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, November 2, 2011

Ka`u News Briefs Nov. 2, 2011

NOAA has plotted the possible paths of marine debris from the tsunami, with first year red, second year orange,
third year yellow, fourth year light blue and fifth year violet.  Image from J. Churnside, of NOAA

ONE MILLION DOLLARS to help clean up tsunami debris approaching Hawai`i and the U.S. mainland moved along inside a U.S. Senate bill yesterday. The $1 million insertion into the appropriations bill was made by Sen. Daniel Inouye, according to his staff. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 69 to 30 and now goes to conference with the House of Representatives. It is the same bill that would provides $4 million to the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s marine debris program, according to a report by Sophie Cocke in Civil Beat
With Japanese fishing fleets washed away during the
tsunami, nets are expected to reach Ka`u.
Photo from Hawai`i Wildlife Fund
     The Ka`u Coast, where marine debris commonly arrives to wash up on Kamilo and other shores, is expected to be a recipient of some of the 10 to 25 tons of flotsam from the March tsunami, and it could arrive as early as next year. 
     Inouye said that in recent months “federal agencies and scientists in Hawai`i working to track the flow of the tsunami debris have fretted openly about the potential for major marine ecosystem damage and the lack of a plan or money to deal with the debris.”
     “As an island state, Hawai`i is particularly susceptible to the impacts of marine debris and, all the more so, because we are located near the center of a great network of ocean currents in the Pacific that tend to concentrate debris into a wide region known as the “garbage patch,” said Inouye. He noted that Hawai`i is the first state to develop and implement a comprehensive marine debris action plan. 

DRUG TESTING COUNTY COUNCIL members moved toward becoming an item on the 2012 ballot. Initiated by County Council chair Dominic Yagong, the measure passed the council’s Governmental Relations Committee yesterday. The Council’s attorney recommended against the measure, and Council members Brittany Smart, J Yoshimoto, Fresh Onishi and Donald Ikeda agreed.
     However, the measure passed, with six committee members voting for it. Council member Brittany Smart said she voted for the measure “with reservations.” It will now go to a vote before the full Council.
     The bill is aimed at making drug testing for County Council members similar to those already required for many county employees. The county Corporate Counsel’s reason for opposing the drug testing was not revealed as the committee met with the attorney in a closed-door session.

NEW COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICTS, which could split Ka`u and send Brittany Smart into a contest against Brenda Ford during next year’s election, should they both decide to run, are the subject of a meeting tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the County Council chambers in Hilo. Proposed maps can be seen at: http://co.hawaii.hi.us/council/reapp/index.htm. Comments can be sent by email, U.S. mail or delivered in person.

THE 2012 KA`U COFFEE FESTIVAL has been set for Saturday, May 12, and Ka`u Coffee Cooperative members and other supporters are welcoming the entire community to get involved and volunteer. This will be the fourth Ka`u Coffee Festival for the growing industry. Those interested in helping can call Ka`u Coffee Co-op president Gloria Camba at 928-8558.

Nani Kahuku `Aina's property is across from the Kahuku
Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
THE DEADLINE FOR NANI KAHUKU `AINA RESORT comments on its Draft Environmental Impact Statement are due Nov. 6. Sen. Gil Kahele is urging residents, pro and con, to send in their questions and comments. The developers want to change a swath of Conservation land along the ocean to Urban. The 16,000 acres where the resort would be located on 1,600 acres is across the highway from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s – Kahuku. 
     See the draft EIS at the state Department of Health website: http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/Oahu/2000s/2008-07-08-DEA-Kahuku-Village.pdf.

HEALTH INSURANCE RATES will go up 3.6 percent for the larger groups with health insurance from Hawai`i Medical Service Association. The proposal is before the state insurance division, which is also considering a hike proposed by Kaiser. The HMSA insurance hike would affect 84,000 HMSA members, which already were affected by a 14.8 percent hike this year and more than 11 percent last year. The additional increase would go into effect Jan. 1. HMSA earned a $5.8 million profit in the second quarter of this year. 

Students size up the soil on Olson Trust land during a Soil
Conservation District contest.  Photo by Julia Neal
SOIL CONSERVATION AWARENESS student winners have been announced by Soil & Water Conservation District. Last week, competition was held in the hills of Keaiwa on Edmund C. Olson Trust lands surrounding the new Ka`u Coffee Mill off Wood Valley Road, above Pahala. 
     Close to 30 contestants participated in this County of Hawai`i Conservation Awareness Contest designed to show off student skills in analyzing soil conditions. Pahoa High School scored 662 points, Kamehameha 436, and Konawaena 317. Ka`u Soil & Water Conservation District chair Brenda Iokepa-Moses said she hopes “that in the near future, our own Ka`u High will participate. It’s a shame with our district being the largest agricultural belt that we don’t have this kind of program intact for our future farmers,” she said.
     Olson Trust donated time and equipment for Frank Lorenzo to prepare several pits that were used in the soil evaluation portion of the competition.

SEN. GIL KAHELE co-sponsors public Listening Sessions with representatives of the Department of Land & Natural Resources this Friday and Saturday. The DLNR administration team, including chairperson William J. Aila, Jr., first deputy and Volcano resident Guy H. Kaulukukui, and Water deputy Bill M. Tam, is visiting Hawai`i Island to hear community comments, questions, and concerns regarding topics under the department’s jurisdiction.
     Also attending will be members of the state Senate Committee on Water, Land and Housing, including chair Donovan Dela Cruz and vice chair Malama Solomon.
     The Hilo meeting will be Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Waiakea High School Cafeteria, and the Kona meeting will be Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Konawaena High School Cafeteria in Kealakekua.

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS, the Day of the Dead, will be celebrated this evening to remember those who have passed away. Art and creative writing pieces have been submitted to Volcano Art Center, and participants vote for the most impactful, inspirational and festive submissions. Art and jewelry will also be available for purchase at the event, which begins at 5 p.m. and includes dinner and dancing. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door at the Niualani Campus of Volcano Art Center on Old Volcano Hwy. 

KEOKI KAHUMOKU’S annual music workshop starts this Saturday at Pahala Plantation House and runs through next week. A Veterans Day concert for the public will be held on Friday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     Masters of guitar and `ukulele who will teach all week and perform at the concert include Dennis and David Kamakahi; Sonny Lim; John and Hope Keawe; George, Keoki and Moses Kahumoku; Herb Ohta, Jr.; Brittany Paiva; and James Hill. For last-minute sign-ups and scholarships for local youth, call Kahumoku at 938-6582.