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, September 14, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Sept. 14, 2011

Steering Committee and public met consultants helping with the Ka`u Community Development Plan.
Photo by Julia Neal.
KA`U ELEMENTARY, JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOLS are hosting an open house this afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the campus in Pahala. Families will learn about new programs at the school and be able to meet teachers, counselors, coaches and administrators.

THE STEERING COMMITTEE and public, last night, met new consultants helping to write the Ka`u Community Development Plan. The steering committee voted to meet monthly until the draft plan comes out and talked about wanting more participation in writing the plan. County planning department staff and consultants are using data gathered from numerous talk-stories and community meetings held since 2008 to help write the plan. They are meeting with stakeholders in Ka`u to gather information and lay out the possibilities for the direction of the community in a draft plan that could be ready for public review early next year. The staff and consultants are using community goals and a vision statement as a filter through which land use classifications, zonings, and ownership are studied to come up with possible plans for the future of communities in Ka`u.
Land ownership around Nani Kahuku `Aina.
     During the public testimony part of the meeting, citizens asked whether the consideration of the `Aina Koa Pono biofuels refinery and farm proposal could be part of the discussion and whether the Nani Kahuku `Aina resort proposal would be analyzed during the plan.
     Planner Ron Whitmore said that whether land is changed from Conservation to Urban designation on the Nani Kahuku property near the ocean is a major decision. Once the change is made, the future would be set for urbanization. There was discussion as to whether the resort community would be considered “a new town” for Ka`u.
     Regarding `Aina Koa Pono, Whitmore answered questions about requiring an Environmental Impact Statement by saying there is no trigger for the county to require one. The proposed refinery up Wood Valley Road is agricultural processing, which is allowed by the state and county on agricultural land, he said.
     Steering committee members Michelle Galimba, Loren Heck and Donna Ambrose said they want the steering committee to be more active in the process, reviewing data being used by the consultants and also involving the community in the ongoing process.
     A number of people during the public input periods said they were frustrated, saying they want to be more involved in the planning issues before the community.

Ope`ape`a, the Hawaiian hoary bat.
THE HAWAIIAN HOARY BAT, known as ope`ape`a, is Hawai`i’s single native land mammal and will be the topic of next week's After Dark in the Park on Sept. 20. Frank Bonaccorso, Ph.D., a Wildlife Ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, presents findings on what is know about the elusive behavior of ope`ape`a, such as seasonal movements, feeding and insect prey, reproduction, and daytime roosting. Bonaccorso will also discuss current and emerging threats to the survival of the Hawaiian hoary bat.

VOLCANO ENCAUSTIC ARTIST JOHN MATSUSHITA will demonstrate painting with beeswax today during the gathering of the Western Apicultural Society at Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel. The public is invited to take part in the second annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge tonight. The public is also invited to attend the beekeepers conference, which started Sept. 12 and continues through Sept. 15. The main focus of the meetings will be apiary recovery following assaults by Varroa mites and small hive beetles. During this time, beekeepers are expected to visit some apiaries in Ka`u.
     After the conference, Larry Connor, Ph.D., a beekeeping columnist and Wicwas Press publisher, will present a day-long masters' workshop in Hawi on Sept. 16 on rebuilding the apiary after losses. 

THE VOLCANO ART CENTER NIAULANI CAMPUS will host the Volcano Rain Forest Autumn Harvest Art Camp next month. The center invites participants ages 6 to 14 to join in on lu`au cooking classes, traditional tool making, and art and outdoor activities. The camp will start on Oct. 3 and end on the Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Regular campers cost is $165, and $148 for VAC family members. Partial financial aid is available. To register call 967-8222 or email community@volcanoartcenter.org. Applications are due by Sept. 21.

ARTISTS CAN COMPETE for the cover of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce's Directory 2012 by bringing their art to the Ka`u Federal Credit Union in Na`alehu on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Artists are to provide the name of the piece, the size, price and artist’s name. Entries are limited to one per person. Art can be in any medium. Three cash prizes will be awarded at the End of Show Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Ka`u Federal Credit Union from noon to 2 p.m. For more information, call Wanda Aus at 929-9139.