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, August 17, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs August 17, 2011

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando says "a different approach" is proposed for the new management plan.
Photo by Julia Neal

HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK hosts public talk story sessions next week on options for a new General Management Plan. The plan can be read online at the park website.

    All session will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22 at Kilauea Visitor Center, Tuesday, Aug. 23 at Pahoa Community Center, and Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Na`alehu Community Center.
    The General Plan was last implemented over 30 years ago. In the meantime the park has more than doubled in size, acquiring more than 117,000 acres at Kahuku, stretching high across the slopes of Mauna Loa, to Volcano. In addition, the number of park goers has grown dramatically, making Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park one of the most visited places in all of Hawai`i.
    Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said options for the new plan offer “a different approach to managing park resources as well as a variety of ways to meet the needs of local residents, off-island visitors and students of all ages who continue to come each year to experience this special place.”
    The Park asks for comments to be sent by Sept. 30 online by going to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havo or by mail to Cindy Orlando, Superintendent, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 52, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718.

Small shrimp in anchialine ponds in Ka`u.
TWO RARE SHRIMP are among wildlife species living on and adjacent to Nani Kahuku `Aina’s 16,457 acres where the Kahuku Village resort development project is planned. According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement submitted by the company to the state Office of Environmental Quality Control, Halocaridina rubra and Metabetaeus Iohena are found in several of 17 anchialine ponds. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website lists the lohena shrimp as a candidate for the endangered species list.
The tiny native shrimp are sometime collected to keep in bowls.
The Draft EIS states that ponds along the coast would not be greatly affected by runoff discharged into marine environments by the resort development and its golf course. Installation of silt fences, temporary ground cover, and directing runoff onto the golf course itslef, and onto low areas, retention/detention basins, or injection wells would help prevent runoff effects.
      The Draft EIS also states that Nani Kahuku `Aina would take measures to preserve Hawksbill turtle nesting habitats at Pohu`e Bay and continue to partner with the Hawksbill Turtle Recovery project. Lights shining directly into the ocean would be prohibited. Lights near the coast would be shielded and of low output to prevent disorientating turtles. A planned Hawaiian Heritage Center would monitor nesting grounds, conduct beach cleanups, and regulate shoreline access, the Draft EIS states.
    The Draft EIS also notes that predominance of lava rock in the landscape may require drilling and/or explosives to clear land for construction. Flyrock debris could cause physical harm and dust, and vibrations from explosives may damage nearby structures, the Draft EIS states and suggests limiting the amount of explosives used and establishing sufficient buffer zones around blast areas. 
    Public comments on the Draft EIS are due Sept. 21. The area planned for a golf course, hotel and condominium units, shopping and other resort living amenities would need land use changes from Conservation to Urban and Rural and zoning changes to Resort and other categories. The land is along five miles of coast between South Point - Kalae and Ocean View Ranchos, makai of Hwy 11 and can be seen from the Ocean View scenic lookout and from Kahuku. The Draft EIS can be seen online at the state Department of Health, in the section on the Office of Environmental Quality Control.

Abandoned wind mill farm targeted for copper. Photo by Julia Neal
COPPER CABLES are reported stolen from the old South Point Wind Farm. Police said cables from the abandoned wind farm on South Point Road were about 40-feet long and 4- to 6-inches in diameter and covered with black plastic coating. The copper cables are estimated to be worth $50,000. The Wind Farm shut down years ago, replaced by larger, more efficient windmills closer to the coast at the Pakini Nui Wind Farm. The theft is among several reported heavy copper-gauge cables stolen in Ka`u in the last month. Police ask anyone with information on suspicious activity at the wind farm or with possible knowledge of the thefts to call Officer Dane Shibuya at 939-2520 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Anonymous tipsters may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

TROPICAL STORM FERNANDA is unlikely to strengthen and become a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. Fernanda is moving 8 mph west and was about 1,290 miles southeast of Hilo at 5 a.m. The five-day forecast puts Fernanda about 270 miles southeast of the shores of Ka`u this Sunday as a tropical depression. The National Hurricane Center is warning, however, that people should be prepared, in case the forecast changes. One of the tracking models does take Fernanda directly into South Point. The Pacific Hurricane Center takes over monitoring the storm tonight when it crosses the 140W longitude line.

A 3.3 MAGNITUDE quake hit 1 mile northwest of Pahala today. No damage was reported but windows and shelves rattled throughout the area at 11:20 a.m.

SENATOR GILL KAHELE will hold a public forum with constituents from District 2 on Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Cooper Center on Wright Road in Volcano Village. The meeting is sponsored by his senate office to prepare for the next legislative session that begins in January. “I look forward to the opportunity to have an open and frank discussion that will better help me to address the needs of our communities,” he said. 

HAWAI`I WILD LIFE FUND has announced its late summer and fall beach cleanup schedule. The Get the Drift & Bag It! 26th Annual International Coastal Cleanup will be Saturday, Sept. 17. Get the Drift brings volunteers from all over the state to document debris found on all of Hawai`i’s beaches.

Kamilo Beach photo from EcoBuildTrends
    Surfrider Hilo Chapter, Hawai`i Community College, and the University of Hawaii in Hilo, will kokua Hawai`i Wildlife Fund for the Ka`u cleanup.
Volunteers meet in Wai'ōhinu Park at 7:45 a.m. to drive to Kamilo Point and Ka'alu'alu Bay. A second cleanup Nov. 17 will gather debris along an undetermined part of the Ka`u coastline. Volunteers are urged to bring sturdy footwear, sun and wind protection, and a reusable water bottle, and a bag lunch. HWF will supply cleanup materials. Vehicles are required to have four-wheel drive to reach the site. Volunteers will set out to the sites at 8 a.m. and finish cleaning at around 2 p.m.

KA`U PLANTATION DAYS invites everyone to bring their photos, their memorabilia and their voices to talk story about the agricultural heritage in Ka`u that produced the unique multicultural community that thrives here. The event, this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be held at Pahala Plantation House. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the closing of the Ka`u sugar mill. The anniversary will celebrate history of the plantation and the evolution of agriculture in Ka`u. The event begins at 9 a.m. with parading of a retired Ka`u sugar cane truck. The route will be from Pahala Armory to the corner of Pikake and Maile Streets in front of the old manager’s house.
    The Plantation House will host a presentation on old pictures of the sugar mill, Pahala, and sugar workers and their families. Lunch will celebrate the town’s diversity with Filipino, Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Japanese food. Displays of Chinese life and the other ethnic groups form the town will be at stations around the yard and in the house. There will be Portuguese and Filipino dancing throughout the day and a video on the last cane harvest in Pahala.
The old truck shed at the Ka`u Sugar Plantation is now used for macadamia farming equipment. Photo by Julia Neal