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.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs July 6, 2011

Diversified agriculture thrives near the proposed site for a biofuel refinery off Wood Valley Road. Photo by Julia Neal

PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE REFINERY and biofuel farm planned for land between Pahala, Wood Valley and Na`alehu will be held in Kona and Hilo on Tuesday, Aug. 2. The PUC, so far, plans no public hearings in Ka`u, where the $350 million refinery would be constructed to process crops that `Aina Koa Pono plans to grow on some 1300 acres, now in open space, cattle ranching and some small farms. Most of the biofuel would be trucked up Hwy 11 to the Hawaiian Electric power plant near Keahole Airport. Millions of gallons would be trucked to processing plants to make fuel for trucks, cars and possibly aviation. 
     The location of the seven-acre refinery campus is up Wood Valley Road along Meyer Camp Road. County officials say no Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement is needed to build the factory or install 1.25 million gallons in fuel storage tanks on the property.
     Company officials claim they will meet any required noise regulations and plan a road to Hwy 11 through macadamia orchards to avoid trucks coming through Pahala.
     The public hearing will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at the Hawai`i State Building Conference Rooms A,B and C at 75 Aupuni Street in Hilo and on the same day at 4 p.m. at the West Hawai`i Civic Center at 74-5044 Keohokalole Hwy, Community Meeting Hale, Building G in Kailua-Kona. 

New Habitat for Humanity home in Ocean View for Kealoha
and Deanna Martin. Photo by Margo Tanaka
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY West Hawai`i, which recently provided a Hawaiian family with a house and a path to home ownership in Ocean View, has been selected by Habitat for Humanity International to receive a portion of a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 
     Habitat for Humanity International is distributing the grant nationwide to 30 affiliates to support affordable housing and community development. The funding will be awarded under HUD’s Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Program.
   “This grant will help us to significantly increase our capacity to address the chronic need for affordable housing in West Hawai`i,” says Patrick Hurney, executive director for the West Hawai`i affiliate.
     Habitat affiliates selected to receive a portion of the grant will help rebuild and revitalize neighborhoods and improve the lives of residents by creating affordable housing opportunities through community development. Each affiliate is expected to increase their house production by at least 15 percent over three years and to match their grant funds by a ratio of four to one. The selected affiliates will also have access to continuing education to enhance their technical and administrative capabilities.

NATIVE HAWAIIANS are the only indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai`i, states a law signed today by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Senate Bill 1520 will significantly improve protection of cultural rights, ceded lands and other entitlements, advance self-governance and heal the “kaumaha” – the heaviness or sorrow, said a statement from the governor. 
Rep. Bob Herkes and Sen. Gil Kahele both support the act
for Native Hawaiians signed today. Photo by Julia Neal
     Signed into law, the measure adds a new chapter to the Hawai`i Revised Statutes, which would establish a process for Native Hawaiians to organize themselves. “This new law recognizes Hawaiians as equal partners and sets out a procedure to organize ourselves that is very grassroots driven,” said Sen. Malama Solomon, who was the bill’s chief negotiator in securing passage. “The power will percolate up from the community, not top down. It establishes a process to let Hawaiians set forth their goals and desires to define themselves…This is what ‘sovereignty’ means.”

     Sen. Gil Kahele served on the joint conference committee on Hawaiian affairs with Solomon and Senate chair Brickwood Galuteria, co-chairs Sen. Clayton Hee and Sen. David Y. Ige, House co-chairs Rep. Faye Hanohano and Rep. Gilbert Keith-Agaran, Rep. Chris Lee and Rep. Blake Oshiro.

     “Every generation of Native Hawaiians since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 has struggled with not legally being recognized as equals,” Solomon said. “So many have given so much; many have fought in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam – some losing their lives – for a country that doesn’t recognize them. While much has been done including the creation of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in 1921, formation of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in 1978, and the signing of the ‘Apology Resolution’ by President William Clinton in 1993, we are still not equals in our own land,” she said. 

It is intended to move in concert with the efforts by Senator Akaka and Hawai`i’s Congressional delegation to achieve federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.
     It is a commitment to acknowledging and recognizing the first people of Hawai`i, while preserving the diversity that has made Hawai`i home to so many.
 “Hawaiians are very different from the American tribes; we had a kingdom that was recognized by the United States and many other nations around the world before the overthrow,” Solomon continued. “Many of us today are directly connected to this history and heritage through our parents, grandparents and great grandparents. This new law will begin the healing.” 

     The new law will require the governor within 180 days to appoint a five-member Native Hawaiian Roll Commission within the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for administrative purposes. Funding to facilitate the activities of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission will be provided by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. 

A value-added farm, where pigs are raised by the Shibuyas.  Photo by Julia Neal
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE invites Ka`u agriculturalists to submit applications for Value-Added Producer Grants. Two years of funding totaling more than $37 million will be awarded. Proposals are due August 29. The grants help producers to develop farm-related businesses that add value to basic agricultural products through branding, processing, product differentiation, labeling and certification, and marketing. It includes projects that market inherently value-added production, such as organic crops, grass-fed livestock, and locally produced and marketed food products. It also funds regional food supply networks that benefit small and mid-sized farms by incorporating producers into larger farm-to-plate value chains. 
     Two types of grants are available:
• Grants of up to $100,000 each to develop business plans and feasibility studies (including marketing plans) to establish viable marketing opportunities for value-added products; or
• Grants of up to $300,000 each for working capital to operate a value-added business venture or alliance.
     The agency estimates it will make about 250 awards, announced by the end of November and that the average-size grant award will be $116,000. In the last round of awards, 41 percent of total awards were under $50,000.
     Applicants may propose any time frame for the project provided it does not exceed three years.

KUA O KA LA VIRTUAL ACADEMY, a New Century Public Charter School, hosts a question-and-answer meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at Na`alehu Community Center. The school’s hybrid program offers place-based, Hawaiian culture-focused electives coupled with an online academic program. For more information, call 808-342-0611.

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK’S 31st Annual Cultural Festival takes place this Saturday, July 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kahuku Unit, located between mile markers 70 and 71 on Hwy 11. The free event celebrates Hawaiian culture with music and demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts. Call 985-6011 or visit nps.gov/havo for more information.