|`Ukulele, guitars and song celebrated La `Elima at the Miloli`i Hale yesterday.|
KULANI PRISON near Volcano could re-open as a correctional facility if a bill introduced this session passes the state Legislature. The proposal follows up on Governor Neil Abercrombie’s promise to bring Hawai`i prisoners home and is supported by the director of the state Department of Public Safety, Jodie Maesake-Hirata. Sen. Gil Kahele said he supports the use of Kulani for rehabilitation of people in trouble with the law. He said he was also supportive of a youth center at Kulani and will be keen to be involved in discussion of Kulani's future.
Former Governor Linda Lingle shut down the prison and turned it over to the Hawai`i National Guard for a Youth Challenge school last year. The American Friends Service Committee, DMZ – Aloha Aina and individuals appealed to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, saying the change was made without due process and public input.
Kulani was a 160-bed, low-security prison but could become a higher security correctional facility with the return of prisoners from the mainland. About 2,000 prisoners from Hawai`i are serving time at three Arizona prisons owned by a private company named Corrections Corporation of America. The state auditor criticized the Lingle administration for making an agreement with the town of Eloy, Arizona, which turned the prisoners over to the private company, circumventing the bidding process.
The state has been sending prisoners to the mainland since 1995. About two-thirds of prisoners serve their time in Hawai`i.
|Sen. Gil Kahele presented a message|
from the state Senate.
State Senator Gil Kahele, who was born in Miloli`i, brought to the celebration a message from the Semate recognizing La `Elima.
The relationship between Ka`u and Miloli`i include Miloli`i being part of Ka`u in ancient times, the practice of Miloli`i trading fish for dryland taro that came from lands mauka of Pahala, and the many families who intermarried. Some families in Ka`u maintain homes at Miloli`i, where they still fish, and Ka`u residents support a keiki fishing contest at Miloli`i.
|Walter Kahiwa, center, is Deacon|
of Hauoli Kamana`o Church
During the celebration, Walter Kahiwa, Deacon of the Hauoli Kamana`o Church, shared the history and stories of the village, which included the connection between Ka`u and Miloli`i.
A SUPER BOWL TAILGATE PARTY happens today at Kilauea Military Camp’s Lava Lounge in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and poke bowls will be served in the parking lot from noon to 3 p.m. The game will be shown in the Lounge beginning at 1:30 p.m.
A PROGRAM COVERING Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s confirmation ceremony at Pahala Plantation House in December airs tonight at 10:30 p.m. on Channel 54. The program is scheduled to air every Sunday this month at 10:30 p.m. and every Tuesday at 9 p.m. It was filmed by Wendell Ka`ehu`ae`a, general manager of KAHU-FM 91.7, Ka`u’s Community Radio station.