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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs September 27, 2011

A proposed reapportionment map would split Ka`u for the state House of Representatives.

REDISTRICTING MAPS that would cut Ka`u in half and put Rep. Bob Herkes in a district more aligned with Puna are going to be challenged, according to the Hawai`i Island Democratic Party. The Democrats and several other groups, including one led by Sen. Malama Solomon, are planning an appeal to the state Supreme Court. 
     The statewide reapportionment commission voted to approve the new districts last night on O`ahu. The basis of the suit, however, is to exclude non-residents, such as the military, from the census used for the reapportionment. Excluding non-residents, which are concentrated on O`ahu, would likely give the Big Island a fourth Senate seat. The deadline to file the suit is 45 days from yesterday’s vote.

STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE member Richard Ha is warning policy makers about the downside of accepting energy solutions that fail to reduce the cost of electricity. He says it threatens food security, as many agricultural operations require electricity. Ha’s opinion piece is published in this morning’s Civil Beat. Ha is working with a hui to buy Hawaiian Electric Company in order to develop more geothermal and other alternatives that he says could make Hawai`i a growing economy that uses cheap energy. 
     Writes Ha: “Expensive electricity throttles Hawai`i's food self-sufficiency, too. People may not immediately think of maintaining the cold chain – a temperature-controlled supply chain – as a place where a significant cost of getting food to their plate occurs. The cooling costs on a farm, at a wholesaler, at a retailer and in the home refrigerator are all affected by electricity costs.
Richard Ha
“The higher electricity rates become, the higher the costs of growing food in Hawai`i become. These costs must be paid by Hawai`i's farmers and in many cases cannot be passed on to the consumer.
     “As fossil or biofuel oil costs rise, and our farmers’ cost of production also rises, farmers are unable to pass on the increased costs,” Ha writes. See civilbeat.com for more stories on energy and agriculture in Hawai`i.

SIDEWALK TO NOWHERE is what Chris Manfredi is calling the state proposed sidewalk that could threaten large shade trees and rock walls along Hwy 11. Manfredi, a land manager who lives in a house along the proposed sidewalk path, told National Public Radio-Hawai`i in a story broadcast yesterday, that he knew of no stakeholders in Ka`u who asked the state to build the sidewalk. A state Department of Transportation plan listed the sidewalk as the highest priority on the Big Island. According to the NPR story, it was placed in the plan to improve “connectivity and accessibility,” but was neither funded nor scheduled. There is already a sidewalk on the makai side of the highway.
     Marge Elwell, secretary of the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce and a leader in the Scenic Byways movement, noted that one of the rationales for the scenic byways designation is the beautiful drive along the tree-lined highway through Na`alehu. Friday is the deadline to comment on the plan.
     The plan can be read, and comments can be made, at hawaiipedplan.com or 808-587-6395.

A meeting on Nani Kahuku `Aina resort plans will be held at the Miloli`i
Halau this Friday. Photo by Julia Neal
NANI KAHUKU `AINA'S PLAN for a resort between South Point and Ranchos is subject of a public meeting at Miloli`i this Friday. The meeting, sponsored by Pa`a Pono Miloli`i, will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Halau - the Miloli`i Pavilion. The organization is calling for more community involvement in reviewing the plan to change land to Urban designation from Conservation along the coast. It will be followed by a presentation by Conservation international and Pa`a Pono Miloli`i on a marine conservation program.

POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES are rallying in Honolulu this morning. Across the country the employees are launching campaigns to help keep more funding in the USPS with some national television ads saying that much of the post office fees for stamps and sending packages are kept by the federal government for unrelated services. While thousands of post offices across the country are threatened with closure, none of Ka`u’s post offices are on the list.

THE DEADLINE to sign up for free emergency preparedness classes being offered for FEMA certification is next Monday, Oct. 3. Classes are sponsored by the Pacific Regional Disaster Preparedness Center. They cover community preparation and response to terrorism, tsunamis and other hazards. They will take place Oct.11-14 at the Hawai`i Innovation Center in Hilo at 117 Keawe St., and at Bougainvillea Plaza in Kona. For more information and registration, visit the website, prdpc.org, call 933-2439 or email course-registration@prdpc.org.

More cruise ships expected in Hilo with visitors traveling to Ka`u
 in first week of October. Photo by Julia Neal
MORE CRUISE SHIP VISITORS could be seen at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and as far as Punalu`u Black Sand Beach, as nearly 10,000 visitors will be landing in Hilo on five cruise ships. According to a Stephens Media report, the cruise ship visitor count has been slowly growing over the last few years, following a crash in the business that cut the passenger landings in half.

THE CHINA NATIONAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION sent its top official to the Big Island, and he spoke to the U.S. Travel Association, promising more visitors, particularly if visa restrictions are eased. Hawai`i is receiving fewer Chinese visitors than such places as France because of the difficulty in getting visas, even though Hawai`i represents a dream vacation for many, Chinese visiting officials said.

MANA I KA LEO: THE POWER OF THE VOICE will be shown at After Dark in the Park tonight at 7 p.m. The documentary film examines the cultural importance of oli, the Hawaiian tradition of chant. It won the Audience Award for Favorite Short Film at the 2010 Hawai`i International Film Festival. After Dark is held in the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Visitor Center Auditorium. A small donation is requested.

COUNCIL MEMBER BRITTANY SMART holds a District 6 Matters meeting at Cooper Center in Volcano Village on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. Alan Parker, from the Office of Aging, will discuss rural issues with the public. Call 961-8536 for more information.