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, October 19, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs Oct. 19, 2011

KAHU 91.7FM plans to begin broadcasting by this weekend, after moving transmission equipment to location a
upslope between Pahala and Na`alehu.  Photo by Julia Neal

KAHU 91.7FM, THE PUBLIC RADIO STATION in Ka`u, is working this week to extend its broadcast range. The station is available only at KAHUFM.com while a crew tests equipment that was moved and installed yesterday on a Crown communications tower upslope between Pahala and Na`alehu. The station should be back on the air by the weekend with a much wider reach toward Volcano and Ocean View, said station manager Wendell Ka`ehu`ae`a. 

Police Chief Harry Kubojiri met with
residents in Na`alehu yesterday.
Photo by Ron Johnson
POLICE CHIEF HARRY KUBOJIRI encourages the public to involve the Police Department whenever they feel the need. At a public meeting in Na`alehu yesterday, Kubojiri said he wants to know “what can we do to improve our services to you” and “what is broken.” 
     Captain Andrew Burian said that if residents are concerned about retribution, they are welcome to report anonymously when calling the police. 
Drag racing possibly contributed to
a death earlier this year on Hwy. 11
in Ka`u.  Photo by Bobby Tucker
     One issue of concern is drag racing along Hwy 11 and Ka`u streets. A resident asked if dummy police cars could be placed near known racing stretches to warn the public. Kubojiri said he would look into it. He also said more patrolling would help. “We’ll definitely take measures,” he said.
     One resident said she thought patrols through neighborhoods would also help with issues of noise and drugs.
     Dennis Riordan, a county Parks Department employee, said he appreciates patrols through the parks and sees the difference it makes. “People feel safe, and it deters those who shouldn’t be there,” he said.
     Residents can contact the Ka`u District Police Station at 939-2520. Kubojiri can be reached at 961-2244.

TAX DOLLARS to help with road maintenance in communities without public roads could be possible through a bill before the County Council today in Kona. Community associations like those in Ocean View, would apply for funding. 

EASING OF THE BUILDING CODE is on today’s agenda for the County Council, as it considers proposals by of the Hawai`i Sustainable Community Alliance. The Alliance wants a Sustainable Habitat Ordinance to permit “the use of the ingenuity and preferences of individual owner/builders of dwellings on materials, procedures and alternatives.” Hawaiisustainablecommunity.org says some unpermitted dwellings could come into compliance along with building more affordably or sustainably. 

Owners of pastures and farms receive property tax breaks for legitimate
agriculture.  Photo by Julia Neal
FAKE FARMS, where people take advantage of tax incentives that are supposed to encourage farmers to grow food and other crops are under study by the county. According to a Stephens Media story by Nancy Cook Lauer this morning, about 11,000 property owners claim ag property tax exemptions in Hawai`i County. How many of these are real farmers is unknown, said planning consultant Jeff Melrose, who made a report to the Hawai`i County Agriculture Advisory Commission yesterday. According to the Stephens Media story, farmers showing at least $2,000 in gross income per year from agriculture can receive substantial property tax reductions if they commit to farming for at least ten years. A separate “non-dedicated” program allows tax breaks from year to year. “A property normally valued at $100,000 an acre, for example, would be valued at $1,500 on the dedicated agriculture program and $3,000 on the non-dedicated program, effectively bringing tax rates down to the minimum $100 annual tax for some landowners,” said the Stephens Media story. This leads to some pastures bringing in only 15 cents an acre per year. 
     The Stephens Media story quoted commissioner Mike Robinson, who is also a Hawaiian Home Lands natural resource manager, saying, “We want to provide incentives for people to be part of the legitimate agriculture industry and not just part of the reduce-your-taxes industry.”

Mark Glick
HAWAI`I HAS A NEW energy administrator. Mark Glick is tasked with the job to develop, implement and manage clean energy initiatives to meet the 70 percent renewable energy goal set for 2030 by the state. He managed a $9.5 million block grant under the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. He helped craft the state’s Food and Energy Security Act. 
     He headed economic development for Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He will work under DBEDT, and its director, Richard Lim, who said: “Mark’s pioneering work in clean energy policy and project management, environmental stewardship, finance and federal and state grant acquisition will be invaluable in building a clean energy economy for Hawai`i.” He will work on developing interisland cables to carry energy from one island to another, Lim said. 

THE COST OF SENDING A ONE OUNCE LETTER would go up to 45 cents on Jan. 22, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Each additional ounce will stlll cost 20 cents. Post cards will cost 32 cents. The proposed price hikes go before the Postal Regulatory Commission. Letters to Canada and Mexico go up to 85 cents each, and letters to all other international locations will go to $1.05 each. 

District 6 would become District 7 in one
scheme to change the boundaries for
County Council representation.
THE HAWAI`I COUNTY REDISTRICTING COMMISSION meets on Friday at 10 a.m. in Council Chambers in Hilo. The Commission will review and discuss submitted plans and maps and begin creating its draft plan. For more information, contact Karen Eoff at 323-4264 or keoff@co.hawaii.hi.us.