Volcano Highway at 9 a.m. on July 4 and ends up with music, food and celebration at Cooper Center.

    A FREE PANCAKE BREAKFAST IS SET for tomorrow morning before the parade in Na`alehu. It starts at 9 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    PAULINE WILSON PRESENTS A NIGHT of hot, sultry jazz tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Tickets are $15 and are available by calling 967-8222.