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, August 6, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs August 6, 2011

Proposed redistricting splits Ka`u into two state Representative districts.
PROPOSED REDISTRICTING for the state House of Representatives would cut Ka`u down the middle, with the line going between Punalu`u and Na`alehu.
     The map released this week is preliminary, but would require two different state House members for Ka`u. Some Ocean View residents are already organizing opposition, fearing they will lose their long-time legislator Bob Herkes, who has championed the new water well for the community. Martie Nitsche called Herkes a “walking computer” whose knowledge of the Ka`u communities is unsurpassed. Nitsche said that the Ka`u region should stay together with its unique rural needs.
     Under the proposed scheme, residents of Na`alehu, Wai`ohinu, Discovery Harbour, Green Sands, Ka Lae and Ocean View would be in the same district as people north to Kahaluu-Keauhou and including Honalo, Kealakekua, Captain Cook and Honaunau-Napo`opo`o and Miloli`i. People in Punalu`u and Pahala would be in the same voting district as Volcano, Fern Forest and Eden Rock. The new east side district would also include Fern Acres, a tiny bit of Hawaiian Acres, parts of Orchidland Estates, all of Kurtistown, Kea`au, and a swath to the ocean that would include sparsely populated land out to the ocean north of Kea`au but south of Hilo. Most of Hawaiian Paradise Park and Hawaiian Acres, as well as all of `Ainaloa, Pahoa, Kapoho and Kalapana would be in a separate district.
     Hawai`i Reapportionment Commission Chairwoman Victoria Marks said that public hearings on these preliminary maps will be held on Sept. 13 in Hilo and Sept. 14 in Kona. The maps may change depending on whether military personnel and non-resident students are counted in the population base of the county. While the County of Hawai`i chose not to count them, the state voted to do so, the reapportionment maps released being the product of the methodology of the latter. State Attorney-General David M. Louie called the state’s decision unconstitutional. Under state law, however, the final maps must be adopted by Sept. 26, no matter what methodology is used. 

Tradewinds eyed eucalyptus above Pahala for veneer.
Photo by Julia Neal
TRADEWINDS, ONE OF THE COMPANIES that had its eye on harvesting the thousands of acres of eucalyptus above Pahala, has asked the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to terminate its license to cut trees and make them into plywood veneer. The site would have been the old O`okala Mill north of Hilo. The company, apparently, could not raise the money for the operation. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources could cancel the license at its next meeting, which is next Friday. 

THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION issued a notice of violation to the Pohakuloa Training Area here on the Big Island and Schofield Barracks on O`ahu on Thursday. The commission concluded after an investigation regarding depleted uranium used in weapons systems in the 1960s that there was a security level three violation resulting in increased radiation. The notice could entail a $3,500 fine. However, due to the Army’s positive response in providing information to the NRC and taking measures to prevent further violations, the fine may be reconsidered. This has drawn criticism from members of the community including Jim Albertini of Malu `Aina, a community-based organization for education of sustainable organic farming and non-violent action. The NRC’s decision, he believes, is not enough, nor are the Army’s corrective actions to prevent further violations.

THE BRUSH FIRE that spread through Punalu`u this Wednesday burned 85 acres before it could be contained. Fortunately, the land scorched was vacant and no injuries were reported. The fire forced police to close Hwy 11 between the two entrances to Punalu`u Beach for six hours. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Christina Skaggs with her
Patina Prayers.
AN ART OPENING at Volcano Art Center Gallery today from 5 p.m. To 7 p.m. features Christina Skaggs with her Patina Prayers paintings that resemble carvings and textiles. The exhibit will be ongoing through Sept. 18.

THE WALLS OF PU`U `O`O CRATER collapsing are the subject of a video by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The spectacular documentation available online at the HAVO website begins with the lava flow in the crater on Wednesday. The lava progresses toward the rim of the crater until the crater floor collapses and drops 260 feet. By 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, the crater wall had collapsed into the lake of lava. A different video was recorded from helicopter by Mick and Ann Kalber of Tropical Visions Video and shows the spectacular lava flows in the crater.