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.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ka'u News Briefs Nov. 24, 2011

Ka`u High & Pahala School Gym is used for graduation and many other community events. Photos by Julia Neal
KA`U HIGH & PAHALA ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS have written a support statement for the new Ka`u Regional Disaster Shelter and gym, which will be the subject of public planning sessions Dec. 19 and 20 on the school campus.
Hula on the wooden floor of the gym.
     One reason given for needing the gym is that “on days with poor weather and/or heavy vog, students must forego the badly needed opportunity to exercise and release constructive energy.” The designated emergency shelter for the school is its band room. “This location is not optimal because the location is on the back side of the campus, which is unfamiliar to most people, especially tourists,” the school statement says. “There is also no cell phone service, and the designated site can only hold 200 people” for the District of Ka`u, where there are approximately 5,000 people plus visitors.
     The school reports that during the last three years, the band room shelter opened for earthquakes, tsunamis and road closures due to flooding. “With the vog/SO2 the band room is one of the few safe rooms for the community; however, if the vog/SO2 elevates to an unsafe level during the school day, students take priority, and the community has no shelter to report to” and must drive 50-plus miles to the nearest shelter or to a place with clean air.
     The need for more space for school athletics is stressed by the school statement. There is not enough room in the existing gym during school hours and before the after-school bus leaves. The new gym could be used for multiple volleyball courts, basketball, and wrestling. The school also would like a weight room to help condition students for sports, even those not practiced or played in the gym, like cross country, track, soccer and football. 
The gym hosts inspirational speakers, including U.H.
alumni Davone Bess, of the Miami Dolphins.
    The new gym will also be used by County Parks & Recreation, “which has almost no access to the gym,” the school says. With the new gym completed, “the old gym will be made available for county after-school programs targeting elementary and middle school,” and its programs could increase.
     “Programs may be able to start right after school, allowing Na`alehu and Ocean View middle and elementary students to participate and then be able to catch the 4:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. activity bus to go home.”
     The new gym will even help the Na`alehu Parks & Recreation programs to start earlier, as the Na`alehu gym will no longer be needed for busing Ka`u High School and Middle School athletes to practice their sport.
     “The main goal for the new district gym is that it will provide an educational structure for our students and be a safe haven for the members of our community/district during times of peril due to natural disasters. The new gym and shelter will help to build “a stronger, healthier community all-around,” concludes the school statement.
The gym is the stage for musical events.
     The county Department of Public Works is taking public input on the gym and shelter design through Dec. 6 for preliminary design concepts and then again at the public meetings in Pahala Dec. 19 and 20 at 5 p.m. at the school cafeteria.

AN EARTHQUAKE just east of South Point Road and nine miles west-southwest of Na`alehu struck yesterday at 6:15 p.m. Discovery Harbour area residents reported strong jolts and a shaking but no injuries or damage. The temblor was initially reported as a 4.0 magnitude but was later downgraded to 3.8. Last Sunday a 4.0 earthquake was recorded just four miles from the Mauna Loa summit, and a 3.0 was recorded nine miles up Mauna Loa from Pahala.

THE WINDING ROAD BETWEEN KONA and Ocean View took another life as James Keka, of Ocean View, died yesterday following a one-car crash at the 92-mile marker as he was heading south on Hwy 11 and lost control of his car, sending it over a 30-foot drop-off on the makai side of the highway.

HAWAI`I POLICE DEPARTMENT reminds Ka`u residents to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, as DUI check points will be scattered across the island. Police suggest designated drivers be available to transport holiday drinkers from home to home and from restaurants and bars. 

VEHICLE REGISTRATION NOTICES were sent out by the State of Hawai`i charging less money than owed. The county will send out new notices to correct the error. The state authorized increased fees for next year, including an increase from the $25 registration fee for each vehicle to $45 and doubling the vehicle weight tax. Owners of cars, trucks and vans can either go to vehicle registration offices to pay the correct amount or wait for the corrected bill in the mail.

THANKSGIVING DAY DINNERS are serving up all over Ka`u today: 
     In Na`alehu - Hana Hou from 11 a.m. until closing and South Side Shaka’s noon to 9 p.m.
     Ocean View Community Center serves a free Thanksgiving feast from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
     In Volcano, Kilauea Military Camp’s Crater Rim Café from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

A bracelet by Volcano Village
Artists Hui member Zeke Israel
VOLCANO VILLAGE ARTISTS open their studios to the public for an annual Tour & Sale tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meet the artists and see and buy creations in many media at seven studios. Pick up maps at local businesses or at volcanovillageartistshui.com. 

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY continues at the Volcano Art Center Gallery tomorrow and through the weekend with an invitational exhibit of wreaths made by artists. Art demonstrations, print and book signings by gallery artists, handcrafted decorations and gifts are offered. Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park entrance fees apply.

THE FLOATING LANTERN CEREMONY to remember deceased loved ones begins at Punalu`u Saturday at 11 a.m. Taiko drumming, dance, interfaith chants and prayers precede the release of lanterns floating into the ocean. Registration is required. Donations are accepted for scholarships for health careers. It is sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, the American Cancer Society and HMSA. Call 928-0101.