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.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Nov. 11, 2011

Edmund Olson, Glenn Panglao and John Cross worked on one of the first restorations of water systems
for farms in Ka`u.  Photo by Julia Neal
RESTORATION OF AGRICULTURAL WATER systems in Ka`u has $200,000 in planning money, with Gov. Neil Abercrombie releasing it, Scott Enright told the Ka`u Agriculture Water Cooperative District Steering Committee yesterday. Enright, an agronomist and new board member of the Agricultural Development Corp., said that Abercrombie wants the quasi-state agency to change its risk-adverse culture and become more proactive and dynamic. ADC is seeking a new executive director - a “short search” to get the new leader working right away, said Enright. 
     Ka`u farmers and ranchers said they are hoping that $4 million passed during two sessions by the Legislature could be released by the administration to restore old plantation water tunnels and build distribution systems as soon as possible. They said the co-op is willing to take the lead in getting the job done on the ground to stretch the dollars provided by government.
     Enright said the project has the support of Sen. Gil Kahele and Department of Agriculture director Russell Kokubun. Enright described Ka`u as a place where, in agriculture, “more is being done than almost any place I have been.” He pointed to the success of the Ka`u Coffee industry and said efforts of the water co-op, working to restore tunnels for seven years, puts it in a good position to manage the water system and receive funding. Enright said that the ag department estimates the cost of the water system at $8 million to $10 million.
     The master Ka`u Agriculture Water Cooperative District represents farmers and ranchers, all with different tunnel sources for irrigation. The areas include Kapapala, Wood Valley, Keaiwa, Moa`ula, Hilea, Ali`i, Ha`ao and Mountain House. The co-op has identified about 38 tunnels developed by the old sugar plantation, and about ten are top priorities for restoration. Enright suggested going to the Legislature next year to help set up a private-public partnership to carry out the work and manage the system. Interested ranchers and farmers, contact jeffreymccall@hawaiiantel.net.

Alala, the Hawaiian crow, will be re-introduced
into the Ka`u Forest Reserve.
THE KA`U FOREST RESERVE is the subject of an Environmental Assessment for its management plan. Ron Terry, of Geometrician Associates, which is conducting the study, told farmers and ranchers yesterday that he wants to work with them and local hunters in terms of protection of crops and pasture as well as providing recreational access to the forest and to hunting grounds. 
     The EA studies environmental and cultural compliance for habitat management and restoration to benefit endangered forest birds including the alala, or Hawaiian crow, which, according to plan, will be reintroduced to the Ka`u Forest Reserve. Proposed conservation management of habitat includes fencing a portion of the area to exclude ungulates (feral pigs, mouflon sheep), removal of ungulates from within fenced areas, weed control, predator control, rare and native plant restoration, monitoring and the alala re-introduction. Other aspects include outreach and education, community consultation and the enhancement of public access to Ka`u Forest Reserve, which could include trails and camping areas.
     Terry was talking yesterday at the Ka`u Agriculture Water Cooperative District meeting.
     Another public presentation on the Ka`u Forest Reserve will be given by Terry at the next Ka`u Chamber of Commerce meeting, Friday, Nov. 18 at 3:30 p.m. at Punalu`u Bake Shop. 

Army National Guard
LTC Joseph D`Angelo
THE VOW TO HIRE HEROES ACT passed the U.S. Senate yesterday, and Rep. Mazie Hirono said, “Our veterans won. Politics were put aside to help those who so selflessly fought for our country get back to work. My hope is that House leaders will agree to the Senate version so we can send this bill to the President to sign.” 
     The VOW to Hire Heroes Act offers a $5,600 tax credit for employers who hire veterans who have been out of work for more than six months. Companies hiring a veteran with a service-connected disability and who has been out of work for over six months can receive up to $9,600 in tax credits. In addition, employers hiring a veteran who has been out of work for over four weeks can receive a $2,400 tax credit.
     Hirono is in Honolulu for APEC and said that she personally asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help save the East West Center. The East West Center helps connect and train diplomats from Pacific Rim countries and has sponsored programs here in Ka`u. 

Judge Edward Kubo
TODAY IS VETERANS DAY, and here are the ceremonies in Ka`u:

THE KA`U MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY hosts a Veterans Day celebration at Na`alehu Park with history displays and the Ka`u `Ohana Band performing, beginning at 10 a.m.

KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP Veterans Day ceremonies begin at 3 p.m., with speeches by Lt. Col. Joseph D’Angelo, a member of the Army National Guard who practices pediatrics in Hilo, and Circuit Court Judge Edward Kubo. At 4:30 p.m. a buffet will be available for purchase at Crater Rim Cafe, following the ceremonies.

Ka`u residents Susan and Carol join in the kanikapila
at the music workshop.  Photo by Julia Neal
MASTERS OF HAWAIIAN MUSIC will put on a free concert for the public at Pahala Plantation House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sponsored by Keoki Kahumoku and his Center for Hawaiian Music Studies, the event will feature James Hill, Hope and John Keawe, Dennis and David Kamakahi, Moses and George Kahumoku, Jr., Makana Kamahele and many more. The Ka`u High School Ensemble and One Journey will perform, and bottled water and food sales will benefit the Ensemble and the Center for Hawaiian Music Studies.